KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


ALLEN COUNTY, Part 6

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (MCELROY - YOUNG).

WILLIAM T. McELROY, Postmaster, was born in Washington County, Pa., in December, 1845; eleven years later his parents moved to Mahoning County, Ohio. In 1860, he began to learn the trade of printer, at Warren, Trumbull County, which business he followed until in January, 1865, when he enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Ninth-sixth-Ohio Infantry, serving one year. In March, 1866, he came to Humboldt, Kas., was engaged in publishing the Humboldt Union, for nine months; he joined N. J. Needham, in January, 1867, and purchased the paper; this firm dissolved in August, 1868, and Mr. McElroy has been sole proprietor since. He was appointed Postmaster at this place in January, 1880. He is a prominent member of the A., F. & A. M., and was for three years secretary of the chapter at this place.

JOHN M. MOORE, contractor and builder, was born in Parke County, Ind., March 6, 1828, reared on a farm, and also learned the trade of carpenter, following it as a journeyman. He came to Kansas in March, 1857, and resided one year in Shawnee County, near Topeka. In March, 1858, he came to Allen County and took up a claim on the Neosho River. Two years later he removed to Humboldt, since which time he has carried on business as contractor and builder, and was for a time engaged in constructing railroad bridges in Missouri. He did the wood work on all the principal churches in this city. Mr. Moore enlisted in June, 1861, in Company D, First Kansas Infantry, and, after having served about a year, was disabled and discharged. During the latter portion of the war he served in the Kansas State Militia as Captain of the Neosho Valley Rangers.

GEORGE W. MOON, farmer, Section 6, P. O. Humboldt, was born in Butler County, Ohio, in 1838, and was reared on a farm. He was also employed in mills in that county and in the State of Indiana, near the State line. On September 5, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, Sixty-ninth Ohio Infantry. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Chickamauga, September 20, 1863, and confined at various Rebel prisons, such as Belle Isle, Andersonville, Libby, etc., for seventeen months. He was mustered out after serving three years and eight months. Mr. Moon came to Allen County, Kansas, in 1868, and located at Humboldt Township, at which time he embarked in agricultural pursuits and was also for some time employed in flouring mills at Humboldt. In 1871 he removed on to his present farm. He has 160 acres, all highly improved. He was Clerk of the Township several years, and in the fall of 1881 he was elected, for a term of three years, a member of the Board of Commissioners for Allen County.

A. G. NEWGENT, merchant, was born in Clark County, Ind., in 1817, reared on a farm and also learned the trade of cooper. At the age of twenty-four he moved to Cass County, Mo., where he engaged in mercantile pursuits. In the summer of 1861 he organized the Missouri, Cass County, Home Guards, was appointed Colonel of the same, and served two years, when he resigned, and in 1864 he was elected to the Missouri State Constitutional Convention. After the war he was located at Washington, D. C.; for about eight years engaged in looking after the war claims of the irregular troops of Kansas and Missouri. He then owned and conducted the Leland Hotel at Kansas City for several years, and engaged in merchandise business at Platte City, Mo. In 1880 he came to Humboldt and at once embarked in dry goods and notions business; he has a nice business and carries a stock of about $3,000.

G. A. NICHOLETTS, real estate, loan and insurance agent, was born in England in 1840. He served some six years as Lieutenant in H. M. Sixty-eighth Light Infantry and Second Queen's Royals. In May, 1861, he immigrated to New York, enlisted in the Eleventh New York Cavalry, and was appointed Sergeant Major of the regiment; was promoted to Second Lieutenant, July 17, 1862; First Lieutenant, September 27, following, and to Captain, in September, 1864, serving until mustered out of the service in October, 1865, after which he again resided in England for two years; returning to America in 1867, he engaged in cotton planting for a year in Tennessee. Was then Deputy Clerk of Chancery Court for two years afterward Clerk of Chancery Court, Tallahatchie County, Miss., for five years. In August, 1879, he came to Humboldt and embarked in the real estate business. In May, 1881, he became associated with N. S. Raunells, his present partner. Mr. N. is commander of the G. A. R. Post, Vicksburg, No. 72.

