Location: Lyon County KS

Biographical Sketch of John B. Dinsmore

Is a native of Daviess county and was born in Jackson township on the 10th of April, 1850. He was reared and received his education wholly in this county. In August, 1870, he went to Kansas and there engaged in railroading. Part of his time in that State was spent in Emporia, where he remained till September, 1872. He then came to Daviess county, and locating in Jackson township, was soon called on to serve his fellow-citizens in a public office. He was elected township constable and collector, and served two years, refusing reelection. From that time he turned his attention to farming and stock-raising, till his health failed him. He made a trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and after his return came to Jamesport, where he went into his present business of butchering and stock-trading. Mr. Dinsmore was married on the 9th of March, 1876, in Harrison county, Missouri, to Miss M. M. Travis, daughter of Mr. David Travis. Mr. Dinsmore is a thorough business man, and his worth, in this particular, is duly appreciated by his many...

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Biographical Sketch of Otis Patterson

OTIS PATTERSON. – Mr. Patterson, editor of the Heppner Gazette, at Heppner, Oregon, and one of the representative men of common sense and energy in the Inland Empire, was born at Danville, Indiana, September 4, 1858. He remained in that city until the age of eighteen, receiving a good common-school education. He also improved himself by a scientific course, graduating as B.S. from the Centeral Normal College of Danville. In 1876 he acted upon the advice of a celebrated father of his profession, and came to Emporia, Kansas, where he engaged in educational work. In 1882 he performed the rest of the journey across the continent, stopping in California. Remaining there only a short time, however, he came by way of Portland, Oregon to Walla Walla, where he once more became a teacher of schools, following that occupation in various schools in Walla Walla county until 1885. In that year he became principal of the Heppner Public School, and conducted that institution with great success. The following spring he entered into business, successfully establishing a store in the hardware line. Seeing the opportunity and feeling the desire to occupy a somewhat more advanced position as educator, not simply of children but of men and of the people at large, he purchased in 1888 the Heppner Gazette and has conducted that periodical to the present time with very marked success,...

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Biography of Frank P. MacLennan

Frank P. MacLennan is a fortunate man. Kansas is fortunate in having him as a citizen. As a youth he took from this state the raw materials which by the alehemy of a resourceful and independent mind and a vigorous ambition he transmuted into a career which has been of even greater beneflt to the state than it has been to himself. First and last Mr. MacLennan is a newspaper man. He knows how to write, especially when the subject is something not directly counected with himself. In furnishing the data to the editor of this new History of Kansas self-respect and modesty kept the copy boy waiting longer than he ever does when called upon for editorials or column articles on the most diverse subjects and topics. What is said in the following paragraphs concerniug him is partly in his own words, and partly such comment as seems appropriate to a better understanding of the man and his work. He was born March 1, 1855, in Springfield, Ohio, and lived in that state until at the age of fifteen his parents, Kenneth and Adelia M. (Bliss) MacLennan, moved to Emporia, Kansas. Though the facts are simply told, there is a great deal of moral inspiration in the story of his early eareer. “When I was a boy at Springfield I hung around the printing offices, folded papers and...

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Biography of Preston B. Plumb

In the words of his biographer, Preston B. Plumb was a pioneer in Kansas. He was one of the founders of Emporia. He was in the Union army, and both major and lieutenant-colonel of the Eleventh Kansas. He was long United States senator from Kansas. In the Senate he was one of the men who accomplished things. He was the father of the ides of the conservation of the natural resources of America. It was his law that created the National Forest Reserve and extended aid to irrigation and the reclamation of arid lands. Many of the laws on the national statute books were put there by Preston B. Plumb. He was a great man and a great Kansan. No attempt can be made to cover fully the life of this great Kansan in a brief sketch. Here will be found only those details which are the frame work of biography and some reference to the larger work of which his life was an expression. Preston B. Plumb was born at Berkshire, Delaware County, Ohio, October 12, 1837. His parents, David Plumb and Hannah Maria (Bierce) Plumb, were of old New England families, their respective parents having come as pioneers into Ohio. David Plumb was a wagonmaker. As a boy young Plumb put in part of his time in his father’s shop. At the age of twelve, having made...

