Jewell  County



Patterson Alexander who devotes his time and energies to farming on section 11, Limestone township, Jewell county, his home being near Mankato, is one of the worthy citizens that Pennsylvania has furnished to the Sunflower state for his birth occurred in Juniata county in the 9th of Decmeber 1823. His father, Patterson Sr., was also born in Juniata county and belonged to one of the oldest families of that locality, his father, also being a native there. Patterson Alexander, Sr., was united in marriage to Margaret Montgomery, who was born and reared in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, whence she removed to Juniata county where they established their home and reared their family. The father died in 1824 and the mother passed away in 1859. Under the parental roof Mr. Alexander, of this review, spent his childhood days and in early life learned the tailor's trade. In 1843, when twenty years of age, he determined to seek his fortune in the United States and made his way to Carroll county, Indiana, where he remained for nearly two years. He then returned to his native county, where he married and continued to make his home until the spring of 1867. In the meantime he responded to his country's call for aid in the Civil war, joining Company A. One Hundred and First Pennsylvania Infantry, under Captain Muster in 1864. They served mostly in North Carolina and he participated in battles of Roanoke Island and New Berlin. When the Confederacy was conquered and the stars and stripes battled over its capital the brave soldier boys were mustered out and Mr. Alexander received an honorable discharge at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in July 1865, at which time he returned to his home and family in the Keystone state.

On the 3rd of June, 1845, he had married Elizabeth M. Kessler a native of Juniata county, where their wedding occurred. Their three eldest children, Mrs. Margaret Gingrich, John W. and Mrs. Anne Reeser, are now deceased but eight children of the family are living and are as follows: George W., James H., Joseph W., Patterson, Cloyd sample, Mrs. Susan Robinson, Mrs. Ida Davis and Charles.

In 1867 Mr. Alexander left Pennsylvania and removed to Calloway county, Missouri, where he remained for six years, and in the fall of 1872 he came to Jewell county, Kansas, where he secured a homestead claim on section 11, Limestone township and has here since devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits. He has a valuable farm well improved and his careful attention to business interests has resulted in bringing to him a comfortable competence. His daughter, Mrs. Robinson, has charge of the home, which she conducts in a most capable manner. She has one daughter, May Beth and the family is one of prominence in the community, its members enjoying the high regard of all with whom they have been brought in contact.

Mr. Alexander is a strong Republican in his political views and in 1878 was an elected clerk of the district court, in which position he served for two years. While in Pennsylvania he filled the office of Justice of the peace, and his son, James H., who resides upon the home farm, is now serving as trustee in Limestone township. Mr. Alexander belongs to the Presbyterian church in Otego and his Christian principles permeating his life, which at all times has been an honorable and upright one, command the respect and confidence of his fellow men. He is as true today to his country and its best interests as when he followed the starry banner of the nation upon the battlefields of the south. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 959-960)


Donald Kenneth Balch, cashier of the Union State Bank of Formoso, was born in Fruita, Colorado April 7, 1902, son of John Alfred and Cleo (Simpson) Balch.

John Alfred Balch was born in Cerro Gordo, Illinois in 1859, and engaged in farming. He comes from the James Balch family of Maryland, who came from England before the Revolutionary War. His father was Captain Alfred Bolivar Balch, who served in the Illinois Infantry during the Civil War. Cleo Simpson, who was born in Indiana in 1861, is of Pennsylvania Dutch descent.

Educated in public schools until 1915, Donald Kenneth Balch was graduated from Formoso High School in 1918. In June of that year he became clerk in the Union State Bank of Formoso, and in 1922 was promoted to assistant cashier. Since 1926 he has held his present position, as cashier and director of that bank. He is a Republican.

On June 18, 1924, he was married to Beulah Fern Wells at Formoso. Mrs. Balch was born at Lebanon, Kansas, February 20, 1902, daughter of Ralph P. and Ellen (Johnson) Wells. There are two children, Joyce L., born September 13, 1925; and Donna Lou, July 1, 1927.

Mr. Balch is a member of the Masons and served as district deputy 1931-32. He became treasurer of the Formoso school board on April 5, 1932, and is affiliated with Formoso Methodist Episcopal Church. He enjoys golf and hunting, while his hobby is mechanics. Residence: Formoso. (Illustriana Kansas, by Sara Mullin Baldwin & Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933, page 64)


Richmond Eugene Bennett, physician and surgeon was born in Paonia, Colorado, April 19, 1904 son of Alvin R. and Leona (Richmond) Bennett. His father was born April 12, 1876. His mother who is a native of Nebraska was born August 10, 1875.

Dr. Bennett in 1926 received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado and in 1929 his degree of Doctor of Medicine from that institution. He is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and Nu Sigma Nu.

After a year's internship in the Colorado General Hospital at Denver, Dr. Bennett served one year as resident physician in the Community Hospital at Beloit, Kansas. He is a member of the Jewell County, Kansas State and American Medical Associations.
Dr. Bennett's marriage to Mildred H. Dice was solemnized at Golden, Colorado on June 18, 1929. She was born at Empire, Colorado, August 23, 1903 and for a time was councilor in the public schools of Long Beach California. There is one son, Richmond, D., born December 30, 1930.

Dr. Bennett is a Republican. He holds the rank of first lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corps. He is fond of golf and enjoys gardening. Residence: Mankato. (Illustriana Kansas by Sara Mullin Baldwin & Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933, page 96)


Among the prosperous business enterprises of Barnard, Kansas, none perhaps are more soundly established than is the Blanding Hardware Company, which was started by W. R. Blanding, the present secretary and treasurer, who is also vice president of the First National Bank of Barnard. He is a man of large business experience and in public esteem no citizen is considered more trustworthy.

W. R. Blanding was born in Kent County, near Lowell, Michigan, May 11, 1871. His ancestors came to the United States many generations ago from Germany and settled in New York, and in that state his grandfather was born in 1806. As a pioneer settler and prospective farmer he settled in Kent County, Michigan, in 1855, cleared up a substantial property and died there in 1878. His wife bore the maiden name of Smith.

A. H. Blanding, father of W. R. Blanding, was born in New York State in 1837, and died near Randall in Jewell County, Kansas, on his old homestead farm, July 25, 1910. He was a young man when he accompanied his parents to Michigan and six years afterward, in 1861, he enlisted for service in the Civil war in a Michigan regiment, a state that sent out troops that were notably valiant soldiers. At the battle of the Wilderness Mr. Blanding was captured by the Confederates and for nine months suffered imprisonment at Libby and Andersonville, the effects of which he was never able to overcome. He was a man of robustness, weighing 160 pounds when he was taken prisoner, but nine months later, when exchanged, his weight was but ninety pounds. In 1872 he came to Kansas and homesteaded 160 acres in Jewell County and spent the rest of his life on that property, which is now owned by his wife. He was a republican in politics and at times served in public office and once was county commissioner of Jewell County. He belonged to the Odd Fellows, and was a faithful member of the Christian Church.

In Kent County, Michigan, A. H. Blanding was married to Almetta Nash, who was born in that state March 18, 1848, and now resides at Randall, Kansas. They had the following children: Nina, who is the wife of J. H. Stauffer, a farmer near Randall, Kansas, and is vice president of the Blanding Hardware Company; M. I., who is a farmer near Formosa, Kansas; Phoebe, who is the wife of Christian Krough, a farmer in the State of Washington; W. R., of Barnard; I. A., who is a farmer near Formosa, Kansas; Fred, who is a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, resides at Lenora, Kansas; and Addie, the wife of John Flynn, a farmer near Randall, Kansas.

W. R. Blanding remained his father's assistant on the home farm in Jewell County until he was eighteen years old, in the meanwhile attending the public schools, and then worked on other farms for one year before beginning to farm for himself, in which he was engaged until 1895. He then went to Custer County, Oklahoma. There he secured a homestead claim of 160 acres, which he still owns.

In 1902 Mr. Blanding returned to Kansas and soon afterward established his present hardware business on Main Street, Barnard, a business which is incorporated, the partners being W. R. and Fred Blanding and J. H. Stauffer, and they operate under the name of the Blanding Hardware Company, with Fred Blanding as president, J. H. Stauffer as vice president and W. R. Blanding, secretary and treasurer.

