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


[TOC] [part 13] [part 11] [Cutler's History]


JAMES P. HILYARD, farmer, Sections 25 and 30, P. O. Severy, is a native of Cabal, County, Va., and was born in 1820. When in his fourth year, his parents removed to Sangamon County, Ill., and upon attaining manhood, Mr. H. engaged in farming until 1846, when he enlisted in Company D, Fourth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, and was in Gen. Winfield Scott's division of the army in the war against Mexico, participating in the battle of Cerro-Gordo and the capture of Vera Cruz. He is perhaps the only Mexican war veteran in Greenwood County. October 31, 1871, he came to Kansas and located upon 160 acres, situated in the sections above named. His average grain yield has been corn forty and wheat twenty bushels per acre; millet, about four tons. November 25, 1841, Mr. Hilyard married Miss America Morris, a native of Greenbrier County, Va. They have had fifteen children, eleven of whom are now living, and who in their turn have taught twenty-seven lips to call him "Grand-pa." Since September, 1870, Mr. Hilyard has been a licensed clergyman of the Universalist Church. He is a staunch prohibitionist, and has been Justice of the Peace for several years.

W. N. HILL, farmer, P. O. Severy, was born in July, 1828, in Greene County, Ind., and November 15, 1861, enlisted in Company E, Fifty-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and participated in the battles of Missionary Ridge, siege of Vicksburg and Corinth, and was with Sherman in his march to the sea. He was mustered out April 4, 1865, at Wilmingron, N. C. He returned to Indiana and resumed farming until April, 1870, when he came to Kansas, locating upon the above section. He has 200 acres of good bottom land here and eighty acres in Elk County. His corn yield has been forty-five and wheat sixteen bushels to the acre; oats, twenty-five; flax, eight bushels. Flax is not in favor with him as a paying crop. Formerly Mr. Hill dealt extensively in cattle, but at present has only fifty head; hogs, about twenty-five. His orchard contains about 350 assorted fruit trees, and he has raised and planted on his farm maple and other trees, which are doing well. His farm residence of two stories and basement, together with the contents, and also farm buildings are insured. On June 26, 1850, he was married in Bloomfield to Miss Eliza Hopkins. They have seven children. The two eldest, Peter J. and John were born in the years 1856 and 1860 respectively. Peter J. is married and resides in New Mexico. The four youngest children are at home. When Mr. Hill first came here, he had but one neighbor, and he was four miles distant. Mr. Hill is a charter member of Brownlow Post, No. 79, G. A. R., and is one of the leading men and prominent farmers of Twin Grove Township.

THOMAS H. HUFF was born in Northumberland, Penn., February 9, 1827, and for many years was engaged in boat building. On the 29th of February, 1864, he enlisted at Philadelphia in the Second Pennsylvania Battery Heavy Artillery, which was detailed to the Army of the Potomac. He was with his battery at the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and in all the engagements incident to the pursuit and surrender of Lee, and was mustered out at Petersburg, Va., January 20, 1866, with the rank of Corporal. Upon Leaving the army he returned to Pennsylvania, and settling up his affairs there removed to Scott County, Ill., and in 1869 located in Woodson County, Kan., where he engaged in farming for several years, and subsequently renting his farm opened a general store in Toronto, and removed to Severy upon organization of the town. He at once engaged in business here, and about a year ago sold his property in Woodson County. Mr. Huff is a widower with six children, the youngest two aged eleven and thirteen years residing with him. The elder sons are in Colorado. He is a charter member of Brownlow, Post, No. 97, G. A. R.

H. T. KANATZAR, farmer, Section 33, P. O. Severy, is a native of Madison County, Ky. His grandfather was a native of North Carolina, and of German descent, having settled in Kentucky when a young man. In 1864, H. T. Kanatzar was married to Miss Margaret Dickerson. They have six children living, three of them having been born in Kansas, where he now resides. He removed to Kansas in 1872, and located upon the northwest quarter of Section 33, of 160 acres, about fifty of which are under cultivation. It being upland the grain yields, corn, forty bushels, wheat, fifteen bushels per acre. He generally carries over from twenty-five to thirty head of cattle. He has held the office of Township Clerk for the past three years, and at the is Trustee of the said township. He is forty-four years old, and has never been engaged in a law suit in his life; he never sued or warranted anybody and was never sued. He has always taken a warm and active part in the welfare of his adopted State.

