Location: Neosho County KS

Biography of Fernando A. Parsons

Fernando A. Parsons. The career of Fernando A. Parsons, of Chanute, is remarkable in many ways, but principally because of the number of fields which it had invaded and the success which had attended the ventures in which its author had been engaged. From his youth, when he paid his own way through college, Mr. Parsons had pushed steadily forward, always assisting his community’s interests while advancing his own. With a handsome fortune gained through his good business ability and persistent labors, and at an age when most men are content to retire, Mr. Parsons still continues as an active factor in business life, and is now president and manager of the Kansas Co-Operative Refining Company. Fernando A. Parsons was born at Readsboro, Bennington County, Vermont, September 29, 1849, and is a son of Benjamin Battles and Polly Maria (Blanchard) Parsons. The Parsons family came from England to Vermont during Colonial times, and on his mother’s side Mr. Parsons is a direct descendant of Governor Winslow of Massachusetts. Benjamin Battles Parsons was born in 1827, in Vermont, and was there reared and educated, and became a farmer and stockraiser, as well as a noted horse trainer and breaker. He served for several terms as sheriff of Windham County, Vermont, and was a prominent leader in civic and political affairs of his community, where he resided until 1849. In that...

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Biography of Anton Andrew Ackerman

Anton Andrew Ackerman. The business opportunities that some men never see, attract others to whom they seem open pathways to success. Not every farmer boy, however, of seventeen years had the common sense attitude combined with the industrious habits that have made Anton Andrew Ackerman, now a substantial business man of Neosho County, a reliable, satisfactory, efficient worker in other industrial lines before he had more than reached manhood. Mr. Ackerman had worked hard and to some purpose, otherwise he would not have his present high business standing as one of the leading contractors and drillers in the Mid-continent oil and gas fields, not to mention a prosperous business enterprise carried on at Chanute. Anton Andrew Ackerman was born November 23, 1876, at Coatsburg, Adams County, Illinois. His parents were Mitchell and Louisa (Felsman) Ackerman, and his grandfather was also Mitchell Ackerman. All were born in Germany and in that country the grandfather was a wagonmaker, but after coming to America he lived retired from business and died in Illinois. Mitchell Ackerman, father of Anton, was born in 1818 and came to the United States in early manhood. He settled first as a farmer near Coatsburg, Adams County, Illinois. In 1886 he moved to Aurora, Lawrence County, Missouri, and there engaged in farming. He died at Aurora in 1906. Mitchell Ackerman was married to Louisa Felsman, who was born...

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Biography of Francis Marion Abbott

Francis Marion Abbott. Prominent among the men who have been helpful factors in the development of Southeastern Kansas, is found Francis Marion Abbott, president of the Neosho Valley Bank, of Chanute. Mr. Abbott came to Neosho County in 1867 as a veteran of the Civil war, and for many years was engaged in farming, and at the same time lent his aid in various ways to the building up of this part of Kansas, where the best years of his life have been spent and where his enviable success had been gained. Whether as agriculturist, banker, public official or private citizen, he had always had the respect and confidence of his fellow-townsmen. Mr. Abbott was born in Brown County, Ohio, August 24, 1841, and is a son of John Milton and Viletta (Newman) Abbott. His grandfather, John Abbott, was born in England, and as a young man emigrated to the United States, locating in Brown County, Ohio, where he became the owner of a good farm, and where his death occurred before the birth of his grandson. John Milton Abbott was born in 1820, in Brown County, Ohio, and was there educated, reared on a farm, and married. In 1850 he removed to Grant County, Indiana, on the Miami Reservation, where he took up a tract of 160 acres of school land. He was an industrious and enterprising farmer...

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Biography of Charles South

Charles South. The oil industry in the Mid-Continent field of Kansas had an able representative in the person of Charles South, of Chanute, who had been producing in this field since 1903. Like many of the men interested in the business here, Mr. South had his introduction to oil production in the Pennsylvania fields, and when he arrived in Kansas had a number of years of experience back of him to assist him in his enterprises. Mr. South was born near the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 26, 1864, and is a son of John and Vilinda (Everly) South. He belongs to a family which traces its ancestry back to Cromwell’s time in England, when the family sided with King Charles, and which was founded in America during the days previous to the outbreak of the War of the American Revolution. Benjamin South, the great-grandfather of Charles South, was born in New Jersey, and went with his son Enoch to Greene County, Pennsylvania, where his death occurred. Enoch South, grandfather of Charles, was born in 1787, in New Jersey, subsequently became a pioneer of Western Pennsylvania, where he was an extensive land owner, and died in Greene County, that state, in 1863. The family had a fine Revolutionary record, the eight sons of the original emigrant (who was the great-great-great-grandfather of Charles South) having fought as soldiers of the...

