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


[TOC] [part 9] [part 7] [Cutler's History]


DANIEL BORDEN VAN SYCKEL, attorney at law, was born in Naples, Scott Co., Ill., in the year 1842, and resided there until the year 1855, when his parents removed to the town then known as Morgan City, Morgan Co., Ill., where he remained until the year 1861, when his parents removed to, and settled near Sparta, Randolph Co., Ill. Mr. Van Syckel received his rudimentary education in the common schools, principally at Eden, a little town near his father's farm, and pursued his literary studies in the academy at Sparta. He has always been a student, and single handed, without teachers, he mastered some of the sciences. In the early part of the late Civil War, a younger brother, George, when but a lad of sixteen years, left home and against his parents' wishes enlisted in the army in Company I, Forty-ninth Illinois Infantry, and becoming sic, Mr. Van Syckel left his professional studies, went into the army, took his brother's place, answered to his name and did his duty for a part of two years, after which his brother returned to the army and continued till the close of the war, and Mr. Van Syckel returned to his professional studies and graduated from the University of Michigan, receiving the degree of LL. B. in 1866. He then returned to his native State and engaged in teaching in connection with his professional work until 1872, when he located at Girard, Kan., and has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession ever since. January 1, 1868, he married Miss Margaret C. Crawford, who was born and reared in Randolph County, Ill. They have a family living of two daughters - Viola May and Flora Jane. He has served his township as Justice of the Peace, his county as Superintendent of Schools. He is an active member of the A. O. U. W., I. O. G. T. and I. O. O. F. societies. He and his family are members of the Presbyterian Church. In connection with his professional and official duties he takes an important interest in small fruit, horticulture and gardening, of which his handsome little "farm" of ten acres adjoining the city of Girard fully verifies.

W. R. VAN FRANK, County Surveyor, was born in Cortlandville, Cortland Co., N. Y., in 1830. In 1835, his people removed to Elkhart County, Ind., where he was reared and educated. At the age of twenty-two, he began his professional duties in connection with railway industry, with which he was connected in Indiana, and latterly in Illinois till 1862, when he engaged at insurance business, which he carried on in Illinois for several years. In 1872, he located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was identified there till 1876, when he located here and in connection with surveying he engaged at farming and stock-raising, which he has successfully carried on since. In 1879 he was elected to his present incumbency, and has held it for each consecutive term since. He has been an active member of the A., F. & A. F. society since 1863, and has passed all the degrees to the thirty-second. Is a member of the York and Scotch rites. He holds to the ancestral religion of his great grand ancestors, Presbyterianism. He has one son living - W. A., Civil Engineer of Boston, Mass., in connection with the New York & New England Railway.

G. M. THOMPSON, farmer, Section 15, P. O. Girard, was born in Indiana in 1840; raised on a farm; taught school fourteen winters and farmed to 1881, at which time he came to Kansas and located on a farm of 160 acres, which he improved. Is a member of the Christian Church, and belongs to the order of Freemasons. Was married to Miss Melinda Small, of Indiana, in 1865. Have five children - Orville M., Hattie E., Ludovice, Elbert E., Abraham R. B. Mrs. Thompson is a member of the Christian Church.

JOHN TONTZ, County Treasurer, is a native of Switzerland; was born in Canton Grisons, in 1834 came to America with his people in 1845, who settled in Madison County, Ill., where he was reared to farming and stock-raising, with which he was identified there until 1857, when he came to Kansas and carried on farming and stock-raising until 1861. He then engaged in milling, and was very successfully connected with it till his retirement from it the present year, 1882. He married, August 26, 1852, Miss Jane Ann Montgomery, a native of Hardin County, Ky., who departed this life November 10, 1856, and is buried in Madison County, Ill., leaving one son, Christian, who died January 19, 1873, aged thirteen years and ten months, and is buried in the Girard Cemetery. April 6, 1858, he married Miss Elizabeth Taylor, who was born in England December 27, 1835, and who departed this live April 3, 1860, and is buried in the cemetery in Johnson county, Kan. March 19, 1861, he married Miss Margaret Jane Herman, who was born in Huntingdon County, Penn., December 2, 1839. He has a family of two sons and three daughters living - Barbara Jane (daughter of his second wife, now Mrs. George Middleton, farmer and stock raiser), William Jones, Florence, Annie, Frederick James and Maggie Garfield by his present wife. Mr. Tontz has always worked actively for the development of the public, social and industrial life of his locality since coming to the State. Has held the offices of County commissioner and County Treasurer and many minor positions, and is the present incumbent of the Mayoralty of his city. Himself and family are active members of the Christian Church.

