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The town site of Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant Township, was surveyed by John P. Wheeler, agent of the Town Company, in 1857. Thomas L. Fortune, the original proprietor, located in 1854, opened the first store in the township, and when the postoffice was established in March, 1855, he was appointed Postmaster. In August, 1862, the name was changed to Locust Grove. The very first settlers of the township were Michael Wilkins and James Laird, who located August 20, 1854. Besides those already mentioned Jacob Grindstaff, Martin Jones, Levi Bowles, Andrew J. Peebler, Chris. Horn, P. R. King, W. C. Findley, A. S. Speck and Amos Hamon were among the earliest settlers. In 1860, the Cumberland Presbyterians erected a church edifice, and a district school was opened in the fall of 1858. For several years before the erection of their church, the Presbyterians held services in private residences. Their first pastor was Rev. A. A. Moore.
The Church of Christ was organized at Pleasant Grove, on May 1, 1862, by Elder S. W. Jackson, with seventeen members, services being held in the school house. Rev. Mr. Jackson served three years, and after him came Revs. N. Dunshee, Short, T. W. Ramey, Cope, L. Z. Burr, J. Gardner, Z. S. Hastings, Stare, Mrs. M. A. Ripley, and Pardee Butler. The present membership of the church is seventy-five. The Sabbath school is largely attended; Superintendent, H. Shell.
The Catholic Church (St. Patrick's) at Mount Pleasant, has been established for over twenty years, being in charge of Father Adolph Wesseling, O. S. B. Its membership is about seventy-five families.
Rev. W. C. Day, of Atchison, has charge of the Methodist Episcopal Society at Parnell Junction, which was organized as early as 1858. It numbers now about twenty members.
Echo Lodge, No. 103, I. O. O. F., Mount Pleasant, was organized March 28, 1873, and has the following names on its charter: X. Klein, B. F. Johnston, C. T. Magill, J. B. Lowe, Paul Morris and B. F. Paine. With the following as officers: X. Klein, N. G.; B. F. Johnson, V. G.; J. B. Lowe, secretary; Jasper N. Dugan, treasurer. The organization has a membership of fifty-six.
Mount Pleasant Lodge, No. 158, of Mount Pleasant, was organized and held its first meeting October 20, 1868, with the following charter members: William J. Young, X. Klein, M. R. Benton, John Hawley, S. K. McCreary, Joseph Howell and Albert Hawley. The following were the first officers of the lodge; William Young, W. M.; X. Klein, S. W.; A. Hawley, J. W.; S. K. McCreary, secretary; M. R. Benton, treasurer.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES - MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP.
GEORGE BALL, nurseryman, Section 14, P. O. Atchison, is a native of England, and was born in Wilkshire, June 16, and was raised and educated in his native country, following the pursuit of horticulture. When twenty-seven years of age he came to the United States, locating Des Moines, Iowa, where he resided a considerable length of time. In the autumn of 1857 came to Kansas, locating on Section 14, Atchison County, a short distance from his present abode, where he started a nursery; planting in 1859 50,000 trees, and in 1860, 60,000 more. In 1865 he purchased his present farm. He has one of the finest nurseries in Northeastern Kansas, in a thrifty condition. Mr. Ball is one of Atchison County's most substantial and progressive citizens, and being among the pioneers has been closely associated with the progress of Kansas. Mr. Ball was married in Kansas to Miss Sarah Edwards. By this union they have ten children - James, Sarah, Eliza, William S., John, Oliver, Frederick, Rosa Ethel, Nellie M., George M.
