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


[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]


EDWARD PALMER, one of the proprietors of the Parsons Coal Co., was born at Andover, Mass., March 21, 1848. Removed from there to Lawrence, Kansas, in March, 1855. His father, Daniel W. Palmer, had visited Lawrence in 1854, but did not remove his family to that place until March, 1855. He resided there until August 1863, when he became one of the victims of Quantrell's raid, being burned alive by some of the members of that body of marauders. Soon after the occurrence, Edward, although yet a boy, enlisted in Company L., Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, and served until September, 1865. After leaving the army he remained for two years in Lawrence, serving an apprenticeship at the harnessmaker's trade, afterward in various arts of the country until he located at Parsons, Kansas, November 15, 1871. He made the first harness which was manufactured here but during the same month engaged in the express business, delivering goods for the Adams Express Company, and doing a general city freight work, handling and delivering ice, etc., until 1879. He then went to Colorado, where he spent one summer. Returning to Parsons, he became interested in the coal business, and has since countinued in that. He is a member of the G. A. R., Antietam Post No. 64. He was married at Parsons, Kansas, to Miss Frances J. Campbell, January 21, 1872, who departed this life May 10, 1883. She was a native of Indiana, although she came to Kansas with her parents in 1865. She had two children by prior marriages - James Smith and Etta May Campbell.

HENRY F. PARKS, of the firm of Neighbour & Parks, proprietors of meat market, was born near Oswego, N. Y., April 30, 1841. When he was three years of age his parents moved with their family to East Troy, Walworth Co., Wisconsin. He lived there until the fall of 1858, when he went to St. Joseph, Berrrien Co. Mich., remaining there about eighteen months. He enlisted at South Bend, Ind., August 12, 1861, in Company F. Twenty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, serving until December 19, 1865. The only time he was away from his regiment was during a veterans' furlough of thirty days. He was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga during the fight on September 20, 1863, but was not disabled; never spent a day in hospital. After leaving the army he returned to Walworth County, Wis.; spent about a month there, then went to Muskegon, Mich., where he was engaged in farming and lumbering until he came to Parsons, Kansas, January 19, 1882. He was married in Muskegon County, Michigan, October 20, 1870, to Ella A. Whitman. They have three children - Mabel A., Cora and Edith.

HENRY L. PARTRIDGE, Justice of the Peace, was born at Pittsfield, Mass., October 28, 1833, lived there until 1842, when his parents removed with their family to Battle Creek, Mich. In January, 1863, he enlisted and was assigned to duty as Deputy Provost Marshal under Capt. R. J. Berry, at Camp Blair, Jackson, Mich. Served there until April 1865. Afterward at Nashville, Tenn., until September 15, 1865, when he was mustered out of the service. He then returned to Michigan and remained there until August, 1869, when he came to Kansas. In September of that year he secured a claim on Section 13, now a part of Parsons' town site, situated in Walton Township. In November, 1869, he removed his family to his new home, there being an unfinished log house on the premises. He soon made it habitable and in a few days moved his family into it. Being a carpenter, he worked at his trade more or less until 1872. In 1870, he was appointed Justice of the Peace by Gov. Harvey, receiving the appointment as soon as he had been here a year, so as to be eligible to the office. In 1871, he was elected to the same position and re-elected in 1872, serving until 1874. He was elected the first Police Judge after Parsons was organized as a city of the third class. He also served as a member of the School Board of Walton Township before the organization of the city. He has been a member of the Parsons Board of Education and was Vice President of the Board. Served one term as Alderman and eight years as Notary Public. In 1874 and 1875 he was Constable, and in 1881 and 1882 he was Deputy Sheriff; was offered a re-appointment to that position but declined it. In 1876, he spent six months in Colorado, and was in the Big Horn river country and Yellow Stone Park region in 1877. He was connected with the construction of the Memphis, Kansas and Colorado R. R., afterward running a train on that road, being identified with the interests of that company about eighteen months. Then for two months, he was employed by the Adams Express Company to guard their express cars, running through the Indian Territory, leaving their employ after the Jim Barker gang of train robbers and desperadoes were was [sic] broken up. Then he went with the engineer corps of the St. Louis and San Francisco R. R. and remained until the road was completed to Wichita. He then took a contract for grading a part of the M. K. & T. R. R. extension in Texas, terminating his connection with that work in about eight months; returned to Parsons and in 1882 was again elected Justice of the Peace. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. and is commander of Antietam Post No. 64, G. A. R. He was married at Bellevue, Eaton Co., Mich., June 26, 1868, to Elisa A. Packer, a native of Clyde, Wayne Co., N. Y. They have three children living, Hattie S., Mary E. and James H. They lost their first child, Charles H., who was born in 1861 and died in 1865.