[Picture of M. Neal] MOSES NEAL, of Neal & Cunningham, merchants, was born in Franklin County, Ill., November 15, 1833, and reared on a farm. In August, 1854, he came to Kansas and took up a claim in Shawnee County, which is now the town site of Topeka. This claim, however, he abandoned in a few weeks, and, going to Douglas County, took up a claim there, on which he resided until February, 1858, when he moved to Humboldt and took up another claim two miles north of the present town, which he improved and still retains. He embarked in mercantile business shortly after his arrival, and from 1863 to 1868 was also a licensed Indian trader to the Osages. In 1869 he disposed of his business and gave his attention to his farms. From 1870 to 1872 he was engaged in freighting for the Government. In 1877 he again engaged in mercantile business at Humboldt, and in 1880 admitted his present partner, William Cunningham. They have two stores, general merchandise and groceries, in which they carry about $10,000 in stock. Mr. Neal is the oldest resident merchant in Humboldt; he owns some 400 acres of land in the county and raises considerable stock. He was appointed Postmaster of the place in 1859 and held it two years. During the Rebellion he served in the Allen County Guards, first as Lieutenant, then as Captain.

JAMES PEERY, grain dealer, was born in Monroe County, Ind., April 10, 1843. In 1857, his parents moved to Cumberland County, Ill. He enlisted April 21, 1861, in the Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, Company H, in which he served four years. After the war he learned the trade of carpenter at Paris, Ill., serving as an apprentice some three years. He came to Kansas, September 2, 1868, located in Crawford County, near Jacksonville; there he farmed and also carried on business as a contractor and builder for about six years. During his residence there he was Trustee of the township two years and Bridge Commissioner two years. His next location was Parsons, where he carried on an extensive business as a builder, after which he conducted a farm twelve miles from Parsons for two years. In 1878, he moved to Henry County, Mo., and followed building, etc., at Montrose. In February, 1882, he came to Humboldt, was largely engaged in raising broom corn, and on December of that year, he embarked in his present business.

DANIEL P. PRATT, manager for L. A. Brown & Co., dealers in lumber, grain, etc., was born in Boston, Mass., December 24, 1849. At eighteen years of age he removed to Chicago, Ill., where he was employed in hardware business until 1874, when he moved to Peoria. Here he joined two of his brothers, and established the East India Tea Company, which concern carried on eight stores; selling out his interest in this business, he came to Kansas in October, 1878, located at Council Grove, Morris County, where he was employed as a carpenter and builder for eighteen months. In September, 1880, he moved to Cherryvale, Kas., and entered the employ of this firm. Eighteen months later, he moved to Americus, Kas., and was for seven months in charge of their yard at that place. Mr. Pratt came to Humboldt in August, 1882, and entered upon his present duties. The firm do the leading business in their line at this place.

WILLIAM RATH, of Rath Bros., blacksmith and general repair shop, was born in Germany, in 1840, and partially learned the blacksmith trade there. In 1857, he immigrated to St. Louis, Mo., where he continued to work as a blacksmith for two years, afterward at Linn Creek, Mo., where he farmed and followed his trade. In the summer of 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Fourth Missouri Cavalry, and served three years, after which he returned to Linn Creek. In November, 1866, he came to Humboldt, and in company with his brother, John R., embarked in this business. This is the oldest firm in this business in Humboldt; they have a fine stone building for a shop, and do a large trade. Mr. Rath has been a member of the City Council of Humboldt for some years, and in the fall of 1878, was elected to the State Legislature from his District.

RICHARD R. REDFIELD, dealer in musical merchandise, sewing machines, etc., was born at Twinsburg, Ohio, and was reared on a farm and in a saw mill. Some years later he moved to Coldwater, Mich., where he was for two years employed in a photograph gallery. He then removed to Hillsdale. The subject of this sketch came to Humboldt in the fall of 1866, and was for two years employed as a clerk in the mercantile business, after which he engaged at his present enterprise. He deals in all kinds of musical instruments, sewing machines, etc., and also teaches vocal and instrumental music.

WILLIAM A. REDFIELD, manufacturer of carriages, buggies, etc., was born at Killingworth, Conn., May 10, 1831, and began business life at the age of eighteen years, embarking in a carriage repair shop, which business he conducted for a number of years, and was, also, for some fifteen years, engaged in merchandising, at the same place. He came to Humboldt, Kas., in 1869, and engaged in the hardware business, selling out in January, 1872, and buying back the same stock in September 1873. In the spring of 1873, he also started the business of carriage building and repairing, and has built up quite an extensive trade. In his establishment he employs fifteen men. Mr. Redfield was for five years Treasurer of Humboldt Township, also for two years a member of the City Council.

