Location: Montgomery County KS

Biography of Christopher Columbus Michal

C. C. Michal, for the past fifteen years, had been one of the extensive contractors in Southern Kansas, though his work had been done in various parts of the state. His home and headquarters are at Independence, where he is recognized as one of the substantial citizens. Mr. Michal went to the border with the Kansas National Guards, Company K, Second Infantry, as a sergeant and served three months. His ancestors came originally from Ireland and were early settlers in the United States. They located very early in the nineteenth century in Western Indiana near Terre Hante, where Philip Michal, father of the Independence contractor, was born in 1828. Philip Michal was reared and married in Indiana and lived there as a farmer for many years. From that state he enlisted in 1861 as a member of the Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry, and was in service until the close of the war. In one engagement he was wounded by a burating shell and never fully recovered from his wounds. However, he participated in some of the greatest battles and campaigns of the war, including Shiloh, Vicksburg, the march to the sea with Sherman, and all the battles of that campaign. Once he was taken prisoner and confined in the notorious Andersonville until exchanged. He was mustered out with the rauk of first sergeant. Some years after the war he left...

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Biography of Michael Dougherty

Michael Dougherty is one of the able industrious workers and business men who have identified themselves with the City of Independence because it is a center for the oil and gas industry of the Southwest. For forty years he had been a boilermaker, and had followed his trade as a workman and as a contractor in nearly all the oil and gas fields in the country. He is now superintendent of tankage construction for the Prairie Oil and Gas Company. He is a native of Ireland and of an old County Donegal family. His grandfather spent his life as a farmer in County Donegal. Michsel Dougherty was born in that county March 16, 1860. His father James Dougherty, who was born there in 1834, was for some years engaged in the stock trading business between Ireland and England. In 1868, leaving his family in Ireland, he came to America and settled near Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvanis. Here he became foreman in railroad construction, and he died near Wilkesbarre, in 1889. After becoming an American citizan he voted the democratie ticket, and was a member of the Catholic Church. James Dougherty married Eunice Moye, who was born in County Donegal in 1834 and died there in 1873. She was the mother of six childrcn: Mary is the wife of James McAdams, a stationary engineer living at Chicago, Illinois; the second is Michael;...

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Biography of J. B. Sewell

Postmaster and for many years a merchant at Bolton, J. B. Sewell had lived in Montgomery County forty-five years, and is one of the men of sterling citizenship who have contributed on every hand to progress and prosperity in this seetion of the state. He is descended from a family of Sewells that in colonial times located in Maine at the Town of Sewell. Later a branch moved south to North Carolina, and Mr. Sewell’s grandfather, William D. Sewell, was born in that state in 1783. He afterwards moved over the mountains into Tennessee, located on a farm there, and was a local preacher of the Baptist denomination, and beginning at the age of twenty presched to a single congregation in Overton County for more than fifty years. He died in Tennessee in 1878, when near a hundred years of age. His wife Susan was born in North Carolina in 1788 and died in Overton County, Tennessee, in 1878. It was in Overton County, Tennessee, near Livingston that J. B. Sewell was born June 11, 1854. His father, J. G. Sewell, was born in the same state December 6, 1829, grew up and married there and in 1871 set out with his family, crossed the country and on the 16th day of July arrived in Independence. About ten miles from that city but in Montgomery County he secured a...

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Biography of Andrew Calvin Sewell

Andrew Calvin Sewell, a younger brother of J. B. Sewell, was born in Overton County, Tennessee, May 30, 1856. He was fifteen when the family came across the country in a prairie schooner to Montgomery County, Kansas, and in the meantime had attended public schools in Tennessee. While living on the farm southwest of Independence he continued his education in the district schools and in the fall of 1876 became a teacher. Preparatory to beginning his work as a teacher he had attended a private school conducted by Professor Morrison of Radical City. In his home district, Harrisonville, he taught a term, then attended the Normal Institute at Independence, and in the fall of 1877 took up his work in the Peebler District. The following spring he returned to the Harrisonville District and taught a term of three months, and then for three years was principal of schools at Elk City. After that he was again in the Harrisonville District, afterwards was principal for a year at Elk City, and then entered the mercantile business at Elk City. In 1898 he moved to Joplin, Missouri, where he was connected with merchandising and also as a prospector and miner for about two years. In 1901, after coming back to Elk City, he secured leases for about 17,000 acres of land in behalf of the Elk City Gas and Oil Company....