L. T. TRISLER, farmer, Section 33, P. O. Girard, was born in Indiana in 1858, raised on a farm, received a business education; farmed in Indiana until 1875, at the end of which time he came to Kansas, located in Washington Township, Crawford County, where remained two years; then to his present home of forty acres, which he improved and run as a grain farm; was married to Miss Maggie Ward, of Illinois, in 1870. Mrs. Trisler is a member of the United Baptist Church.

STEPHEN R. TUTTLE, Deputy County Treasurer, was born in Adams, Jefferson Co., N. Y., in 1848. In 1849, his parents removed to De Peyster, St. Lawrence County, same State. At the age of nineteen, he came West, and located in Sand Spring, Iowa, and carried on mercantile business until 1874. He then came to Kansas, and accepted the agency for the K. C., Ft. S. & G. Railroad at Beulah, which, after a few years, he retired from, and engaged, with H. P. Grund, in mercantile business, where he remained until accepting his present position in 1880. In 1871, he married Miss Lou H. Karst, a native of Jeffersonville, N. Y., but for a number of years resident of Sand Spring, Iowa. They have two daughters - Blanch Inez and Edith Adell. Mr. Tuttle is an active member of the A. O. U. W. society, is present incumbent of the Master Workman's chair, and is a member of the Select Knights. Mr. Tuttle and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

GEORGE H. WAGNER, of the firm of Wagner & Grantham, abstracts, loans and real estate, was born in the State of New York in 1841. He received a liberal education, and began farming for himself at the age of twenty-one, and continued until 1862. He was then in the army three years, and subsequently farmed until 1868. He came to Kansas in 1869 and located on a farm in Crawford County, where he lived until 1878, having opened and improved 160 acres, which he now runs as a grain farm, also raising fruits and berries of all kinds. he came to the city of Girard in 1878, at which time he was elected Register of Deeds for four years. He established his present business in 1882. Mr. Wagner was Trustee of Sherman Township three years. He is a member and Steward of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and also is a member of the order of A., F. & A. M. Besides his fine farm of 480 acres, he owns town lots and residence property in Girard. Messr. Wagner & Grantham have the only complete set of abstract books in Crawford County. Mr. Wagner was married to Miss Carrie E. Jeynes, of Indiana, in 1864. They have two children - Fredrick L. and Clayton W.

P. M. WALESLAGLE, dealer in groceries and queensware, was born in Pennsylvania September 15, 1825, received liberal education, and at the age of twenty-one began milling for himself in Pennsylvania, continuing the business until 1862, at which time he joined the army, and was in service three years. he then returned to Pennsylvania and resumed milling, which he followed until 1871, and then engaged in lumber business in Pennsylvania until 1878, at which time he came to Kansas and opened his present business in Girard, where he now owns residence property. he was married to Miss Patience Starnes, of Pennsylvania, in 1847, who died March 28, 1880, leaving six children - Perry J., William J., Mary Ann, Josiah M., Sallie J., Philip E. He was married to Miss Lizzie C. Blank of Iowa, in October, 1881.

J. N. WARD, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Girard, was born in Virginia in 1846, and was reared in Sangamon County, Ill., where he followed farming till 1870, when he located in Butler County, Neb., and carried on farming there till 1874, when he came here, and has been actively identified with his present industry here since. He married in 1873, Miss Martha Riggs, who was born and reared in Warren County, ILL. They have a son and daughter - Freddie and Jessie. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His farm contains eighty acres of improved land, well fenced and watered and stocked, good buildings and an orchard of 200 trees of a nicely assorted variety of fruits.

