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Location: Peabody Kansas

Biography of David Edward Lamb

David Edward Lamb is a member of the Pettit & Lamb Mercantile Company at Herington in Dickinson County. This company operates the largest department store in that county, and the firm of Pettit & Lamb had been in existence for over twenty years. Mr. Lamb’s individual experiences and achievements since he came to manhood have made him a leading citizen of Kansas, and he represents a very honored family in this state. He was born November 27, 1866, at the Village of Independence, near Dayton, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, William Lamb, was a native of Pennsylvania. His parents were William W. and Belle (Henderson) Lamb. His father was born on a farm in Center County, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1840, followed farming and the foundry business in Pennsylvania until 1878, and in that year brought his family out to Kansas. He located on land in Marion County, six miles north of Peabody. To that land he gave his attention as a farmer for ten years, and then engaged in the coal business at Peabody, but since 1912 had lived retired and now had his home at Lyndon. He had been a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church practically all his life. William W. Lamb performed the part of a faithful soldier in the Civil war. He was a private in Company F of the Ninth Pennsylvania Reserve, and took...

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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 Miller M. Van Denberg

Miller M. Van Denberg. One of El Dorado’s oldest business men and citizens is Miller M. Van Denberg, who had lived in that community for thirty-nine years. The name is most prominently associated with the lumber business. In that connection it is known not only in El Dorado but in many other towns of Kansas and Oklahoma. Mr. Van Denberg had owned at different times as many as twenty-three lumber yards in these two states. However, his home had always been at El Dorado. Perhaps the chief fruit of his many years of business effort had been the opportunity presented to follow the voeation of his original choice, farming. Mr. Van Denberg does not follow farming as a fad, but on a fairly practical basis. However, the cultivation of the soil is to him a keen pleasure. He was reared on a farm and throughout his business career had always retained his love for the open spaces made beautiful by the fruition of nature. Though the better part of his life had been spent in Kansas, Mr. Van Denberg was born in Albany County, New York, September 24, 1852. He is of good old Dutch stock, and the Van Denbergs were settlers in the Province of New York prior to the¬†Revolutionary¬†war. His father, G. P. Van Denberg, was also born in Albany County, New York, and in 1861 removed...

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Biography of Willard Volney Church

Willard Volney Church is one of the older settlers in Marion County. This county had been his home for upwards of forty years, and during that time he had played a varied part as a lawyer, public official and business man. Mr. Church was born at Fort Ann, New York, February 16, 1853, a son of Volney and Harriet (Bush) Church. Mr. Church had the rather rare distinction at this time of being the grandson of a Revolutionary soldier. His grandfather, Willard Church was born at Mansfield, Connecticut, in 1758 and was a very young man when he took up arms and fought for independence from Great Britain. His father, Volney Church, was born in New York, February 25, 1804, and was reared and educated as a physician, but subsequently became a minister of the Baptist Church. To these two vocations he gave the best of his years and energy. In 1853 he removed to Hudson, Michigan, and his death occurred at Saginaw in that state in 1893. He and his wife were married May 19, 1831, at Whiting, Vermont. Harriet Bush was born at Norwell, Vermont, June 6, 1813, and she died at Fenton, Michigan, August 12, 1860. She was a very devout woman and in close sympathy with her husband in his ministerial labors. They had six children, four sons and two daughters: Harriet Eliza, who was...

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Biography of James Henry Clay Brewer

James Henry Clay Brewer is a pioneer of Marion County, was one of the first merchants at Peabody, is a veteran officer of the Union army and had played an active and influentlal part in civic affairs in this section of Kansas for over forty-five years. He was born at Clear Springs, Maryland, July 11, 1838. His grandfather, Peter Brewer, was a native of Virginia and of Huguenot stock. He is a son of Captain Daniel and Mary (Hellar) Brewer. Captain Daniel was born in the same part of Maryland May 14, 1791, and during the War of 1812 was a captain in the Eighth Maryland Regiment. Following the war he became a merchant and also did a large transportation business along the canals in Maryland. His death occurred at Clear Springs in 1855. At Clear Springs he built the first house and also the first hotel and deserves credit as practically the founder of the town. He was three times married. His third wife was Mary Hellar and they were married about 1831. She was born in Washington County, Maryland, in 1815 and died in 1862. Of this marriage there were two sons, Lewis M. and James Henry Clay. The older was born in 1833 and died in 1861. Mr. Brewer received his early education in an academy at Clear Springs, Maryland. Following that he became salesman in...

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Biography of Fred Eugene Pettit

Fred Eugene Pettit is a veteran business man and merchant of Marion County, and until he retired a few years ago conducted one of the largest stores at Peabody. Mr. Pettit was reared and educated and gained his first mercantile experience in the State of Illinois. He was born at Wyoming in Stark County, Illinois, January 8, 1861, a son of Peter and Mary Anne (Bailey) Pettit. Peter Pettit was born in New York State and located in Illinois in 1851, when the country was new and undeveloped. After a few years he lost his health and suffered invalidism throughout the latter part of his life. He died at the comparatively early age of forty-six years. Mary Anne (Bailey) Pettit was born in Devonshire, England, in 1830. When she was six years of age she came with her father to America. The Baileys first located at Oswego, New York, moved from there to Wisconsin for three years, and then returned to New York State and located near Syracuse. It was at Syracuse that Mary Bailey married Peter Pettit in 1851. After their marriage they moved to Wyoming, Illinois, and she continued to make her home in that state for many years, but finally came to Peabody, Kansas, where she died in September, 1911. Peter Pettit and wife had four children: Edgar A., deceased; Maggie May, Mrs. J. D. Smith,...

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Biography of Rev. John Walter Kliewer

Rev. John Walter Kliewer, president of Bethel College at Newton, one of the well ordered institutions at Kansas, referred to on other pages, grew up in one of the pioneer settlements of the Mennonite Church people in Western Kansas, and had spent his active career in the ministry of his church and as an educator. Rev. Mr. Kliewer is a native of Russian Poland, born near Berdichieff June 8, 1869. His ancestry is partly German. His grandfather, Peter Kliewer, was born in Danzig, Germany, and moved into the vicinity of Berdichieff in Russian Poland, where he followed farming and where he reared his family. He died there before Rev. Mr. Kliewer was born. The founder of the family in Kansas was John Kliewer, who was born at Berdichieff November 12, 1829, and grew up there. In 1874 he brought his family to America and in November of that year located at Peabody in Marion County, Kansas. After farming there two years he went to Harvey County and established a new farm eleven miles east of Newton, and remained in that community until he retired. He died on the old farm in March, 1912. After coming to America he identified himself with the republican party in politics and was always a loyal member of the Mennonite Church. John Kliewer married Aganetha Foth, who was born at Berdichieff in Russia in...

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