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Biography of Martin S. Rochelle

A resident of Wichita for nearly forty years, the late Martin S. Rochelle here achieved distinctive success in connection with business affairs and was a citizen who commanded unequivocal esteem in the community. He was a native of the old Buckeye State and represented the same as a gallant soldier in the Civil war. Mr. Rochelle was born near Columbus, the capital city of Ohio, on the 25th of November, 1842, and at his home in the City of Wichita, Kansas, his death occurred February 25, 1908. He acquired his youthful education in the public schools of Columbus, and was a youth of eighteen years at the inception of the Civil war. He promptly tendered his aid in defense of the Union, by enlisting in Company C, Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served four years with this gallant command and its history virtually constitutes the record of his military career. He took part in twenty-six of the strenuous batties of the great conflict between the states of the North and the South, was with General Sherman in the ever memorable march from Atlanta to the sea, and for a considerable part of his service he held the office of commissary sergeant. After the close of the war Mr. Rochelle engaged in business at Gahanna, Franklin County, Ohio, where he held for some time the position of postmaster. He finally...

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Biography of Mrs. George Thacher Guernsey

Her character, her intellectual attainments, her philanthropy and her prominent association with large movements make Mrs. George T. Guernsey of Independence one of the great women of Kansas. She had lived in Independence since 1879, and was first known in that city as a teacher in the high school. Her husband is one of the most successful and prominent bankers of Kansas, and the possession of ample means had enabled her to satisfy her cultivated tastes in the way of books, travel, art and literature, and her energy had impelled her to a position of leadership in the larger woman’s movements. In 1915 Mrs. Guernsey was candidate for the high office of president general of the national society Daughters of the American Revolution. That candidacy places her in a favorable position for election to that distinguished honor in 1917. Her name had thus become prominently known outside of her home state, and much had been written and said concerning this brilliant Kansas woman. The state recording secretary, Daughters of the American Revolution, of Kansas, thus writes: “Mrs. George Thacher Guernsey of Independence had been chosen by many of the most thoughtful and earnest women of the Society as their candidate for the high office of President General, and in her they feel that the organization will have a leader of high efficiency. “Mrs. Guernsey as state regent of Kansas,...

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Biography of George Mitchell

George Mitchell was the son of Rev. John Mitchell and his first wife, Catherine Margaret Teter. John Mitchell was born at Dawston, Lancashire, England, May 1, 1763, and came to America in 1774. He lived in Hampshire, Rockingham, and Harrison (later Lewis) counties, Virginia. He died April 29, 1840, and his tombstone is still standing in the old Harmony churchyard near Jane Lew, Lewis County, West Virginia, where he had “preached the Gospel forty years.” This John Mitchell, Mrs. Guernsey’s greatgrandfather, according to the records in the War Department and Pension Office, served as a private in the Virginia militia and also in Capt. James Pendleton’s eompany, First Continental Artillery. He was in battle at Petersburg and was present at the siege and surrender of Yorktown. On her father’s side Mrs. Guernsey is also descended from the Rev. Anthony Jacob Henkel, who came to this country in 1717 as one of the founders of the Lutheran Church in America. He settled in Pennsylvania and became pastor of the church at Faulkaer’s Swamp, the oldest existing Lutheran Church in the United States. Mrs. Guernsey’s ancestors on her mother’s side were pioneers in the early settlement of Maryland and Western Pennsylvania, and in addition to the Rev. John Mitchell, the following are among Mrs. Guernsey’s Revolutionary ancestors: George Teter from Virginis, Patrick McCann from Maryland, Anthony Altman, Christopher and John Harrold...