THOMAS LAWMAN, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Severy, is a native of Cumberland, England, born 1830, and in 1851 he came to America, settling first in Michigan, and after a residence there of five years moved to Ogle County, Ill., where he remained nine years, when he came to Kansas, locating upon his present homestead. In 1849, he was married in England to Miss Frances Paterson, who died in 1856, and in February, 1860, he married Miss Louisa Bogart, of Jackson, Mich. But four children now remain to him, all of whom, except Sarah, born November 20, 1871, are married. Mr. Lawman was one of the early settlers of this portion of the county. Humboldt was then the nearest base of supplies, and it has often taken him from two to five days to journey there. He found that wheat did not pay to raise, and has confined himself to the cultivation principally of oats, corn and flax. He has seven horses, thirty-five head of cattle, and excellent orchard, containing upward of 400 trees and one and a half acres of grapes. His residence is one of the finest in a drive of several miles, and is tastefully surrounded with shrubs and ornamental trees, something which many of his neighbors would do well to imitate. Mr. Lawman was one of the School Directors of the district for seven years, and was elected Justice of the Peace in 1872.

J. M. LITTLER, M. D., is a native of Grant County, Ind., and upon the completion of his elementary education, he attended the Kentucky School of Medicine at Louisville, Ky., graduating from it in 1876 with a degree of M. D.; after which he located in Muncie, the county seat of Delaware County, in his native State, and entered upon the practice of his profession. In June, 1882, Dr. Littler came to Kansas, and settled in Severy, opening an office and consultation room in the drug store of Mr. J. D. Clark, on Kansas avenue. Although but a short time here, he has already gained a very good practice, which is rapidly extending.

SIMON LYBARGER, druggist and postmaster, was born in Gambler, Knox Co., Ohio in 1850, and subsequently removed to Iowa, locating in Ainsworth, Washington County, where he was in business as a druggist for about four years. He came to Kansas in the winter of 1879-80, on a visit for the benefit of his health, which had become somewhat impaired and upon visiting Severy, then just springing into existence, he decided to locate here. Disposing of his business in Ainsworth, he bought a lot on Kansas avenue, upon which he had his present store erected, and in ten days from his arrival had opened his drug store. His is the oldest business in town, as others who had been in business before him have either sold out or rented, and some have since returned, but he has kept uninterruptedly. In the spring of 1880, Mr. Dodds, who was the Postmaster, resigned and left the State, and Mr. Lybarger was appointed as his successor. His store and residence cost about $1,800, and are well insured. His stock in trade in his store is $1,200, also insured. While upon what was feared would prove his death-bead in June 1880, he was married to Miss Eliza Nicholson, of Ainsworth, Iowa, to whom he had been engaged ere coming to Kansas, and who came in response to letters from neighbors here. To her assiduous care and nursing, he owes his recovery. Mr. Lybarger is Senior Steward of Twin Grove Lodge, No. 213, A. F. & A. M., and a member of Ridgley Lodge, No. 202, I. O. O. F.

