Location: Wichita Kansas

Biographical Sketch of Napoleon Bonaparte Blanton

Napoleon Bonaparte Blanton was born in Missouri about 1830, and in a letter written to Charles H. Dickson, several years before his death, thus explains the origin of his impressive name: “I was first named James by my grandfather on my mother’s side. My father was of French descent and was a friend of Napoleon, but my grandfather hated him. After my father and my grandfather had quarreled about Napoleon, my father changed my name to that of the great general.” In September, 1854, Mr. Blanton moved from Jackson County, Missouri, and settled on the Wakarusa. He left that locality in 1857 and became one of the members of the Humboldt Town Site Company. In the second year of the Civil war he was mustered into the Union service as captain of a company in the Kansas Infantry, but resigned in the following year. He had already served as a representative from Allen County in the First State Legislature; was instrumental in causing the land office to be moved from Mapleton to Humboldt in September, 1861, and was re elected to the State House of Representatives in 1868. He spent the last years of his life at Sulphur, Oklahoma, and died at Wichita, Kansas, where one of his married daughters resided, April 30, 1913, from injuries received in an automobile...

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Biography of Marshall M. Murdock

Marshall M. Murdock, a pioneer journalist of Kansas, the founder of the Wichita Eagle and one of the marked men of the commonwealth, was born in the Pierpont settlement of what is now West Virginia, in 1837. He was of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and his father married into the Governor Pierpont family. Soon after his marriage the family moved to Ironton, Southern Ohio, and there Marshall Murdock attended the public schools and commenced to learn the printer’s trade. Thomas Murdock, the father, was unsuccessful in his business venture, and, as he had an abhorrence of slavery and Kansas was then the most pronounced champion of abolitionism in the West, he decided to try his fortune in that part of the country. The family and the household goods were therefore loaded into two covered wagons and a start was made for Topeka; the father drove one team and Marshall, the son, the other. After an overland journey of several weeks they reached their destination and Thomas Murdock settled on a farm near Topeka. When gold was discovered in the Pike’s Peak region, Marshall Murdock started for the excitement, and is said to have been the first to discover silver on the site of Leadville. While he was in the gold fields, the Civil war broke out, his father and two of his brothers enlisted, and he returned to Kansas to care...

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Biography of James R. Mead

James R. Mead, one of the founders of Wichita and one of the noted pioneers of Kansas, was a Vermonter, born May 3, 1836, and at an early age showed his love for out-of-doors life. During his school days he read and dreamed of the Great American Desert, and in the fall of 1859 started for the plains. For four years he traded with the various Indian tribes in the present State of Kansas, hunted buffaloes and finally established a post on the Salina River, about twenty miles from its mouth. In 1861 he contracted his first marriage, and two years afterward the couple moved from the trading post to the settlement at Salina, then growing into a village. Later, he established a trading post at Towanda, farther west on the Whitewater River, and while residing there organized a great buffalo hunt which first made him acquainted with the charming country at the mouth of the Little Arkansas. There he established a branch trading post. During the Civil war the Confederates drove away the Wichita Indians who had occupied that locality, but Mr. Mead, as a Union agent, kept them in hand and loyal to the Federal cause. In 1864 he was elected to represent Butler County and the lower house, and in 1868 was sent to the State Senate by the district comprising the four counties of Morris,...

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Biographical Sketch of Edmond H. Madison

Edmond H. Madison, of Wichita, who died while serving his third term in Congress, was of the younger generation of the energetic and able members of the bench and bar in Kansas. He was born at Plymouth, Hancock County, Illinois, December 18, 1865, educated in the common schools and at the age of eighteen years began teaching. In 1885 he went to Wichita, Kansas, where he studied law in the office of G. W. C. Jones; and in 1888 was admitted to the bar. The same year he was elected county attorney of Ford County, which office he held for two terms. On January 1, 1900, he was appointed judge of the Thirty-first Judicial District and served in that capacity until September 17, 1906, when he resigned to enter the race for Congress. He was elected as the representative of the Seventh Congressional District that year, re-elected in 1908 and again in 1910, but died suddenly from apoplexy while seated at the breakfast table on the morning of September 18, 1911, before completing his third term. While in Congress Mr. Madison was a stanch supporter of President Roosevelt’s policies and was a member of the committee to settle the Ballinger-Pinehot eontroversy. He was president of the Kansas League of Republican Clubs in 1896-97, was a active member of the Sons of Veterans; was frequently called upon to serve as...