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Biographical Sketch of Amos Hinsdale Plumb

Amos Hinsdale Plumb is one of the children of the late Senator Preston B. Plumb and Caroline (Southwick) Plumb. He was born at Emporia, January 31, 1869, He was educated in the public schools of Emporia and the Kansas State University at Lawrence. Mr. Plumb’s chief business activities have been in real estate and mining. He organized and is president of the Mutual Building and Loan Association of Emporia, and during 1915-17 was president of the building and loan section of the Kansas Bankers’ Association. He was married at Omaha, Nebraska, January 1, 1897, to Elva Lawrence Gibson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Gibson of Omaha. They have one daughter, Roxanna...

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Biographical Sketch of George Marshall Crawford

George Marshall Crawford, the only son of Governor Crawford, was born at Emporia, Kansas, July 10, 1872, and for a number of years has been a prominent newspaper man and publisher at Topeka. His education came from the public schools of Topeka and the preparatory department at Washburn College, and in 1894 he graduated A. B. from Yale University. For three years he was a reporter on the Topeka Capital, but since September, 1897, has been manager of the Mail Printing Honse, in which he is a partner. Mr. Crawford is an active republican, an eighteen degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of the Knights and Ladies of Security, the Knights of the Maccabees, the Topeka Country Club and Topeka Commercial Club. On November 6, 1895, he married Hortense Kelly, daughter of Rev. Bernard Kelly, who for many years was prominent in Kansas affairs. Mr. and Mrs. Crawford have two children: George Marshall, Jr., and...

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Biography of Samuel J. Crawford

Samuel J. Crawford was one of the first members of the Kansas State Legislature, by service on the field of battle attained the rank of brigadier-general during the Civil war, and was the third governor of the state. He was one of the history makers of early Kansas, and what he did to influence the early political development of Kansas must be told on other pages. Following is a brief sketch of his personal career. He was born in Lawrence County, Indiana, April 10, 1835, grew up on a farm, attended the graded schools of Bedford, Indiana, and the law school of Cincinnati College. His parents were William and Jane (Merrow) Crawford, who were natives of North Carolina and had moved to Indiana Territory in 1815. His paternal grandparents were James and Mary (Fraser) Crawford, his grandfather having been a Revolutionary soldier. In remote ancestry the Crawfords were Scotch. Samuel J. Crawford arrived in Kansas Territory and began the practice of law at Garnett on March 1, 1859. He had the personal courage, the mental talents and other qualities so essential for leadership in the troubled country of Kansas at that time, and he did not long remain a struggling lawyer in Garnett. In May of the same year of his arrival he attended the Ossawatomie convention and participated in the organization of the republican party in Kansas. In...

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Biography of Rev. Cyrus R. Rice

Rev. Cyrus R. Rice, of Hartford, is one of the revered fathers of the Methodist Church in Kansas. He comes of a Tennessee family, and was himself born near Lebanon, that state, August 27, 1833. His father was a physician of many years’ practice in Tennessee and Missouri. The son also studied medicine, but his decided inclinations were toward the ministry, and in 1853 he united with the St. Louis Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The next year he was licensed to preach and appointed to the Thomasville Circuit, and in 1855 was sent as a missionary to Osawatomie, Kansas. In March, 1856, he returned to Patterson, Missouri, married Lucy A. McCormick, and spent most of his bridal trip on horseback with his wife, returning to Kansas. During the succeeding three years he organized various societies along the Neoshe River, at Fort Scott and Tecumseh, and in 1859 was assigned to the Shawneetown charge, where he ministered for two years. During the Civil war the Methodist Church, South, withdrew from Kansas and Mr. Rice was without regular appointment until March, 1865, when he united with the conference of the Methodist Episeopal Church and was assigned to the congregations at Centropolis and Prairie City. In 1867 he moved to Lyon County, and was the first presiding elder of the district. After four years of service in that capacity...