N. S. McDONALD, M. D., was born in 1843, in Ray County, Mo. He received his elementary and professional education in his native State, graduating from the St. Louis Medical College in 1868. He commenced practice in Crab Orchard, Mo., removing thence to Harding, Mo., where he remained several years. Dr. McDonald first visited Kansas for the benefit of his health, in the summer of 1878, and was so pleased with the result of his trip that he determined to make this State his permanent residence, and in accordance with this resolution he located in Severy, in the spring of 1880.His present two-story residence, on Maine street, was one of the first erected in Severy, the town site having then been just surveyed. He has had the honor of ushering into this mundane sphere the first native born inhabitants of the embryo city of the plains, the first white child born in the new town being a daughter of Edward Selver, April 15, 1880, but who died three months afterward of cholera infantum. The next, who is yet living, was Roy, son of Mr. Walter Dennis, born July 30, 1880, and the first colored child born in Severy was a boy, who was born to Me. Joseph Stewart, January 19, 1883. November 7, 1869, the Doctor married Miss Rachel Pettus, of Ray County, Mo. They have six children-Cyrus E., born June 28, 1870, died August 1, 1881; Lessie C., born February 6, 1872, died July, 1873; Ernest, born May 29, 1874; Forrest, born October 1, 1876; Zula, born August 21, 1878, and who died September 23, 1881, and Malcolm, born June 28, 1881. Dr. McDonald was the first Clerk upon the organization of this school district, and as since been one of the Board of School Directors. He is S. W. of Twin Grove Lodge, U. D., A., F. & A. M., and is examining physician for the Kansas Benevolent Association and the Farmers and Mechanic's Benevolent Society, both of which have resident agents here.

HIRAM MALOY, merchant, was born in 1840, in Toronto, Ontario, and was a first-class graduate of the Ontario Normal School, upon leaving which, he taught school in Newmarket and other places in Ontario. In 1869, Mr. Maloy came to Kansas and located in the Verdigris River, this county, his farm of 320 acres (Section 10), 120 acres of which is under cultivation, yielding fifty bushels of corn and twenty bushels of wheat per acre, and small millet from four to five tons per acre. In 1865, he married Miss S. A. Dennis, of Newmarket, Ontario. They have three children, vis., Nellie, born September 9, 1867; Lena, born September 13, 1869, and Charles, born March 11, 1874. In 1880, Mr. Maloy came to Severy and purchased his present store, corner of Main street and Kansas avenue, stocking it with general merchandise to the extent of $5,000, the stock, store and his residence on Greenwood avenue being fully insured. Mr. Maloy has never accepted any public office, preferring to give all his attention to business, and has already established himself as one of the leading business men of this infant, but thriving city.

WILLIAM N. MERIDETH, carpenter, was born in 1846, in Washington County, Ind., and removed to Mechanicsburg, Ill., in spring of 1861, and shortly afterward was apprenticed to the carpenter's trade, but soon forsook the plain and saw for more deadly tools, enlisting August 6, 1862, in Company A, Seventy-third Regiment Illinois Infantry, and participated in the engagements at Spring Creek, Ky., and Murfreesboro, where he received a bullet wound in the right shoulder, which rendered him unfit for active duty for thirteen months. Upon his recovery, he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, remaining, therein until mustered our at Cairo, Ill., September 5, 1865, with the rank of Sergeant. He returned to Mechanicsburg and mastered his trade, at which he worked until October 8 1878, when he came to Kansas, locating in Sterling, Rice County, until the town of Severy was being built, when he came here to work, and purchasing three lots, built himself a workshop and residence. Mr. Merideth was married while in Mechanicsburg, Ill., to Miss Sarah Miller; he has not children living. He is a United States pensioner; was the first Adjutant of Brownlow Post, No. 79, Grand Army of the Republic, and is now its S. V. C.

OLIVER M. MILLER, farmer, Section 32, P. O. Severy, was born in 1834, in Columbiana County, Ohio, and, in 1854, removed to Iowa, where he remained two years, when he settled in Wayne County, Ill., engaging in farming until December 3, 1863, when he enlisted in Company K, Sixty-first Regiment Illinois Infantry, and was engaged with his company in active duty until mustered out at Nashville, Tenn., September 8, 1865, with the rank of Corporal. He returned to Illinois, and remained there until March, 1871, when he came to Kansas, locating upon 160 acres, Section 32, Town 27, Range 11, and upon which he has recently built a large two-story frame residence. In addition to his farm, he has since purchased eighty acres on Section 7, Town 27, Range 11. All his land is well fenced, and upwards of sixty acres under plow. His wheat yield is twenty, and corn thirty-five bushels per acre. He has about fifty head of cattle, and forty hogs, of the Poland breed. His orchard of 350 to 400 trees, principally peach and apple bears well, and he has also a large strawberry patch. Residence and farm buildings are insured. Mr. Miller has six children, from two to fourteen years of age. He is a member of Brownlow Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and has been Constable of this township for several years.

