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


[TOC] [part 26] [part 24] [Cutler's History]


JOHN SPEER, was born in Kittanning, Armstrong Co., Penn., December 27, 1817. He was the oldest son of Capt. Robert and Barbary (Lowrey) Speer. His father was a farmer in moderate circumstances when rich men were few, and industry, abstemiousness and frugality were numbered among the virtues, and honest poverty was no disgrace. John was bred a farmer, and received only the early educational advantages which the district schools of the vicinity afforded. His father while he was a small lad bought a farm near Kittanning, and to insure the payment for it took a contract for carrying the United States mail between Kittanning and Curwensville. The distance was seventy miles, and the entire route was sparsely settled with long reaches of unsettled wilderness. Over this lonesome route John was put to carrying the mail, on horseback, at the early age of twelve years. For several years, he continued faithfully to perform the weary work. His mother died while he was yet a lad. At the age of eighteen years, he was indentured to the printing trade with William Morehead, of the Indiana Register, Indiana, Penn. Having served his time, he returned home, and after six months' work as a journeyman on the Kittanning Gazette, in 1839, made his first journalistic venture, publishing for six months the Mercer and Beaver Democrat, at New Castle, Penn., and vigorously supporting Harrison for the Presidency. He was identified with journalism in the States of Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio for fifteen years thereafter, during which time he was connected with the Portsmouth, Ind., Tribune, the Harrison Gazette (which he established at Corydon, Ind.), the Mount Vernon, Ohio Times, and the Democratic Whig, which he established September 12, 1843, and which he edited and successfully published for nearly twelve years thereafter. On the passage of the Nebraska bill, he sold out his paper and other effects, and, with his brother, Joseph L., came to Kansas. He arrived September 27, 1854. Here he established the first Free-State newspaper published in the territory - The Kansas Pioneer, afterward the Kansas Tribune. Tracing the history of Kansas journalism through the pages of this work, it appears that he has been constantly identified with it up to the present time (1882). He was one of the most fearless and able champions of the Free-State cause in the early days, and has held consistently and faithfully through a long political career of his early affiliation with the Republican party. He has been deservedly honored with many positions of honor and trust by the community in which he has lived, and by the State he did so much to bring into life. He was a member of the first Free-State Territorial Legislature in 1857. In 1864, he was a member of the national convention which nominated Lincoln and Johnson, and the same year was a member of the Kansas State Senate. He was also elected State Printer under the Topeka Government. He held the office of United States Revenue Collector from 1862 to 1866. The general statutes of 1868 were printed by him. He was elected State Representative from the Lawrence district in the fall of 1882. Few men have labored harder or suffered more than the subject of this sketch for the good of the commonwealth. In addition to the ordinary sacrifices and hardships which fell in common upon all the outspoken Free-State men during the early struggles, the last vengeful stroke of the slave power in Kansas fell with cruel force upon him. In Quantrell's raid on Lawrence, August 21, 1863, he lost two promising sons, one cruelly shot and his body recovered; the other never found, and supposed to have been burned in the conflagration. Further, the Government vouchers of the office he then held were destroyed, adding the burden of anxiety and business troubles to his already overburdened soul. He married Miss Elizabeth Duplisses McMahon, daughter of John and Martha (Withers) McMahon, at Corydon, Harrison Co., Ind., July 14, 1842. She died at Lawrence, Kan., April 9, 1876. Their children were John, murdered by Quantrill's men August 21, 1863; Robert, missing at the same time, supposed to have been burned; Joe, accidentally shot by a playmate when seven years of age; living - William, Mary (Mrs. Woodneff), Eva, Rosa and Hardin. The life of John Speer is interwoven with that of his State. He still carries sturdily the eight of labors and troubles calculated to crush men of less stern mold, and deserves the best of the state to which he has given his best.