G. M. BLODGET, farmer and stock raiser, Locust Grove, is one of the pioneers of Mt. Pleasant township, coming to the State in April, 1855, and locating on Section 19, Town 7, Range 20, entering 160 acres of land; now owns 285, 220 under cultivation, with good buildings, hedge and stone fences, orchard and grove. In the spring of 1856 he bought a breaking team of twelve yoke of cattle, and for the next three years broke prairie for himself and neighbors, and bought the first reaper and threshing machine sold in Atchison County, which he ran during the season until 1862, when he enlisted in Company F, Twelfth Kansas Infantry, and was in the battles of Prairie Grove, Corn Hill and Van Buren, and in all the skirmishes of his command, serving as Orderly Sergeant, and was mustered out at Leavenworth in 1865, returning to his farm, which pursuit he has since followed. He was born in Ontario County, N. Y., in 1832. In 1842 his parents moved to Kalamazoo County, Mich., where he remained until 1851 when he went to Moline, Ill., and worked in a lumber yard until 1853, when he went to Davenport, Iowa, and during the threshing season ran a threshing machine and bought stock in the interval until 1853, when he came to this State. Was married in 1858 in Mt. Pleasant township, at the residence of Henry Cline, to Miss Margaret J. Cline, and has six children viz: Thomas Lincoln, Elvina, Frank, Fred, Josephine and Louie. Has been overseer of his road district for a number of years, also served several terms as constable.
M. A. BRUMFIELD, farmer and dairyman, P. O. Atchison, is a native of Green County, Ky., and was born in Campbellsville July 3, 1832. At an early age he went to Missouri, locating in Buchanan County, residing for a time at Rushville. In September, 1854, came to Atchison County. He turned his attention to agriculture and was one of the first farm openers in the county. Has been closely identified with the progress and development of Northeastern Kansas. Mr. Brumfield is a genial and sterling citizen and eminently popular with all. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. In 1858 he married Miss Catherine Wade. By this union they have eight children - Annie, William J., Elizabeth, Carrie, John, Minnie and Samuel J. Tilden. James Preston, their first born, died.
THOMAS L. CLINE, farmer and stock raiser, was born in Henry County, Iowa, in 1845. In 1855 his father, Henry Cline, moved to Mt. Pleasant Township and settled in Section 21, Town 7, Range 20. Young Cline has passed his life principally in this State, inheriting the old homestead and adding thereto, until he now owns 320 acres, 190 of which are under cultivation, with good buildings, grove, orchard and excellent stone and hedge fences. In 1864 he served in the militia on the occasion of Price's raids. Was married in 1874 in Atchison County, Kan., to Miss Susan M. Vandiver, and has three children, viz. - Orella M., Nellie and Charles. In 1881 was elected Township Treasurer.
HENRY CLINE, deceased, was born in Virginia in 1809: his father moved to Ohio in 1811: he went from there to Illinois, where he was married, in 1834, to Miss Eleanor Leonard: moved to Iowa in 1839, and from there came to Kansas in the Spring of 1855. He located in Atchison County, near Mt. Pleasant, being one of the pioneers. In 1861 was appointed postmaster of Locust Grove, and held the position until his death in 1875. His family consisted of four children: Juliana, now Mrs. Jay; Mary, now Mrs. Blodgett; Charles, who enlisted in the Ninth Kansas Cavalry, and died at Cow Creek, Arkansas, in 1862, and Thomas.
B. E. FRIEUND, broom manufacturer and farmer, P. O. Atchison, identified with the manufactures of Northeastern Kansas, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Germany, and was born May 20, 1851. When very young came to America, locating in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was reared, educated and learned his trade of manufacturing brooms. For a time he was engaged in business in Huron County, Ohio, and also in Kentucky, from which point he came to Kansas in 1879, and has since been recognized among the substantial manufacturers of this portion of the State. Mr. F. is a grower of broom corn, has a well arranged building for his business, and makes an excellent article in the broom line. He married in 1879 Miss Minnie Stauffer, of Kentucky, an estimable lady and an excellent helpmate.
JOHN GLANCY, farmer, Mount Pleasant Township, was born in Ireland in 1816, and emigrated to America in 1849, settling near Philadelphia, Pa. and followed farming until he removed to this State, in 1857, settling on Section 2, Town 7, Range 20, Mount Pleasant Township. He now owns 250 acres of land, 110 acres improved, with good buildings, all fenced. He was married in Atchison County, Kan., in 1858, to Miss Mary Grady. They have six children - Michael, John, James, Bridget, Mary and Eugene. Mr. G. held the office of Justice of the Peace in Mount Pleasant Township for ten years.
