Linn County, Kansas



L'Amoreaux is the way the family name was spelled when Isaac was born in France in 1744 in a Huguenot family and he married Elizabeth whose family name is not given. John, their ninth child, was born June 10, 1794, and married Edith whose family name is not given and their son Daniel R. was born November 10, 1829, at Central Bridge, Schoharie county, New York. The family were very early colonial settlers in America. Daniel, who was to become a highly prized citizen in Linn County, was married first to Catherine M. Lamont by whom he had no children. His next marriage was December 29, 1857, to Sarah L. Ives, born Cuyahoga county, Ohio, by whom six children came to him, being George W. Lamoreau who married Nellie Connor of Holden, Missouri; Charles N. married Ora Davis; Lilian Edith married John Rolla Mentzer; and John H. married Rose Clarke; Kate Claribel married Roy Hawkins; and Howard E. married Nellie Osborn. The name became Anglicized so it was Dan Lamoreau to us. Dan learned the trade of carpenter and joiner. In 1855 he went to Walworth county, Wisconsin, where he operated a sash and door factory. When the Civil War came on he enlisted in the Thirteenth Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers and was in Sherman's famous march to the sea and Mr. Lamoreau's capacity to handle big affairs is proven by his having charge of the seventy-five thousand horses on that great military expedition. Governor Alexander W. Randolph of Wisconsin signed his first commission as captain. He was mustered out in 1864 but was called back to serve a veteran enlistment and in 1866 President Andrew Johnson signed a beautiful commission making him a major. In 1890 he enum-erated mortgage indebtedness of Linn, Miami, Bourbon and Franklin counties for the census bureau and served as sheriff and other local offices. He brought his family to Linn County in 1864. He was a true type of the heroes of the Civil War. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Pages 355-356)


When a new town was started it simply doubled or more greatly multiplied the work of the capable men in the community. So when Prescott got agoing in 1870 it asked Levi Hart Lane to be mayor and justice of the peace in addition to running his drug store, and as the place was small the Missouri River, Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad (commonly called the Gulf Road) announced that it did not feel able to keep a salaried agent, so to save the young town from embarrassment this same Levi Hart Lane acted as station agent without compensation, getting up at unearthly hours to sell tickets to parties going on the early train, lugging mail bags to and from the postoffice, pushing a freight truck to get freight and baggage in and out of the weather and added to these activities were his duties as postmaster all the years of his residence in the town. In addition to all this he was the great humanitarian of the town, helping financially many who could never repay. In 1872 a cyclone swept the town, reducing a number of good frame business houses to a greater number of separate pieces than the carpenters used in putting them together originally. This storm was a sensational thing and almost every Prescott home has a set of photographs taken of the "remains." It wiped out much security for Levi Hart Lane's generous loans but he never winced. He took on more local burdens by being elected to the legislature taking part in the election of John James Ingalls over S. C. Pomeroy as United States Senator. From this you get the idea of what Mr. Lane was-a really high class man. He was born in Louise county, New York, April 1, 1830, son of Lyman Lane and his wife Hancy Hart. The Lanes came from Scotland, intermarried with the families of Stephen Hart and John Lee who came from England to Connecticut as early as 1634. These early pioneers were real fellows serving in the Continental army and holding various public positions. Our Mr. Lane in 1854 married Emily Jane Kendrick whose father was a Congregational minister after graduating from Harvard University and serving a time on the Harvard faculty. The four children of L. H. and Emily Jane Lane were Edwin Carlos (well remembered as Ed. C.) now at Clarinda, Iowa; Charles Edward who was editor of the Prescott Eagle and deputy county clerk under John Madden, and who married Mary Burks of Prescott (and had four children: Roy E., Frances E., George M., and Josephine, the last two born in Illinois. This child Josephine has the distinction of being the first woman in the state of Illinois to hold the combined offices of clerk of the circuit court and county recorder, in Kendall county.) Another child of L. H. was Frances who was with her father at Prescott and married John W. Shirley, the station agent and who in after years was an important employee of the Santa Fe system. Frances and her husband had seven children (Maurice, Edna, Edith, Linda, Harry, Charles, and Frances G.) A brother-in-law of L. H. Lane, Asa Deland Perrin, also brought a good family to Prescott. Their son Herbert L. Perrin now lives at Fort Scott, after many years in Prescott. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Pages 356-357)


