Location: Neosho County KS

Biography of Tillman E. Dale

Tillman E. Dale. Distinguished as the oldest oil contractor and driller in the mid-continent fields, Tillman E. Dale, one of the substantial men of Chanute, Kansas, is one of the best known oil men in Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming, having operated in every field in earlier days in the business and is the pioneer in Neosho County. Mr. Dale was born March 1, 1862, in Buchanan County, Iowa. His parents were George and Mary Robinson (Davey) Dale, both natives of England. George Dale, the paternal grandfather, was born in England in 1807 and remained in his own country until he found a young family growing up about him for whose welfare he was concerned and it was to the great land across the Atlantic Ocean that he looked to provide comfortable conditions for his children. Possibly about 1835 he brought his family to the United States and settled among the pioneers in Wisconsin, not far from Monroe. In 1856 he came to Allen County, Kansas, and worked on what is now known as the old Doctor Wakefield farm, near Humboldt. He died in Wisconsin in 1864. George Dale, second, father of Tillman E. Dale, was born in England’ in 1828 and was only a boy when his parents came to America and settled in Wisconsin. He became a carpenter and builder and owned a sawmill in Wisconsin. In 1856,...

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Biography of Joseph A. Wells

Joseph A. Wells was one of the earliest settlers in Neosho County. He moved into that section in March, 1866, less than a year after he was discharged with an honorable record as a soldier of the Union. On April 4, 1866, he took up his claim of a quarter section of land three miles northwest of the townsite of Erie. For over half a century he has been identified with that community. After farming for a year and a half, Mr. Wells sold his claim, and moved to Erie. In the meantime he had been elected to the office of probate judge, and filled that position with credit for two years. Since then he has been engaged in the real estate, insurance and law business. In 1873, at the time of the panic of that year, he left Kansas and went into Texas, where he followed contracting for a couple of years. Mr. Wells is of very old American stock. His immigrant ancestor John W. Wells came from England to Virginia in colonial days and during the Revolution was a member of Washington’s body guard. In the next generation Philip Wells, great-great-grandfather of Joseph A. Philip, lived in Georgia and was a shoemaker by trade. The great-grandfather was Carter Wells, who died in Tennessee, where he was a very early settler. Grandfather Philip Wells became a Baptist minister,...

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Biography of Calvin Arthur Davis

Calvin Arthur Davis. The superintendent of the Cudahy Refining Company at Chanute, Kansas, Calvin Arthur Davis, is one of the sons of the Sunflower state who has worked his own way to position and independence. A product of the farm, when he started upon his career his equipment consisted of ambition, determination and good common sense, and these qualities he directed so well that he soon became recognized as a man from whom large things could be expected. Promotion naturally followed, and his career has since been one of constant advancement. Mr. Davis was born on a farm south of Fort Scott, in Bourbon County, Kansas, August 24, 1880, and is a son of Calvin and Hattie H. (Peterson) Davis. The family came originally from Wales and settled in Virginia, during the Colonial era, later branching out to Kentucky and other southern states. Luther Davis the grandfather of Calvin A., was born in 1815, in Kentucky, and prior to the Civil war was a planter and slaveholder near the city of Lexington. From Kentucky he went to Cumberland County, Illinois, where he farmed until the spring of 1877, at that time coming to Kansas and homesteading a tract of 160 acres of land in Butler County. There he passed the remaining years of his life in agricultural operations, becoming one of the substantial and highly respected citizens of his...

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Biography of Orlin M. Balch

Orlin M. Balch. The mercantile interests of the thriving and prosperous Town of Earleton, in Neosho County, are well represented by Orlin M. Balch, who has resided in this community all his life and is known to its citizens as a business man of ability and a citizen who has played his part in the town’s development. Mr. Balch has other interests here, being president of the Earleton State Bank, and his record is one that is creditable both to himself and to his community. Orlin M. Balch belongs to a family of Scotch-Irish origin, which was founded in America in colonial days, the original emigrant locating in Virginia. From the Old Dominion state the family migrated with the western tide of civilization to Illinois, and in that state, in Coles County, George Balch, the father of Orlin M., was born in 1832. He was reared and educated in his native community, but about the time of the outbreak of the Civil war went to Wisconsin, where he enlisted in the Third Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served nearly four years as a Union soldier. These four years were ones crowded with hard fighting, for the Third Wisconsin took part in some of the most important campaigns and battles of the great struggle, being, among others, at Shiloh, Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga, and with Sherman on his great...

