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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES - OSAGE TOWNSHIP (McCASLIN - WINTERS).
G. T. McCASLIN, of the firm of McCaslin and Gregg, furniture dealers and undertakers, was born in Illinois in 1849. He learned the blacksmith trade. At the age of eighteen he began work for himself, and worked in Illinois two years. He then came to Kansas, locating in Jacksonville, Neosho County, from 1869 until 1881, at which time he came to McCune and opened his present business, continuing ten months. He then took as partner James Moore, and run ten months, at the end of which time (January 17, 1883,) Mr. Gregg bought Mr. Moore's interest in the firm. Mr. McCaslin was married to Miss Sarah J. Jett, of Illinois, in 1871. They have five children - Clara A., Sylvia E., Phebe E., Millie F. and Ida P. Mr. and Mrs. McCaslin are members of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.
ISAAC McCUNE, real estate and loan agent, was born in Ohio in 1822. At the age of eighteen years he began farming for himself, and continued in that occupation in his native State twenty years. He then removed to Illinois, where he remained on a farm until 1866. He then came to Kansas, and located near Fort Scott, in Bourbon County, on a farm where he remained until 1869, when he came to Crawford County and improved a farm of 240 acres, including the town site of McCune, containing sixty acres. He laid out the town of McCune in 1878, of which he now owns ten acres, and also a farm of 160 acres adjoining the town. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, of which he is also Deacon, Trustee and Treasurer, and was one of the organizers. He was married to Miss Margaret Law, of Ireland, in 1846, who died in August, 1880. He has six children - Eliza J., James F., Alice A., Samuel A., Margaret L. and Harriet L. His present wife was Miss Dell White, of Kansas.
JAMES F. McCUNE, Postmaster, express agent and stationer, was born in Illinois in 1850. Learned the carpenter's trade. He came to Missouri in 1865, remaining three years. He came to Kansas in 1871, located in Parsons, where he remained two years at the carpenter's bench. Then to Short Creek five months. Then on the railroad as bridge builder five years. Then came to McCune in 1878. In the mean time he was at home two or three years. He was appointed Postmaster i 1878. Opened a general merchandise store and run post office, railroad agency and express agency. He owns business and residence property in McCune. Is a member of the City council, and belongs to A. O. U. W., and is Master of the lodge. He was married to Miss Lotta Phillips, of Illinois, in 1880. They have one child - Ivenetta.
E. C. OHLWINE, M. D., was born in Ohio in 1852. He was raised on a farm and received a business education. He read medicine in Indiana in 1873-74 and 1875, graduating in 1879 at Cincinnati. In the meantime he practiced medicine in 1876-77 and 1878 and until 1882, at which time he came to Kansas and located at McCune. Dr. Ohlwine is a member of the State Medical Society of Indiana. He was married to Miss Letitia Cook, of Indiana, in 1876. They have two children - Maud and Charles.
JOHN OVERLEY, farmer, Section 1, P.O. Monmouth, was born in Indiana in 1843. He was raised as an agriculturist and received a common school education. He went to Illinois in 1852, where he remained on a farm until 1873, at the end of which time he came to Kansas. He located in Crawford County on a farm, where he remained five years in the grain and stock business. He then sold out, bought his present home, which he improved and is now cultivating. He belongs to the order of A. O. U. W. He was married to Miss Sarah Edgebomb, of Ohio, in 1865. They have six children - Lizzie M., Minnie C., Cora E., Sarah E., Willis C. and Emma I.
J. A. ROCKWOOK, druggist, was born in Illinois, 1833. Was raised at the carriage trimming business. Received a business education. Worked at his trade in Illinois until 1861, at which time joined the army, mustered out in 1865; returned to Illinois and engaged in the mercantile business three years. Came to Kansas in 1871, located in Wilson County, in the furniture and undertaking business two years. Was then in the railroad department until 1882, since which time he has been in the drug business. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Odd Fellows; belongs to the K. P's., and is a member of A. O. U. W. He was married to Miss Rachel Shinn, of Illinois, in 1852. They have six children - Acy, E. M., Flora B., Anna A., Mary, Eddie, Albert, deceased, Ida, deceased, William, deceased.
MARTIN SAYERS, wagon manufacturer, was born in Indiana in 1848, and was raised at his trade. He common school education, and came to Kansas in 1866; located in Cherokee County, where he remained on a farm of 160 acres seven years, which he improved. Was then at Oswego Mission in a mill eighteen months. He was next in the wagon business in Arkansas, five years. He came to McCune in May, 1880, opening his present business. He owns a residence and business property in McCune. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a member of the A. O. U. W. He was married to Miss Marenda Martin, of Iowa, in 1869. Their children living are - Eva, William and Ollie. Mrs. Sayers is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and of the Ladies' Foreign Missionary Society.
