Location: Topeka Kansas

Biography of Frank P. MacLennan

Frank P. MacLennan is a fortunate man. Kansas is fortunate in having him as a citizen. As a youth he took from this state the raw materials which by the alehemy of a resourceful and independent mind and a vigorous ambition he transmuted into a career which has been of even greater beneflt to the state than it has been to himself. First and last Mr. MacLennan is a newspaper man. He knows how to write, especially when the subject is something not directly counected with himself. In furnishing the data to the editor of this new History of Kansas self-respect and modesty kept the copy boy waiting longer than he ever does when called upon for editorials or column articles on the most diverse subjects and topics. What is said in the following paragraphs concerniug him is partly in his own words, and partly such comment as seems appropriate to a better understanding of the man and his work. He was born March 1, 1855, in Springfield, Ohio, and lived in that state until at the age of fifteen his parents, Kenneth and Adelia M. (Bliss) MacLennan, moved to Emporia, Kansas. Though the facts are simply told, there is a great deal of moral inspiration in the story of his early eareer. “When I was a boy at Springfield I hung around the printing offices, folded papers and...

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Biography of John S. Dean

John S. Dean, of Topeka, has been a Kansas lawyer for over thirty years, was for five years United States district attorney and by the force of his ability and his acknowledged service in many capacities is undoubtedly one of the foremost living lawyers of the state. His birth occurred in Seneca County, Ohio, November 11, 1861, and he is a son of William O. and Harriet J. (Curtiss) Dean. Mr. Dean was well educated, having attended college at Oberlin and determined upon the law as a profession when quite young. He became a student in the office of Judge James Pillars at Tiffin, Ohio, and in 1883, at the age of twenty-two, took the examination before the Ohio State Supreme Court. He was admitted to the bar, and in the same year came west to Kansas and established his home and office at Marion. Being well grounded in the principles of law, a hard worker, and possessing natural qualifications to an unusual degree for his chosen profession, success followed almost as a matter of course. It is likely that he would have made a success of medicine, the ministry or in commercial lines, for he is the type of man who would succeed in almost any environment and in any line of endeavor he might select. In the language of a well known citizen of Kansas Mr. Dean...

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Biographical Sketch of David Gladstone Page

David Gladstone Page, son of Thomas Page, whose career as one of the leading millers of Kansas has been sketched on preceding pages, is a native of Topeka, and for the past fifteen years has been closely identifled with the Page milling interests of that city. He was born January 7, 1881, at the family home at 831 North Quincy Street in Topeka. His early training was acquired in the public schools, and in 1899 he graduated from the Topeka High School. After two years as a farmer he entered his father’s office in 1900, and for a number of years has held the position of secretary of the Thomas Page Milling Company and is the wheat buyer and sales manager for the firm. In 1912 David G. Page married Miss Mary Sherrard Kerr of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father, Dr. David Ramsay Kerr, is a widely known educator. In May, 1916, he was elected president of Bellevue College at Omaha, Nebraska. Mr. and Mrs. Page are the parents of two sons: Thomas Page and David Ramsay...

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Biography of Thomas Page

For upwards of half a century, Thomas Page has been one of the prominent commercial figures in Kansas. With possibly one exception, he is the oldest miller in the state, and for years has been a factor in the milling and grain interests and as much as any other individual has contributed to make Topeka a center for the manufacture of flour. A native of Scotland, he was born in the little manufacturing hamlet of Dunshalt in Fifeshire, September 3, 1843. With a practical schooling he began an apprenticeship in the milling business. For some time he was employed in a mill on the River Clyde, where he daily witnessed the arrival and departure of some of the great ocean vessels which brought to him all the sense of mystery and the messages of far off lands which the sight of them inspires. No doubt it was the vessels plying between America and Great Britain that gave him his first definite idea of making the United States his future home. It was in 1866, when he was twenty-three years of age, that he took passage on one of these vessels for America. Not long after his arrival he found employment at his trade in Albany, New York. Then in 1869 he started westward, for a short time worked in Peoria and for a longer time at Rockford, Illinois. At...

