|KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS|
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES - CENTER TWP. (FLETCHER - WHEELER)
JAMES M. FLETCHER, farmer, P. O. Farmington. This popular fellow citizen is a native of Fayette County, Ohio, and was born June 3, 1819. At an early age he removed with his parents to Henry County, Ind., where he was reared and educated. His father Thomas Fletcher, was an agriculturist. The family eventually emigrated to Iowa County, Wis., where James M. resided until 1857 when he came to Kansas. The trip was made by teams, the family spending three months out of doors. He took up a claim where he now resides, being one of the first settlers in this part, and developed a farm, and has since been a resident. He had numerous obstacles to contend with in starting, being obliged to sell his only team to pay for his claim, and other drawbacks. His estate is one of the finest in Center Township. He was married March 19, 1843, to Miss Ephey L. McCann, of Indiana, a native of Ohio. She was born April 30, 1825. They have had nine children, eight of whom are living - Amos Warren, Samuel Harrison, John, Nelson, Burd, Ann, Sarah and Melissa. Lost one - William
MICHAEL GALLATIN, farmer, P. O. Atchison, is a native of Switzerland, and was born August 22, 1832. Was reared and resided in his native country until 1853. Came to the United States, locating in Pennsylvania, where he resided four years. He then came to Wisconsin, and in 1861 enlisted in Company K, Ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He participated in many of the stirring events of the war which the Ninth passed through, and was honorably discharged at Milwaukee in 1864. In 1865 came to Kansas where he has since been a resident. Mr. G. is one of the most substantial citizens in Atchison County. He married in 1871, Mrs. Elizabeth Meyer. Mrs. G. has two children by her former husband - Sophie and Mary.
DURAND C. HALL, farmer, Section 20, P. O. Farmington, is a native of Ohio, and was born in Portage County, June 17, 1834. His father, William Hall, was a pioneer in the Western Reserve. Durand was reared and educated in his native county, following agricultural pursuits, and continued to reside there until the spring of 1869. Came to Kansas, locating on his present farm, which is one of the finest in the county, and well equipped for stock raising, of which he makes a specialty. Mr. Hall was married in Ohio to Miss Ellen M. Underwood, who died September 9, 1871. His four children - Inez M., Albert S., Herbert D., Mary E. Lost one - John H. His present wife was Susan I. Merrian. They have one daughter - Susan E. Mr. Hall is a Master Mason.
JOHN A. HENNIGH, farmer, P. O. Farmington. This gentleman is a native of Pennsylvania and was born in Center County March 3, 1852. His father, David, was a prominent farmer of Center County, and a native of the Keystone State. John was educated and reared in Center County, following agricultural pursuits. He came to Kansas locating in Lancaster Township, Atchison Co., residing one year, when he removed to his present farm. He was married in Pennsylvania to Miss Nancy Lytle. They have three children - Nora, Willie and Mary.
ROSSELL HIGLEY, farmer, Section 35, P. O. Pardee. This pioneer and well known citizen is a native of New York, and was born in Delaware County, January 10, 1833. Was reared and educated in his native State, locating in Allegany County when sixteen years of age. When twenty-one years of age came to Adams County, Id., residing until 1856, when he came to Kansas, being one of the first in Atchison County. He pre-empted 160 acres which is now his home farm, erected a claim cabin and turned his attention to developing the farm. In 1862 he tendered his service to the Union cause, enlisting in Company F, Thirteenth Kansas Infantry as private, serving three years, passing through the usual routine of warfare, and was mustered out as Corporal. Returned to Kansas and has since been a resident. He has an excellent farm and is in a prosperous condition. In 1872 was married to Mrs. Mary E. Galpin, of Connecticut. They have four children George N., Asphi M., Henry W., Arthur Garfield.
SANFORD JARRELL, farmer, P. O. Monrovia. One of the most popular gentlemen of Atchison County is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of North Carolina, and was born in Rockingham County, March 9, 1836. Came to Indiana when young, where he was reared and educated, following agricultural pursuits. In 1857 came to Kansas and pre-empted a claim in Jackson County. He was identified among the early farm openers and farmers until 1861, when he enlisted in Company E, Second Kansas Cavalry. He participated in a number of the prominent engagements of the war, was at Prairie Grove and Cane Hill. Was mustered in as a Corporal, and after the Prairie Grove engagement was promoted to Duty Sergeant, in which capacity he acted until discharged, serving three years and three months. Since the war he has been continually a resident of Atchison County. He married in 1865 Miss Annie Fletcher, and estimable lady, daughter of James M. Fletcher, Esq., and early Kansan. They have two children - John F. and Mary M.