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Biography of Edward Shellenbaum

Edward Shellenbaum is co-editor and owner with D. E. Deputy of the Manhattan Nationalist. He entered the newspaper field a few years ago after long and competent service as postmaster at Randolph in Riley County. A native Kansan, he was born in Riley County on his father’s farm near Randolph, November 25, 1875, a son of Henry and Elizabeth (Siebecker) Shellenbaum. Mention of the name of the late Henry Shellenbaum serves to recall not only one of the most prominent pioneers of Riley County, but also some incidents of pioneer life that fittingly find a place in the history of Kansas. The Shellenbaums and their connections were among the first to occupy and develop that beantiful tract of Kansas landscape known as the Fancy Creek Valley. The Shellenbaums are of Swiss stock. Henry was born at Zurich, Canton Winterthur, Switzerland, October 1, 1833. At the age of twenty-one he came to the United States with his parents and brothers and sisters. His father died on the voyage and was buried at sea. The widowed mother and her children located at Seymour, Indiana. About two years later, in 1856, Henry Shellenbaum, with two other natives of Switzerland, Edward and Solomon Secrest, journeyed from Jackson County, Indiana, to Kansas. Kansas was still a territory and a hot bed of the critical troubles growing out of the free-state movement. In November of...

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Biography of Leslie V. Johnson

With all the progressiveness and enterprise of the native Kansan, Leslie V. Johnson had made his years in this state count chiefly as a banker, and for many years had found a large opportunity to serve the public through his post as cashier of the State Bank of Randolph in Riley County. As in the case with many successful business men and financiers, he had the atmosphere of a farm during his youth. He was born on his father’s farm in Pottawatomie County, October 8, 1872, and his earliest recollections are associated with that rural district. As a boy he went from home to the rural schools, and subsequently enjoyed the advantages of higher training, at first in the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia and later in Holton College. His banking career began in the employ of an institution at Oldsburg, Kansas. In 1898 he transferred his connection to the State Bank of Randolph, and had been closely identified with its management ever since. In 1901 he was elected cashier, and now had the executive management of one of the strongest and best conducted banks in Riley County. The State Bank of Randolph was organized in 1887, and is now elosing its thirtieth year of executive existence. Beginning with a capital of $10,000, that had since been increased to $25,000, and a recent bank statement in 1916 showed...

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Biographical Sketch of Llewellyn Kiene

Llewellyn Kiene had served four years in the office of sheriff of Shawnee County, and his administration had been all that his friends predicted and had been such as to give him rank among the ablest sheriffs this important county in the state had ever had. Sheriff Kiene is a Kansan by many years of residence and is thoroughly in the spirit of the Sunflower commonwealth. He was born March 2, 1868, in Putnam County, Illinois, one of the twelve children of Francis A. and Rose (Doriot) Kiene. When he was fifteen years of age his parents came to Kansas, and he had been a resident of the state since 1882. His education in the meantime had been supplied by the public schools of his native county and the state normal school at Emporia. Mr. Kiene is perhaps most widely known as a newspaper man, and was active in that profession for about twenty years before he became sheriff. His first work was as a reporter on the Topeka Daily Capital, beginning in 1891, and he afterwards served as city editor of the paper and later became managing editor of the Topeka State Journal. Mr. Kiene was managing editor with the Journal for about twenty years. He gave up that office in order to make a stirring canvass of the county as republican nominee for the office of sheriff,...

