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


[TOC] [part 31] [part 29] [Cutler's History]


P. J. PETERSON, farmer, Section 23, P. O. Lawrence. The home farm consists of 179 acres devoted to grain and stock. Mr. Peterson was born in Smoland, Sweden, February 28, 1838. He was educated there, and, in 1852, emigrated with his parents to the United States, and settled in Chicago, where he learned the carpenter's trade. In 1858, he moved to Kansas and settled in Lawrence, following the carpenter trade there until the following year. He then returned to Chicago, stopping a short time in Missouri. In 1863, he again settled in Lawrence, engaging in contracting and building until 1871. He then went to Colorado, where he followed placer and quartz mining very successfully. In 1879, he sold out his interest and returned to Lawrence. He then purchased and improved his present place. He married in Dickinson County, Kan., December 24, 1867, Miss Lavina Hickey, of that county, who died, leaving three children - Annie, Wallace and Jennie. He was married to his present wife in Lawrence April 22, 1877. She was Miss Mary Anderson. Mr. Peterson is President of the Scandinavia Society. Is a member of the A. O. U. W. He is a stockholder in the Lawrence Plow Company, of Lawrence.

CHARLES RALSTON, farmer, Section 30, Lawrence; is also in partnership with his brother, Peter Ralston. They have another farm in the county. The farm in Wakarusa Township contains 150 acres, or what is known as a fractional quarter. Settled on his present place in 1869. The farm is devoted to both grain and stock, the latter consisting of forty head of cattle and nine horses. Charles Ralston was born in Argylshire Scotland, December 22, 1829. His parents came to the United States when he was but nine years of age. They located first in Hamilton County, Ohio, and two years later in Winnebago County, Ill. Here the subject of our sketch engaged in farming principally until 1864. He then paid a visit to Washington Territory, Oregon, and California. In 1865, he returned East and settled in Lawrence, Kan. Here he engaged in general occupations until 1869, when he bought the farm on which he resides. He was married in Lawrence September 22, 1869, to Miss Evaline Jackson, a native of Tennessee, and a relative of the famous Stonewall Jackson. They have one child - Charles Earnest, born March 12, 1871. Mr. R. is a member of the Baptist Church.

FITCH REED, farmer, P. O. Lawrence, Section 29, settled on his present place in the spring of 1869. The farm contains sixty acres and may be called a model farm, the buildings being the perfection of adaptability to their various uses and the land in a high state of cultivation. Mr. Reed was born in Ontario County, N. Y., July 28, 1814. His father was a prominent farmer in that county, having 525 acres in his home farm, having two others near by. His grandfather had moved to Ontario County at an early day from Vermont, buying each of his five sons a farm of 200 acres. The subject of our sketch was educated primarily at the district schools, finishing his education at Canadaigua Academy. After he was twenty years of age, he engaged in teaching in the winter and farming in the summer. In 1836, he struck out on foot and alone for the West. After walking about three days he took a stage to Michigan. In 1839, he again went to Michigan, and the 1st of March following settled on 200 acres of timber land near Adrian, which he had previously bought. Here he cleared and improved a farm, for some four years living in a "lean-to" (log shanty). He afterward added to his farm until he had 300 acres all under a high state of cultivation. During these years he built alone some eight miles of fence. His father's family consisted of sixteen children, of which he was the oldest, there being eight boys and eight girls, a large majority of them following Mr. Reed to Michigan and settling there. But one of the sisters has since died. In the fall of 1868, he visited Kansas, and the following spring, after selling his property in Michigan, finally settled on his present home, where he has since resided, engaged principally in loaning money. Mr. Reed was married in Oakland County, Mich., February 20, 1840, to Miss Ann Draper, of that county. They have had five children, of whom two survive - Ellen M. (wife of George Leary, of Douglas County, Kan.), Libbie D. (wife of Prof. A. F. Allen, of Vineland, Douglas County). Mr. Reed, his two daughters and their families, are all members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

V. L. REESE, farmer, Section 23, P. O. Lawrence, settled on the present place in 1861. There are seventy acres in the home farm. He also rents enough to make his total about 120 acres. He deals in both grain and cattle, though the principal crop is wheat. Mr. Reese was born in Johnson County, Mo., August 18, 1837. He was educated in his native county and engaged there in farming until he removed to Kansas in 1861. During the war he was a member of Capt. Dixon's company of the Kansas State Militia. Mr. Reese was married in Douglas County, Kan., April 2, 1863, to Miss Jones, of Douglas County. They have four children - Walter C., Mary L., Carrie E. and Minnie M. He is a member of the District School Board and of Halcyon Lodge, No. 18, I. O. O. F., of Lawrence.

