KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


ATCHISON COUNTY, Part 25

[TOC] [part 26] [part 24] [Cutler's History]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (SMART - SYMNS).

D. B. SMART, machinist, Atchison, was born in Burnham, Me., May 3, 1845. When quite young his parents moved to Fayette County, Iowa, where he was raised. At eighteen he left home, and began trading at different points on the Upper Mississippi river, which pursuit he followed until 1870, when he went to Eau Claire, Wis., and learned the machinist trade, remaining three years. He then went to Minneapolis, Minn., where he worked at his trade until 1876. Coming to this place, he found employment at the Central Branch Railroad shops, where he remained until 1880, when he opened a shop at 905 Commercial street. He has superior machinery and tools, and has facilities for turning out nearly all classes of work in his line. Was married in Red Wing, Minn., in 1875, to Miss Lillie A. Burch, and has three children - Harry, George and Roy. Is a member of Active Lodge, No. 158, A. F.& A. M., Atchison.

GEORGE G. SMITH, foreman blacksmith department M. P. shops, was born in Cambridge, England, October 10, 1845. He came to the United States with his parents in 1852 and located at Aurora, Ill. He learned his trade in the C. B. & Q. R. R. shops, commencing in 1861. During the war he was in government service for a time at Nashville, Tenn. In 1865 moved to Kansas City in the employ of the M. P. R. R. During 1868 was connected with the U. P. R. R. at Omaha and Laramie. In 1869 was a short time with the H. & St. Jo R. R., at St. Jo, Mo. Then took charge of Fort Scott & Gulf R. R. shops at Kansas City, remaining about four years. Was then connected with the A. & N. R. R. at Atchison, until he took his present position in 1877. Mr. S. was married in Kansas City, Mo., February 12, 1867, to Miss Jane Smithey, a native of Indiana. They have seven children - Charles G., William G., Annie, James G., Edith, Cora, Alice. Mr. S. is a member of the I. O. O. F.

JACOB M. SMITH, proprietor of the American Pork House, situated on the east side of the Missouri River, in what is known as East Atchison. This establishment was erected in 1880, at the large expense of $100,000, and when in full running order has a capacity for about 17,000 hogs per day, the meat being shipped to both home and foreign markets. Mr. Smith was born in Monroe County, W. Va., September 24, 1831, and is the son of Merry W. Smith, who was engaged largely in the manufacture of wool in that State, who moved to Adams County, Ill., with his family, in 1840, and settled on a farm. Jacob M. learned the cooper's trade in his young days, and in 1850 crossed the plains to California, at the time of the mining excitement. He, however, returned to Illinois the same year and purchased his father's cooper shop, being employed at this and merchandising until 1855. At this time he gained his first experience at pork packing, and he carried it on extensively at Quincy, Ill., until his removal to Kansas, which occurred in 1880. Mr. Smith was elected Mayor of Quincy in 1875, and served several terms as Alderman. He is a member of Washington Lodge, No. 5, of Atchison, and was initiated in the Masonic Order in 1862, having now attained the thirty-second degree. His wife was Miss Zippy Hanks, whom he married in Adams County, Ill. in 1851.

