Kansas History and Heritage Project- Washington County Biographies

Washington County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington, Clay and Riley Counties, Kansas"


Below are a few biographies from the above book, published in 1890. I will add more as I have time.
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GEORGE FUNNELL. This gentleman is the owner of 750 acres of land in Washington County, and has been a resident here for twenty-eight years. His land is all well improved.

The home farm comprises 320 acres on section 33, Sheridan Township. It is furnished with a comfortable frame house and all necessary barns and out-buildings, and is represented by a view on another page of this volume. Mr. Funnell can relate many interesting experiences of the early life in this section, having begun his residence here prior to the admission' of Kansas as a State, and while the country was in a wild and thinly settled condition.

Mr. Funnell was born in Norfolk, England, in June, 1831, and came to the United States in the fall of 1851. The voyage was made on the "Ocean Queen" (Capt. Creswell) and occupied six weeks and one day. After landing at New York, Mr. Funnell went directly to Cook County, Ill., where an elder sister, Mary A., wife of John Baldry. had previously located. There our subject lived until the spring of 1856, whence he went to Louisa County, Iowa. In that county he operated a rented farm for five years. He then, in 1860, came to this State, and took a squatter's claim where he now lives. In 1862 the land was offered for sale, and he then preempted 160 acres. The original patent, signed by Abraham Lincoln, is now in his possession. The first house on the claim was a log cabin with cotton-wood bark roof. In that house he lived until 1869, at which time he built his present dwelling.

During the first years of Mr. Funnell's residence here, buffalo and elk were to be found, and antelope, deer and wild turkey were plentiful. The nearest postoffice was fifty miles distant at Ft. Riley, where he walked to get his mail, for better time could be made on foot than with the ox team he owned. Marketing was chiefly done at Manhattan, and milling 125 miles away at Grasshopper Falls, where there was an old water power gristmill. On coming to the county Mr. Funnell had traveled on the Missouri River, as far as Kansas City, where he bought oxen and wagon, and completed his journey overland.

In 1862, the Indians began to be troublesome, and in 1863, they had become so bold that on many occasions the settlers were badly frightened, and left their homes to seek safety in towns. During one of the Indian raids, with other rural settlers sought safety at Clay Center, whence they repaired to Clifton and staid a week. They then went to the residence of G. D. Brooks, two miles west of Clifton, where they built a stockade on the bank of the Republican River. There they remained about a week until furnished protection by Government forces. At the time of this raid, the eldest son of our subject was a babe of nine months. He was the second child born in this township, the first having been Mary, daughter of Peter Esslingler and wife of Peter Schiltz, of Clay Center.

The parents of our subject were William and Eleanor (Byham) Funnell, who came to the United States in 1852, and made their home with our subject until their deaths, which occurred in this county. The mother was house keeper for her son until his marriage. Both parents were natives of England and of pure English .ancestors. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The mother died June 27, 1869, aged eighty-five years, the father Nov. 4, 1877, aged ninety-five years and six months.

The marriage of our subject took place in the southwest quarter of Washington County, and was celebrated Jan. 7, 1863, in the little log house which was to be the future home of the newly married couple; the ceremony was performed by Rufus Darby, Esq. The bride was Bridget, daughter of Thomas and Catherine (Kaho) Kinsley. She is possessed of those qualities of character which are especially needful to a prosperous and happy life on the frontier, and is highly esteemed by those who best know her useful life. Ten children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Funnell. One daughter, Mary E., died in childhood. The survivors are : William H., Mathew T. and Elizabeth A., who were born in the cabin on the claim; James C, George A., Katie B.. Arthur W., Jessie E., and Ada F.

After securing his preemption claim, Mr. Funnell homesteaded 160 acres on the same section and the two claims comprise the home farm. In addition he now owns 160 acres on section 27, 200 acres on section 26, and seventy acres on section 27 (in a separate piece from the quarter of that section).

Mr. Funnell is a member of the A. O. U. W. as is his eldest son, William H. He was the first Trustee of Clifton Township, which then comprised one-fourth of the county, and included what is now Sheridan Township. He served in that capacity for two years. He has also been Treasurer of this township. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Clifton. He is not only an enterprising farmer, but a most excellent citizen, and a man whose probity of character is unquestioned.


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WILLIAM P. FUNNELL. Among those who have been instrumental in building up the business interests of Clifton. Washington County, Mr. Funnell is worthy of special mention. The firm of William Funnell & Sons has become widely and favorably known throughout Clifton Township and vicinity, and in their capacity as general merchants they have attained to a high standing in their community. They have a well-regulated store with an entrance upon each street leading into the dry-goods department which is 60x24 feet in dimensions. They keep a finely selected stock of dry-goods; while adjoining is the grocery department, occupying an area of 56x28 feet. The whole is conducted systematically and in good order and the firm does a business amounting to about $50,000 annually.

William Funnell Sr., established the business above mentioned in 1871, in a manner corresponding to his means and surroundings. Clifton was then in its infancy and side by side with the growing town, the business of Mr. Funnell broadened and extended and by degrees he was obliged to enlarge his facilities accordingly. The firm removed to its present quarters in 1879, and in 1883 the building was enlarged by the addition of the west store room. Two years later the father retired from active business which has since been conducted by William P. and his brother Henry.

The subject of this sketch was born while his parents, who were English people (see biography of C. C. Funnell, elsewhere in this work), were residing on the English Channel, in Waterford, Ireland, Dec. 3, 1853. Six weeks later they went back to England where they lived until William P. was a lad of eight years. They then emigrated to the United States and located near Letts, Louisa Co., Iowa. They lived there only a few years, however, then returned to England where William P. completed his education. His progressive ideas and his ambition decided him upon making a permanent home in the United States and he accordingly came back in 1869. again taking up his residence in Letts, Iowa. Thence a year later, in 1870, he came to Kansas and for two years was in the employ of his uncle, George Funnell, whose biography appears on another page.

At the expiration of this time, wishing to increase his store of knowledge Mr. Funnell entered the Manhattan Agricultural College and after a thorough course of study returned to Clifton and occupied himself as a clerk in his father's store until 1879, during which year he became a member of the present firm. He has since given his entire attention to the dry-goods trade, keeping himself well-informed as to its fluctuations and all the other details of the business which are necessary to successful results. He has done a large amount of hard work, buying his own goods in New York City, which he visits about twice a year.

Mr. Funnell was married to Miss Elmina Green, who was born in the State of Maine, July 20, 1858, and came to Kansas in her childhood days, with her parents. The latter were early settlers of Washington County, Kan., but later removed farther west in the State and are now living upon a farm. Of this union there have been born three children. Walter M., Gertrude E. and Charles E. Mr. and Mrs. Funnell are members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which Mr. Funnell officiates as Steward and leader of the choir. Socially he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Blue Lodge, No. 122 at Clifton. He is also a charter member of the A. O. U. W., in which he has been Recorder three years. He is a straight Republican, politically, and for ten years held the position of Postmaster in Clifton. He occupies a position in the front ranks among its public-spirited and liberal-minded men.