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Biography of Fred W. Martin

A well known Wichita manufacturer and business man, Fred W. Martin possessed the qualities which enabled him to grow and adapt himself in proportion to his opportunities. As a youth he learned the tinner’s trade and also clerked in a bardware store. It was on that narrow footing that he began to build himself into the larger affairs of business. He is now treasurer and manager of the Martin Metal Manufacturing Company, one of the growing and flourishing industries of Wichita. Besides the interest that attaches to his own successful career, it is also a matter of note that Mr. Martin represents a pioneer family of Kansas. His grandfather, Henry Martin, came from Hull, Eagland, in 1856, and located at Eldorado, Kansas, when this was still a territory. He had the distinction of eondueting the first store at Eldorado. It was in Butler County, Kansas, that Fred W. Martin was born October 19, 1874. He learned his lessons in the public schools there and in the meantime gained his first qualifications and experience for business as clerk in his father’s hardware store at Leon in Butler County. He also mustered the tinner’s trade while there. From Leon he went to a clerkship in a hardware store at Coldwater, Kansas, and subsequently identified himself with the City of El Reno, Oklahoma, where he remained six years. In 1899 Mr. Martin...

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Biography of Frank S. Porter

This representative business man of the City of Wichita was about twenty years of age when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Kansas, and he had since continued his residence within the borders of the Sunflower State, where he had been long and prominently identified with the retail drug business, of which he is now a leading representative in the City of Wichita, his attractive drug store, metropolitan in equipment and appointments, being eligibly situated on East Douglas Avenue, in the College Hill District of the city. Frank S. Porter was born in the Village of Rushsylvania, Logan County, Ohio, on the 6th of July, 1866, and is a son of Robert B. Porter, who was born in West Virginia and who was a miller by trade. For a long period of years Robert B. Porter operated a flour mill at Roshsylvania, Ohio, from which place he finally removed with his family to Urbana, that state, where he became the owner of a large mill. In 1876 he established a retail drug store at Paulding, the little city that is the judicial center of the Ohio County of the same name, and this he placed under the active supervision of his elder son, Don M. In 1886 he disposed of his varied business and real-estate interests in Ohio and came with his family to Kansas. The home...

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Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Mary C. Wuester

A representative of the best type of the progressive women of the Sunflower State is she whose name initiates this paragraph, and she had proved specially successful and influential in connection with a line of educational and business enterprise in which few women have made exploitation. In 1909 Mrs. Wuester established in the City of Wichita the Wuester School of Pharmacy, and she had made this institution one of the valuable and ably directed technical schools of the state. Mrs. Wuester was born in Marshall County, Kansas, and after completing the curriculum of the public schools she pursued a higher academic course in the Seminary of the Sacred Heart at St. Joseph, Missouri. Thereafter, by close application under the direction of private preceptors, she fortified herself in the varied and exacting branches of scientific and practical study involved in commercial pharmacy, and in 1901 she initiated her specially admirable work as a teacher of pharmacy. She conducted classes in several of the larger cities of Kansas and in 1909, as previously noted, she established at Wichita the Wuester School of Pharmacy, which had since been successfully conducted under her personal supervision and each department of which is modern in facilities and general equipment. The school now draws its students not only from Kansas and other states of the Middle West but also from some of the eastern states, and...

