Location: Washington Kansas

Biographical Sketch of David E. Ballard

A native of Franklin County, Vermont, David E. Ballard is a leading citizen and a prosperous farmer of Washington, and looks back with still keen interest to the days of nearly sixty years ago, when he assisted in the civil organization of his county and his state. He was born March 20, 1837, of English and Revolutionary ancestors. When he was a boy his father, Appleton Ballard, moved to Morrow County, Ohio, not to cultivate the land, but to provide his family with a home while he fared forth on the high seas of the East. While thus engaged, he was murdered and robbed in the harbor of Halifax, after he had disposed of his cargo. In May, 1857, when he had but just entered his twenty-first year, David E. Ballard located in Brown County, Kansas, and in the following year moved to Washington County, which was then on the point of organization. In fact, he assisted in that work, and was the first county clerk. In 1859 he was elected to the House of Representatives of the first State Legislature (1861), and in the senatorial election was an active partisan of James H. Lane. He joined the ranks of the Second Kansas Infantry in November, 1861, and in the following year was made first lientenant, being mustered out of the service, in February, 1865. He was in the...

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Biography of William James Phillips M. D.

William James Phillips, M. D. The community of Beaumont, Kansas, esteems Dr. William J. Phillips as its pioneer physician and surgeon and as a man whose capable efforts have been directed through a long period of years largely to the service of his fellow men. Doctor Phillips had gained his best recognition in a comparatively limited community, and had been well satisfied to do his work there and to merit the esteem and respect of those closest to him. Many men more widely known have not accomplished so much in that work which is so vitally necessary to human welfare. Doctor Phillips comes of ancestors who were originally people of Wales, came to America in Colonial times, and in one generation after another the family extended itself across the country, first to Ohio, later to Iowa and in the person of Doctor Phillips to Kansas, Doctor Phillips was born in Washington County, Iowa, October 2, 1856. He also had some Irish blood, since his paternal grandmother came from Ireland when she was nine years of age. His father, George Phillips, was born in Ohio, February 10, 1814, and died at Daytonville, Iowa, February 6, 1873. His death occurred at the age of fifty-eight years, eleven months, twenty-six days. He grew up on an Ohio farm, lived in that state until about twenty-one years of age, and about 1835 went...

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Biography of Robert Algie, M. D.

Robert Algie, M. D. A physician and surgeon of exceptional attainments, Doctor Algie had been engaged in a large and growing practice at Linn for the past fourteen years. His home had been in Kansas since early youth. Doctor Algie was born in Glasgow Scotland, March 22, 1874. His grandfather, James Algie, was born at Paisley, where the famous shawls come from, and spent his life there as a carpenter, his death occurring at Paisley before Doctor Algie was born. He married Margaret McCallum, who likewise spent her life in Scotland. Of their children only one is now living, Margaret, whose home is in Glasgow, widow of George Duncan, who during his active career was a merchant. James Algie, Jr., father of Doctor Algie, was born at Paisley, Scotland, in 1836. In his native country he was in the grocery business and in 1884 he brought his family to America, locating in Washington, Kansas, where he continued an active factor as a merchant until retiring in 1902. He then moved out to Spokane, Washington, where his death occurred in 1910. Religiously he was a very active member of the Baptist Church and in American politics gave his support to the democratic party. He married Margaret Patterson, who was born at Bishop Brigg, Scotland, in 1842, and is still living at the age of seventy-five, making her home with her...

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Biography of A. W. Matthews

A. W. Matthews, former county official, had been active in business affairs at Washington for upwards of twenty years, and had a well established business in real estate and loans. He individually owned considerable farming property and had made all he had by close attention to business and honorable and straight-forward relations. Mr. Matthews was born on his father’s homestead in Cloud County, Kansas, November 23, 1874. His father, W. T. Matthews, who now lives at Miltonvale, Kansas, was born in Iowa in 1848. When he was a boy his parents moved to Kirksville, Missouri. Grand-father Matthews was in business at Kirksville for a number of years and died at the age of eighty-nine. The maiden name of the grandmother was Covey. She also died at Kirksville. W. T. Matthews grew up in Kirksville, Missouri, and though very young at the time he enlisted and served until toward the close of the Civil war and did most of his fighting against the bushwhackers. In 1873 he brought his family to Kansas, homesteading 160 acres in Cloud County. He proved up on his land, and finally established the first store at Miltonvale and was active in business as a merchant until 1909, since which date he had lived retired. He is a republican and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. W. T. Matthews married Anna Raridon, who...

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Biography of James Blair Lower

James Blair Lower, president of the First National Bank of Washington, is a banker of long and active experience, and represents a family in which the financial ability had been highly developed, two of his brothers being also well known western bankers. Mr. Lower had spent most of his life in Kansas, but was born at Lenark in Carroll County, Illinois, July 30, 1860. A number of generations back his first American ancestors came out of Europe and settled in Pennsylvania. His father was of German descent and his mother of Irish-Scotch descent, her father being Irish and her mother Scotch. Mr. Lower’s great-grandfather, Adam Lower, fought as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. The grandfather, David Lower, a native of Pennsylvania, married in that state and subsequently became a pioneer farmer in Illinois and died at Lenark. He married Susan Rhodes, a native of Pennsylvania, who also died at Lenark. Of their children two are still living: Eli, a retired farmer at Lenark, Illinois, and Hannah Leah, wife of George Weed, a farmer at Lenark. Levi Lower, father of James B., was born in Pennsylvania, April 16, 1830, and in his early youth accompanied his parents to Illinois. He followed farming there, also the business of contractor and builder, and in the spring of 1870 he arrived in Washington County, Kansas, homesteading 160 acres in Strawberry Township, Here...