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CHRISTOPHER C. FUNNELL. The men who first settled in Clifton, Washington County, and assisted in the building up of its various interests, are worthy of more than a passing notice. Mr. Funnell, one of its most successful and enterprising men, was the pioneer lumberman of this place, establishing himself in business here in January, 1878, just after the completion of the Missouri Pacific Railroad through this section. He commenced in a modest manner in proportion to his means and the probable extent of his patronage, and has gradually broadened his facilities until he has one of the largest and best-equipped lumber-yards in either Washington or Clay counties. He carries a full stock of all kinds of building material, and has had control of a large territory, receiving orders throughout this and adjoining counties.

In former years Mr. Funnell was engaged as a farmer in Sherman Township, Clay County, this State, where he took up a homestead in 1871. He increased his landed possessions until he was the owner of 533 acres, and besides this he owns 400 acres in Sheridan Township, Washington County, also 108 acres in Mulberry Township, Clay County. The whole is improved, and lying at a convenient distance to the town of Clifton, is quite valuable. Mr. Funnell proved a success as an agriculturist, and operated in live-stock with fine results.

Coming to Clay County, Kan., in the spring of 1870, Mr. Funnell had in view a visit to California, but was so pleased with this section of country that he concluded to locate here. He is a native of Norfolk, England, and was born Dec. 25, 1844. Upon coming to America he was a resident of Iowa for some years. His father and his paternal grandfather, each bearing the name of William, were likewise natives of Norfolk, and both emigrated to America and to Kansas. The latter died and was buried in Clifton.

The father of our subject was a railroad contractor in England, and was married in his native town to Miss Elizabeth Germany. This lady was born and reared not far from the early home of her husband, and they lived in England until all but one of their children were born. They came to America in 1851, embarking from Liverpool on the sailing-vessel "The Crown," a three-master. They were overtaken by a storm near Newfoundland, in which the masts were swept away and the vessel was driven back across the ocean to the coast of Ireland within three days, opposite a little village known as Passage. Later they put into port at Tramore, where William Funnell and his family found a home for nine months. He in the meantime engaged as a contractor, rescuing land from the sea, and there the youngest child of the family was born.

The Funnell family in leaving Ireland went to Bristol, and then to Holland, where they lived some years, the father operating as a railroad contractor, and there Christopher C. attended school. Finally the family returned to England, and in 1860 all came to the United States, being successful in landing in New York City from the steamer "Edinburg." In due time they proceeded Westward to Iowa, settling near the present site of Letts, Louisa County. William Funnell purchased a farm and began life anew, remaining there until September, 1865. The family then all went back to England, where the eldest son, Henry, had gone two years before, in 1863.

In March, 1868, the subject of this sketch and his brother George returned to the United States and sought the town of Letts, Iowa, where later they were joined by an older brother, Henry. A year later their brother William came, and after a time they separated, and Christopher C. decided to visit his kinspeople in Kansas. This was in 1870. After coming here, however, he was induced to remain and succeeded in getting his brother William here. Then began the career of our subject, which has been so successful.

Mr. Funnell came to this region a bachelor, but later decided that it was not good for man to be alone, and was married, in Clay County, June 30th 1874, to Miss Charlotte Kreeck. This lady was born in Ross County. Ohio, and is the daughter of John and Eva H. (Uhrig) Kreeck, who came to Kansas in 1872. They settled on a large tract of land in Clay County, and here Mr. Kreeck died at the age of forty-three years. The mother survives and is a very active and intelligent old lady. Two of the six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Funnell are deceased, viz.: an infant unnamed, and Charlotte, who died when twenty-two months of age. The survivors are Ellsworth C., Floyd, Karl and Roy. They form a very bright and intelligent quartet, all remaining under the parental roof.

Politically, Mr. Funnell is identified with the Republican party. He and his wife are members in good standing of the Presbyterian Church. William Funnell and his wife still cling to the doctrines of the Church of England. They are now retired from active labor, and enjoy the comforts of a pleasant home in the village of Clifton. Their son, Christopher C., owns and occupies one of the finest residences in the city, and which, from its location, commands a fine view. It is handsomely furnished, and indicative at all points of ample means and cultivated tastes. The family holds a leading position in the social circles of their community, and number their friends among the best people.


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CHRISTIAN ALBRIGHT, a prominent and successful business man of Washington, where he is engaged in dealing in stock, is one of the pioneers of Washington County, and was one of the first settlers on these prairies when deer, antelopes, wild turkeys and other game were roaming at will where are now fine farms, pleasant homes, and busy, thriving towns. He was born in Bedford County, Pa., June 16, 1836, and his father, Solomon Albright, was born in the same county, May 8, 1812. The grandfather of our subject, Christian Albright, was born either in Maryland or Pennsylvania, and was a blacksmith by trade carrying on his calling in Bedford County, Pa., until death put an end to his earthly career. The father of our subject became an adept at his father's trade, and besides was engaged with his sire in the transportation business in the days before the introduction of railways and canals, they having teams which they hired other men to drive, occasionally making trips themselves and carrying produce from Bedford County, Pa., to Baltimore, Md., and returning with their wagons laden with merchandise. In those days blacksmiths had to make their own nails and horse-shoes, and they did a thriving trade. In 1850 the father of our subject removed with his family to Washington County, Wis., becoming a pioneer of that section of the country, the removal thither being made with team to Cleveland, Ohio, and thence by the lakes to Port Washington. Mr. Albright bought eighty -six acres of heavily timbered land, sixteen miles west of Point Washington, paying $6 an acre for it. He built a hewed-log house for a dwelling, and then devoted his time to clearing his land and improving a farm, which he now has in a fine condition, well fenced, under admirable tillage, and provided with an excellent set of buildings, including a substantial brick house and a good frame barn, and there he and his estimable wife are living in comfort and ease, respected and beloved by all about them for their many kindly traits of head and heart. Mrs. Albright's maiden name was Anna Woolford, and she was born in the same county as her husband, a daughter of Christian and Phebe Woolford, natives, respectively of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The parents of our subject have had eight children, as follows: Christian, Phebe, Levi, John, Mary, Charlie, Edward A. and Willet. Levi, John and our subject served in the army during the late war. Our subject was a bright lad of fourteen years when his parents removed to Wisconsin, where he attended school in the primitive log house, and at other times assisted his father in clearing his land. In 1804 he enlisted in the United States construction department, serving in Tennessee until after the close of the war, proving a valuable assistant. After his return from the South, Mr. Albright resumed farming in Wisconsin, where he continued to live until 1868. In that year became to Kansas to cast in his lot with the pioneers that had preceded him, and he soon made a claim to a tract of land on section 17, township 2, range 3, now included in Farmington Township. He at once commenced to break the prairie sod, and in March settled on his land with his family, and was one of the first settlers on the prairies of Washington County, where deer and antelope roamed at will and buffaloes were plentiful not far distant. Washington was but a small hamlet, with only one store, a log blacksmith-shop and two frame buildings on the town site. Waterville was the nearest railway station, and the markets were not very accessible. Mr. Albright resided on his farm until 1874, in the meantime making many valuable improvements. In that year he traded it for property in Washington, and has been a resident of this city since then, and for the past thirteen years has dealt extensively in stock and hogs, shipping to Chicago a few years, and of late to Kansas City.

