KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


BROWN COUNTY, Part 10

[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (SCHILLING - SWEITZER).

CAPT. JOHN SCHILLING, of the firm of J. Schilling & Bro., dealers in general merchandise, came to Kansas March 6, 1857, and settled on a claim one-half mile south of the present site of Hiawatha; here he lived, improving his land, until the breaking out of the great rebellion. He then recruited Company I, of the Thirteenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and on the organization of the same, was elected Captain, in which capacity he served until the close of the war, taking an active part in all the engagements of his regiment. He then returned to Kansas, and in March, 1866, established the firm of Schilling & Meisemheimer until 1870; then J. Schilling & Co., to January 1, 1881; since A. Schilling & Bro., and is now the pioneer merchant of Brown County. He started with a small stock in an equally small building, but in 1870, the latter was replaced by the fine stone building he now occupies, 140x25 feet, and two stories high, and is filled with one of the most complete stocks of general merchandise to be found in Brown County or the surrounding counties. Adam Schilling, of this firm, is also a member of the firm of Adams & Schilling, extensive hardware dealers in Hiawatha. Capt. Schilling was born near the city of Bingen, on the Rhine, Germany, January 1, 1837; attended school in his native land until 1848, when, at the time of the great German revolution, he left there with his parents, Valentine and Susan Schilling, and located in Hudson, N. Y. Here they made their home until 1851; then moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., where John S. finished his common school education. Previous to coming to Kansas, his employment was on a farm, but having unusual business talent, he embarked in the merchandise line, and is a self-made man in every sense of the word, and a very successful one. Capt. Schilling was married November 5, 1857, to Susan, daughter of Martin Meisenheimer, who was one of the pioneers of Kansas, and a soldier under Bonaparte at the battle of Waterloo. Their family comprises two daughters and five sons. He has served four years as Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners; has been a member of the Masonic Order since 1869, and is now one of the Hiawatha Lodge, No. 35. He is an original member of the Mount Horeb Chapter, No. 43, and for three years has held the position of commander of Hiawatha Commandery, No. 13; was a Garfield elector in 1880; elected to the Legislature from Fifty-first District, Kansas, in November, 1882.

JOHN NIVEN SCOULLER, druggist, was born in Cuylerville, Livingston Co., N. Y., May 6, 1851. His father, Rev. J. B. Scouller, D. D., is of Scottish descent; the family being in America since 1752. His mother's maiden name was Helen I. Niven, her father a Highland Scotchman, her mother of Holland Dutch descent. In 1852 Mr. Scouller moved with his family to Argyle, N. Y., thence to Philadelphia in 1862, and one year later became a resident of Newville, Pa. In the latter place he attended for a brief period a classical school, but was compelled to relinquish the idea of a thorough education on account of his eyes. His first experience in the drug business was in 1867, when he entered a Newville drug store as a clerk. At the expiration of one year he went to Philadelphia to perfect himself, and in a two years' course received a diploma from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, April 7, 1871, and was one of the youngest graduates since the establishment of this college in 1821. He then purchased a drug store at Newville, where he successfully conducted business for nearly eleven years. During the spring of 1882 Mr. Scouller started out to seek a new location, and May 10 of the same year saw him established at Hiawatha, Kan.

JACOB SCOUTEN, farmer and stock raiser, Section 20, P. O. Hiawatha, was born in Genesee County, N. Y., January 15, 1822. He was afterwards a resident of Pike County, Ill., where he followed farming. In June, 1857, he came to Kansas, and pre-empted 160 acres of land on Section 9, Hiawatha Township, where he lived until 1865, and then removed to his present place of residence. Here he also has 160 acres of fine improved land and a choice fruit orchard of all kinds. His farm is supplied with good comfortable buildings, and surrounded by a lovely hedge fence, which gives the farms in this part of the country such a beautiful appearance. In 1865 Mr. Scouten was enrolled with the State Militia in the suppression of the Price raid, so famous in the Rebellion. He was married in Illinois, 1851, to Miss Mary Gray, formerly from Ohio, where she was born. Their family consists of six children Della, married to G. W. Peterson, of Palmyra, Neb.; Willis F., Ella, now Mrs. Jesse A. Worley, Hiawatha; Albert H., Josephine and Harriet E.