Jacob Stites was the son of Johan Stites and his wife Ruth Moore, both natives of Germany. They settled in New Jersey where Jacob was born in Somerset county in 18pi and married Ada Ayres of Sussex county that state, born 1805, daughter of William Ludlow Ayres from Devonshire, England, son of Mary whose mother was Mary Gomo (accent on the last sylable) and the great great grandmother being Susan Thorp. Jacob Stites pioneered in Stark county, Illinois, in 1840, and " their son William and daughters Isadora and Lucy were born there. William came with his family to Linn County in 1858, accompanied by his sister Isadora and her husband William Hudson. Lucy Stites married Richard Hill in Illinois and they came on to Linn County in the spring of 1859, and the parents, Jacob and Ada, came that fall, with Mary and her husband William Thompson. These people were all very active and useful citizens. Lucy had the distinction of being the first school teacher regularly employed in Scott township. Her husband Richard Hill will be remembered by a few as a big hearty man always wearing a full beard and of very pleasing personal appearance. He served as county coroner, was then county clerk two terms, and when a candidate for the legislature was beaten by O. D. Harmon by a majority of just one vote. He was a thoroughbred Englishman and his parents were in the East Indian Service when he was born in Belarum, Province of Madras, India. At the time of the Price Raid he was serving in the Sixth Kansas Militia, taking part in the fight at Trading Post and Mine Creek. This superb man died in 1911 and Lucy is now living at Greenfield, Monterey county, California, as Lucy Hill Crawford. Speaking of pioneer days Lucy tells this experience: "My sister's husband, William Thompson, was in the regular army. Things were pretty hard for us women folks, left alone. One of their horses died, leaving her only horse, and a team was an absolute necessity. They had a three-year-old colt that had never had a bridle on and we said 'We will have to break that colt to harness." We tied her to the fence and put the harness on, and had some trouble getting the bit in her mouth, but at last we had her hitched to the wagon alongside her mother. I said "I will do the driving, for if either of us must get killed it will be better for me to go as you have three children and I have none." She hung on to the bits till I got a good hold of the lines and got my feet well braced, and then I told her to let go. We expected her to rear and plunge and wreck things all over the neighborhood, but instead she walked off as calmly as an old animal. The next day we drove down on Big Sugar Creek to get a load of wood and the crooked branches we piled on looked like a crow's nest, when I saw a rick of cord wood. Sister did not want me to take any but I threw out the trashy stuff and loaded up with good regular four-foot split cord wood, and when we got home sister seemed to enjoy sharing that wood. So you see we who stayed at home did heroic things as well as the men at the front." William had a son named Webster J. Stites who was married three times, first to Miss Ladenia Stewart, then to Mrs. Bettie Harper, and later to Mrs. Pearl Dellinger Kennedy. He died at LaCygne April 20, 1928, leaving four sons and the widow. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Pages 357-358)


Among the cultured men of the early days in Mound City was Joseph Harrington Trego, a son of the eldest sister of Thomas Elwood Smith who married John Howard Trego back in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, hence belonging to that famous family line descended from the William Penn family of the court of Charles the First, one of whom was knighted by Charles the Second after the Restoration. Our Joseph Harrington was graduated from the Phildelphia Medical School and practiced here all his life. He married Alice Mannington, born in Oneida county, New York, of English descent. To Joseph and Alice were born seven daughters who married as follows: Kate to Courtland L. Long and Eleanor to William B. Helm, both these couples making their homes down in the Seminole Nation before Oklahoma became a state; Helen married Robert K. Fleming the noted cattleman; Rebecca married Joseph Norris and made their home at Spokane, Washington; Sophia married Rodney W. Riggs and now lives at Fresno, California; Louise married William B. Helm of Wellington, Kansas; Sara married John O. Morse, the lawyer at Mound City; Octavia married Irving Smith and made their home at Kansas City; and Martha married William W. Thayer and makes her home at San Francisco. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Pages 358-359)


Alfred Latham of Pleasanton was one of the notably successful men who started as a clerk in a store at Mound City in 1870, then drove all over the country with a peddler's wagon drawn by a span of mules selling tinware and other household necessities taking farm produce in payment, afterwards estab-lishing a produce house in Mound City which outgrew the town and he moved to Pleasanton to get better shipping facilities, organizing his business under the name of the Latham Commission Company which had probably a hundred branch houses and shipping stations scattered over Kansas and Missouri. He had reached the ripe age of nearly eighty-two years when on a business trip to New York City on October 28, 1927, he was found dead in his bed in his hotel room, and Linn County records the loss of a fine citizen. He was married November 26, 1874, to Frances L. Bartholomew, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. N. E. Bartholomew who were early pioneers in Mound City. To the Lathams were born a daughter, now Mrs. L. A. Holbert of Kansas City; J. W. Latham of Pleasanton; George Latham who died about 1926 at Ottawa; Mrs. Harvey Lincoln of Pleasanton; and Mildred who died in 1908 at Mound City. In writing his obituary some friend said: "Know you today, that a great man and prince has fallen." (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Page 359)


Isaac Glucklich and A. Friedman, two Austrian Jews from Kracow, came to LaCygne in 1871 and entered into a partnership that lasted until 1909, after which Mr. Glucklich carried on the business. They were good citizens and acquired and retained strong friendships among our people and accumulated a comfortable fortune. In 1874 Mr. Glucklich was married in St. Louis to Miss Rose Swartzkopf who lived here until her
death in 1915, affectionately regarded by everyone. Roy their oldest son was with his father in the business, and Hattie the eldest daughter married P. B. Leivy, and Sadie is a highly prized teacher in the schools of Salina. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Pages 359 - 360)


J. H. Matthews and wife have lived in and about Boicourt since 1867, although there was no town there then and no roads and no bridges, so he can marvel at the changes that have come when some friend takes him for a ride over the ribbon of concrete known as the "Short Line." He helped to plat the present Trading Post Cemetery and to remove the bodies of the victims of the Marais des Cygnes Massacre to their permanent resting place where a beautiful monument commemorates their sacrifice. The Matthews children are Artie, Harry, Walter, Ora Falletti, Sylvia, Stambough and Ersie. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Page 360)


A lovable character of Lincoln township was Edward Holden Minton, born in England in 1835, and who came to Linn County in 1859. He married Addie Spencer, daughter of Elias Spencer and sister of Samuel who became state oil inspector. They had a daughter Neda, still living. Later he married Almeida Burgess, daughter of a Baptist preacher who lived in Lincoln township, and they had eight children named Nellie, Maude, Minnie, Meda, Beth, Thomas, Stella, and Verne.


