Location: Newton Kansas

Biography of Frank S. Porter

This representative business man of the City of Wichita was about twenty years of age when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Kansas, and he had since continued his residence within the borders of the Sunflower State, where he had been long and prominently identified with the retail drug business, of which he is now a leading representative in the City of Wichita, his attractive drug store, metropolitan in equipment and appointments, being eligibly situated on East Douglas Avenue, in the College Hill District of the city. Frank S. Porter was born in the Village of Rushsylvania, Logan County, Ohio, on the 6th of July, 1866, and is a son of Robert B. Porter, who was born in West Virginia and who was a miller by trade. For a long period of years Robert B. Porter operated a flour mill at Roshsylvania, Ohio, from which place he finally removed with his family to Urbana, that state, where he became the owner of a large mill. In 1876 he established a retail drug store at Paulding, the little city that is the judicial center of the Ohio County of the same name, and this he placed under the active supervision of his elder son, Don M. In 1886 he disposed of his varied business and real-estate interests in Ohio and came with his family to Kansas. The home...

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Biography of Edward C. Willis

Edward C. Willis, superintendent of the State Orphans Home at Atchison, is a graduate of Dartmouth College and came to kansas nearly forty years ago with the equipment and training of a oultured New Englander. His work in this state had been largely of an educational nature, and he had taught, had been superintendent of schools, and was finally appointed to his present post at Atchison, where he had served with the exception of two years since 1907. Nearly all of Mr. Willis’ ancestors were colonial families of New England. The Willis family came originally from the northern part of England and settled in Massachnsetts as early as 1638. His grandfather, Joseph Willis, was born at Mount Holly, Vermont, in 1779, was a Vermont farmer, served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and died at Bridgewater, Vermont, in 1866. He married Hannah O’Headle, who was of Irish descent. Joseph E. Willis, father of Edward C., was born at Mount Holly, Vermont, in 1815. He grew up in his native locality, was a Vermont farmer and became a prominent citizen of that state. For many terms he served as a selectman at Bridgewater, and was a member of the Vermont Legislature more than twenty years. At the beginning of the Civil war in 1861 he enlisted and became colonel of a Vermont regiment, seeing active service until the...

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Biography of David Franklin Shirk

David Franklin Shirk, a prominent Kansas educator and a worker in behalf of child welfare, had been a resident of this state thirty years. Born at Shannon, Carroll County, Illinois, July 10, 1859, he was reared and educated in his native state, and as a young man began teaching school in Illinois. In 1886 he came to Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas, and followed educational work in this state actively for twenty-four years. In 1906 Mr. Shirk was graduated from Friends University at Wichita. Much distinction attaches to his work as a school man. He assisted in organizing the first county high school in Kansas at Chapman, Dickinson County. He also organized the first high school Y. M. C. A. in the world. He was elected and served for four years as superintendent of public instruction of Dickinson County. For five years he was superintendent of the schools at Cottonwood Falls in Chase County, was superintendent at Newton, Kansas, six years, and for two years at Great Bend in Barton County. In 1906 and again in 1910 he made student tours of Europe, and on the second trip took his wife and his two children as a part of their education. Since 1910 Topeka had been his home, and, at the death of the distinguished Dr. O. S. Morrow, he was appointed his successor as superintendent of the Kansas State...

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Biography of William Hasselmann

William Hasselmann is an expert florist. He learned the business in all its details and all its phases in Germany, and had had experience in some of the greatest flower growing centers in the world. Some years ago he located at Independence, Kansas, and is now proprietor of the leading greenhouses of that city and his business had grown so rapidly that it is constantly demanding more room and greater facillties for the better handling of a custom that now extends far beyond the borders of his home city. His full name is William Dietrich Hasselmann. He was born at Harpstedt, Germany, August 22, 1881. His older brother, Henry, is now serving in the German Imperial Army in the great European war, and had previous to that conducted the father’s business, was also a dealer and shipper in hogs and handled insurance Mr. Hasselmann’s sister, Johanna, is the wife of Julius Behrens, a newspaper reporter at Bremerhaven, Germany. The younger brother, John, was killed in the early part of the war while in front of Verdun at the age of twenty-six. The father of these children, John Hasselmann, was born neer Harpstedt, Germany, in 1845, and is still living there. He is a retail merebant and hotel proprietor. He spent three years, from 1870 to 1873, in the German army and was in the Franco-Prussian war. He married Katrine...