McMILLEN RENICK, farmer and market gardener, Section 24, P. O. Lawrence, settled on the present place in 1879. He has 105 acres in the farm, eighty-five acres being under a high state of cultivation, the balance pasture. He makes a specialty of Irish and sweet potatoes, his crop in 1882, aggregating 2,000 bushels of the former and 500 bushels of the sweet potatoes. He raises the early rose variety and gets from 150 to 200 bushels to the acre. Mr. Renick was born in Ross County, Ohio, January 17, 1851, the family being old residents of the State. His grandfather (Felix Renick) made the first importation of shorthorn cattle into the State of Ohio, purchasing for the Ohio Importing Company. The subject of this sketch was educated in his native county and engaged in farming there until 1879. He then moved to Kansas, and settled on the present place. He was married in Ross County, Ohio, February 15, 1872, to Miss Blacker, of that county. They have two children - Lillian and Allen.

FORREST SAVAGE, farmer, Section 3, P. O. Lawrence, pre-empted and settled on his present place as soon as surveyed in 1856. His farm now consists of 465 acres all under cultivation except forty acres of timber. It is devoted to both grain and stock. Mr. Savage was born in Hartford, Vt., September 27, 1827. He was educated in his native town and engaged in farming there until 1854. He then joined in Boston the second party of the Emigrant Aid Society, arriving in Lawrence in September, 1854, his family following the next year. He was identified with the struggles of the early times, being connected with the Free-State organizations. During the late war, he was connected with the Kansas State Militia, during the Price raid, assisting in his defeat. Mr. Savage married in Hanover, N. H., March 8, 1849, Miss Lydia G. Worth, of that town. They have four children - William W., Emma A., Mary A. and Frank J. He is a member of the Congregational Church.

S. M. SHEPHERD, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Lawrence, settled on his present place in 1868. The home farm consists of 400 acres, about 100 in timber, balance under the plow and pasture. The historical "Lone Tree Mound" is located on this farm. Mr. Shepherd devotes his attention to both grain and stock. He has some forty head of beef cattle and twenty head of others. His crop of corn for 1882 consisted of some 4,000 bushels, all of which he feeds. Mr. Shepherd was born in Brown County, Ohio, July 5, 1825. He was educated in his native county, and engaged in farming there until 1856. In April of that year, he settled in Douglas County, Kan., and pre-empted a quarter-section of land, which he sold in 1868. He took an active part in the Wakarusa war, participating in the attack on Forts Saunders and Titus. He was wounded at Fort Titus by the same volley that killed Chambrey. During the war he was connected with the militia and took part in the Big Blue cattle in the repulse of Price. In March, 1858, he was elected a member from Douglas County to the Constitutional Convention held at Leavenworth. Mr. Shepherd was married in Bedford County, Va., February 21, 1866, to Miss Fanny E. Sale, of that county. They have four children - Annie Virginia, Chancey Sales, Francis Elizabeth and John Nelson.

