Location: Rock Creek Kansas

Biography of James Franklin O’Daniel

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. 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 born in Larue County, Kentucky, October 22, 1840, and his parents were James and Margaret (Howell) O’Daniel. By birth they were Kentuckians but they were of Irish and German ancestry. Of their twelve children, James Franklin was fifth in order of birth. In 1852 they removed with their children to Platte County, Missouri, and resided at Parkville until 1859, in which year they became settlers in Pottawatomie County, Kansas,...

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Biography of Rev. William Knipe

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...

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Biography of Elba Elton Edwards, M. D.

Elba Elton Edwards, M. D. A physician and surgeon of splendid capabilities and with a large practice at Admire, Doctor Edwards is a native of Kansas and represents one of the early families to settle in Lyon County. He was born in Rock Creek, in Jefferson County, Kansas, December 23, 1883. His grandfather, William Edwards, was a native of Germany, coming to this country as a young man and spent the rest of his life on a farm in Ohio. Henry Edwards, father of Doctor Edwards, was born in Ohio in 1842, was reared and married in that state, and during the last ninety days of the Ciyil war served in an Ohio regiment. In 1879 he moved to Valley Falls, in Jefferson County, Kansas, and had lived in that county ever since. After two or three years he moved to Rock Creek, and is still a resident of that community, where he is highly esteemed as one of the early farmers and stockmen. He is a democrat, had served as a member of the township board of trustees and the school board and is active in the United Brethren Church, in which he is a deacon. He married Luna Marshall, who was born in Ohio in 1864. Their children are: Villa, widow of Samuel Gish, who was a farmer, and she resided at Rock Creek; Everett M., who...

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Biography of William B. Wade

William B. Wade. When the pioneers of 1854, who were men of solid worth, as was William B. Wade, later a member of the First Territorial Legislature of Kansas, came to Shawnee County, it was for the peaceful conquest of the soil and for the establishing of permanent homes in which they could rear their families to succeed them with credit to state and parentage. These pioneers were home-seekers, not restless, irresponsible wanderers, and, while many brought a measure of capital, all came with sturdy, industrious habits insuring the earning of it. The historian of today looks back over the intervening period and may, with admiring wonder, contemplate some of the hardships which faced our pioneers of sixty years ago that they overcame through their courage and resourcefulness. History on many a printed page, has told the story of danger and conflict that ensued with the coming of the white man into Kansas, and in 1854 there was still serious menace. While pioneer life was necessarily simple, the most primitive demands of existence made striving necessary, and in Shawnee County self denial was obligatory and the merest comfort a luxury. With no adequate means of heating the rude log cabins, into which came frequently the deepest mysteries of life (birth and death), with no machinery and often with no tools with which to clear or cultivate the wild land...

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