MICHAEL GLANCY, farmer, Mount Pleasant Township, was born in Ireland in 1812, and emigrated in 1849 to America, and located at Philadelphia, Pa., and followed butchering and speculating until 1857, when he came to Kansas, settling on Section 10, Township 7, Range 20, Mount Pleasant Township. He owns 340 acres of land, with good buildings, fences, orchard and timber. Was married in Ireland in 1843, to Miss Honora Conner, and has five children - John C., the only son (enlisted, in 1862, in Company C - Capt. Gardner - of the Second Kansas Cavalry, commanded by Col. Cloud; he was killed at Roseville, Ark., in 1864); Bridget (now Sister Agnes); Annie (married to Joseph Donahue; he served two terms in the Kansas Legislature); Fannie (unmarried, staying at home); Mary Jane (now Sister Ethelburga).
W. W. HALL, farmer, Mount Pleasant Township, was born in Erie County, N. Y., in 1833, where he was brought up; attended school until he was twenty-one years of age, when he went to Michigan and joined a timber exploring party, in the employ of Ludington, Sinkley & Co., and was in that State until 1855. Then he came to this State and joined the Government force of surveyors, and was engaged in "townshipping" and sectionizing, also ran the half-breed line of Iowa Indians, until 1859, when he located on the southwest quarter of Section 19, Township 6, Range 20, and engaged in improving it, and now was 110 acres under cultivation, with a good orchard, fences, etc. He was married in 1859, to Miss Margaret S. Banghart, at Almont, Lapeer Co., Mich. They have two children, Edwin R. and Colorado G. He was made a Mason in Washington Lodge, No. 5, A., F. & A. M., Atchison, Kan.
FREDERICK HARTMAN, farmer and stock raiser, Section 29, P. O. Atchison. Among the pioneers of Atchison County was Mr. Jonathan Hartman, who came to Kansas, with his family, in 1855, and was one of the pioneer saw-mill proprietors in the West. His son Frederick is a native of Indiana, was born in Franklin County, December 7, 1844; came to Kansas with his parents in 1855; has been closely identified with the development of the country, and contributed amply toward its progress. In 1862, he enlisted in Company F, Thirteenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and on duty during his time in service, in Missouri and Arkansas; was honorably discharged July 5, 1865; returned to Atchison County, where he has since made his home. The autumn of 1880, he was the choice of the people for County Commissioner, which office (1882) he now holds. Mr. H. was married, December 20, 1865, to Miss Cynthia Parnell. They have eight children - Henrietta, Hannah, Dorinda, Jonathan, Josephine, May Florence, Birdie B., and Frederick Jr. Mr. H. is a member of the I. O. O. F., Echo Lodge, 103, of Mount Pleasant.
JONATHAN HARTMAN, farmer and stock dealer, Mount Pleasant Township, was born in Brookville, Franklin Co., Ind., in 1820, and was raised on a farm. At the age of eighteen he was apprenticed to the carpenter's trade, and followed that trade in his native State until 1846, when he moved to Platte County, Mo., following his trade until 1849, when he went to California and followed mining until 1852, when he returned to Platte City, Mo. In the spring of 1853, went to Salt Lake City, Utah with a stock of groceries and provisions, which he disposed of and returned to Platte City the same fall. In 1854, came to Kansas and located at Port William, and ran the first saw-mill erected in Atchison County, making the first lumber made in the county. In 1857, having lost all he had invested in the mill, and being considerably in debt, he located on a quarter of Section 20, Township 6, Range 20, in Mount Pleasant Township, and has followed farming and stock raising ever since. He now owns 160 acres, all under cultivation, with good buildings, orchard and fences, and owes no man a dollar. He also owns 20 acres of valuable timber land on Stranger Creek, four miles distant. Was married July 8, 1841, in Dearborn County, Ind., to Miss Christina Wolking, who died April 3, 1880. Mr. Hartman and family have been identified with the interests of the county from its earliest day. Of the children there are living, Frederick, Robert D., William M., James S., Richard M., and Alice. Those dead are: Henry (who died at Pine Bluffs, Ark., August 30, 1864, while serving his country); Mary (who died at the homestead, September 3, 1878); and Elijah E. (who died in 1856, at Port William, Kan. ). Mr. H. became a member of the A., F. & A. M., in 1856, at Platte City, Mo. Is a member of the Christian Church.