"The world was young in those days", and being young it was beautiful and fresh and attractive and it ever beckoned on to new scenes the courageous souls who became acquainted with it. No wonder the wanderlust possessed so many, urging them on to new experiences and new conquests. We thought we had found the prize winner in Mrs. Shattuck of Pleasanton, who crossed the western half of the continent twice before the famous Ezra Meeker got started, but now we have found a strong contender for the championship. In the early "fifties" (probably 1854 or 1855) then about twenty years old, there came from his birthplace at Chambersburg, Pike county, Illinois, Edward Boyd Metz. He was a pioneer by experience, as his father Benjamin Blackford Metz had gone from New York State in those very early days, as his son Edward Boyd was born there in 1835 and at the age of twenty had married Emily Chambers Middaugh (or Gilbert, as there seems to be some confusion and uncertainty as to her family name) and they came to Linn County and took a full part in all that was going on. I don't find any trace of him in the Territorial days but in the troubled times of 1863 he was sheriff of Linn County, one incident of his term being the capture and trial and conviction and hanging by the neck until dead of one Griffith as a member of the crowd of thirty-two cutthroats who committed the Marais des Cygnes Massacre. That was a tremendous incident in a little frontier settlement during the feverish anxiety of the Civil War, and in addition to his work as sheriff this young fellow only twenty -eight years old was enlisting Company M for service in the Fifteenth Regiment, of which company he was elected captain. This regiment did important service out on the plains, acting as convoy to wagon trains and in punishing renegade bands of Indians. For a time Jennison was colonel of the Fifteenth, but got into difficulty and was cashiered. There were a lot of men in that regiment who later came to Linn County, among them Martin Funk, many years a citizen of La Cygne. Ben F. Simpson was captain of Company C. Henry M. Doud and his brother E. S. Doud of New Lancaster, afterward well known in Linn. Lee Mayfield at the age of seventeen, Oscar F. Dunlap was captain of Company H (and in 1870 built the present bridge at Trading Post), and in Metz's own Company M there were Calvin T. Bell, Jere Johnson, and Isaac A. Davis of Moneka, Francis Askens, Taylor W. Swaney, C. M. Tompkins of Twin Springs, William M. Bell, Ambrose Craft, John A. Craft, Alfred J. Pointer, James Arnett, Emmual Arnold, William H. Ayres, Justin N. Ayres, Francis Askens, A. B. Byram, Irvin R. Ball, Luther Bacon, Calvin Barnard, James D. Critcher, Levi Dickinson, Andrew Gore, John Hall, Phillip C. Hill, William Hendricks, David C. HafFord, Thomas S. Inman, Ephraim James, John C. Keller, Jacob Keitle, Eli Lamb, John T. Lindsay, John Morrison, Martin Morris, Simon L. Morgan, James H. Martin, Alfred J. Pointer, John C. Quinn, Samuel W. Rowcraft, Mathew Robinson, Charles Reynolds, Temple Shockman, George A. Shadier, William F. Shadier, James M. Symonds, John W. Symonds, Samuel V. Sands, Caius M. Tompkins, and Joseph D. Tippie. These were nearly all young men, many only boys of sixteen to eighteen years old up to John C. Quinn who was forty-five. These were the type of men in Company M who elected Edward Boyd Metz to be their captain. After the war the family lived in a "large two-story white house facing the main road, with a lot of wild strawberries on the hill back of the house", and later on at the "Woy" farm from where they moved to Pleasanton, and of course that was at least after 1871. But here is where the wanderlust starts again. They went to Colorado, where they visited Aunt Ruth Danford an daughter Lily. On the way west they saw great herds buffalo and antelope. There were three of the Metz child now, Alice born in 1863,-Benjamin Blackford born 1865, Eva bom 1868, all natives of Linn County. They lived in Canon City two years and Eva died there. The old spirit urged them on and they went to Southern Cr" New Mexico. They were well equipped and all weather, loitering along in the beautiful till they got to Las Vegas, New Mexico, where they "settled down" for two years, and then went back to the father's old home at Chambersburg, Illinois, and three years later went back to the "delectable mountains" of Colorado, and tried to get rich mining at Leadville and other camps. All this time the boy Benjamin Blackford Metz was growing into* manhood and followed mining up to about 1907 when he married Jennie Marvin and they have four children, William B. nineteen years old, Alice L. fifteen, Charles Benjamin thirteen and Edward Henry nine, and now where do you think they are? Their home is on the north end of Chickagoff Island in Southeastern Alaska, probably a hundred miles west of Juneau, the capital. From their home they look across Glacier Bay and have a beautiful view of Muir Glacier, with a magnificent background framed by the Fairweather Range of mountains. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Pages 361-362)