LAWRENCE JOHNSON, farmer, P. O. Atchison. One of the oldest and most respected citizens of northeastern Kansas, is Mr. Johnson. He is a native of Ireland, and was born in Queens County, March 15, 1813. He was deprived of his father and mother by death when young, and although the family had been in good circumstances, Lawrence was thrown upon his own resources with limited means. Came to the United States when nineteen years of age, locating in New Jersey, where he followed agricultural pursuits for a few years. In 1837, emigrated West, taking up his residence in Atchison County, Kan., where he now resides. Being one of the pioneers of the county, he has been closely associated with its development, and few people have contributed more amply in this respect. His farm of 160 acres, conveniently located to Atchison, is very desirable for a country residence, and his residence is a model of taste and comfort. Mr. Johnson has never been an official aspirant. Politically, in "ye halcyon days," he was a Jackson Democrat, and he still sides with that party. He was married in New Jersey, to Miss Susan Johnson. They have ten children, eight of whom are living - Elizabeth, Fannie, William L., George, John C., Susan, James D., and Mary Ann; lost two, Theresa and Frank. William L., and John C. comprise the well known book and stationery house of Johnson Bros., of Atchison. Mrs. Johnson, one of the pioneer ladies of Kansas, well advanced in years, is still hale and hearty.
S. R. JONES, farmer and stock raiser, Section 3, P. O. Cummingsville, is a pioneer of Kansas. He is a native of Kentucky and was born in Harlan County, December 29, 1827. At an early age removed with parents to Carter County, where he was reared and educated, following agricultural pursuits in his earlier days. In 1854, came to Kansas, locating on Crooked Creek in Jefferson County. He was one of the first in Jefferson, and had many drawbacks to contend with. It was requisite at that time to go to Missouri for breadstuffs, and to make this trip in winter was frequently a hazardous undertaking. Mr. J. saw this portion of the country partially developed, residing until 1857, when he came to Atchison County, locating on Deer Creek. He was one of the pioneers in that locality, and figured prominently at that day. He was one of the first judges of election, and a member of the Township Board for a number of years. On one occasion, in Atchison, Mr. Jones was obliged to take the ballot-box home with him at noon, the partisan contest becoming so riotous as to make it unsafe. After residing on Deer Creek several years, moved on to a farm on Parallel Road, where he resided several years. During the was, Mr. J. was a member of the State Militia, and for two weeks was stationed at Kansas City. For three years was a resident in the vicinity of Lawrence. At one time he was one of the largest real estate owners in northeastern Kansas. His present farm he purchased and moved on, in the spring of 1881. It is one of the most desirable homes and best farms in Center Township. Mr. J. is a gentleman of excellent judgement, is very progressive, and held in high esteem by all who know him. Was married in 1852, to Miss Lucinda J. Clark, nee Howard. They have four children - David J., Stephen R. jr., Sarah E. (now Mrs. George Butler), and James W. Mrs. Jones had a family of two by her former husband, Rosa A. and George W. The latter was killed by the Sioux Indians, in 1864, in western Kansas, while en route for the mountains with another party, they having a threshing machine. He was then in his twenty-first year, and one of the most promising young men. Mrs. J., at an early day in the West, passed many lonely nights, and had reasons to fear the red men, who at that time were prevalent to a great extent, and at times not altogether sociable.
J. A. KERNS, farmer, Section 27, P. O. Pardee. This popular young man is a son of William R. Kerns, Esq., who came to Atchison County in 1856, being one of the pioneers in Center Township, and among the early farm openers. He came from Putnam County, Ohio. At the breaking out of the Rebellion he enlisted in the Thirteenth Kansas, and died in the service from sickness contracted while discharging his duty. J. A. was born in Atchison County, Kan., March 30, 1857, and here educated and reared, adhering to agricultural pursuits . He has a fine farm, and is numbered among the substantial citizens of Center Township. He is a musician of more than ordinary ability, and eminently a favorite in society.