At Mankato, Kansas, in 1890, Mr. Blanding married Miss Nora Getman, who is a daughter of L. A. and Mina (Bunnell) Getman, the latter of whom resided at Jewell City. The father of Mrs. Blanding came to Kansas in 1880 and engaged in farming until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Blanding have four children: R. L., who lives at Barnard, is connected with the Blanding Hardware Company; Nettie is the wife of Robert Wallace, who is a farmer living two miles east of Barnard; Albert is a farmer living ten miles northwest of Barnard; and Etta is a student in the Barnard High School. Mr. Blanding owns a handsome residence on White Street, together with his business house and a furniture store on Main Street. He has never been unduly active in politics, but is recognized as one of the city's useful and public spirited citizens. For many years he has been identified with the Odd Fellows and belongs to Barnard Lodge No. 374, is past noble grand of the same, and belongs also to Barnard Council, Knights and Ladies of Security. The Blandings have always been supporters of school and church.

"A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, Volume 5, 1918" submitted by K. Torp


Frank Elmer Browning, hardware merchant, was born in Salem, Kansas, January 20, 1873 son of Hiram Little and Rachel Ann (Ream) Browning.

Hiram Little Browning, who was county clerk of Jewell County from 1888 until 1890 was born in Noble County, Ohio, July 14, 1846 and died at Webber, May 8, 1908. Rachel Ann Ream was born in Indiana, October 3, 1848 and died at Webber, January 18, 1924.

Frank Elmer Browning completed his public education at Mankato, Kansas. In 1893 and has been engaged in the hardware business since that time. He is a Republican.

On June 18, 1899, he was married to Jennie May Scott at Hardy, Nebraska. She was born at Joliet, Illinois October 10, 1873 of Irish parentage. There is one son, Donald, born September 5, 1900 who is in business with his father.

During the World War period, Mr. Browning was a Red Cross solicitor and a member of the home guards. He is a member of the Sons of Veterans of the Civil war, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Red cross, the Masons and the National Geographic Society. Residence: Webber. (Illustriana Kansas, by Sara Mullin Baldwin & Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933, page 163)


Robert Clark, who owns and operates four hundred and forty acres of rich land near Jewell City, Kansas, is a most progressive agriculturist, as is indicated by his well improved place with its fine modern buildings. A native of Pennsylvania, he was born in Juniata county, that state, December 14, 1854, and is a son of William and Margaret (McCullogh) Clark, both of whom were natives of Ireland. The father came to the United States when he was seventeen years of age, locating in Philadelphia, where he followed different occupations for a number of years. He was married in that city and soon afterward removed to Juniata county where he engaged in farming and where he is still living, an old and honored resident of that locality. His wife was a maiden of only eleven years when she crossed the broad Atlantic to the new world, and her death occurred in Juniata county in 1896.

In the public schools near his boyhood home Mr. Clark of this review obtained a good preliminary education which was supplemented by study in Tuscarora Academy, at Academia, Pennsylvania. He engaged in teaching school in his native county for three years and was a successful educator, having the ability to impart clearly and concisely to others the knowledge he had acquired. The year 1879 witnessed his arrival in Kansas, his first location being in Brown county. There he taught school for three years, and in 1882, he purchased his present home in Brown's creek township, Jewell County, seven and one half miles southwest of Jewell City. In 1883 he took up his abode upon this tract of land and soon largely devoted his attention to its further development and improvement. He taught school the first year he was here but since that time he has been actively and successfully engaged in farming and stock raising. He has a splendidly improved place, upon which is a modern and attractive residence, two stories and a half in height and constituting one of the finest country home sin Jewell County. Upon the place there are also seen substantial and modern barns and outbuildings. The farm is four hundred and forty acres in extent and much of this land is under cultivation, while the remainder is devoted to pasture for the stock.

A mile and a half north of his present home, on the 16th of April 1884, Mr. Clark was joined in wedlock to Miss Melinda E. Wagner, a native of Cass County, Illinois, and a daughter of William S. and Lourana (Bonnie) Wagner. Her father who was a soldier in the Civil War died in 1868 but her mother is still living and yet makes her home in Jewell county. Mrs. Clark was born on May 24, 1865, and came to Kansas with her mother in 1880. Before her marriage she had been one of her husband's pupils in the local district school. Five children have blessed their union, namely; William Newton, Margaret Blanche, Cloyd Lofton, Renwick Allen, and Amy Lourana. The parents hold membership in the Methodist Church. They are people of literary tastes, which is indicated by the large number of books to be found in their home, and with the contents of which they are familiar. In his political views, Mr. Clark is a Populist, believing firmly in the principles of the new party. In 1892 he was elected county commissioner of Jewell County, in which capacity he served for four years. That was a period of severe drought in this part of the country and in this part of the country and in his official capacity Mr. Clark was called upon to exercise considerable business ability and judgment in connection with the issuing of relief funds to the poor and needy. That he performed his work wisely and well is indicated by the fact that his administration universally proved a wise and strong one. At the present time he is a member of the local school board. Kindly, genial and large hearted, he has many friends throughout this section of the state and well deserves the high regard in which he is held. His property interests have all been acquired through his own efforts and his enterprise and progress have been the foundation stones of his success. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 1019-1020)


Angelo Colson is a well known carpenter and land-owner living at Ionia. He was born at Brook Farm, West Roxbury, Massachusetts, July 18, 1846, his parents being Nathaniel Howe and Hannah Stone (Kingsley) Colson. His paternal grandfather was Samuel Colson, a native of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, where he spent his entire life. He was a farmer, dairyman and a tack-maker and enjoyed the high respect of all with whom he was associated. His wife bore the maiden name of Muriel Whitney. Among their children was Nathaniel Howe Colson, who was born in Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, July 15, 1815. He was a relative of Elias Howe, the inventor of the sewing machine and it was in his honor that the father of our subject was named. Nathaniel H. Colson was a shoemaker by trade in the days when that occupation was a very important one, as the manufacture of shoes by machinery had not yet become a recognized industry. He was a member of the Brook farm community or association during its existence and he had a wide acquaintance among distinguished people, including Horace Greeley, Charles A. Dana, Ralph W. Emerson, Henry D. Thoreau, Theodore Parker, George Ripley, and Margaret Ossoli, all of whom were leading members of the association. After the dissolution of the society Mr. Colson returned to Abington and in 1852 he went to Monmouth County, New Jersey, joining the North American Phalanx, an association somewhat similar to that of Brook Farm, but having more industrial features and less of the dreamy idealism that made the Brook Farm an unprofitable venture. The North American Phalanx ended its existence in 1855 and Mr. Colson then removed to Valley Mills, Wood County, West Virginia, where he remained until 1885, the year of his arrival in Jewell County, Kansas. There he spent his remaining days with his sons, who came to the county in 1871. Here his death occurred June 6, 1896 at the age of eighty-one years. He was twice married, his first union being with Mary Thayer Hunt, a daughter of Ebanger and Mary (Thayer) Hunt, to whom he was married in Abington, Massachusetts, May 14, 1837. Her death occurred November 11, 1839 and their only son, Orlander Hunt Colson, was born on April 11, 1838, and died in October, 1857. For his second wife the father chose Hannah Stone Kingsley, a native of Maine and a daughter of Benjamin and Hannah (Stone) Kingsley. The second marriage took place in Hanson, Massachusetts, July 2, 1843. Her father was a native of Rhode Island and in 1800 removed to Maine. His wife had two brothers who served in the Revolutionary war. By Mr. Colson's second marriage there were six children, namely; Elmer Hewitt who was born at Brook Farm, August 31, 1844, and is now a leading agriculturist and stock-raiser of Jewell County; Angelo; Herman, who was born at Abington, Massachusetts, March 5, 1849, and is now a merchant in Ionia, Kansas; Wenona, who was born March 4, 1854, and died at the age of nine years; Mrs. Medora Kincheloe, who was born at Valley Mills, West Virginia in 1859 and is now living in Jewell county, Kansas; and Victor, who was born at Valley Mills, June 24, 1866, and is a resident farmer of Jewell county. The mother of three children is still living and is acting as housekeeper for her son Angelo. She was born at Athens, Somerset county, Maine, April 23, 1821, but though now eighty years of age she is still active and energetic, performing her household duties with wonderful dispatch for one who has traveled so far on life's journey.