Joel Moody was born near Fredericktown, New Brunswick, Canada, October 28, 1833. When he was a little less than a year old his parents moved to St. Charles, Illinois, and there young Moody received his elementary education. He afterward attended Oberlin College, graduating with high honors, and from there went to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, graduating in 1858. His parents died when he was but thirteen years of age and it was through his own efforts that he acquired his college education. He chose the law as his profession and was admitted to the bar in Columbus, Ohio. On January 1, 1859, he married Miss Elizabeth King and they came to Kansas, settling in Woodson county, but later made their home in Mound City. In July, 1862, Mr. Moody was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Second Indian regiment and on May 27, 1863, was advanced to captain, commanding Company H. Captain Moody represented his district in the legislatures of 1865 and 1881 and was a member of the state senate sessions of 1889 and 1891. Sometime during the '80's Mrs. Moody died, leaving three sons, Robert, Ralph and Joel, and in 1891 Captain Moody married Mrs. Ella Choate Porter of Fort Scott. They moved to Abbeyville, Louisiana, where Captain Moody published a newspaper, but returned to Kansas in 1908, settling in Topeka and here Captain Moody died February 18, 1914. He was the author of several books and contributed to magazines scientific and literary articles, as well as poems. Robert the eldest son married Susie Smith, daughter of Elwood Smith and they haveTour children Rebecca, Ruth, Robert, and June. Ralph married Loie Strong and their children are Henry S. and Catherine who married Dr. Carey. Another of the Moody boys named Joel died in New Mexico. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Page 362)


Elbert Hubbard (Fra Albertus) the popular writer and philosopher who went down with the Lusitania when that ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in the Irish sea, was a great admirer of Kansas. Shortly before his death the writer of this book met him at a dinner at the Coates House in Kansas City when he told me he had worked on a farm south of Osawatomie, but he was uncertain which county he was in. He particularly remembered his long days of plowing corn. He became a great writer and publisher, building a wonderful industrial plant at East Aurora, New York, where many things in art work as well as handsome books were produced. He wrote his praise in "Kansas in One Sentence" as follows:

"Kansas-A land of smiling sunshine, of winding streams, and waving corn and happy homes;

"Where you have but to tickle the soil to make it laugh a harvest;

"A land dotted with school houses and growing towns and villages that call themselves 'cities'-this by divine right, for they have the prophetic outlook, and tomorrow will be what they to-day think they are;

"A land of sensitive souls, where nothing is good enough, but must be better; where nothing is but all things are becoming ;

"A land of pigs given to adipose, of sleek cattle, of strong horses, of handsome women, of bouncing babies, of homely, rugged men with individuality plus, who feel deeply and write vividly;

"A land where hens lay lavishly and cackle in proportion, where mules gambol on the green and are not ashamed of their pedigree;

"A land whose finest products are its superb physical health, their proud ambition, their high appreciation, their capacity for useful work and their right intent;

"A land where there is so much that is noble and pure and true and beautiful and good that if men in Kansas occasionally lapse, God in love and pity engages Gabriel in conversation, points to the Pleiades, looks the other way, and forgets it-happy, prosperous, smiling Kansas."

This song of praise is now copied into all books on Kansas. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Pages 362-363)


There are many curious developments in a study of American history wherever you begin. One particularly interesting thing is that the sons of Austin Wilbur Hall by Corolin Fisk his first wife are relatives not very remote of Senator Stephen A. Douglas who invited the American people to move into Kansas Territory and fight it out among themselves as to whether or not they should have slavery. Corolin Fisk was a remarkable woman who is affectionately remembered by the very few of her generation yet living. She came from a very old English family who had their homestead at the Manor of Stadhaugh, Parish of Laxfield in County Suffolk, where Lord Lyman Fiske was lord of the manor from 1399 to 1422. They had fine old historic places, some still preserved to this day and a coat of arms to stimulate their pride. In 1637 scions of this family came to America and developed a wonderful progeny, as nearly every American Fisk is recorded in their family book. They have been wonderful pioneers, powerful preachers, and great doctors of medicine. They all took to higher education and many were graduates of Harvard. One of the Fisk women married a Scotchman of the rather proud name of Douglas, a name famous in the land of cakes. To her was born at the family home in Vermont a son who was named Stephen Arnold and he got into the United States Senate from Illinois and took a strenuous part in the public affairs of his time. He was of the same generation and only a little older than this remote cousin Corolin Fisk of Eden, Vermont, who became the wife of Austin W. Hall and made her home at Trading Post. I am unable to give the genealogy of Mr. Hall, whose American ancestry goes back beyond 1800, but they have left a monument to themselves in their sons, as follows: (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Pages 362-363)

Amos Homer Hall, born 1872 at Trading Post, married Miss Belle Hill of Nevada, and they have four children of rare accomplishments: Clark Homer, graduate of Kemper College, Missouri University, Jefferson Medical School of Philadelphia, interne at General Hospital in Kansas City, and now a child specialist at Oklahoma City; his wife was Susan Mary Roberts. Fern is a graduate of Cottey College and Pittsburg Normal, married Dr. Gerald C. Bates of Adrian, Missouri, now in practice at Independence, Kansas. John Austin graduated from William Jewell, Kansas University, Chicago Law School and now is in practice of law at Chicago. Beth A. was schooled in Cottey College, Lindenwood, Kansas University, Colorado University and now taking special work at University of California at Berkeley. The family home at Amsterdam is a model of good architecture with every modern convenience, having a private water system big enough for the village and electric lights and in a charming situation. Amos is now one of the leading property men of Bates county. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Page 364)

Carlton Fisk Hall, the second son, married Mellie Hicks, and they have a good home and general merchandise store at Amoret, Missouri. Their children are Thelma Corolin who graduated from Hardin College and the State Teachers College at Pittsburg, Kansas; Dorothy Corolin, a student at Hardin College; and Eugene Fisk, a boy at home. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Page 364)