DR. HARVEY SEBURN, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 27, Town 2, Range 17, P. O. Hiawatha. He became a resident of Brown County, Kan., in the spring of 1859. For two years he lived on Section 9, Hiawatha Township, and in 1861 became a participant in the Rebellion, entering the commissary department and serving for three years with Maj. Morrill. Then returned to Brown, where in 1867 he married Miss Maria A., daughter of Joseph Klinefelter. He then settled on his present farm, which contains 160 acres under a high state of cultivation, which was pre- empted in 1857 by his father-in-law, now deceased. Some of the improvements are a nice commodious residence and an orchard of about eight acres, containing many choice varieties of fruit trees already bearing. Dr. Seburn was born in Jefferson County, Ind., July 14, 1836, and received his education in the high schools of that county. He has always been deeply interested and taken an active part in all public enterprises of his town and county. In 1859 he was a delegate to the Territorial Convention, which convened to elect delegates to the National Convention held at Chicago. In 1874 he was elected County Treasurer, which office he filled four years and three months, making his home in Hiawatha during that time. He has also served two terms in the City Council, and has been on the Board of Education frequently. He is a member of the Masonic Society, both Hiawatha Lodge No. 35, and Mount Horeb Chapter No. 42.

ALBERT M. SHANNON, of the firm of Shannon & Son, hardware dealers, successors to Hapgood & Shannon on the 1st of June, 1882. He was born in Licking County, Ohio, February 25, 1856. Came to Kansas in 1870, and located on a farm. Two years later he attended the State Agricultural College, and afterward the Highland University of Kansas for one year. He was a graduate of D. L. Musselman's Commercial College at Quincy, Ill., in 1876. Mr. Shannon became interested in the above hardware house in 1880, but his father did not become a partner until two years later. They have a large and well selected stock of hardware and do a large and thriving business, their annual sales amounting to $25,000. They occupy three floors, each eighty by twenty-five; they employ five men, two salesmen, and three tin manufacturers. JOHN SHAW, farmer and stock raiser, Section 25, P. O. Hiawatha, was born in Cumberland County, Maine, February 15, 1828. Was reared on a farm, but was afterward engaged extensively in the manufacture of clothing and subsequently at general merchandising for six years in his native State. Was married there in 1856 to Miss Emily C. Shaw, also a native of that State. In July, 1872, Mr. Shaw came to Kansas and settled on the place where he now resides in the following November. This was a partially improved farm, and contains eighty acres of very fine, well cultivated land. He also ran a grocery store at Hiawatha, in company with H. E. Penny, during the years 1874 and 1875, in which operation he was very successful.

WILLIAM M. SHIRLEY, dentist, came to Hiawatha in January, 1868, and for a period of seven years was engaged at contracting and building, erecting some of the largest buildings in Brown County. In 1875 he began the study of dentistry, spending two years at Wheeling, W. Va., in the office of Dr. D. B. McLain, of that city. Returned to Hiawatha in the spring of 1878, and began the practice of his profession, and has since devoted his entire time to, and made of it a decided success. He was born in Virginia, Cass Co., Ill., March 5, 1848. His boyhood was spent on a farm with his parents, and when old enough he learned the carpenter's trade, which he worked at in Illinois previous to coming to this State. Dr. Shirley is a member of the Kansas Dental Association, also of Hiawatha Lodge, No. 35, of the Masonic Order. He was married in July, 1880, at Hiawatha, to Miss Amanda Ellis of Brown County.

FRANK SIPE, farmer and stock raiser, Section 16, P. O. Hiawatha, was born December 21, 1849, in Somerset County, Pa. In 1866 he was a student at Mount Pleasant College, and was afterward engaged in farming and merchandising in his native State. In February, 1879, came West and for one year farmed near Falls City, Nebraska. Subsequently came to Kansas and purchased the farm where he now lives, which contains 160 acres of good farm land under a high state of cultivation. This is entirely surrounded by a beautiful hedge fence, and is also divided into fields, convenient in pasturing stock. There is a good frame dwelling and outbuildings, and a fine young orchard partially bearing. Mr. Sipe was married January 15, 1872, in Pennsylvania, to Miss Jennie H. Trent, born in the same county and State as himself. They are the parents of five children, Bruce E., Estella M., Hattie B., Effa M., and Arthur E.

WILLIAM R. SMITH, farmer and stock raiser, P. O. Hiawatha, was formerly from Posey County, Ind., born January 7, 1852. Was subsequently a resident of Mason County, Ill., and in the spring of 1869 he came to Kansas. For seven months after his arrival here he lived with the family of Cornelius Grisson, then for two years worked for Benjamin Sprague. In 1872 he married Miss Alta Sprague, daughter of the above and Susan Sprague, and in the year following purchased the farm where he now lives. This contains eighty acres of finely cultivated land, the improvements having all been put on it by himself. There is a three-acre orchard of apple and peach trees of his own planting, nearly all of which are old enough to produce fruit. Mr. Smith's family consists of four children, Benjamin A., Oda B., Harvey D., and Orlando.