X. KLEIN, Postmaster, and dealer in general merchandise, Mount Pleasant, was born in Baden, Germany, October 26, 1826, and learned the tailor's trade in that country. On April 26, 1846, he landed in New York city, where he worked at his trade until 1848, when he went to Madison, Ind., where he followed his trade until 1857, when he came to Kansas, locating at Sumner, this county, where he ran a boarding-house until 1861, when, in company with Jacob Pahles, he went into general merchandising. In 1862, being in poor health, he sold his interest to his partner, and in 1864 came to Mount Pleasant and opened a general store. On the re-establishment of the post-office at this place, in 1864, he was appointed Postmaster, and has held the office ever since. In 1871, serving as Township Treasurer, and in 1874 was elected School Director, and held the office for five years. In 1881, was elected Justice of the Peace. Was married in 1851, at Madison, Ind., to Miss Rosana Rhinenger; they have five children, viz: Charles A., Mary, Rose, Minnie and Annie. Is a charter member of Mount Pleasant Lodge, No. 158, A., F. & A. M., Mount Pleasant, Kan. Is a charter member of the Echo Lodge, No. 103, I. O. O. F. Mount Pleasant. In 1868, was Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, I. O. O. F.
W. J. MAYFIELD, farmer, was born in Jefferson County, Mo., in 1830, and raised on a farm. At eighteen years of age he went to Adams County, Ill., where he engaged in farming until 1854, when he moved to Buchanan County, Mo., and in September of that year moved to Walnut Township, Atchison Co., Kan. In 1857, he moved to Mount Pleasant Township, and located on Section 19, Town 7, Range 20, buying 280 acres of land. He now owns 360 acres, all fenced with hedge, stone and wire; 240 acres under cultivation, with good buildings, grove and orchards. Was married in Adams County, Ill., in October, 1850, to Miss Mary Nations, who died in Walnut Township, Kan., in 1856. By this marriage four children were born, viz: George W., John W. (who died in Illinois in 1877), Zilda C., and Levi T. In 1857, he was married to Sarah A. Morris, at Leavenworth, Kan., and has ten children, viz: Rhoda T., Louisa, James F., Joseph, Fannie, Olivia, Richard, Gertrude, and W. J. jr. Was in the Kansas Militia in 1864, and was at the skirmish with Price at Westport, Mo. Has held the office of Treasurer of the School Board in his district for a number of years.
FRANK NEERMAN, farmer and stock raiser, Section 20, P. O. Atchison; is a native of Germany, and was born in the Kingdom of Hanover, April 30, 1836. When thirteen years of age, came to the United States, locating in St. Louis, Mo., where he learned the harness making trade, after which he went to California, and engaged in the harness and saddlery business in Georgetown, remaining four years, being very successful. In 1858 he came to Kansas, locating in Atchison County, near Lancaster, opened a farm, being one of the first in that portion of the county. He had many serious drawbacks to contend with, which, however, he overcame by untiring industry. After a residence of about nine years on that farm, took up his abode where he now resides, which is one of the most desirable homes in the county, the general surroundings indicating comfort and prosperity. Mr. Neerman was married in 1859 to Miss Isabella Rust, a Kansas pioneer. They have by this union six children - Ida, Charles, Alma, Nellie Mabel and an infant.