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Biography of August Soller

August Soller. With all the wealth of opportunity America presents to young men of ambition it required exceptional ability, long perseverance and character to attain such an enviable position as August Soller now enjoys as a banker and business man at Washington. Even a brief outline of his career is an object lesson in American achievement. He was born in Switzerland, August 27, 1857. Left an orphan at an early age, having only the bare fundamentals of an education, he determined to come to America. As a boy he worked in factories and in other lines of employment and finally secured the means which enabled him to cross the ocean. In the year 1880 he arrived in New York and came direct to Washington County, Kansas. He had little or no knowledge of the English language and was dependent upon his own exertions and resources. For serveral summers he worked out at daily or monthly wages, and attended school in winter. At the end of three years he not only finished his school course but was given a certificate as a teacher. After that he continued in school for two more winter terms. Mr. Soller served one year as deputy county clerk of Washington County, and from 1887 to 1890 served as cashier of the Linn Exchange State Bank, under C. W. Snyder, president. The next three years he...

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Biography of Paul C. Swan

Paul C. Swan, of Washington, is an all around and thorough business man, and had demonstrated his ability to handle many varied enterprises successfully. He is a native of Kansas and had spent most of his active business career in the northern part of the state. His birth occurred in Republic County, August 5, 1868. His grandfather Swan was a Scotchman who immigrated from his native land to Canada. His father, J. W. Swan, was born at Toronto, Ontario, in 1843, and when a boy went with his parents to Wisconsin, where he grew up and married at Stevens Point. In the early days he employed his skill as a pilot for the lumber rafts which were floated down the Wisconsin River to the markets. At the age of eighteen, in 1861, he enlisted in the Thirty-second Wisconsin Infantry but was rejected on account of disability. He promptly re-enlisted in an Illinois regiment of infantry and was in active service until the close of the war and did a soldier’s full duty. He fought at Shiloh, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and was with Sherman throughout the march to the sea. After the war, in 1867, J. W. Swan came to Kansas, taking up a homestead of 160 acres at Cuba. That land grew into a good farm and it was his home until 1878, when he entered the livery...

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Biography of S. T. Yoder

S. T. Yoder, vice president of the Farmers State Bank of Washington, had been a Kansas business man for over thirty years and had acquired many important interests to identify him with Washington County. Mr. Yoder is of the old Pennsylvania stock of Yoders, a family that originated in Switzerland and was planted in Pennsylvania during the very early colonial period in that state. Mr. Yoder himself is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Somerset County May 3, 1851. His father, Benedict Yoder, who was born in the same county, spent his life in that county as an active farmer, following that vocation for sixty-five years. He died in 1910. He was a republican in politics and a member of the Mennonite Church. Benedict Yoder married Sarah Miller, who was born in Somerset County in 1825 and died there in 1900. They had a large family of children, thirteen in number. Samuel B., the oldest, was a Union soldier, was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg, and had ever since been a cripple and is still living in Somerset County. Daniel M., the second child, is a well known merchant at Haddam, Kansas. C. C. Yoder is a merchant at Amish, Johnson County, Iowa. John M. was a mail carrier in Iowa and was killed at a railroad crossing in 1903. Mary is unmarried and lives in Somerset County,...

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Biography of Walter E. Wilson

Walter E. Wilson, banker and business man at Washington, is the present bank commissioner of Kansas. His appointment had brought additional credit upon Governor Capper’s administration as one of those that reflect thorough business administration of state affairs. A native of Kansas and of a pioneer family, Mr. Wilson was born at Manhattan August 21, 1871. He is of an old Virginia family, the Wilsons having come from England and first settled at Jamestown in Colonial times and afterwards moving to the western portion of the state in what is now West Virginia. Their affiliations were all with the North during the struggle over slavery. The maiden name of Mr. Wilson’s grandmother was Nancy Lee, and she was a kinswoman of the great Lees of Virginia. Charles L. Wilson, father of Walter E., was born at Charleston, West Virginia, in 1840 and accompanied his parents to Kansas in the spring of 1856. The Wilsons were pioneers in the vicinity of Manhattan and there Charles L. Wilson grew up and married. He was for some years engaged in the harness business at Manhattan, but in 1878 homesteaded 160 acres near Miltonvale and lived on his farm until 1894, when he removed to Topeka and retired. His death occurred in Topeka in 1900. He was an old line republican and for many years held the office of trustee of Star Township....

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Biography of David E. Ballard

David E. Ballard is living retired at Washington, Kansas, at the age of eighty-one. Most of his active contemporaries in the strenuous achievements of his earlier years have long since passed away. Mr. Ballard is one of the few survivors of the prominent Kansans who actually laid the foundation of the state. His name is especially associated with the organization of Washington County and the establishment of Washington as its county seat. It was only a few years ago that he disposed of many of his extensive interests, and is now devoting his life to rest and travel. He had taken a permanent home at Miami, Florida, and just recently he returned from a visit to relatives at Lansing, Michigan, and Jamaica Plains, near Boston. Mr. Ballard inherits the splendid qualities of the New England type. He is descended from William and Grace Ballard, who came from England and settled at Andover, Massachusetts, in 1635. His father, Appleton Ballard, was born in New Hampshire in 1808, went to Vermont at the age of twenty-one, married there and became a farmer, and in 1837 located at Sparta, Ohio. There he worked at the trade of shoemaker, built a store, and in 1846 removed to the newly established town of Lansing, Michigan, where the capital of the state had just been located. He kept a store until it was burned, and...

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