Location: Wilson County KS

Biography of H. J. Huiskamp

H. J. Huiskamp. The continuation and extension of the business enterprises which bring reputation and prosperity to a community, in these days of keen competition, depend largely upon the sound business methods under which they are operated, under the management of able and efficient officials. While vast capital is invested in so great an enterprise as is the Buffalo Brick Company, at Buffalo, Kansas, much of its unexampled prosperity must be credited to the energy and good judgment of its general manager, H. J. Huiskamp, who is also secretary. Mr. Huiskamp had developed this into the largest concern of its kind in Kansas, and its annual volume of business, at a low estimate, more than doubles that of any two other plants. 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 H. J. Huiskamp was born at Keokuk, Iowa, October 19, 1873. His parents were S. A. and Alice (Britts) Huiskamp. As the name indicates, Mr. Huiskamp is of Dutch ancestry, both father and grandfather having been natives of...

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Biography of Benjamin C. Bond, Hon.

Hon. Benjamin C. Bond. In the public service that frequently crowns the career of men of personal high standing in a community, very often is shown a great capacity for public usefulness that the opportunity presents. In electing Benjamin C. Bond, an honored citizen of Buffalo, Kansas, cashier of the State Bank of Buffalo, to the State Legislature, the people of Wilson County gave evidence of wise discrimination and intelligent judgment. Not only is Mr. Bond an exact business man, with those habits of mind that assure investigation and accurate decision concerning the important measures brought before the legislative assembly, but he is also a man whose life had ever been marked with unselfish devotion to duty and to fearless championship of causes he had believed to be just. Benjamin C. Bond was born April 21, 1878, at Mount Sterling, in Brown County, Illinois. His parents were John A. and Parthenia (Bush) Bond. One of the very earliest settlers in Brown County, Illinois, was Rev. Granville Bond, a Methodist preacher, a faithful pioneer in the cause of religion. He was the founder of the family at Mount Sterling and was the great-grandfather of Hon. Benjamin C. Bond, of Buffalo, Kansas. His son, Benjamin Bond, was born in the circuit rider’s cabin at Mount Sterling which he built after emigrating from Kentucky, and Benjamin became a farmer and doubtless was...

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Biography of Keith Earl Sprague

Keith Earl Sprague. Among the men whose ability and high personal character have lent strength and solidity to the financial institutions of Wilson County, Keith Earl Sprague occupies a recognized place. A man of broad experience in various fields of business life, since 1913 he had been identified with the Benedict State Bank in the capacity of president, and through his shrewd and careful direction of its affairs had made this institution one of the substantial banking houses of the county. Mr. Sprague was born in Wilson County, Kansas, November 26, 1881, and is a son of C. A. and Jennie (Barringer) Sprague. Mr. Sprague belongs to a family of English-Dutch origin, which was founded in New York during colonial times by an emigrant from Holland. His grandfather was Harvey A. Sprague, who was born in 1812, in New York, where he resided all his life, the active part of which was passed in farming in the vicinity of Churchville, Monroe County. About the year 1872 he removed to Buffalo, where he lived in retirement until his death, which occurred in 1902, when he had reached the advanced age of ninety years. Mr. Sprague took part in a great deal of the Indian fighting of the early days in New York, and was a member of the New York State Militia. He married Ellen Smith, who was born in...

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Biography of James Cyrus Preston, M. D.

James Cyrus Preston, M. D. One of the foremost men of Buffalo, Kansas, is Dr. James Cyrus Preston, the pioneer physician, and for many years the leader in medical thought in Wilson County, and the wise adviser and stable supporter of public enterprises which have assisted greatly in the town’s development. Doctor Preston came first to Buffalo after some years of medical experience in Arizona, and thus was well prepared for the hardships and handicaps that attended his early days here, in 1889, and with the exception of an interim of five years, had been a continuous resident and a busy physician and surgeon. He was born in Fulton County, Illinois, March 13, 1863. His parents were William H. and Adaline (Thomas) Preston. The early Prestons were of English birth and descent and were Colonial settlers in New England. The grandfather of Doctor Preston was Richard Preston, who was born in Vermont, in 1805, and died in Howard County, Iowa, in 1882. In 1845 he removed with his family to Winnebago County, Illinois, seeking work as a carpenter and cabinetmaker, in which he was skilled. It is said of him that he had great facility with the drum and his services were often in demand when militia was under training. His wife, Hannah Gilmore, was born in New England in 1807, and died in Iowa in 1867. William H....