PROF. A. C. PECK, retired teacher, West Forest Avenue, northeast corner Twenty-Second St. was born in Bristol, Conn., in 1828. His father, Samuel Peck, was born in 1803, and died in 1877, in Maryland. In 1634, Paul Peck came from England and settled in Hartford, Conn., from whom is descended the subject of this sketch Mr. Peck's mother's maiden name was Harriet Bartholomew, of Bristol, Conn. She died in Kingston, N. Y. in 1883. Her ancestors were also of English origin. Mr. Peck came with his parents at an early age to Cazenovia, N. Y. where he received his early training. At the age of seventeen he removed to Manilus, N. Y., where he lived until 1851, when we find him at the Clinton Liberal Institute. Soon after leaving school he was in partnership with his father in the tannery business. In 1853 was book-keeper for Miner's Rural American. He afterwards was in the post office and in paper making, at Manilus, N. Y., and also in the drug and grocery business in the same town. From 1857 to 1860, was a farmer. He and his father then purchased a plantation at Danielsville, near where was afterwards fought the Battle of the Wilderness. At the breaking out of the war, Mr. Peck left Virginia and went to Buffalo, and from thence to West Haven, Conn., where he taught his first school, near New Haven. In leaving the South he was captured as a spy but succeeded in getting away. He and his father lost all their property in Virginia. In the fall of 1862 he canvassed for Miner's Rural American and succeeded in getting 600 subscribers in less than three months. In 1863 he spent the summer near Buffalo, N. Y. He taught school the following winter. The next year he visited the gold fields of Montana, returning in the fall and teaching near Homestead, Iowa, in 1864-65. December 2, 1865, he was married to Margaret E. Decker, of Mifflintown, Pa., by whom he had six children - Arthur G. born in Iowa, November 22, 1866, educated as a telegrapher; Charles A., born in Iowa, July 19, 1868; Hattie, born in Parsons November 16, 1873; Nora A., born November 17, 1877. Two children, Herbert and Edith E. died in infancy. In 1869, Mr. Peck visited Florida, remaining during the winter and following spring. He then returned to Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in teaching and building schoolhouses until 1873, when he emigrated to Parsons, Kansas, where he has been connected with the city schools, as teacher more or less for eight years. He has held the office of secretary of the Masonic Fraternity for eight years in Parson. Is also tyler of the chapter which he has held continuously since his admission. He was the first financier of Parsons Lodge No. 1, A. O. U. W. the first in the State. He has also been keeper of the records and seal and is at present master exchequer of Pioneer Lodge No. 10, K. P. Mr. Peck is also noble grand of the I. O. O. F. He and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Parsons.

D. W. C. PERRY, general road master of the Kansas and Texas Division of the Missouri & Pacific Railroad, embracing about 600 miles of track. Mr. Perry is a native of Canton, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., where he resided until 1865. Afterward was a resident of Brooklyn and New York City, and various other places. He came to Parsons in August, 1876, having been for five years a member of the Engineer Corps of Meigs, the great railroad builder, in South America. Mr. Perry enlisted in Company A, Sixtieth New York Volunteer Infantry, in September, 1861, was appointed Commissary and Orderly Sergeant, and received brevet commissions as First Lieutenant and Quartermaster. He was mustered out in August, 1865. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. and K. T. He was married at McGregor, Iowa, in July, 1866, to Lottie Slorah, a native of St. Lawrence County, N. Y. They have one child, George, and one adopted daughter, Tenie.

JOSEPH S. PFEIFFER, watchmaker and jeweler, was born at Richmond, Va., October 16, 1843. When he was a child his parents removed with their family to St. Louis, and he lived there until the fall of 1863, when he removed to the City of New York, remaining there seventeen months, afterwards in Venango and Crawford counties, Penn., until the spring of 1867. He then went to Nebraska, spending a short time at Omaha, and in July, 1867, he located at Cheyenne, remaining there until the following spring, when he went to Laramie, and continued to reside there until 1873, although he spent some time in California and on the Pacific slope. In July, 1873, he left Laramie, and after spending a short time in St. Louis and Illinois, he went to Texas, but was not there long before he returned to Chicago, where he purchased a stock of jewelry, etc., and came to Parsons in November, 1873, where he has since carried on a successful business, having one of the most elegant stocks to be found in Southern Kansas. He is a member of A., F. & A. M. Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery. He was married at Parsons, May 15, 1877 to Irene L. Winters. They have two children - Frank A. and Joseph C.