A. G. SINGISER, manager for C. W. Goodlander, lumber dealer, was born in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, Penn., in 1848, and was raised in the mercantile and milling business. He received an academic and common school education, and engaged in the millng business at the age of nineteen. Continued for five years. He went to Missouri in 1870, and was in Missouri two years; came to Kansas one year later. Went to Colorado prospecting, and returned again to Kansas City, Mo. After a stay at Kansas City one year, went to Fort Scott, Kan., manager for C. M. Davis & Co., at Rockville, Mo. Came to McCune, Kan., June 21, 1880, in the lumber and grain business for L. C. Goodlander, where he continued for three years. January 1, 1883, he took charge of same business for C. W. Goodlander. Mr. Singiser married Miss Nannie M. Bell, of Fleming County, Ky, October 4, 1882, at Mound Valley, Labette County, Kan, Mr. and Mrs. Singiser are members of the Presbyterian Church.
J. F. SPRUILL, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 25, P.O. Monmouth, was born in Pickens County, Ala., in 1850, and was raised on a farm. In 1865, he came to Kansas, and located in Labette County, where he was actively engaged in farming and stock business. In 1875, he located upon the present place, where he has been actively identified since. In 1875, he married Miss Louisa Etler, who was born in Philadelphia and reared in Illinois. They have a family of one son and two daughters - James A. B., Emma Lorene and Anna Elizabeth. He has worked actively in the growth of the social life of this locality since coming here. The family are members of the Baptist Church. His farm contains 240 acres of improved land, well fenced and watered and stocked, and good buildings.
THOMAS WILLSDON STUTTERD, general merchant, was born in Rochester, N. Y., in 1841. He received a common school education and learned the printer's trade, and remained in the printer's business for ten years. Subsequently he was engaged in farming and the fruit in Illinois, until 1866. He was then in Cincinnati in the printing business, also in Little Rock, Ark., and was variously employed in various places in the West until June, 1870, at which time he came to Kansas prospecting. He then returned to Illinois, and again came to Kansas in April, 1871, and located in Cherokee County, and was in the mercantile business in Sherman City until 1878, at which time he came to McCune and opened his present business. He is a member of the order of A., F. & A. M., and A. O. U. W.
D. T. TABB, farmer, P. O. Mt. Carmel, was born in Kentucky, 1843. Went to Illinois in 1857, and located on a farm where he remained until 1873, at which time he came to Kansas and located in Cherokee County, on a farm of 160 acres, where he continued to farm until the present time. Moved to his present home March, 1881. Is a member of the Order of Odd Fellows. Was married to Miss Laura L. Atherton, of Vermont, 1867. Have six children - Charles A., Lizzie B., Minnie L., Ada Z., Claude C. and Lyle D.
J. L. VANAUSDELN, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 11, P. O. Girard, was born in Belmont County, Ohio, March 1, 1843, and removed to Iowa with his people in 1845, who settled in Van Buren County, where he was reared and educated, and was identified with his present industry there till 1868, when he came here and located, and has been prominently identified with it here since. He married in Van Buren County, Iowa, in 1866, Miss L. A. Herriman, who was born in Washington County, and reared in Van Buren County, Iowa. They have a family of two sons and two daughters - Howard C., Zoe D., Nada A. and Oliver P. During the war he did active service in Company D, Thirtieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted in August, 1862, and served till the 10th of August, 1863, when he was taken prisoner near Vicksburg, and remained in Libby prison till April, 1864, when he was paroled. He then returned to his regiment and continued in active service till end of the war, when he was honorably discharged. Since locating here he has worked actively in the growth and development of the social and industrial life of his locality. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His farm contains 240 acres of improved land, well fenced and watered and stocked, good buildings and an orchard of 300 trees, of a well-assorted variety of fruits.
JOSIAH L. WARD, general merchant and dealer in grain, was born in the State of New York, in 1833. He received an academic education, and at the age of seventeen went to learn carpenter's trade, and continued in that business until twenty-five years of age. In 1857, he went to Illinois, and was on a farm until 1860, at which time he came to Kansas and located in Bourbon County, where he improved a farm of 480 acres, which he conducted as a grain and stock farm until 1865. He then moved to Crawford County, and lived on a farm until December, 1881, at which time he bought out McCune & Co., in town of McCune, and has since carried on a general store in connection with the grain business. He owns one farm of 480 acres, and one of 160 acres, both of which he improved, and also owns a residence and business property in town of McCune. He was elected Mayor of the town of McCune in April, 1882. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Pool, of Ohio, in 1855. They have had three children - Victor, Emma and Ida, all deceased.