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Biography of Edwin D. Mikesell

Edwin D. Mikesell. The long and uniformly progressive career of Edwin D. Mikesell, of Fredonia, had been characterized by several noticeable personal traits, among which may be mentioned versatility of talents combined with thoroughness of preparation and depth of legal knowledge. A man of broad education and wide experience, of high personal character, courteous and able, he is not alone one of Wilson County’s strong legists, but a man who had served his community and his state in positions of official importance, in which he had demonstrated unusual executive ability. Mr. Mikesell was born on a farm nine miles southeast of Fredonia, in Wilson County, Kansas, November 13, 1871, and is a son of Daniel L. and Mary (Lingel) Mikesell. The Mikesell family was founded in America by Jacob Mikesell, the great-great-grandfather of Edwin D., who was a native of Germany and on coming to this country settled in Pennsylvania, where he spent the remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits. His son, Joseph Mikesell, was the great-grandfather of Edwin D. Among his children was David Mikesell, the grandfather of Edwin D. who was born in 1803 in Montgomery County, Ohio. In 1836 he removed to Indiana, later, in 1853, he continued west to Iowa, and finally, in 1869, located in Woodson County, Kansas, being a pioneer in all these states. His death occurred at Neodesha, Kansas, in 1877,...

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Biography of Leonard Elmore Henderson, M.D.

Leonard Elmore Henderson, M. D. The medical profession of Wilson County numbers among its skilled and careful practitioners Dr. Leonard Elmore Henderson, who since 1907 had been located at Coyville, an enterprising community in the northwest part of the county. Prior to locating at this place, Doctor Henderson had valuable and comprehensive experience both in Kansas and Indian Territory, and this, combined with a thorough training in his calling and a natural predilection therefor, gave promise for a successful career in his professional work. That this promise had been fulfilled is shown by his excellent standing in medical circles and by the confidence in which he is held throughout the locality in which his professional activities are centered. Leonard E. Henderson was born in Marshall County, Kansas, March 23, 1873, the only son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Shearer) Henderson. He is of Irish descent, but the family had long resided in America, whence the original emigrant came prior to the Revolutionary war. Eli Henderson, the grandfather of Doctor Henderson, was born in Tennessee and became a pioneer farmer of Missouri, in which state he died prior to the birth of his grandson, and little more is known of him save that he was a sturdy and industrious tiller of the soil. Isaac Henderson was born in 1832, in Tennessee, and was still a small child when taken by his...

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Biography of Fred Leslie Ervay

Fred Leslie Ervay, M. D. The medical fraternity of Wilson County had as one of its highly skilled and thoroughly trained members Dr. Fred Leslie Ervay, who had been engaged in a general practice at Fredonia since 1908. While Doctor Ervay had not carried on his profession as long as some of his fellow practitioners, he had risen to a prominent place in his calling, and the confidence in which he is held is evidenced by the size and importance of his clientele. He was born at Elk Point, South Dakota, June 14, 1880, and is a son of H. M. and Sarah (Pope) Ervay. Henry N. Ervay, the grandfather of Doctor Ervay, was born in France, where he saw military service, and when still a young man came to the United States and settled at Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he became the proprietor of a tannery and continued to be engaged in that line of business until his death, which occurred before the birth of his grandson. H. M. Ervay was born at Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1845, received a public school education, and when a youth learned the tanning business under the instruction of his father. He went as a young man to Freeport, Illinois, where he was married, and was employed in a tannery there for several years, following which he went to Sioux City, Iowa, there pre-empting...