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Biography of William Paxton Hazen

William Paxton Hazen, who died at Chetopa, Kansas, April 16, 1909, was for many years a successful Kansas banker. His widow, Mrs. Addie (Glass) Hazen, who survives him, is widely known in women’s circles in Kansas, and is especially active in charitable and philanthropic enterprises in her home city. Mr. Hazen died when at the high tide of his usefulness. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 10, 1858. His father, David Hazen, was a lawyer by profession, practiced for many years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but died in Erie, Kansas. Mr. Hazen’s maternal grandmother, Mary Ewing, had her pew in the First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh for more than forty years. She was the wife of Judge Ewing, a very prominent attorney of Western Pennsylvania. Mr. Hazen on his mother’s side is also a descendant of Roger Williams of colonial history. William P. Hazen was educated in the public schools of Pittsburgh, and after reaching manhood his parents came west to Otley, Iowa, and while in that state he attended the Agricultural College at Ames. On leaving school he came to Cherryvale, Kansas, in 1880, and from there to Thayer. He was cashier of a bank in Thayer until 1887, and then helped to build and organize the Farmers and Merchants Bank at Erie, Kansas, in which he held the post of cashier until 1893. After that for three...

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Biography of John Norval Sherman, M. D.

John Norval Sherman, M. D. Although one of the younger physicians of Neosho County, Dr. John Norval Sherman, of Thayer, has gained the confidence and support of the public by reason of his thorough training for his profession and his fidelity to the ethics of the medical fraternity. He came to his present field of activity in 1916, with five years of experience behind him, and has already built up what promises to be a lucrative and representative practice. Doctor Sherman was born July 11, 1884, at Lafayette, Madison County, Ohio, and belongs to a family which originally came to America from England and settled in New York before the War of the Revolution. His grandfather was William Sherman, who was born in 1825, in the Empire State, from when he went to Kentucky, then to Scioto County, Ohio, and later to Madison County, Ohio, his death occurring in 1885, at Irvin Station, Ohio. He was a pioneer cattle man of the Buckeye State and a good and loyal citizen who served the Union as a soldier during the Civil war. A. W. Sherman, the father of Dr. J. N. Sherman, was born January 10, 1850, at Columbus, Ohio, and was reared in Scioto County, that state. As a young man he went to Madison County, where he was married and engaged in farming until 1888, when he removed...

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Biography of Albert Smith, M. D.

Albert Smith, M. D. It is practically beyond the possible for the conscientious physician and surgeon to arrive at a condition of mind where he is satisfied with his accomplishments, no matter what their degree, for, with an understanding of what great things are coming to the man of science, the numerous avenues yet unopened which will lead to new realms in the cure of the ills of humanity, and a constant yearning to add to his store of personal knowledge, he, of necessity, keeps on striving for perfection as long as life remains. One of the men of the Kansas profession who has already accomplished much out of the ordinary, but who remains a close student and careful investigator, is Dr. Albert Smith, of Parsons, who has been engaged in a general practice here for more than twenty years. Doctor Smith was born at Erie, Kansas, July 24, 1870, and is a son of Irvin and Callie (Kennedy) Smith, and a member of a family which assisted in the pioneer settlement of the State of Ohio. His father was born in 1846, in Columbus, Ohio, and was there reared and educated, but as a young man went to Wabash, Indiana, where he was married and established himself in the drug business. In 1868 he came to Kansas and settled at Erie, where for many years he was proprietor...

