The reader of modern Kansas history learns of the wonderful development of the state, of its wealth and resources, of its great educational institutions and its culture, and of its enterprise and reform legislation. Back, however, of all these truthful and encouraging records exists a vital and more interesting page of history, and only by linking the past with the present, may justice be done to all. A half century in the great cyele of Time means little, but it sometimes covers an entire individual life. There are men in different sections of this great state to whose labor, courage and resolution through the last half century, Kansas owes a great debt, for they were the pioneers along every line in which she now stands pre-eminent among the states. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now James Franklin O’Daniel, one of Riley County’s representative men, came to Kansas with the pioneers of 1859, at that time being a sturdy and ambitions youth of eighteen years. He was...Read More
Location: Pottawatomie County KS
Rev. William Knipe is one of the few surviving participants in the war with Mexico, which was fought nearly seventy years ago. Many other interesting distinctions attach to this venerable and useful resident of Kansas. He was one of the pioneer Methodist missionaries in Jackson County, Kansas, and is one of the very oldest members of the Methodist Conference. He was also a soldier of the Civil war and few men who live so long succeed in compressing so much useful service to humanity within a lifstime. His birth occurred in a log house in Wayne County, Indiana, September 28, 1827. He is now nearing the eighty-ninth milestone on the journey of a well spent career, and enjoys the comfort of a good home in Manhattan. His parents were John and Jemima (Jackson) Knipe, His father, though born in England, was of German lineage. He came to the United States in early manhood in company with his brother Thomas Knipe. Settling on a farm in Wayne County, Indiana, he was a pioneer there and spent his days usefully and honorably. Reverend Mr. Knipe’s mother was a native of North Carolina. She died when he was six years old and ten years later he was deprived of the guidance and care of a father. From that early age he has been dependent upon his own resourees. A limited education was...Read More
Charles F. Little, M. D., is one of the oldest living members of the medical profession in Kansas. It was fully half a century ago that he came to Manhattan, and until his recent retirement was almost continuously identifled with his professional duties in Riley County. Doctor Little is one of the men who gained their training and attended their first cases prior to the Civil war. In the war he served as an assistant surgeon. A great fund of practical business ability has been a prominent characteristie of Doctor Little and for years he has been one of the influential business men of Manhattan. His individual record of honorable service adds to the lustre of the family name. His ancestry goes back to New England. He is a descendant of George Little, who came from London, England, to America in 1640 and settled around Massachusetts Bay at Newbury. The line of descent from father to son in subsequent generations is as follows: George Little, the progenitor of the family in America; Moses; Tristam; Henry; Henry h; Abner Bailey; Caleb J. T.; and Dr. Charles F. Little. Doctor Little represents the eighth successive generation of the family in America. Charles F. Little was born at Milford, New Hampshire, January 27, 1836, a son of Caleb J. T. and Eliza. Ann (Brooks) Little. Caleb J. T. Little was born at...Read More
For thirty-five years a Topeka lawyer, Mr. Bird’s name had become widely known over the state not only in the legal profession, but as a practical farmer and stockman, by his various distinctions in Masonry and other fraternities, and by his important services in the State Legislature. In his own character and in an carnest ambition to acquit himself well among the world’s useful workers, is to be found the secret of his snccess. He was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, August 31, 1855, and spent his early life there. His father, Archibald Bird, was born in the same county November 22, 1823. He was a man of considerable enterprise, owned and operated a farm, also conducted a saw mill, and made an excellent record of service as a Union soldier during the Civil war. He was in the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. His death occurred April 12, 1896, and resulted from wounds he had received while serving his country. Archibald Bird married Elizabeth Ann Heilman, who was born in Allegany County, Maryland, March 25, 1826, and died in Pennsylvania, May 4, 1906. When Winfield A. S. Bird was an infant his parents moved into the woods on White’s Creek in Pennsylvania, and when he was eight years old he witnessed the Battle of Gettysburg, a historic event which made a deep impression upon his youthful mind. During one day...Read More