GEORGE A. LAMBERSON, SR., farmer, Section 8, P. O. Farmington. One who figured prominently at an early day in Atchison County, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of New York, and was born in Onondago County, February 27, 1821; was reared, educated and learned the carpenter's trade in his native county. When he attained his majority, his father, Lawrence, gave him a farm, and for two years he followed agricultural pursuits. In 1846, came West, and for four years resided in Wisconsin, after which he went to California, remaining three years; returned to New York, and in the spring of 1858, came to Kansas, pre-empting a claim on Section 7, Center Township, Atchison County. After farming five years, removed to Monrovia, engaging in hotel-keeping and working at his trade. Monrovia, at that time, was a competing point for the county-seat, and Mr. Lamberson contributed amply toward the up-building of the town. After five years in Monrovia, again returned to farming, in which pursuit he is still engaged. At the time of his coming to Kansas, his father, Lawrence Lamberson, also took up his abode in the State, residing for a number of years. He now lives in Chicago, Ill., aged eighty-seven years. Mr. L. was married, May 15, 1844, to Miss Rosamon Lamberson, of New York. They have two children - George, jr., and Charles O.
A. K. McBRIDE, farmer, Section 29, P. O. Pardee, is one of the pioneers of Kansas, and a man who has contributed amply toward the early development of Atchison County. He is a native of Tennessee, and was born in White County, December 13, 1821; was reared, educated, and resided in his native State, following agricultural pursuits until 1855, when he came to Kansas, locating on the section he still resides on. He took 160 acres of land, and in a log cabin commenced to make a home, in what then was considered a howling wilderness (minus the wilderness), as there was not a particle of timber for miles. Mr. McB. was among the first in this neighborhood, and had many drawbacks to contend with. He has at present a fine home, which indicates comfort and prosperity. He was married, in 1847, to Miss Sarah A. Walker. By this union they have had five children - Lucian L., De Janira, Floritta, Leonora, and Lucillus A. Mrs. McBride's death occurred October 22, 1877.
T. C. McBRIDE, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Pardee. Of the few '56-ers in Atchison County, Mr. McBride was one of the most prominent. He is a native of Tennessee, and was born in White County, February 5, 1826. His father, Andrew, was a native of Virginia, and a farmer in White County. T. C. was educated and reared in Tennessee, residing until 1856, when he came to Kansas, arriving on the 22d of March. He pre-empted a portion of land he now occupies, and in 1857, set about developing it. Where Mr. McB. 's residence now stands, there was, about that time, a town started, which was promised a bright future. All the old settlers well remember Ocena. It was the first stopping place west of Atchison, in point of importance. However, it never attained but a few buildings. One of those was a store, in which the subject of this sketch carried a small stock of goods. He was also Postmaster, being appointed to the latter post in 1856, under President Buchanan's administration, building the office until it was removed to Pardee. In the fall of 1857 in a grove on his place, the first church services in that section were held. It was on the Methodist Episcopal denomination. Mr. McB. was clerk of the School Board for sixteen years, and has been closely associated with the educational interests of the county. He was married in 1845, to Miss Mary Mason. They have had twelve children - Sarah E., Samuel M., M. F., Louisa A., Thomas C., A. J., and Ada C.; lost five - Perilla, Isaac, and John A.; two died in infancy.
ISAAC MARIS, farmer, Section 5, P. O. Nortonville. This well-known pioneer is a native of Ohio, and was born in Mahoning County, July 16, 1834. His father, Jonathan Maris, was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Chester County in 1800. He came to Ohio in 1823, being one of the pioneers of Mahoning County, and was a descendant of George Maris, who emigrated from Worcestershire, England, and settled in Chester County, Pa. (now Delaware), in 1683. His mother's maiden name was Thomason Morris, a native of Salem, N. J. She was born in 1802. Isaac was reared, educated, and resided in Ohio, following agricultural pursuits until 1857, when he came to Kansas, locating in Atchison county, pre-empting the 160 acres which is now his home. In the autumn of that year he built a cabin on his claim, and turned his attention to developing the farm. Mr. Maris has been closely associated with the growth and development of the county, and has contributed more than an ample share towards advancing the educational and religious tone of not only his immediate community but northeastern Kansas. He has been eminently successful as a Sabbath-school organizer, and has devoted considerable time to the cause. For six years was superintendent of union and denominational Sabbath-schools, and also for the past six years has been vice-president of the County Sunday- school Association, and president of Center Township Sabbath-school Association; for the past two years for Lancaster and Benton townships also. In the temperance cause he has been a life-long and active member. Religiously he belongs to the Society of Friends, and for the past fifteen years has been an esteemed and acceptable minister in that society, but has been largely engaged, as opportunity offered, in holding meetings at different points in his own and adjoining counties, ever manifesting a deep interest in all Christian work. The country can not have too many such citizens as the Rev. Isaac Maris. He was married December 7, 1858, to Miss Alma L. Butin, of Berlin, Rensselaer Co., N. Y. They have three children - Jesse E., Alice A. and Frederick B.