RUEBEN F. SMITH was born in Greenwood, Steuben Co., N. Y., August 3, 1840. From his native State he removed to Illinois, and lived for a time at Waukegan, and in 1858 immigrated to Kansas. He lived for one year at Troy, Doniphan County, and in 1859 went to Pike's Peak, where he remained two years, engaged in mining and merchandizing. In 1861 he returned, and in September entered the Quartermaster's Department of Union Army, at Jefferson City, Mo., in which he remained until March, 1866, being Quartermaster's Agent for about four years, with the rank of A. Q. M. During this time his stations were Jefferson City, St. Louis, Vicksburg, New Orleans, Mobile, and Montgomery. In May, 1866, he returned to Kansas and lived for about two years at Wauthena, where he published a history and directory of Doniphan County. From Wauthena he removed to Council Bluffs, Iowa and remained in that place a year and a half, being one of the proprietors of the commercial college of Marshall, Smith & Co. He then went to Sedalia, Mo., and remained in that town four years. While there, he started the Daily Bazoo, and was one of its editors three years, afterwards starting the Daily Democrat, of which he was one of the editors eight months. He also published at Sedalia "Smith's Guide to the Southwest." In 1873 he removed to Atchison and became one of the editors and proprietors of the Atchison Daily Globe, which was discontinued in December of the same year. Mr. Smith then took a position as bookkeeper for McPike & Allen, wholesale druggists, and in 1875 published "Smith's Guide to Northern and Northwestern Kansas." He commenced dealing in real estate in 1878, and has been continuously engaged in the business since that time. He was married in Montgomery, Ala., April 17, 1866, to Laura A. Vaughan, a native of Virginia. They have four children now living: William W. A., Mary Elena, Rueben F. and Alonzo McPike. Mr. Smith is a member of I. O. O. F., Friendship Lodge, No. 5; Atchison Lodge, 1284, Knights of Honor; Golden Rule Lodge No. 7, K. & L. of H., and Atchison Lodge, No. 4, A. O. U. W., and Atchison Legion No. 16 S. K. A. O. U. W.

WILLIAM R. SMITH, a native of Peru, LaSalle Co., Ill., came to Kansas with his parents, and located near Valley Falls, Jefferson Co., in the fall of 1857. In 1860 he went to Atchison and commenced his law studies with Judge P. L. Hubbard; in 1870, graduated from the Literary Department of Kenyon College, Ohio, and in 1872, from the Law Department of Michigan University. He commenced practice in Atchison, and has remained in that city until the present time - since 1876, associated with Henry C. Soloman.

HENRY SNELL, section boss of Section 1 of the A., T. & S. Fe R. R., residence, corner of Kansas avenue and Eighteenth street. This section includes all of the track inside of their yards at Atchison, making about seventeen miles. He has also nine men under his general supervision. The subject of this sketch was born February 29, 1832, in Westmoreland County, Pa. After attaining a liberal education, he learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed until he commenced railroading. In 1859 he married Miss Amanda J. Truxel, of his native State, and in '63 engaged with the old Pennsylvania Central, first as carpenter, then, after one year, took charge of the tracks in the yards. In the fall of 1881 Mr. Snell came West to Atchison, where he has since been employed as above with the A., T. & S. Fe R. R.

JOHN L. SYNDER, barber, came to Kansas March 14, 1871, and located in Pottawatomie County where he lived eleven years, and from there came to Atchison, March 12, 1882. Mr. Synder was a member of Company D, One Hundred and Thirteenth Regiment Illinois Infantry, and enlisted in Springfield, Ill., January 1, 1863. He participated in all the engagements in which his regiment took part, and was mustered out of the service September 10, 1864, at Camp Butler, Springfield, Ill. Mr. S. was born in Putnam County, Ohio, July 27, 1847. He lived in his native place about one year when his parents removed to Pennsylvania, and lived there until his seventh year, when they removed to Illinois, where he lived until March, 1871, when he came to Kansas. He was married in Farmington, Fulton County, Ill., December 22, 1869, to Miss Emily A. Spence, a native of Ohio. They have three children living, whose names are - Harry W., Mary A. and John Burton.

JOSEPH SPECK, engineer on the Missouri Pacific R. R., residence West Kansas City, is a native of Ohio, born March 17, 1852, in Coshocton County. His first employment on the railroad was with the Midland Pacific Co. as fireman, where he remained seven months then changed to the Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis road, where he served in the same capacity for a time, and in 1875 ran his first engine. Mr. Speck removed to Kansas City, Mo., July 22, 1877, and entered the service of the Missouri Pacific R. R. Co., and has since been running an engine between that city and Atchison. He is a gentleman well acquainted with his business, and stands high in the estimation of his employers. Mr. Speck is a member of the A. O. U. W., of Illinois, being also connected with the Locomotive Engineers' Brotherhood of Wyandotte, Kansas. His wife was formerly Miss Harriet Bentze, of Barnsville, Ohio. They were married at Kansas city, in 1878.

