Collection: A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans

Biography of Rev. William Knipe

Rev. William Knipe is one of the few surviving participants in the war with Mexico, which was fought nearly seventy years ago. Many other interesting distinctions attach to this venerable and useful resident of Kansas. He was one of the pioneer Methodist missionaries in Jackson County, Kansas, and is one of the very oldest members of the Methodist Conference. He was also a soldier of the Civil war and few men who live so long succeed in compressing so much useful service to humanity within a lifstime. His birth occurred in a log house in Wayne County, Indiana, September 28, 1827. He is now nearing the eighty-ninth milestone on the journey of a well spent career, and enjoys the comfort of a good home in Manhattan. His parents were John and Jemima (Jackson) Knipe, His father, though born in England, was of German lineage. He came to the United States in early manhood in company with his brother Thomas Knipe. Settling on a farm in Wayne County, Indiana, he was a pioneer there and spent his days usefully and honorably. Reverend Mr. Knipe’s mother was a native of North Carolina. She died when he was six years old and ten years later he was deprived of the guidance and care of a father. From that early age he has been dependent upon his own resourees. A limited education was...

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Biographical Sketch of Alexander P. Riddle

Alexander P. Riddle, a widely known newspaper man and public character of Ottawa County, was born at Harlansburg, Pennsylvania, August 16, 1846. He learned his trade as a printer in the office of the Franklin (Pennsylvania) Spectator, and in 1869 came to Kansas as a “jour.” He first located at Olathe; then moved to Girard, where he set type and became half owner of the Press. In 1885 he sold his interest and settled at Minneapolis, which has since been his home. There he purchased the Minneapolis Messenger, which he still publishos and edits, as well as the Kansas Workman and Sprig of Myrtle. Mr. Riddle has been prominent in state matters, his public services commencing in 1877, when he was chosen journal clerk of the State Senate and served thus for two years. In 1881-3 he represented Bourbon and Crawford counties in the upper house of the Legislature, and in 1884 was elocted lioutenant governor on the tieket headed by John A. Martin. He was re-elected in 1886 and in 1896 was appointed suporintendent of insurance. Mr. Riddle has also been prominent in the affairs of the Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows, having served as grand master of the...

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Biographical Sketch of Robert M. Wright

Robert M. Wright, a prominent resident of Dodge City, has prospered as a farmer, stockman, merchant and public servant. He is a native of the South, born in Bladensburg, Prince George County, Maryland, September 2, 1840. His father, who was born at Alexandria, Virginia, in 1800, often recounted his experlence as a boy on the battlefield of Bladensburg administering to wounded American soldiers. Mr. Wright’s great grandfather was a Prdsbyterian minister in Revolutionary times and raised a regiment of plowboys at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, of which he had command at the battle of the Meadows. The British had a price on his head and destroyed his property and the Tories finally killed him. His wife was shot by Hessian soldiers as she sat at a window with her baby. Elias B. Caldwell, the maternal grandfather, was clerk of the United States Supreme Court at Washington for many years, and when the capitol was destroyed by the British in the War of 1812 his library, which he had loaned to Congress, was also burned. Mr. Wright came West when sixteen years of age, and until 1859 lived on a farm near St. Louis. In 1850 he took an overland trip to Denver, and during the following eight years, as a trader and a contractor for hauling grain and cutting hay and wood, he crossed the plains four times by wagon...