FRANCIS MARION POTTER, farmer, P. O. Mount Pleasant, came to Kansas, October 16, 1854, locating in Walnut Township, Atchison Co., where he lived until 1856, when he moved to Buchanan County, Mo., where he resided until 1861, when he entered the United States service as a member of Company K, Fifth Missouri Cavalry, in which he enlisted January 2, 1861, at St. Joseph, Mo., and was discharged June 22, 1863, in the same city. On the 14th day of February, 1864, he again enlisted, at Fort Leavenworth in Company M., Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, and was finally discharged from the United States service in December, 1865, at Fort Leavenworth. He participated in the battles of Sibley, Mo., and Powder River, Montana, and numerous engagements with Quantrell in Southern Missouri. Mr. Potter was First Sergeant of both companies in the two regiments to which he belonged, holding this position from the time he enlisted until his final muster out. Before his final discharge, however, he received a commission as Second Lieutenant of Company M., Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, but was not mustered in, owing to the muster out of the regiment. Mr. Potter is clerk of the Township in which he resides. He was born in Lincoln County, Ky., September 13, 1828, and lived in his native State until his tenth year, when his parents moved to LaFayette County, Mo., where they lived two years, and then removed to Buchanan County of the same State, where he resided until he came to Kansas. Mr. P. has a choice and valuable farm of sixty acres, all enclosed and all in cultivation, which this year yielded twenty-five bushels of wheat to the acre. His corn crop yielded sixty bushels and the year before seventy-five bushels to the acre. He has a fine young orchard, which has one hundred bearing apple and about thirty cherry trees. He also has a small vineyard on his farm, the vines being mostly of the Catawba and Concord varieties. He has an abundance of small fruits, such as raspberries, blackberries, and gooseberries. He has a good well on the property and a large spring which flows through the farm furnishing sufficient water to supply his stock.
ROBERT M. PRATHER, farmer, residing on Section 23, Township 6, and Range 20 east, Atchison County, Kan. This old and well-known citizen, a native of Rutherford County, Tenn., was born July 28, 1813; when very young his parents emigrated to Kentucky, and located in Warren County, where his father, William Prather, was engaged in agricultural pursuits. Young R. M. remained and lived with his father until he was twenty-two years of age. During the time of his minority the facilities for obtaining a practical education were very limited, there being nothing better than small and poorly arranged schools, but by dint of perseverance and energy, he succeeded in obtaining a limited education. On the 19th of November, 1835, he was united in marriage with Miss Celia Ann Dyer. After a brief but happy life of three years, Mrs. Prather was called to join that great and innumerable company of the ransomed host. On October 10, 1838, she calmly and peacefully passed away. The fruit of this marriage was two lovely children - Susan H. and William M., both of whom have long since died. In the fall of 1839, Mr. Prather for the first time visited Missouri, having relatives living in Platte and Buchanan Counties - it then being a new country, and known as the Platte Purchase. He remained until the fall of 1840, when he returned to Kentucky. In the fall of 1841, his father and mother with the remaining portion of their family, and Mr. Prather and his two little children removed to Missouri, and located in Buchanan County, where he lived about fifteen years. During this time he was engaged for five or six years in a woolen mill during the summer season, and for about four years was employed as Deputy County Surveyor of Buchanan County, doing a large amount of work in that line. With the exception of these years he has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits. December 26, 1843, he was united in marriage with Miss Martha Jane Walker, who was young and beautiful, and with whom he walked side by side for more than thirty years. In the spring of 1855, Mr. Prather sold his farm in Buchanan County, Mo., and removed to Leavenworth County, Kan., locating on what was known as the Delaware Trust Lands. In the winter of 1856 and '57 these lands were sold at public auction, the bona fide settler having the preference of bidding the appraised value; his claim was knocked down to him immediately. At these sales, Mr. Prather bought in his claim of land, consisting of 160 acres. In the spring of 1857, he sold his 160 acres of land for $6,000, and bought a claim three miles from Atchison City, Atchison Co., adjoining Leavenworth, where he resides at this time. This claim in Atchison County was on the Kickapoo lands, for which the General Government had treated with the Kickapoo Indians, and it was subject to be held and entered under the pre-emption law of the Government. When that law was fully complied with, and in April of the same year, Mr. P. moved on to his claim in Atchison County, built a house and improved, and in due time entered the same by