EBENEZER OLDS, farmer, Section 17, P. O. Severy, was born in 1833, in Otsego County, N. Y., and in early life learned the trade of wagon-maker and wheelwright, and in 1854 removed to Fond du Lac County, Wis., where he engaged in farming until March, 1862, when he enlisted at Berlin, Wis., in Company C, Thirty-eighth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. The Thirty-eighth was attached to the Ninth Army Corps, and Mr. Olds participated in all the active work in which his regiment was engaged, as part of the Army of the Potomac, until he was mustered out at Tennallytown, D. C., July 26, 1865. He thereupon returned to Wisconsin, and in 1870 came to Kansas, locating on the southwest quarter of Section 17, his present home. Of the 160 acres which comprise his farm, about seventy-five to eighty acres is under cultivation. Being upland, his wheat crop has been small, averaging only about thirteen bushels per acre, corn forty-five to fifty. He usually has about twenty-five hogs and thirty to forty cattle. He has of late years raised considerable fruit, his orchard containing peach, apple, plum, cherry and other fruit trees. In 1861, he was married to Miss Lucretia Loud. They have no children. Mr. Olds built his present residence, a substantial stone one, in 1876, at a cost of $1,500, and as it is situated on a fine piece of rising ground, some seventy feet above prairie level, it affords a beautiful view of the town of Severy, with its two lines of railroad, and in one direction the naked eye can rest on the Blue Ridge, over thirty miles distant. His residence and farm buildings are insured. He is a member of Brownlow Post, No. 79, Grand Army of the Republic.

J. C. PRICE, lawyer, was born in Montgomery County, Va., 1829, and with his parents, removed to Kokomo, Ind., in 1844, at which place he studied law under G. W. Robinson, Esq., and was admitted to the bar in 1860. He has scarcely begun the practice of his profession, when Gov. Morton issued his call for 75,000 men, and Mr. Price organized a company and tendered their services, but the quota called for having already been made up, the company was not required. Mr. Price subsequently tendered his own services, and was appointed Clerk of Quartermaster's Department. He was placed in charge of transportation under Capt. Dunbar, until the fall of Atlanta, Ga., and was subsequently under Maj. Whitman from 1863 to the close of the war, when he returned to Indiana for a short time, and then proceeded to Knoxville, Tenn., where he engaged in dry goods business, remaining there about a year, when he sold out and removed to St. Joseph County, Ind., where, December, 1864, he was married to Miss Harriet Rector. They have five children-Frank, born 1866; Milton, born 1869; Cash, born 1872; Lena, born 1876, and George W., born 1880. In 1867, Mr. Price removed to Kansas, locating for a year in Wyandotte County, removing thence to Neosho Rapids, Lyon County, and in 1876, settling on a farm on the Verdigris River in this count, and engaging in farming until December, 1880, when he removed to Severy, upon the laying out of that town, and resuming the practice of law. Mr. Price is the owner of an office on Kansas avenue, and possesses a substantial residence and forty acres of land about a mile from town. In addition to his law practice, he is agent for he Lombard Mortgage & Loan Company, for G. W. Watkins & Co., Loan Agents, of Topeka, and for the "American Central Insurance Co. (fire), of St. Louis, Mo. Mr. Price is a member of Iona Lodge, No. 97, A., F. & A. M., of Neosho Rapids, and of the Kokomo Chapter. He has never cared to enter the political arena as candidate for even a township office.

