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W. E. Kearns, a progressive agriculturist of Washington County, resides on a productive and well improved farm near Ramona, and in the development of his property he displays energy, determination and good business ability. He was born at Chepstow, in Washington County, Kansas, September 12, 1874, his parents being Thomas and Jane ( Whitmore) Kearns, both of whom were natives of Ohio. They were married in Williams County, Ohio, and then made their way to La Salle County, Illinois, whence they subsequently removed to Linn County, Iowa, but resided in that locality for only a short time. They next established their home in Iowa County, Iowa, where they remained until 1870 and then went to Washington County, Kansas, where the father took up a homestead, on which the birth of his son, W. E. Kearns, occurred. The mother there passed away in April, 1876, and ten years later the father sold the property and came to Oklahoma Territory, making his home with his sons until his death, which occurred on the 2d of February, 1903. He was a descendant of William Means, who served under General Morgan at the battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary war. Mr. and Mrs. Kearns became the parents of eight children: William, who is unmarried, was for a time engaged in teaching school in Kansas and he also became well known in journalistic circles of Oklahoma as editor of the Vera Monitor and the Vera Record, while he likewise served as justice of the peace at that place, filling the office for two years. He has resided at Talala since 1886, as has his brother, W. E., the subject of this review. William has recently completed a law course with the La Salle University of Chicago and after passing the state bar examination will receive his LL. B. degree. Frank, a resident of Ponca City, is married and has three children. His son Charley is a veteran of the World war, in which he won distinction, serving with the infantry forces in France and receiving severe injuries, including the loss of a foot and five shell wounds in his back. He captured three machine guns and their crews of fifteen men and for this notable bravery was awarded the Croix de Guerre by France and the Distinguished Service medal by the United States government. He is now residing at Enid, Oklahoma, and there are also two other children in Frank’s family, Ray and Edna. The next in order of birth in the family of Thomas Kearns is Sherman, who is married and has two children, Amy and Joseph. John H., who is the owner of a sixty-acre tract situated about a mile west of the farm operated by the subject of this review, is married and has three children, John, Paul and Ernest. Arthur Herman is also an agriculturist, cultivating two hundred and forty acres of land in Noble County, Oklahoma. He is married and has five children, Esther, Eugene, Hugh, Clara and Clarence. The youngest brother died leaving four children: Thomas Jefferson, who is married and resides near his uncle, W. E. Kearns; Jennie, who is the wife of John Standifer and lives near her brother; Katie May, who married Clyde Shade, a farmer residing on Rob creek, in Rogers County; and Barbara, the wife of Arthur Peck, a well known agriculturist of Nowata County, Oklahoma.
Since 1886 Mr. Kearns has made his home in Oklahoma and he is now residing on a tract of one hundred and twenty acres, situated five miles east of Ramona, and is also the owner of sixty acres of bottom land one and a half miles south of this place. He engages in general farming, cultivating about ninety-five acres of his holdings, and has a good home and outbuildings on his property, to which he has added many other improvements. He raises the crops best suited to soil and climatic conditions here and by his practical, systematic and intelligent methods has brought his land to a high state of development.
In 1899 Mr. Kearns was united in marriage to Mrs. Susan V. (Miller) McCauley, who is of Cherokee extraction. Her father was a veteran of the Civil war, serving as a scout in the Confederate army. Mr. and Mrs. Kearns have become the parents of nine children: Ruth, Perley, John Wesley, Clarence, Mabel, Lena, Erma, Raymond and Robert, the last named but three years of age. By her previous marriage Mrs. Kearns had one child. Mr. Kearns has worked diligently and persistently as the years have passed and his industry has been the basic element in his present-day success, while his personal qualities are such that he has gained the esteem and goodwill of many friends.