LEVERETT W. SPRING, A. B., Professor of English Literature, Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, Kansas State University, was born in Graton, Vt., January 5, 1840. In 1854, his parents moved to Manchester, Vt., where he entered the Burr and Burton Academy, and pursued his preparatory studies. He then entered Williams College, graduating in 1863 with the degree of A. B. Shortly after, entered the theological institute of Connecticut, at Hartford, Conn., graduating in 1866. In 1867, he became connected with Andover Theological Seminary as resident graduate. Left the seminary in 1867 to take charge of the Rollstone Congregational Church at Fitchburg, Mass., continuing in this charge until 1876. The same year he moved to Lawrence, Kan., to take charge of the Congregational Church in that city. He resigned his pastorate in 1881 when elected to the chair he now fills at the University. Prof. Spring was married in East Windsor, Conn., September 25, 1867, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of William Thompson, D. D., Professor of Hebrew in the theological institute of Connecticut. They have two children - Samuel R. and Marty T. L. Mr. Spring has contributed various articles on literary and other subjects to periodicals.

E. STANLEY, Superintendent of the City Schools, was born in Hendricks County, Ind., April 7, 1847. He received his preliminary education in his native county, finishing his studies at the Farmers' Institute, Tippecanoe County, graduating in the spring of 1867. In the fall of the same year, was appointed a teacher in Tennessee by the Freedmen's Bureau. In 1868, he moved to Kansas and settled in Douglas County; since that time, he has been teaching almost all the time. In 1876, he removed to Lawrence, where he followed his profession in the city schools until elected Superintendent in 1880. Has been twice re-elected to the position. Mr. Stanley was married in Douglas County, in 1871, to Miss Davis, of that county. They have three children - Claude C., Fred B. and William H. Mr. Stanley is a member of the Society of Friends and of the E. A. U., of Lawrence.

LEWIS S. STEELE, attorney at law and Notary Public, abstracts of titles, real estate, loan and insurance agent, Lawrence, Kan., business established here in 1868. Keeps a numerical index of all transfers of real estate in the county. In insurance, he represent the American, of Newark, N. J., Western Assurance, of Toronto, Canada, and the Kansas State Mutual, of Lawrence, and several good life insurance companies. L. S. Steele was born in Ross County, Ohio, September 15, 1833. His father, James C. Steele was born at Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1801, his father being among the first settlers of the town. He received his education at South Salem Academy, in Ross County, In 1854, he moved to Indianola, Iowa, and read law in the office of his uncle, R. W. Steele. He spent the winter of 1854 at Florence, Neb., and returned to Warren County, Iowa, in the spring, where he practiced law until 1857, when he moved to Kansas and settled at Bloomington, in Douglas County, where he engaged in farming and the lumber trade. In 1860, he went to Pike's Peak and engaged in mining. Was Judge of the Bald Mountain Mining District, on French Gulch, in 1861. In 1862, was Judge of the Washington Gulch Judicial District, and on the organization of the Territory of Colorado was appointed Justice of the Peace of Washington County, which position he declined on account of his enlistment in Company C, Third Colorado Infantry, October 5, 1862. The regiment marched on foot, in March, 1863, from Denver to Fort Leavenworth, and by boat to Pilot Knob, Mo., where they remained till winter, when they were consolidated with Second Colorado Infantry into Second Colorado Cavalry. He served as Clerk at headquarters, Fourth Subdistrict of Missouri, at Kansas City, Mo., until the Price raid, in which the regiment took an active part, meeting Price at Lexington and following him to the Arkansas river; had several engagements with him. After the raid, he was detailed as Field Adjutant to Brig. Gen. J. H. Ford, commanding District of Upper Arkansas, with headquarters at Fort Riley, in his Indian campaign of 1865. In September of that year, he was mustered out with his regiment at Fort Leavenworth, and locating at Clinton, in Douglas County, bought a grist and saw mill, which he operated until 1870. He then removed to Lawrence, where he engaged in the practice of law. Was appointed Police Judge and Justice of the Peace in 1878, to fill vacancy, and was elected in 1879 for two years. He was married, in 1857, to Miss Harriet Stathem, of Des Moines County, Iowa, who died in 1859, leaving one daughter, now married to a physician and living in Iowa. His second wife was Mrs. L. A. B. Steele, authoress of "Rev. Adanijah" and other works of same character, besides a large amount of contributions to religious and other periodicals. Her father was Rev. A. Blakely, who came to Kansas from New York to help uphold the standard of liberty, and died in 1864. Their children are Charles A., John A., James L. and Horace E. The two oldest are attending the Kansas State University. Mr. Steele has been from his early youth a member of the Presbyterian Church. He has long been an active temperance worker and connected with the Good Templars and Ancient Templars, and a strong advocate of Prohibition