Angelo learned the carpenter's trade. He was with his father's family during the various changes in residence until 1871, when he came to Kansas and on the 18th of September of that year he secured a homestead claim consisting of the southwest quarter of section 25, town 4 south of range 10 west. Odessa Township. He has always owned land in this county, yet he has worked at the carpenter's trade in Ionia, which is the place of his residence. For the first five years after his arrival he engaged in farming, but his land is now rented. He has also taken two or three prospecting trips to Colorado and Montana where he remained for about three years. Actively associated with the building interests, he has been connected with the erection of many of the leading structure sin Ionia and the surrounding country.

At the time of the Civil war Mr. Colson proved his loyalty to his country by enlisting at Parkersburg on the 10th of February, 1865, as a member of Company A, Third West Virginia Cavalry, with which he joined the Army of the Potomac, and he saw service in Maryland and Virginia. On the 15th of June of the same year he was mustered out, at Wheeling. He belongs to Iona Pot, No. 78, Grand Army of the Republic of which he has served as the commander and is now the adjutant. He is also past grand and at present is the financial secretary of Ionia Lodge, No. 264, I. O. O. F., while with the Cawker City Lodge, No. 125, A. F. & A. M., he also holds membership.

Mr. Colson is widely recognized as one of the leading residents of the southwest portion of Jewell County. He has been a township trustee of Ionia township five years. He is reliable in business, enterprising and progressive in his citizenship and is true to all the duties which public and private life have imposed upon him. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902, pages 822-824)


On the roster of county officials in Jewell county appears the name of Harry Compton, and the public regards him as a most capable and faithful register of deeds. He is a young man of sterling worth, with a just appreciation of the duties of the citizenship and the obligations imposed thereby. Before his election to office he was for some years identified with educational interests in this part of the state and in whatever walk of life he has been found he has commanded uniform confidence and respect.

Mr. Compton has spent almost his entire life in Jewell County, although he is a native of Minnesota, his birth having occurred in St. Charles, Winona county, July 2, 1870. His parents are Perry and Nancy (Wykoff) Compton. The father was born in Pennsylvania, and in 1856 removed to the west, locating in Minnesota where he remained until 1871, when he came to Jewell county, Kansas, taking up a homestead claim in that year. He is a farmer by occupation and is living north of Montrose, Kansas. His wife, who was also a native of the Keystone state, died in Jewell county in 1874.

In the usual manner of farmer lads of this period, Mr. Compton spent the days of his early childhood upon his father's farm. As soon as old enough he assisted in the work of the fields and through the winter season he pursued his education in the Pleasant Valley school. When only ten years of age he began to earn his own living by working as a farm hand through the summer months, while in the winter he continued his studies, being very ambitious in that direction. Eventually he prepared himself for teaching and his work in the school room was of a nature that won him high commendation. He had the ability to impart clearly and concisely to others the knowledge he had acquired and every school with which he was connected received new stimulus by reason of his zeal in his work. In 1895 and 1896 he was principal of the schools of Formosa and held a similar position in the Ebson schools in the year 1897. When the Fusionist convention met in Mankato, August 8, 1899, Mr. Compton was besieged by his friends to accept the nomination for the office of register of deeds and acquiescing in their demands he was nominated and elected by a plurality of eighty-nine votes. The trust thus reposed in him has never been betrayed. His work has been thoroughly executed in a methodical, practical and prompt manner, and he makes it his pleasure as well as duty to assist in as far as it lies in his power everyone who wishes to examine the records or obtain information in his office. Through his obliging manner and kindly disposition he has made many friends. His term of office will continue until the 1st of January, 1903, and we predict that it will not be his last public service, for his capability and fidelity are recognized throughout the county.

Mr. Compton was united in marriage to Miss Frances Emery, who was born in Jewell County, in 1876, a daughter of Clarence Emery, one of the early settlers of the county. Their home is blessed by the presence of two interesting children, Blanche and Porter. The hospitality of the best homes of Mankato and the surrounding district is extended to our subject and his wife and their circle of friends is very extensive. Mr. Compton is well known in musical circles in the city and is the efficient leader of the Mankato Cornet band, which he has advanced to a pleasing degree of efficiency. As a citizen he is public spirited and progressive, withholding his support from no measure for the general good and cooperating in every movement that tends to advance material, intellectual, social and moral progress. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 938-939)


Thirty years ago John W. Fulton came to Kansas and is therefore numbered among the pioneer settlers. The work of civilization and progress had scarcely been begun at the time of his arrival and taking his part in the universal progress he became known as one of the founders of the county. He now follows farming near Mankato, where he owns and operates a good tract of land.

Mr. Fulton was born near Madison, Wisconsin, March 10, 1846, and is a son of William D. and Mary A. (Pickle) Fulton. His father was a native of Genesee county, New York, and at an early date moved to Michigan and afterward to Wisconsin, while in the year 1854 he took up his abode in Iowa and there he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in the spring of 1891. By occupation he was a farmer and followed that pursuit in order to provide for his family. His wife, a native of Michigan, still survives him and is living in Mitchell county, Iowa, at the age of seventy-six years.

Upon the home farm Mr. Fulton, of this review, was reared and early became familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. The public school system of his neighborhood furnished him his educational privileges. He came to Jewell county in 1872, only a few weeks after the arrival of Captain Vance, who is regarded as the earliest settler of this locality. Mr. Fulton entered a tract of land from the government, and upon it has since made his home, developing the land into a fine farm, which is now three hundred and twenty acres in extent. He has a nice home, substantial buildings upon his place and all modern improvements, indicating his careful supervision and his progressive spirit.

Mr. Fulton was united in marriage to Asenath Frazier, a native of New York, and a daughter of William Palmer and Harriet (Huntress) Frazier. Her father was born in Rhode Island and died in Salem, Kansas, October 25, 1901, while his widow, a native of the Green Mountain state, is still living, making her home with Mr. and Mrs. Fulton. The marriage of our subject and his wife has been blessed with six children, who are yet living; George N., William P., Edison L., Vada P., Alvin C. and Benjamin H. They also lost one son, Freddie W. In his political views Mr. Fulton is a stalwart Republican, unfaltering in his support of the party. He has served as a member of the school board and as justice of the peace and in both office has been found true to duty. He can relate many interesting incidents of pioneer life in this locality and deserves mention among the honored early settlers who laid the foundation for the present prosperity and progress of this section of the state. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 988-989)


Prominent among the successful educators of this section of the state is Professor Emmett D. George, now superintendent of the schools of Mankato. He is a native of Kansas, born in Ionia, Jewell county, May 3, 1873 and is a son of Hiram L. and Margaret (Wilson) George, who was born and reared in Indiana. The father spent his boyhood and youth upon a farm in his native state and from there removed to Newbern, Iowa, in the early '60s. In the Hawkeye state he turned his attention to commercial pursuits and became a large and well to do merchant. Disposing of his store in 1871 he came to Jewell county, Kansas and homesteaded a quarter section of land in Iona township to the cultivation of which he devoted his energies until called to his final rest in the spring of 1898. He was one of the prominent early settlers in this locality and was widely and favorably known all over the county. His widow still survives him and continues to make her home in Ionia.

Professor George acquired his early education in the common schools of this country, and later attended the State Normal School at Emporia one year. He was next a student at the Salina Normal University, Salina, Kansas, where he was graduated in the spring of 1899. Prior to this he had engaged in teaching, having first turned his attention to that profession in 1890 and he taught several terms before completing his education, all in this county. In 1899 he was appointed principal of the Mankato high school, and the following year was made superintendent which responsible position he has since filled in a most capable and satisfactory manner. He has met with remarkable success as a teacher and ranks high among the foremost educators of the state. An advocate of progress and reform he has brought the Mankato schools to a high grade of efficiency.

