Location: Wichita Kansas

Biography of W. S. Mourning

The successful contractor is not only a skilled mechanic but must also possess the qualifications of sound business judgment and above all a thorough integrity and honesty in carrying out every detail of his work. Those are the qualities at the basis of W. S. Mourning’s success as a contraetor of Wichita. While one of the younger men in the business in Kansas, he had a record of many contracts successfully carried out and his business is still growing. He was born at Quincy, Illinois, May 22, 1883. In 1884 his parents moved to Northwestern Kansas, his father taking up a claim in Sherman County. Besides farming be was also a manufacturer of brick. He conducted a brick yard in Sherman County until 1895, and then continued in the same line of business at Lamar, Colorado. While getting his edncation in the local schools W. S. Mourning learned the business of brick manufacture from his father and also acquired the trade of brick layer. For several years prior to coming to Wichita he followed brick contracting in various cities, and thus gained a broad knowledge of the business. Mr. Mourning had been a resident of Wichita since 1910. As a contractor his specialty is heavy construction and brick work. A number of handsome residences also attest his activity here, one of then being the Evans residence on Belmont Avenue....

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Biographical Sketch of Samuel L. Nolan

While now a well known figure in the public life of Sedgwick County as county treasurer, Samuel L. Nolan during nearly forty years of residence in the county had rendered his chief service as a business man. He had been a merchant, banker and manufacturer and is one of the big men in his section of the state. He was born at Lafayette, Indiana, March 7, 1862. In 1877, when he was fifteen years of age, his parents moved to Kansas, arriving at Wichita on the 17th of March in the same year. In the meantime he had attended school back in Indiana, and completed his education at Wichita. In 1884, at the age of twenty-two, Mr. Nolan embarked in merchandising at Goddard, and that had been his home town ever since. While still a merchant he organized the Goddard State Bank, and as its president had made that a strong and reliable institution in his part of the county. He also owned a large stock and grain farm near Goddard. Mr. Nolan was one of the promoters of the Central State First Insurance Company of Wichita, of Wichita, of which he is vice president. Only recently he took the lead in organizing the Perfection Broom Corn Harvester Company of Wichita. This company was established to make a machine which cuts, threshes and sorts the brush ready for market....

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Biography of Martin S. Rochelle

A resident of Wichita for nearly forty years, the late Martin S. Rochelle here achieved distinctive success in connection with business affairs and was a citizen who commanded unequivocal esteem in the community. He was a native of the old Buckeye State and represented the same as a gallant soldier in the Civil war. Mr. Rochelle was born near Columbus, the capital city of Ohio, on the 25th of November, 1842, and at his home in the City of Wichita, Kansas, his death occurred February 25, 1908. He acquired his youthful education in the public schools of Columbus, and was a youth of eighteen years at the inception of the Civil war. He promptly tendered his aid in defense of the Union, by enlisting in Company C, Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served four years with this gallant command and its history virtually constitutes the record of his military career. He took part in twenty-six of the strenuous batties of the great conflict between the states of the North and the South, was with General Sherman in the ever memorable march from Atlanta to the sea, and for a considerable part of his service he held the office of commissary sergeant. After the close of the war Mr. Rochelle engaged in business at Gahanna, Franklin County, Ohio, where he held for some time the position of postmaster. He finally...

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Biography of Clyde Magill, Dr.

One of the younger members of the medical profession in Sedgwick County, Dr. Clyde Magill had found his work at Clearwater, not far from his birthplace, and in the past four years had enjoyed a rapidly accumulating practice and is accounted one of the ablest doctors in that vicinity. He was born on a farm twelve miles east of Wichita December 6, 1887. His father, Silas Magill, is an old settler of Sedgwick County, having come to Kansas from Illinois, in 1871, and taking up a homestead in Sedgwick County. In the years that followed he proved one of the leading farmers and stock growers of the county, and is still living here. Educated in country schools, Doctor Magill early formed an ambition for a professional career, and advanced his training by a course in Fairmount College at Wichita. He then entered the medical department of the Kansas State University, where he was graduated M. D. in 1912. This was followed by a year as interne in the General Hospital of Kansas City, Missouri, and then well equipped for active work, he opened his office at Clearwater in 1913. Doctor Magill is a member of the Sedgwick County and Kansas State Medical Societies, and is affiliated with Unity Lodge No. 273 Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. On June 25, 1913, soon...