ROBERT STERLING, contractor and builder, was born in the city of Stirling, Scotland, November 15, 1839. In 1845, he came to the United States and located in Philadelphia, Penn., where he learned the trade of stone-cutter. In 1850, he moved to Ohio and followed his trade in Cincinnati and other places in that State until 1852. When on his way back to Philadelphia, he met in Cincinnati a Mr. Sawyer, of the firm of McIlvane & Sawyer, Government Architects and Superintendents. Mr. Sawyer asked him to take a job of Government work in Kansas; he accepted offers made, and in the spring of 1852, went to Kansas, returning East in the fall, and again the following spring returned to Kansas. While engaged in this service, he put up the first building in Fort Riley. During 1853, he located in St. Joseph, Mo., where he engaged in building. The following year, he spent a short time in Kansas, then returned to St. Joseph. In the spring of 1855, he settled in Kickapoo, where for some two years he burned lime for Fort Leavenworth, he, G. W. Crumb and Dr. Bloomfield being requested to remain in town while the balance of the citizens assisted in the defense of Lawrence in 1856. In 1856, his family settled on a claim in Jefferson County, which they improved and afterward bought at the auction sales in 1857. In this year Mr. Sterling joined his family and put up a large house, etc., on his place and kept horses for the Kansas Stage Company. During the years 1862-63-64 and up to 1865, he was most of his time in Leavenworth, where he engaged in contracting and building, during that time putting up some of the most prominent buildings in the city, among others, the residence of Mr. Caldwell and Mr. Stevens. In the spring of 1870, he moved to Lawrence and has since actively engaged in his business, during that time taking in whole or part some of the largest contracts in the State. Among these we may enumerate the State University at Lawrence, State Normal School at Emporia, insane asylum at Osawatomie, and many others in different parts of Kansas and Indian Territory. In the city, in addition to the stone dam, Quaker Church, Episcopal Church, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe depot, he has put up the leading residence and business houses. Mr. Sterling was married in St. Joseph, Mo., October 22, 1854, to Miss Sarah J. Snyder, a step-daughter of Mr. George W. Crump, one of the pioneers of the State. They have had two children, both of whom are deceased.

G. S. STEVENS, proprietor of the Lawrence House, Lawrence, Kan. The building now called the Lawrence House was erected in 1858, built by F. W. Sparr, for a store. During the Quantrill raid, it was partially burned; after the raid, it was rebuilt and since that time has been used as a hotel. It is a substantial brick building, 50x75 feet, three stories, and contains thirty-five rooms and nicely located. The present proprietor, G. A. Stevens, came from Massachusetts in 1878, and obtained a clerkship in the Lawrence Hotel, which was at that time managed by his mother and Mr. T. Sampson. After the latter's death, Mr. Stevens assumed full control.

N. O. STEVENS, County Clerk of Douglas County, was born in Princeton, Ill., May 11, 1854. Came to Kansas with his parents in 1867. He completed his education in the Lawrence High School and from 1873 to 1879, was connected with his father as associate editor of the Kansas Spirit. In the latter years was also Secretary of the Kansas Valley Fair Association, which was succeeded by the present Fair Association. In 1879, he was elected County Clerk and was re-elected in November, 1881. Mr. Stevens was married in Lawrence, Kan., March 22, 1882, to Miss Lucetta, daughter of W. H. Duncan, Esq., of Lawrence. Mr. Stevens is a member of the Oread Lodge, 798, K. of H., and also of the Y. M. S. C., of Lawrence.

