Location: Saline County KS

Biography of James R. Mead

James R. Mead, one of the founders of Wichita and one of the noted pioneers of Kansas, was a Vermonter, born May 3, 1836, and at an early age showed his love for out-of-doors life. During his school days he read and dreamed of the Great American Desert, and in the fall of 1859 started for the plains. For four years he traded with the various Indian tribes in the present State of Kansas, hunted buffaloes and finally established a post on the Salina River, about twenty miles from its mouth. In 1861 he contracted his first marriage, and two years afterward the couple moved from the trading post to the settlement at Salina, then growing into a village. Later, he established a trading post at Towanda, farther west on the Whitewater River, and while residing there organized a great buffalo hunt which first made him acquainted with the charming country at the mouth of the Little Arkansas. There he established a branch trading post. During the Civil war the Confederates drove away the Wichita Indians who had occupied that locality, but Mr. Mead, as a Union agent, kept them in hand and loyal to the Federal cause. In 1864 he was elected to represent Butler County and the lower house, and in 1868 was sent to the State Senate by the district comprising the four counties of Morris,...

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Biography of Charles Wood Davis

A significantly varied, distinguished and interesting career was that of the late Charles Wood Davis, and fortunate it was for the State of Kansas that he early established his residence within its borders, for his splendid initiative and executive powers came most effectively into play in the furtherance of the eivic, industrial and general material development and progress of this commonwealth. He was one of the famous argonauts of the year 1849 in California, was long and prominently identified with railway interests, was a recognized authority in all matters pertaining to the basic industry of agriculture, was a pioneer in the exploiting of the coal-mining industry in Kansas, and there seemed to be no bounds set about his constructive energy and broad-minded public spirit. By very reason of his two personal names he became widely known and highly honored throughout the Middle West by the sobriquet of “Cotton Wood Davis.” He was one of the venerable and honored pioneer citizens of Sedgwick County, Kansas, at the time of his death, and it is signally fitting that in this history of the state and its people be entered a tribute to the memory of this strong, resourceful and noble man. Charles Wood Davis was born at South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, on the 17th of April, 1832, and was a scion of the staunchest of colonial stock in New England, where his...

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Biography of Joseph Little Bristow, Hon.

No Kansan in recent years has rendered such distinguished public service to the nation at large as former Senator Bristow, now chairman of the State Public Utilities Commission. Mr. Bristow had been a resident of Kansas since he was twelve years old. From his father, who was a Methodist minister of the old type, he inherited a courage of eonvictions, a determined animosity to all public and private dishonesty, and his own life on the Kansas prairies had developed in him a zeal for popular rights and liberties and a fearless statesmanship equally removed from radicalism and reaction. For six years he worked unceasingly in the United States Senate as a champion of progressive doctrines, some of which were typically Kansan in flavor and spirit, but all marked by a steadfast devotion to the national weal. Few men have done more to eradicate systematic graft from public service. He can be described as a progressive republican, but extreme partisanship is not a part of his character. In the Senate he showed himself a reasonable and reasoning advocate of protection. It can be said that he had favored or opposed no measure which he himself did not thoroughly understand. Hence he committed himself to deflnite propositions and specific measures, rather than a general policy. This perhaps explains the fact that he opposed the Payne-Aldrich tariff act of the republican administration,...

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Biography of John M. Danielson

The splendid development of the southern part of Saline County had been largely due to the presence of a colony of thrifty Swedish people who located there about 1869-70. This colony as a whole acquired many thousands of acres in what are now the Townships of Smoky View and Smolan, and the Swedish people have predominated in that section ever since the original colonization. While for many years he had been one of the most conspicuous among. the Swedish people of Saline County, John M. Danielson had a special distinction as a settler there, since he was in advance by a year or so of the main colony. In fact he was a pioneer of pioneers in Saline County, and he is regarded almost as a patriarch among his people in that section. He was born on a farm in the District of Smolan, Sweden, July 5, 1837, a son of Daniel and Anna (Peterson) Danielson. He grew up on his father’s farm and had meager advantages in the local schools, which were only fitfully maintained and were of meager quality as to instruction when he was a boy. In August, 1857, at the age of twenty, he sought a better destiny in the New World. He came to this country without capital. His first location was in Kane County, Illinois, where he put in two years working as...