P. A. PHILIBERT, one of the firm of P. A. & L. D. Philibert, proprietors of livery and feed stable, came to Parsons April 13, 1882. Engaged in livery business July 15, 1882. Mr. P. was born in the city of St. Louis November 23, 1857, his ancestors having settled there 120 years ago. He is now interested in the large sash, door and blind manufactory of Philibert & Johanning Co. of St. Louis. His brother, L. D., who is associated with him here, came to Parsons in July, 1882. They have one of the most complete livery and boarding stables in Kansas. One building 50x100, another 30x70. They keep in the livery from thirty to thirty-five splendid horses. Their business is rapidly increasing, and it is the purpose of this firm to soon make a further addition to their facilities to accommodate the public.

J. J. PIERSON, bookseller and stationer, was born near Plymouth, Hancock, Ills.,[sic] March 27, 1846, lived there only two years when his parents removed to Richland, Keokuk Co., Iowa, where he lived until he came to Kansas April 25, 1869. First located a claim in Labette Township, remained there but a short time and then went to Emporia, where he remained until September of the same year. In May, 1870 he began selling goods in partnership with W. K. Hayes, southeast of the present town site of Parsons, in a box house which he put up there. In October, 1870, they moved the building to the place where the city is now located. About three years later, they admitted P. Dinsmore to partnership with them, and in 1875 Mr. Pierson purchased the interest of his partners in the business. In the spring of 1871 they closed out their stock of dry goods, and in 1872 they discontinued the grocery trade, putting in a stock of books and stationery, also continued dealing in queensware. But since 1875 Mr. P. has been giving his attention entirely to his present business, having two stores in this city. One in the postoffice which he conducts without a partner, the other being situated one door north of the postoffice, in which J. C. Burgess has had an interest since July, 1881. Mr. P. is a Director of the Parsons Commercial Bank, having been Secretary of the Board since 1876. He served as Treasurer of the School Board from October, 1873, until May, 1875. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. He was married in Parsons, October 6, 1878, to Miss Augusta S. Braunsdorf, a native of Illinois. They have one child, Lloyd J. Pierson.

N. M. PORTRUM, grocer, Johnson's avenue, was born in Hawkins County, East Tennessee, in 1825. His father's name was Henry, and his earlier ancestors came from Germany. His parents were born and lived in Rockingham County, Va., until 1824, when they moved into East Tennessee. Mr. Portrum received the education which the public schools afforded, and he learned the trade of blacksmithing which business he followed for more than thirty-five years. He emigrated to Van Buren County, Iowa, where he lived about five years; from thence to Davis County, and from Davis to Decatur, in the same State. In 1867 he came to Labette County, Kan., about eight miles east of Parsons, where he followed farming and blacksmithing until the fall of 1882, when he commenced the business which he now has. Mr. P. married Miss Catherine Lasley, of Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1851, by whom there are eight children, six daughters and two sons - E., born in 1859, is now in Colorado; Clara, born in 1857, now married to John Phillips, and living in Parsons; Alice, born in 1861, married to John Fastbund, now in Canon City, Col.; Lizzie, born in 1863, married to R. T. Winan, living in Parsons; Fannie, born in 1865; Debbie, 1867; Olive, 1871, and Charley Parsons, 1876. Mr. P. is a member of the United Brethren Church.

[Picture of W. J. Quick] W. J. QUICK is a native of Illinois, born near Belleville, Saint Clair County, September 14, 1844. He was educated in his native county and at the University of Chicago. He is a son of Rigdon and Maria (Newberry) Quick. His father was a native of Washington County, Pa., and was born January 28, 1807. He died on his seventieth birthday. His grandfather was a native of New Jersey. His mother resides in Missouri. She was born at Saint Genevieve, Mo., December 20, 1812. Mr. Quick's ancestors settled in Saint Clair County, Ill., in 1809. Having been reared in the oldest-settled portions of Illinois, Mr. Q. Has become well informed in regard to the early settlement and development of his native State, and very few men of his age have been more thoroughly identified with its history. He was married in Lebanon, Saint Clair County, Ill., November 27, 1879, to Anna C., daughter of L. Plack, of Lebanon, Ill. The issue of this marriage is one child, William J., junior. Mr. Q. located at Parsons, in January, 1880, he having visited this region of the country several times at earlier dates. In April, 1881, he was elected a member of the City Board of Education, and served two years in that position. He is Reporter of Empire Lodge, No. 1911, K. of H. Since locating in Kansas Mr. Quick has been engaged in real estate business and other speculations.