HON. E. A. SMITH, proprietor of Norwood Stock Farm, Section 34, P. O. Lawrence. This farm consists of 280 acres of land in a high state of cultivation, with buildings suited to fancy stock and the usual farm purposes. His herd of Jerseys were the first imported west of the Missouri River. Has now some twenty head in all of the Mulberry and other popular butter families, containing some of the finest stock in the United States, and, in the opinion of many good judges, superior to any Jerseys at the Centennial Exhibition. His horses, some thirty to forty head in all, will challenge comparison with any stud in America. They are all from the most fashionable strains of trotting stock, and were principally bred in Kentucky. At the head of his stud, he has Almont Pilot, son of Almont, reputed the sire of more superior trotting horses than any horse of his age. This horse is one of the most perfect types of his great-grandsire Abdallah that can be found in this county; stands sixteen hands high, and a beautiful bay with a star and one white hind foot, and both his sire and dam are by Alexander Abdallah. He has eleven crosses in lineal descent to imported Messenger, and is thus marked as one of the most remarkable in bred horses in America. Almont is the sire to Aldine and Early Rose, the famous horses of W. H. Vanderbilt. He has a record of 2:16 1/4 to the pole. Ravenwood is a magnificent black stallion, 15 hands high; foaled May 16, 1878; sired by Almont Pilor. He is the strongest example of an inbred stallion that can be found, being the result of three crosses to Alexander Abdallah, sire of Goldsmith Maid, record 2:14; two crosses on sire's side to Alexander's Pilot, Jr., sire of the dam of Maud S., record 2:10 1/4; and one cross to Mambrino Chief, the sire of Lady Thorn, record 2:18. The result of this mingling of the blood of stock, which has shown remarkable speed, has been seen in Maud S., Goldsmith Maid, Clingstone, Mambrino Gift and many others, and there is no reason why it should not be witnessed in the marked degree in the case of Ravenwood. Mr. Smith's stud also embraces some of the finest brood mares that can be found on any stock farm in America, all being selected with the greatest care, purity of blood and fashionable ancestry, as now understood by the best trotting authorities as being the sine qua non Mr. Smith has spent a large amount of capital, not only to please his fancy in this line of business, but to promote the interest of stock breeders throughout the West. Hon. Ethan A. Smith, Secretary of the Western National Fair Association, was born in Andover, Windsor Co., Vt., May 4, 1833. His father, Sewell Smith, moved to the Territory of Wisconsin in 1837, and finally settled in Walworth County in 1840. He was a member of the convention that framed the State constitution, and afterward a member of the Legislature, and wielded considerable influence in the politics of the State. The subject of our sketch received a primary education in the common schools of Wisconsin, and afterward attended college at Brockport, N. Y., and also Genesee Wesleyan College in the same State, receiving in these institutions a first-class business education. He has a natural aptitude for mercantile pursuits, and before he left college had embarked in trade, having a financial interest in a general store. Upon leaving school, he entered the dry goods house of J. W. Blodgett & Co., Boston, where he remained two years. He then purchased goods of this firm to the amount of $20,000, and commenced on his own account at Whitewater, Wis., in 1853. Here he continued a successful dry goods trade until 1857, when he left Wisconsin and traveled through Missouri, looking for a good business opening, but finding nothing to suit him he moved to Kansas and engaged in the banking business in Lawrence. This he followed until 1861, when he went to Washington, and accepted a position in the financial department of the Indian Bureau, which he held until 1865, when he returned to Lawrence and assisted in organizing the First National Bank, of which he was made cashier. In September of the following year (1866), he took a ten years' lease of the Eldredge House, then one of the first-class hotels of the State. After seven years successful management, he removed to Topeka, and leased the Tefft, at that time the best hotel in the capital, and conducted it for one year. Leaving the hotel in 1874, he started the Norwood Stock Farm. In 1881, he was elected Assistant Secretary of the fair association, and in 1882 was elected Secretary and also Superintendent of the speed department. Mr. Smith is a Knight Templar in the Masonic fraternity. He was elected to the Legislature in 1876, and served two years, and was a leading and active member of the House.

L. J. SPERRY, farmer, and old settler, Section 13, P. O. Lawrence, settled on his present place in 1856, and is now operating his original quarter-section in mixed farming. He was born in Homer, Cortland Co., N. Y., June 5, 1829. His parents moved to Harrisburg, Penn., when he was about seven years old. In 1848, he settled in Fulton County, Ill., where he learned the blacksmithing trade, but soon abandoned it for the more congenial occupation of farming. In the spring of 1856, in company with his father-in-law, he started for Dallas, Texas. In Missouri, they overtook Joel Thomas and his father-in-law, and Dr. Rankin; the party kept together through to Leavenworth, where they arrived June 5, 1856. The subject of our sketch then looked around the country and liked it so well that he abandoned the idea of going to Texas, and finally bought the claim which he afterward pre-empted, and on which he now resides. During the border-ruffian troubles, he took an active part, operating most of the time in Lawrence companies. He participated in the attack on Fort Saunders, Fort Titus and Lecompton, and in all the active operations of the Free-State forces. During the war of the rebellion, he was connected with the Kansas State Militia up to 1864, when he enlisted in Company M, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry and served until the close of the war. He then returned home and has since confined his attention to his farms. Mr. Sperry was married in Fulton County, Ill., August 12, 1850, to Miss Paulina, daughter of James A. Dobbins, Esq. They have four children living - Watson, James, Nellie Dicy (now Mrs. Charles Perry), Lillie. Mr. Sperry has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church from a child. He is also a member of Lawrence Lodge, No. 6, A., F. & A. M.