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Biography of John F. Overfield

During his service in the Kansas Legislature as a senator from Montgomery County it had been the enviable distinction of John F. Overfield to have become one of the leading members in influence and aetivity of the State Senate. It is said that he had never introduced a bill in behalf of his constituents that had not secured the approval of both houses and hecome a law. Politically Senator Overfield is a republican of the old school, and is by no means ashamed of the description stand-pat republican. He was elected to the State Senate in 1908, and had served through the sessions of 1909, 1911, 1913 and 1915. During his first term he was chairman of the oil and gas committee, and was a member of the committees on mines and mining, eities of second and third class, railroad corporations, telegraph and telephones, federal and state affairs, irrigation and drainage. During the sessions of 1913-15 he was again chairman of the oil and gas committees and a member of the committees on assessments and taxation, cities of second class, mines and mining, municipal corporations. A native of Kansas and a son of a territorial settler, Senator Overfield had spent his active career in Montgomery County, and during the last twenty years had become one of the leading oil and gas operators in the state. He was born at...

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Biography of Mrs. A. C. Stich

Mrs. A. C. Stich by her inheritance of some of the best of old American stock and as head of the home over which she presided for so many years, is a Kansas woman of whom some special note should be made. Her great-grandfather William Henry Stoy was the founder of the family in America, having emigrated from Germany. He was a ministor of the Episcopal Church, and spent many years in preaching in Pennsylvania, where he died. Her paternal grandfather Heury William Stoy was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in 1782 and died in West Virginia in 1858. He was one of two sons, his brother being Gustavus Stoy. Henry William Stoy was a physician and surgeon and practiced for many years at Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and in the latter part of his life in West Virginia. Mrs. Stich’s father was Capt. William Stoy, who was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, in 1815 and died in Waynesburg of that state in 1898. A man of great talent as a musician, he was both a teacher and composer of music. At the beginning of the Civil war in 1861 he enlisted and was at the head of a regimental band of one hundred members. He was wounded while in the service and was honorably discharged after eighteen months. He was a democrat, a member of the Masonic fraternity, and belonged to the...

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Biographical Sketch of Wallace McClain

This well-known and representative business man and patriotic citizen of Harney county is one of the firm of McClain & Biggs, liverymen and dealers in horses and mules in Burns, where their stables are, being also owners of a fine stock ranch. Our subject was born in Scotland county, Missouri, on September 16, 1854, being the son of Martin and Sarah (Childers) McClain. The father was in the confederate army and in the battle of Pea Ridge lost his right arm. He served under Price. In 1866 the family removed to Schuyler county and our subject was educated in these two localities and he remained with his parents until 1875, when he went to Waterloo, Iowa, and took up the grocery business. In 1877 he went to Elk City, Kansas, and the next year he came to San Francisco, and thence by steamer, George M. Elder, to Portland and soon he was in Linn county. He was engaged in a flouring mill until 1881 and then came to Summerville, Union county, and freighted from Umatilla to Idaho. It was 1883 when he came to the Silvies valley, engaging with Lux & Miller, stockmen. He took a train of twenty-one cars of cattle to Chicago and another to Omaha and was foreman of the company until he met with an accident of falling under a wagon, which unfitted him for...

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Biography of Capt. Edmond D. Pennington

CAPT. EDMOND D. PENNINGTON. This gentleman has resided in the community in which he now lives for the past ten years. He was born in White County, Tennessee, January 26, 1825, a son of John and Nancy (Harris) Pennington the former of whom was born in Virginia, a son of Charles Pennington, a native of England, who married after reaching America, a German lady. He was a soldier of the Revolution, and at an early day became a resident of Tennessee, and later of Illinois, in which State he passed from life, having followed the calling of a Baptist minister while living. John Pennington was a farmer and died in Tennessee in 1863, his wife having passed from life in 1847. Of a family of fifteen children born to them, only four are living: Dabner, Nancy, Edmond D. and Rachel. Edmond D. Pennington grew to manhood in the State of his birth and there enlisted in the Union Army in August, 1862, with which he served until May, 1865, in the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry. He took part in the battles of Stone River and was in various other engagements and skirmishes. He was a good and faithful soldier and was promoted in January, 1863, to the rank of first lieutenant and later to that of captain of Company B, of the First Tennessee Mounted Infantry, which he commanded at...