GEORGE SCHNITZER, farmer, Section 27, P. O. Severy, was born in the Province of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, in 1839, and came to the United States with his parents in 1848, landing at New Orleans, and subsequently, after a short stay in St. Louis, Mo., settled in St. Clair County, Ill., in 1851. In August, 1862, Mr. S. enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and participated in all the engagements of his regiment at Resaca, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Fort McAllister, etc., until mustered out at Washington in May, 1865. Upon leaving the army, he returned to Illinois, and in 1871, came to Kansas, locating upon a quarter-section of No. 27, sixty acres of which are under cultivation, his wheat yield being an average of fifteen, and corn forty-five bushels per acre. He does not think it pays to cultivate flax, but the production of castor beans has brought him eighty-five cents to $1 per bushel. He has a large and good bearing orchard. He is married, and has five small children. He is one of the charter members of Brownlow Post, G. A. R.

T. J. SOWDERS, Justice of the Peace and furniture dealer, is a native of Hamilton County, Ind., where he was born in 1848, and was engaged in farming in his native State prior to his removal to Kansas in the fall of 1869, when he located in Woodson County, where he remained for a year, removing to Twin Grove Township, this county, and locating upon 150 acres, Section 5, Township 28, Range 11, of which eighty acres are improved, with average yield of thirty-eight bushels of corn per acre, grown upland. Residence and outbuildings insured. In 1879, he removed to Severy, and buying the store he now occupies on Main street, stocked it with $1,000 worth of furniture and house furnishing goods. He has also a large stock of agricultural implements, etc. In 1868, Me Sowers married Miss R. J. Whetzel. They have five children, ranging in age from one year to thirteen years. Mr. S. was Township Trustee in 1877 and 1878; was Constable several terms and Deputy Sheriff, and in February, 1882, was elected Justice of the Peace.

R. Z. SWEGLE, Mayor of Severy. This gentleman is a native of Fulton County, Ind., and in early life learned the trade of carpenter and builder, at which he worked, chiefly in the State of Iowa, prior to entering the army, which he did at Genesso, Ill., August 28, 1861, enlisting as gunner in the Eleventh Indiana Battery, Ohio State Artillery. He was present at, and participated in, the following engagements: New Madrid, Island No. 10, Fort Pillow, the first and second sieges of Corinth, Iuka, Vicksburg, Champion Hills, Little Rock, etc.; besides many others of lesser magnitude. At Iuka, he was wounded in the left leg, and also in the breast by a musket ball. After the first siege of Corinth, and while upon a reconnoitering expedition, he, with another member of his battery, was taken; but finding only two armed Johnnies in charge of them, Mr. Swegle determined, unarmed though he was, to turn the tables, which he did so effectually that he and his comrade, Rhodes, marched their captors back to the Union camp, and in the presence of Gen. Buford, turned them over to the Provost Marshall. He was mustered out at Columbus, Ohio, November 30, 1865. He then returned to Iowa and resumed his trade, coming to Kansas in 1878, and locating upon 160 acres, Section 14, Otter Creek Township, this county. Upon the laying out of the town in January, 1880, he came to Severy, and has built several of the principal stores and residences in the town. In April, 1881, he was elected Mayor. He is Secretary of Ridgely Lodge, No. 202, I. O. O. F., and O. D. of Brownlow Post, No. 79, G. A. R. Mr. Swegle is a widower, with one child-Benjamin, aged thirteen years, and owns, besides his residence on Main street, several other buildings in town, all of which he keeps well insured.

G. H. TAYLOR, farmer, Section 28, P. O. Severy, was born in Canada in 1836, and removed with his parents, to Ontario County, N. Y., in 1837, and in 1851 moved to Hillsdale County, Mich., and settled in Lenawee County, in 1855, where he married Miss Harriet Knapp in 1860, and in 1864, returned to Hillsdale County. Mr. Taylor came to Kansas in the spring of 1870. He has 160 acres on the above section, of which sixty are under cultivation, his corn yield being an average of forty-five bushels. He devoted some years to the cultivation of flax, but found it unprofitable in average yield, being about eight bushels per acre. His orchard of over 300 assorted trees yields good returns. His residence and buildings are insured.