At the home of the bride in Burlington, Coffey County, Kansas, Professor George was married August 6, 1900, to Miss Jessie M. Walker. She is a graduate of the Kansas State Normal and a member of the Christian church and both are very popular socially. In his political views the Professor is a Populist and ran for county superintendent of schools on that ticket in 1894, but was defeated by a very small majority there being candidates of both the old parties in the field against him. Aside from his school duties he has gained an enviable reputation as an orator and lecturer, his services being in frequent demand from various parts of the state. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Masonic order. For four years he has now made his home in Mankato, and is to day one of the most highly respected citizens of that place. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902, Pages 807-808)


Industry forms the key which unlocks the portals of success, and when industry is guided by sound judgment the result is as certain as if it was reached by mathematical calculation. It has been the basis of Mr. Gordon's prosperity, as it has of every other successful man who has started out upon a business career in limited financial circumstances. He now ranks among the substantial farmer of Center township. Jewell county where he has resided for about twenty-three years.

Mr. Gordon was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, in 1852, and is of Scotch-irish descent. His paternal grandparents, John and Jennie (Dickey) Gordon, were both born in the land of hills and heather whence they removed in 1815 to the Emerald Isle. They were farming people and both died in Ireland when about eighty-five years of age. Their son, Joseph Gordon the father of our subject was born in county Antrim, Ireland in 1822 and after arriving at years of maturity married Elizabeth Gilbert, who was born in the same county, a daughter of John and Elizabeth Gilbert. Her parents emigrated from county Antrim to the new world and spent their last days in Jefferson county, Iowa, where they died when more than sixty years of age. It was in the year 1841 that Joseph Gordon sought a home in the United States. Crossing the continent until he had made his way over the Mississippi, he took up his abode in Jefferson County, Iowa, where he devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits. He was called to his final rest at the age of seventy-four years, and his wife passed away when sixty-five years of age.

On the home farm Robert Gordon passed the days of his boyhood and youth and through the summer months, when his age and strength would permit he worked in the fields from the time of early spring until crops were harvested in the autumn. His preliminary education, obtained in the district schools was supplemented by two years' study in Fairfield College, in Fairfield, Iowa, after which he engaged in working for his father during the summer season, while in the winter he taught school for three or four years in Jefferson county. In 1878 he came to Kansas and secured a claim of government land. He first lived in a little cabin which was a combination of a log house and a dugout and the ceiling was so low that a man could not comfortably stand in the room. There he remained through four summers, while in the winter months he taught school and boarded with his neighbors whose children were his pupils.

In 1882 Mr. Gordon built his present house and on the 29th of March, 1883, he was united in marriage to Miss Elma Votaw, who was born near Richmond, Indiana, a daughter of Isaac and Anna (Hiatt) Votaw, both of whom were natives of the same locality. Mrs. Gordon is of Hugnenot ancestry. On the paternal side her great-great-grandfather came from France in about 1740 and settled in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. There he united with the Friends' church and married Ann Smith, also a Friend. On the maternal side Mrs. Gordon's great-great-grandfather was Solomon Hiatt, who lived in Guilford county, North Carolina. He had many slaves, but his son, Eleazar, born in 1783, many years afterwards became one of the chief promoters of the underground railway and assisted large numbers of slaves to freedom in Canada. Isaac Votaw devoted his energies to farming for many years, but his last days were spent in a well earned rest. He passed away when eighty years of age, but his widow is still living. Mrs. Gordon pursued her education in the district schools, with the exception of one year spent in college. By her marriage she became the mother of three children, two of whom died in infancy. The daughter Alice is now five years of age.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gordon took up their abode upon his farm and he has since given his time and attention to its further development and improvement. Within its boundaries are now comprised three hundred and twenty acres of rich land, which yield a golden return for the care and labor he bestows upon the fields. For his success he deserves great credit, as it has all been acquired through his own efforts. Mr. Gordon cast his first presidential vote for Horace Greeley and since that time has voted with the Democracy. He is a member of the Presbyterian church with which all his ancestors were identified, and he aided in building the house of worship of that denomination in this locality. He formerly belonged to the Knights of Pythias fraternity. He and his wife have many friends in this locality and the hospitality of the best homes is extended to them. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902Pages 956-957)


The subject of this sketch is descended from Scotch ancestry, but is a native of Pennsylvania, a state which have given to the west some of its best citizenship. His parents, James and Sarah (McDaniels) Gregory, were born in that portion of old Bedford county which is now Fulton county, Pennsylvania, and both died there, the former at the age of seventy-four years, and Mr. Gregory himself was born in Fulton county.

John Gregory was reared to farm work and obtained his education in the district schools near his father's old home in Fulton county, Pennsylvania. At the age of twenty-one he went to Missouri. A year later in 1870 he removed to Kansas and located in Holm township, Jewell county where he lived for a time in a dugout of sods and logs until he built a twenty by sixteen foot log house, which was his home until 1875, when he took up his residence on his brother's farm. On February 29, 1876, he married Elizabeth Daniels, a native of Fulton county, Pennsylvania and are living in Barton county, Kansas. Mrs. Gregory has borne her husband several children; Lela E., who married Jordan Brooks and lives in Henry county, Missouri, Bertha P., who is a student at the high school at Mankato, Jewell county, Kansas; and Jennie Maud, a member of her parents' household. They lost one son in infancy, a son at the age of three years, three months and three days, twins at the ages, respectively of six and seven days, and other twins in childhood, one at the age of eleven and one half months. Mrs. Gregory, who was educated in subscription; schools and free schools is a woman of many graces and accomplishments and is highly esteemed in a wide circle of acquaintances.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gregory lived in a dug out on Mr. Gregory's brother's farm until in 1877, when the east part of their present house was built. For that structure Mr. Gregory hauled lumber fifty miles. Their nearest trading point was about one hundred miles distant and they experienced all the hardships and vicissitudes of pioneer life in Kansas. Could it be written fully, Mr. Gregory's life would make a most interesting history. He enjoys the distinction of having been one of the first of a few pioneers who brought yokes of cattle into Jewell county. When he arrived in Missouri from Pennsylvania he had but seventy-five cents, which he was obliged almost immediately to spend for quinine, as he was quickly affected by the malarial climate. He found work by the month at small wages, at which he continued about six months, saving every cent that was paid him by his employer and spending only such small sums as he was enabled to earn by work overtime and at odd jobs. Though his financial start in Kansas was insignificant, he has by his own unaided exertions become the owner of more than one thousand acres of land, all free from incumbrances. He has proven himself one of the active, progressive business men of his part of the state. Politically he is a Democrat and his first presidential vote was cast for Horace Greeley at a time when in his part of Kansas ballots were all written out with a pen. He is influential in politics, but he steadfastly refuses to accept any public office, his extensive stock and general farming interests requiring all his time. He has a good town residence in Mankato, where he lives much of the time. He is known throughout the county for his cordiality and generosity and those who are guests at his house are convinced that he and his estimable wife have made a fine art of hospitality. Mrs. Gregory and her daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and as an active member of ladies societies of the church Mrs. Gregory is most efficient in its good work. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 878-879)


Josiah C. Hershner is prominently connected with the business interests which have developed Ezbon and led to its upbuilding and progress. He is now the president of the Ezban Town Company, is a director in the bank there and was a number of business buildings and residences and is likewise identified with agricultural interest, all of which indicate his ability, enterprise and keen business management.