Mr. Albright and Miss Mary M. Young were united in marriage in 1861, and of their pleasant union one child, Ada G., has been born. Farmington Township being her birthplace. Mrs. Albright is a native of Canada, a daughter of William and Mary (Graham) Young, natives of Scotland. She is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a consistent Christian.

Mr. Albright is a man of sound discretion, of excellent business principles, his personal habits are irreproachable, and his standing in business and social circles is of the highest. In politics he is a straight Republican. He has mingled in public life and proved an invaluable civic official while he was serving as Township Trustee and Clerk of the Township.


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JOHN CRAFFORD, coming to Washington County nearly a quarter of a century ago and casting in his fortunes with the few settlers who had preceded him, has not only witnessed most of the growth of this part of the State of Kansas, but he has been a factor in developing its marvellous agricultural resources by improving a good farm, comprising the southeast quarter of section 4, Washington Township, and he will ever occupy an honorable place among the pioneers of the country.

He is a Pennsylvanian by birth, coming of an old family that settled there in Colonial days, and he was born Oct. 14, 1822, a mile and a half east of Bevington Mills in Washington County. His father, Joseph Crafford was born in Northampton County, Pa., Oct. 11, 1780, and his father, Elijah Crafford, was a native of the same county, April 25, 1756, being the date of his birth, and he was a gallant soldier in the Continental army during the Revolution, serving under Gen. Washington. His father, John Crafford, was born in England, Oct. 15, 1715, and came to America and settled in Northampton County, Pa., among its pioneers and there carried on farming till his death. After the revolution the grandfather of our subject became a pioneer of Washington County, and now lies buried there in the Florence Cross-Road churchyard beside his wife. Her maiden name was Jane Stout, and she was born in New Jersey, April 11, 1787. The father of our subject spent the first years of his life in his native county, and in after life used to recount to his children and grandchildren, the exciting incidents of the removal of his father's family with a five horse team across the wild and lonely mountains to the pioneer home in Washington County. He bought a tract of timbered land in Patrick's Run, eighteen miles from Pittsburg, and on the Steubenville Pike. He erected a woolen mill, operated by tread power, generally using oxen for the power. He was a man of much enterprise, and he subsequently opened a hotel, which he managed besides improving a farm. He was profitably engaged in the hotel business thirty years, as there being no railways in that part of the country, the pike was much traveled by stage coaches which made his tavern their headquarters for that part of their route. In 1836 he sold all his property in that part of the country, and as his forefathers had done in days of yore, became a pioneer once again, the wild prairies of Illinois being his destination, he traveling thither by way of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to St. Louis, and thence by team to McDonough County. He bought a tract of land eight miles northeast of Macomb and improved a fine farm, on which he made his home till death called him higher, Feb. 19, 1863. The maiden name of the mother of our subject was Deborah Jackson, and she was born in Washington, County, Pa., Oct. 11, 1778, her death occurring in her native county Jan. 13, 1839. Her great grandfather, Joseph Jackson, was born in Pennsylvania of Welsh parentage. He was taken prisoner by the Indians during the Revolutionary War, but was rescued by his friends, and died peacefully at a ripe old age in Washington County, Pa.

Our subject was the eighth of twelve children, eleven of whom grew to maturity. He was fifteen years old when his parents removed to Illinois. which was then sparsely settled and in a wild condition, with deer and other kinds of game very plentiful, and amid pioneer scenes he grew to a stalwart, vigorous manhood, gleaning his education in the primitive schools of those early days of the settlement of the Prairie State. At the age of sixteen he commenced to learn to be a veterinary physician and practiced that calling very successfully during his stay in Illinois and ever since he came to Kansas. As soon as he was large enough he had gone into his father's mill to assist him at the carding machines, and later had worked for his father on his farm, remaining an inmate of the parental household till his marriage. Prior to that time he became interested in property in Bushnell, built the first house on the present site of the city, and subsequently opened the first hotel there. He kept it nearly a year, and then turned his attention to the grain business, carrying it on two years, and then engaged in different pursuits till the spring of 1866. On the 6th of April, that year, he started for Kansas with a team, and arrived in Washington County May 6. He found this part of the country still in a wild condition, sparsely settled, and the nearest railway station was then at St. Joseph, Mo., and Ft. Kearney and Denver were the best markets for produce. His wife and three children accompanied him here, and when they arrived at their destination they were without a home, and twenty-five cents was all the money in the family exchequer. Mr. Crafford immediately made a claim to the southeastern quarter of section 4, Washington Township, and procuring some slabs at a mill two miles east, he was not long in building a cabin to shelter his family. Like many another pioneer, he had a hard struggle to make both ends meet for a time, but patience and perseverance overcame every obstacle in his pathway, and in a few years he had a good start, having been nobly assisted by his devoted wife, and was on the highway to success. He did not disdain any labor whereby he might turn an honest penny, and worked out by the day and job whenever he could obtain employment and also practiced his calling as a veterinary physician. His wife in the meantime bravely shouldered her share of the burden in supporting the family, obtaining money by taking in sewing.

In a few years Mr. Crafford had money enough to enable him to devote his time to the improvement and cultivation of his farm, and he now has it in good shape, having erected a substantial frame house and other necessary buildings, and his land is under excellent tillage, yielding him abundant crops, and everything about the place indicates thrift and orderliness on his part.

June 19, 1846, by his marriage with Miss Hannah M. Markham, Mr. Crafford secured a helpmate and companion who has been to him all that those terms imply, and has worked with him side by side in the upbuilding of their comfortable home, and in rearing up their children to be useful members of society. Three children have been born of their wedded life: Abba J., Edward J., Alonzo Haney, Abba J. married William Lipsic, and they have three children. Edward married Mary Allen, and they have one child. Alonzo married Alice Miller, and they have two children.

Mr. Crafford is and deserves to be respected for his good qualities that make him a desirable neighbor, a kind husband and a good father. In his busy career as a pioneer settler of this county, he displayed fortitude, endurance, wise thrift and good powers of management that made him not only prosperous in his undertakings, but gained him consideration as a valued citizen. He takes an intelligent interest in politics, and has always stood stanchly by the Republican party since its formation, having been a Whig prior to that time. Mrs. Crafford is the daughter of Charles and Barbary (Harsh) Markham, natives of Ohio, both born in the same year, 1801.