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Biography of Dennis Joseph Sheedy

Dennis Joseph Sheedy. One of the sons of the Nutmeg State who had achieved prominence at the Kansas bar is Dennis Joseph Sheedy. A practitioner at Fredonia since 1906, he had won a reputation in his profession through his conservative, self-assured, well-prepared, clean-cut and successful handling of the cases placed in his charge. He was born at Portland, Connecticut, October 14, 1874, and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Marooney) Sheedy. Mr. Sheedy comes of good Irish stock, his grandfather having been Dennis Sheedy, a native of County Cork, who passed his entire life in his native Erin as a farmer and died there in 1858. Thomas Sheedy was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1848, and was seventeen years of age when he emigrated to the United States and settled at Portland, Connecticut. There be was employed for several years as a quarryman and followed the same vocation subsequently in New York, New Jersey and Ohio. In 1884 he came to Kansas and engaged in farming in the vicinity of Fredonia, where the remainder of his life was passed in industrious and useful labor. In 1914 he retired from active pursuits, and his death occurred at Fredonia, July 19, 1915, when he was sixty-seven years of age. He was a democrat in politics, but not a seeker for office, and a faithful member of the Roman Catholic...

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Biography of P. C. Young, Hon.

Hon. P. C. Young. High on the roster of Wilson County’s distinguished citizens appears the name of Hon. P. C. Young, for years one of the most brilliant and astute attorneys practicing before the Fredonia bar, an author and poet whose talents have gained for him wide reputation, and a man who as a citizen, neighbor and friend is universally esteemed and respected. A resident of this city during the most important era of its development, his personality is indelibly imprinted upon the home of his adoption, and both as attorney and legislator he had evidenced the inheritance of many of the sturdy and courageous qualities of his German grandfather, who fought against the great Napoleon. The following sketch, including the opening and closing poems, was written by Mr. Young himself, and reviews a career that had been interesting, useful and decidedly helpful to others: “GREETINGS. Dear Friend: We dare not hope the coming year. Will every care from you withhold; Bring naught but joy and constant cheer, Turn all your ventures into gold; But rather pray for strength to meet, If needs must come, both care and strife; To rise supreme above defeat, With kindly acts adorn your life. Strength to be always just and kind, A blessing every effort make; To be of even, patient mind, Your soul to human needs awake. Despite the false asserted claims...

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Biography of John Quincy Smith

John Quincy Smith. The career of J. Quincy Smith, of Fredonia, had been an expression of well directed and diversified industry and in its development had invaded various fields of human activity, in each of which J. Q. Smith had won a full measure of material success and satisfying reputation. He had had experience in both professional and business labors, and while he is now retired from the activities of life, having approached the Psalmist’s three-score-and-ten years, is still an influence for good in his community and a citizen whose help and support continue to be factors for the development of the city’s interests. J. Q. Smith was born at Lebanon, Ohio, September 20, 1848, and is a son of Jacob H. and Martha (Steddom) Smith. Christian Smith, the grandfather of John Quincy Smith, was born in Germany, and was a young man when he decided to try his fortunes in business life in the United States. On coming to this country he located in Pennsylvania, and in that state spent his entire life residing at various places and being engaged in manufacturing operations. He not alone rose to a high position in business circles, but was also widely and favorably known in public matters and at one time was the candidate of the republican party for governor of Pennsylvania, but lost the election owing to political conditions in...

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Biography of John Quincy Smith

John Quincy Smith. The career of J. Quincy Smith, of Fredonia, had been an expression of well directed and diversified industry and in its development had invaded various fields of human activity, in each of which J. Q. Smith had won a full measure of material success and satisfying reputation. He had had experience in both professional and business labors, and while he is now retired from the activities of life, having approached the Psalmist’s three-score-and-ten years, is still an influence for good in his community and a citizen whose help and support continue to be factors for the development of the city’s interests. J. Q. Smith was born at Lebanon, Ohio, September 20, 1848, and is a son of Jacob H. and Martha (Steddom) Smith. Christian Smith, the grandfather of John Quincy Smith, was born in Germany, and was a young man when he decided to try his fortunes in business life in the United States. On coming to this country he located in Pennsylvania, and in that state spent his entire life residing at various places and being engaged in manufacturing operations. He not alone rose to a high position in business circles, but was also widely and favorably known in public matters and at one time was the candidate of the republican party for governor of Pennsylvania, but lost the election owing to political conditions in...