CHARLES A. RASBACK, Proprietor of the Abbott House, was born in Ilion, Herkimer Co., N. Y., November 5, 1837. In 1863 he removed to Illinois, and was employed as a brakeman on the Illinois Central Railroad, for several years; afterward on the Union Pacific Railroad, in Nebraska, until he came to Leavenworth in 1869; he then commenced running a train on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, between Leavenworth and Sedalia. Early in 1870 he went to Junction City, and became connected with the M. K. & T. R. R., running the front construction train on that road until it was completed to the Red River, a distance of 263 miles. December 24, 1872, he ran the first passenger train into Denison, Tex., and continued to run a passenger train on that road until Col. R. S. Stevens retired from the management of the road. He he became one of the proprietors of the Belmont House, and continued to conduct that house for about four years, then sold out to John Dean; afterward engaged in wholesale beer business, representing one of the largest breweries of Saint Louis, remaining in that business until the prohibition law took effect. He then, for a short time, was in the packing business. June 13, 1881, he became proprietor of the Abbott House. Mr. R. served one year as City Treasurer. He was first married at Fort Herkimer, N. Y., to Charity Philips, a native of that place. She died in 1876, leaving three children - Nettie M., now Mrs. John Fanning; Cora and Charles J. Mr. Rashbach's present wife was Annie R. McPherson, a native of Virginia. They were married December 31, 1877. They have one child, Melville. Mr. R. is a member of A., F. & A. M., Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, and K. of P.

HENRY RATLIFFE, proprietor of meat market, Forest Avenue, is a native of Buckinghamshire, England; came to America in April, 1872, locating in Chicago, where he resided seven years, connected with leading meat markets and packing-house while there. He removed from Chicago to Texas, where he lived one year, then spent one season a[sic] Kansas City, and in March, 1881, he located at Parsons, where he has since been engaged in his present business. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. He was married at Kansas City in November, 1880, to Jennie Kelly, a native of Chicago.

REV. SPOTTSWOOD RICE, pastor of the M. E. Church, was born in Madison County, Va. At a very early age he came with parents to Howard County, Mo., where he lived at a slave on a plantation until 1864, when he entered the Sixty-seventh Regiment of United States infantry, Company A. He was most of the time in service as St. Louis. He was mastered out of the service at St. Louis. He was mustered out of the service in May, 1865. He then joined the African Methodist Church of St. Louis. Soon afterward he received license as a local preacher, being ordained deacon in 1870, at Lexington, Mo. In 1871 he had charge of the Savannah Mission. Was ordained an Elder in 1876, when he was pastor of the Washington Circuit, Mo., which relation he held until 1879, when he was appointed to Canton, Mo., continuing there two years. In 1881 he was pastor of St. Peter's Chapel, St. Louis. In 1882 he was transferred to the Kansas Conference, and had charge of the State Line Church, Kansas City, Mo. In October, 1882, he was appointed to the pastorage of the church at Parsons. He was married, in 1852, to Miss Orry Ferguson, of Virginia, by whom he has had seven children, four of whom are living in St. Louis. He is a member of No. 38 Masonic Lodge, Parsons, Kan. Rev. Mr. Rice has been very successful in his ministry. He was also efficient in building churches for his congregation. In 1875, while at Cape Girardeau, Mo., he built a very handsome brick edifice. In 1842 was sold to a man by the name of Lewis, and lived with him until 1864. During this time he had learned to read, and was very influential among the colored people on his master's plantation, and through his influence thirty of them ran away and tried to join the United States army at Laclede, Mo. They were all captured and returned to their masters, and the subject of this sketch was taken to the whipping-post, with a rope around his neck, and threatened with death. But wiser counsels prevailed, and he was set free and employed by his former master, in Glasgow, Mo., in preparing and marketing the immense tobacco crop of the season.