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Biography of Fred A. Sowers

A career marked by specially varied activities had been that of this venerable and honored citizen of Wichita. Mr. Sowers is consistently to be designated as one of the veteran members of the Kansas bar, as a pioneer newspaper man of this commonwealth and as one of the oldest citizens of Wichita in point of continuous residence. As a man of affairs his productive sctivities have been always benignant and though he is near the age of four score years he is still found vigorously concerned with business affairs, as one of the representative citizens of Wichita. He served as a soldier of the Union in the Civil war and in all of the relations of life his loyalty and integrity of purpose have been dominating characterlstics. Such are the sterling pioneers to whom special recognition should be given in this publication. Fred A. Sowers was born at Canton, the judicial center of Stark County, Ohio, on the 18th of August, 1839, and his parents were numbered among the honored pioneers of the historic old Buckeye State. He continued his studies in the public schools of his native city until he had completed a high school course. At Canton he thereafter studied law under the preceptorship of the representive firm of Dunbar & McSweeney, and he was well fortified in the science of jurisprudence at the time when he...

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Biography of James Harvey Stewart

James Harvey Stewart of Wichita,who had been identified with Kansas for thirty years, is a lawyer by profession, is vice president of the National Bank of Commerce, is former state senator, and for twenty years or more had played a very infiuential part both in business and civic affairs at Wichita. He is now chairman of the Commerce Committee of the Wichita Commercial Club, had served as vice president of the Chamber of Commerce and is vice president of the Wichita Business Men’s Association, and is chairman of the Eighth District Congressional Republican Committee. At one time he was chairman of the Republican County Central Committee of Sedgwick County, and was a delegate to all republican state conventions for ten years before the primaries succeeded the convention system. An Ohio man by birth, he spent most of his early years in Iowa and from there came to Kansas. He was born at Hebron, Licking County, Ohio, October 9, 1854, and at the age of ten, in 1864, his parents removed to Lucas County, Iowa. He got most of his education in the country schools of Iowa. His father and an older son conducted a general store at Chariton, Iowa, and in 1871 James Stewart became a clerk in that establishment, and during the next nine years got a very practical business training. In the meantime he studied law at...

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Biography of Thomas Azro Noftzger

Thomas Azro Noftzger had long been successfully identified with the legal profession in Kansas, and is now senior member of the firm of Noftzger & Gardner, with offices in the Beacon Building at Wichita. His partner is Mr. George Gardner. Mr. Noftzger was born November 15, 1861, in Jackson Township of Kosciusko County, Indiana. His father, Levi J. Noftzger, was born September 3, 1836, and is still living at the age of four score. The mother, Mary C. Noftzger, also living, was born September 2, 1840. Party through the liberality of his parents and partly through his own ambitious determination Thomas A. Noftzger gained a liberal education. In 1883, at the age of twenty-two, he completed the course in the department of litsrature, science and the arts at the University of Michigan, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. He soon afterward took up the study of law at Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the office of Robertson and Harper, and after his admission to the bar began active practice, and in 1884 came to Kansas and located at Anthony, where he continued to reside until 1912. He had practiced in this state steadily and had won a high reputation by the excellent ability in handling many cases of importance. In the way of public service he had served as city attorney of Anthony, as county attorney of Harper...

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Biographical Sketch of J.C. O.Morse

J. C. O. Morse, who was the first superintendent of the State Reformatory at Hutchison, a former member of the State Board of Railroad Commissioners and now president of the Kansas Casualty and Surety Company of Wichita, had had a long and prominent career in Kansas. He is an able business man and the efficiency of business characterized all his public work. His name is widely known among financial and business circles, and he had attained that position after beginning life as a Kansas farmer. His home had been in Kansas since he was about thirteen years of age. He was born in Henry County, Illinois, January 15, 1857, and in 1870 his parents moved to Kansas and located in Sedgwick County for four years, subsequently moving to Sumner County. Born and reared on a farm, he had a common school education partly in Illinois and partly in Kansas, and until 1889 made farming his regular pursuit in Sumner County. In that year he was elected sheriff of that county, and filled the office four years. When the State Reformatory was completed at Hutchinson, Mr. Morse was appointed its first superintendent in 1895, and during the next two years he gave all his time and energies to inaugurating the service of that important state institution. In 1897 he was appointed superintendent of the Hutchinson Water, Light & Power Company,...