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GEORGE H. DARROW. Prominent among the men Avho have developed the best interests of Washington County, and especially of Greenleaf Township, may be mentioned the gentleman of whose life history this is a brief record. In connection with his personal sketch we call the attention of the reader to a fine view of his home with its pleasant surroundings, which may be found on another page of this volume. Mr. Darrow bears an honorable record not only as an enterprising and energetic citizen, but also as a veteran of the Civil War, and a successful merchant both in the East and in the West.

A native of the metropolis of Illinois, Mr. Darrow was born Aug. 7, 1841, and was also reared in Chicago, making his home there until 1870. In the meantime he had enlisted, in 1862, as a private in the Illinois Independent Battery of Light Artillery. The battery served with the Army of the Cumberland, participating in Burnside's expedition, and in many of the engagements fought by the regiment. Mr. Darrow was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and after a faithful service was mustered out at Chicago, July 18, 1865.

After the close of the war our subject was engaged in the mercantile business and came to Kansas, where, after a residence of a year each in Wsishington and Vermillion, he removed to White Rock, Republic County. Thence he went to Beattie, next to Doniphan, and a year later to Bethany, Mo. After a year's sojourn .at the latter place he visited for the same length of time in Guilford, Conn. He afterward sold goods in Hudson, Mich., and at Chicago, Ill., and in 1882 returned to Washington. The following year he removed to Greenleaf, and has resided in that place most of the time since his arrival, having been employed as clerk for J. R. Pruden. By dint of energy and business qualifications he has become the owner of a fine farm comprising eighty acres in Greenleaf Township, and gives considerable attention to the breeding of Holstein cattle and Poland-China hogs. He is also engaged in the successful prosecution of the stock business on his farm in Marshall County.

Sidney L. Darrow, the father of our subject, was born in New London, Conn., Sept. 22, 1810, and was by occupation a ship carpenter, working at that business in his native town until 1835. He then removed to Chicago, where he followed the same trade for a number of years, although afterward he was engaged in the real estate business. In 1864 he returned to New London, Conn., and afterward became manager of the Nantucket ship yards, attaining considerable prominence among ship builders. Later he removed to Guilford, Conn., where he is yet living, making his home on a farm, although he has since retired from active life. He is a man of means, and the owner of considerable real estate in Chicago. In politics he was formerly a Whig, but is now a Republican. He was a son of Nicholas Darrow, a native of New London, Conn., and a man of prominence in his generation. The Darrow family traces its descent from one of three brothers who emigrated from England to America at an early day, and settled in New England.

The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Emiline Howard, and was born in New London, Conn., Sept. 23, 1810. She was reared to womanhood and married in the city where she first saw the light. Her father was a sea captain and the family are of English extraction. Her union with Sidney Darrow resulted in the birth of nine children, five sons and four daughters, named respectively, Wolcott H., Charles H., Leonard S., Emiline, George H., Mary A., Alanson F., Martha H., and Caroline A.

The marriage of our subject was celebrated Jan. 22, 1872, the bride being Miss Addie P. Wells, a resident of Chicago and the daughter of Edwin E. and Agnes J. (Sutor) Wells, both natives of the Empire State. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Darrow has been blessed by the birth of three children — Carrie, Gracie A., and Fred D.

Mr. Darrow is a supporter of the principles of the Republican party, with whose platform he is in hearty sympathy. He belongs to the A. F. & A. M. Lodge, No. 232, at Greenleaf, and to the G. A. .R Post No. 134, of which he has been Commander. He is a man of fine business qualifications, of strictest morality, and a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He is possessed of considerable means, and is a leading and influential citizen of Greenleaf, while his wife shares with him in the hearty respect of the community.


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JENKIN JONES. For the last five years Mr. Jones has been numbered among the property owners of Farmington Township. In March, 1879, he purchased 160 acres of land on section 36, but did not really commence its improvement and cultivation until 1883, in which year he moved his family upon it, while he followed his trade as an iron worker, in Chicago, Ill. In March, 1888 he abandoned work at his trade and has since given his attention to agricutural pursuits. His thrift and industry, already made apparent in his operations, will no doubt result in the building up of one of the finest homesteads in the neighborhood.

The sixth child of his parents, Mr. Jones was born on the other side of the Atlantic, in South Wales, April 22, 1829. In that same country his parents lived and died, the mother when she had reached the advanced age of eighty-four years, while the father was only fifty-four at the time of his decease. The opening years of the life of our subject were spent in his native land, which he left when a youth of about seventeen years, going to Monmouthshire, England, where he was employed in a rolling mill until 1860. He then determined upon coming to America and after a safe and uneventful voyage landed in New York City in December of that year and in due time emigrated to Allentown, Pa. He there found employment in a rolling mill, remaining eight months. Thence he went to Troy he was joined by his family who had just emigrated from the Old Country. They lived in Troy about eighteen months, then returning to Pennsylvania, Mr. Jones settled in Columbia. Lancaster County, where he followed his trade two and one-half years. We next find him in South Chicago, Ill., where he sojourned, working in the Union Rolling Mills four and one-half years. From there he went to Canada and in Hamilton, Ontario, followed his trade fifteen months. He then purchased a hotel which he conducted about nine months, after which he sold out and returning to Northern Illinois, was employed in the North Chicago Rolling Mills for a period of eighteen years and until coming to Kansas.

Mr. Jones was married in South Wales, May 11, 1857, to Miss Anne Lewis. This lady was born in Monmouthshire, England, Feb. 15, 1833 and was the daughter of John and Mary (James) Lewis, who were natives of South Wales and who spent their last days in England. Their family consisted of one son and three daughters, Mrs. Jones being the third child. Of her union with our subject there have been born eight children and the survivors are recorded as follows: Mary E. is the wife of George F. Trishman and lives in San Franscisco, Cal.; Eleanor J. is at home with her parents; Tryphena is the wife of Charles E. Carrell of Beatrice, Neb.; William T. and Charles J. remain at home with their parents. Those deceased are Thomas, Eleanor and Margaret, who died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones in their religious views endorse the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Jones was the subject of very early religious training and when a youth of fifteen years began preaching in the Calvinistic Church, and followed this for several years after he began working at his trade. Upon becoming a voting citizen of the United States, he allied himself with the Republican Party of whose principles he is a stanch supporter. Thoroughly in sympathy with American institutions, Mr. Jones, in the spring of 1863, a year after the outbreak of the Civil War, enlisted as a Union soldier in Company E, Illinois Infantry, Col. Norton's regiment, and served nine months. He participated in the battle of Gettysburg and other minor engagements, serving under Gen. Sickles. While a resident of his native country he served all through the Russian War, in the British army under Gen. Cathgart, and was twice wounded, once in the thigh and once in the foot. He has traveled over a goodly portion of the earth's surface and has had considerable experience, both on land and water. He is well informed and an hour may be passed in his society with great satisfaction. He has a very comfortable home, which, with the surrounding farm buildings, and a goodly portion of the estate, is represented by a view on another page of this work. He and his intelligent family are respected wherever known.