DR. A. N. SPRAGUE. Among the first practitioners of the medical profession in Northeastern Kansas is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Vermont, was born in Windsor County, August 22, 1825. His parents were old settlers of the Green Mountain State and removed to North Adams, Mass., when A. N. was very young. Here he resided until thirteen years of age. Early in life he took up the study of medicine in Pittsfield, Mass., afterwards in Syracuse, N. Y.; took lectures in New York City, and in the spring of 1845 graduated in the Crosby St. College of Physicians and Surgeons in that city. He practiced his profession in New York State, Louisiana and Ohio, being located in Rochester, of the latter State, and came from there to Kansas, arriving in Atchison, May 1, 1860. He was in very limited circumstances, having but $1.50 when he arrived at the pioneer town of Atchison. He was obliged to sell a large part of his library at a sacrifice, owing to the fact that purchasers of medical works were scarce in Kansas at that remote period. His early experiences in Kansas were fraught with all the drawbacks incidental to the first settlers in a new country. As the country began to settle up his practice extended out, and he was frequently called long distances from Atchison. During the war, like other patriotic citizens, he belonged to the militia; was on the Price raid in Missouri a few years after, locating in Atchison, he built a residence and dealt extensively in town property; was engaged in freighting on the plains and in this line was eminently successful for a time, but unfortunately he lost one entire train, on account of an Indian raid; the loss he sustained amounting to $12,000. There are but few citizens who have been more closely associated with Western enterprise than Dr. Sprague, or are more universally popular. When he first came to Atchison there was considerable sickness, and the people were in poor circumstances. He attended to their wants, dealing out hundreds of dollars' worth of medicine which he had in stock, gratuitously, without any prospects of ever being recompensed. During his long sojourn in Atchison he has been noted for the active part he has taken in all matters pertaining to the moral status of the city. He has always been an active worker in the temperance cause and for a number of years was Grand Worthy Patriarch of the Sons of Temperance in Northern Kansas. The doctor has been married twice, first in Albany, N. Y., in 1854, to Miss Louisa Hunt. They had two children - Eugene and Nettie, both deceased. Eugene died in Ohio and Nettie in Atchison. Mrs. S. also died in Atchison in 1867. Miss Annie Haskins became his wife in 1868. She is the daughter of Joseph Haskins, Esq., one of Atchison's oldest citizens. They have one daughter - Louisa.

D. C. STARR, blacksmith, 905 Commercial street, Atchison, Kan., was born in Audrain County, Mo., in March, 1847. At eight years of age his parents moved to Doniphan County, Kan., settling near Doniphan, where he attended school winters and worked on the farm summers, until nineteen years old, when he engaged in farming for himself, until 1871, when he moved to this place, and was car repairer on the A. & N. Railroad. In 1872, went into the car-shops of that road, where he remained until 1875, when he went to Nebraska, and was fireman on the Midland Railway until the spring of 1876; returned to this place, and in connection with P. B. Urie, started a blacksmith shop on Eighth street. In 1878, sold his interest to his partner, and opened a shop on Main street, where he remained until 1881, when he built a stone shop at his present location. Was married in St. Joseph, Mo., September 25, 1873, to Elizabeth Ogden, of Atchison, Kan. They have one child, Maud A. Is a member of Atchison Lodge, No. 60, I. O. G. T.

STEELE & McKELVEY, manufacturers of galvanized iron cornice, 113 Seventh street, north of Commercial. This firm was established in November, 1881, and is now doing an extensive and prosperous business; receive orders all over the State; making a specialty of this and tin roofing. James W. McKelvey, of this firm, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., October 25, 1858; learned the tinner's trade in his native State, and in 1879, came to Kansas, starting in business here as above. W. H. Steele, of the said firm, is a native of the same State, Lawrence County, born April 29, 1851. He learned the tinner and cornice trade in Ohio, and subsequently came to Atchison in 1877, where he worked by day at his trade, until he established the above business.

