Location: Rice County KS

Biography of Orville L. Cully

Orville L. Cully, cashier of the Saxman State Bank, is a banker of thorough training and long experience, having entered the banking institution immediately after he left school. Mr. Cully was born in Sedgwick County, Kansas, February 20, 1882. In the paternal line he is of Scotch ancestry, his great-grandfather having come from Scotland and established a family in Indiana in pioneer times. Mr. Cully’s father was Henry Cully, who was born in Union County, Indiana, in 1858. He grew up and married in his native County, was a farm boy, and in 1874 came to Kansas and located in Sedgwick County. There he identified himself with the range stock industry and fed and grazed his cattle over the district south of Wichita. In 1903 he engaged in the banking business in Southern Kansas, and in the spring of 1907 he and his son Orville organized the Citizens State Bank of Claflin. He was its president, while Orville was cashier. In 1911 he bought the Farmers State Bank at Larned, and continued as president of this institution until his death. He controlled both these banks and also the First State Bank of Millikin, Colorado. Henry Cully died at Larned in 1912. He was a democrat in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His wife, Alice Stevens, who was born in Union County, Indiana, in 1854, is...

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Biography of Francis Hibbard Lamberson

Francis Hibbard Lamberson has been a factor in the agricultural development and business affairs of Rice County for a great many years. He came here comparatively poor, had prospered by his own efforts, and still owned a large amount of farm land in the county, though he is living retired at Lyons. He was born in Allegany County, New York, May 24, 1847. His people in the paternal line were of Holland Dutch stock and were settlers in New York in colonial times. His grandfather, John Lamberson, was born in Herkimer County, New York, spent his life as a farmer and died at Rushford in that state in 1867. Anson Lamberson, father of Francis H., was born in Herkimer County in 1824, made farming his main business, though he was also extensively interested in cattle and livestock dealing and he died near Rochester, New York, in 1902, at the age of seventy-eight. He became affiliated with the republican party upon its organization. He married Amy Hibbard, who was born at Warsaw, New York, in 1826 and died in Lyons, Kansas, in 1910. Her father, Jonathan F. Hibbard, was born at Orwell, Rutland County, Vermont, in 1793, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and after that struggle he settled on what was then the western frontier at Warsaw in Wyoming County, New York. He lived the life of...

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Biography of Rev. John J. Davern

Rev. John J. Davern. The Town of Chase and a large community around that center know and appreciate Father Davern not only as a zealous priest and pastor of St. Mary’s Church but as a man indefatigable in every good cause and a leader in every movement that reflects the enlightened spirit of his community. Father Davern came to Kansas about eight years ago fresh from his studies and ordination as a priest back in Ireland. He was born in County Limerick July 24, 1883. He received his early training in the local schools and for four years took the intermediate preparatory and classical courses at Blackrock Academy. He then entered St. Patrick’s College in Carlow, Ireland, and pursued his course in philosophy and theology for six years, being graduated in 1908. He was ordained June 14th of that year and said his first mass at Presentation Convent in Carlow. One of his classmates was De Valera, a prominent leader in the Sein Fein movement in Ireland. September 12, 1908, Father Davern arrived in the United States and spent his first three months in Wichita as chaplain to the Sisters of St. Joseph. January 17, 1909, he arrived at Chase as the first resident priest of St. Mary’s Church. He found the church building unfinished, and there was no rectory for his residence. He at once entered upon his...

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Biography of William Miller Kenton

William Miller Kenton first came to Kansas nearly forty years ago, acquired an interest in a homestead in Rice County, and by his subsequent exertions had developed a large amount of fine farming land and is one of the leading men of affairs and citizens at Chase. Mr. Kenton was born in Bracken County, Kentucky, October 4, 1850. His Kenton ancestry goes back to the earliest period of colonization of the Kentucky country and the name of Kenton is a famous one in old Kentucky, and doubtless there is some relationship between this branch and the noted Simon Kenton, one of the greatest scouts, frontiersmen and Indian fighters in American annals. The first American ancestor was Marcus Kenton, who came out of Oxford, England, and settled in old Virginia. This Marcus Kenton was early attracted to the Virginia possessions west of the Allegheny Mountains in what is now Kentucky, and his death occurred in Pennsylvania while he was en route from his Virginia home to the place known as Limestone, now Maysville, Kentucky. This Marcus Kenton married a member of the Cleveland family, and some of the later generations more or less jokingly referred to her as a connection of the President of the United States. Marcus Kenton, the immigrant, had a son who bore his name and who came into possession of 18,000 acres of land in Kentucky,...