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HENRY CLAY McNITT. The gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch is recognized as one of the most substantial farmers of Franklin Township, Washington County. He owns and operates 400 acres of choice land on section 24, and has been a resident there since 1876. In emigrating to the frontier, he came to stay, realizing that "a rolling stone gathers no moss" and he has been rewarded with the usual results of industry and perseverance.

Mr. McNitt may be properly termed a Western man, with all his interests connected with the welfare and prosperity of this section of the United States. He was born in Adams County, Ill., Aug. 27, 1850, and is the son of Martin and Elvira (Quinby) McNitt, natives respectively of New York State and Vermont. The McNitts trace their ancestry to Scotland, whence the paternal great-grandfather of our subject emigrated at an early day, settling in New York State, probably during the Colonial times. His son, James, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Washington County, that State, and was reared to farming pursuits, spending his entire life in his native State. Martin McNitt, the father of our subject, was likewise born in Washington County, N. Y., and like his immediate progenitors, was reared to agricultural pursuits. In 1832, when a young man of twenty years, he set out for Illinois, and located in Adams County, where he was married and entered a tract of land. He improved a farm from the wilderness and lived there until 1876, becoming quite wealthy. His landed possessions embraced 640 acres in the vicinity of Quincy, which he sold in 1860, and going to Brown County, the same State, founded the town of Mound, engaging there in the mercantile business for ten years. Finally, selling out, he crossed the Mississippi, and coming to this State, settled in Washington, retiring from active business and there spent the remainder of his life, during Jan. 15, 1857. The wife and mother is still living in Washington.

To the parents of our subject there were born eight children, the eldest of whom, a daughter, Mariam, is the wife of Jacob Plowman and a resident of Brown County, Ill.; Elizabeth married R. F. Tainter and they live in Washington, Kan. Pauline is the wife of J. Oliver of Odell, Neb.; Alia M. married John Peters and lives in St. Joseph Mo.; Emma resides in Washington; Henry C. completed his education in the city schools of Quincy and remained a resident of his native county until 1872. He then accompanied his father to Brown County, Ill., where he sojourned until 1876, coming in that year to this State.

The marriage of our subject with Miss Stella Rogers was celebrated at the home of Mr. McNitt in Washington, Dec. 4, 1879. Mrs. McNitt is the daughter of James and Victoria (Lewis) Rogers, who had two children. Mrs. McNitt, and a son, James. The latter lives in Marion County, Kan., and is engaged in railroading. He was united in marriage in 1885 with Elizabeth Richards, by whom he had one child, now deceased. James Rogers, the father of Mrs. McNitt, joined the United States Army after coming West and was killed in Dakota near Ft. Pierre. Her mother was subsequently married to Jesse W. Bolt, by whom she had three children, Jessie, Ida and Maud. She died in Washington County, this State.

Mrs. McNitt was born in Montgomery County, Iowa, March 25, 1861. She is now the mother of three children — Fred C, Gwendoline and Ethel. Mr. McNitt has his farm finely improved and the land in a high state of cultivation. The residence is a commodious frame structure, and with its surroundings makes an attractive picture. A lithographic engraving of this home appears elsewhere in the Album. The outbuildings are well suited to the general purposes of agriculture in which his stock raising forms a leading feature. In politics Mr. McNitt supports the Republican party. Socially, he is a member of Star Lodge, No. 69. A. F. & A. M.


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FRANK C. MERRICK, a citizen of sterling qualities and who is considered one of the best men of Strawberry Township, began life at the foot of the ladder and worked his way upward against many difficulties, so that he is now in comfortable circumstances. His occupation is that of a farmer and he operates 120 acres of land on section 19, where he has effected good improvements and makes a speciality of live stock, including graded Short-horn cattle, thoroughbred Poland-China swine and Norman horses. He has an interest in a thoroughbred imported Norman stallion, the property of a joint stock company, a magnificent animal of great value.

The early home of our subject was in Winnebago County, Ill., and the date of his birth June 20, 1847. His father, George B. Merrick, long since deceased, was a native of Massachusetts and reared to farming pursuits. Leaving New England in 1837, the latter emigrated to Illinois, passing through the present great city of Chicago when it was a hamlet of two or three stores and a few small dwellings. He settled in a wild country and for some time engaged in freighting goods with an ox team from Chicago to Galena.

The maiden name of the mother of our subject was Kissiah Holt. George B. Merrick was three times married and the father of twelve children, all of whom are living. Frank C. was the eldest born. The others were named respectively, George F., Horatio A. and Louis N., (twins,) Charles, Beatta L., (Mrs. Totten,) Arthur, Dwight, Helen, Alfred, Lulu and Gordon. Frank C. attended the common school of his native county, mostly during the winter season and was bred to farming pursuits which he chose for his life vocation. He came to Kansas in the fall of 1872, and in the following spring settled on eighty acres of land which he had home-steaded, and to which he subsequently added until it attained to its present proportions.

The marriage of Frank C. Merrick and Miss Nancy J. Totten occurred at the bride's home in Marble Rock, Iowa, Dec. 31, 1869. They have no children. Both are members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mrs. Merrick, in particular is an energetic worker in the Master's vineyard. She is greatly interested in the Sunday-school and at one time held a license to exhort. Mr. Merrick, politically, supports the principles of the Republican party, and he and his wife are both Prohibitionists. He has never aspired to office, preferring to give his attention to his legitimate calling and is more fond of the quiet of his own home than the turmoil and responsibility of public life.

George B. Merrick departed this life at his home in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, in the spring of 1875, having survived his estimable partner Kissiah, a period of twenty-two years, her death taking place in the spring of 1853.


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FRANCIS MARION PHILBROOK. The agricultural interests of Lincoln Township are worthily represented by Mr. Philbrook who, in 1869, came to Washington County and homesteaded 160 acres of land on section 20 of this township. Subsequently he purchased 160 acres more and is now the owner of a half section, comprising as fine a body of land as is to be found in the southeastern part of the county. It is well improved, highly productive and largely devoted to live stock. During his twenty years' residence in this section, Mr. Philbrook has become thoroughly identified with its most important interests and has contributed his quota to the building up of his adopted county. Financially as well as otherwise he has been uniformly successful.

The State of Ohio has produced some of the most substantial men who have aided in the settlement of the Great West. The subject of this sketch was born in Licking County, that State, Sept. 7, 1839, and is the son of Seth Philbrook. The latter was of New England birth and parentage, his native place being in Camden, Me., and the date of his birth 1795. He lived on the Atlantic Coast until about 1813, then emigrated to Ohio and was a resident of Licking County until 1853. He then resolved upon a change of location and emigrated with his family to Fayette County, Ill., where his death took place in 1861. When young he had spent a brief time on the ocean as a sailor, but afterward gave his attention almost entirely to his agricultural pursuits. He accumulated considerable means and is a prominent man in his community, a member of the Presbyterian Church and highly respected.