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Biography of Harry R. Whittelsey

Harry R. Whittelsey, president and manager of The Whittelsey Mercantile Company, which operates a chain of grocery stores in Topeka, and is one of the largest retail grocery firms in the state. A native of Redbank, New Jersey, Harry R. Whittelsey has been a resident of Topeka since. November 1, 1881, at which time he was a boy of thirteen. He was born December 5, 1868, a son of William Channcey and Grace M. (Hindes) Whittelsey. Of the six children there were four sons, Louis, Burt, Harry and William, Jr. The Whittelsey family were very prominent in the East. Grandfather W. C. Whittelsey was the first senior surgeon general of the United States navy, and held that office for a number of years. Harry Whittelsey’s maternal graudfather Hindes was a prominent lawyer of Littletown, New Hampshire, was the first librarian of the city library there, and during the War of 1812 he gave the United States Government $60,000 in cash. In return he received a warrant for a tract of land in Virginia. His heirs lost this property, since the records were burned with the court house, and being lost the heirs were not able to prove conclusively either the right to the land or its location. W. C. Whittelsey, father of Harry R., was educated in district schools and in a college in the South. During the Civil...

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Biographical Sketch of Luther C. Challis

Perhaps Luther C. Challis, nearly forty years a citizen of Atchison, is best known as a pioneer railroad man. He was born in New Jersey January 26, 1829, and for some years before moving West was engaged in business in Philadelphia and Boonville, Missouri. In 1855 he located in Atchison and joined his brother as one of the first merchants of that town. He afterward became a banker, and maintained a profitable ferry across the Missouri River until the building of the bridge in 1875. Mr. Challis was elected to a seat in the Territorial Council of 1857-58, made vacant by the resignation of Joseph P. Carr in January, 1858. He is generally conceded to be the father of the Central Branch of the Union Pacifie Railroad, having framed the bill to authorize its construction, secured its passage, and negotiated the treaty with the Kickapoo Indians for securing its right-of-way through their territory. Mr. Challis was also one of the incorporators of the Atchison & St. Joseph Railway, the first railroad built in the state, and one of the founders of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. He died in Atchison, July 26,...

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Biography of Lewis T. Hussey

Within the limits of Kansas there is probably no better informed insurance man than Lewis T. Hussey, who is now filling the responsible position of state fire marshal at Topeka. Mr. Hussey is the only son of Jerry Hussey of Williamsburg, reference to whom is made on other pages. Born in Clermont County, Ohio, November 19, 1866, Lewis T. Hussey came with his parents to Kansas when two years old, and in his early life imbibed the spirit of Kansas prairie. His youth was spent on a farm, where he learned all the duties of a Kansas country place during the ’80s, and his education came from the distrist schools and from the Burlington High School, where he was graduated in 1888. However, his real life work has been in the field of insurance. While his father was register of deeds of Osage County he served as deputy until 1893, and he then established in Kansas what was known as the Metropolitan Aceident Association, which subsequently became the Continental Casualty Company, and Mr. Hussey represented it as state agent. For nearly twenty-five years he has been active in the insurance business, and has also rendered important service as an adjuster of fire losses. In 1908 with others he organized the Osage Fire Insurance Company, of which he was one of the directors, a member of the executive committee and...

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Biography of John MacDonald

John MacDonald of Topeka has probably done more for the cause of education in Kansas than any other one man, and in saying this no disparagement is intended for the scores of men and women who have devoted much of their lives to educational work. He may well be distinguished as a pioneer in the method of reason as applied to learning. His kindly personality has left a deep impress for good, and many who have achieved distinction in the different walks of life are indebted to him for their early training. Throughout his career he has evidently been impressed with the importance of the great truth that to educate is more important than to govern, since to train men wisely for self-government is more important than to govern them untrained. He is one of the men who have belped to vitalize education and the school system of the great State of Kansas. John MacDonald was born February 6, 1843, at Linshader, in the Lewis, a short distance from the Standing Stones of Callernish in the Parish of Uig, in the Hebrides. His birthplace will recall to a great many the land of Sheila, the “Princess of Thule,” made famous in the novel of that name by Black. When he was very small his people removed to the mainland of Scotland, to Gairloch in Wester Ross, where he was...