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Biographical Sketch of Samuel C. Pomeroy

Samuel C. Pomeroy, one of the leaders of Kansas in the times of her free-state travail whose political ambition overleaped his sense of honor, was born in Southampton, Massachusetts, January 3, 1816. When a young man be became strongly imbued with antislavery sentiments. He happened to be present when President Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and is said to have remarked to the nation’s chief executive: “Your victory is but an adjournment of the question from the halls of legislation at Washington to the open prairies of the Freedom-loving West, and there, sir, we shall beat you.” So earnest was Mr. Pomeroy in the matter that in August, 1854, he started for Kansas with a colony of 200 emigrants pledged to the free-state cause. On September 6th they crossed the line at Kansas City, bound for Lawrence, but Pomeroy settled at Atchison. He spent much of his time canvassing the eastern states for the free-state cause in Kansas, and in 1861 was intrusted with a large fund raised for the sufferers by drought. Upon the admission of the state into the Union, in that year, he was elected to the United State Senate and re-elected in 1867. At the republican nominating convention for a third term, before which he was a candidate, Senator A. M. York of Montgumery County denounced Mr. Pomeroy for bribery, and turned over the $7,000...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles W. Goodlander

Charles W. Goodlander was an able and large hearted business man, and among other tributes to his benevolence is the Home for Children which he founded at Fort Scott. He was a Pennsylvanian of English-Quaker ancestry, born at Milton, April 25, 1834. He obtained a partial high school education and mastered and followed the carpenter’s trade in Ponnsylvania, Maryland, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, before deciding to venture west of the Mississippi in his search for a location. Finally, in April, 1857, he arrived at Fort Scott, the first passenger to come from Kansas City by stage coach. Mr. Goodlander at once established himself at that point as a contractor and builder, in which line he continued with success for twelve years. Subsequently he became interested in the lumber trade, a large brick yard and other enterprises. The panie of 1873 much reduced the value of his properties, and in 1876 his mill and elevator were almost destroyed by a boiler explosion. He then retrieved his fortune by returning to his old business of building and contrasting, bought back his mill property and suffered a heavy loss by fire in 1887. The mill was rebuilt. For some time he was also president of the Citizens’ National Bank, and operated the Goodlandor Hotel. He invested in grain elevators, the manufacture of yellow pine and a variety of other enterprises. In 1901...

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Biography of Percival G. Lowe

Percival G. Lowe, for many years prominent in the public affairs of the city and county of Leavenworth, worth, was, in his young manhood, a typical plainsman and Kansas dragoon. He was essentially a man of action, and his only literary production in book form, “Five Years a Dragoon,” presents many cloarcut pictures of those early times. As a life-member and president (1893) of the State Historical Society he has also placed on record many valuable papers dealing with those subjects with which he was so practically identified. Mr. Lowe was born at Randolph, Coos County, New York, September 29, 1828, spent much of his boyhood and youth in Lowell, Massachusetts, and before he was twenty-one had spent three years upon the seas, engaged mainly in voyages to the West Indies and South America. In 1849 he joined the regular army and was stationed at Fort Leavenworth. In 1854, at the conclusion of his five-years’ service in the United States army, Mr. Lowe was appointed superintendent of transportation for Maj. E. A. Ogden, and was engaged in the construction of Fort Riley. He served as master of transportation both in General Sumner’s expedition against the Cheyennes, in 1857, and for General Johnson’s army sent against the Mormons in 1858. In the following year he severed his connection with the army and engaged in business in Denver and Leavenworth, finally...

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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 William D. Street

William D. Street, a pioneer of Northwestern Kansas and long a leader in state affairs, was born near Zanesville, Ohio, in 1851. He moved from Ohio to Kansas in 1861, and eight years later became identified with Northwestern Kansas. Mr. Street first became known to the people in that part of the state as a soldier in a campaign against the Indians, conducted in 1869, by Company I, Nineteenth Kansas Volunteers, and Company D, Second Battalion, Kansas State Militia, of which he was a member. In 1883, 1889, 1895 and 1897 he served in the State Legislature, during the last session named being elected speaker of the House. From 1893 to 1896 he was regent of the State Agricultural College, his experience as a successful farmer of Decatur County peenliarly fitting him for that office. He has also been experimenting with irrigation since 1880, and has accomplished much in that line which has been of especial benefit to Western Kansas. Until 1890 Mr. Street was a republican, but joined the people’s party in that year and in 1896 came within four votes of receiving the congressional...