Mr. Hershner was born in Richland County, Ohio, February 11, 1842, and is a son of Andrew and Mary (Pierce) Hershner. On the paternal side he is of Pennsylvania Dutch descent and on the maternal side of English lineage. His father was a native of York county, Pennsylvania, and a son of Henry Hershner, a native of the Keystone state and of the first settlers of Richland county, Ohio to which place he removed when his son Andrew was a little lad of five years. The latter there resided until 1864, when he removed to Holt county, Missouri, where he died in September 1897, at the age of seventy-eight years. He was a farmer and stock-raiser by occupation. His wife, who was born in Maryland, died in Holt county, Missouri, in March 1899, at the age of seventy-eight years. The maternal side of our subject has been noted for marked bravery on the field of battle. His uncle, Lorenzo Pierce, was a soldier of the Mexican war and the grandfather of our subject, Josiah Pierce, was in the war of 1812, while his great-grandfather, Josiah Pierce Sr., was an officer of the Revolutionary War. Our subject made himself a distinguished war record in the rebellion and his son fought in the Philippines, while his two brothers, John H. and Henry Hershner, were also numbered among the boys in blue that fought for the defense of the Union.

Josiah C. Hershner was reared upon the old farm homestead and pursued his education in the county of his nativity. After the inauguration of the Civil War he went to Chicago, Illinios and on the 7th of September 1861, in that city he enlisted in the First United States Mechanical Fusileers, in which he served for six months, spending most of the time in camp. On the 16th of February, 1862, in Chicago, he again enlisted becoming a member of Company I, First Illinois, Light Artillery, under Captain Edward Bouton and colonel Taylor. Later he was promoted to the rank of first quarter-master sergeant. After his second enlistment he joined Sherman's army, with which he was connected until that general started on his famous march to the sea, when Mr. Hershner was transferred to General Wilson's cavalry corps, in General Thomas' division. With the later command he participated in a number of the great battles of the war, including the engagements of Shiloh and Russell House, the siege of Corinth, the siege of Vicksburg and the battles of Jackson, Chattanooga, Lockout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Nashville. On the 17th of March, 1864, with the other members of his company, he re-enlisted as a veteran and took part in the entire Nashville campaign, being mustered out at Chicago, Illinois, July 26, 1865. He made for himself a creditable military record, proving his bravery on many battlefields.
After the war Mr. Hershner returned to Ohio and for a year was employed in machine shops there. He then joined his father in Holt county, Missouri where he lived until 1879, when he came to Jewell county, Kansas and secured a homestead farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 3. Exbon township on a part of which the town of Ezbon now stands. His fine new residence is on the site where he first located and where he has since lived. He has witnessed the merger of the town of Ezbon and has seen the surrounding country become a wealthy district. In his own business efforts he has met with a high degree of success as a farmer and stock raiser and also through other channels of business activity. He is now the president of the Ezbon Town Company which was organized in 1887 and is a director of the bank at this place, while the rental from business and residence property which he owns adds materially to his income. His investments have been judiciously made and return to him an excellent financial reward.
In Holt county, Missouri in 1867, Mr. Hershenr was united in marriage to Anne Brodheck who was born in Morrow county, Ohio and is a daughter of John S. and Susan Linn Brodbeck the former a native of York County, Pennsylvania and the latter of Maryland. Both spent their last days in Holt County, Missouri. Four children have been born into our subject and his wife; Robert S., who served in the First Colorado Infantry from the breaking out of the trouble in the Philippine Islands; Delle Z., who is studying music at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas; Charles S., who is studying in the Kansas City Medical College and J. Earl, who is located in Louisiana. In his political views Mr. Hershner is a stalwart Republican and socially he is connected with the Odd Fellows society and the Grand Army of the Republic being at present commander of the local post. He is as true today to his duties of citizenship as when he followed the old flag upon southern fields and in business life he has gained uniform respect by his fidelity to the strictest ethics of commercial life. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 898-899)


Andrew J. Hicks has had an eventful life, which if told in detail would contain many chapters of thrilling interest equal to the tales of fiction. He is now quietly following farming in Jewell county, Kansas, near Ionia, where he has large landed interests and maintains a home after the manner of the English gentleman for although a loyal American citizen Mr. Hicks is of English birth. He is a native of baldock, Herefordshire, England, his natal day being August 26, 1838. He comes of a family whose ancestry can be traced back for nine hundred years and numbers many men whose names figure prominently in the pages of English history. His great-grandfather the Rev. Dr. George Hicks was a bishop of the church of England while Lord Leighton, the celebrated English artist was a cousin of our subject, as he was also Pasha Hicks who went to Soudan with the British army, and served under the khedive of Egypt, being killed there, together with almost his entire army.

Dr. Thomas Hicks, the father of our subject, was born in Herefordshire, England, and not only owned an estate there, but also one in the county Cork, Ireland, and in both places he served as a justice of the peace. He was a noted physician in his day and also a large landed proprietor - a typical English gentleman, who held important positions under the British government. He was an attaché of the British embassy at Rome, under the earl of Ripon, for seven years beginning in 1838, and his connection with public affairs and his important property interests made him one of the leading men of his locality. He married Helen Nash, who was born in London and belonged to a family of celebrated and wealthy merchants. His death occurred at his estate in County Cork, in 1885, while his wife died at their estate in Torquay, Devonshire, in 1897. One of their sons, is the Rev. Thomas Hicks, vicar of St. Mathias church at Torquay, a wealthy man and a large benefactor of his parish. Another son, Dr. George Hicks, is a celebrated physician in London. A daughter, Miss C. E. Hicks is living in Rome, while another daughter, Mrs. L. K. Herschel, resides at Bordighera, Italy.

Andrew J. Hicks acquired a classical education under private instruction until sixteen years of age when he entered the British army with the commission of ensign in the Forty-seventh Infantry. He served for four years in England and then went with his regiment to New Zealand, serving in the colonial army for four and a half years, being attached to the Fourth Waikate Regiment. On the expiration of the period he went to Australia where for several terms he engaged in teaching school. Before leaving Australia he served for two and a half years on Her Majesty's ship Curacoa, a man of war.

Returning to England, Mr. Hicks remained there for about three years and then came to the United States in 1870, locating first in Jacksonville, Illinois, but after a few months went to Kansas City where he remained for a year. On the expiration of that period he came to Jewell county and secured a pre-emption claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Athens township, which has since been his permanent home, the place being pleasantly and conveniently situated three miles southeast of Ionia. He has one of the finest country seats in this portion of the state, his large and commodious residence being beautifully furnished and displaying the taste and love of comfort of the English gentleman. All of the farm buildings are substantial structures and everything about the place is indicative of the enterprise and careful supervision of the owner. He began life here in a sod house, afterward lived in a shack, then a small frame dwelling and in course of time this was replaced by his present attractive residence.

In Jewell County, Kansas, in 1883, Mr. Hicks was united in marriage to Miss Mary ellen Cheney, a native of Zanesville, Ohio, a daughter of Joshua and Julia Anne (Johns) Cheney, who became honored pioneer settlers of the Sunflower state. In his political views Mr. Hicks is a Republican, warmly endorsing the principles of the part which he has supported since becoming an American citizen. In religious faith he is an Episcopalian. He is a man of considerable means, deriving a pleasing income from his English estate. He is exceedingly generous and his home is celebrated for its splendid hospitality. Benevolent and philanthropic, he and his wife have done much good among their neighbors and those in need of assistance and no man in Jewell county is more universally liked than Andrew J. Hicks. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 945-946)


Isaac N. Jordan is now serving his eighth year as superintendent of the poor farm of Jewell county, Kansas and his long continnance in the office well indicates his faithful service and the confidence released in him by his fellow towns-men. He was born in Morgan County, Ohio, December 15, 1828, a son of Garrett and Elizabeth (Harmon) Jordan. His paternal grandparents were Jacob and Mary (Shriver) Jordan the former a native of Dublin, Ireland, while the latter was born in Germany. Emigrating to America in early life they were married in this country and spent their last days in Morgan county, Ohio, where the grandfather died when more than ninety-one years of age, and his wife passed away when about eighty-six years of age. The maternal grandparents of our subject were Conrad and Christine (Jane) Hartian, both of whom were natives of the fatherland and died in Morgan county, Ohio, when well advanced in life. These two families were united through the marriage of Garrett Jordan and Elizabeth Harmon. The former was born in New York and the latter was a native of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. Mr. Jordan was a veterinary surgeon and farmer, following both vocations. He died in Indiana when about eighty-two years of age and his wife died in the same state at the age of seventy five. This worthy couple were the parents of twelve children, eight sons and four daughters, of whom six are yet living.