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Biographical Sketch of George Marshall Crawford

George Marshall Crawford, the only son of Governor Crawford, was born at Emporia, Kansas, July 10, 1872, and for a number of years has been a prominent newspaper man and publisher at Topeka. His education came from the public schools of Topeka and the preparatory department at Washburn College, and in 1894 he graduated A. B. from Yale University. For three years he was a reporter on the Topeka Capital, but since September, 1897, has been manager of the Mail Printing Honse, in which he is a partner. Mr. Crawford is an active republican, an eighteen degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of the Knights and Ladies of Security, the Knights of the Maccabees, the Topeka Country Club and Topeka Commercial Club. On November 6, 1895, he married Hortense Kelly, daughter of Rev. Bernard Kelly, who for many years was prominent in Kansas affairs. Mr. and Mrs. Crawford have two children: George Marshall, Jr., and...

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Biography of Col. Thomas W. Scudder

Few of the Kansas territorial pioneers are still living. One of them is Col. Thomas W. Scudder, of Topeka. Colonel Scudder made a splendid record as a soldier with the fighting columns of the First Kansas Cavalry during the Civil war. He also had many interesting experiences in the border warfare in 1857. Much of his Kansas experience was on a pre-emption claim of 103 acres, the place where he now lives, before the war in Shawnes County, and he has long been a resident of Topeka, where he has enjoyed the association and friendship of many prominent men. He is of very old and prominent American stock. He was born on Long Island in New York State, September 15, 1834, and is now in his eighty-third year. His father was Thomas Scudder, and the ancestry before him contains four successive Thomas Scudders. The Scudders were of English origin and coming to America in colonial days settled in Boston and afterwards moved to Long Island, New York, where members of the family established the Town of Huntington under charter from King William and Queen Mary. Many of the early Scudders were sailors, but now for many generations have been chiefly land owners and identifled with agricultural pursuits. The most numerous branches of the family are still found in the Eastern states. Thomas W. Scudder grew up on Long Island,...

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Biography of Samuel J. Crawford

Samuel J. Crawford was one of the first members of the Kansas State Legislature, by service on the field of battle attained the rank of brigadier-general during the Civil war, and was the third governor of the state. He was one of the history makers of early Kansas, and what he did to influence the early political development of Kansas must be told on other pages. Following is a brief sketch of his personal career. He was born in Lawrence County, Indiana, April 10, 1835, grew up on a farm, attended the graded schools of Bedford, Indiana, and the law school of Cincinnati College. His parents were William and Jane (Merrow) Crawford, who were natives of North Carolina and had moved to Indiana Territory in 1815. His paternal grandparents were James and Mary (Fraser) Crawford, his grandfather having been a Revolutionary soldier. In remote ancestry the Crawfords were Scotch. Samuel J. Crawford arrived in Kansas Territory and began the practice of law at Garnett on March 1, 1859. He had the personal courage, the mental talents and other qualities so essential for leadership in the troubled country of Kansas at that time, and he did not long remain a struggling lawyer in Garnett. In May of the same year of his arrival he attended the Ossawatomie convention and participated in the organization of the republican party in Kansas. In...