pre-emptions. At this time his family consisted of himself, wife, and four little girls. His father, William Prather, died in Buchanan County, Mo., on the 29th of August, 1845, aged sixty-four years and one-day. His mother Frances Prather, died at his home in Atchison County, Kan., February 14, 1867, aged eighty-four years. Mr. Prather has been a frontiersman most of the time for forty years, and has endured many privations and difficulties in trying to develop the resources and benefits which might accrue to somebody by the subjugation of the wilderness. Mr. Prather has always been an earnest and true friend to morality, benevolence and religion and to the educational interests of the community in which he lived. He can not remember an instance in forty years of ever having been appealed to for aid in any benevolent enterprise, that he did not respond to as best he could. In the year 1860, he, with a few others, conceived and put into execution the idea of building a church edifice near the corner of his farm, mainly for the use of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, but it has always been open for the use of all evangelical denominations of Christians to worship in. The fruits of Mr. Prather's second marriage was eight children, five daughters and three sons, seven of whom are living - the eldest child, Armilda Jane, who was united in marriage with G. W. Carpenter, in February, 1866, died October 19th, 1880. Mr. Prather's wife by his second marriage, though not robust nor physically strong, was a woman of indomitable energy, industry and perseverance. Very much of the success and prosperity of the family and of her husband is attributed to her diligence and untiring efforts to make all who came in contact with her feel happy and contented. Her kind disposition made friends of all who knew her. But alas! The fell destroyer had marked her out as his victim. About the year 1871, her health began to decline and continued to do so until October, 1874. On the 16th of that month the lamp of life was blown out and her happy spirit was released from her suffering body, and went to dwell where there is no sickness nor suffering. The subject of this sketch is still living at his home, surrounded by some of his children, and at the advanced age of sixty-nine years is feeling hearty and well for a man at that stage in life, and hoping and desiring that when the summons shall come for him to close up his accounts with earth, he may be fully ready and equipped for the journey.
A. SPARKS, farmer and stockraiser, was born in Scott County, Ind., in 1819, and raised in that State. In 1834 he learned bricklaying at New Albany, Ind., and followed that trade until 1845; he then went to Texas, where he remained one year, going to Platte City, Mo., where he ran a boot and shoe store, and a farm, until 1855, when he came to this State and engaged in farming. Was married in Clark County, Ind. In 1843, to Miss Sarah Ellen Campbell, who died in June, 1865, leaving three children - Charles A., Rachel Carrie, and Martha Alice. In 1868 he was married again to Miss Rebecca A. Fisher. They have five children - Joseph, Albert, Andrew, Eveline, and Annie. In 1864 he bought the quarter Section 34, Township 6, Range 20, in Mount Pleasant. He now owns 240 acres of land all under cultivation, enclosed with hedge, stone and wire fences. Has good buildings, orchard, and grove.
MARION THOMPSON, farmer and stock raiser, P. O. Atchison. One who was favorably known among the first settlers in Atchison County, and figured closely with the development for a number of years was Mr. Isaac Thompson, who came with his family in 1856, locating near where his son resides. His death occurred in Osage County in 1875. The subject of this sketch is a native of Indiana, was born in Putnam County June 1, 1838. He came to Missouri with his parents in 1839, and lived there eight years. After a short sojourn in that State they removed to Oregon Territory in the year 1849, residing four years. During this time went to California, made quite a raise in gold mining, when they returned to Missouri, making the trip by the Isthmus of Panama. Resided in Missouri until they located in Kansas in the spring of 1856. In 1862 Mr. T. enlisted in Company C, Second Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. His duties were principally in Arkansas and Missouri. He participated at the battles of Fort Wayne, Prairie Grove, and Fort Smith, and was on Steele's expedition. He served three years and two months, and was honorably mustered out at Fort Leavenworth. Mr. T. has traveled considerably in the western country and is quite familiar with its topography. Has been constantly a resident of Kansas since 1854 aside from his term in service and while he was at Pike's Peak. He married in 1866 Miss Nancy J. Southard, an estimable lady. By this union they have eight children living - Albert, William, Mary, John, Melville, Benjamin, Milton, and an infant; lost one by death - Orrin P. The family is identified with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of which he is an elder. His mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson, nee Fisk, died in 1852 on the Missouri River when the family was returning from Oregon.