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Biography of Albert Arthur Hurd

Albert Arthur Hurd. The professional intimates of the late Albert Arthur Hurd unhesitatingly place him among the most able corporation lawyers who ever graced the Topeka bar. The reputation of men who gain eminence in this branch of the law is not made in a day. Such a reputation requires not only natural talent, but the most thorough preparation and strenuous, continuous and intense application and industry. That he became recognized as one of the best railroad lawyers in the United States was due to the possession of exceptional ability and character, and also to the fact that he was continuously identified with the Santa Fe Railway Company for a period of forty years. He entered the service of the company in 1875, in 1905 was made special counsel, and that appointment and the duties connected therewith were a splendid recognition of the strength and breadth of his influence upon the general progress of the corporation. Albert Arthur Hurd was born at Lafayette, Illinois, September 27, 1849, a son of Theodore F. and Catherine (Driscoll) Hurd. He belonged to a family which was entitled to use a crest. His first paternal ancestor in America was John Hurd, a native of Somersetshire, England, who came to America before the year 1640 and settled at Windsor, Connecticut. From him the line of descent is traced down through his second son, Adam...

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Biography of Zolo A. Emerson

Zolo A. Emerson. Through the business ability and courtesy of its owner the general merchandise store of Zolo A. Emerson in a comparatively short time has become an important source of supply to the people of Auburn and the surrounding vicinity. In addition to rendering this service to his fellow citizens, Mr. Emerson has a further claim to their esteem in the manner in which he is discharging the duties [p.1749] of postmaster, which office he has efficiently filled since his appointment in 1908. Mr. Emerson is a native of Holmes County, Ohio, born at Millersburg, September 24, 1873, one of the eight children of Albert B. and Betsy L. (Doughty) Emerson. The father was born in Ohio, while the mother, a native of Nottinghamshire, England, came to the United States when twelve years of age with her parents, who located at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a miller by trade. Mr. Doughty came to Kansas, in 1872, and ran a mill on the Cottonwood River, which is still dependent upon water power for its operation. Albert B. Emerson received his educational advantages in Keene, Ohio. In his youth he mastered the shoemaker and harnessmaker’s trades, which he followed until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in Company I, Ninety-seventh Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served bravely and faithfully through three years of the war. He participated...

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Biography of Henry Ford Harbaugh

Henry Ford Harbaugh. Even today the great State of Kansas is looked upon as a land of opportunities and a good place for the young man to settle and provide for the future. This is even more true thirty or forty years ago, though it required perhaps a stronger element of individual initiative, courage and ability to endure hardships with patience and fortitude. It was as a young man looking for a permanent home and a country where his energies and talents would be given the freest exercise that Henry Ford Harbaugh arrived in Kansas in 1878. An uncle was living on a farm near Wellington, and that town was his first choice of destination. He came by railroad as far as Newton, and then by horse and wagon drove over a large part of the western and central portion of the state, and from Wichita arrived in Wellington by stage. He was evidently satisfied, because soon after he reached Wellington he bought 160 acres of land, and started with characteristic vigor to farm it and raise stock. He broke much of that land with horse and ox teams, and his first wheat crop was cut with a cradle. He lived simply and frugally, and adapted himself to the hard conditions which surrounded the early Kansas farmers of thirty or forty years ago. For two years after he came...