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Biography of William F. M. Arny

Kansas has produced no more eceentric, generous or beloved character than William F. M. Arny. Although not a native of the state, he was a son in all that stands for its independence and humanity. He was born in the District of Columbia, March 6, 1813, and after graduating from Bethany College, West Virginia, acted for a time as secretary for Alexander Campbell the famons Disciple preacher. At the age of twenty-eight he was on intimate terms with all of the leading men of the nation, especially with such as Abraham Lincoln and others of force and originality. In 1850 Mr. Arny settled in McLean County, Illinois; was active in the organization of the republican party, and in 1856 was a committeeman in that state appointed to raise money to settle Free State men in Kansas. In that year he made a trip of investigation to the territory, and its condition so appealed to him that in the spring of 1857 he settled in Anderson County. The people of Kansas, who had come thither to stay and build a real commonwealth of equals, accepted William F. M. Arny as a valuable accession to their forces, electing him both to the Leavenworth constitutional convention of 1858 and the House of Representatives of the First State Legislature, which assembled with the outbreak of the Civil war. At that time he was...

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Biography of Hon. John Shaw Dawson

On the roll of men who have been prominently identified with the civie affairs of the State of Kansas during the past two decades, the name of Hon. John Shaw Dawson occupies a leading and conspienous place. When he came to this state, in 1887, it was as a country school teacher, but he possessed the ambition and ability necessary to carry him to high position, and it was not long are he became connected with public matters, and, being admitted to the bar in 1898, rose rapidly in his profession and in public confidence. After serving in various positions of trust, in 1914 he was elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court, where he still remains as an associate justice. Judge Dawson was born at Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland, June 10, 1869, a son of James J. and Annie (Shaw) Dawson. His father spent the greater part of his life in railroad work in Great Britain, but in his later years followed merchandising in Scotland and held the position of postmaster in the village where he yet resides. John Shaw Dawson was primarily educated in the public schools, later attanding the Robert Gorden’s College, at Aberdeen, an institution of wide repute as a superior technical school. It was his father’s desire that he should enter the ministry for his life work, but, meeting with opposition from the prospective dominie,...

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Biography of Arthur W. Bronson

For the past seventeen years a resident of Topeka, Mr. Bronson has been a considerable factor in the material prosperity of the state, particularly in connection with the agricultural interests. As resident agent for a firm of foreign capitalists, he has been instrumental during his time in handling and distributing over $25,000,000 cash to the land owners and farmers of Kansas and adjoining states, and he is perhaps as well informed as any man in the state on the subject of agricultural credit, land values and farming interests from the financial standpoint. A native of Herkimer County, New York, where he was born June 3, 1855, Arthur W. Bronson is a son of O. W. and Elizabeth (Harter) Bronson. His family have been Americans for many generations, and O. W. Bronson was a carriage manufacturer, a trade which he adopted from his father. O. W. Bronson also owned a farm in New York, and it was in the country that Arthur W. Bronson spent the first twelve years of his life. He attended the public schools, and in 1877 graduated in the civil engineering department of Willston Seminary in Massachusetts. Though prepared for a technical profession, Mr. Bronson never practiced civil engineering, but instead engaged in merchandising at Herkimer, New York, and not finding that business to his liking he came west in 1884, and for three years was...

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Biography of Charles G. Blakely

Charles G. Blakely, whose attainments as a business man have made his name familiar not only in his home City of Topeka but in many parts of the state, has been a resident of Kansas since the fall of 1883, and his first experience here was as teacher in Brown County. His is the interesting story of a boy born and reared in the mountainens district of Eastern Kentucky, where people lived on the plane of the simplest existence but not always of the highest ideals. There, in his early youth, came a stimulus to his ambition and hope which raised him out of his circumstances, and by self-help he struggled upward on the road of aspiration and finally made himself a place among the world’s influential workers. In the early days of Kentucky about the time Daniel Boone made history from the “dark and bloody ground,” members of the Blakely and Brown families from North Carolina and Virginia respectively settled within the borders of that commonwealth, and aided in reclaiming it from the domain of the wilderness, fought wild beasts and wild Indians, and for several generations lived peacefully and contentedly in the mountainous districts of the state. Many years later John Chestnut Blakely, a native of the mountains of Laurel County and Sarah Brown of the Bluegrass region, met and married, and they were the parents of...

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