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Biography of Chester Adelbert Latham

A member of the bar of Wichita, Chester A. Latham is now established in a good practice as patent attorney in that city, and represents one of the early Kansas families. The Lathams have lived in the Sunflower State nearly half a century. Though brought to Kansas in early childhood, Chester Adelbert Latham was born in Adrian, Michigan, December 19, 1861. He obtained his early education while living on the farm near Wichita, and also attended the Wichita High School and for three years was a student in the Kansas State Agricultural College. Mr. Latham had had a varied business and professional career, and whatever he had done had done well. From 1885 to 1888 he was a manufacturer of wooden pumps. In the meantime he was studying law in the office of D. W. Welty, one of the early attorneys of Wichita, and on May 7, 1889, was admitted to the Kansas bar. A few weeks previously Oklahoma Territory had been opened to settlement, and for a brief while Mr. Latham had experience as a lawyer at Guthrie. Returning to Wichita, on June 1, 1891, he accepted an appointment as city mail carrier and continued in that work for fourteen years. For a number of years Mr. Latham had been studying patent law and some exceptional opportunities for work in that branch of the profession came during the...

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Biography of Chester I. Long

Definite distinction and assured prestige have been gained by Chester I. Long as one of the representative member of the Kansas bar, and his influence in public affairs had been wide and potent, as indicated by the fact that he was elected to the United States Senate from Kansas and had been a recognized leader in the councils of the republican party in the Sunflower State. He is engaged in the practice of his profession in the City of Wichita, had honored Kansas by his character and achievement, and is eminently entitled to recognition in this history. Mr. Long was born on a farm in Perry County, Pennsylvania, on the 12th of October, 1860, and is a son of Abraham G. and Mary Long. His father was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1812, and was a resident of Daviess County, Missouri, at the time of his death, in 1891, the major part of his active career having been marked by close and effective association with the industry of agriculture. His ancestors came from Germany and located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in the early part of the eighteenth century. He continued to reside in his native state until 1865, when he removed with his family to Daviess County, Missouri, where he developed the old homestead farm which was his residence until his death. His widow passed the closing period...

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Biography of William T. Buckner, Hon.

Hon. William T. Buckner of Wichita was born at Washington Court House, Ohio, January 2, 1846, and secured his early education in the public schools. He was still a lad in his early ‘teens when the Civil war came on, but succeeded in enlisting as a private in Company I, Seventy-third Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he was in almost constant service at the front. His enlistment had been for three years, but the hard life of the army broke down the young soldier’s health and after two years he was given his honorable discharge because of disability and returned for a while to his home. After his recovery, he again enlisted, this time in Company F, One Hundred and Seventy-fifth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and again went to the front, his service continuing until the close of the war and his final discharge being given him in July, 1865. As a member of two regiments, he was a participant in a number of important engagements in Virginia and in the Southwest, including the battles of McDowell, Cross Keys, Franklin and Nashville, and his record as a soldier was a most honorable one. When his military career was finished, he returned to his home and took up the study of law under the direction of his cousin, Judge Robert M. Briggs, of Washington Court House. After some preparation...

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Biography of Ike N. Williams

One of the strong and growing political figures in Kansas during recent years had been Ike N. Williams. A natural leader of men and at the same time an able and industrious lawyer, it is but natural that his name should as it does appear frequently on the pages of political history. He had, since locating at Wichita, in 1910, always used his fine legal talents in the furtherance of what he had believed to be for the best interests of the city, merging the two characters of citizen and lawyer into a high personal combination. In his participation in various movements, he had stimulated discussion and had always insinuated his forceful personality in a manner that had redounded to the public good. Ike N. Williams was born April 12, 1877, at Big Rock. Kane County, Illinois, a son of David and Elizabeth (Nightingale) Williams. His father, a native of Wales, in his younger days followed the sea as a sailor, but after a few years decided upon a career as a landsman, and in 1849 made his way on a sailing vessel to America, where he was convinced he could make his fortune as a farmer. On first coming to this country he secured a property in New York State, on which he settled, and while residing there was married, in 1852, at Brooklyn, to Miss Elizabeth Nightingale,...