SAMUEL A. WEIR, proprietor of Weir House. Mr. Weir is a native of Washington County, Penn., born in 1834, and, in 1850, removed to Lee County, Iowa, where he engaged in farming and stock-raising until 1858, when he removed to Boone County, Mo., continuing in the stock and cattle business, and also opening a general store, and in 1869, he sold out, and located for a time in Girard, Crawford County, Kan., where he built the American House, which he conducted for a year, when he sold out, and removing to Independence, Montgomery County, built the Montgomery House, which he sold out three years afterward, and then went to Winfield, in Coffey County, building there the Lagonda House of thirty rooms, and, in eighteen months, sold it and returned to Independence, where he purchased a farm, upon which he left his family while he went to Joplin, Mo., and engaged in lead-mining for a time, and finally, in the winter of 1879-80, located in Severy, where he bought the first town lot, upon which he erected a large frame hotel called the Weir House, upon the corner of Main street and Kansas avenue, at a total cost of $2,725, and conducted it until March, 1882, when he sold it to the present proprietor, Mr. S. S. Coleman, and moved onto a farm of 160 acres, on Section 6, situated one and a half miles from Severy, and upon which he has built a good residence, planted an orchard of 300 trees, and has sixty-five acres of his land under cultivation, his corn yield being fifty bushels per acre. In November, 1882, Mr. Weir rented the Commercial Hotel in town (built by a Me. Lindsay, of Utica, N. Y.), and re-named it the Weir House, which he still conducts, his farm being managed by his hired help. In April, 1853, he married, in Lee County, Iowa, Miss Phoebe Courtright, of Franklin County, Ohio, who was borne him six children, four of whom are living-Clara (who is now the wife of Dr. Hunt, of Columbus, Kan.),, Ida (now at home and unmarried), Ella (now Mrs. W. S. Whittenhall, of Severy), and Jennie E. (at home and unmarried). During the war, Mr. Weir was in the United States Secret Service Department. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and A., F. & A. M., and, although taking a warm interest in the welfare of Kansas, has ever eschewed politics.

ISAAC WYANT, farmer, Section 4, P. O. Severy, was born in 1842, in Hamilton County, Ind., and was engaged in farming until April, 1861, when he enlisted in Company D, Twelfth Indiana Infantry, at Noblesville, and participated in all the active work in which the company was engaged until mustered out at Washington, D. C., May, 1862. Upon his return to Indiana held the rank of Second Lieutenant in the One Hundred and Eleventh Regiment Indiana Militia, and at once entered upon the work of recruiting vigorously until the spring of 1864, when he again enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Indiana Infantry, and at the expiration of two months was sent home on furlough, when he continued recruiting for the army until the spring of 1865, when he enlisted for the third time, this time in Company E, One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment Indiana Infantry, and was mustered out with the regiment at Dover, Del., in August, 1865, with the rank of First Sergeant. Returning to his native State he remained there until 1870, when he came to Kansas, passing eighteen months in Jefferson and Woodson Counties, and late in 1871 locating upon the southwest quarter of Section 4, Town 28, Range 11 east, where he still resides. 120 acres of his farm are under cultivation, yielding an average return for past ten years of fifty bushels of corn per acre, and six to seven tons of German millet. Mr. Wyant is one of the few men in this portion of the State who has given his attention to fruit raising, and has at present upwards of 2,000 peach, 400 apple, 350 cherry and plum trees, 160 pear, all thriving, and yielding large returns for the slight care bestowed. In addition to his fruit trees he has an acre of blackberry and raspberry bushes, another acre is devoted to grapes, and one-quarter acre to gooseberries. He also has 4,000 black walnut trees, and 1,500 cottonwood. August 28, 1866, Mr. Wyant married Miss Margaret Wertz, a native of Indiana, who borne him five children, viz.: Ora, born March 22, 1868; Alva, born September 5, 1869, and who died September 24, 1870; Amanda born March 10, 1873; Mattie, born April 22, 1875; Charles, born April 18, 1879; and Maggie, born May 26, 1881. Mr. Wyant is a charter member of Brownlow Post, No. 79, Grand Army of the Republic, and was its first Officer of the Day.

[TOC] [part 13] [part 11] [Cutler's History]