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Biography of John Bunyan Adams

John Bunyan Adams was born in Butler County, Kansas. That county had been his home all his life, and beginning there as a country school teacher and subsequently entering banking, he had achieved a reputation built up on constructive service that had made him widely known over the state as a legislator, banker and financier. He is a former president of the State Bankers’ Association, and for years had been a recognized leader in his part of the state in the republican party. His birth occurred on March 25, 1873, on his father’s farm near Potwin in Butler County. He is a son of Amos and Nancy M. (Cain) Adams. He traces his ancestry back in the paternal line to Joshua Adams, who came from England in 1660 and settled at Braintree, Massachusetts. In the successive generations there have been soldiers in every war, beginning with the French and Indian, and through the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and the family had also been represented worthily in the industries, professions and business affairs and as pioneers in the making of new commonwealths in Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Illinois and Kansas. Mr. Adams’ grandfather, William Adams, was born at Hagerstown, Maryland, 1801, and about 1840 he settled among the pioneers in Fulton County, Illinois. He was a substantial farmer, and a man of wide influence in his community. His brother Joseph Adams...

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Biography of Charles Wilbur McCampbell

Associate professor of animal husbandry in the State Agricultural College at Manhattan and secretary of the State Livestock Registry Board whose offices are in the same city, Charles W. McCampbell is a native Kansan and for ten years had broadened and amplified his experience and authoritative knowledge of all phases of the livestock industry, not only with reference to Kansas but to the world at large. While he had perhaps rendered his greatest service as an instructor of the younger generation of Kansas farmers, some of his practical demonstration work and experiments have attracted national attention from livestock men. He was born on his father’s farm in Marshall County, Kansas, February 1, 1882, is still a young man, and his usefulness had not yet reached its prime. He comes of two old and highly respected American families. The McCampbells are of Scotch ancestry, and from that stock he inherits the traits and characteristics which have made Scotch people leaders in every part of the world. In the maternal line he is of English and German ancestry. In both lines the family had been represented in Kansas since pioneer times. His maternal grandfather, Heber Freeman, came to Kansas in 1862, settling in Washington County. The paternal grandfather, William McCampbell arrived in Kansas in 1869 and also settled in Marshall County. Both grandparents came from Iowa. The parents, James A. and...

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Biography of Alfred Clark Pierce

At the age of eighty-one, bearing the impress of a life of remarkable experience, a pioneer builder of Kansas, for many years identified with its public and business life, this venerable citizen is now living in comfortable retirement at Junction City. A small party of free state men arrived in Kansas in 1856. It comprised eight or ten men. One of them was Preston B. Plumb, whose name is a household word in Kansas. Alfred Clark Pierce was also in that little party. At Iowa City, Iowa, he had first met Mr. Plumb, and they were ever afterwards intimate friends. Besides coming to Kansas as pioneer settlers and for the purpose of lending their individual aid to the free state movement, this party convoyed a very significant train of supplies, including 250 Sharpe rifles, a supply of ammunition, and a small brass cannon. Those who are acquainted with the seenes anacted on Kansas soil in subsequent months need not be told to what purpose these military supplies were devoted. At Manhattan the party divided. Mr. Pierce went to what was then the far western Kansas, and located a claim on which the City of Salina had since been built. However, in November, 1856, he abandoned the claim and went to Ogden. There he was employed in cutting logs and later took up surveying. Mr. Pierce permanently settled at Junction...

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Biography of Wallace H. Johnson

Wallace H. Johnson. The newspaper men of Kansas, as a rule, need no glowing encomiums from other professions or the public. Their guild includes names that are as household words from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The newspapers of Kansas are moulding public opinion daily through the accurate knowledge and wide vision of the men in the editorial chair, and that the state had made such remarkable progress and had, in many ways, pushed so far ahead of many of her sister states of the Union, may justly be credited to the facile pen that gives expression to truths, calling the necessity for reform to thousands of readers, courageously telling the truth concerning shams and subterfuges and giving praise to the uplifting movements that hearten and encourage the people. Many cities in this far favored state have such wise, enlightened and earnest editors, and such an one had Saline in Wallace H. Johnson, who is the editor and owner of the Salina Sun. Wallace H. Johnson was born in Ohio, May 20, 1838. In 1856 he accompanied his parents to Kansas and practically had spent his time here ever since. He attended the public schools in his native state but the only university he ever was graduated from was that of experience. he was probably born to be a journalist, for his first ambition was to learn the printer’s...