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Biography of Foster Dwight Coburn

It is no disparagement of the rank and file of that host of Kansas militant farmers who bore the heat and burden of the day and by their aggregate efforts raised Kansas to front rank among American agricultural states, to say that Foster Dwight Coburn is the distinguished leader of them all. He has long held secure a place as “one of the really great men of Kansas.” And like other Kansas great men, his achievements and influence have translated him to a place among the nation’s great men. His position in life is the more interesting because it is due not to political prominence, not to the accident of birth or fortune, but first and last to the splendid service he has rendered his state and the cause of agriculture. Undoubtedly he is and has been for years one of America’s foremost authorities and experts on this subject. His great work, and that in which he has most pride, was rendered during his more than twenty consecutive years as secretary of the agricultural department of Kansas. Yet, again and again Mr. Coburn has spoken with enthusiasm and praise of the men. who shared before him the responsibilities and honors of that office. He often says that Alfred Gray, who organized the State Board of Agriculture in 1872, was the most useful man Kansas ever produced. It was the...

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Biography of John H. Rice

John H. Rice had the distinction of having made his mark in two states of the Union of widely different tendencies–Georgia and Kansas. He was born in Greene County, Tennessee, November 14, 1825, and his father, a native of Virginia, was surveyor of the county, named for twenty-six consecutive terms. Mr. Rice commenced his higher education at Tusculum College, in his native county, of which his maternal uncle, Dr. Samuel W. Doak, was president. He was admitted to the bar in 1845 and, a few months afterward, opened an office at Cassville, Georgia. In 1855, in addition to conducting a fair legal business, he became editor of the Cassville Standard. In the following year he was elected major general of the Twelfth Division of the Georgia State Militia, as the Union candidate, and in 1857 located at Atlanta. There he founded the Franklin Printing Company, which, under his management, had become a large book publishing concern at the time of its destruction in the Civil war. Always a consistent opponent of secession, General Rice was prevented from taking part in the War of the Rebellion on account of a stroke of paralysis which he suffered in 1861. In May, 1865, he was appointed purchasing agent for the Federal cavalry forces then operating in Georgia, and served in that capacity until the forces were mustered out of the service in...

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Biography of Fred Schuyle Jackson

Fred Schuyle Jackson, of Topeka, prominent lawyer, former congressman, ex-attorney-general of Kansas, is one of the many able men who have made Kansas notable as a commonwealth. His father was Martin Van Buren Jackson, who bore a conspicuous part in the border warfare of Kansas. Fred S. Jackson was born April 19, 1868, and his birth occurred in the block house at Stanton near Osawatomie. His early education came chiefly from the public schools of Miami and Greenwood counties, and of earlier experiences and service readered should be mentioned five years spent in the schoolroom as a teacher, In the meantime he read law, and in 1891 was admitted to the bar. In order to equip himself the better for his chosen profession he then became a student in the law department of the University of Kansas, where he was graduated with high credit. In the meantime he had begun practice at Eureka, and it required only a few years for a man of his excellent ability, his knowledge of men, and his high ambition to serve, to build up a large clientage and extend his reputation as a lawyer to many remote quarters of the state. After concluding his service in the office of county attorney, his abilities attracted the attention of C. C. Coleman, then attorney-general of Kansas, who induced Mr. Jackson to become first assistant in...

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Biographical Sketch of A. P. Tone Wilson, Jr.