C. F. STANLEY, farmer, Section 28, P. O. Lawrence. The home farm consists of 320 acres of land under a high state of cultivation. Mr. Stanley intends to engage exclusively in stock, and with that intention, is seeding his farm with tame grasses. He has at present thirteen head of cattle and thirteen head of horses, the head of his herd of cattle being a pedigreed Short-horn registered bull, of the Duke Adrian family. He has also on his place ten acres of bearing orchard, which he is constantly increasing. Mr. Stanley was born in New Britain, Conn., February 18, 1859. He received his preliminary education in the private schools and finished at the military school at Worcester, Mass., from which he graduated in 1878. After devoting some time to travel, looking up a location, he finally settled on his present place in 1879. He was married in Lawrence, Kan., September 2, 1880, to Miss M. Olive, daughter of Prof. E. Miller, of the State University. They have two children - Arthur and Fred.

W. D. WELLS, farmer and old settler, Section 36, P. O. Lawrence, settled on his present place in the spring of 1866. The home farm contains eighty acres under a high state of cultivation, grain and stock being the principal productions. W. D. Wells was born in Bridgeport, Conn., January 13, 1835. He was educated in the district schools of his native city and in a selected school in Stratford, Conn. He spent the fall and winter of 1853 in Virginia, getting out railroad ties on contract. In September, 1854, he joined in Albany, N. Y., what is known as the "Third Party" of the Emigrant Aid Society, arriving in Lawrence October 7. He was employed by the society that winter. In the spring, he crossed the plains with teams, returning in the fall. In the spring of 1856, he took a claim in Douglas County, which he afterward sold, and the following spring took a claim near Burlington, Coffey County, which he still holds. During 1857-58, he engaged in milling and buffalo hunting. In 1859, he went to Pike's Peak, returning to Lawrence to spend the winter, and again went to Pike's Peak and New Mexico in the spring. After paying a visit East in 1861, he returned and engaged at teaming to Fort Gibson, Fort Scott and Fort Smith, continuing the business until he settled on his farm, with the exception of some eighteen months that he spent in the oil regions of Pennsylvania. During the early days, he took a prominent part in the Free-State side. He was connected with the artillery company, and at the battle of Franklin was so severely wounded as to be unable to take part in the affairs at Fort Saunders and Fort Titus. Mr. Wells has been married twice; his first wife was Miss Virginia Widgeon, of Bridgeport, Conn., to whom he was married in Middletown, Conn., and who died leaving two children - Gertrude L. and Alice W. He was married in Douglas County, Kan., to Miss Emma Wooley, of Johnson County, Kan. They have one child, Charles W.

EDWARD WINSLOW, farmer, Section 25, P. O. Lawrence, pre-empted his present place in 1855. He is now operating 160 acres, about 100 acres being under the plow, the balance in pasture and timber. He devotes his attention to both grain and stock. Mr. Winslow was born in Barnard, Vt., July 20, 1820. He received his schooling in his native county. About 1836, he moved to Ware, Hampshire Co., Mass., and was connected with the factories at this and other points. In 1854, he joined the second party of the Emigrant Aid Society at Worcester, Mass., and came with them to Kansas. When the party arrived at Kansas City, he and Willis went a-foot, their baggage being sent by wagons. He was prominently identified with the Free-State organizations in the early days. He took part in the first election in Lawrence, at great peril, on account of his marked abolition sentiments. He was also connected with John Brown for a time.

[TOC] [part 31] [part 29] [Cutler's History]