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Biographical Sketch of Elmer Ellsworth Enoch

Elmer Ellsworth Enoch began practicing law at Wichita when that city was still on the southwestern frontier, and within the range of his own observation he had witnessed history in its making in that part of the state. His home had been in Wichita upwards of thirty years, and his reputation as an able lawyer had become widely extended. He was born in Morristown, Belmont County, Ohio. February 10, 1864, and was liberally educated in preparation for his professional career. After the public schools he entered Franklin College in his native state, where he was graduated A. B. in 1885. For several years he diligently pursued the study of law, being admitted to the bar at St. Clairsville, Ohio, in 1888, and in the same year he came out to Kansas and opened his office in the little City of Wichita. After a brief period of waiting clients came to him, and entrusted him with their law business. He had had a reputation extending over many years of doing whatever he does do thoroughly, and bringing a conscientions performance to every task entrusted. Official homors and responsibilities were also thrust upon him. In 1895-97 and again from 1901 to 1904, he was clerk of the Probate Court of Sedgwick County. In 1897 he was elected justice of the peace, serving two years. In 1903 he was made probate judge...

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Biography of William Potter Campbell

There had been no period in the long and significantly active, vigorous and varied career of Judge Campbell in which there had been any possibility of submerging his incisive individuality. As a youthful and gallant soldier of the Union in the Civil war, as a lawver and jurist, as a man of large and benignant influence in public affairs and as one of the honored pioneers of Kansas he had left a record that shall ever refiect honor upon his name and memory. He had been most elosely and influentially associated with civis and material development and progress in the Sunflower State and is still engaged in the active practice of his profession as one of the leading members of the bar of the City of Wichita. Judge William Potter Campbell, a scion of staunch Scotch-Irish ancestry, was born at Stanford, the judicial center of Lincoln County, Kentucky, on the 18th of February, 1843, and as a youth he received the advantages of the old Presbyterian Academy at Stanford. As the year of his nativity indicates, he was a youth of eighteen years at the time when the Civil war was precipitated on the divided nation, and he promptly manifested his intrinsic loyalty and patriotism by tendering his aid in defense of the Union. He first enlisted as a member of the First Kentucky Cavalry, and after the expiration...

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Biography of Peter G. Kroeker

As treasurer and manager of the Cheney Mill and Flour Company, Peter G. Kroeker is one of the important men in business circles in Sedgwick County. He represents a class of people which have been a very valuable contribution to Kansan eitizenship. Mr. Kroeker was born at Cherson City in Southern Russia March 15, 1866. He was twelve years of age when in 1878 his parents came to America and located in McPherson County, Kansas, buying a half section of school land there. His father is Gerhard Kroeker who married Justina Kruger. They are still living on the farm which they bought in 1878 in McPherson County, Gerhard being eighty-three and his wife eighty-two years of age. Of their six children, four are still living. It was on the McPherson County farm that Peter G. Kroeker spent his years going on to manhood and there gained his primary knowledge of American life and customs. At the age of twenty, his education having been completed in the local school, he left home and learned the watchmaker’s trade. He later followed that as a business at Inman in McPherson County. In 1897 Mr. Kroeker was appointed postmaster of Inman by President McKinley, and filled that office with great credit to himself for eight years. At the same time he carried on his watchmaking business, but at the end of his term...

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Biography of Hans E. Mayer

That he had authoritative knowledge of the details of the life-insurance business and is also an able execntive needs no further voucher than the statement that Mr. Mayer holds the responsible office of manager of the Missouri State Life Insurance Company for the State of Kansas. He maintains his administrative headquarters and his residence at Wichita and is one of the popular and progressive citizens of this vigorous city of the Sunflower State. Mr. Mayer was born in Coblentz, Germany, and in the excellent schools of his native place he acquired his early education, which was supplemented by a higher course of study in the Christian Brothers’ College in Belgium. He was a lad of sixteen years when he accompanied his parente on their immigration to America, and the family home was established in the City of Topeka, Kansas, where the subject of this review continued his studies in the public schools, further showed his ambition by attending night schools also and eventually by the completion of a thorough course in the Standard Shorthand School of Topeka, from which he received a diploma. As a skilled bookkeeper he was employed in the office of his uncle, in Topeka, until 1898, in which year he initiated his specially successful career in connection with the life-insurance business. He went to the City of St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained until 1903,...

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