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Biography of Oscar Krauss

Oscar Krauss is one of the veteran merchants of Topeka. After a residence of four years in America he came to that city in 1869. Nearly half a century had gone by, and at the present time the largest wholesale house of its character in the State of Kansas is O. Krauss & Sons, harness, leather and shoe findings. It had a splendid record of progress and one that had been built up on the basis of square dealing and strict integrity. The Krauss family from which the Topeka merchant is descended had an authentic record of antecedents as far back as 1503. The first ancestor mentioned on the family tree is Hans Krauss, who was a councilman and judge of the City Court of Staffelstein, Bavaria. Mr. Oscar Krauss was born in Saxc-Coburg, Germany, in 1847. His grandfather, George Salomo Krauss, was a minister of the Gospel. The father, Paul Frederick Samuel Krauss, was an extensive manufacturer of toys. He had a large family, their names being; Berthold, Herman, Fanny, Agnes, Frederick, Carolina, Leopold, Werner, Antonia, Helmina, Moritz, Oscar and Thekla, thirteen in all. Oscar, Carolina and Helmina are still living. Helmina, after residing with her brother in Topeka, Kansas, ten years, returned to the old home at Saxe-Coburg, where her sister, Carolina, resided. Samuel Krauss was a man of affectionate nature in his family. He was a...

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Biography of F. C. Amsbary

F. C. Amsbary, superintendent and manager of the Champaign Waterworks, has been superintending waterworks plants in different parts of the country for upwards of thirty years. It has in fact been his regular profession, though some of his younger years were devoted to railroading. Mr. Amsbary has numerous connections that identify him with the substantial interests of his home city. A native of Illinois, he was born at Pekin, January 24, 1863, a son of William Wallace and Harriet E. (Harlow) Amsbary, both of whom are natives of New York State. William W. Amsbary moved to Champaign in 1907, and for several years was connected with the waterworks here. He died in 1911, and his widow is still living at Champaign. Their five children are: George E., of Urbana; F. C.; Wallace Bruce, of Chicago; Don H., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Cordelia, still at home with her mother. When F. C. Amsbary was four years of age his parents removed to Delavan in Tazewell County, Illinois. He attended the local schools there, and at the age of fifteen he left home and worked as clerk in a store at Tremont in the same county for two years. He then went to Peoria and acquired his initial experience in railroad offices, where he remained about three years. He was next at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in the Chicago Northwestern Railway offices...

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Biography of Peter Stewart Campbell

Peter Stewart Campbell came to Champaign County when he was a small boy, learned the trade in one of the shops of the county and for many years has been identified either with a newspaper establishment or with a printing shop of his own. He now has one of the principal job printing houses of Urbana. Mr. Campbell was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, April 18, 1868, a son of Archibald B. and Christina (Stewart) Campbell. He was one of seven children, named as follows: Alexander, deceased; Jennie, wife of G. L. Baker, of Champaign; Mary, widow of Robert Leslie, living at Pittsfield, Illinois; John and William, both deceased; Peter Stewart; and Archibald, of Tolono. The father of these children was a drainage contractor and died in Scotland in 1872. The following year the widowed mother brought her family to America, and soon located near Tolono, where she lived until her death in 1916. Peter S. Campbell received his education at Tolono and in 1881 began learning the printing trade. He served his apprenticeship in Champaign County and in 1887 went to Wichita, Kansas, where he spent about a year as a printer. On returning to Champaign County he became connected with the Urbana Herald, and was with that journal nine years. For a short time he was with the Champaign News, and then opened a shop of his own...