John Austin Hall chose law as his profession taking collegiate courses at Kansas University and at Ann Arbor Law School, and settled down in the old home county where success has come to him very substantially. He is frequently called into public service, having recently served on a commission appointed by Governor Paulen to hold public hearings over the state on the public roads question and is called on for commencement addresses and had that difficult job this year at the State School for the Deaf at Olathe. The greatest compliment to him has been an invitation to serve as a member of the American Law Institute which meets at Washington for a lengthy session each year. There are seven hundred members of this Institute, only five of whom are from Kansas. It is sustained by an endowment by Laura Spellman Rockefeller, and its purpose is by research and study to obtain correct interpretation of all laws and to aid in bringing about uniformity in the administration of justice throughout the United States, and to aid our citizens in foreign countries. John maintains a very good modern home at Pleasanton presided over by Zella Cannon Hall, a charming woman. They have a boy Carl Austin Hall. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Pages 364-365)

By a second marriage to Edith Hill a fourth son was born to Austin W. Hall who was named Clyde. This boy has found his place in the world. He worked hard at his schooling, taking the full course and special studies at the Rolla school of Mines. He went into the employment of the United Clay Products Company whom he represented several years in Old Mexico. He is now at the main offices in Trenton, New Jersey. He married Fannie Mitchell of Rolla and they have one child, Marian Edith. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Page 365)


Among notable successes in life is that of Henry Nathaniel Cary, popularly known as Harry Cary, whose father estab-lished the LaCygne Journal in association with John P. Kenea in 1780. Along about 1878 Harry "graduated" from the little country printing office and went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was employed on a great daily newspaper owned by a relative. He began a career which achieved real distinction. He was called to New York to manage the Times Newspaper, later going to Chicago to be associated with Joseph Medill in the making of the Chicago Tribune, then back to New York on the New York World, and during the Spanish American War was in charge of the news service in the military and naval campaign about Cuba, having a large number of reporters operating a fleet of dispatch boats all over the area of operations. On his return home he was called again to Chicago to become the agent of the association of publishers there to. represent them in everything pertaining to ethical questions in their profession, and especially the labor question, in which he showed rare strength of character and the better qualities of a real diplomat. He died in Chicago, where his widow and daughter Emile now live. (History of Linnn County, by William Ansel Mitchell, 1928, Page 365)


Frank J. Stephenson, senior member of the firm of Stephenson & Stowe, general merchants at Blue Mound, Kan., is a native of Indiana, having been born in the city of Muncie, that state, May 27, 1867. He is son of G. W. and Amanda (Thompson) Stephenson, the former of, whom was born at Point Pleasant, Va., now West Virginia, and is the descendant of an old Virginia family of Scotch descent, while the latter was a native of Indiana. G. W. Stephenson left his native state and came westward to Indiana in 1858, and for a number of years was engaged in business at Muncie. In 1882 he brought his family to Kansas, locating first at Fort Scott, where he engaged in the mercantile business. He was subsequently similarly engaged at Moran and La Harpe, Allen county, until January, 1898, when he located in Blue Mound, Linn county, where he established the business now conducted by his son and Mr. Stowe. His active business career continued until 1903, when he sold his business to the present firm and retired to enjoy a well earned rest from business cares. The mother of our subject died in 1882, but the father is still living and resides in Blue Mound. Three sons and one daughter of these parents are living, namely: Mrs. L. A. Warfield, of St. Louis, Mo.; Frank J., of this review; W. T. Stephenson, a director of the Hamilton Brown Shoe Company, of St. Louis; and W. V. Stephenson, a physician at Osage City, Kan.

Frank J. Stephenson received his education in the public schools and was associated with his father in the mercantile business until twenty-four years of age, thus early learning under his father's direction the principles so essential to a successful business career. At the age of twenty-four he accepted a position with a Kansas City wholesale house, and for the following six years was employed principally as a traveling salesman. He was sent to Blue Mound in 1898 to represent this house in settling up a business failure, and it was at this time that his father bought the interest of the failing owner and continued to manage the store until our subject purchased it. Mr. Stephenson, having enjoyed a good business training and being possessed of industry and admirable commercial judgment, soon firmly established his position in the business community, and now holds a position among the most enterprising and influential business men of Linn county. The business is managed along progressive lines and now occupies four adjoining rooms on Main street, each with a 25 foot frontage and 100 feet deep. One room is given exclusively to carpets, one to drygoods, clothing and shoes, one to groceries and queensware, and one is a feed and ware room, and as a whole this store is one of the most complete to be found in any similarly sized town in Kansas. Mr. Stephenson is a progressive, public-spirited citizen, and through his efficiency as a business man he has not only promoted his own success, but the prosperity of Blue Mound and Linn county as well. In fraternal circles Mr. Stephenson affiliates as a member of the Masonic order and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

On Jan. 16, 1894, Mr. Stephenson was united in marriage to Miss Effie Rawlins, of Brandenburg, Ky., and to their union has been born one son, Julian, born Oct. 2, 1896. (Kansas Biography, Vol. III, Part 2, Pages 780-781, Transcribed by: Millie Mowry)


Harry Elmer Ashley, farmer, was born at Pleasanton, Kansas, August 7, 1878, and died in the Chanute Hospital, December 16, 1932. He was the son of Thomas and Caroline Ashley, the former of whom a farmer, died at Pleasanton, November 22, 1891. The mother, who was born in Ohio, July 10, 1855, died at Pleasanton, January 10, 1927.

Harry Elmer Ashley completed a course at the Bridgeford Barber College at Kansas City, Missouri. He followed his profession for several years after 1901, and then engaged in farming and stockraising.