J. S. WEST, of the firm of West & Potterson, liverymen, was born in Ohio, 1843; was raised in the stock business; joined the army at the age of twenty; was in three years, mustered out 1865, returned to Illinois and clerked in a grocery and farmed one year; then to Kansas in 1867, located in Fort Scott, four years on a farm; then to Cherokee County on a farm seven years; then to McCune, in the livery business 1878; built barn 1879, and has since run the livery in connection with farm; in the meantime to Missouri and Arkansas, visited the principal watering places of each, for the benefit of his wife's health. Is a member of the G. A. R. Was clerk of the School District three years. Was married to Miss E. McCune, 1867; have five children - Elmer P., Louis H., Frank, Fred, Zulla.
A. M. WHITE (known as Doc White), farmer and stock dealer, Section 29, P. O. McCune, was born in North Carolina 1844; raised on a farm and received a common school education. Went to Illinois with parents at the age of eleven; was on a farm two years; lost his parents at the age of thirteen years, then worked by the month seven years. Joined the army 1864, mustered out 1866; returned to Illinois and worked one year. Came to Kansas 1867, located in Linn County on a farm of 220 acres, where he remained one year. Then to his present home of 320 acres, which he improved and has since run as a grain and stock farm, which is surrounded by four miles of hedge fence, and also one mile and half of wire. Has good wells and pond, residence and stock barns. Carries from 100 to 150 head of stock. Mr. White hauled the lumber to build the first house in Girard, 1868. Was married to Miss Jennie Beck, of Iowa, 1870. Had two children - Louis R., Nellie F. Lost wife in Colorado, 1876. Was married to Miss Sadie Beal, of Iowa, 1878. Have one child - Georgie E. Mrs. White is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
CHARLES W. WILSON, dealer in grain, was born in Niagara County, N. Y., in 1832 and removed to Illinois with his people in 1843, who settled in Kendall County, where he was reared and educated, and was identified in that State for several years with the farming industry. In 1870, he went to Indiana and engaged in business of various kinds, principally grain and coal trade, returning to Illinois, afterward coming to this State in 1879, and located in Osage Township, this county, where he carried on farming till 1882, when he engaged at his present business, which he ably represents. In 1857, he married Miss Silvany Close, who was born and reared in Crawford County, Penn. They have a family of two sons and three daughters - Ella M., William A., Charles W., Jr., Mary E. and Mable S. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is an active member of A., F. & A. M. and I. O. O. F. Societies, and of the Encampment. His farm contains 160 acres of improved land, well fenced and watered, and good buildings, and a nice orchard of assorted fruit.
SEVIER WILSON, of the firm of S. Wilson & Son, merchants was born in Indiana in 1832. He was raised in the mercantile business. Began merchandising for himself at the age of twenty-two, in Indiana, at Taylorsville, where he remained three years, then in Jackson County three years, then to Deputy until 1879. In the meantime had carried on a farm in connection with his other business; then farmed exclusively for three years. In the meantime packed pork for nine years. He then came to Kansas and located in McCune and engaged in his present business. He owns two farms in Indiana in a high state of cultivation; owns a residence and lot in McCune. He was Township Treasurer in the State of Indiana two years; was Postmaster in Indiana fifteen years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Odd Fellows. He was married to Miss Margaret L. Laird, of Indiana, in 1856. They have six children - Frank D., Charles M., Cora B., Fred S., Carolina E., Lulie M. and Julia M., deceased. Mrs. W. is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Frank D. and Charles M. Wilson received a collegiate education. Charles M. is the business partner of the firm of S. Wilson & Son.
ABRAHAM WINTERS, farmer, Section 20, P. O. McCune, was born in Pennsylvania, 1832. Went to Illinois in infancy, and remained in the blacksmith business until 1861, at which time joined the army and was mustered out 1865. Then went to Missouri, where he remained in the blacksmith business eight years. Came to Kansas 1873, located on his present home of 160 acres, 100 acres under cultivation; devotes his time to grain and stock. Was married to Miss Carolina Sprague, of New York 1863. Have seven children - Susan, Mary, Samuel D., Philander, Maud E., John William, Flora. Lost wife 1882.
Walnut is a small town located in the northwestern part of Crawford County at the junction of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad with the Nebraska, Topeka, Iola & Girard Railroad. It is distant from Fort Scott about twenty-seven miles; eight miles from Osage Mission, and about sixteen miles from Girard, the county seat of the county in which it is situated.
The town was founded in 1871, by a town company, of which J. Miller, H. Burns, F. Robins, J. Burk, Dr. J. C. Petit and Louis Giddings were members. The land upon which it is situated was taken as a claim by H. Burns, who was furnished with money by the company with which he could obtain legal title to the ground. The original site comprised forty acres, which was laid off into town lots. This being a part of the Osage lands, and the title being in dispute between the M., K. & T. Railroad Company and settlers, but little progress was made by the town.