ARMSTEAD M. RICHARDS, fruit grower, in Section 3, P. O. Humboldt, was born in London Co., Va., Dec. 26, 1826, and when young, his parents moved to Adams County, Ill., where the subject of this sketch carried on a farm for twenty-five years, and was largely engaged in growing peaches, of which he had a large orchard. In November, 1879, he came to Allen County, Kas., and purchased his present farm, situated one mile east of Humboldt, consisting of 160 acres, thirty of which is in fruit trees and berries; also a small vineyard of two acres. His fruit orchard is one of the finest and most extensive in the county. His place is well improved, has a splendid residence, etc.; he is also breeding Berkshire hogs. Mr. Richards has another farm, one mile and a half east of Humboldt, on Section 2, consisting of 112 acres, on which his son, Stephen, now resides.

EZRA R. RUSSELL, physician, was born at Galesburg, Ill., January 30, 1840. He began the study of medicine in 1869, at Ellisville, Ill., with Drs. Morris and Hull. On August 11, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Eighty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving in the ranks until December, 1863, when he was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the Twelfth United States Colored Infantry, by the Secretary of War, which position he retained until October, 1865. He afterward attended Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, graduating March 10, 1866, and in June following, immigrated to Lawrence, Kas., where he followed his profession. In 1869, he was appointed Assistant Surgeon Nineteenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, serving six months. The Doctor came to Humboldt in January, 1870, and has since followed his profession at this place, in connection with which he also conducts a drug business. The Doctor has been a member of the Town Council of Humboldt for the past four years.

JACOB SCHLEICHER, Street Commissioner and City Marshal, was born in Germany, October 5, 1824. There he learned the trade of tailor. In 1854, he immigrated to Hartford Conn., where he worked at his trade. In May, 1857, he moved to Allen County, Kas., and took up a claim of 160 acres in Humboldt Township, where he followed agricultural pursuits until 1864, when he moved to town. He was for some time in the hotel and livery business, and also, for some time, carried on a hotel restaurant. Mr. S. was among those who first laid out the town of Humboldt. He was appointed City Marshal in 1865, served three years, and was again appointed in 1879. In 1874, he was made Street Commissioner, served two years, and was re-appointed in 1879. He was married in Germany, in 1853, to Katherina B. Zwanziger. They have a family of six children.

EDWARD STICKLER, proprietor of the Humboldt Woolen Mills, is a native of Ashland County, Ohio, was born in 1837, and in 1847 commenced his trade and continued as an employe (sic) till 1857, then commenced business for himself in Richland County, Ohio. In 1866 he removed to Johnson County, Iowa, near Iowa City, where he built a mill and did a successful business for fourteen years, making all kinds of fine goods, such as have received several State diplomas together with numerous county diplomas. As the business increased and the water power was limited, he removed his machinery to Iowa Falls, Hardin Co., Iowa, where he did a large business, furnishing convict goods for Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas prisons, and as there was not sufficient wool he had to import wool from Kansas. So he sold out and settled in Woodson County, Kas., and farmed till he could sell it, and then commenced building a sample woolen mill at Humboldt, Allen Co., in 1883, where he expects to remain and work up a large business in the midst of a good wool country. He also has two sons operating a fine business in Washington., Iowa. As a mechanic he is among the patentists, and has a recent patent on a windmill which he contemplates manufacturing in connect with the woolen mill. With thirty-six years experience success might be expected. He was an orphan boy sent out in the world at the age of ten years, in 1847.

ELIJAH STROSNIDER, stock-raiser, Section 20, P. O. Humboldt, was born in Monongahela County, W. Va., April 25, 1838. There his father carried on an extensive stock farm. In the spring of 1859 he moved to Scotland County, Mo., where he lived until April 25, 1860, when he came to Kansas and pre-empted 160 acres of land in Woodson County and turned his attention to improving the same. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted in the Tenth Kansas Infantry and served four years. Mr. S. was commissioned Second Lieutenant, but was not mustered, the war closing. Returning to his farm he resided there two years, and then moved to Humboldt, Allen County, where he engaged in the wholesale liquor business, which he carried on for about twelve years. In the spring of 1881 he moved to his present farm. He has 520 acres of land and is extensively engaged in raising stock, making a specialty of mules, of which he owns a large number. Mr. S. was married in Allen County September 20, 1868, to Mary Beck. They have a family of three children.