To farm life Isaac N. Jordan was reared and the common schools afforded him his educational privileges, although after he attained his majority he spent six months as a student in a seminary. His education, however, has been largely self acquired outside the school room reading, observation and experience being the avenues wherein he has gained his knowledge. When sixteen years of age he left home and has since made his own way in the world, his life being one of untiring industry. When a young man of twenty-six he was married to Miss Olive Pingrey, who was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, and they became the parents of five children, but one died at the age of four months and another at the age of four and a half years. Those still living are John A., who is married and has one child, and has lost two; James O., who is married and has three children; and Sarah C. who is married and has eight children.

After his marriage Mr. Jordan located on a farm in Indiana and in connection with the cultivation of his land he practiced veterinary surgery, which he had learned off his father. The year 1881 witnessed his arrival in Kansas. He took up his abode in Jewell county, where he purchased two hundred acres of partially improved land and at once began its further development. Later he traded that property for other land and also received one thousand dollars additional. For more than seven years he has served as superintendent of the poor farm and is a most capable official. Although he has passed the Psalmists span of three-score years and ten he is very active and energetic and the public indicates the confidence reposed in him by continually choosing him for the position which he is now so creditably filling. His wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and along the journey of life she has been to him a most capable assistant.

While residing in Indiana Mr. Jordan was elected and served for four years as trustee of his township and was twice elected county commissioner, serving for the second term when he resigned in order to come to Kansas. He has been a stanch Democrat in politics since casting his first presidential vote for Franklin Pierce. No trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed. He has ever been a competent officer, an upright man, energetic and determined in business and has ever commanded the confidence and respect of those with whom he has been associated. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902, pages 838-839)


Dr. Thomas Kirk, Jr. is successfully engaged in the practice of medicine at Burr Oak. He was born near Luthersburg in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, January 20, 1859. His father, William Kirk was also a native of the Keystone state and throughout his active business career carried on agricultural pursuits there. He wedded Miss Barbara Emerick who is also a native of Pennsylvania. His birth occurred in 1873, but his widow still survives him and is now living at Burr Oak. In their family were three physicians, the brothers of our subject who followed the same profession being Dr. M. A. Kirk of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania and Dr. Ellis L. Kirk, deceased, who prior to his death successfully practiced in Toledo, Ohio.

To the public schools of his native county Dr. Kirk of this review is indebted for the early educational privileges which he enjoyed. Later he continued his studies in Carrier Seminary at Clarion, Pennsylvania, and having determined to devote his life to the practice of medicine his preparation for this calling was made at Cincinnati, Ohio as a student in the Eclectic Medical Institute, at which he was graduated with the class of 1880. From that time until March, 1881, he practiced at Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, and on the 1st of April of that year he arrived in Jewell county taking up his abode at Burr Oak, where he has since remained with the exception of a very brief period. On the 15th of July, 1891 he was appointed the superintendent of the state insane asylum at Osawatomie, where he remained for one year, when on account of the change in the state administration he resigned his office. The state board in its annual report of that year gives him credit for being the most efficient superintendent the institution ever had and although he is a Populist, the Republican paper's of Kansas City and Topeka copied the report thus acknowledging his ability and worth in the office which he so ably filled. Returning to Burr Oak he has since engaged in general practice, however, making a specialty of the treatment of nervous diseases and of diseases of children. He has been a close and discriminating student of every subject bearing upon his profession and does everything in his power to promote his efficiency and render worthy aid to the sick and suffering. His prominence in the medical fraternity is well indicated by the fact that he was the president of the State Medical Association in 1897 and 1898.

Dr. Kirk was united in marriage to Miss Maggie A. Bullington, a native of Illinois, to whom he was wedded at Burr Oak on the 4th of June, 1885. Six children were born unto them but only two are now living - Clarence B. and Lloyd. Those who have passed away are Frances F., who died at the age of eight years; Thomas B., who died at the age of eight years; Thomas B., who died at the age of eight months; Joseph, who passed away at the age of six months; and one child who died in infancy.

Not alone has the Doctor attained prominence in the line of his profession for as a citizen he occupies a prominent and influential position. He has been a member of the school board for several years and was formerly mayor of the city his administration being practical and business like. For more than two years he was the grand medical director of the Degree of Honor of the Ancient order of United Workmen for Kansas. He was appointed a member of the advisory council of the World's Fair Auxiliary in the Congress of Eclectic Physicians which convened at Chicago May 29, 1893, and he was elected a member of the National Eclectic Medical Association at Niagara Falls on the 24th of June 1894. He is a student, earnest and thorough and carries on his investigations not alone in the fields where others have been but also in original lines and his deep thought and research have been of great value to the profession. He is heartily beloved in Burr Oak, where he is so widely known and where his activity in so many lines of public usefulness have made him indeed a valued citizen. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902, pages 829-830)


Mahlon Lamb was born two miles west of New London, Howard County, Indiana, where his parents moved from Randolph County, North Carolina. When our subject was two years of age his parents moved to Grant county where the early years of his life were spent. In 1869 he started to learn the carpenter trade, working for his uncle, A. R. Wall, who was a prominent contractor. On january 13th, 1872, Mr. Lamb and Ruth Haisley were united in marriage. They moved to Riverton, Freemont County, Iowa, where they lived until the spring of 1874. They then moved to Jewell County, Kansas. Here, Mr. Lamb set to work with a determination to work out a comfortable home for himself and family and the success with which he has met is worthy of note. He experienced the many hardships with which the frontiersmen had to contend. His first home in this western county was a sod house. In 1878 Mr. Lamb took his family to Pasadena, California, where they lived until 1889, returning to the farm in Kansas in the spring of that year. Mr. Lamb has worked out for himself and family a pleasant home in Jewell county, and is a man who is well liked by all who know him. He is a public spirited citizen, and has always been prominently identified with matters of local interest. (Taken from the 1908 Standard Atlas of Jewell County, Kansas)


John P. Leaf is a representative of the farming interests of Jewell county. He is one of the worthy citizens that Sweden has furnished to America, for his birth occurred in that kingdom on the 3rd of February, 1845. His father, Andrew P. Leaf, was also a native of Sweden, and in 1852 emigrated with his family to the United States, making his way westward across the country to Iowa. He located on a farm in Jefferson county, that state, and there throughout his remaining days he carried on agricultural pursuits, his death occurring in 1880, when he had attained the age of sixty-one. At the time of the Civil war he was found a loyal defender of his adopted land, rendering valiant service to the Union as a member of the Thirtieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Caroline Marburg, is also a native of Sweden and is now living in Jefferson county, Iowa.

John P. Leaf, was a youth of only seven years when with his parents he came to the United States and on the homestead farm in Iowa he was reared, there remaining until February 1873 when he came to Jewell county, Kansas in order to take advantage of the opportunities for securing land offered by the government. He obtained a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres, adjoining the present site of Mankato on the east, and throughout the intervening years he has devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits, placing his land under a very high state of cultivation. His industry and enterprise have led to success so that he has now a comfortable competence. He has witnessed the wonderful development that has wrought a great transformation in this portion of the state and has seen the entire growth of Mankato and has aided in changing the wild prairie into richly cultivated fields. He not only follows general farming but gives his attention to the raising of fruits and vegetables, also stock and poultry.