The first house that was erected on the town site was that built by H. Shackelton, and was a little box house which stood at the foot of Main street, and which he used for a store room, dealing in general merchandise.
The next building was a grain elevator, built by Jacobs & Burk, and is the one now occupied by Davis & Co. For a time, W. Jacobs used the building for a residence, until the completion of his dwelling house, which was the third building erected in the place. Jacobs, for awhile, used his dwelling for a boarding house, and is the room now occupied by W. McFall with a stock of hardware. S. H. Cover next erected a store and began dealing in general merchandise. Newton & Kelly followed next, with a merchandising establishment consisting of general goods.
Newton & Kelly, after running the business for a short time, sold out to a man named Neighbors, who sold to Jones & Gordon, who in turn sold to a man named Joyce. Joyce continued in business about a year, after which the building was unoccupied until it was taken by the present firm of Steadman & Gregory, in 1880. This firm put in a large stock of general merchandise, and have since conducted a successful business. As was before stated, the growth of the town was extremely slow and unpromising during the first few years of its existence. In 1875, the site fell into the hands of Perry & Goff, by purchase. The town at this time began to exhibit greater life. The site was resurveyed, and an addition of forty acres made to it. About a year later, J. Miller made an addition of twenty acres known as "Miller's Addition," and in the fall of 1882, the Robins & Goff and the Burns Additions were made, of thirty and fifteen acres respectively. By this means the site became very much enlarged, having an area of one hundred and forty-five acres.
In 1876, the title to the ceded lands was quieted by the judgment of the United States Court, which also settled the fears of settlers in regard to property in this section of the State. By this means the town was made ready for the more lively and substantial growth that has since followed. The N., T., I. & M. Railroad running from Girard to this place was built in 1882, crossing the Missouri Pacific road at this point.
A post office called Walnut was located here in 1870, and was kept by Thomas Jones, in a small box house which stood just off the town site, on the bank of Big Walnut Creek. Soon after the starting of the town, the office was brought into it, and was under the official appointment of Ira Boyle, who has continued to act in the capacity of Postmaster up to the present time.
The first school was taught in the town in the winter of 1870-71, by J. Johnston, and was kept in the school building that had been erected during the fall of 1870. This was a small frame house to which an addition was built in 1879, in order to satisfy the increased wants of educational facilities. A new school building was erected in the fall and winter of 1882, and is a two story frame, 30x50 feet, containing four rooms, and cost about $3,000. The bonds of the district were voted to raise this amount.
The town contains four church organizations, viz., the Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic and Baptist. The Methodist congregation was organized in 1869. It was effected in the residence of F. Robins, with a membership of ten, which has since increased to sixty.
The first services were held in Robins' residence during bad weather, and when the state of the weather allowed were held in the groves. The church building was erected in 1880, at a cost of $1,500, and is a tastefully constructed one-story frame, finished with a spire and furnished with a bell.
The Catholic Church was first organized in Neosho County in 1869, and was effected in the farm residence of John Mudd, by one of the fathers from Osage Mission. In 1870, the place of holding meetings was changed to Walnut, where at that time a small church building was erected.
The Presbyterians became organized into a church body by Rev. H. H. Camburn, who has since been pastor. The work of organization took place in the schoolhouse, where the services were subsequently conducted for some time. The church building was erected in 1880. It is a one-story frame structure, and cost about $1,000.
The Walnut Journal was begun in December, 1881, by E. O. Green. On the 1st of November of the next year, Green sold a half-interest in the concern to W. M. Holeman, who became associate editor and proprietor. The paper is a six-column quarto, independent in politics, and has a circulation of 480 copies.
The manufacturing industry is represented by a grist and flour mill. This is the Walnut Mills, which was built in 1879 by H. C. Bruner. In February, 1882, the building was sold to McCullough & Hollister, who fitted it up with a full line of new and improved machinery. It contains three run of stone, and has a capacity for grinding 100 bushels of wheat and 300 of corn per day. The principal market for the goods made is in Texas, and the orders received are much in advance to the supply. The mill building is a two-story frame, 24x36 feet, and the power is supplied by a forty-horse power engine.
The business interests of the town are represented by three general stores, two hardware, two drug and three grocery stores, one restaurant, two hotels, one millinery and dress making establishment, two meat markets, one cabinet and furniture shop, two lumber and coal yards, three grain elevators, two livery stables, one hay press, two blacksmith and wagon shops, one harness shop, one carpenter shop, one barber shop, one shoe shop, two land offices, etc. Being situated at considerable distances from all important surrounding points, the town has the support of a large country trade. With the surrounding of a fertile agricultural district, the advantages of railroads, etc., it only awaits the further development of the country, when the town will, in proportion, attain considerable size and importance.