PETER NOFFSINGER, farmer, Section 35, P. O. Monrovia, is a native of Ohio, and was born in Monroe County, Nov. 18, 1832. When ten years of age his father, Peter Noffsinger, with his family, including the subject of this sketch, emigrated to Missouri, locating in Nodaway County, where he was reared and educated; his early days being spent in tilling the soil. In 1838, he came to Kansas, locating in Atchison County, where he has since been a resident with the exception of about three years; during the war he was in the Government employ as assistant wagon master. Previous to coming to Kansas he spent a considerable length of time in Nebraska. Mr. Noffsinger has a fine farm, and is one of the solid farmers of the county. He married Miss Margaret Martin in Nodaway County, Mo., she is the daughter of Levi Martin, Esq., one of the pioneers of that county and owned the land where Burlington Junction now stands. They have ten children - Julie E., William A., Missouri A., Martin L., Johnnie, Amanda, Maggie, Lona, Clara and Mollie.
HON. L. F. RANDOLPH, farmer and stockraiser, Section 9, P. O. Pardee, one of the most popular and enterprising citizens of Center Township, is a member of the Kansas Legislature. He is the son of Rev. A. A. F. Randolph, who was born in Bridgeton, N. J., January 1, 1805; was of Scotch ancestry and was married in Allegany County, N. Y., in 1828, to Miss Lucy C. Maxson, a native of Rhode Island. In 1816, the family moved to Meadville, Pa., and in 1863, came to Kansas, settling on the farm where the widow now resides. Rev. Mr. Randolph became the pastor of the Seventh Day Baptist Church at its organization in 1863, which position he retained until his death, June 25, 1868. The oldest son, Hon. A. M. F. Randolph, of Burlinton, Kas., is a lawyer. He graduated at the Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., in 1853; was Attorney General of Kansas from 1874 to 1876; has been a member of the Kansas Legislature, and is at present reporter for Supreme Court. Of the sons, Julius was Captain of Company H, Second Wisconsin Infantry, was killed at the battle of Gainesville, Va., August 28, 1862. Eugene was in Company D, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Infantry; died January 8, 1864. William was in the Pennsylvania Militia and afterward served in Company F, Seventeenth Kansas Infantry; was drowned June 21, 1865, in the Allegheny River, Pa. George served in the Kansas Militia, and now lives on a farm adjoining the old homestead. Two sisters - Emily and Georgie, together with the youngest son, Leslie F., live at the home of their mother, Mrs. Lucy C. Randolph. Rev. Mr. Randolph, during the few years he was a resident of Kansas, did much toward advancing the cause of religion in his locality, and was held in high esteem by all.
ALEX RILEY, stockraiser and dealer, Section 9, P. O. Cummingsville. This well-known stockman is a native of Ohio, and was born in Muskingum County, January 30, 1840. His father, Samuel, was one of the first settlers of that county. In 1859, the family, including Alex, came to Illinois, residing temporarily; thence to Missouri, and eventually to Kansas. In July, 1861, he enlisted in Company B, tenth Kansas Infantry, participated at the battle of Prairie Grove and other engagements, serving three years and was honorably discharged. After the war he located in Atchison County, and has devoted his attention to the stock trade. Mr. R. is a genial gentleman, a great reader, and thoroughly conversant with the details of the day. He was married in September, 1866, to Miss Alvina Carlton, of Atchison County. They have four children - Francis E., Charles S., E. A. and Ashley A.
ABEL ROBINSON, farmer, Section 32, P. O. Pardee, is a native of England, and was born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, February 12, 1826. He was the youngest of nine children of Samuel and Martha (Dewey) Robinson. Was reared, educated and learned the book-binder's trade in his native country. In 1848, came to America, locating in New Jersey, where he worked at his trade for a time, and for nine years was clerk in a book and stationery house. His employer eventually came West, locating in Davenport, Iowa, where Mr. R. was in his employ for a few years, and then turned his attention to farming, locating in Fulton County, Illinois. Here he resided until the spring of 1865, when he emigrated to Kansas, locating in Atchison County on present farm. He has been twice married; first in 1850, to Miss Matilda Townsend, whose death occurred in Davenport, Iowa. Had four children, one of whom is living - Martha. In 1856, Miss Leah Davison became his wife. They have had eight children, six of whom are living - Louisa, Priscilla, Arabella, Jabez E., Alberti and Zillah. Lost, two - Cornelia and Charles Walter. The former's death resulted from a snake bite, and the latter was killed by lightning. The family is identified with those of the Abrahamic faith who look for a literal fulfillment of the promises.