On the 1st of January, 1877, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Leaf and Miss Orabella Gardiner, a native of Iowa and a daughter of Stephen and Susan (Smith) Gardiner. Her father was a native of Pennsylvania, but emigrated to Iowa and in 1872 came to Jewell county, Kansas where he secured a homestead claim a few miles east of Mankato. There he devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits until his life's labors were ended in death. He was a prominent and influential citizen, respected by all who knew him. His widow still survives. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Leaf has been blessed with two daughters; Grace and Alice, both graduates of the Mankato high school, and they have made school teaching a success, Grace, the eldest is now taking a four years' course of study in the State Normal of Emporia, Kansas, and is also assistant librarian in the Normal Library. Alice is holding a position as teacher in the Mankato city schools. In public affairs Mr. Leaf has borne an active and important part serving in various offices. He has been road overseer of Center township for four years; has been a member of the Mankato school board; for six years was township clerk; and for nine years township trustee. His long continuance in office is an indication of his marked ability in discharging his duties. He was for many years a supporter of the Republican party, but later has been independent in his political affiliations. His excellent farm is a visible evidence of a well spent life and an honorable business career and from pioneer days down to the present he has been a leading and valued citizen of Jewell county, giving an active support to every measure which he believes calculated to prove of general good. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902, Pages 875-876)


If Jewell county were asked to name the most loyal citizen, the most faithful officer and the most trustworthy business man living within her borders the response would come from many of her citizens that it is Noah E. Myerly, who is now occupying the position of county sheriff. He is indeed a man whose record both in public and private life is above reproach for he has ever been actuated by high moral principles that have made his conduct straightforward and his word as good as his bond.

Mr. Myerly was born on a farm in Ogle county, Illinois, January 21, 1859. His father, John B. Myerly, was a native of Maryland and in early manhood removed to the prairie state, becoming one of the prominent pioneers of Ogle county, assisting in the work of development and improvement there for a number of years. In 1862 he removed to Poweshick county, Iowa. He had married Emily Little, a native of Maryland, and both spent their last days in Poweshiek county, the father of our subject passing away in 1870. By occupation a farmer, he devoted his entire life to that pursuit, thus providing for his family. The mother died in 1886.

Noah E. Myerly was a little lad of six summers at the time of the removal to Iowa, and there, upon his father's farm, he was reared to manhood, early gaining actual experience in the work of fields and meadows. Through the winter months he attended the public schools. In 1879 he came to Jewell county, Kansas and was one of the first permanent settlers here. He was at that time a young man of twenty years. He acquired one hundred and sixty acres of the school land, which he has transformed into a very valuable farm, neat and thrifty in appearance, the well cultivated fields surrounding substantial buildings. He has cultivated the cereals best adapted to this climate and has also successfully engaged in stock raising so that he became a prosperous agriculturist.

In his political views Mr. Myerly is a Populist, fearless in defense of his principles, which he staunchly upholds as occasion demands. Scarcely a county convention of his party has been held in which he has not served as a delegate and he has also been frequently sent to the district and congressional conventions. His political life has been above reproach and is an object lesson of what sincerity and absolute fidelity can accomplish in politics. In 1899 he was nominated on the Populist ticket for the office of county sheriff and was triumphantly elected. Although his township - Burr Oak - usually has a Republican majority of fifty he reversed this and gained a majority of thirty over his opponent. He had previously served as trustee of Burr Oak township for two terms but had never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. His term of sheriff was to continue for two years, but under a new law passed by the state legislature he will be the incumbent of the office until January 1, 1893 and will then doubtless again become his partys' candidate. In the office he is serving most faithfully neither fear nor favor can swerve him from the path of duty, and his zeal, earnestness and fidelity are conspicuous traits in his official career.

On the 2d of February, 1881, in Jewell county, Mr. Myerly was united in marriage to Miss Eva L. Fabrney, a native of Poweshick county, Iowa, and unto them have been born five children: John, Gail, Cloyd, Jessie, and Ray. The children are being provided with excellent educational privileges, and Mr. Myerly is a warm friend to the schools. He has long served as a school director, and has done all in his power to promote the standard of the schools and increase their efficiency. The family have many friends in the community and the hospitality of the best homes of Mankato and vicinity is extended to them. A local publication has said of him: "During all of his busy life no one has ever found a flaw in his stainless integrity in his lofty courage in his love of family and home in the loyalty of his friendship in the generosity shown to both friend and foe, in the intrepid defense of his principles. We honor him, we impose in him great trust and yet he is deserving of it all. He is a man whom the power of office does not spoil, nor can he be led from the path of rectitude or honesty." (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages, 903-905)


One of the most straightforward energetic and successful business men of Jewell county is Christian Pider. He is public-spirited and thoroughly interested in whatever tends to promote the moral, intellectual and material welfare of his locality, and for many years he has been numbered among its most valued and honored citizens. He was born in Hamburg, Germany on the 23rd of December 1844 a son of Christian and Mary E. Pider, natives of the same locality. The mother died in her native land when our subject was but nine years old, and in 1848 when he was four years of age, the remainder of the family came to the United States, locating in Massillon, Stark County, Ohio and some years later in 1854, the father became a naturalized citizen of this country. He was a stone mason by trade, and his death occurred in Gentry county, Missouri, when he had reached the age of fifty four years.

Christian Pider, of this review, was reared in his sister's home in Centerville, Iowa, and in that city, on the 7th of August, 1862, he enlisted for service in the Civil war, becoming a member of Company F Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, under Captain Evans. He remained a brave and gallant soldier until the struggle was past, and he was honorably discharged at Little Rock, Arkansas, in the fall of 1865. During three months of his army career he was confined in a hospital but with the exception of the time thus spent he was constantly with his command, and at the close of the hostilities he returned to his home with a most creditable military record. After his return he again became an inmate of his sister's home in Iowa, but in 1874 he removed from that State to Kansas locating on government land in Center township, Jewell County. The farm which he now owns comprises a tract of three hundred and twenty acres of fertile land, on which he has erected commondious and substantial buildings, and everything about the place indicates the supervision of a practical and progressive owner. Their first home in the Sunflower state was a stone dugout, twelve by eighteen feet, in which they made their home for a number of years, but in 1884 this primitive abode was replaced by a modern and commodious building, and their home is now one of the best and most attractive places of the locality.

Ere leaving the Hawkeye state Mr. Pider was married to Miss Mary E. Shoemaker, their wedding have been celebrated in Appanoose county, that state, on the 19th of December, 1871. The lady was born in Indiana, and is a daughter of Frank and Mary C. (Rhinka) Shoemaker, natives of Hanover, Germany. The mother was called to her final rest when Mrs. Pider was but one year old, passing away in Indiana, but she was survived by her husband for a number of years. He died in Iowa when he had reached the age of sixty-three years. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Pider have been born five children, but Christian the second child in order of birth, died at the age of thirteen years. The four surviving children are: Luna I., who is married and is the mother of three children; Myrtle J., who is attending school at Salina, Kansas; and Viola G. and Madge B., who are also attending school. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and our subject and his wife were among the first members of that denomination here. In his social relations Mr. Pider is a member of Jim Lane Post, No. 34, G. A. R., which was one of the first societies organized in Mankato. In political matters he has been a life long Republican, his first presidential vote having been cast for Abraham Lincoln while he was in the army, and he has ever since continued to support Republican candidates. Many years of his life have been spent in Jewell County, and he has thus become widely known among her citizens and is held in high regard. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 1049-1050)


Joseph A. Poppen, physician and surgeon since 1908, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 29, 1876 and for 53 years he has resided in Kansas.

He first attended rural school and from 1892 until 1896 attended Grellette Academy at Glen Elder, Kansas. He received the Bachelor of Science degree in 1899 from Salina Normal University, and in 1908 was awarded his Medical degree from St. Louis University. he was elected to membership in Phi Beta Pi while in college, and held the office of archon in 1908.

From 1900 until 1904 Dr. Poppen was superintendent of schools. He taught in institutes and rural schools and since 1908 has been engaged in practice. He is a Republican.

Dr. Poppen's marriage to Elsie M. Peters was solemnized in Ionia, Kansas. She was born in Sylvan Grove, Kansas, February 15, 1887, and was a teacher before her marriage. There are two children, Mayo Joseph, born December 31, 1910, who attends the University of Kansas Medical School; and Cheryl G. March 15, 1919, who is in the eighth grade of Burr Oak Public Schools.