Mr. Ashley was married on December 29, 1901, to Iva Belle Seright at Pleasanton, and to them twin daughters were born, Beatrice and Berenice, on September 1, 1908. Both were graduated from high school in 1928. Berenice has taught three terms, and now attends Teachers College at Pittsburg.

Just prior to his death he was honored by election to the office of county commissioner. He was a member of the city council, the First Christian Church, the Chamber of Commerce, and the School Board of District No. 59, on which he served for seventeen years. (Illustriana Kansas, by Sara Mullin Baldwin & Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933, pages 44-45)


Lawrence Monroe Shearer, the owner and editor of the "0lpe Optimist," was born in Osborne county, Kansas, Jan. 21, 1878, the first son of Wilson S. and Dora (James) Shearer. His father was born in Miami county, Ohio, of German-French parentage; was educated in the public schools, and attended Miami Academy. After attaining his majority he determined to start in life for himself and came to Kansas, in 1870, when the country was but little settled up. He became a buffalo hunter on the plains in the western part of the state, which occupation was a paying one during the early '70s. Subsequently, he took up government land in Osborne county and he taught school for a few years. He married. Dora James, of Mitchell county, in 1876. She was a daughter of George James, one of the successful pioneer farmers near Beloit, Kan. Two children were born of this union--Osborne Ferry and Lawrence Monroe. Mrs. Shearer died in 1881.

Lawrence M. Shearer received his elementary education in the public schools of Cawker City and then attended the State Agricultural College, at Manhattan, Kan. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American war he left college and enlisted in Company H, Twenty-second Kansas infantry, and served seven months. He then spent two years at the Chase School of Art, in New York City. On his return to Kansas he entered the State Normal School, at Emporia, and graduated with the class of 1904. Shortly before his graduation he took the government civil service examination for teacher in the Philippine Islands and was appointed. On June 11, 1904, he sailed for the Philippines and was there three years. He taught for a year and a half in the province of Rizal and a year and a half in Samar Island. Returning to the United States he reentered the normal school, at Emporia, and graduated in the Latin course in 1908. He decided to remain in his native state and bought the newspaper plant of the "Olpe Optimist," which was owned by H. B. Albertson. Since acquiring the paper, Mr. Shearer has placed it upon a sound financial foundation, has erected a fine new brick building for it, and today the paper is the pride of the town and its owner is regarded as one of the rising young men in the newspaper profession. He is progressive in his ideas, modern in his methods, and runs a wide-awake, up-to-date semiweekly paper.

On Oct. 6, 1910, Mr. Shearer married Mable Elizabeth French, a school teacher, and a daughter of L. A. and Paulina French. Mr. French is a farmer and lives in Lyon county. (Kansas Biography, Vol. III, Part 2, 1912, pages 936-937 Transcribed as written by Millie Mowry)


Benjamin F. Blaker. Kansas is yet so young in her statehood that the majority of her strongest business men and men of affairs are the contribution of other states, principally those of the East, and among those leading business men of Kansas is Mr. Blaker, president of the Blaker Lumber & Grain Company. He was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, Dec. 3, 1844, is descended from German and French Huguenot ancestors on the paternal side and is of English descent on the maternal side. The first Blaker in America emigrated from Germany in 1680 and settled in Germantown and about 1699 moved to Bucks county, Pennsylvania, near where Benjamin F. Blaker was born. In fact, the birthplace of Mr. Blaker was part of his first American ancestor's holdings and has been in the possession of members of the Blaker family since 1699, a period of over 200 years. Joshua C. and Ann (Croasdale) Blaker, parents of Mr. Blaker, were natives of Pennsylvania. The father spent his entire life in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits. He died in 1894, at the age of seventy-eight years and is survived by his wife, who resides in Newtown, near the old homestead, and has reached the advanced age of ninety-three years. They were the parents of nine children, of whom three daughters and two sons are living. In order of birth they are: Benjamin F.; Alfred (see sketch); Eva, the wife of Lucian Brown, a Methodist minister in Pennsylvania; Emma, the wife of George Poole; and Susanna, who resides with and cares for her aged mother in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Blaker was one of the thousands of young men who did patriotic service for the cause of the Union during the Civil war. Though but eighteen years of age, he enlisted in July, 1863, in Company L, Twen-tieth Pennsylvania cavalry, for six months' service, and was mustered out Jan. 7, 1864. He then became a student at Millersville College and while there enlisted again, this time in Company D, Eighth Pennsylvania cavalry, with which he served until the close of the war. The Eighth had seen three years of hard service prior to his enlistment, and it was to fill up its depleted ranks that new recruits were taken at that time. Upon the opening of the Wilderness campaign in 1864 the Eighth participated in the various movements and battles of Sheridan's corps. It also participated in the cavalry operations during the siege of Petersburg and in the spring of 1865 moved with Sheridan to Five Forks, participating in the brilliant campaign which resulted in the surrender of Lee, after which the Eighth was ordered to Lynchburg and consolidated with the Sixteenth Pennsylvania cavalry July 24. It was finally mustered out with that organization Aug. 11, 1865, at Richmond, Va.