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Biography of James A. Burge

James A. Burge. The oldest citizen of Fredonia, in point of residence, James A. Burge had watched and participated in the progress and development of this thriving city for forty-seven years, during forty-three of which he was identified with enterprises that contributed materially to the city’s prestige. From 1879 until his retirement, in 1912, he was connected with the Western Union Telegraph Company, first as messenger and later as manager, and the many friendships which he made while acting in these capacities have remained with him during the passing of the years. Mr. Burge was born in Lake County, Illinois, January 17, 1847, and is a son of James and Sarah (Chittenden) Burge. James Burge was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1812, and accompanied his six brothers and his parents to America when a lad, the family first settling in Ontario, Canada. When still a young man James Burge removed to Lake County, Illinois, where he was married, and settled on a farm forty miles northwest of Chicago, at a time when the present Illinois metropolis had only one log hotel. Mr. Burge was a farmer all his life and was successful in his operations, accumulating two properties aggregating 300 acres. He was first a whig and later a republican, and while he was a man of some consequence in his community did not seek office. His death occurred...

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Biography of Simon Coats

Simon Coats. Among the men who are representing Wilson County in positions of public importance, none have a better record for clean and capable service than had Simon Coats, sheriff, who had held his present position since January, 1915, but who had been connected with the sheriff’s office since 1911. He had been a resident of Wilson County for more than forty-five years, during which time he had been identified with farming, stockraising and business ventures, and is well and widely known to the people of this community as an honorable man of business and an official possessed of the courage and the ability to discharge well the duties of any office to which he may be elected. Sheriff Coats was born in Randolph County, Indiana, June 30, 1860, and is a son of Daniel and Mary Ann (Snyder) Coats, and a member of a Welsh family that was founded in the United States prior to the Revolution, when the first of the name located in Pennsylvania. The great-grandfather of Simon Coats was John Coats, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1782. From that state he went to Ohio, and when he took up Government land in Indiana and became the pioneer of the family in that state, he was compelled to freight his supplies into the wilderness of Randolph County, where his new home was located. He was...

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Biography of James T. Cooper

James T. Cooper, a lawyer, banker and widely known citizen of Fredonia, was born in Woodson, but then Wilson, County, Kansas, August 30, 1866, and represents a family that came to Kansas while it was a territory. The ancestry of Mr. Cooper is particularly interesting. He is descended from that Sir Ashley Cooper, the Earl of Shaftsbury, who founded a colony on the Ashley River in North Carolina, and from that settlement the family name had become widely dispersed. It may be of interest to recall the fact that the noted John Locke, the great English philosopher, prepared a model charter or constitution for the government of Sir Ashley’s colony, and while the rules exemplified a beautiful theory, they did not prove entirely practical or successful in handling the administration of the colony. Later ancestors of the Kansas lawyer were his great-grandfather, Vinson Cooper, who was born in North Carolina in 1769; and the grandfather, David C. Cooper, who was born in Tennessee in 1806. Albert J. Cooper, father of James T., was born in Montgomery County, Tennessee, in 1824, and when ten years of age removed with his parents to Bates County, Missouri, where he grew up and where he married. He took up farming, and in 1857 he joined some of the early settlers in Kansas, locating on the Verdigris River in Woodson County. He homesteaded a...

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Biography of David Clark Offenbacker, Hon.

Hon. David Clark Offenbacker. It would be difficult to name an activity of the thriving community of Benedict, Kansas, that had not profited by the support and co-operation of Hon. David Clark Offenbacker. Primarily a business man, with varied and important interests, he had devoted a great part of his time to public service, the present being his third term as mayor of the city, and had also done more, perhaps, than any other man in the way of making public improvements. His business and official records are inseparably connected with the growth and development of the city and its interests. David C. Offenbacker was born on a farm in Hancock County, Indiana, September 15, 1862, and is a son of Mark and Martha Ann (Waite) Offenbacker. The family, which dates back in America to Colonial times and numbers Revolutionary soldiers among its earlier members, originated in Offenbach, Germany, near Frankfort-on-Main. David L. Offenbacker, the grandfather of David C. Offenbacker, was born in 1810, in Virginia, and was the pioneer into Hancock County, Indiana, to which locality he went after his marriage to Sophia Crim, also a native of the Old Dominion. Both passed away on their Hancock County farm, the grandfather in 1889. Mark Offenbacker was born in 1839, in Hancock County, Indiana, and was there reared and educated and, upon gaining his majority, engaged in agricultural pursuits,...

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