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Biography of Stephen E. Beach

Stephen E. Beach. In searching for the facts of history concerning any community, the mind of the chronicler turns naturally to the first things or the initial work accomplished in the formation of that community into a social and political body. An interest always attaches to these first things which is not to be found in anything else historic, and when there has been found the first settler, or the first house, or the first institution, it is looked upon with more than ordinary respect, and an endeavor is instinctively made to retrace the history of the subject of our interest to its or his beginning. The first things of fifty or sixty years ago are frequently difficult to ascertain, because of the death or removal of the actors and the absence of authentic records concerning them. But occasionally the chronicler has the rare privilege of coming into personal contact with one who has lived through the period of the beginning of things, and who still remains as an active factor in the life of the community. In this connection interest centers in Stephen E. Beach, of Chanute, a resident of Neosho County since 1859, and a witness of the wonderful development of the county since that time. Mr. Beach is a native of New England, having been born at Wallingford, Connecticut, November 25, 1837, his parents being Nathan...

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Biography of Ellsworth L. Burton

Ellsworth L. Burton. One of the very able members of the Kansas Legislature in the session of 1915-16 was Representative E. L. Burton from Parsons. Mr. Burton is an attorney by profession, has spent most of his life in Kansas, and has some very influential and important connections in his part of the state. He was born at Mattoon, Illinois, April 30, 1868. The Burtons came from England and settled in the Carolinas during colonial days. Mr. Burton is a direct descendant of Cavalier Burton. His grandfather Alfred Burton was born near Guilford Court House in North Carolina, and died in Jasper County, Illinois. George Burton, father of E. L. Burton, was born in Jasper County, Illinois, in 1841, and spent most of his early youth and manhood there. He enlisted from Illinois in the Seventy-ninth Illinois Infantry, and later was a member of the Ninety-seventh Regiment from that state. Altogether he served three years in the Union army, and among the various campaigns in which he participated was the siege of Mobile. After the war he returned to Illinois, continued farming for several years, but in 1870 moved out to Kansas and was one of the early homesteaders along the line of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad in Neosho County. He acquired 160 acres there, but subsequently sold that farm and moved to Montgomery County. He finally...

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Biography of Charles S. Denison

Charles S. Denison. The ordinary, every-day man, engrossed in the business avocation which brings his daily bread, is representative of the nation’s citizenship. This is the normal type, and his life begins and ends, perhaps, with nothing more distinctive than is the ripple on the face of the stream when the pebble is thrown into the water. It is the unusual type that commands attention and it is his influence exerted on his community, and the record of his life, that is valuable and interesting as a matter of biography. In the professions, and especially in the law, the opportunities for usefulness and personal advancement depend almost entirely upon this unusually gifted individual, and here natural endowment is as essential as is thorough preparation. The bar of Crawford County is a representative body of Kansas and as such has its full quota of brilliant men, included among whom may be mentioned Charles S. Denison, why by inheritance, education, predilection and thorough training, is fitted to take his place among the leading members of his calling. Charles S. Denison, who has been practicing at the bar of Pittsburg since 1909, was born at the Osage Mission, Saint Paul, Kansas, August 28, 1878, and is of Scotch and German descent, the Denisons having come from Scotland to Pennsylvania prior to the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, David Denison, was born in the...

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Biography of William Wesley Robb

William Wesley Robb, who is superintendent of the electric light plant at Chanute, began his career as a locomotive fireman and had filled many positions of responsibility, chiefly as a manager of machinery and plants, and much of his service had been rendered in the State of Kansas. He is of Scotch ancestry. His great-grandfather came from Scotland and was an early settler in Ohio. His grandfather, James Warren Robb, was born in the State of Illinois, in 1824, and died in Mercer County in that state in 1902. By profession he was an attorney, but many years ago he came out to Kansas with his son and and took up a homestead in Dickinson County, where he lived about eighteen years. He then removed to Wisconsin and afterwards to Illinois. Rev. J. W. Robb, father of William Wesley, had spent a large part of his life in Kansas, and was a participant in the pioneer activities in the western part of the state. He was born in 1851 in Mercer County, Illinois, grew up there, and when a young man went to Minnesota. He became a minister of the Presbyterian Church, and was married in Minnesota where he preached the gospel for several years. He was also pastor of a church in Illinois. It was in 1873 that he brought his family to Kansas and located in Dickinson...