E. A. WASSER, one of the editors of the Girard Press, was born in Pennsylvania in 1848. He lived on a farm until the age of thirteen, and received a common school education, and entered a printing office in Pennsylvania in 1861, in which he continued for three years. he was then at school and in a printing office until 1868, at which time he came to Crawford County, but subsequently went to Fort Scott and remained until 1869, at which time he became a partner with Warner & Winter in the publication of the paper under the firm name of Warner, Winter & Wasser. In 1869, Warner and Wasser purchased the interest of Winter and moved the establishment to Girard, giving it the name of the Girard Press. It is the pioneer paper of Girard, it being the first in the county, and has been published since that time continuously, with the exception of three weeks in 1871, when the office was destroyed by a mob. The paper took the position that the railroads had title to the lands, and the demagogues excited the people to mob violence. The office was burned and everything lost. In June, 1873, Mr. Riddle bought out Mr. Warner, and the paper has since been published by Wasser & Riddle. Mr. Wasser is an Odd Fellow and Good Templar, and belongs to the Lutheran Church. He was married to Miss Olive Poole, of Iowa, in 1874. They have four children - Albert Monroe, Ida May, Claude Poole and Louisa. He was appointed Postmaster at Girard February 5, 1883, by President Arthur.

H. J. WELLS, agent of the Adams Express Company, was born in Osceola, Iowa, in 1858, and located in Kansas in 1870. Mr. Wells received his rudimentary education in the public schools of his nativity, and his literary education in Mount Pleasant University at Mount Pleasant, Iowa. In 1880, he joined with G. W. B. Hoffman (now deceased), and bought and conducted the Girard Herald, with which he was reputably connected till August, 12882, when he retired from it and accepted his present position. he was married in 1880, to Miss Harriet Allen, of his native State. Mr. Wells is an active member of the A., F. & A. M., K. of P. and A. O. U. W. societies here, and a member of the Select Knights.

THOMAS W. WELLS, attorney at law, was born in Bloomington, Ind., in 1834, and received his rudimentary and literary education in the schools of his nativity. In 1852, he located in Marion, Linn Co., Iowa, and carried on his professional studies until 1856, when he located at Osceola, Iowa, and was identified with his profession there until 18709. He then located here and has been connected with the practice of his profession since. He married in 1854, Miss Martha J. Coombes, who was born in Indiana, and reared in Linn County, Iowa. they have a family of three sons and two daughters - Henry J., agent of the Adams Express Company, here; Lucy M., now Mrs. J. H. McClure, abstract office; William R., in mercantile business; Emma and Edwin E. Mr. Wells is a member of Board of Aldermen for his city. He has been an active member of the I. O. O. F. society since 1872. He and family are members of the Christian Church.

ELIJAH P. WILEY, farmer, Section 19, P. O. Girard, was born in Indiana in 1836. He went to Missouri at the age of fourteen, where he remained seventeen years on a farm. He came to Kansas in 1867 and located on a farm in Crawford County, which he improved and ran as a grain and stock farm for six years. He was then in the Mission in the machine business three years, then came to his present home of 160 acres in 1876. Here he has 1,200 apple trees and a fine assortment of fruits and berries of all kinds. he has about 100 acres under cultivation. He owns the Farmers' Hotel in Girard, which runs in connection with the farm. He was Justice of the Peace of Osage Township for six years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. he was married to Miss Amy J. Shahan, of Virginia, in 1856. They have seven children - Maggie J., John E., Louis A., Westley E., Perry E., Willie and Wilford M., deceased. Mrs. Wiley is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

F. S. WOLF, agent of the K. C., Ft. S. & G. Railroad, is a native of Pennsylvania. In 1871, he located in Kansas. In 1873, at the age of twenty, he engaged in his present industry in connection with this railroad, and in 1875 he accepted his present position, with which he has been connected since. In 1880, he married Miss Emma Adamson, of his native State. he is an active member of the I. O. O. F. society and the Encampment, the Improved Order of Red Men, the K. of H. and I. O. G. T. Mr. Wolf and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.

[TOC] [part 9] [part 7] [Cutler's History]