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Location: Venango County PA

Biographical Sketch of I. B. Gurney

I. B. Gurney was born April 10, 1845, near Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Asa H. Gurney, was a native of Ohio, and his mother, Catherine Sortor Gurney, a native Allegany County, New York. When he was ten years of age his parents moved to Lake County, Ohio, where they were located on a farm, and where Mr. Gurney received his education, attending school during the winter for several years, and afterward entered college at Berea, Ohio. In August, 1863, he went to Venango County, Pennsylvania, where he became foreman in the office of the McClintock Oil Company, where he remained until 1866 when he moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, and had charge of a drug and grocery business for a year and then came to Daviess County and settled in Colfax Township. In the fall of 1871 he was appointed United States mail agent on the North Missouri Railroad, and held the position three years when he again went into the drug business at New Castle, Gentry County, finally returning to Daviess County where he has since resided, engaged in teaching and farming. Mr. Gurney has been twice married; first in 1866, to Miss Carrie M. Cole, a native of Ohio, and by whom he had one son; Asa G., born January 25, 1868. He was again married, May 17, 1879, to Miss Marilla Mullins, of Daviess...

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Biographical Sketch of Enoch S. M. Donaldson

Enoch S. M. Donaldson, son of John H. Donaldson, was born January 19, 1840, in Muskingum County, Ohio. When Enoch was two years of age his father moved to Morgan County, Ohio. He remained with his father until he was twenty-two years of age, during which time he worked on the farm and attended school. He was engaged in fanning until 1864, when he went to Venango County, Pennsylvania, where he worked for three years. During part of this time he was employed by an oil company, and a part of the time worked at the shoemaker’s trade. He also learned to be a practical engineer, and followed that profession for a while. In 1867 he went to Morgan County, Ohio, where he remained a few months, when he went to Caldwell County, Missouri, where he was engaged in farming for several years. After this he moved to Sheridan Township in Daviess County, Missouri, where he purchased a farm and engaged in farming. In 1868 he was married to Miss Charity E. McGarvin. They have had six children: Eva, Emmet, Myrtle, Walter, Joseph and Ella...

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Biography of Glenn A. Smith

Glenn Smith, postmaster of Horton, and for many years engaged in the drug business in that city, had lived most of his life, a period of forty-seven years, in Kansas and had well earned a position of esteem as well as material prosperity. His ancestors were Scotch-Irish people who early settled in New York State. It was in New York State that his father, Nathan C. Smith, was born in 1819. Nathan C. Smith spent his early life in New York and afterwards removed to Western Pennsylvania, in that historic region associated with Washington’s exploits during the French and Indian war, Venango County. There he became interested in rafting down the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh. While living in Pennsylvania the Civil war came on and almost at the beginning he enlisted in the Second Pennsylvania Cavalry and was through all the struggle, doing his part as a loyal and brave soldier. He fought at the battles of Gettysburg and in the Wilderness, and was in many of the campaigns led by General Grant until the triumphant conclusion of the war. In 1870 he brought his family West to Kansas and became a pioneer in Marshall County. He traded property for a homestead right and was actively engaged in farming until he retired in 1894. After his retirement he lived in Horton, but his death occurred in 1900 at Frankfort,...

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Biography of Almon S. Senter

An eventful career was that of Colonel Almon S. Senter, who for some years figured conspicuously in connection with the mercantile and official interests of Lincoln County. At the time of his death, March 6, 1899, he was serving as district-court clerk and ex-officio auditor and recorder of Lincoln County, and he was also an enterprising and prominent merchant of Shoshone. A native of the old Granite state, he was born February 18, 1845, and is a representative of one of the old and honored families of New Hampshire, of English descent. His ancestors were early settlers of Londonderry, that state, and one of his great-granduncles served in the Colonial army during the Revolutionary war. The grandfather and father of our subject, both of whom bore the name of Thomas Senter, were natives of New Hampshire, the latter born in Petersboro. He wedded Miss Mary C. Giddings, a native of Temple, New Hampshire, and also a descendant of one of the prominent colonial families. Mr. Senter was an industrious farmer, who followed agricultural pursuits throughout his entire life. Both he and his wife were Methodists in religious belief, and the father lived to be sixty-four years of age, while the mother departed this life in her forty-seventh year, leaving a family of eleven children, the eldest but seventeen years of age, the youngest only three months old. Colonel Senter...

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Biographical Sketch of John Michael Burns

John Michael Burns has been a business man in Independence since 1905, and by the qualities of push and enterprise which are indicative of his character he had developed what is now the largest bakery establishment of the city. He was born in Oil City, Pennsylvania, December 1, 1878, but spent most of his years in Ohio until coming to Kansas. His father Michael Burns, who now resided at Lima, Ohio, was born in Ireland in 1848, and came to this country when a youth. He first lived in Oil City, Pennsylvania, where he married. By trade he is a carpenter and builder. In 1880 he made his home at Rixford, Pennsylvania, from there moved to Bolivar, New York, and since 1887 had been a resident of Lima. He is now retired from the active work of his trade. He is a democrat and a member of the Catholic Church. Michael Burns married Anna Quinn, who is also a native of Ireland. They are the parents of seven children: John M.; Joseph, a printer in the office of the Toledo News-Bee at Toledo, Ohio; Anna, at home with her parents; Robert, a chauffeur at Lima; Cecilia, at home; Kate, wife of C. E. Lohner, a bookkeeper in the offices of the Prairie Oil and Gas Company at Independence, Kansas; and Frances, at home. John M. Burns had his first...