LUCIAN H. SMYTH, Superintendent of Public Instruction of Brown County, was born in Susquehanna County, Pa. His parents were Benjamin and Corintha Smyth, with whom he came to Kansas in 1869. His mother's maiden name was Hayden. They purchased a farm in Robinson Township, where at this writing they still reside. In 1871 Lucian Smyth moved to Cloud County, and took up a claim. During the fall of the same year he was elected County Surveyor. After filling that position five years he resigned and returned to Brown County, where he immediately became Principal of the public school at Robinson. This position he held for three years, and in the fall of 1881 was elected to his present position. Mr. Smyth took part in the great Rebellion, entering the army when only sixteen years of age. He served in the Third Pennsylvania Artillery until that regiment was discharged in 1865. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to both St. John's Lodge No. 113, and Mount Horeb Chapter No. 43.

JOSEPH H. SMITH, grain dealer, came to Kansas as early as the fall of 1856, and for a time was a resident of Leavenworth, dealing in real estate. From there went to Olathe, Johnson County, where he improved a farm. In 1860 he started West to become a miner, going first to Colorado, then to Montana, and was employed at various occupations till 1873. From there he went to Fairbury, Neb., and embarked in the grain business, making of it a decided success, and in March, 1879, removed to Hiawatha, continuing the former branch of business. He formed a copartnership with E. T. Ellis, which firm flourished until 1881, when Mr. Ellis withdrew. Mr. Smith does a large and remunerative business, and during the past year shipped about 300 car loads of grain. He was originally from Massachusetts, born in Hampshire County, October 22, 1837. In early life he was a clerk in a wholesale dry goods store in Boston, Mass. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. Triune Lodge. Was married at Chicago, in 1873, to Miss Mary Metcalf, of Columbus, Ga.

ALBERT G. SPEER, senior member of the firm of Speer, Klinefelter & Ely, attorneys at law, came to Kansas in May, 1858, settling at Hiawatha. In June of the year following he pre-empted a claim on Section 7, Town 2, Range 18 east, in what is now Irving Township, but soon afterward, in company with George H. Chestnut, deceased, started the first wagon shop in Hiawatha. On the 2d of August, 1862, Mr. Speer volunteered with Company A, of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, taking an active part in all of the Rebellion. Was mustered out in October, 1865, having veteraned in the same regiment. He then returned to Kansas, and followed various occupations until 1871. At that time he commenced reading law, and April 28, 1874, was admitted to the bar, in Nemaha County, before Hon. P. L. Hubard. He has since practiced his profession, but his attention has chiefly been given to land business. He was employed by the St. Joseph & Western Railroad Company to superintend the grading of all their lands in Marshall, Riley, Washington and Republic counties, in Kansas, and some twelve counties in Nebraska. Mr. Speer is a native of Greene County, Ohio, born December 4, 1835. Before coming to Kansas he was a school teacher in his native State. In 1868 he was elected to the State senate, from Brown and Nemaha counties. He was married December 23, 1875, in Hiawatha, to Miss Laura E. Albee, of Machias, Maine.

ROBERT E. SPEER, dealer in live stock, was born in Greene County, Ohio, November 10, 1839, and lived in his native State until the spring of 1859, when he became a resident of Kansas, locating in Hiawatha, where, with the exception of three years spent in the State of Nebraska, he has resided since his advent in Kansas. He was married in Brown County, June 28, 1865, to Miss Laura A. McCoy, a native of Baltimore, Md. They have one child a daughter, whose name is Mary A. Mr. Speer is one of the most extensive stock dealers in Northeastern Kansas, buying his stock principally in Brown County, and shipping to the markets in Kansas City, St. Louis and Buffalo, N. Y. He has only been engaged in this business since February 1, 1882, but has already shipped to the markets named above, stock to the amount of $85,000. Previous to engaging in his present business, Mr. S. was in charge of Elevator No. 1, at Morrill, then owned by his brother, I. N. Speer. He was thus employed three years, and then entered into business on his own account, in which, owing to the straight-forward and reliable manner in which it is conducted, he has been eminently successful. Mr. Speer is well and favorably known in Brown County, and possesses the esteem and confidence of all.

ISAAC N. SPEER, of the firm of Speer & Hulburd, grain dealers, came to Kansas in 1859, and for a number of years was engaged in agricultural pursuits. He first embarked in the grain trade in 1873. Three years later he erected an elevator at Hiawatha, and was the first to introduce steam elevators in that city. This firm also have warehouses and elevators at the following named places in this State: Hamlin, Morrill, Sabetha, Axtell and Beattie, and in Nebraska, at Beatrice, Holmesville, Blue Springs, Otoe Agency and Steele City. At Sabetha they are proprietors of a steam mill, with three run of buhrs, which they run in connection with the elevator at that place. Mr. Speer is an active and thorough business man, doing one of the largest trades in the grain business of any in the State, and is one of Hiawatha's live and most prominent citizens. He took part in the great Rebellion, serving with Company A, of the Seventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.