DR. GEORGE W. TAYLOR is a native of New York and a graduate of Syracuse Medical College. The doctor began the practice of medicine in his native State about 1846. In 1853 he moved west to Princeton, Ill., where he continued to reside until April, 1881, when he came to Humboldt, Kas., to reside. He has since the fall of 1853 been connected with the Christian Church, is now preaching, and has full charge of that church at this place. He also practices medicine and has a nice farm of about 160 acres.

HARMANN THOLEN, restaurant and confectionery, was born in Germany September 9, 1853. He was for four years employed as a sailor on the ocean, and in 1872 immigrated to Clinton County, Ill., where he was employed in agricultural pursuits. He came to Kansas in 1877, located at Humboldt, and engaged in grocery business, selling his goods in the country in exchange for butter, eggs, etc. In 1878 he purchased his present business from J. Hamberger, and has now the oldest established restaurant in the place. He is also engaged in manufacturing and bottling soda water, etc., in which business he employs three men. Mr. T. carries on an extensive trade in ice. He has two large ice houses, capable of storing some 2,000 tons.

JOHN N. UTTERSON, of Utterson & McLeod, proprietors of Humboldt Furniture Factory, is a native of Scotland, born in November, 1848. There he learned the trade of cabinetmaker, and at the age of twenty-one years immigrated to Chicago, Ill., where for a few months he worked at his trade. In March, 1870, he came to Kansas, and a few months later located at Humboldt; was employed in the furniture store of A. Bush, and in July, 1871, purchased the business; in 1875 the manufacturing department was added, and in November, 1879, David McLeod was admitted to a partnership. The firm carry a fine stock of furniture, etc., and have a large factory where they manufacture furniture, undertakers' goods, etc., giving employment to six men or more. A description of the manufactory will be found in the county history.

JESSE J. VAN FOSSEN, Section 39, P. O. Humboldt, Kas., was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1830, and was reared on a farm in Shelby County. In 1853 he emigrated West to Eldorado County, Cal., where he followed mining pursuits for eight years, and farmed one on Grizzly Bend, Sacramento River, Butte Co., Cal. In July 1, 1862, he came to Allen County, Kas., and located on his present farm. Mr. Van Fossen has 552 acres in Allen County, Kas. His residence farm consists of 222 acres, all well improved, and he is an extensive raiser of live stock. During the war he served in the Kansas State Militia. He is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity; is treasurer of the lodge at Humboldt, and holds the office of scribe in the Chapter at that place. Mr. Van Fossen was married in Allen County, Kas., in March, 1863, to Amelia Bartels. They have a family of three children.

F. N. WERT, proprietor of the Humboldt Livery, Feed and Sale Stable, was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, January 20, 1839. Six months later his parents immigrated to Montgomery County, Ind.; there he enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Twentieth Indiana Infantry. Was mustered out June 20, 1865, after which he was employed as a carpenter in Indiana. He came to Kansas in November, 1867, and located in Allen County, and was for three years engaged in agricultural pursuits. Moving to Humboldt, he opened a real estate and law office with others, under the style of Gilbert, Suits & Wert. Three years later he sold out his interest, and was employed as a traveling salesman until October, 1880, when he engaged in his present business. He deals extensively in horses; has fine barns and good livery stock.

DR. M. E. WOLFE, dentist, was born in Fairfield County, in 1846. He was educated at Fairfield Union Academy, and studied dentistry at Lancaster, Ohio, with Drs. Scott & Crider; also attended lectures at Pennsylvania Dental College, Philadelphia. The doctor began the practice of his profession in 1869, at Philadelphia, but shortly after returned to Lancaster, Ohio. In December, 1870, he came to Humboldt, and at once opened an office for the practice of dentistry. He has also an office at Chanute. The doctor is also a member of the Kansas State Dental Association, and bears an excellent reputation as a skillful dentist. In connection with other pursuits, he is also interested in farming and stock-raising, and has a fine fruit orchard of fifteen acres.

JAMES B. YOUNG, capitalist, is a native of Morgan County, Ind., where he was reared on a farm, and also taught school in that locality for several years. He came to Allen County, Kas., May 9, 1857, and located near the present town site of Humboldt. He farmed for some two years and was also interested in a saw-mill. About 1859 he embarked in mercantile business as a clerk, and was employed in that capacity until September, 1861, when he enlisted in Company G, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, and was appointed Quartermaster Sergeant. He was mustered out, January 16, 1865. Returning to Humboldt he followed mercantile pursuits, for some years. In the fall of 1875 he was elected Treasurer of Allen County, and re-elected in 1877, serving in all four years. Mr. Young has considerable real estate and devotes his time principally to the management of the same.

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