GEORGE W. THOMPSON, farmer and stock raiser, was born in Georgetown, Ky., in 1827. In 1843 his parents moved to Parkeville, Mo., where he learned the trade of brick-layer, which trade he followed until his removal to Kansas in 1855, settling five miles south of Leavenworth. In 1856 he moved to Section 34, Township 6, Range 20, Mount Pleasant Township, Atchison County, and has 160 acres, eighty under cultivation, with good fences, orchards, buildings and timber. In 1859 was elected County Superintendent of Schools but refused to accept the office. In 1864 was a member of the Twelfth Kansas Militia, holding a commission as First Lieutenant of Company A., and was at Westport, Mo., and took part in the battle against Price's force. Was elected to the Legislature and served in houses of 1867-68-69 as member from the old Eighth District. Was married in Platte Co., Mo., in 1850, to Miss Rebecca E. Steigers; have seven children - Benjamin, Mary C., Harriet M., John, Dora, George M., and Clara A.
About seventeen miles west of Atchison, in Benton Township, on the Central Branch Missouri Pacific R. R., is a bright, brisk little town of 400 inhabitants, known as Effingham. It has a number of churches, a good district school attended by sixty pupils, a Masonic lodge, a cornet band, seven general stores, a blacksmith shop, a wagon shop, a furniture store, a millinery store, a bakery, a shoe shop, and three doctors. The greater part of the town site comprises a part of the McGilvery farm. The adjacent country is exceedingly fertile, and Effingham is the center of a large and growing country trade.
The Presbyterian Church of Effingham was organized in November, 1872, the first members being Peter Carmichael, E. T. Ayer, Reuben and Lucy Ferguson, Alexander and Flora Cameron, Maggie and Isabella Frazer, and Sarah McGilvery. The first pastor was Rev. S. N. St. John; present pastor Rev. F. E. Sheldon. The membership of the society is seventy-three. In January, 1874, the church was incorporated. During the season of 1877 a frame structure was erected for religious purposes, but the society grew so rapidly that a larger building was found necessary. This was completed in 1881, the original structure being sold to the Baptist society.
The Catholic Church was first built in Effingham, Kan., was in 1872. It was then attended by the Benedictine Fathers of Atchison. In 1876 a resident priest, Rev. John Begley, was appointed by his bishop. From a congregation then of twenty-two families, it has increased, so that at present it numbers seventy families. During the past year the former church, a frame building 28X38 was remodeled, and forty-two feet added to its length, making now a commodious building 28X80. Close to the church a cemetery was purchased. Lots were lately bought for the purpose of soon establishing a Catholic school.
The First Baptist Church was organized in October, 1881, with fourteen members. Rev. W. D. Abrams, of Whiting, and Rev. Frank Rice, of Valley Falls, acted as pastors the first year, preaching alternately. The church building was purchased of the Presbyterians in December, 1881. Present membership eighteen, with offices as follows: Trustees, W. B. Way, E. J. Byers, and George P. Allen; Clerk, W. B. Way.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in March, 1882. The first services were held in the schoolhouse. Rev. J. S. Smith, of Muscotah, presiding. Present membership about twenty.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was organized in June, 1878, Rev. C. A. Sherman, pastor. Rev. J. W. Thorpe, who has been in charge of the society for some time, came to Kansas in 1871, presiding in the Troy circuit, Doniphan County. Present membership twenty-two.
Effingham Cornet Band, was organized on July 10, 1880, and consists of ten members, with George M. Synder as leader. The following are the names of the present members: James Herron, Eb, leader; O. M. Halligan, Bb; C. C. Stivers, Jr., Bb; Charles N. Synder, alto; Herbert Harris, alto; James R. Synder, trombone; W. C. B. Herron, baritone; Harry Synder, second tenor; George M. Synder, tuba; John Wallick, bass drum; Edward Ferguson, snare drum.