THEODORE F. SPRAGUE, farmer and stockraiser, Section 31, P. O. Hiawatha, was born in Gallia County, Ohio, October 11, 1834. He removed to Hancock County, Ill., during the year 1848, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits up to the time of his coming to Kansas. This occurred in the fall of 1864, and he settled in the same locality where he now lives. He has a fine farm of eighty acres, under the best of improvements; also an orchard of 300 choice fruit trees of different varieties. Mr. Sprague married in Illinois, in 1857, Miss Mary J. Earl. They are both original members of the Methodist Episcopal Church Society at Hiawatha, and are the parents of three children: Theodore, Francis and Ida

BENJAMIN A. SPRAGUE, farmer and stock raiser, Section 1, P. O. Hiawatha, was born in Gallia County, Ohio, May 15, 1833, son of Nicholl and Louisa Sprague, the former of Scotch, the latter, whose family name was Phelpes, of Germany. Mr. Sprague came to Kansas as early as the fall of 1858, and lived at Hiawatha until the following spring, when he established himself on the place where he now resides, and was among the very first settlers in that vicinity. In 1854 Mr. Sprague was enrolled with the State Militia, in the suppression of the famous Price raid during the great Rebellion. One year later he made a journey to the mountains, but after remaining a short time returned to his farm. This consists of 320 acres of choice farm land, all under an advanced state of cultivation, and fenced with six miles of beautiful Osage-orange hedge. There is also thirty acres of native timber and an orchard of choice fruit trees, comprising some fourteen acres. He was married in March, 1854, to Miss Susan Brown, of Illinois.

STEWART BROS., groceries, etc. This firm was organized in April, 1881, and consists of Joseph H. and V. A. Stewart. Their storeroom is 50x25, situated in the old Odd Fellows' block, where they do a large and lucrative business in the grocery line. The first year's sales amounted to about $30,000. Both are natives of Adams County, Ohio; Joseph, the elder, born July 19, 1850; V. A. in 1856. They are the sons of William R. and Druzillia Stewart; the former was an extensive dealer in general merchandise at Bradyville, Ill. Here Joseph H. was initiated in the various details of the grocery trade, and when twenty years of age, started in business for himself in Adams County, and was thus employed in various places previous to his location in Kansas. This transpired in the spring of 1876 and he subsequently followed school teaching for a short time, first in Greenwood County, then in Doniphan, after which he opened a grocery store at Robinson, Brown County, which he conducted until the establishment of the above firm in April, 1881, his brother only coming to Kansas the March previous.

CHARLES M. STOWE, farmer, Section 27, P. O. Hiawatha, was born in Broome County, N. Y., October 1, 1847. He is the son of Marcus S. and Louisa E. Stowe, nee Heath, who came to Kansas in February, 1870, and settled on the farm where Mr. Stowe now lives, and owns eighty acres of well improved land. His father was a native of the same county as himself, and worked at various employments during the early portion of his life, and finally died in Kansas, May 16, 1881, a devoted Christian and a member of the Congregational Church, his wife still surviving him. They were the parents of two children; Charles M., and one daughter, Emma A., who married William E. Dorrington of Fall City, Neb. Charles M. chose farming as his vocation. He was married in Brown County, August 3, 1873, to Miss Alice I. Hawks.

REV. WILLIAM D. SWAIM, pastor of the Christian Church, was born in Vinton County, Ohio, January 20, 1843. Son of Moses and Lydia Swaim, his mother's family name Darby. He lived on a farm until nineteen years of age, when he entered Franklin College at Athens, Ohio. Here he was a student for two years, then went to Bethany, W. Va., where he graduated in 1866. From that time until 1871 he was employed at school teaching, since which time he has been engaged in the ministry of the Christian Church in various localities in Iowa. In February, 1882, he was called to Hiawatha, which he accepted. Rev. Mr. Swaim is a thorough Christian and social gentleman, and wherever his vocation calls him wins the respect and friendship of the entire community. His wife was Miss Hattie A. Garvin, born in Kentucky, to whom he was married at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, November 22, 1870. They have one daughter, Mabel.

CHRISTIAN SWEITZER, farmer, Section 6, P. O. Hiawatha, was born April 19, 1847, in Switzerland. His parents immigrated to the United States when he was only two years of age and settled in Tuscarawas County, Ohio; here the subject of this sketch learned the trade of harness making, which he subsequently followed until his immigration to Kansas. This occurred in 1869, and three years after, he started a harness shop at Hiawatha, which proved a decidedly profitable business venture, and which he operated until 1876. He then bought the place where he now resides, containing 146 acres, all under a high state of cultivation but when it came in his possession was unbroken prairie. He and his wife are members of the German Reform Church, Hiawatha. She is the daughter of J. S. Zimmerman; her name is Paulina. They were married in 1872, and have four children - Albert L., Anna M., Charley W. and Edward N. Mr. S is a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 83, at Hiawatha.

[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]