JOHN I. STEELE, engineer on the Missouri Pacific R. R., residence 519 North Second street, commenced railroading in 1867, as clerk in the General Superintendent's office of the Central Branch of the Mo. Pac. road. Having a desire to be a machinist, he entered the shops at Atchison, where he learned the trade. In the spring of 1872, he engaged with the U. S. Express Co., as messenger, which he pursued till '76, when he re-entered the service of the Mo. Pac. R. R. Co. For two years he acted as fireman, taking his first engine in August, 1878, and has since been engineer on this road discharging his various duties in a thorough and every way creditable manner. Mr. Steele is connected with the Masonic Fraternity, in Active Lodge, No. 158. He is also a member of the Engineer's Locomotive Brotherhood, and was a charter member of the firemen's society by the same name.

MYRON L. STEPHENS, head bookkeeper for G. C. Hixon & Co., lumber merchants, was born in Livonia, N. Y., during the year 1860; came West with his parents in 1865, stopping in Illinois, where his father, Dr. W. M. Stephens, practiced his profession until August, 1880, when he removed to Atchison, Kan. In the spring of 1879, Myron L. began a western tour, starting from Cerro Gordo, Ill., and landing first at Denver, Colo. From there he went to the northern part of the State, and to Wyoming, and thence traveled southward into New Mexico as far as the Hot Springs, at Las Vegas. Thence he went northward to Colorado, and from there undertook an overland trip to western Kansas; down the South Platte and up to Frenchman's Fork of the Republican River; then going to Atchison, where he has since resided. Here he completed his study of bookkeeping, and in the spring of 1882, became connected with the above firm as bookkeeper. Mr. Stephens is a gentleman of decided business talent, being well adapted for this vocation, and although young, has thoroughly established his position as a bookkeeper.

R. STEPHENSON, photographer, a native of New Jersey, was born January 21, 1824. His father, Charles Stevenson, was a native of New Jersey and removed with his family, including the subject of this sketch, to Delaware County, Penn., when he was very young. Here he spent his earlier days. He learned the photographing business in Philadelphia, Penn., of which city for several years he was a resident. In 1858, came to Kansas, locating in Leavenworth, being one of the first in that branch of art in the city. Was prominently identified for several years. In 1871, he located in Atchison and has built up a good trade, being an artist of superior merits. Mr. Stevenson was married in 1854, to Miss Annie Taylor, of Pennsylvania. They have five children - Annie, Charles, William, Mary and Horace.

S. R. STEVENSON, of Atchison Furniture Company, was born in County Donegal, Ireland, December 26, 1847. His parents were both Scotch visiting County Donegal at the time. A few months after his birth they returned to Glasgow, Scotland, where he received his education. In 1859, he came to the United States and settled in Philadelphia, where he engaged in clerking until 1865, in which year he settled in Atchison, Kas., and learned cabinet making with Dickinson & Co. In 1874, he went to California remaining only a few months, then returned to Atchison and became connected with the A. & N. R. R., and continued with them until the present firm was established. Mr. S. is the founder of the present extensive business. He was married in Doniphan County, Kas., June 18, 1871, to Miss Sadie A. Price, of that county. Her family are now in Atchison County. They have four children - Annie, Mattie, Bessie and Willie. Mr. S. is a member of the Episcopal Church, Is a Knight Templar in the Masonic Fraternity, being P. M. of Washington Lodge No. 5. In the I. O. O. F., he is the "P. G." in the Lodge and the "P. C. P." in the Encampment. Is also a member of the Uniform Rank, K. of P.

