Location: McPherson County KS

Biography of Alexander Carraway Spilman

Alexander Carraway Spilman, living at McPherson at the age of eighty, is one of the few survivors of the true pioneer epoch of Kansas. The range of his experience seems remarkable even for a man of his age. He was in Kansas as a witness and newspaper correspondent of the factional turbulence of territorial days. He is a civil engineer by profession and was a member of the United States surveying party which surveyed Kansas west of the sixth principal meridian in 1858. It is probable that he is the only living pioneer or the oldest settler west of that meridian in Kansas. He knew the country when it was an absolute wilderness, a vast expanse of prairie and buffalo grass roamed over by the wild Indians and the buffalo. He fought as a soldier in the Civil war. He was one of the original company that founded the Town of Salina, and had been almost equally prominent in McPherson since that city came into existence. Captain Spilman was born at Yazoo City, Mississippi, October 5, 1837, a son of Dr. James F. and Margaret (Carraway) Spilman. His paternal grandfather Spilman, whose name was Benjamin, was born in Virginia. Dr. James F. Spilman, one of a family of eleven children, five sons and six daughters, was born in Kentucky in 1788 and died at Bunker Hill, Illinois, in 1870....

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Biography of Harvey Elmer Bruce

Harvey Elmer Bruce is one of Kansas’ successful newspaper men, being owner and editor of The Marquette Tribune, which he acquired some years ago and which he had made an influential organ of public opinion in McPherson and adjoining counties of the state. Mr. Bruce was born on a farm in Logan County, Ohio, March 12, 1865, but had lived in McPherson County, Kansas, since early boyhood. He was a successful schoolman in this state before he enrolled in the ranks of newspaper men. His parents were Henry Clay and Louise Jane (Abel) Bruce. His father was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, January 12, 1838, and was reared in Ohio. He brought his family out to Kansas in November, 1878. He is now living retired at Marquette. He spent his active career as a miller and farmer. His wife was born in Logan County, Ohio, February 1, 1847, and died at McPherson, Kansas, January 8, 1887. They were married June 1, 1864, near Huntsville, Ohio, and their children were six in number, three sons and three daughters, namely: Harvey E.; Maude, who was born November 24, 1867, and died December 5, 1873; Frank Aubrey, born August 17, 1869, now living at Roy, New Mexico; Byrnina C., born July 31, 1873, now the wife of D. W. Hull, a farmer near McPherson, Kansas; Wynne D., born February 1, 1877, now...

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Biography of Sven Birger Sandzen

Sven Birger Sandzen. A writer in the American Magazine of Art in February, 1917, paid a deserved compliment to Lindsborg as a city of art and culture better known and appreciated by the outside world than many industrial communities of greater population and wealth. This writer said: “Lindsborg had today the largest number of practicing artists in proportion to its population of any city in this country. By artists, however, is not meant merely painters, sculptors and architects, but also musicians. The musical festivals held in this city of the plains have become celebrated for their quality and musically are welcome events–occasions of national pride. They are attended by people from all over the state of Kansas and from other adjacent states–more than seven thousand a day. It is said at that time the annual exhibition of paintings is held, and though music makes the stronger appeal, the pictures do not go unheeded.” In the fall of 1894 there came to this distinctively artistic community of Kansas Sven Birger Sandzen, to accept a position in Bethany College. With the exception of two trips to Europe he had been there ever since and had been accomplishing a great pioneer work. In the college he is professor of Romance Languages and Aesthetics, and is also dean of the School of Fine Arts. Mr. Sandzen was born at Blidsberg, Sweden, February 5,...

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Biography of Francis Johnson

Francis Johnson. What the Kansas pioneers went through in their efforts to establish homes and build up a commonwealth of material greatness and high ideals is a subject of knowledge known to Francis Johnson not from books or what other people have told him, but is part of his individual experience and recollection. He was one of the first settlers from Sweden who established homes in McPherson County in the years following the Civil war, and had always been one of the strong men of that community. His strength of body enabled him to conquer the forces of the wilderness and his strength of character and of heart had made him a source of great good and benefit in founding and upholding those institutions of which the people around Lindsborg take such justifiable pride. Mr. Johnson since retiring from active business affairs had lived in Lindsborg. He was born in Sweden December 27, 1841, an only son and child of Eric and Anna (Norquist) Johnson. He grew up in his native land, and while his education was not the equivalent of a college training he came to manhood strong and resourceful in both mind and body and well fitted for the career which awaited him in America. He was twenty-eight years of age when in 1869 he came to this country and joined the early Swedish colonists in McPherson...