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Biography of Thomas H. Smith

THOMAS H. SMITH. The prosperity of any locality depends almost solely upon the character of the people who inhabit it, and if the citizens are pushing, energetic and intelligent the country will prosper accordingly. Tennessee has given to Missouri many of her most progressive and prosperous citizens, prominent among whom is Thomas H. Smith, who is a product of Marion County, where he was born on August 7, 1850, a son of Ransom and Mary (Hendricks) Smith, the former of whom was born in Campbell County, April 7, 1820, and the latter in Marion County April 14, 1826, both of Tennessee. Ransom Smith was taken to Marion County by his father, Thomas Smith, when he was about four years of age, and still resides on the old home farm on which the father settled. The great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Ransom Smith, was born in the Old North State and was a soldier of the Revolution. He was at one time a man of wealth, but he lost heavily through becoming security for his friends and afterward, with his sole possessions in a two-wheeled cart, moved into the wilds of Tennessee, in which State his descendants are now numerous. Ransom Smith, the father of Thomas H., was reared to a farm life, and, owing to temperate living, has reached the good old age of seventy-three years. He...

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Biography of La Rue Royce

La Rue Royce, who recently began practice of his profession as a lawyer at Salina, represents one of the distinguished names of Kansas. He is a son of John Quincy Royce of Topeka, long prominent as a lawyer, editor and a dominating character in republican politics in this state. John Quiney Royce was born on a farm in Fayette County, Iowa, June 1, 1856, a son of David P. Royce, who was a native of New York State. When nine years of age John Quincy Royce was taken from the farm in his native Iowa county to Independence in that state, and in that city he grew up. He attended the public schools, graduating from the Independence High School at the age of eighteen. For two years he studied law at West Union, Iowa, and on completing his studies was admitted to the bar at Independence in April, 1879. Casting his eye over the country for a suitable location, he arrived in June of the same year at Smith Center, Kansas. In that comparatively new country he rapidly built up a reputation as an able young lawyer, and was in active practice until January, 1885. From that date until January, 1887, he served as county attorney in Smith County. On leasing office he changed his profession to a journalist, and for more than twenty years was one of the...

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Slave Narrative of Emma Barr

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person Interviewed: Emma Barr Location: Madison, Arkansas Age: 65 Occupation: Nursed, Farmed “My parents belong to two people. Mama was born in Mississippi I think and papa come from North Carolina. Papa’s master was Lark Hickerson. Mama was sold from Dr. Ware to Dr. Pope. She was grown when she was sold. She was the mother of twenty-seven children. She had twins three times. “During the Civil War she was run from the Yankees and had twins on the road. They died or was born dead and she nearly died. They was buried between twin trees close to Hernando, Mississippi. Her last owner was Dr. Pope, ten miles south of Augusta, Arkansas. I was born there and raised up three miles south of Augusta, Arkansas. “When mama was sold she left her people in Mississippi but after freedom her sisters, Aunt Mariah and Aunt Mary, come here to mama. Aunt Mariah had no children. Aunt Mary had four boys, two girls. She brought her children. Mama said her husband when Dr. Ware owned her was Maxwell but she married my papa after Dr. Pope bought her. “Dr. Ware had a fine man he bred his colored house women to. They didn’t plough and do heavy work. He was hostler, looked after the stock and got in wood. The women hated him, and the men on...

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Biography of John P. Brady

John P. Brady. Since he was fifteen years of age John P. Brady had had a varied and extensive experience as an oil worker. He began in his native state of Pennsylvania, and had been in most of the important oil fields of the country. For the past few years he had had his home at Havans, and is one of the leading individual producers in that section. His birth occurred at Parkers Landing in Pennsylvania on June 3, 1876. His people, however, were early settlers of Ohio. His grandfather Barney Brady was born in County Cavan, Ireland, came to the United States when young, and acquired a homestead in Southern Ohio at Hamden. He died there at the age of eighty-eight. Jerome Brady, father of John P., was born at Hamden, Ohio, in 1835, and lived there until the breaking out of the Civil war. He then enlisted and served four years in an Ohio regiment, and made a most ereditable record as a soldier, participating in many of the historic battles, including the Battle of the Wilderness. After the war he was attracted to the oil fielde of Western Pennsylvania, going first to Oil Oreek, and was a producer from 1865 until 1900. He also owned a farm with some oil wells on it at Parkers Landing. In 1900, on retiring from the oil industry, he returned...

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