The paternal grandparents of our subject were Joel and Mary (Leadbetter) Philbrook, both like-wise natives of the Pine Tree State. They traced their ancestry to Thomas Philbrook who emigrated from England to America in 1630 and settled in Watertown, Mass., whence he subsequently removed to Maine. Several of the early members of the family participated in the Revolutionary War, and later, they were to be found carrying a musket in the War of 1812. A number of them be- came prominent politicians and held positions of distinction. They were uniformly intelligent and almost without exception well-to-do.

Seth Philbrook, in 1817 was married in Licking County, Ohio, to Miss Margaret Ward. This lady was born in 1797, on an island in the Ohio River, and, was of German extraction. To Mr. and Mrs. Philbrook there was born a family of twelve children, viz: Albert, Mary S., Sanford, Lucy, Eli, Marvin, Louisa V., Ignatius, Flavius J., Edwin, Francis M. and an infant who died unnamed. Francis was the youngest of the living children, and until a lad of fourteen years resided with his parents in his native county. He accompanied the family to Fayette County, Ill., sojourning there until 1864. We next find him in McLean County, that State, where he engaged in shipping grain and stock. He remained there until 1869, then came to Kansas, of which he has since been a resident. In Illinois he dealt largely in grain and hay.

Mr. Philbrook appropriately celebrated the 1st of January, 1863, by his marriage with Miss Anna Morgan of Shelby County, Ill. Mrs. Philbrook was born in Lancaster County, Ohio, Oct. 30, 1839, and is the mother of ten children, viz: Minnie M., Herbert C, Clarence H., Rufus M., Eva L., Alta M., Claude P., Grace E. and Elmer M. and an infant who died unnamed. Mr. Philbrook votes the straight Republican ticket, and has been a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the long period of thirty years. He is connected with Unity Lodge No. 276, I. O. O. F. at Barnes, and belongs to the Good Templars in this township. A man honest and upright in his dealings, he commands the respect of his neighbors and occupies a good position among the best citizens of Washington County. He has a commodious and conveniently arranged country residence, a view of which appears elsewhere in this work. It represents one of those homes of which Lincoln Township is justly proud, as showing what can be accomplished by a life of perseverance and honest toil.


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JOHN H. PRIEST. This gentleman, who has been a resident of Washington County but ten years, is the owner and occupant of a fine farm on section 32, Logan Township. Ten years ago, this quarter-section was unimproved prairie land. It now has upon it a good set of farm buildings, and bears the appearance of a farm which has been settled for twenty years. Its fine appearance is due to the energy of its owner, who has been unusually successful in improving his land. Upon first coming to Kansas he engaged in sheep raising, but subsequently turned his attention chiefly to the raising of horses, cattle and hogs. He also carried on his trade of a blacksmith, having a shop at Greenleaf, which is only a mile distant from his home.

The parents of our subject, Joseph and Elizabeth (Saddler) Priest, were natives of Staffordshire, England. There they grew to maturity, and after their marriage emigrated to Nova Scotia, then to the United States, in about the year 1829. Mr. Priest was a cable chain maker, and was associated with two of his brothers in that trade, the firm owning a factory in New York City. After several years residence in the metropolis he removed to Ogdensburg, where he followed the trade of a blacksmith. About the year 1844 he removed to Wisconsin, where he spent the remainder of his life. He resided at different places in that State, but principally at Oraro, Winnebago County, and later at Delhi, in the same county. While living in the latter place he and his wife died, she having survived her husband several years. The family included five girls and four boys. The daughters are: Ann, Susannah, Caroline and Emily, still living, and Elizabeth, deceased. The sons are: Joram, at Detroit; William, at Moline; Samuel, at Oskosh, and our subject, all of whom are blacksmiths by trade.

John H. Priest was born in New Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 2, 1831, and was in his fourteenth year when the family removed to Wisconsin. He learned his trade with his father, and resided with the family until twenty-two years of age. Two years after leaving home he was married, and with his bride resided at Delhi for a year. They then spent a few months at Omro, whence they removed to Fairwater, Fond du Lac County, where they made their home until 1879. During all these years Mr. Priest followed his trade, beginning farm life only when, at the latter date, he removed to Kansas.

The marriage of Mr. Priest took place at the home of the bride in Janesville, Wis., Feb. 19, 1855. The bride was Lovisa S., daughter of Jonathan and Susan (Bessett) Dodge. She was born in Orleans County, N. Y., Dec. 5, 1833, and lost her mother when five years old. Mr. and Mrs. Dodge were natives of Vermont State, and their family consisted of seven children, one being theirs by adoption. They were: Allen Brownell (adopted) Mary, Salena, Lovisa S., Henry, Emily and Perry.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Priest has been blessed by the birth of nine children. Three died in childhood, and a son, Waldo, in 1888, at the age of twenty-one years. The living children are: Fay, Irvin, Ernest, Bessie and Bertha. The oldest living child. Fay, left home at the age of sixteen years to follow a sailor's life. He is a blacksmith by trade, and is a smith on the "Corona." Irvin is a farmer in Cass County, Neb.

Mr. Priest is a believer in and supporter of the principles of the Democratic party. He is an attendant of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which his wife is a worthy member. Mr. Priest is a thorough workman at his trade, a reliable citizen and a man of excellent character.


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JACOB F. PURSLEY. For solid worth and reliability, combined with energy, industry and integrity, Mr. Pursley represents the better elements which have been the means of effecting the growth and development of Mill Creek Township, socially, morally and financially. He is a gentleman rather above the medium size with dark eyes, hair and complexion, a fluent conversationalist and well informed. He has accumulated a comfortable property by his own exertions, and is surrounded with all the comforts of life.

The subject of this notice was born July 8, 1842, in Franklin County, Mo., near the mouth of Labadie Creek, seven miles from Pacific, on Merrimac River, and is the son of David C. and Elizabeth K. (Zumwalt) Pursley, the former of whom was born in Franklin County, Mo., May 26, 1808. He married Miss Zumwalt Oct. 1, 1833. The paternal grandfather was George Pursley, a native of Ireland and born in 1757. He married a lady who was a native of Wales. The paternal great-grand-parents settled in Kentucky when their son, George, was but two years old, locating near what was afterward known as Booneville.

Grandfather Pursley, his brother Benjamin and sister Sarah, were captured by the Indians when the former was seven years old and held in captivity seven years. Upon being released he in 1798 removed to Missouri with Daniel Boone when the city of St. Louis was but a French trading post. Both he and grandfather George Zumwalt were pioneers together and settled near the present city of St. Charles, whose site at that time was marked by a fort built as a protection against the Indians. Mr. Zumwalt was a wheelwright and cabinetmaker by trade and put up a mill in what is now Pike County. He came to his death by drowning while engaged in repairing the machinery of his mill. The paternal great-grandmother of our subject was a woman of daring courage, and during the Revolutionary War when her husband was wounded by Indians in the British service, she hurried to his side, lifted him up on the horse she rode and although under constant fire from the enemy, escaped from the field. He was destined, however, to meet his death at the hands of the hostile Indians, who afterward effected their purpose — killing him.