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Biography of Joseph C. Merritt

Joseph C. Merritt, chairman of the board of directors of the First National Bank of Chanute, the largest financial institution in Neosho County, is a pioneer Kansan. He came to Iola in 1871, and for a number of years was engaged in the cattle business. His home had been in Chanute since 1878. For more than thirty years, until he sold out in 1909, Mr. Merritt conducted a hardware store at the corner of East Main and Harlan Avenue. As successful merchant, it was only natural that he should participate in other business affairs in the city, and he early became identified as a director with the First National Bank, served as its president five years, and since 1912 had been president of its board of directors. The other officers of this bank are: A. N. Allen, president; D. N. Kennedy, vice president; W. F. Allen, cashier. The bank had a capital of $100,000 and a surplus of $20,000. For twenty-five years the modern bank building had stood at the corner of East Main Street and Lincoln Avenue. The Merritt family from which Joseph C. Merritt is descended came over from England to New York in Colonial days. His father, Joseph Merritt, was born in New York State, in 1784, spent most of his life on a farm in Putnam County, New York, and died at Patterson in that...

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Biography of Mrs. Leda C. Steele

Mrs. Leda C. Steele, one of the most notable figures in the musical circles of Oklahoma and the southwest and enjoying as well an international reputation in connection with her art, makes her home in Muskogee, where she has resided since 1900. She was born in St. Paul, Kansas, a daughter of Edson H. and Artimissia (Sutherland) Crawford, the former a native of Elgin, Illinois, while the latter was born in the vicinity of Elgin. The father was a veteran of the Civil war. Having pursued her education in the public schools of St. Paul, Kansas, and in the high school at Erie, Kansas, Mrs. Steele afterward took up the study of music in the New England Conservatory of Music at Boston, Massachusetts, where she was under the instruction of such eminent teachers as Busoni, Bertha Fiering Tapper, Carl Stasny, a favorite pupil of Liszt, William L. Whitney, Louis C. Elson and Samuel W. Cole. In later years her teachers were Charles W. Clark and D. A. Clippinger of Chicago and William S. Brady of New York. For years Mrs. Steele has appeared with great success on the concert stage and has sung with equal success before the National Federation of Musical Clubs in its conventions at Memphis, Tennessee, and at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has appeared in concert work with Charles Wakefield Cadman, the eminent composer, and at the...

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Biography of Charles A. Straub

Charles A. Straub, a veteran oil worker in Western Pennsylvania, came to Kansas about the opening of the fields in the southern part of this state, and in recent years had become the responsible factor in developing much of the oil and gas interests in and around Moran, where he resided. Mr. Straub is manager, secretary and treasurer of the Eastern Kansas Oil Company, Limited, whose home and headquarters are in Moran. Mr. Straub was born at Sheldon, Wyoming County, New York, March 29, 1863. His father, A. B. Straub, was born in 1838 and by the accident of birth is a native of Florida. The grandfather, who was born in 1810, in Germany, emigrated to America and landed at one of the ports of Florida, and soon afterwards his oldest child, A. B., was born. The family soon came North and located in the Town of Sheldon, New York, where Grandfather Straub built and for many years was proprietor of the Sheldon Hotel. He died there in 1893. A. B. Straub had no conscious recollections of his native State of Florida, but in recent years had spent his winters at St. Petersburg in that state. He grew up in the Town of Sheldon, New York, was married there, and for a number of years was associated with his father in the management of the Sheldon Hotel. In 1865...