Mr. Blaker had received a public school education in his native county and remained in Pennsylvania until twenty-five years of age. In February, 1870, he came to Linn county, Kansas, and there engaged in the lumber business. In the following year his brother, Alfred, came west and joined him in Linn county. They bought out the other partners in the business and have since been its owners. In 1906 the firm was incorporated under the name of the Blaker Lumber & Grain Company. They have eight elevators and warehouses within a radius of fifty, miles in Kansas and Missouri. They have lumber yards at each of the points where they have elevators and warehouses, and handle not only lumber but also all kinds of building materials, such as tile roofing, cement, etc. Benjamin F. Blaker is president of the Blaker Lumber & Grain Company; Alfred Blaker is vice-president; and W. C. Blaker is secretary and treasurer. The Blaker Milling Company operates a flour mill at Pleasanton, the mill having a capacity of 250 barrels of flour per day. Benjamin F. Blaker is president of the Blaker Milling Company; Alfred Blaker is vice-president, and T. J. Blakey is its secretary and treasurer. The companies give employment to approximately 100 men in their home and branch offices. The business occupies two blocks on the east side of the St. Louis & San Francisco railroad tracks in Pleasanton and is the largest business concern of that town.

On Dec. 2, 1872, Mr. Blaker married Miss. Adda Brabrant, a native of Milwaukee, Wis., but a resident of Kansas at the time of her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Blaker have two daughters: Emma, who married Ernest Prickett, of Kansas City, Mo., and Pauline, the wife of Victor Myer, of Pryor Creek, Okla.

Mr. Blaker has always given his political allegiance to the Republican party, as did his father. He served as a member of the state senate from 1904 to 1908; has been a member of the Pleasanton Board of Education eleven years; is an ex-mayor of the city, and has served as a member of its city council. He is a Scottish Rite Mason, a Knight of Pythias, and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. During the forty years that Mr. Blaker has been a resident of Pleasanton he has ever been recognized as one of its most energetic and industrious citizens, one ever ready at all times to lend a helping hand to any movement for the moral or material advantage of the community. (Kansas Biography, Vol. III, Part 2, 1912, Pages 928-929 Transcribed as written by Millie Mowry. (A picture of B. F. Blaker may be obtained by contacting the contributor at


Alfred Blaker, of Pleasanton, Kan., vice-president of the Blaker Milling Company and the Blaker Lumber & Grain Company, was born March 24, 1847, in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, a son of Joshua C. and Ann (Croasdale) Blaker. More extended mention of these parents and of the Blaker ancestry will be found in the sketch of Benjamin F. Blaker, which appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Blaker received his education in the public schools near his Pennsylvania home and in the Millersville normal. He taught school one year and served as teller in the First National Bank of Newton, Pa., prior to joining his brother, Benjamin F., in Pleasanton, Kan., in the spring of 1871. There they together engaged in the business with which they have since been identified.

Alfred Blaker had charge of a branch of the business at Kansas City for seven years and resided in Lawrence for one year to avail his children of the opportunity for a university education. Since then he has resided in Pleasanton. On Oct. 21, 1869, Mr. Blaker was united in marriage to Miss Anna P. Hibbs, of Bucks. county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Samuel H. Hibbs, who removed from Pennsylvania to Pleasanton and resided there until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Blaker have three children, viz: Prof. Ernest Blaker, a member of the faculty of Cornell University, one of the greatest educational institutions in the United States; Eleanor, now the wife of Rev. H. J. Withington, Presbyterian minister at Pleasanton, Kan.; and William W. Blaker, who resides at Pleasanton.

Mr. Blaker has ably assisted his brother in building up and in managing the extensive business of both the lumber and grain company and the milling company. The former has a lumber yard at each of the eight points where they have grain elevators, and their mill at Pleasanton is the largest in Linn county, or in that section of the state. Mr. Blaker has gained prominence in public affairs as well as in business. He is a Republican in politics, served as a member of the state legislature from 1884 to 1888, and has also served as mayor of Pleasanton. Fraternally he holds a prominent place in the ranks of the Masonic order being a Knight Templar, a Thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. In church faith he is a Presbyterian and is a member of that denomination in Pleasanton. He has been a Kansan for forty years and has been an active participant as well as an interested spectator of the charges that have occurred in this state in that period. The faith in its future which induced him and his brother when young men to cast their fortunes with the new, untried state, has been fully verified in the splendid development and standing which Kansas has attained in its commercial prestige and its forward march and progress toward more ideal civic conditions. Pleasanton numbers Alfred Blaker among its most prominent and respected citizens. (Kansas Biography, Vol. III, Part 2, 1912, pages 929-930,
Transcribed as written by Millie Mowry)


Robert B. Mitchell of Linn county, was born in Richland county, Ohio, April 4.1828. He was educated at Washington College, Pennsylvania, and then studied law. During the Mexican war he served in the Ohio volunteers as first lieutenant, and on its conclusion resumed the practice of his profession. In 1866 he moved to Kansas, settling at Paris, Linn county, in 1867; was a member of the territorial house of representatives. 1867 and 1858; was a member of the Leavenworth constitutional convention of March, 1858; member of the free-state convention, at Topeka, April 28, 29, 1868 to nominate officers under the Leavenworth constitution. On May 19, 1866, he gathered a posse of men, among them Montgomery, and started for Missouri, in pursuit of the Hamilton party, which committed the Marais des Cygnes murders. On February 11, 1859, he was appointed territorial treasurer. He was a candidate for member of Congress at the Democratic convention at Lawrence. October 25, 1859. He was appointed colonel of the Second regiment, Kansas volunteer infantry, mustered in June 20, 1861 and later transferred to the Second Kansas volunteer cavalry; was commissioned brigadier-general by the President April 8, 1862; was appointed governor of New Mexico in 1866, and served until 1869; was a delegate to the Liberal Republican convention at Topeka in 1872, and received from it the nomination for congressman. Most of the time after serving as governor of New Mexico he lived in Washington. D. C. where he died January 26, 1882. (Transactions of the Kansas State Historical Society 1907-1908, Vol. X, edited by Geo. W. Martin, Secretary, State Printing Office, Topeka, 1908, page 212)


Elmer Clay Smith was born at Newark, Ohio, July 31, 1868, son of Henry Clay and Emily (Beall) Smith. The father, who was a farmer, was born in Newark, Ohio, May 10, 1848, descended from early settlers in Maine. Emily Beall was born in Columbus, Ohio and died in Bates County, Missouri, January 15, 1874. She was a graduate of the State University of Ohio, who was married and moved to the West in 1870.