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Biography of H. B. Rodecker

H. B. Rodecker, an enterprising and successful druggist of Ramona, was born near Eureka, Illinois, on the 22d of August, 1874, and was taken by his parents, William B. and Leona (Hellen) Rodecker, to Newton, Harvey county, Kansas, in 1880. The mother is a niece of the late Cecil Rhodes, multi-millionaire and statesman of South Africa. The father was a tinner by trade and followed that pursuit until 1889, when the family removed to Oklahoma City and he entered the employ of W. J. Pettie, a hardware merchant, conducting a business that has since been developed into a large wholesale enterprise. Mr. Rodecker was associated with the house for six years and then went to Los Angeles, where he is now living retired. He passed the seventy-seventh milestone on life’s journey on the 30th of March, 1922. He makes his home with his son, F. E., who is engaged in the grocery business in southern California. Mr. Rodecker was born in Peoria, Illinois, while his wife was born at the wharf in New York harbor, when her parents landed from England. She died at Shawnee, Oklahoma, February 14, 1904. The only daughter of the family, Lulu Mable Rodecker, died in Shawnee in 1903. H. B. Rodecker attended the public schools of Newton and was graduated from the high school with the class of 1888. Later he took up the...

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Biography of Carl F. Mayer

In the sudden demise of Carl F. Mayer, which occurred at Joplin, Missouri, on the 19th of September, 1921, when he was fifty years of age, Miami lost one of its most progressive, public-spirited and highly respected citizens and the government a trusted official whose entire active life had been spent in its service. The place which he left vacant will be a difficult one to fill, for broad experience had given him a comprehensive understanding of Indian affairs, and the service which he rendered was one of great value to the nation. He was born at Leavenworth, Kansas, August 7, 1871, and was a son of Henry and Emma (Roehrig) Mayer, the former born at Kirkheim in the province of Teck, Germany, while the latter was a native of Minersville, Pennsylvania. When a youth of fifteen years the father came alone to the United States, making his way to Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where he followed the barber’s trade. He then joined the regular army and in 1859 went overland to California with his regiment, which built Fort Humboldt in that state during the pioneer epoch in its development. Following the outbreak of the Civil war Henry Mayer returned to the east by way of Cape Horn and participated in several important engagements during that conflict. At the close of the war he received his discharge from the service and...

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Biography of Bernhard Warkentin

Bernhard Warkentin was born June 18, 1847, in the Village of Altonan, situate in Southern Russia, just north of the Crimea. His parents belonged to the Mennonites–followers of Menno Simon, a sect originating in Holland, migrating to Prussia, thence to Russia in 1783 when the Turkish government ceded to Russia the Crimea and Empress Catherine h of Russia induced them to colonize her new possession by offering them allotments of land, religious freedom and immunity from military service for 100 years. His father, Bernhard Warkentin, Sr., was born in Southern Russia in 1816. His mother–nee Tiesen–was born the same year in Berlin, Germany. They were the parents of four children, Elizabeth, Bernhard, Gerhard and Helena. Bernhard’s boyhood was spent in his native village, where he received his early education. Later he went to school in a neighboring city, Halbstadt, and thence to Odessa, where he attended a business college. In 1870 and 1871 the Franco-Prussian war gave Russia an opportunity to conclude a new treaty with the Germans and the amnesty assured the Mennonites by Russia was withdrawn. The prospect of infringement of their rights led the Mennonites to look about for a new location and their eyes turned toward America. Bernhard Warkentin, then a young man of twenty-three years, in company with two young men friends, started out to see the new world. They visited the states 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 James Noble Smith

James Noble Smith, now in his second term as sheriff of Harvey County, is a Kansan of thirty-five years residence and experience. He is a veteran railroader, having handled the throttle of an engine on the Santa Fe road for a score of years or more. He is a capable and trusted officer, and had long been a man of prominence in affairs at Newton and in Harvey County. Mr. Smith was born at Union in Pike County, Indiana, September 22, 1859, and had an interesting family lineage. His great-grandfather was a Scotch Irishman who came to America and founded a pioneer home in the territory and state of Illinois. The sheriff’s grandfather was also named James Noble Smith and was a native of Illinois. He was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church and did that work in the days of the old time circuit rider. He was also a slave holder, but becoming convinced that the holding of slaves was a wrong, he freed his negroes long before the war. He died at Memphis, Tennessee, in 1857. John W. Smith, father of James M., was born at Memphis, Tennessee, in 1818. He lived in that city until reaching manhood, and then moved to Evansville, Indiana. He was a carpenter by trade and his specialty was the building of winding stairs, a work that tests the highest skill...