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Biography of Frank Morrison

Frank Morrison. Many of the men who are now engaged in oil producing and contracting in the Mid-Continent field had their earliest training in the great fields of Pennsylvania, and in this class is found Frank Morrison, who had been engaged in business at Chanute since 1904. Mr. Morrison was an experienced man when he came to this locality, and here at once entered actively into operation, his activities having extended continually with the passing of the years. He is one of the men who are making this one of Kansas’ greatest industries. Frank Morrison was born at Princeton, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1870, a member of a family that had resided in the Keystone State since the early colonial days. His grandfather, Joseph Morrison, was born in that state, in 1818, and passed his entire life as a miner and collier, dying at Princeton in 1892. Erban Morrison, the father of Frank Morrison, was born in 1847, in Pennsylvania, and on growing to manhood became the proprietor of a mercantile business, which he conducted in connection with engaging in mining. He remained at Princeton until the spring of 1912, when he came to Kansas and located at Chanute, but one year later removed to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he is now identified with the Texas Refining Company. Mr. Morrison is a democrat. He was married at Princeton, Pennsylvania, to Miss...

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Biography of Eugene L. Dimick

Eugene L. Dimick. The vocation of writing and selling insurance had grown to enormous proportions during recent years, not entirely because the people have come to a realization of the necessity for protection, but also because of the men who are engaged in this line of endeavor, who are educating the general public in realizing the benefits accruing from insurance. To succeed in this line of business a man must possess certain qualities not found necessary in other avenues of business, including a thorough knowledge of all the angles of his vocation, a keen insight into human nature, have the faculty to put forth his facts and figures in a forcible and at the same time attractive way, and the ability to place his client’s insurance with a reliable company which will conserve the interests of the assured. Prominent among the men who are making the handling of insurance and loans their business in Southeastern Kansas, and who have won success in this difficult field, is found Eugene L. Dimick, of Chanute, whose long, active and honorable career had been featured by activities in various business enterprises. Mr. Dimick was born at Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, October 28, 1855, and is a son of A. S. and Emma M. (Levering) Dimick. The Dimick family was originally from England and was founded in this country during colonial days by two brothers,...

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Biography of Chase W. Brown

Chase W. Brown. Growing naturally from man’s necessity, healing potions were compounded as far back as human records go. The application of roots and herbs for the alleviation of pain had never been entirely abolished although the twentieth century druggist would scarcely recommend as beneficial, some of the natural growths that once were deemed invaluable. Science had been able to separate the healing from the obnoxious, and in no branch of knowledge have more important advances been made in modern times than in that of physiological chemistry. Important indeed to the general public, is the fact that every thoroughly trained druggist understands the composition of the drugs he handles and dispenses, for he stands between the physician and the patient, and even the most careful of physicians have been known to make mistakes. While his professional work is as the right hand of the physician, at times it must be even more and very often is, for a druggist is frequently called upon to perform the offices of a physician and is held responsible if a mistake be made. It may thus be seen that the better class of druggists must be men of scientific attainments and thorough professional training. Among the well known men in this profession in Neosho County, Kansas, is Chase W. Brown, registered pharmacist, who had been in the drug business at Chanute since 1902....

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Herbert Walter Todd of Kansas

Herbert Walter Todd9, (Edward P.8, Silas7, Elam6, Edmund5, Christopher4, Samuel3, Samuel2, Christopher1) born June 19, 1869, married in 1898, Gertrude H., daughter of J. S. and Mary J. Hileman, of Edna, Kan. Mr. Todd graduated from the Commercial College at Valparaiso, Ind., and the Kansas Normal School. He taught in the schools for fourteen years, when he entered the business world for five years as a traveling salesman at the end of which time he entered the Methodist Episcopal ministry in the Kansas Conference. In 1913, he was pastor of a church in Thayer, Kan. Children: 2664. Hubert Hileman, b. 1899. 2665. Lora Lemon, b. 1901. 2666. Mary Marcel, b. 1905. 2667. Arden Archer, b....

