Kansas History and Heritage Project-Anderson County Biographies

Anderson County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Record of Southeastern Kansas"
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1894

CAPT. SOLOMON KAUFFMAN. The grandfather of our subject, Jacob Kauffman, was a native of Germany, and came to America some time during the Revolutionary War. He was a young man and settled in Chester County, Pa., where he married a lady who was also a native of Germany, and together they passed the remainder of their days, living to a good old age. Their religious belief was in accordance with the Amish Mennonite Church, of which they were honored members. Their son, David, father of our subject, was born in Chester County, Pa., but removed to Kishacoquillas Valley, Mifflin County, where he married and pursued farming until March, 1845. He then sold his farm, and with teams and wagons took his family to Champaign County, Ohio, where he purchased land and made a comfortable farmer's home. There he and his worthy companion passed the remainder of their days. They were the parents of seven children. Joseph N., the eldest of the children, settled in Ohio in 1843, and was a minister in the Amish Mennonite Church. Later he became a bishop in the Dunkard Church and carried on his ministerial duties in Ohio principally, but died in the Shenandoah Valley, Va., January 19, 1891. Mattie married Jacob Hooley and still resides in Champaign County, Ohio, where she located in 1845. Christian removed to Ohio in 1844, and resides in Champaign County. David J. settled in the Buckeye State in 1845, and after a short residence in Logan County, removed to McLean County, Ill., thence to Shelby County, that state, and later joined the colony that founded Greeley, Colo. He next removed to Washington Territory, but in 1891 he settled in Fresno County, Cal. Jonas went to Ohio in 1845, and later to McLean County, Ill., where he died during the cholera epidemic. Jonathan went to Ohio in 1845, and during the gold excitement visited California. He now resides in McLean County, Ill.

Solomon Kauffman, the youngest of the above mentioned family, was born in Mifflin County, Pa., January 6, 1832, and divided his time in youth in assisting on the farm and in attending the common schools a few months each winter. He was the first member of the Kauffman family to choose a trade in preference to tilling the soil. When nineteen years of age he began learning the carpenter's trade and served a three years' apprenticeship. In 1852 he removed to McLean County, Ill., and in 1854 to Iowa. He put the roof on the first sawmill in Marshalltown, Iowa, in the fall of the latter year, and on January 1, 1856, his shop, tools, etc., in Lafayette. Iowa, were destroyed by fire. The fertile soil and political excitement in Kansas Territory were attracting settlers in that direction, and he decided to make a home within its borders. He reached Kansas City April 30, accompanied by Joseph Ingles, an old school teacher. They made the trip on fool from Kansas City to Lawrence, thence to Topeka, back to Lawrence, and thence to Neosho Valley via the Sac and Fox Indian agencies, their only guide being a pocket compass. From Hampden, in Coffee County, they went to the headwaters of the Pottawatomie creeks, in Anderson County, and there took up claims.

At that time there were only five families within a radius often miles of their cabin. The border warfare was going on, and Mr. Kauffman at once offered his services to the stale organizations. He enlisted in the Kansas State Volunteer service under Gen. J. H. Lane and afterward joined the Kansas State Militia under Capt. Samuel Walker. He was present at Topeka, July 4, 1856, when the Kansas Slate Legislature was disbanded by United States troops, ready to aid the Free State men in whatever resolutions the y saw fit to decide upon. The company under Captain Walker served until mustered out, November 30, 1856. It numbered ninety men when mustered out of service, and, as the men could find little to do, Thaddeus Hiatt, of New York, and W. F. M. Arny, of Bloomington, Ill., organized these men into a colony, and through the influence of Mr. Kauffman they located in Anderson County.

Returning to his claim about December 20, 1856, he assisted the colony in securing claims in the fertile valleys of the Pottawatomie creeks, and assisted in building the first houses in the new town of Hiatt, camping with the colony in the timber on Cedar Creek, near the town site of Hiatt, almost the entire winter of 1856-57, and enduring extreme hardships and privations. When the Civil War broke out, the settlers met at the house of Mr. Kauffman and organized a company of militia, Mr. Kauffman being chosen Captain. They prepared for duty, but later Mr. Kauffman bid adieu to his company and enlisted as a private soldier. He was mustered into the service in Company A, Third Kansas Volunteers, the same being subsequently consolidated with the Fourth Regiment, forming the Tenth Kansas Infantry, his company taking the position of Company C. On the 11th of September, 1862, he was commissioned First Lieutenant of Company L, Third Regiment, Indian Brigade, commanded by Col. William A. Philips, and May 28, 1863, he was promoted to the rank of Captain. The commands with which he was connected did service in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Indian Territory, and he participated in numerous engagements with the enemy. He was mustered out of service May 31, 1865.

Returning to Anderson County, Kan., after the war, he was married August 29, 1865, to Miss Melissa J. Patton, a native of Preble County, OIllo, and the daughter of Peter and Hannah (Oglesby) Patton. After marriage Captain Kauffman resided on his farm until November, 1868, when he removed to Garnett, where for two years he filled the office of Clerk of the District Court, and also engaged in the real-estate and loan business, which he conducted until 1874. He then purchased the Garnett Plain Dealer, and conducted its publication until 1882. From July, 1878, to 1886, he was Postmaster at that place, but since the latter date he has been engaged in the real-estate business, he has also built some business blocks and private residences in Garnett, among which may be mentioned the building occupied by the Bank of Garnett and the opera house block, of which he was sole proprietor and manager for a number of years. In polities he is a stanch Republican.

In 1857 Mr. Kauffman was a delegate to the Kansas State Convention at Grasshopper Falls, and the same year he received a majority of the votes cast for Probate Judge of Anderson County. The following year he was elected Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Reeder Township and served as a member of the County Board of Supervisor one term. In 1868 he was elected Clerk of the District Court, and from 1878 to 1886 he held the office of Postmaster. Socially he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. and Mrs. Kauffman have an adopted son, Arthur B., who is now a resident of Chicago, Ill.

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