The men who came to Shawnee County in 1871 were of necessity patient plodders, content to await the rewards of a developing civilization. There were no short cuts to fortune such as fired the zeal of the argonauts of ’49, but there existed sane and practical opportunities for the man to whom labor was a beneflcent and necessary festure of his existence. To such a class belonged William Pollom, father of Boyd Elias Pollom, the latter one of the successful agrienlturists and substantial citizens of the vicinity of North Topeka. William Pollom was born in Ohio, in 1838, a son of Joseph Pollom, of Pennsylvania-Dutch antecedents who was a pioneer of both Ohio and Indiana. William Pollom grew up as a farmer, a vocation which he followed throughout his life, with short periods of participation in sawmilling, as timber in his community was very plentiful during his young manhood. He was married in 1856 to Ann Boyd, of Muskingum County, Ohio, and not long thereafter moved to Clay County, Indiana, and then to Putnam County, in the same state. A loyal Union man, never afrald to express his views, he enlisted in the Fifty-first Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil war and fought with that organization until wounded in battle, when he returned to Putnam County and thereafter did duty as a home guard as long as the...Read More
With all the progressiveness and enterprise of the native Kansan, Leslie V. Johnson had made his years in this state count chiefly as a banker, and for many years had found a large opportunity to serve the public through his post as cashier of the State Bank of Randolph in Riley County. As in the case with many successful business men and financiers, he had the atmosphere of a farm during his youth. He was born on his father’s farm in Pottawatomie County, October 8, 1872, and his earliest recollections are associated with that rural district. As a boy he went from home to the rural schools, and subsequently enjoyed the advantages of higher training, at first in the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia and later in Holton College. His banking career began in the employ of an institution at Oldsburg, Kansas. In 1898 he transferred his connection to the State Bank of Randolph, and had been closely identified with its management ever since. In 1901 he was elected cashier, and now had the executive management of one of the strongest and best conducted banks in Riley County. The State Bank of Randolph was organized in 1887, and is now elosing its thirtieth year of executive existence. Beginning with a capital of $10,000, that had since been increased to $25,000, and a recent bank statement in 1916 showed...Read More
William F. Hill is the dean of the newspaper profession in Pottawatomie County. The Becorder had been published consecutively at Westmoreland for thirty-two years, and Mr. Hill had been proprietor and publisher of the paper for more than a quarter of a century. When he first came to Kansas it was in the role of a teacher, and he was at one time principal of schools in Havensville, and Westmoreland of Pottawatomie County. He is of English ancestry, and his forebears came to Virginia in Colonial times. His grandfather, John R. Hill, was born in Ohio and spent his life as a farmer, living both in Ohio and Indiana. His death occurred near Goshen, Indiana, in 1856. Samuel Hill, father of the Westmoreland editor, was born near Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1832, and when a young man went to Indiana, where he married. In 1832 he became an early settler in Monroe County, Iowa, and in that county on April 10, 1856, his son William was born. A few months later the family removed to Ringgold County, Iowa, where Samuel Hill spent the rest of his sctive life as a farmer with the exception of a few years in Oklahoma. He died in Ringgold County in 1914. He was a republican and a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He also made a military record as a faithful soldier...Read More
James M. Meek is one of the veteran stock farmers and dealers of Nemaha County, and is now living retired at Centralia. Mr. Meek is widely known over this section of Kansas, especially through his terms of service in the Legislature and the Senate, in which he proved a capable representative of his constituency and did much to promote the wholesome business and civic interests of his state. Mr. Meek was born in Union County, Ohio, September 28, 1852, grew up in Northwest Missouri, and had been a resident of Kansas over thirty-five years. His ancestors were English people who came to this country, and the family were pioneers in Ohio. Grandfather Samuel Meek was an Ohio farmer and died in Richland County in that state before the birth of James M. Meek. Reason Meek, father of James M., was born in Richland County, Ohio, in 1822. He grew up there, was married in Union County, and in 1864 removed west to Black Hawk County, Iowa, and in the spring of 1866 settled in Nodaway, Missouri. He was one of the early settlers in that section of Northwest Missouri, and spent his active life as a farmer. He died in Nodaway County in 1891. Politically he was a democrat. The marden name of his wife was Matilda McIlroy, who was born in Ashland County, Ohio, in 1826 and died...Read More