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Biography of Oliver Quincy Claflin

Oliver Quincy Claflin is a prominent young lawyer at Kansas City, Kansas, and is now serving as United States commissioner of the First Kansas District. Mr. Claflin is devoted to the law, is not an office seeker, and his appointment to his present position was based entirely upon merit and exceptional qualifications. Mr. Claflin was born at Chanute, Kansas, July 4, 1882, the only child of Otis Quincy and Mary J. (Blair) Claflin. His father was born in Massachusetts and his mother in Canada, the latter going to Massachusetts and living there at the time of her marriage. Oliver Q. Claflin is in the ninth generation of the Claflin family in America. It is an old and distinguished name in New England, and men of the name fought in the Indian wars, in the Revolution and the War of 1812, while Mr. Claflin’s father was a Union soldier in the Civil war. The American genealogy goes back to Robert Claflin, who landed at Wenham, Massachusetts, November 4, 1661. He saw active service against the Indians under Sir Edmund Andros. He died in 1690. Daniel Claflin, of the second generation, was born January 25, 1674, at Wenham, Massachusetts, was a tanner by trade, moved to Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and died at Framingham, in the old Bay State, in March, 1775, when more than a century old. His son Daniel, of the...

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Biography Of John H. Miller

John H. Miller. In a study of conditions which have combined for the advancement of men of prominence in the business world, the student invariably finds that those upon whom rests dependence for counsel, advice and leadership are those who have won their way to the forefront through the force of their own industry and application, rising gradually and fighting their way in the face of all opposition. The traits of character which may be depended upon for the greatest rewards are industry, integrity, self-reliance and perseverance, and to these may be attributed the success that had crowned the efforts of John H. Miller, president of the Miller Refining Petroleum Company, of Chanute. Mr. Miller had been the architect of his own fortunes and occupies an enviable position in business and financial circles, not alone on account of the success that he had achieved, but also on account of the honorable, straightforward business policy which he had ever followed. Mr. Miller was born in Shelby County, Missouri, February 1, 1857, and is a son of John L. Miller. His father was born in 1822, in Scotland, and came to the United States when about twenty-one years of age, first locating in New York City, where for several years he worked as foreman in a shoe factory. He was married in New York, where four of his children were born,...

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Biography of C. J. Van Doren

C. J. Van Doren’s extended business experience had been almost entirely in connection with the cement industry. He knows the business in every detail, both on the technical and manufacturing side, and also selling end. Mr. Van Doren is now superintendent of the Great Western Portland Cement Company’s plant at Mildred, Kansas. A native of Michigan, he was born at Adrian July 22, 1874. His paternal ancestry goes back to Peter Van Doren who immigrated from Holland and settled on Long Island between 1637 and 1640. Mr. Van Doren’s grandfather, Jacob Van Doren, a native of New York State, was a pioneer in Southern Michigan, locating on a farm near Adrian in 1837. He spent the rest of his life there. His wife was Drusilla Burgess, who died at Adrian. Chester C. Van Doren, the only child of his parents, and father of C. J. Van Doren, was born at Adrian in 1844, and spent all his life in that section of the state, being a farmer and later a merchant. He was a democrat and a member of the Masonic fraternity. His death ocurred in 1908. He married Sarah Katherine Whittaker, who was born near Toledo, Ohio, in 1845. They were the parents of four children: Dora, wife of Ernest C. Smith, who besides looking after a real estate business at Adrian, Michigan, is one of the leading...

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Biography of Charles Trader Beatty

Charles Trader Beatty. One of the oldest and most prominent names in the history of Chanute is that of the Beatty family. It was in 1870 that the late John Brooke Beatty established himself at the old Town of Tioga, which had since become a part of the City of Chanute. He erected the first flour mill at that point, was the first hardware dealer in the Town of Tioga, and also an early day mayor. For eleven years he held the office of postmaster at Chanute. John B. Beatty married Maria Whiteman Trader. Of this worthy couple two children survive, Charles Trader Beatty and Miss Helen Beatty, both of Chanute. Charles Trader Beatty was born at Xenia, Ohio, March 25, 1857. He is of old American stock. The genealogy of the Beatty family had been published in complete form in the memoirs of Peter D. Ridenour of Kansas City, Missouri. The Colonial record of the Beattys begins in 1720 with John Beatty of Scotland and his English wife, Susannah Asfordby. Her father, Hon. William Asfordby, became the first sheriff of Ulster County, New York. Of the Beatty family Col. Charles Beatty and Capt. William Beatty were of the First Maryland Regiment in the Revolutionary war. In Colonial times the family was also connected with the Brooke, Grosch and Beall lines. Charles Trader Beatty was a boy when brought...

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