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Biography of Richard Watson Argue

Richard Watson Argue, who died April 24, 1916, was very well and prominently known in the oil industry of the Mid-Continent field, lived at Independence a number of years, and Mrs. Argue, his widow, is still a resident there and had proved her resourcefulness as a business woman in looking after the extensive properties left by Mr. Argue at the time of his death. He was born near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 1, 1845, a son of John Wilson Argue, who was born in County Cavan, Ireland, went to America early in life, and followed farming in Canada. He died on his farm near Ottawa. Reared in Canada, gaining his education in the public schools, Richard W. Argue spent the first twenty-one years of his life at home, and then took up the oil business at Titusville, Pennsylvania. He followed the oil fields, with all the ups and downs and fortunes and vicissitudes of that industry through Pennsylvania, operating in Titusville, Crawford County, Clarion County, and McKean County, and later established himself at Buffalo, New York, becoming an extensive operator in the gas fields in West Seneca. From Buffalo in 1897 he extended his activities into Wood and Allen counties, Ohio, and became a very prominent business man of Lima. In 1963 Mr. Argue came to Kansas, locating in Independence, and thereafter was an oil producer both in Kansas...

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Biography of Herschel C. Porterfield

Herschel C. Porterfield. Thirty-five years in the oil fields and thirty years as a contractor and producer constitute the record of this veteran of an industry which has brought Kansas untold wealth. Like hundreds of men of this class, he has found Independence as the most satisfactory city for residence and business headquarters. In another respect he is typical of perhaps a majority of the oil men of the country–his native state is Pennsylvania. Born in Butler County, August 10, 1856, he was one of several brothers to become identified with the oil industry in one way or another. Up to the age of eighteen he lived at home and attended the public schools of his native county. Then after six years more spent assisting in the work of his father’s farm, he began regular employment as a worker in the oil district, first in Butler, then in Venango County, afterwards in Cattaraugus County, New York, Washington County and Toledo, Ohio, and from the East came to Kansas on April 1, 1903. He spent a time in Chanute, then went to Peru, but since 1904 has had his home and headquarters in Independence. It was in Venango County, Pennsylvania, in 1886, that Mr. Porterfield did his first contracting. He bought a string of tools, and since then has worn out many sets and is now interested in five strings,...

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Biographical Sketch of Isaac Nees

Isaac Nees, farmer, of Brown’s Creek Township, P. O. Jewell City, was born in Venango County, Pa. Removed to Warren County, Ill. Came to Jewell County, Kan., in 1871, and took a homestead twelve miles southwest of Mankato, and is now the owner of 560 acres of land; keeps eighty head of cattle and fifty head of hogs. Mr. Nees’ farm is one of the best in Jewell County, and may be called the model farm of said county. He has each forty acres fenced with hedge, and has splendid improvements. Is a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity. He was married, November 20, 1864, near Havana. Ill., to Miss Sarah A. Edkins, and is the father of ten...

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Biographical Sketch of James Albert Brady

Brady, James Albert; insurance; born, Franklin, Pa., Nov. 16, 1880; son of John and Isabelle Kingman Brady; educated, High School, Union City, Pa., graduate; studied Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., Columbia University, Washington, D. C., and Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Md.; married, Erie, Pa., June 3, 1905, Miriam E. Goodnough; two children, Louise Belle, age 6, and James A. Jr., age 4; came to Cleveland on Dec, 5, 1902, to enter life insurance work for The Mutual Life Insurance Co., in November, 1907, formed a partnership with R. A. Tuttle, the firm to take charge of Northern Ohio for The Midland Mutual Life Insurance Co.; Brady & Tuttle, gen. mgrs. for Northern Ohio for The Midland Mutual Life Insurance Co.; trustee Euclid Avenue Baptist Church; member Phi Kappa Psi National College Fraternity; served as sec’y and pres. of the Cleveland Alumni Assn, in 1903-1904; member Lakewood Tennis...

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Biography of Victor A. Hays

Victor A. Hays is an example of the successful American who began as a telegraph operator and has reached a commanding position in industrial affairs. He is president of the Kansas Natural Gas Company and has spent the greater part of his active career in the oil and gas fields of the East and Southwest. Like many other successful men in the oil and gas industry Victor A. Hays is a native of Venango County, Pennsylvania, and of Irish ancestry. He was born near Oil City on April 27, 1863. He was educated in the public and Normal schools and began his independent career in 1880 by learning telegraphy. He was employed in that work until 1886, when he engaged in the natural gas business, entering the service of the Oil City Fuel Supply Company as bookkeeper, and has since been continuously in that business. Mr. Hays has been identified with the Kansas Natural Gas Company since 1905, beginning as general auditor and holding that position until he was elected president in December, 1914. His home has been at Independence since 1910. He is also president of the subsidiary companies of Kansas Natural Gas Company, including the Marnet Mining Company, the Edgar Oil Company, and the California Oil and Gas Company. Mr. Hays resides at 216 South Fifth Street. He is a democrat, a member of the Presbyterian Church,...