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Biography of Alfred O’Donnell, M. D.

Alfred O’Donnell, M. D. The name of O’Donnell had been associated for many years in Ellsworth County with the profession of medicine. Dr. Alfred O’Donnell began practice at Ellsworth about ten years ago as successor to an older brother, and his worth had brought him a fair degree of fame and some of the best honors and achievements of the successful physician and surgeon. Doctor O’Donnell had lived most of his life in Kansas but was born in County Clare, Ireland, June 6, 1876. His father, John O’Donnell, was born in the same county of Ireland in 1837, grew up and married there and followed farming and stock raising. In 1884 he came to the United States, bringing with him his wife and eleven children. After three months spent at Ellsworth, Kansas, he bought a farm in Rice County, near where the City of Geneseo now stands, and conducted the farm until 1891. Selling out, he removed to Ellsworth and was a farmer near that city until he retired in 1911, and spent the rest of his days in Ellsworth, where he died in 1913. He was a republican and an active member of the Episcopal Church. John O’Donnell married Elizabeth Hill, who was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1857 and is still living at Ellsworth. They reared a very unusual family, eleven children in number, and all...

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Biography of Emery E. Smith

Emery E. Smith. While the average size of farms in Rice County is considerably larger than in eastern counties, there are few even of the larger farms which have been so completely developed on the diversified plan as that of Emery E. Smith. Mr. Smith’s holdings aggregate upwards of 1,000 acres, and he had given the best years of his life to the development of this splendid ranch and farm, which is situated two and a half miles southeast of Little River. Mr. Smith belongs to the pioneer element of Rice County and had lived there since he was ten or eleven years of age. This branch of the Smith family goes back to Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry of colonial times. The family came to Kansas from Knox County, Illinois, where his grandfather, John Smith, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1806 and was a pioneer farmer. John Smith died in Knox County in 1891. He married Mary Ginrich, also a native of Pennsylvania, and she died in Knox County. Emery E. Smith was born in Knox County, Illinois, August 30, 1868. His father, Phillip Smith, was born in the same county in 1834, a date which indicates the very early settlement of the Smiths in that peculiarly rich and fertile section of Northern Illinois. Phillip Smith was a farmer in Knox County, grew up and married there, and in...

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Biography of Charles W. Sample

Charles W. Sample has been a business man at Kingman nearly forty years and had been closely identified with the commercial affairs of that city, as a land owner, banker and in real estate and loans. Mr. Sample was born in Jefferson County, Indiana, October 29, 1851. His ancestors came out of Ireland and settled in Virginia in colonial days. His grandfather, Andrew Sample, was a pioneer farmer in Indiana and died in Jefferson County in that state in 1854. George W. Sample, father of Charles W., was born in Jefferson County, Indiana, in 1815, a date which indicates the early settlement of the family in that state. Indiana was not admitted to the union until 1816. George W. Sample spent his life as a farmer, and in 1853 removed to Tipton County, Indiana, where he spent his last years and where he died in 1872. He was a democrat and an active member and on the official board of the Baptist Church. He married in Jefferson County, Indiana, Adaline McKay, who was born in that county in 1820 and died in Tipton County in 1896. They were the parents of seven children, Charles W. being the fifth in age and the only one now living. Henrietta, who died in Clinton County, Indiana, was the wife of Isaac Houghman, a farmer also deceased. The other children were named Berdelia,...