JUDGE N. T. STEPHENS, Judge of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Kansas, elected to first term in 1876. Re-elected in 1880. Judge Stevens was born in Genoa, Cayuga County, N. Y., November 2, 1820. He received his education in his native county. Commenced reading law with Hon. L. O. Aiken, of Moravia, and was admitted to the bar about 1844. He commenced practice in Moravia, was afterward, engaged in practice in California about eighteen months. He returned to Cayuga County, where he engaged in general practice in all courts, up to the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1865, he moved to Kansas, and settled in Lawrence in 1866, when he became connected with the firm of Thacher & Banks, afterward Thacher & Stephens, which continued until 1876.

A. STORM, dealer in stoves, tinware, pumps, etc. The business was originally established in 1860, by Storm & Montague, and continued under various firm names until 1871, when Mr. S. disposed of his interest. He re-established the business in 1878, and now carries a stock of $5,000 to $6,000, employing five men, and occupying a floor space of 175x25 feet. Mr. Storm was born in Ann Arbor, Mich, January 6, 1838. His parents settled in Whitewater, Walworth County, Wis., about 1843, where he received his schooling, and afterward learned the trade of tinsmith. In 1857, he moved to Kansas, and settled in Lawrence, where he followed his trade until 1860, when he began business for himself, in which he continued to actively engage until about 1871, when he sold out and shortly afterward located in Galveston, Texas, where he held a position as foreman of the manufacturing department in the wholesale hardware and stove house of Steel, Wood & Co. He resigned this place after remaining about one year. After spending a few months in Houston he settled in Dallas, where he connected himself with the firm of Bartlett, Parks & Co, wholesale hardware and stoves. Holding the same position he had held with Messrs. Steel, Wood & Co., in Galveston. He remained with this firm until 1877, when he returned to Lawrence and resumed business. During the border ruffian troubles, Mr. Storm was connected with the Free-State organizations. In the Quantrill raid of 1863, he was taken prisoner, and released after several hours detention. At the breaking-out of the rebellion, he received a recruiting commission from the United States Government, under which he raised a body of men in Lawrence, and turned over to commanding officer at Leavenworth. During the Price raid he was connected with company D, Third Regiment Kansas State Militia. Mr. Storm has served one term as a member of the City Council. He is now a member of Lawrence Lodge, No., 6, A., F. & A. M.

C. A. SUTORIUS, dealer in diamonds, watches, jewelry, clocks, etc., agent for Foley's gold pins. The business was established in September, 1879, by Mr. S. He carries a stock of about $3,500. C. A. Sutorius was born in Cologne, Prussia, June 18, 1858. In 1868, his parents emigrated to the United States, and settled in Ottawa, Kan. C. A. was educated partly in his native city, and partly in Ottawa. In 1874, he moved to Lawrence, where he learned the trade of watch-maker and jeweler, at which he worked until he established his present business. Mr. Sutorius was married in Lawrence, March 9, 1818, to Miss Carrie, daughter of John Wallruff, Esq., of Lawrence. They have one son, Carl P. Mr. S. is a member of the A. O. U. W., the Turn Verein and the Social Verein.

R. K. TABOR, agent of the A., T. & S. F. R. R., was appointed to present position in September, 1875, and has held it continuously since. He was born in Montpelier, Vermont, May, 7, 1840. Received his education in his native county, and after leaving school engaged in clerking until the breaking-out of the late war. He enlisted, in 1862, in the Tenth Regiment Vermont Infantry. Was elected Second Lieutenant of Company K while at the rendezvous; was commissioned First Lieutenant in 1864, and Captain of Company C, in the same year. He served until the close of the war, a large part of his service being on staff duty with Gens. Morris Carr, Grover and Ricketts. Was attached to the Army of the Potomac, and participated in all the principal battles with that army, and with Gen. Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley campaign. On the close of the war, he returned home. In 1866, he moved to St. Louis, where he engaged in mercantile business. In 1869, he settled in Topeka, Kan., where he was connected with the land department of the A., T. & S. F. R. R. While in this position he located and appraised all the railroad lands between Topeka and Emporia. In 1871, he took charge of the land department, at Peabody, Kan., laying out and starting that town. Mr. Tabor was married in Lawrence, June 15, 1871, to Miss Lou E. Gleason, of Lawrence. They have one child, Roy B. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., of Peabody, and the A. O. U. W. of Lawrence, Kan.