CHARLES A. STUART, Justice of the Peace, came to Kansas, May 22, 1869, and located at Atchison, and with the exception of twenty-one months spent at Troy Junction, Kan., as agent for the A. & N. R. R., has lived here since. For about eight years of this time he was a clerk in the A. & N. and M. P. R. R. offices, and for three years was connected with the extensive wholesale drug house of McPike & Fox, as shipping and receiving clerk. On the 4th day of April, 1882, he was elected Justice of the Peace on the Democratic ticket, by a large majority in an intensely Republican city, which shows the high regard Mr. S's neighbors have for his honesty and capacity. Mr. Stuart previous to coming to Kansas was clerk of the Circuit Court of Greenbriar County, W. Va., for eight years. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity and A. O. U. W. He was born in Augusta County, Va., November 22, 1835, and lived there seven years, when his parents removed to Greenbriar County, W. Va., where he lived until he came to Kansas. Mr. S. has been twice married. His first marriage took place at Rockbridge County, Va., September 23, 1856, to Miss S. Lizzie Bell, who died in September, 1862. On the 14th day of March, 1868, he was again united in marriage at Lewisburgh, W. Va., to Miss Nellie P. Lewis, a native of Lewisburgh, a grandniece of Gen. George Washington.

J. H. SUTLIEF, farmer, five miles west of Atchison on Parallel road; was born in 1861 at Monrovia, Kan., where he attended school winters and worked on the farm summers; has always lived in Kansas; was married November 23, 1881, to Miss Claudia Bailey, of this county.

FRANK SUTTER, dealer in Jewelry, watches, clocks, silverware. Business established in 1868 by Mr. Sutter, and has since remained unchanged. Mr. Sutter was born in Switzerland, December 3, 1836. In 1854 he came to the United States and settled in Michigan, where he engaged in jewelry business until 1868, in which year he moved to Atchison, Kan. Mr. Sutter was married in Detroit, Mich., June 8, 1863, to Miss Mary Shadde, a native of Germany. They have five children - Edward, Clara, Emma, Frank, Allie.

P. L. SWEENEY, weigh-master for the M. P. R. R. Co., residence on Commercial street, between Ninth and Tenth. Was born in Oneida County, N. Y., May 10, 1838. In early life he learned the trade of miller, and followed this occupation in his native State and in Boston, Mass., up to the time he started railroading. Came to Kansas in 1873, and during the same year entered the employment of the U. P. R. R. Co., as night watchman and baggage master on the Central Branch. Just as soon as the business of the road increased, however, he became general baggage master, and filled that situation until January, 1880, when he assumed his present vocation, and for nine years has never been off duty nor in any way lost any time, always attending faithfully to the discharge of his various duties.

[Picture of Gen. B. F. Stringfellow] GEN. B. F. STRINGFELLOW was born and received his academic education at Fredericksburg, Va., afterward continuing the study of mathematics and the natural sciences at the University of Virginia, at Charlotteville, from which institution he graduated. In the fall of 1835, he commenced the study of law at Fredericksburg, and after reading two years was admitted to the bar. He commenced his practice at St. Louis, afterward removing to Huntsville and thence to Keytesville, Mo., where he was appointed Circuit Attorney and held the office four years. He was a member of the Missouri Legislature of 1844-45, and subsequently Attorney General for the State four years. In 1849, he formed a law partnership with P. T. Abell at Brunswick, in Charlton County, where they remained until the fall of 1853, when they moved to Weston, in Platte County, Mo. The partnership continued until the fall of 1861. Mr. Abell in 1858, going to Atchison, Kas., and Gen. Stringfellow also moving to same place in the fall of 1859, where with his family he still resides, one of the most honored and respected citizens. As an attorney his attention is mainly given to special cases of importance, principally railroad cases. He has been attorney for the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs R. R., since its organization, and was one of the founders of the enterprise. He was married May 15, 1844, to Catherine A. Adams, of Charlton County, Mo.

A. B. SYMNS was born in Monroe County, West Virginia. He came to St. Joe, Mo., in 1853, where he was employed as a clerk two years, and afterwards lived three years in St. Louis, before locating in Kansas. In 1858 he settled in the town of Doniphan, Doniphan County, and remained there engaged in mercantile pursuits, until he removed to Atchison in march, 1872. He opened in Atchison a wholesale and retail grocery, and continued this business without a partner until March 1, 1878, when the firm became Symns & Turner, which was again changed in 1880 to the present firm of A. B. Symns & Co., the members being A. B. Symns, J. B. Murphy and R. H. Ballantine.

[TOC] [part 26] [part 24] [Cutler's History]