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Biography of Talbert Jackson English

Talbert Jackson English, president of the First National Bank of Sterling, is one of the few mature business men and citizens who can claim Rice County as the place of their nativity. Mr. English had had an active business career in different lines, but for many years had been identified with the bank of which he is now the head. He was born near Sterling in Rice County, Kansas, November 20, 1874. His father is John McCollister English, who became widely known in this section of Kansas as a land owner and capitalist. The ancestry of this family goes back to Northern Ireland and is Scotch-Irish. In former generations the name was spelled Inglish. In 1798 two brothers and a sister of the family came to America and settled in Virginia. T. J. English’s grandfather was James Tolbert English, who was born in 1816. He lived in Chillicothe, Ohio; Sangamon County, Illinois; Danville, Illinois, and finally retired and came to Kansas, dying at Sterling in 1897. John McCollister English was born at Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1845, and was reared partly there and partly in Sangamon County, Illinois. For some years he was in the merchandise business at Mount Auburn, Indiana. In October, 1871, in a conveyance drawn by one horse, he and his little family started for Kansas. That was the very month that the great Chicago fire took...

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Biography of William Christee Smyser

William Christee Smyser, who died at Sterling, Kansas, August 9, 1917, had been for thirty-five years a resident of that section of the state. Few men have assumed and carried out to such a successful conclusion the larger responsibilities of business affairs. One of the outstanding characteristics of big business men is a quiet efficiency of performance that handles a great volume of work with a notable absence of noise and confusion. This quiet efficiency was a mark of Mr. Smyser’s entire career. Under his direction large affairs were transacted and things got themselves done in the form of concrete results, but in such a way as to attract little notice to the source of the power and energy. The foundation of his business success was laid during his connection with the broom corn industry of Western Kansas. For a number of years he was one of the most extensive dealers in this crop, buying in carload lots. After he gave this up he concentrated all his time upon the buying and feeding of sheep, and was undoubtedly one of the biggest producers of mutton and wool in the State of Kansas. He amassed a large property in farm land and always lived in close touch with the soil. He was a student of farming from its scientific as well as practical point of view. He knew and understood...

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Biography of Charles M. Branch

Charles M. Branch, a resident of Kansas since 1873, is a banker of thirty years experience and is president of the Citizens Bank of Hutchinson, one of the few institutions in the state with resources of over $1,000,000. Mr. Branch was born at Vinton, Benton County, Iowa, September 27, 1859. His English ancestors first settled in Vermont, and his grandfather, Minor Branch, moved his family from that state to Northern Indiana in pioneer times, and died in Indiana before Charles M. Branch was born. Phineas C. Branch, father of the Hutchinson banker, was one of the pioneer homesteaders of Reno County, Kansas. He was born in Vermont in 1825, spent part of his boyhood in his native state, and went with his parents to LaPorte County, Indiana, where he grew to manhood. He married at Galena, Illinois, and soon afterwards moved to Vinton County, Iowa, where he located on a farm. In 1861 he enlisted as a private in the Thirteenth Regiment of Iowa Infantry and was all through the war, a faithful soldier in practically every engagement in which his regiment participated. He was in many of the important campaigns of the Middle West and fought at Shiloh and Vicksburg. After the war he took up dentistry, practicing both at Vinton, Iowa, and Galena, Illinois. In 1873, coming to Kansas, he exercised his old soldier’s rights and homesteaded...

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Biography of Judge James Neal McGee

Judge James Neal McGee, now in his third consecutive term as probate judge of Rice County, was one of the early settlers in the county and had lived here continuously for almost forty years. Judge McGee had that depth of character which is due to a long and diversified experience in practical affairs and in dealings with men. All these qualifications he had brought to his present position, where he had been instrumental in the delicate adjustment of human relationships and of property matters such as come before the probate tribunal. Judge McGee was born near Mount Zion in Muskingum County, Ohio, March 20, 1843. His father, Robert McGee, was born in 1809 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Those familiar with Washington County will perhaps regard his birthplace as evidence in itself that he was a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian. In fact he was descended from one of two Scotch brothers who came to America in colonial times and one of them settled in Southwestern Pennsylvania in Washington County. Robert McGee belonged to that branch of the Presbyterian Church known as the United Presbyterians and was a very active member and an elder for years. He grew up in his native county, when a young man removed to Muskingum County, Ohio, and married there, went to Mercer County, Ohio, in 1853 and to Mercer County, Illinois, in 1863. He spent his active...