HENRY SHELL, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Monrovia. One of the first settlers of Atchison County is Mr. Henry Shells. He is a native of Indiana, and was born in Bartholomew County, October 9, 1824. Was reared, educated and followed agricultural pursuits in his native State until he attained his majority. he then went to Missouri, locating in Platte County, where he followed his adopted profession until 1857, when he became a resident of Kansas, taking up his abode in Center Township. He was one of the first farm openers in his vicinity, and passed through all the trying ordeals which the early Kansans had to contend with. There are but few citizens in the county that are more popular than Mr. Shell. He was married in Missouri, to Miss Sarah T. Nuzum. They have eight children - Emma, Tolbet B., Hannah E., Leah Lusetta, Thulas F., Henry L., Mattie and Annie E.
JOSEPH F. STILLMAN, farmer, Section 8, P. O. Nortonville. This able agriculturist is a native of Rhode Island, and was born March 16, 1831; was reared and educated in his native State and resided in the eastern country until 1870, when he came to Kansas. He embarked in farming in Riley County, continuing four years, when he came to Atchison County, locating where he now resides. Mr. Stillman is a genial and popular gentleman and one of Center Township's most progressive citizens. He was married in 1866, to Miss Ada C. Burdick. They have four children - Edwin L., Phebe, Benjamin and Maggie. Mr. S. and his family are members of the Seventh Day Baptist Society.
HIRAM J. WARD, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Farmington, well known as one of Atchison County's substantial citizens, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Michigan, and was born in Kalamazoo County, April 3, 1841. His father died when he was ten years of age, and with his mother he removed to Illinois locating in Will County, where his mother died when he was only thirteen years of age. He then removed to Champaign County, living with a cousin, S. O. Woodworth, and served seven years in the mercantile and banking business. His father, Daniel C. Ward, and his mother, Eunice nee Woodworth, were natives of Seneca County, N. Y. H. J. learned the carpenter's trade, and resided in Illinois until April, 1861, when he enlisted in Company G, Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry. He participated in eighteen hard fought battles besides thirteen skirmishes; among the former was the siege of Atlanta; served valiantly for three years and three months, when he was honorably discharged at Camp Butler, Springfield, Ill. At the battle of Chickamauga was severely wounded. A great portion of his time was a detached ordinance officer. In 1864, he came to Kansas, engaged to work on the C. B. R. R., soon after purchased his present farm, which was in its crude state and densely covered with underbrush; he turned his attention to developing his estate, and by indomitable industry has made it one of the most valuable farms in the county. His orchard of 1,000 trees all well advanced and in a thrifty condition. To horticulture and apiculture Mr. Ward devotes considerable of his time. In the culture of bees he had been very successful, and his apiary is one of the largest in the county. He is a first class mechanic, and very ingenious. Is a great reader, his library being well filled with books relating to all branches of industry, art and history.
HON. JOSHUA WHEELER, Section 6, P. O. Nortonville, is prominent among the men of mark in Kansas, who have figured conspicuously, and to the State's interest. He is a native of England, and was born in Buckinghamshire, February 12, 1827. His father, George R. Wheeler, was a watchmaker, and Joshua adopted and learned the trade. When 17 years of age he came to the United States, taking up his abode in New Jersey, where he principally worked as a farm hand until 1848, when he came to Illinois, locating in Fulton County, where he was identified as an agriculturist until the autumn of 1857, when he became a resident of Kansas, pre-empting the claim which is now a portion of his large estate. The country tributary to where Mr. wheeler located was in its crude state, and he has seen it develop into what is now one of the garden spots of the State. He has been closely associated with the educational and religious progress of the county, and has always been found ready to lend his support in all commendable enterprises. Politically, he has always been found in the Republican ranks, voting for Fremont in 1856. In 1859, he responded to the first call made for the organization of the Republican party in Kansas. From 1862-65, he was State Senator, being elected by that party, and also held the office of Regent of the State Agricultural College. In 1874, he was elected member of the State Board of Agriculture, and has been re-elected three consecutive terms, holding the position at the present time, 1882. He is thoroughly conversant with Kansas politics, and is a great reader, has an excellent memory and an easy but not loquacious way of expressing his opinions and conveying his ideas. He is one of the most companionable and entertaining gentlemen. He was married in Fulton County, Ill., in 1850, to Miss Maria Reynolds, a native of England. They have had four children- Charles Greeley and Adeline R. are living, two deceased. Mr. Wheeler and family are members of the Seventh Day Baptist Society.