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Biography of Frank A. Bardwell

Frank A. Bardwell. A large majority of the men who are engaged in working the oil fields of Kansas have been devoting their energies to this line of work all of their lives, whether as employes, employers, contractors, drillers or producers. They have had the experience from early youth and it is but natural that they should meet with success in their undertakings granted that opportunities are the same. But there is another class among the men who are making this one of the great industries, this being formed of the men who had their training in other fields of business endeavor, and who have had their own problems to work out and their commercial battles to fight with men who by reason of their experience were better equipped. In the cases where these men have won, their success is more than creditable. In the latter class of Kansas producers is found Frank A. Bardwell, of Chanute, whose uniformly successful career had invaded various avenues of business life. Mr. Bardwell was born at Ottawa, the county seat of LaSalle County, Illinois, August 11, 1870, and is a son of A. G. and Mary (Drake) Bardwell, and is of English descent, the family having come to America from England previous to the American Revolution and settled in New York. His grandfather was a native of Pennsylvania, who carried on the...

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Biography of Frank E. Bodley

Frank E. Bodley. The men upon whose shoulders rest the responsibility for prosperity and advancement along every line of commercial and industrial activity are the captains of industry and finance who are in command of the armies which are fighting to preserve the nation’s standing among the countries of the earth, as well as against those foes to established currency and methods of transacting business. Without them and their sound, conservative policies, the country would be at the mercy of every irresponsible, unscrupulous speculator or visionary idealist. As is but natural, the financiers of the country’s great cities are the ones called upon principally to bear the greatest amount of this responsibility, but the smaller communities contribute their share according to their size and progressive spirit, and throughout the State of Kansas there are found communities whose citizens are serving faithfully and well in the financial ranks. Among these at Chanute in Neosho County is found F. E. Bodley, president of the Peoples-Home State Bank of Chanute and a well and favorably known banker whose operations have been extensive and important and whose reputation rests upon many years of upright and honorable dealing. Mr. Bodley was born April 24, 1859, at Princeton, Illinois, son of O. J. and Amelia (Uhler) Bodley. In 1889 he became interested in banking, at Quenemo, Osage County, where he remained for years as president...

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Biography of Earl A. Davis, M. D.

Earl A. Davis, M. D. A native son of Kansas, who is assisting to maintain the prestige of his state in the field of medical achievement, Dr. Earl A. Davis had attained a position of distinction among the physicians and surgeons of Chanute, where he had been engaged in the practice of his calling since 1903. He is the son of a physician, Dr. J. Davis, and was born May 20, 1875, at Ottawa, Franklin County. The family of which Doctor Davis is a member originated in Wales and came from that country to America during the colonial period, the first members taking up their residence in Pennsylvania. The doctor’s grandfather was also a physician and surgeon and for many years practiced in Ohio, where his death occurred. Dr. J. Davis was born in Ohio in 1833, and was there reared and educated. After his preliminary training was completed he enrolled as a student in the Cleveland Medical College, from which he was graduated, and subsequently pursued a course at the Cincinnati Homeopathic College, from which he received his degree. He was married in Ohio and in 1868 came to Kansas, settling as a pioneer physician at Ottawa, where he had continued in practice during a period of nearly a half a century. Doctor Davis is one of the honored members of his profession in Franklin County and had...

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Biography of Thomas F. Morrison

Thomas F. Morrison. One of the prominent members of the Neosho County bar is Thomas F. Morrison, who as a practitioner at Chanute since 1903 had been connected with much of the important litigation tried in the courts of this district. He is also a leading member of the democratic party of this portion of the state, where his influence had been widely felt in political as well as professional circles, and had represented his community in the Kansas Legislature, as a member of which body he was the author of some exceedingly beneficial legislation. Mr. Morrison was born June 19, 1875, in Henry County, Missouri, and is a son of Samuel and Nancy (Phelps) Morrison, and a member of a family which came from Scotland to America during the latter part of the seventeenth century. From the original settlement in Virginia, the family moved to Tennessee, in which state, in 1789, was born the grandfather of Thomas F. Morrison, James Morrison. He passed his entire life in Tennessee, where he was a prominent planter and large slaveholder, and died in 1880 in Greene County. Samuel Morrison, father of Thomas F., was born in Greene County, Tennessee, in 1833, and was there reared, educated and married. He engaged in farming there until 1862, when he enlisted in the Sixth Tennessee Cavalry, for service during the Civil war, and served...

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