Elmer Clay Smith attended public school and for about 25 years was very successful as a meat and livestock dealer. He handled cattle, hogs, horses and mules and when his health failed entered farming. There he was particularly active in farm bureau work and in the breeding of cattle, horses and hogs. He assisted in the organization of the First National Bank of Pleasanton and conducted it to a success. Later he sold his interest in the bank to enter farming. He is a Republican.

On April 27, 1892, Mr. Smith was married to Cora May Allen at Mound City, Kansas. She was born in Bates County, Missouri, March 1, 1868, and died at Pleasanton, September 29, 1902.

To this marriage the following children were born, Nina Lee, on January 25, 1897 who is a graduate nurse at St. Louis, Missouri; Anna Grace, born July 14, 1899, who was married to W. H. charters of Butler, Missouri, June 6, 1923; Mr. Charters is a farmer and purebred hog breeder; they have one son, W. H., Jr. Anna Grace graduated with high honors from Pleasanton High School and the Pittsburg Normal School at the age of 18. The third child is Robert Allen, who was born April 29, 1901; he graduated from Pleasanton High School and is married to Faye Shattuck, their marriage having been solemnized on January 13, 1923. They have two daughters, Virginia Fern and carol Jean. Mr. and Mrs. Smith reside at Elsie, Nebraska, where Mr. Smith engages in farming and breeding purebred shorthorn cattle.

On April 12, 1905, Mr. Smith was married to Alice M. Holland at Pleasanton, Kansas. Residence: Pleasanton. (Illustriana Kansas, by Sara Mullin Baldwin & Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933, page 1077)


DeLanson Alson Newton Chase, executive, lawyer and banker, was born at Jay, Vermont, April 26, 1875, and for 32 years has resided in Kansas. He is a son of Arthur Hiland and Melissa Louisa (Burdick) Chase, the former of whom was born in North Troy, Vermont, December 22, 1847. He died at Omaha on April 10, 1902. Melissa Louisa Burdick, wife of Arthur Hiland Chase, was born in Vermont July 17, 1852 and is still living.

In 1901, Mr. Chase received the Bachelor of Laws degree from the Omaha School of Law. In 1893 he was graduated from the Central Business College at Leavenworth, Kansas. He established the D. A. N. Chase Motor Company and the Pleasanton Monument Company in addition to the D. A. N. Chase Dry Goods Company. He is the present owner of the Burke Printing Company of Fredonia and for the past nine years has been president of the First National Bank of Pleasanton. He handles investments and securities as well as real estate.

A Republican, he was for nine years treasurer of the Pleasanton school district and for four years (1916-20) state representative. He served as state senator four years (1920-24), and for fou years was lieutenant governor of Kansas (1924-28). In 1928 he was defeated for the nomination for governor on the Republican ticket.

On June 1, 1893, Mr. Chase was married to Harriet Annette Ayer at Leavenworth. She was born at Gaylord, Kansas, June 21, 1876 and is a musician, club woman and social leader.

Mr. Chase was active in Red Cross loan drives, bond sales and as a four minute speaker during the World War. He is a member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Pleasanton, the Red Cross, the Chamber of Commerce (secretary 1913) and the local school board (treasurer nine years, 1912-21). He is a Mason and Shriner and past master and deputy district master of his lodge. Residence: Pleasanton. (Illustriana Kansas by Sara Mullin Baldwin & Robert Morton Baldwin, 1933 Page 224)


EDGAR F. BICKFORD is a prosperous farmer residing six miles east from Hatton. He was born in Linn County, Kansas, October 23, 1873, the son of Benjamin F. and Jane (Fairchild) Bickford, both natives of Illinois who settled in Kansas when young. In 1874 they removed to Illinois, where they lived thirteen years, when they came to Adams County, Washington. They are still living on a farm in this county. Besides the subject of our sketch, they have one child. Birdie, married to C. A. Rice, living in San Juan County, Washington. Mrs. Rice has two children. Our subject's father is a veteran of the Civil War and a very highly respected old gentleman.

Mr. Bickford received his early education in Schuyler County, Illinois, and came west with his parents at the age of sixteen years. Upon coming here he engaged in working on a farm for wages, in which capacity he continued eight years, when he took a homestead, since which time he has been farming for himself. He has his land all fenced, under cultivation and well improved with first class modern buildings. In 1903 he purchased a quarter section of land near his homestead, and rents a half-section, making a total of one section which he annually has in crop. He also has his farm well supplied with draft horses and farm implements.

Mr. Bickford is an active Republican, and a member of the F. and A. M. and of the Knights of Pythias fraternities. [Source: "An Illustrated History of the Big Bend Country . . ." Volume 2; published by Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904; transcribed by Genealogy Trails Transcription Team]

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