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Biographical Sketch of Joseph A. Muir

One of the farms that gives a character of progressiveness to Saline County is owned and occupied by Joseph A. Muir, one of the younger representatives of the agricultural industry in this state. This farm is near Mentor in Walnut Township. It is a farm that Mr. Muir had known all his life and he was born there. He had 200 acres of land, and well adapted for the raising of alfalfa, which is one of his principal crops. In every point it is modern in equipment and facilities. He had substantial buildings, including barns and silos for the care of his crops, and is working the land in such a way as to secure the highest possible yield consistent with its continued fertility and productiveness. On that farm Mr. Muir was born July 5, 1889, a son of William and Mary (Crowther) Muir. Both parents were born in Scotland. His father was a pioneer Kansan, and took up the homestead in Walnut Township where his son Joseph new resided. William Muir died by accidental drowning in the Smoky Hill River in 1899. Joseph was one of five children, two sons and three daughters, named: Nettie, now wife of Henry Muir; John, a farmer in Saline County; Mary, wife of Victor Green, a farmer now living at Salina; Joseph A.; and Nellie, who is unmarried and resided with her...

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Biography of Andrew G. Beck

Andrew G. Beck is entitled to distinction among the pioneers of Saline County, Kansas, where his family located, among the first of the Swedish colonists, nearly half a century ago. Mr. Beck’s material affairs have been wonderfully prospered. At the same time he had shouldered a large share of those responsibilities which devolve upon good citizenship. In helping himself he had helped others and his name is everywhere spoken with honor and respect. His birth occurred in Sweden May 20, 1860. His parents were Nelse Johnson and Maria (Johnson) Beck. His father was born March 1, 1832. It was in 1868, when Andrew was eight years of age, and after he had learned his first lessons in school, that the little family left their native land and immigrated to America. Nelse Beck was the first settler to locate and remain in the Salemsburg region of the Swedish colony in Saline County. He secured a tract of government land in Smolan Township. He had been able to live and support his family in Sweden, but had barely enough capital to get them all across the ocean and out to Kansas. Then followed years of effort, each one seeing him a little further along the road to prosperity. He had the trials and misfortones of the pioneer, but he surmounted all obstacles and in time was one of the largest land...

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Biography of Samuel H. Waddle

Samuel H. Waddle is now the oldest original settler in his locality of Saline County. He went there more than fifty years ago. He knew Central Kansas when it was an almost unlimited stretch of prairie. The buffalo and the Indians were still here and the frontier civilization was a straggling line of homestead shacks and habitations, putting up a bold front against the domain of the wilderness. He suffered those privations due to searcity of crops, isolation from large towns and settlements, and he experienced the prairie fires, the long continued drought, the grasshoppers and every other plague and hardship so frequently recounted in these pages. Mr. Waddle was a young man, only a short time previously having been released from the army, when he came to Kansas. He had grown to a hearty old age in this state, and his exertions have made him financially independent. He is one of the leading farmers and stock raisers in the vicinity of Solomon. Mr. Waddle was born November 22, 1844, in a log house on a farm in Des Moines County, Iowa. His parents were William and Sarah (Braden) Waddle. William Waddle was born in Fayette County, Ohio, in 1809 and died at Topeka, Kansas, October 4, 1889. He came to Kansas in 1866, at the same time as his son Samuel, and acquired a tract of government land...