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Biography of Leroy E. Quinlan

Leroy E. Quinlan, though admitted to the bar less than two years ago, had made a most promising beginning of a successful legal career and is now justifying the confidence of his friends and supporters by his administration of the office of county attorney of Rice County. Mr. Quinlan is a native of Kansas, was born at Hoisington May 22, 1893. His grandfather, Charles Michael Quinlan, was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1832, came to America when a young man, settled on a farm in Indiana, married there, and enlisted and went all through the Civil war as a Union soldier. He was with General Sherman on the Atlanta campaign and march to the sea and after the war he resumed farming and in a few years brought his family to Barton County, Kansas. He finally retired from the farm and spent his last years in Woods County, Oklahoma, where he died in 1902. W. J. Quinlan, father of County Attorney Quinlan, was born April 6, 1869, in Northern Indiana and was a small child when his parents came out to Barton County, Kansas. In that frontier district he grew up and married and spent several years as a railroad man. At the opening of the Cherokee strip in 1893 he went to Oklahoma, joined in the rush, and was one of those fortunate in securing a homestead....

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Biography of Charles C. Shumway

Charles C. Shumway, who had been a resident of Rice County for over thirty years, was formerly a farmer and rancher and for the past five years had been a leading factor in the Little River State Bank, of which he is president. Mr. Shumway is of old colonial stock. His ancestry in the paternal line goes back to Peter Shumway, who was born in 1635 and came to America from France between 1660 and 1675. He was of Huguenot stock. He was on the roll of colonial soldiers of Massachusetts as early as 1675. He was called out for service in a number of Indian uprisings and was in the war against the Narragansett tribes and helped capture their stronghold in Rhode Island. He was often called “Peter the Soldier.” His military service took him in the ranks of the earliest of American minute men. Some interesting items are found in connection with his estate. This estate which he left was valued at 83 pounds, 16 shillings, 6 pence, and one of the papers bears the following notation: “Apprised by us this 10th of June, 1695.” His wife, Frances Shumway, and her sons managed this property successfully until about 1714, when by reason of increasing bodily infirmity she was admonished of providing for its distribution, and on April 3, 1714, she made her last will and testament. The...

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Biography of Henry W. Schroeder

Henry W. Schroeder has been in active business as a merchant at Chase for a quarter of a century, and now had the largest general store in that part of Rice County. His distinction rests not solely upon his business success, but also upon an active and public spirited performance of many public duties. Mr. Schroeder was born in Germany, February 1, 1872, but had lived in Kansas since he was seven years of age. His father, Fred Schroeder, born in Germany in 1848, brought his family to the United States in 1879, and first located at Great Bend, Kansas, but in 1880 moved to Ellinwood, where he died in 1902. He followed various lines of employment and for the last eight years of his life was city marshal of Ellinwood. He was a republican and a member of the Lutheran Church. His widow, Mary, who was born in Germany in 1844, still lives at Ellinwood. Henry W. was the oldest of their children. William is a tinner by trade and lives at Claflin, Kansas; Fred is a hardware merchant at Kiowa, Kansas; Maggie is the wife of Dr. E. Smith, a physician and surgeon at Oakland, California; Ella is a trained nurse at Cripple Creek, Colorado; Edward is employed in a store at Ellinwood. Henry W. Schroeder secured his early education in the public schools of Kansas, chiefly...

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Biography of Robert Dinsmore

Robert Dinsmore, whose interests in Rice County and the City of Lyons cover a long period of years, had been successful both as a merchant and farmer, and represents a solid and substantial old family in Western Kansas. Mr. Dinsmore was born in Pike County, Illinois, August 27, 1863. The paternal ancestry had been in America since colonial days and it is recalled that a Lord Dinsmore of another branch of the same family accompanied General Lafayette on the latter’s second visit to the United States. Robert Dinsmore’s grandfather was also named Robert, and in the early years of the last century went from Kentucky to Iowa and soon afterwards to Pike County, Illinois, where he spent the rest of his days as a farmer and died in 1884. Hiram Dinsmore, father of Robert, was born in Kentucky in 1839 and was still a boy when his parents settled in Pike County, Illinois, where he grew up and married. He was a merchant, miller and farmer in Illinois and in 1862 he enlisted in Company E of the Fiftieth Illinois Infantry and saw active service in the war until its close. Most of his service was in the campaigns along the Mississippi River. In September, 1878, he arrived in Kansas, traveling by railroad as far as Sterling and then driving across the country to Lyons. In this then frontier...

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