A. P. Tone Wilson, Jr., has for a number of years been one of Topeka’s suceessful lawyers and is also proprietor of the X-Rays Printing Company, publishers of the X-Rays Democrat, of which he is editor. The printing company of which he is the head does a large business in commercial printing, catalogue work and the printing of legal blanks. No doubt he gets his profession from his father, Anthony P. Wilson, who for many years was a successful attorney, but is now retired. Mr. Wilson, Jr., is a native of the State of Nebraska, where he was born June 26, 1875, a son and one of a family of seven children whose parents were Anthony P. and Margaret E. (Boldon) Wilson. His father was born at Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1846, and studied law in Milwaukee. Though only a boy at the time he served in the Civil war and made a gallant record in Company I of the Thirty-third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He is now living in Topeka. A. P. Tone Wilson, Jr., attended the public schools of Nebraska, graduated from the Western Business College of Lincoln, and in 1898 finished his course in the Kansas City Law School, being admitted to the bar in the same year. He did his first practice in Colby, Kansas, but soon afterwards came to Topeka. On October 19, 1914, he was...

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Biographical Sketch of Hiero T. Wilson

Hiero T. Wilson, one of the first white settlers in Southern Kansas, was born at Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky, September 2, 1806, of Virginian ancestry. His father was a native of the Old Dominion, a Kentucky farmer and for many years surveyor of Logan County. Hiero Wilson was reared on his father’s farm and had some schooling and considerable training in mereantile pursults before he joined his brother in Indian Territory during the year 1834. The latter was then post sutler and trader at Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation. In 1843, when Fort Scott was established as a military post, Hiero T. Wilson was appointed its sutler, holding the position for ten years. When the post was abandoned in 1855, Mr. Wilson continued in business and a year later, when the Government buildings were sold, bought a home on the plaza. This he transformed into a beautiful residence and there died August 6, 1892; but not before the post had become a prosperous city. As secretary and treasurer of the Town Company, of which George A. Crawford was president, he was a large contributor to its development. He purchased much real estate and platted an addition to Fort Scott; was director of the First National Bank and of the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, and a leader in all the progress of the city and section. One of...

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Biography of Rev. Father Paul M. Ponziglione

Rev. Father Paul M. Ponziglione, one of the most famous Catholic missionaries of Southern Kansas and what was, in his time, Indian Territory –particularly among the Osage Indians of the Southwest–was born in Piedmont, Italy, February 11, 1818. He was of noble descent on both sides of the house, but, as he was wont to express it, his greatest pride was that he belonged to “the noble family of Adam,” His education was obtained in several Jesuit institutions of Italy, the College of Nobles at Turin conferring upon him the degree of Bachelor of Arts. But the pomp of the Italian court had no fascinations for young Paul, and in 1839 he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Chieri, near Turin. The year 1848 found him connected with the Jesuit College in Genoz and during the revolution of that year, with other priests, he was transported to Sardinis and serionsly wounded by a mob. He finally escaped to Modena, and soon after, under holy orders, embarked from Havre for New York. The general of the Jesuit Socisty had already assigned him to missionary work in Missouri. Father Pouziglione spent two years in Missouri and Kentucky, engaged in missionary work, and in March, 1851, accompanied by Bishop Miege, left St. Louis for his far western mission. While his home was to be at Osage Mission, and his...

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Biography of Charles F. Little, M.D.

Charles F. Little, M. D., is one of the oldest living members of the medical profession in Kansas. It was fully half a century ago that he came to Manhattan, and until his recent retirement was almost continuously identifled with his professional duties in Riley County. Doctor Little is one of the men who gained their training and attended their first cases prior to the Civil war. In the war he served as an assistant surgeon. A great fund of practical business ability has been a prominent characteristie of Doctor Little and for years he has been one of the influential business men of Manhattan. His individual record of honorable service adds to the lustre of the family name. His ancestry goes back to New England. He is a descendant of George Little, who came from London, England, to America in 1640 and settled around Massachusetts Bay at Newbury. The line of descent from father to son in subsequent generations is as follows: George Little, the progenitor of the family in America; Moses; Tristam; Henry; Henry h; Abner Bailey; Caleb J. T.; and Dr. Charles F. Little. Doctor Little represents the eighth successive generation of the family in America. Charles F. Little was born at Milford, New Hampshire, January 27, 1836, a son of Caleb J. T. and Eliza. Ann (Brooks) Little. Caleb J. T. Little was born at...

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