Grandfather Pursley settled on eighty acres of land in the Labadie bottoms, Mo. His son, David C., the father of our subject, after his death, purchased the right and title of the other heirs and became sole owner of the old homestead. Eventually he increased his possessions to 1,000 acres, 400 acres of which he brought to a state of cultivation, becoming a wealthy planter and stock raiser and owning a large number of slaves. He died Sept. 18, 1857, at the age of fifty-one years. The mother died Dec. 20, 1879, aged sixty-four, having been born March 4, 1815. They were the parents of twelve children the eldest of whom, a son, George W., was born Aug. 20, 1834; Sarah M., Feb. 27, 1836; William Levi, May 26, 1837; John Ivy, April 10, 1839; Rebecca A. F., March 22, 1841; Jacob F., of this sketch, was the next child; James A. was born Aug. 8, 1844; Thomas M., Aug. 4, 1846; Leonard E., Jan 1st, 1849; Joel D. L., in 1853; Mary E., in 1855 and Ruth S. L., in February, 1857. George W. died in infancy; Sarah was married Oct. 9, 1852, to William C. Dawes, a carpenter and died in September, 1853; William married Miss Jane Groff and has three children;he lives on a farm near Wichita.Kan.;John married Miss Maggie Davis and is a photographer of Wetmore, Nemaha County, this State; Rebecca died when eighteen years old; Joel married Miss Virginia, eldest child of W. E. Dawes by his second wife and died in 1881; his son. Bacon, is engaged in the grocery business in Pacific, Franklin Co. Mo.

Jacob F. Pursley was reared on a farm and completed his studies in Bethel Academy, Franklin County, Mo., under the instruction of Prof. Johnson. Notwithstanding the fact that his father was a slave-holder, Jacob F. was strongly opposed to the peculiar institution and upon the outbreak of the Civil War espoused the Union cause. He gave emphasis to his principles in due time by enlisting as a Union soldier in Company K, 32d Missouri Infantry and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He fought in the battles of Wilson Creek and Pea Ridge and was in various skirmishes in Arkansas and Missouri. He was also present at the siege of Vicksburg and the capture of Col. John S. Marmaduke who had been a Governor of Missouri and is but recently deceased.

At the expiration of his first term of enlistment —three years— Mr. Pursley re-entered the ranks and went with the Red River expedition under Gen. A. J. Smith. He fought in the battles of Mobile, Ft. Blakeley, Meridian and Jackson, Miss., and at the close of the war received his honorable discharge, Nov. 15, 1865. He had done his duty bravely and endured without complaint the many hardships and privations incident to army life. No man rejoiced more at the vindication of freedom and the preservation of the Union.

Upon leaving the army Mr. Pursley resumed farming in Franklin County, Mo., and on the 28th of August, 1866, was united in marriage at Washington, that State, with Miss Violet A. Brown. This lady is the daughter of James and Lucetta J. (Dunlap) Brown,the latter a native of Pennsylvania. Mr. Pursley's family in 1869 came to Kansas and settled in Washington County, where he entered 160 acres of Government land included in his present homestead, to which he added by purchase until he is now the owner of 330 acres. In addition to general farming, he is considerably interested in live stock and has been successful as a breeder of Short-horn cattle and Poland China swine. To him and his estimable wife there have been born twelve children, as follows: one who died in infancy; Gertrude A., Mary A., David McC, Olive L., Harlem E., Ruth Estella, Walter F., William L., Daisy M., Grace V. and Laura L. Gertrude A. became the wife of Charles Busic, a farmer of Mill Creek Township and they have two children. Mary A. is the wife of Henry Elder, of Coleman Township, and they have one child. David McC. died at the age of three years. Olive L. died when eighteen months old. The children remaining under the parental roof are receiving all the advantages of a good education and are being prepared for responsible positions in the future.

It is hardly necessary to state that Mr. Pursley is a Republican of the first water. He has been quite prominent in party politics and is frequently chosen as a delegate to the country conventions. He has been a Justice of the Peace twelve years, has been almost continuously a member of the School Board and belongs to the National Grange. He finds his religious home in the Christian Church.

On another page of this volume the reader will be pleased to notice a fine engraving of the commodious residence of our subject, with all the evidences of the energy and perseverance of the master without, while the interior arrangement reflects the care and taste of the mistress, whose gracious hospitality is extended not alone to the cherished household guest, but also to the passing stranger.


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BENJAMIN PYM has been a resident of Washington County since the spring of The greater part of his life has been spent in the profession of teaching. Being compelled to abandon pedagogism on account of failing health, he has recently devoted his attention to the management of his farm. It is located on section 16, Sheridan Township, and is carefully and intelligently tilled. The residence is a stone structure, and adequate stables and other outbuildings are conveniently disposed about it. An orchard of 100 apple trees, a number of plum trees, a plentiful supply of raspberries and a vineyard of 100 stands of grapes adorn and add to the value of the place.

Mr. Pym was born in Somersetshire, England, and is a sou of William and Elizabeth (Morgan) Pym. His birth took place April 4, 1835, and five years later his parents came to the United States. They located in Cayuga County, N. Y., where they still live. There they reared their family of five children, of whom our subject is the third. The parents are members of the Established Church of England, as were their ancestors as far as known. The father is engaged in farming.

The gentleman of whom we write was reared and educated in Cayuga County, being the recipient of the advantages afforded him in the village school. He removed to Illinois while yet a young man. and there he remained for many years. Twenty-five years of his residence there were spent in the profession of teaching. Fifteen consecutive years he taught in one school. In 1871 he bought a quarter section of school land in this county. In 1877, as before stated, he took possession of the place, which was at that time raw prairie. He taught four terms after coming to this county, and then turned his attention to agriculture.

Mr. Pym was married in Illinois to Ellen, daughter of Moses and Eliza (Pitts) Young. She is an intelligent and amiable lady, and a fitting mate for the man to whom she gave her heart and hand. She was born in Maine, of which State her grandparents were residents for many years. Her paternal grand parents were William and Mary (Keller) Young; her maternal grandparents were Abner and Jane (Malcolm) Pitts. Her parents removed to Jo Daviess County, Ill., in 1855. whence, in the spring of 1871, they came to this State. They located on section 21 of this township and county, and there improved a farm of 160 acres. Selling the estate, they removed to Clifton, where the father died in September, 1883. The mother subsequently married Carl Niles, and is now living in Clifton Township. Mrs. Pym is the oldest of seven children born to her parents. Three of her brothers and sisters still survive. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Pym has been blessed by the birth of three children: Eloise E., now Mrs. Louis W. Lawrence, lives in Parkersville, Kan.; Josephine J. and William remain under the parental roof. Mr. Pym belongs to the Clifton Lodge. A. F. Sc A. M.