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Biography of Charles Hiram Cook

Charles Hiram Cook. Prominent among the men who have long been identified with the oil industry in Kansas as producers and drillers is found Charles Hiram Cook, of Coffeyville. From the time he left school he has followed the oil and gas fields in various parts of the country, and with the great development of the Kansas fields became interested here and has since played a part in the growth and advancement of the industry. Mr. Cook was born at Springboro, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1863, and is a son of Francis Henry and Emily (Fisher) Cook. The Cook family originating in England, was transferred to America during Colonial days, when the progenitor settled in Pennsylvania. In that state was born the great-grandfather of Charles Hiram Cook, who followed farming all his life and there passed away. He was the head of a large family, and among his children was George R. Cook, the grandfather of Charles H., born in 1809, at Springboro. He was reared as farmer and followed that vocation for a number of years, but also followed other lines of industry, his abilities and energies carrying him into railroad grading contracting and sawmilling. He was originally a whig and later a republican, and was a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Ohurch. As agriculturist, business man and citizen he won and held the respect...

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Biographical Sketch of Monroe A. Ullman

Ullman, Monroe A.; business; born, Franklin, Pa., April 5, 1866; son of Morris and Lena Abraham Ullman; educated, 1872 to 1887, Mayflower School and Spencerian Business College; married, Albany, N. Y., Nov. 15, 1892, Florence Fuld; issue, two sons, Howard, born April 5, 1894, and Rufus, born May 30, 1895; vice pres. The Ullman-Emstein Co.; director German-American Savings Bank Co.; after he left school, he started with Ullman-Emstein Co., wholesale liquors; has been with them ever since; was made vice pres. when the firm was incorporated; member Hebrew Relief Ass’n; member Knights of Pythias, Washington Lodge; Cleveland Lodge, No. 16, I. 0. B. B.; Hebrew Free Lean Ass’n; member Wilson Ave. Temple, Excelsior, and Athletic Clubs, Chamber of Commerce, Forest City Consistory of U. C. T., and Cleveland Commercial Traveler’s...

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Biographical Sketch of Alfred Burns Smythe

Smythe, Alfred Burns; banking and real estate; born, Nevada, O., Aug. 4, 1874; son of Marcus and Mary Burns Smythe; educated, common schools and Oberlin Academy and Oberlin College, Oberlin, O.; married, Oil City, Pa., Nov. 13, 1902, Catherine Loomis; issue, two sons, mgr. Real Estate Dept. of The Cleveland Trust Co.; pres. The Land Security Co., The Loop Realty Co., The Seneca Security...

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Biographical Sketch of Daniel H. Pond

Pond, Daniel H.; pres. and gen. mgr. Economy Bldg. & Loan Co.; born, Petroleum Center, Pa., March 11, 1870; son of Henry Herbert and Maria M. (Gates) Pond; educated, district schools of Trumbull County, public schools Cleveland, and Allegheny College; married, May 17, 1891, Miss Ola Clark; one son, Ralph; worked one year in a factory in Painesville, O.; came to Cleveland and worked for The Cleveland Baking Co., as driver; later purchasing agt. one year; served one enlistment 7th U. S. Cavalry; messenger for the Adams Express Co.; then entered the real estate and insurance business and in 1894, became connected with The Economy Bldg. and Loan Co.; in 1907, elected vice pres.; senior member the insurance firm of Pond Bros., representing many important companies; Methodist; Republican; member Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Pythias, Military Order of Foreign War, and Military and Naval Order of the Spanish-American War; captain 5th 0. V. I., during war with Spain, and later lieut. col. 5th Infantry, O. N. G., until...

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Biography of Harry C. Weible

Harry C. Weible. When it is stated that Harry C. Weible moved out from Pennsylvania to Independence about thirteen years ago, it will be readily surmised that he is connected in some way with the oil or gas industry, and he is in fact one of the large oil producers in the Mid-Continent field and from his headquarters at Coffeyville directs extensive operations not only in Southern Kansas but in Oklahoma and Texas. Practically reared in the oil fields of Western Pennsylvania, he is the son of a veteran of the industry. Mr. Weible was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, January 16, 1858. He was still a child when his grandfather Weible died. His grandfather was born in Allegheny County in the very early days, and died there after a career as a farmer. He married a Miss Ferguson, who died in Allegheny County, and of their children the only one now living is William Weible, an uncle of Harry C., and a retired oil producer at Allegheny City. The Weibles came originally from Germany and settled in Pennsylvania in colonial times. Isaac Weible, father of Harry C., was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in 1821. He was reared and married in his native locality, took up farming as his first vocation, and with the discoveries of oil in the western counties of his native state he entered the...

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