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Biography of Wilhelm E. Regier M. D.

Wilhelm E. Regier, M. D. The courageous, investigating attitude of the Twentieth Century is nowhere more forcibly shown than in the ranks of the exponents of medical science. The tendency of the modern scientific physician to avoid, above all things, a hasty jumping to conclusions or too ready dependence upon formulae, is serving to destroy ancient delusions, thereby placing the health of the nation in the hands of reasoners and independent thinkers. In this class of rational thinkers belongs Wilhelm E. Regier, M. D., whose opportunities along professional lines have been numerous and whose use of the same had made him an important factor in connection with professional circles at Whitewater and in Butler County for a number of years. Doctor Regier was born at Elbing, Butler County, Kansas, November 20, 1882, and is a son of Rev. J. W. and Agathe (Dyck) Regier. His grandfather was Abraham Regier, who was born in 1816, near Marienburg, West Prussia, Germany, and was there engaged in farming until 1880, in which year he immigrated to the United States and settled near Elbing, Kansas, where he spent the last years of his life in retirement and died in 1889. J. W. Regier was also born near Marienburg, where he was reared and educated, and when twenty-seven years of age, in 1876, came to the United States and located first at Mount Pleasant,...

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Biography of Milton Wilder Browne

Milton Wilder Browne. The dining and hotel service par excellence and acknowledged without a peer in America is the Fred Harvey system. To hold the position of a manager in this system is about the highest word that can be spoken for any hotel man. Newton, as one of the division points on the Santa Fe road, had received the benefits of this system, and the finest hotel in Harvey County is the Arcade Hotel at Newton, now under the management of Milton Wilder Browne, who had been an employe of Fred Harvey for the past eleven years. Mr. Browne was born in Taylorville, Illinois, July 29, 1882. He is of old American ancestry, his forefathers having come out of Hertfordshire, England, to Massachusetts in colonial days. His grandfather, H. R. Browne, was born in Massachusetts in 1822, was a cabinet maker by trade, and early in life went to Whitehall, Illinois, where he lived until his death in 1887. Milton W. Browne, Sr., was born at Whitehall, Illinois, in 1858, and grew up and married there. For many years he was connected with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway as station agent and assistant superintendent, and during that service lived at Taylorville, Illinois; Ottumwa, Iowa; Chillicothe, Missouri; and Seymour, Iowa. Since 1907 he had been in Kansas City, Missouri, in the implement business. In politics he is...

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Biography of Harry W. Hart

Harry W. Hart, former county attorney of Harvey County, had enjoyed a steadily increasing practice and prestige as a lawyer at Newton since his admission to the bar. Mr. Hart was born on a farm in Highland Township of Harvey County October 27, 1885. His grandfather, Henry Hart, was born in Germany in 1824. After his marriage he came to America, settling at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he practiced his profession as a veterinary surgeon. He died at Dayton, Ohio, in 1897. At the outbreak of the war of the rebellion in 1861 he enlisted with the Fourth Ohio Cavalry and saw active service all through the struggle. William Hart, father of the Newton attorney and founder of the family in Kansas, was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1854. He grew up in his native city and was married at Dayton, Ohio. He spent his active career as a farmer, and in 1878 joined the early settlers of Harvey County, locating in Highland Township, where he bought a farm of eighty acres. He was employed in its cultivation until his death in 1904. William Hart was a republican, a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married Susie Herby, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1862 and died in Highland Township, Kansas, in 1895. She was the mother of the following children: Orva,...

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