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HUGH ROSS. Were the early pioneers of Northern Kansas a literary people, possessing the pen of a ready writer, they could unfold a tale of life on the frontier, which would prove that "truth is stranger than fiction." Their children of to-day, living in comfortable homes, and enjoying many of the luxuries of modern life, scarcely realize the sacrifices endured by those who largely for their sakes braved difficulties and dangers, and toiled from year to year in the building up of a homestead. Among the settlers of 1870, is the subject of this notice, who took up a homestead claim of 160 acres when a young man prior to his marriage, and laid the foundations of success and comfort in the future. Upon this place when he assumed possession, there was not a tree or a bush, and not a shelter for his head, and for a time he made his home with his brothers Donald, Walter and his sister Katie, on an adjoining farm, until ready to establish a home of his own. With this end in view he in time put up a little frame house 12x16 feet in dimensions. Then returning to Canada, he was married Feb. 16, 1877, to Miss Jessie, daughter of Alexander and Kate (McDonald) Sutherland.

After his marriage Mr. Ross proceeded with the improvement of his property, making fences, setting out fruit and forest trees, including sixty apple trees, together with plum and cherry trees. Later he erected a more commodious dwelling and a good barn with corn cribs, a granary, and the other structures necessary for the shelter of stock, and the storage of grain. His farm machinery includes a wind-mill and other labor-saving contrivances. When first coming here, Mr. Ross frequently saw large droves of antelopes and deer bounding over the long prairie-grass. He has watched the growth and development of Northern Kansas with that interest only felt by the intelligent and enterprising citizen, who considers the well-being of his fellowmen as not among the least of his concerns.

Of late years Mr. Ross has made a specialty of stock, raising Short-horn cattle, Norman and Clyde horses, and Poland-China swine. To these he feeds most of the grain raised upon his place. His family included five children, viz: Walter G., Alexander H., Donald C, and John C, Katie E., the fourth child dying at the interesting age of three and one-half years. Mr. Ross, politically, gives his support to the Republican party, and is a member in good standing of Clifton Lodge No. 40, A. O. U. W.

The birthplace of Mr. Ross was in Oxford County, Province of Ontario, Canada, and the date thereof March 6, 1841. He attended the common-school during his younger years, and afterward worked considerably as a barn carpenter. The parents of Mrs. Ross were natives of Scotland, and members of the Presbyterian Church. They emigrated to America with their respective parents. and were married in Canada, where the father died in March, 1885. The mother is still living there. Mr. Ross and his family are members in good standing of the Presbyterian Church in which he officiates as a Trustee.


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BARTON S. WILSON, a pioneer though not one of the earliest settlers of Washington County, is a prominent farmer of Washington Township, where he owns a well-appointed, highly productive farm that compares favorably with the best in the locality. He is a native of Illinois, born March 23, 1851, in Cass County, five miles west of Tallula. His father, Smith Wilson, was a Southerner by birth, Kentucky his native State, while his father. John Wilson, is thought to have been a native of New Jersey. being a son of one Benjamin Wilson, who from the best information at hand is supposed to have originated in New England. He was a shoemaker by trade, and spent his last years in New Jersey. The grandfather of our subject early learned the trade of a carpenter, and going to North Carolina when a young man, he lived in that State a few years. In 1820, accompanied by his family, he returned to the North, and selecting the young State of Illinois as the site of his future home, he located in Cass County, and thus became one of its earliest pioneers. In the many years of his residence there he bore an honorable part in its upbuilding, being an important factor in developing its agricultural resources, and he lived to see a populous, thriving and wealthy community where he had found a wild and desolate country, the home of the Indians and the haunt of prairie wolves, bears, deer and other wild animals. He improved a good farm, planted a fine orchard, erected substantial farm buildings, and at the time of his death at the venerable age of eighty-nine years, was comfortably well off in this world's goods. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, in which he did gallant service. The land that he bought from the Government was partly prairie and partly timber land, and he first erected a log house to shelter his family. The father of our subject was young when his parents took up their abode in Illinois, and he was reared to a vigorous manhood amid the wild pioneer scenes of his early home in Cass County, and was there married to Mary C. McHaley. She was born in Ohio and was a daughter of John McHaley, a native of Germany, who lived for a time in the Buckeye State, and then moved to Indiana, where he died. While yet in the prime of life, being but forty years of age, Mr. Wilson's useful career was cut short by his death in 1852. The following is recorded of the six children born of his marriage: Benjamin F. and Catherine are dead; George W. lives in Wilson County Kan.; Mary J. is dead; Margaret A. married John Biggs, and lives near Morrow this county; Barton S. is the subject of this biographical review. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Wilson, a woman of much force of character and capability, and of sterling worth, bravely worked to support her children and keep them together, and now in her old age she is tenderly cared for by our subject and is a welcome inmate of his household.

He of whom we write remained at home with his mother till he was ten years old, and then the manly, self-helpful little lad determined to earn his own living, and from that time he became self-supporting. He worked by the month on a farm, and attended school as opportunity offered in the winter seasons, and by diligent attention to his books gleaned a very good education. He continued to live in his native State, with the exception of one year that he spent in Iowa, till 1870. He then emigrated to Kansas, his mother and one sister accompanying him, coming with a team and bringing a part of their household goods. On arriving here Mr. Wilson made a claim to a tract of land on section 30, of what is now Washington Township, and after erecting a frame house 14 x 14 feet to shelter the family, he at once commenced the pioneer task of breaking the prairie sod and improving a farm. Like his grandfather before him he had to build up a home in a wild, sparsely settled country, where the presence of deer, antelopes and other game showed that civilization was not very far advanced. Waterville, several miles away, was the nearest railway station, market and depot for supplies, and he used to have to haul his grain to that distant point to dispose of it. Since coming here he has witnessed many marvellous changes and has aided in bringing them about, as it is owing to the zeal of him and his fellow-farmers, that Washington Township is so prosperous to day. He has worked hard to bring his fine farm to its present high state of cultivation and provide it with comfortable, neatly arranged buildings and good machinery.

Mr. Wilson was married in March, 1870 to Francelia Baker. She was born in the State of New York, and is a daughter of William and Ellen Baker. Five children have resulted from this marriage, four of whom are living — Ida K.. Minnie I., Howard L., Arvel; Clara L. died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are genial, hospitable people, with generous, kindly hearts, and are highly thought of by their neighbors and other friends. He started out in life a poor boy, and by those traits of character that mark him an intelligent, industrious, capable, honest man and a trustworthy citizen, he has made his way upward till ho stands among our most substantial farmers. He has decided opinions of his own on all matters with which he is familiar, especially in politics, and he is now independent in regard to voting, though for many years he supported the Republican party.



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