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Biography of Robert Alfred Thompson

Robert Alfred Thompson. Marquette in McPherson County is one of the thriving towns of Kansas whose population is largely composed of Swedish people, and the community in its industrial and moral aspect had been materially influenced by the substantial character of these people. One of the most prominent men of the town for the past thirty years had been Robert Alfred Thompson, who, successful in business, had studiously sought every opportunity to upbuild and promote the substantial welfare of the town. Mr. Thompson is a native of Sweden, having been born at Landskrona, near Copenhagen, January 10, 1855. His parents were Sohne and Cecilia (Rasmussen) Thompson. He began his education in the public schools of Sweden, and came to America in 1875, at the age of nineteen years. Mr. Thompson is a scholarly man and had always indulged his taste for books, had a fine private library, and had broadly informed himself by extensive travel. After coming to America he became a student in Augustana College at Rock Island, Illinois, and was graduated in the Classical Course in 1886. During the next year he filled a clerical position and then moved to Marquette, Kansas, where now for thirty years he had been one of the chief factors in the life of the town. For several years he was successfully engaged in the real estate brokerage business. In connection with...

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Biography of Bror G. Grondal

Bror G. Grondal. At the very head of the profession of photography in Kansas stands Bror G. Grondal, who for thirty consecutive years had conducted the leading studio at Lindsborg. Mr. Grondal both in his profession and in other lines of activity is a man of widely diversified experience. His career is an interesting one since he came to America in childhood years and had fought continuously a brave and unremitting struggle until he placed himself in a position where he is master of a congenial profession. Mr. Grondal is a former president of the Kansas State Photographers Association. He was born in the famous university City of Upsala, Sweden, January 11, 1855. His parents, John G. and Sophia (Yack) Grondal, spent all their lives in Sweden. He lived in his native country until he was fourteen and in the meantime attended the University of Upsala. Bravely facing the world alone, he set out for America, and landed at Savannah, Georgia, without means or influence. The first year he worked as clerk in a general merchandise store at Sanford, Florida. The next year he was employed as a chainman with a surveying corps and also put in one year in a sawmill. Other experiences followed and for a year he was a salesman in New York City and then enlisted as a sailor, and sailed for five years, two...

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Biography of George W. McClintick

George W. McClintick. Kansas ought to remember the late George W. McClintick as a pioneer editor and newspaper man, and one of those who gave dignity to journalism and contributed not a little to Kansas’ place in literature. During much of his active life he lived at McPherson, where he died and where his widow, Mrs. Hester A. McClintick, still resided. George W. McClintick was born on a farm in Hancock County, Ohio, December 31, 1852, and died at McPherson, Kansas, August 21, 1903. His parents were Rev. William and Mary (Robbins) McClintick, of Scotch and English descent, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Virginia. From Ohio Rev. William McClintick removed with his family to Iowa, later to Nebraska, and for a number of years conducted a nursery near Lincoln. In 1872 he and his family came to McPherson and were among the early settlers of that county. Rev. William McClintick was a minister of the Free Methodist Church and organized the first church of that denomination in McPherson County. While in Kansas he followed farming and preaching and was also serving as mayor of McPherson at the time of his death on March 21, 1879. His wife died September 29, 1879. Their children were Emma, George W., Olive, Mary and William, all now deceased except Emma. George W. McClintick spent his early youth in...