ROBERT L. TAYLOR, A. B., Instructor in Elocution and English Literature, Kansas State University, elected and took charge of present department in September, 1882. He was born in New Rochelle, N. Y., November 21, 1861. His father, Rev. J. H. Taylor, D. D., had charge of the Presbyterian Church in that town. In 1869, he moved to Chicago to accept a call, remaining in that field until 1876, when he accepted a call from Rome, N. Y., where he still resides. The subject of this sketch pursued his preparatory studies at Lake Forest Academy, Chicago, Ill., and in the high school, at Rome, N. Y. He entered Hamilton College in the fall of 1878, graduating in the class of 1882. He made a special study of English literature, and was a successful competitor for the Pruyher medal, offered as a prize on that subject.

J. M. & LUCY TAYLOR, dentists. Mrs. Taylor, nee Miss L. B. Hobbs, was born in Franklin County, N. Y. She received her schooling in Clinton County, where her father moved when she was a child. She began her professional studies in 1857, at Cincinnati, Ohio, when she entered the office of Dr. Wardell. In the spring of 1861, she commenced practice in Cincinnati; shortly afterward she moved to Clayton County, Iowa, where she engaged in successful practice about four years. During her residence here she was invited to join the State Dental Society, though that membership necessitated her being a graduate. At a meeting of the State Society, held in 1865, they informed Prof. Taft, the Dean of the Faculty at Cincinnati Dental College, and who was in attendance at the society meetings, that he must permit Miss Hobbs to take a course of study at the college. This had previously been refused on account of her sex. Prof. Taft finally decided to do justice in the matter, and Miss Hobbs was admitted to the college, where she took a full course, and graduated in March, 1866. Shortly after, Miss Hobbs settled in Chicago, where she engaged in practice, and where she married Mr. J. M. Taylor in 1868. In the same year, they moved to Kansas, and settled in Lawrence November 25, where they have since engaged in practice with the exception of about nine months, which were spent (on account of Mr. Taylor's health) in a pleasure trip to California.

ANDREW TOSH & CO., real estate agents. Firm composed of A. Tosh, L. D. L. Tosh, and A. A. Cooper. Business established in 1876, by Mr. Tosh. The present firm was organized in 1880. They do a general brokerage business in notes, loans, etc. Their real estate operations are extended into city, county and State. A. Tosh, of above firm, was born in Preble County, Ohio, July 20, 1820. His father had made a claim here, and the subject of our sketch remained on the farm until 1871. During the war, he enlisted in the one hundred day call, Company H, One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Ohio, and served out term of enlistment, the regiment being engaged in the protection of the Ohio border. In 1871, he moved to Kansas and settled in Douglas County, where he engaged in farming until he established his present business. Mr. Tosh was married in New Paris, Preble County, Ohio, in 1849, to Miss M. A. C. Tillson, of that county. They have seven children - Ludduar D. L., Leroy V. D., Londa O., Anna L., Elmer A., Minnie and Ozra U. He is a member of Washington Post, No. 12, G. A. R. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

L. D. L. TOSH, attorney at law and member of the firm of Andrew Tosh & Co., was born in Preble County, Ohio, August 2, 1851. Received his preliminary education in his native county, and then entered Miami University at Oxford, Ohio. In the fall of 1870, his parents moved to Kansas, and settled in Lawrence. He then entered the State University, taking the regular classical course, graduating in 1873 with the degree of A. B. Commenced reading law in 1874, in the office of Thacher & Stephens, and was admitted to the bar in 1876. He then engaged in practice until his present business was established. Mr. Tosh is a member of Halcyon Lodge, No. 18, and Mount Oread Encampment, No. 18, I. O. O. F. He was one of the founders of the State University, Chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

[TOC] [part 26] [part 24] [Cutler's History]