Location: Waterville Kansas

Biography of William E. Durant

William E. Durant. Few citizens of Clay County are better known than William E. Durant, who is clerk of the District Court, a veteran of the Civil war, and a representative and bearer of a name that had been honorably known in this state for over a half century. He was born in Will County, Illinois, April 25, 1843. His parents were Edward T. and Sally Ann (Whallon) Durant, and his paternal grandparents were Edward and Lucina (Willey) Durant, natives of New York. The Durant ancestors went from France to England and in colonial days came to the United States and located in Connecticut, a later generation moving to New York and those still later establishing homes in Kansas. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now Edward T. Durant, father of William E., was born in Geneseo County, New York, in 1819. His father died when he was young and he remained in Geneseo County until 1837, when he became a pioneer in Will County, Illinois. He...

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Biography of Thomas J. McInerney, Father

Father Thomas J. McInerney is a devoted and zealous young priest of the Catholic Church, and most of his work had been done in the State of Kansas. he is now pastor of St. Monica’s Catholic Church at Waterville. This church was established in 1909 by Father Redeker. Its first pastor was Father Elast. The parish extends to the west line of Marshall County, to Blue Rapids on the east, to College Hill on the south, and adjoins Marysville parish on the north, It contains about twenty-three Catholic families, with about seventy members. Father McInerney was born in County Clare, Ireland, January 14, 1887. He secured his preliminary education in a national school at Barefield in that county, and took a Latin and Greek classical course in St. Flannan’s College at Ennis in the same county. At the age of twenty-two be came to the United States and on September 7, 1909, arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, and two weeks later entered St. Francis Seminary at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There he pursued the philosophic course two years, following which he spent three years in Kenrick Seminary at St. Louis. He was graduated from the latter institution and ordained June 12, 1913. Father McInerney said his first mass at St. Mary’s Academy June 15, 1913. He then served as assistant pastor for four months at St. Thomas’ Church in Armourdale, Kansas,...

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Biography of Walter M. Reitzel, M. D.

Walter M. Reitzel, M. D. A native of Kansas and representing one of the pioneer families of Marshall County, Doctor Reitzel entered seriously upon the work of preparation for a career as a physician before he was at his majority, and now for many years had enjoyed a successful practice and a high standing in medical circles. His residence is at Kanopolis. Doctor Reitzel was born at Waterville, Marshall County, Kansas, November 27, 1878. He is of German stock, but the family had lived in America four or five generations. The Reitzels came out of Hamburg, Germany, and were colonial settlers in New York. Doctor Reitzel’s grandfather, David Reitzel, was born in North Carolina in 1806, and subsequently went west and developed a homestead at Pecksburg, Indiana, where he died in 1892. He was twice married, his first wife being the grandmother of Doctor Reitzel and his second wife was a Miss Leitzman. J. H. Reitzel, father of Doctor Reitzel, was born at Pecksburg, Indiana, May 23, 1843, and is still living at Waterville, Kansas, a hale and bearty man for all that he served as a gallant soldier in the Union army and for upwards of half a century had been a successful farmer in Kansas. He grew up and married at Pecksburg, Indiana, and in 1862 enlisted in Company C of the Seventieth Indiana Infantry. This was...

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Biography of Nels Olson

Nels Olson, one of the prosperous residents in that fine agricultural district around North Topeka, his home being on Rural Route No. 3, had been a citizen of Kansas for more than thirty years. He was born in the province or district of Skane, Sweden, December 18, 1866. His father, Ole Johnson, was born in the same state in 1828, and always followed the vocation of farming. He was a prosperous man in his country, and enjoyed the respect and esteem of his neighbors for his business ability and the wisdom with which he directed his affairs. He was often consulted on matters of importance, and wielded more than an ordinary influence in his community. He was very liberal as a provider for his children and family, and his sons and daughters have a lasting respect for his virtuous and upright career. Nels Olson was one of a large family of nine children. In 1884 he came with a brother and sister to America and located in Kansas, establishing his first home at Waterville in Marshall County. In 1889 his brother John went out to Denver, where he died soon afterward of typhoid fever. Anna, the sister who came with him to Kansas, married Morey Gilbert, of Manhattan. A still younger brother Swan, is in the grocery business at Topeks. Nels Olson was eighteen years of age when he...

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Biography of Rolla Edwin Long

Rolla Edwin Long, superintendent of the city schools of Galena, is an educator of wide and diversified experience in the schools of this state, and has spent altogether upwards of twenty years in a profession which is one of the most important to the welfare of mankind. In 1916 he entered upon his fourth consecutive year as superintendent of the schools of Galena. The people of that city take special pride in their schools, and Mr. Long has done much to raise the local school standards and improve the different departments of instruction. Under his supervision are six schools, a staff of thirty-seven teachers, and about seventeen hundred scholars enrolled. The first school he taught was in 1888. It was a country district seven miles southeast of Osage Mission in Neosho County. After the year spent there, he has consecutively taught for two years in the country at Blancheville in Marshall County; two years as principal of the high school at Oswego; three years as principal of the city schools of Irving; two years superintendent of schools at Waterville; six years superintendent of schools at Axtel; six years superintendent at Lincoln; and from Lincoln he came to Galena. Mr. Long represents a pioneer family both in Indiana and Kansas. His paternal ancestors came from England to Massachusetts in colonial times, and subsequently members of the family went south into...

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Biography of Alexander Jacob Waldraven

Alexander Jacob Waldraven. Among the oldest and most highly respected citizens of Riley County, Kansas, is Alexander Jacob Waldraven, who has spent more than half his life in this state. His remote ancestry was Pennsylvania Dutch, and no more solid and substantial people can be found, but for many years the Waldravens had lived in North Carolina. He was born in Stokes County, which was later divided forming Stokes and Forsythe counties in that state, April 15, 1839, and was reared on the farm of his father, John Henry Waldraven. Alexander Jacob Waldraven has led an agricultural life. After the close of the Civil war he moved to Missouri and resided on a farm near Lee’s Summit, in Jackson County, until 1872, when he removed to Kansas and settled on a farm east of Waterville, in Marshall County. It was in 1881 that Mr. Waldraven came to Riley County, locating at that time on section 13, May Day Township, where he purchased 240 acres of land, which he subsequently developed and improved. After many years of prosperity as a farmer and stockraiser, Mr. Waldraven retired, turning over the active management of his large estate to his youngest son, who is a capable farmer and a graduate of the Kansas State Agricultural College. In 1861 Mr. Waldraven was married to Martha Susanna Long, and they have the following children: Cora...

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