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Biography of Irvin F. Benest

Irvin F. Benest. The Benest family came to Kansas in 1871. Two years later came the great financial panic following the failure of Jay Cooke on the famous Black Friday. It was an era of wide spread distress, but Kansas people during those years had even more grievous burdens than hard times. The grasshoppers came as a plague, there were successive seasons of drouth, crops were a rarity, and there was little market for what the farmers did produce. It was during the height of the hard times of that decade that Irvin F. Benest, a lawyer and president of the Greenwood County Bank at Severy, was born, October 24, 1876. His birth occurred near where the Village of Severy in Greenwood County is now located. His grandfather, Joshua Benest, was a Frenchman, born in France in 1826. Soon after his marriage in London, England, he immigrated to the United States, settling in Iowa, where he followed farming and also the trade of carpenter. He died in Marion, Linn County, Iowa, in 1886. His oldest daughter was born in the City of London. F. J. Benest, father of the Severy banker, was born in Linn County, Iowa, in 1851. He grew up and married in his native county, and followed farming as his regular vocation. When he came to Kansas in 1871 he took up a claim of 160...

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Biography of Kate L. Cowick

Miss Kate L. Cowick, now serving her second term as county treasurer of Wyandotte County, probably had the most responsible office of any woman in Kansas. She had the business efficiency needed in the administration of such an office. She is thoroughly trained in the public service, having for many years been a teacher and administrative official of schools, and her work as county treasurer had given her not a little of justly earned fame among the women of Kansas. Miss Cowick is a native of Missouri, born at Tarkio in Atchison County on February 8, 1885. She was the youngest of the three children of Samuel R. and Katherine (Travers) Cowick. Her mother was born in the South of England and went with her parents to Ireland and from there to the State of Illinois, where she was reared and where she married Samuel R. Cowick. Samuel R. Cowick was for many years a well known flgure in newspaper work. He was editor of a Missouri paper and subsequently moved to Trego County, Kansas, locating at Wakeeny, when that town was on the frontier. There he was connected with the Western Kansas World, a paper which was established in 1879 and is the oldest journad of the county. The family had their home in Wakeeny for fourteen years, when Samuel R. Cowick moved to Lyndon, Osage County, and...

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Biography of Frank Geoffroy

Frank Geoffroy, who is a successful commission and grain merchant at Abilene, is a native of Kansas, and he and his people have been identified with this state since early pioneer days. Kansas was a territory and was known throughout the country as”bleeding Kansas” when his father and grandparents came and located as pioneers in Franklin County in 1855. His father, Ernest Geoffroy, was born near Metz, France, September 7, 1841, and was brought to America in 1849. The grandparents lived on a farm in Iowa for a few years, but in 1855 came out to Kansas and began their pioneer work in Franklin County. They were among the very first settlers there and the people of that district, as elsewhere, were divided in partisanship over the slavery question. At the age of sixteen Ernest Geoffroy left home and engaged as a driver of an ox team for a government contractor hauling supplies across the plains of Western Kansas to the United States military post in Colorado. That was in the years before the Civil war. The western country was then filled with hostile Indians, and there were also many other dangers and hazards of a life on the prairie. When the Civil war came on Ernest Geoffroy tendered his services to the Union cause, but was rejected on account of his age. For more than half a century...

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Biography of David Franklin Shirk

David Franklin Shirk, a prominent Kansas educator and a worker in behalf of child welfare, had been a resident of this state thirty years. Born at Shannon, Carroll County, Illinois, July 10, 1859, he was reared and educated in his native state, and as a young man began teaching school in Illinois. In 1886 he came to Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas, and followed educational work in this state actively for twenty-four years. In 1906 Mr. Shirk was graduated from Friends University at Wichita. Much distinction attaches to his work as a school man. He assisted in organizing the first county high school in Kansas at Chapman, Dickinson County. He also organized the first high school Y. M. C. A. in the world. He was elected and served for four years as superintendent of public instruction of Dickinson County. For five years he was superintendent of the schools at Cottonwood Falls in Chase County, was superintendent at Newton, Kansas, six years, and for two years at Great Bend in Barton County. In 1906 and again in 1910 he made student tours of Europe, and on the second trip took his wife and his two children as a part of their education. Since 1910 Topeka had been his home, and, at the death of the distinguished Dr. O. S. Morrow, he was appointed his successor as superintendent of the Kansas State...

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