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Biography of William J. Krehbiel

William J. Krehbiel is editor and owner of The McPherson Daily and Weekly Republican, the pioneer newspaper of McPherson County. It was established as a weekly issue in 1872, the year that McPherson City was founded. In 1885 it took on a daily issue, and Mr. Krehbiel had been its proprietor and manager for the past twenty years. Mr. Krehbiel had been a resident of Kansas since he was nine years of age, and was born at Denmark, Iowa, December 11, 1870. His parents were John J. and Anna (Leisy) Krehbiel. John J. Krehbiel was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, May 3, 1838, but when two years of age was taken to Lee County, Iowa. His father, Rev. John C. Krehbiel, a native of Germany, was a cabinet maker, farmer and sawmill man in Iowa, and was throughout his life active in the Mennonite Church, which he served as an elder and preacher. John J. Krehbiel grew up in Iowa, and at the age of twenty-six went to New York State, where he attended school a year. The Civil war was then in progress, and it being contrary to the teachings of his church to bear arms, he entered the employ of the Federal army in the quartermaster’s department as a wagon maker. He remained in the service until the close of the war. Following that he engaged in...

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Biography of Bigler B. Basore

Bigler B. Basore. When he first came to Kansas a number of years ago Mr. Basore was in the role of teacher, and he did some successful school work as teacher and principal in several communities. He had been a farmer, traveling salesman, and is now a leading banker at Lyons, being cashier of the People’s State Bank of that city. Mr. Basore was born at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in September, 1873, a son of Peter and Rosa (Bigler) Basore. His grandfather, Peter Basore, was born at Marseilles, France, in 1807, came to America in early life, and for many years followed farming in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1875. He married Mary Curtis, who was born at Frankfort, Germany, in 1809, and died in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1889. Peter Basore, father of the Lyons banker, was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1851 and spent his active career there as a farmer. He died in Franklin County in 1900, at the age of forty-nine. He was a republican and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His wife, Rosa Bigler, was born in Franklin County in 1853, and was an infant when her father, William Bigler, died. William Bigler was a native of Pennsylvania, of German descent, and was one of Pennsylvania’s distinguished sons, having been honored with the office of governor. He died...

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Biography of George G. Green

George G. Green, cashier of the Citizens State Bank of Little River, represents a pioneer family of Rice County, and had spent nearly all his life in this locality. He was born near Lexington, Missouri, November 16, 1869. His paternal ancestors came out of England and were colonists in Virginia. His grandfather, George Green, became a pioneer farmer in Western Illinois and died at Quincy in that state before George G. was born. The founder of the family in Kansas was William Green, father of the Little River banker. He was born at Quincy, Illinois, in 1831, grew up there, and in 1861 enlisted in the Second Illinois Cavalry for service in the Civil war. He gave practically four years of service as a soldier, substituting for another after his own term of enlistment had expired. Among other campaigns he was with Sherman on the famous march to the sea. He was twice wounded, bullets entering either side of the abdomen, and he carried those reminders of the war with him until he died. Immediately after the war he went to Lexington, Missouri, and engaged in farming and in 1873 arrived in Rice County, Kansas, where he homesteaded 160 acres 3½ miles east of Little River. He also took up and developed a timber claim, and thus had 320 acres. The old homestead is still part of his estate....

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Biography of Frank Hageman

Frank Hageman, president of the National Bank of America at Salina, the largest bank in that city, and one of the strongest financial institutions in Central Kansas, is all but a native of Kansas and had been a resident of this state nearly continuously since the close of the territorial period. His name is one that had a very honorable and important connection with Kansas commercial life, his father, the late Miller Hageman, having been one of Leavenworth’s foremost wholesale merchants. The late Miller Hageman was born at Reedsburg, Ohio, in 1826. His was an example of the typical American career of a youth who begins life without special influence or advantages and struggles to the top in business affairs. He was both a teacher and farmer in early life, but when about twenty-two years of age he engaged in merchandising with his brother Adam at Beardstown, Illinois. That firm prospered and his success there influenced Miller Hageman to direct his energies in a newer field and one promising great opportunities. In 1859, accordingly, he came to Kansas and established himself at Leavenworth, which then was by all means one of the first cities in point of commerce and trade along the Missouri River. He engaged in the wholesale grocery business under the name M. Hageman & Company. For a long period of years this firm stood second to...