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Biography of Maurice McAuliffe

Maurice McAuliffe, of Salina, had not only fitted himself comfortably and substantially into the agricultural affairs of Kansas as an individual farmer and stock man, but had been one of the leaders in the new agrisultural movement and uplift. He is most widely known as one of the fine factors in the organization of the Farmers Union of Kansas, and is now serving his ninth term as president of that vigorous organization. He was also a prominent figure in the Alliance movement. The Farmers Union of Kansas is affiliated with the larger organization known as the National Farmers Union, which fulfills the purposes and exercises an influence in behalf of the farmers similar to that exorcised by the United States Chamber of Commerce, for instance, for the industrial interests of America. Mr. McAuliffe was born on a farm in County Limerick, Ireland, December 24, 1853, is a son of Dennis and Bridget (Fitzgerald) McAuliffe and the youngest of a family of sixteen children. Mr. McAuliffe came to America in 1871, when he was eighteen years of age, and arrived in Kansas in the fall of the same year. He is one of the pioneers of Saline County, where he located in 1874, and for many years had been a successful farmer and stock raiser. His is one of the best improved farms in Saline County, located three miles east...

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Biography of Earl A. Nossaman

Earl A. Nossaman, secretary of the Monarch Cement Company at Humboldt, had lived in Kansas since early infancy, educated himself for the teaching profession, which he followed for a number of years, and was in the drug business before he accepted his present official position with the Monarch Cement Company. He went with this company while it was being reorganised, and as manager of the sales department had had much to do with its successful operations in recent years. His ancestry goes back to Hesse Cassel, Germany, where his great-grandfather was born. Coming to America, this ancestor settled in Pennsylvania. Mr. Nossaman’s grandfather, Lewis Nossaman, served with credit as a Union soldier during the American Civil war. For many years he lived on a farm in Harrison County, Missouri, came from there to Kingman County, Kansas, where he was a pioneer homesteader, and he died at Wellington, Kansas. Earl Adrian Nossaman was born in Harrison County, Missouri, February 18, 1879. His father is Warren Pierce Nossaman, who was born in Iowa in 1853, but when a boy went with his parenta to Harrison County, Missouri, where he grew up and married. He became a farmer, and in the fall of 1879 came to Kansas, first locating in McPherson County and in 1883 taking up a homestead of 160 acres in Kingman County. He developed that as a good farm,...

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Biography of Edward A. Hood

Edward A. Hood, cashier of the Greenleaf State Bank, had had an active career in Kansas for a number of years, at first in the lumber business and leter as a banker. Mr. Hood did not begin life as the son of a wealthy family, but had gained his opportanities by hard work and constant vigilance. He was born at Salem, Arkansas, October 5, 1878. His ancestors in the paternal line were Scotch people. His grandfather, Graham W. Hood, was born in Scotland, came to this country when a young man and settled in Missouri among the pioneers, and for a number of years was engaged in outfltting freighting trains across the plains. He died at Sedalia, Missouri, more than forty years ago. G. W. Hood, father of Edward A, was born at Sedalis, Missouri, in 1842, and was reared and married in that state. In 1863, at the age of twenty one, he enlisted in the Seventh Missouri Cavalry, a Union regiment, and was with it until the close of the war, fighting whackers and also in the campaign against Price through Missouri and Kansas. After the war he entered railroading and also took up the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. From Missouri he went to Salem, Arkansas, thence to Little Rock, and in 1890 moved to Stockton, Kansas. He had been retired from the ministry since...

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Biography of Jacob J. Fisher

Jacob J. Fisher. The thrift and enterprise that brought snecees to the early Kansas farmers were well illustrated in the case of Jacob J. Fisher, who now resided in a comfortable home at Salina, had abundance of this world’s goods for all his future needs, had reared an honorable and honored family, and had now reached that time in life when he can properly shift the heavier responsibilities to younger shoulders. He was born October 10, 1847, on a farm in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. His father, Oleriet Fisher, was born in Germany. Jacob J. was the third in a family of six children, four sons and two daughters, as follows: John, deceased; Elizabeth; Jacob J.; Margaret and George, both deceased; and Joseph. Jacob J. Fisher remained with his parents on the farm until twenty-one, where he developed the strength of body and the resourcefulness of mind which were even more practical assets in his business career than the training he received in the public schools of Cambria County. At the age of twenty-one Jacob Fisher went West. One year was spent in Nebraska, building bridges. In 1870 he came into Kansas and located on government land in Rice County, where he had residence for two years. In 1872 he removed to Saline County, and here again was employed as a bridge carpenter, being connected with the Union Pacific Railroad...

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