J. J. RICHARDS, contractor and builder, was born near where Huntsville is now located, in Logan County, O., September 13, 1827. Removed from there to Carlyle, Clinton Co., Ill., in 1848. In 1850 he located in St. Louis, where he remained until 1852, when he went to California, remaining there until 1857; then spent one winter at Vancouvers Island; then two years in Frazer's River country, British Columbia. In 1860 he returned to Carlyle, Ill., and September 1, 1861, he entered the army as First Lieutenant of Company D. Thirtieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, a part of what was known as the Illinois Brigade. He assisted in raising his company, and after serving as First Lieutenant about fifteen months, he was promoted to the Captaincy of the company, and served in that capacity until he was mustered out in September, 1864. He then returned to Illinois, and was engaged in farming and dealing in horses, mules, cattle and hogs extensively, until he came to Parsons, Kan., in October, 1871. He has been engaged in building operations since the time he located here. Among the principal buildings put up by him, in this city, may be mentioned the Edwards Opera House, Boggs & Kimball block, the Woodruff store, the building occupied by Rowland & Bigwood, William Meixell's residence, and the Nellie residence, which was recently sold to Mrs. Ward, besides many others. Capt. R. has been Alderman of the Fourth Ward. He has been a member of the A. F. & A. M. since 1849. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He was married, October 14, 1862, to Medora J. McMillan, a native of Clinton County, Ill. They have three children living - Mollie E., William B., and Lida Belle. Their first child died in infancy.

JOHN H. REILLY, foreman of Missouri Pacific round-house, was born at Albany, N. Y., December 1, 1849. He lived in the cities of Albany, New York, Saratoga and Schenectady prior to removal to Illinois, in 1871. He has been engaged in railroading since 1865, having made a start as fireman on the Rensaelaer & Saratoga Railroad in New York. Afterwards, for a period of four years, he was employed in the Schenectady Locomotive Works, then he was employed for one year in the machine shops of the Illinois Central Railroad at Centralia, Ill. Early in 1872 he went to Sedalia, Mo., remaining there three months. He then received the appointment of foreman of the M. K. & T. R. R. shops at Junction City, Kan. After serving in that place one year, he removed to Parsons, where he has since resided, engaged in running on the road between Parsons and Junction City as locomotive engineer. Since September, 1877, he has been foreman of the round-house at Parsons. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Mr. Riley was married at Junction City, Kan., in October, 1878, to Annie Tierney, a native of Memphis, Tenn., but reared in Kansas. They have three children - Christopher, William and Celia.

C. ROCKHOLD was born in Wayne County, Iowa, March 7, 1841. Lived there until 1851, and afterward in Mercer County, Mo., eight or ten years. He graduated from Edinburg College, in Grundy County, Mo., and received his medical education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, graduating from that institution in the spring of 1864. While attending the medical school, there were from 8,000 to 13,000 soldiers in the hospital at Keokuk, and he had extraordinary facilities for acquiring practical knowledge of diseases and their proper treatment, at the same attending lectures. He began practice in his native county in 1864. In 1865 he removed to Saline County, Mo., where he remained until he came to Parsons, Kan. In June, 1872, he first visited this place, locating here in September of that year. He is a member of the Southeastern Kansas District Medical Association, of the Labette County Medical Society, is one of the Board of United States Examining Surgeons, and he has served as Alderman and as a member of the Board of Education. The doctor was married in Mercer County, Mo., January 1, 1865, to Miss L. E. Hordyke, a native of Missouri. They have two children - Henry Clay and John Randolph.

REV. FATHER PH. J. ROOS S. J., was born in Phenish Prussia A. D. 1835. He was educated partly in his native, and partly in this, country at the St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo. In 1852 he came to this country, settling first in Ohio, but afterward removing to St. Louis, there entering the Society of Jesus. After completing his studies, he was engaged for some years in teaching in several colleges of his order. Being ordained priest in 1868, he was employed in teaching and pastoral duties in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago and Milwaukee. In August, 1881, he took charge of the Catholic parish in Parsons. Shortly after his arrival here he purchased grounds and buildings, and established a flourishing parochial school, under the direction of the Sisters of Loretto.

MRS. T. ROSIS, Johnson avenue, was born in Belgium in 1838, and emigrated to America in 1861, settling first near Kankakee, Ill., where she remained two years, when she removed to Leavenworth, Kan., where she lived until 1871, when she came to Parsons. Her father's name was Pole Masby. Her parents died in Leavenworth in 1866. She was married to Emil Rosis in 1866. He was a Swiss by birth, but his parents were from Italy. He died in June, 1876. Mrs. R. has two daughters - Matilda, married to Charles Wirt, yard-master on the Missouri Pacific at Parsons, and Delphine, born December 2, 1868, now living with her mother. Mrs. R. is a member of the Catholic Church.

[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]