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Biography of Alexander Sutherland Hendry

Alexander Sutherland Hendry, who for more than a quarter of a century had practiced law at McPherson, is a member of the Hendry family which was so conspicuously identified with the early history of this section of the state. His father was one of the founders of the Ashtabula Colony and for years was prominent in the public and business life of McPherson. His father was the late Hiram A. Hendry, born at Jefferson, Ohio, in 1837, son of Samuel A. Hendry, likewise a native of the same section of Ohio. Hiram Hendry had a college education, and at the age of twenty-two years took up the profession of pharmacy at Ashtabula, Ohio. His business and professional partner was Doctor King. In 1871 the Ashtabula Colony was organized in the Hendry and King Drug Store. Doctor King was sent by the organization to Kansas for the purpose of viewing a location where the members of the colony might settle, secure lands, and introduce the influences and ideals represented by the organization. Doctor King favored the conditions in McPherson County, and in 1872 the colony arrived, each of its twenty-five or thirty members securing government land in King City Township, in the central part of McPherson County. Hiram Hendry was very active in the colony’s affairs from the beginning and one of its official members. In 1872, when the McPherson...

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Biography of Emerson Carey

Emerson Carey. A chapter of this publication is devoted to the salt industry in Kansas. Salt ranks along with wheat, coal, petroleum and gas in contributing to the great fundamental wealth of this state. Of the individual concerns manufacturing salt in Kansas one of the greatest is the Carey Salt Company of Hutchinson. The head and moving spirit of this business is Mr. Emerson Carey. While the Careys were not pioneer salt manufacturers, they have in the last fifteen years become probably the largest operators when considered as a single family group, and today the name Carey is practically synonymous with salt manufacturing. Mr. Emerson Carey and the industries of which he is the head are credited with having done more for the commercial development and civic upbuilding of Hutchinson than any other individuals or institutions. Some specially high ideals as to community welfare seem to have governed Mr. Carey and his associates. One of the big things for which Hutchinson is especially grateful to them is the establishment and maintenance of a big public park of 141 acres of ground situated on the south line of the city along the Arkansas River. Five miles of fine driveways wind through this park, and it is open and free to the use of the public. At the east end of the city they also maintain another park of five acres....

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Biography of Arthur Louis Cludas, M. D.

Arthur Louis Cludas, M. D. The medical profession in Ottawa County had no better representative than Dr. Arthur Louis Cludas, who for the last eighteen years had been established at Minneapolis and through professional knowledge and skill and high personal character had became representative of the city’s best citizenship. Doctor Cludas was born at Vinton, Iowa, November 3, 1872, and is a son of William and Belle (Gatka) Cludas. William Cludas was born at Berlin, Germany, in 1833 and there his parents both died. He was educated in Berlin and at Heidelberg University, served, as did his father, in the regular army, and in 1852 came to the United States. He located in the City of Chicago, Illinos, where he was engaged in the shoe business until 1882, in which year he came to McPherson County, Kansas, where he engaged in farming until he retired. Then, in 1904, he moved to Portland, Oregon, and there his death took place in January, 1917. He married Belle Gatka, who was born in France in 1843 and resided at Portland. Of their family of eight children Doctor Cludas was the fifth in order of birth, the others being as follows: Charles, who is a real estate broker, resided at Phoenix, Arizona; Ida is the wife of M. H. Wright, who is in the real estate business in Arkansas; Minnie is the wife...

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Biography of Silas W. Nossaman, M. D.

Silas W. Nossaman, M. D. For the past fifteen years Doctor Nossaman had been carrying the heavy burdens of an extensive country practice as a physician and surgeon at Cunningham. He is one of the prominent medical men of Kingman County, and had spent the greater part of his life in Kansas. He is of old American stock. His great-grandfather was a Virginian, was reared and married in his native state, and in early pioneer days came north and west to Indiana, locating on a farm in Marion County, not far from the City of Indianapolis. He lived there the rest of his life. Louis Nossaman, grandfather of Doctor Nossaman, was born in Indiana in 1826. He was also a farmer and, possessing the same pioneer spirit which had caused his father to migrate westward, he went from Indiana to Iowa and in 1858 settled in Northeastern Missouri, where he developed a farm. On September 6, 1862, he enlisted in the Union army and was a member of a noted cavalry detachment known as Merrill’s Horse. He served three years, was in the army with General Thomas, and at one time was commissioned to carry a dispatch to General Sherman at Atlanta. Louis Nossman spent his last years in Kansas and died at Wellington in Sumner County in June, 1911. He was a democrat in politics and a very...

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