Mrs. Mary Morrall Darling is the daughter of Wamego’s pioneer physician, Dr. Albert Morrall, and she is now living in the same house where she was born May 14, 1872. The Morralls were English people and were colonial settlers in the Carolinas. Her great-great-grandfather was Daniel Morrall who married Lydia Savanen. Her great-grandfather was John Morrall. Her grandfather, George Washington Morrall, was born at Georgetown, South Carolina, August 17, 1786, became an attorney by profession, and practiced at Grahamville and at Beaufort, South Carolina, dying in the latter city February 22, 1836. He married Phoebe Jenkins Tripp, who was born January 23, 1794, and died in Barnwell District, South Carolina, April 10, 1865. Dr. Albert Morrall was born at Grahamville, South Carolina, November 17, 1829. The record of this old time physician had a distinctive place in the history of Kansas, particularly in the pioneer times of the country around the Big Blue River. He was of old Southern family and kept his sympathies with the South during the period of hostilities over slavery and the questions of state rights. He was educated in private schools at Grahamville, and first came to Kansas in the spring of 1856. He tells the story in his own words: “I came to Kansas in the spring of 1856 in company with thirty other young men from the South. My object in coming...Read More
George H. Weeks. While Mr. Weeks had speat practically all his life in and around Belvue in Pottawatomie County, his reputation as a stock breeder is nothing less than state wide. His farm is famous for his splendid Percheron horses, and hardly less well known for his herd of Hereford cattle and his Poland China hogs. Mr. Weeks was born Jannary 18, 1877, and in the same year his parents removed to Pottawatomie County. His birth occurred in a rich and prosperons section of Northern Illinois, at LaMoille in Burean County. He is of English ancestry. His father, David Weeks, was born in Wiltshire, England, in 1835, and the grandfather was William Weeks, a native of the same country. In 1846 the family came to America, locating near Marsellus, New York, where the grandfather, William, died. He was a farmer. David Weeks was eleven years of age when brought to this country, and grew up near Marcellus, New York, and from there moved to Illinois. In 1877 he brought his family to Kansas and located on a farm five miles south of Belvue. That farm was his home until 1895, when he moved into the Village of Belvue. Few men in Kansas made a more generous success as a farmer than David Weeks, who died at Belvne in 1910. The quality of enterprise which was his had been tranamitted...Read More
John Wilson Lauck, M. D. Since 1903 Doctor Lauck had been engaged in his work as a physician and surgeon at Olsburg in Pottawatomie County. During that time Doctor Lauck had become a citizen of prominence in that community. He had done something toward the development of modern farming in that locality and is also a factor in the commercial enterprise of the village. Doctor Lauck is a native of Kansas, having been born in the City of Atchison October 28, 1875. He is of Scotch ancestry and his forefathers came from that country to Maryland in early days. His father, the late I. S. Lauck, was for many years one of the trusted officials of the Santa Fe Railway Company at Topeka. I. S. Lauck was born at Washington, D. C., in 1845. He was reared and married in his native city and in 1872 came to Kansas, locating at Atchison, where he was cashier of a bank for a time, but soon removed to Topeka and for over thirty years was anditor of the Santa Fe Bailway Company. His residence all that time was in Topeka, but he died in Chicago in 1903, while on a pleasure trip to his native City of Washington. Politically he was a democrat. I. S. Lauck married Amanda Lyons, who was born in Virginia March 15, 1847, and is living at...Read More