Dr. Poppen is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. For 17 years he was a member of the school board at Ionia. Residence: Burr Oak. (Illustriana Kansas, Edited by Sara A. Mullin Baldwin, Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933, page 929)

TANNER, PETERNo history of Jewell county, Kansas would be complete without mention of Peter Tanner, whose residence here antedates that of every other citizen of the locality. He came here in 1869 when the wild prairie stretched for miles around without habitation save those of the red men, whose thieving propensities and vengeful spirit endangered not only property but also life. A debt of gratitude is certainly due the brave men and women who made their way to the frontier, being the advance guard of civilization which has converted the wild regions into beautiful homes and productive farms, while industries and commercial interests have been introduced and churches and schoolhouses have been built indicating the intellectual and moral status of the community. While Mr. Tanner experienced many hardships and difficulties and braved dangers he also met with prosperity as the years passed and is now the possessor of a very desirable property.

He comes from the "land of the midnight sun," his birth having occurred in Norway, near Stravanger, his parents being Torger and Carrie Tanner. The farmer was a blacksmith by trade and died when his son Peter was only eight years of age. His widow afterward came to Illinois and spent her last days in the home of her daughter in Illinois, where she died at the age of eighty years. Both were consistent members of the Lutheran church.

Left fatherless at the age of eight years, it became necessary for Peter Tanner to earn his own living and he herded cattle and sheep in which service he remained in the employ of one man for about four years. He then became herder for another man who gave him his board, clothing and about four dollars per year. When sixteen years of age he began learning the shoemaker's trade, which he followed for a number of years. He was a young man of twenty-three when he determined to try his fortune in the United states, believing that he would have better opportunities in this country than in his native land. In April 1864 he landed on the American coast and made his way across the country to Rock county, Wisconsin, where he secured work upon a farm for sixteen dollars per month. He considered that a princely salary. It was more than his brightest drams had anticipated, for in the old country he did not make that much in a year. After about six months had passed he began working for his board and privilege of attending school, as he wished to acquaint himself with the English language and to gain a broader knowledge as a preparation for the practical duties of life. For three or four years he also engaged in rafting on the rivers of Wisconsin and then came to Kansas where the government offered splendid farming facilities to those who would locate upon and improve the land. He was in debt when he arrived in this country, but his energy and so many enabled him to meet his obligation, and with a desire to secure a home of his own he made his way westward.

In March 1869, Mr. Tanner arrived in Jewell county, Kansas with a capital of over six hundred dollars which he had saved from his earning. He secured his claim and began its development, but while he was away from home - gone to aid in the burial of some friends - the Indians stole everything which they could carry away from his place. In 1870 they also stole his horses, but those he afterward recovered. His first home, was a double log house, sixteen by twenty-four feet. He then lived in a dug out for four years, after which he erected another log cabin, which was his home until 1891 when it was destroyed by fire. He replaced it by his present attractive and commodious residence which was erected at a cost of two thousand dollars in 1892. The following year he built an octagonal barn at a cost of over three thousand dollars, probably the best barn in the state. He owns two hundred and forty acres of rich and arable land and carries on general farming and stock raising, cultivating those crops best adapted to this climate and keeping on hand good grades of cattle, horses and hogs.

Since securing the right of franchise Mr. Tanner has supported the Republican party, his first vote having been cast for General Grant in 1876. He formerly belonged to the Grange but has taken no very active part in political or society interests, preferring to give his attention to his farming, in which he has met with excellent success - his property being the visible evidence of his life of industry; energy and honest toil. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 932-933)


One of the honored pioneers of Jewell County, Kansas is Reuben Worick, whose residence here covers a period of thirty years. At his arrival he found a broad stretch of wild prairie, upon which very few settlements had been made, while the flourishing towns and villages which we now see were unknown. The work of development and improvement belonged to the future. Buffaloes could be killed not far distant and only a few years had passed since the Indians had left for western reservations. Mr. Worick established his home on the farm where he yet resides and has taken an active part in reclaiming the wild land for purposes of civilization.

He was born in Center county, Pennsylvania on the 1st of October, 1836, and is of Dutch and English descent. His grandfather, John Worick, was born in Pennsylvania, and his parents came from Germany to America and when the ship arrived he was sold to pay his passage, working until his wages were equal to the passage price. Such was the custom in colonial days, the practice was discontinued after the establishment of the republic. John Worick married Rebecca Kitchen, who was of English descent and for many years they resided in Center county, Pennsylvania where both died when well advanced in years. Their son, Charles Worick, the father of our subject, was born in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, June 2, 1810 and was a cabinet maker by trade. In October 1842 he removed with his family to Stephenson County, Illinois where he made his home until 1884, when he became a resident of Iola, Kansas, his death there occurring on the 2d of January 1888. He was married on the 20th of September, 1835, to Miss Mary Brown who was born in the Keystone state, October 3, 1815 a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Klontz) Brown, the former a native of Center County, Pennsylvania, while the latter was born in the Keystone state.

Reuben Worick spent the first six years of his life in the state of his nativity and was then taken by his parents to Illinois, where he was reared upon the home farm, early becoming familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot to the agriculturist. He attended the common schools and remained at home until his marriage, assisting his father in the cultivation of the fields. On the 22d of October, 1854, he wedded Miss Susannah Kohl, who was born in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of David and Christina (Weitman) Kohl, both of whom were natives of the Keystone state, whence they removed to Wisconsin about 1851. The father was a farmer and miller and those pursuits occupied his entire business career. The father and mother both died in Green county, that state. They were the parents of thirteen children, of whom four are yet living. The youngest in the family is Mrs. Worick.

After his marriage in the spring of 1855, Mr. Worick removed with his bride to Cedarville, Illinois, and for one year was employed by the month by John H. Adams to drive a team, hauling flour to Freeport. He then removed to the vicinity of Orangeville, Illinois, where he worked at carpentering until the fall of 1857, at which time he went to Wisconsin, settling in Cadiz township, seven miles southeast of Monroe, where he followed his trade until September 10, 1861. At that date prompted by a spirit of patriotism, he offered his services to the government and joined the boys in blue of the Fifth Wisconsin Battery, with which he served until June 14, 1865, when he received an honorable discharge, the war having been brought to a successful termination. He was always found at his post, reporting each day for duty, and was a brave and loyal soldier. He had four brothers and two cousins who were members of the same company.
When the war was over Mr. Worick returned to his Wisconsin home and there remained until the 19th of March, 1871 when he came with his family to Jewell county, Kansas taking up his abode on the farm where he now lives. He secured it as a claim from the government and the patent for the same is signed by General Grant, then president of the United States. The first cooking for the family on this farm was done under a tree and their first house was a combination of a shanty and dugout. One day Mr. Worick started out on a hunting trip after buffaloes, and upon his return, much to his surprise, he found his family living in a little dugout, his wife and children having built it during his absence. There they lived for eight years, when the primitive home was replaced by a more commodious one, and in 1887 their present fine residence was erected from stone secured upon the farm. Other modern improvements and accessories have been added until now he has the largest and best barn in the country and the place is now one of the best farms in this portion of the county - the substantial evidence of the enterprise and labor of its owner.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Worick was blessed with nine children of whom four are yet living; Mary C., who is married and has two children living, the elder having served his country in the war in the Philippines; William W., who is married and has three living children, his son having enlisted for service in the Spanish American War, and with his command camped in Pennsylvania; Lizzie, who is married and has one child; and Minnie who is married to J. M. Blake, and resides on the Symore farm. Their grandson, Eugene F. Windecker was for two years a soldier in the Philippines and is now in Wyoming.

Mr. Worick is a most enterprising farmer and everything about his place indicates his careful supervision. He is progressive and his labors have resulted in bringing to him gratifying success. His fields are under a high state of cultivation, his stock is of good grades, and neatness and thrift characterize the farm in every department. For ten years Mr. Worick was agent for the Esterly Machinery Company and ran the first twine binding harvester that was shipped into Jewel County, Kansas. In his political views he has been a stalwart Republican since casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. For many years he has served as clerk of the school district, but has never been an aspirant for public office. He belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and to Jim Lane Post No. 34, G. A. R. of Mankato, thus maintaining pleasant relations with his old army comrades of the blue. His life has been a busy and useful one, and in all its relations his course has been manly and straightforward. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Volume II, New York and Chicago The Lewis Publishing Company, 1902 Pages 1050-1052)



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