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Biography of Walt Mason

Walt Mason. In the annual output of wheat, corn, livestock, coal, oil and gas, Kansas must share her splendid results with other states. But at least one product is unique–Walt Mason and his rhymes. Statisticians are fond of figuring the value of Kansas crops. No one had estimated nor can estimate how much Walt Mason had contributed to the sum total of human happiness. And practically all that output had come from his home in Kansas, in his congenial surroundings at Emporia. It is said that Mr. Mason is unable to write in strange surroundings, and consequently never leaves Emporia. He is one of the few successful writers of modern times who have not been seduced from his old and familiar center of inspiration and there are many who will find special cause for admiration in this one fact. Some years ago William Allen White, in whose paper, the Emporia Gazette, Walt Mason’s writings first found an appreciative audience, called Mr. Mason “the poot laureate of American democracy.” Walt Mason is indeed a democrat in literature. The native vernacular is sufficient’ for him, and his forms of expression are as characteristic of Walt Mason as they are plain and intelligible to the masses of busy mankind. What place in the art of letters the future will assign him, cannot be foretold, and he probably does not give it a thought. He...

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Biography of Richard Allen

Richard Allen had been professor of history in the Montgomery County High School since the organization of that excellent institution more than fifteen years ago. He is one of the most widely known educators in Southern Kansas. His Allen ancestors came originally from England, one branch settling in Massachusetts and the other in Virginia during colonial days. His grandfather, William Allen, was born in Virginia in 1780, and some years later the family moved across the mountains into Kentucky, and subsequently became early settlers in Illinois. William Allen died in White County, Illinois, in 1845. Richard Allen was born in Logan County, Illinois, December 7, 1864. His father, B. F. Allen, was born in White County of that state in 1833, and was one of the Kansas pioneers, Reared in Illinois, and taking up the vocation of farmer there he first came out to Kansas in 1859, when it was still a territory. He spent some time near Augusta in Butler County, being there when the population was almost completely composed of Indians and before the homestead act was passed. He afterwards returned to Illinois, and served as a soldier in the Civil war, but after four months was incapacitated being taken ill with cholera and his life was despaired of for some time. After the war he followed farming in Logan County, Illinois, but in 1871 emigrated across...

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Biography of George Plumb, Hon.

Hon. George Plumb is one of Emporia’s honored pioneers. He is a son of David Plumb, and is a brother of the late Senator Preston B. Plumb, who for years was one of the most striking figures not only in Kansas life but in national affairs. Mr. William E. Connelley, the anthor and editor of this history of Kansas, is the offlcial biographer of the late Senator Plumb, and the reader is referred to other pages for the account of his cazeer and of the family relationship. While he had never gained the fame that fell to the lot of his distinguished brother, George Plumb had himself had a very interesting and active career. He was also one of the pioneers of Kansas and had taken a prominent part in its official affairs. He is now serving as finance commissioner of the City of Emporia. He was born in Delaware County, Ohio, December 15, 1843, and came to Kansas in the spring of 1857 with his parents when hs was fourteen years of age. He lived in the first house or shanty that was built in Emporia. As a boy he carried the chain in making the first survey of the townsite. For two months he was a student in the first prairie school of Emporia. The teacher was a private tutor and there were nine scholars altogether. He...

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Biography of Jacob Ramer Blackshere

Jacob Ramer Blackshere was one of the men who laid the foundation of Kansas’ great agricultural prosperity. He was a pioneer both in point of time and in point of achievement. The history of Kansas ought to give recognition and honor to such men, and that is the purpose of this brief article. One of the greatest sources of Kansas wealth is alfalfa. It is not strange, therefore, that many should have been mentioned for the premier honor of having introduced that crop into the Sunflower State. No doubt the controversy had been settled for all time in favor of the late J. R. Blackshere. All the facts necessary to substantiate this claim are in the possession of the Blackshere family and some account of his pioneer work in this direction will be found in the columns of the Topeka Daily State Journal, the issue of January 12, 1907. A paragraph from the article that appears in the Journal reads as follows: “According to P. C. Jeffrey, who had written to the State Journal, the first alfalfa seed to be brought to Kansas was in 1875 by J. R. Blackshere, who owned and lived on the Clover Cliff Ranch southwest of Elmdale, Chase County. Claims that were made for the late Harrison Parkman, former owner of Sunny Slope Farm near Emporia, will have to give precedence in favor of...

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