Location: Vesper Kansas

Biography of William H. Cheney

William H. Cheney. To trace the founding of the Cheney family in America one must go far back in colonial history, back almost to the days when a friendly sovereign presented the present State of Maryland to Lord Baltimore. But a few years later the Cheneys, of English and French descent, came also and received from Lord Baltimore grants of land on which they lived for many years. These lands were in Washington County, which was the family home as far back as the great-grandfather of William H. Cheney, who is one of the representative men of Vesper, Kansas, and one of the largest landowners in Lincoln County. William H. Cheney was born in Washington County, Maryland, October 12, 1854. His parents were William B. and Sarah F. (Baechtel) Cheney and the grandfather, Robert Cheney, were born in Washington County and died there in early manhood: He married a Miss Newcomer, a native also of Washington County, and two children survived him; William B. and Prudence. The latter died at Hagerstown, Maryland, the wife of John Kausler, who was cashier of a bank there for forty years. After the death of her first husband, Mrs. Robert Cheney married Anthony Wayne Lewis, so named after his kinsman, the brave Gen. Anthony Wayne of Revolntionary fame. Mr. Lewis was born in Washington County in 1810, and died at Hagerstown in 1878,...

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Biography of William Bruce Middlekauff

William Bruce Middlekauff, banker, farmer and stockman of Vesper, came to Kansas with his father over forty years ago, and since then the interests and activities and holdings of the Middlekauff family have grown apace until the name is now one of the most substantial and respected in Lincoln County. The family through its varied relationship had become prominently known in Kansas, Mr. Middlekauff himself is a native of Maryland and in the vicinity of Hagerstown the family and its kin have lived for generations. Mr. Middlekauff’s grandfather, Daniel Middlekauff, was also born near Hagerstown, Maryland, was a farmer and slave owner and died on his property in Maryland before William B. was born. The name suggests German origin and the ancestors came out of the Fatherland and settled in Maryland in colonial days. J. D. Middlekauff, father of William B. and founder of the family in Kansas, was born at Hagerstown in 1842. He grew up and married there, took up farming, and in 1873 sought the larger opportunities and the more abundant resources of the West and located at Vesper, Kansas. Here he homesteaded 160 acres and he lived on that homestead farm until the time of his death in December, 1896. He developed a good home, was prospered, and left an estate of 240 acres. He was affiliated with the democratic party and was an active...

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