John Thomas Bartley has spent many years in Kansas and the Southwestern country and his business had been chiefly ranching on a large scale, either as manager for others or for himself. He now looks after a large farm at Fostoria in Pottawatomie County and had been a fine factor in the founding and upbuilding of that comparatively new village of Kansas. The home of the Bartleys for several generations had been Monroe County, Kentucky, where John Thomas was born March 7, 1865. His great-grandfather, Thomas Bartley, was born in Ireland in 1760. He came to this country a young, unmarried man and was one of the pioneers of Monroe County, Kentucky, where he died about 1842. He married Maggie Sumner, who was born in Kentucky in 1763, a date which identifies her family with the early era in the West, her father having been a contemporary of Daniel Boone. She died in Monroe County, Kentucky, in 1849. William Bartley, grandfather of John Thomas, was born in Monroe County, Kentucky, and spent his life there as a farmer. He married Martha Simpson, also a native of Monroe County, where she died. A record of their children is as follows: James, a farmer who died in Monroe County; Simpson, a farmer who spent his life in Monroe County; Thomas, who is still living in that county, a retired farmer; William,...Read More
Christian D. Ladner. In electing Christian D. Ladner their sheriff in 1916 the citizens of Pottawatomie County exereised a wise discretion in the choice of one of the most important county officials. Mr. Ladner is a native of Pottawatomie County, and had played a varied and successful part in the affairs of this community for over thirty years. He is of fine old Swiss stock. His father, George Ladner, was born December 25, 1823, in the largest Canton or Province of Switzerland, Gran Buenden. He grew up in his native country and married there Barbara Neff, who was born in Switzerland in 1833. Her father, Christian Neff, was born in 1801 and in his late years came to America and died in Jackson County, Kansas, in 1883. He followed the business of trader both in the old country and in Kansas. George Ladner learned the trade of shoemaker in the old country, and in 1850 he came to the United States with his wife, first locating at St. Louis. He lived there six years, and for another six years had his home near St. Louis but at Carondelet, Illinois. He was a general workman in St. Louis, and in 1862 he joined the early settlers of Pottawatomle County, where he bought a farm of 120 acres in Lone Tree Township. He homesteaded the forty acres comprising the remainder of...Read More
Frederick Jones has been identified with the commercial life of Blaine in Pottawatomie County over twenty years. He came there with little besides a practical mercantile experience and had built up and become the owner of the chief store of the town. Mr. Jones had lived in Kansas since he was a boy of four years. He was born in Stephenson County, Illinois, October 22, 1875. His people were among the earliest settlers of Stephenson County. Grandfather Robert Jones, who was born in England in 1802, grew up and married in the United States and was one of the first settlers in Buckeye Township of Stephenson County, Illinois. He was there in time to participate in some of the Indian troubles, including the Black Hawk war of 1832. His life was spent as a farmer and he was a man of high principles and justly earned the respect and esteem of a large eommunity. David Jones, father of Frederiek, was born in 1842, also in Stephenson County. In that locality he spent his youth and was married, and in 1879 he removed to Kansas, locating at Jewell City, which was then a place far out on the frontier. He developed some of the good soil of that agricultural district and spent his active career as a farmer. He died in Jewell City in 1907. He began voting as a...Read More
John William Wilhoit, M. D. For a period of more than thirty years Doctor Wilhoit had quietly and efficiently preformed his services as a doctor at St. George and is the oldest resident physician of that town of Pottawatomie County, one of the oldest established in this part of the state. Doctor Wilhoit is a man of high standing in his profession, with attainments that rank him among the leaders of the profession in the state. Perhaps there are none who will say he had not chosen wisely in spending his career in a country community where the opportunities for service are just as great as in a city and where he had enjoyed the rewards of community esteem in a richer degree than are ever paid to the city practitiomer. Doctor Wilhoit is a Kentuckian, born in Carter County August 12, 1853. His grandfather, John William Wilhoit, was a native of Germany, and came to this country with four brothers, who settled respectively in Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri and Indiana, while he located in Bath County, Kentucky, as a pioneer farmer. he was unable to speak a word of English when he arrived in America. He spent his life as a farmer in Bath County and died there before Doctor Wilhoit was born. James A. Wilhoit, father of Doctor Wilhoit, was born in Bath County in 1815, and his...Read More
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