KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


LABETTE COUNTY, Part 6

[TOC] [part 7] [part 5] [Cutler's History]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (CARY - ERWIN).

A. J. CARY, of the firm of Cary & Graves, dealers in general merchandise, was born in Paris, Edgar Co., Ill., March 3, 1835. When he was eighteen years of age he went to Cincinnati and took a course in a commercial college, afterwards going into the wholesale hardware store of Peter Neff & Sons, remaining with them one year, when he returned to his native place and remained two years. At the end of that time he again went to Cincinnati, and was with J. E. Winn & Co. two years; made Cincinnati his headquarters for about six years, being employed most of the time as traveling salesman, going with Winn & Co. again. When he discontinued traveling as commercial salesman, he returned to Paris, Ill., and was engaged in the hardware business with his brother for a year; afterwards employed as traveling salesman for an Indianapolis house three years, and for two years he was in the mercantile business at Grandview, Edgar Co., Ill. In August, 1870, he located at Oswego, Labette Co., Kan., coming from Indianapolis to this State; employed as a clerk at Oswego, until December, 1870. In January, 1871, he brought a stock of goods to Parsons, and he has been engaged in merchandising here ever since; since 1877 in business for himself. He has served two terms as a member of the Common Council. He is a member of A., F. & A. M., Blue Lodge and Chapter, and A. O. U. W. Mr. Cary was married near Grandview, Edgar Co., Ill., in May, 1861, to Mary M. Tate, a native of that county. They have three children - Thomas Walter, Robert Elmer, and Annie.

D. S. CASSELL, manager of S. A. Brown & Co.'s Parsons lumber yard, was born at Jacksonville, Ill., December 1, 1838; lived there until 1867, when he removed to Clinton, Iowa, where he had charge of the extensive sash, door and blind factory of Curtiss Bros. & Co., remaining with that firm until he came to Burlington, Kan., April 1, 1879. In August of that year he put in a lumber yard for the Chicago Lumber Company at Madison, Kan., later establishing a yard for the same company at Howard, Kan., conducting that yard for a period of sixteen months, then at Emporia, afterwards becoming connected with S. A. Brown & Co., coming to Parsons to take charge of their business in 1882. He was married at Jacksonville, Ill., in May, 1859, to Mary L. Sharp, who died five years later, leaving one child, Mary E. Present wife was Jennie Malette, a native of Jacksonville. They were married in the summer of 1865. She had one daughter by a former marriage, Lizzie K., now Mrs. Andrew Sheldon, of Chicago. By present marriage Mr. C. has two children, Annie E. and Willie T. Mr. Cassell is a member of the Presbyterian Church, A. O. U. W., and Kansas Benevolent Association.

REV. HERBERT W. CHAFFEE, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Willimantic, Conn., in 1844. His earlier ancestors came from England in the early part of the seventeenth century. His mother's name was Hannah S. Snell. She is still living in Connecticut. He has two brothers and two sisters also living in Connecticut. He passed through the common schools of his native town and completed his education at Wilbraham, Mass. In the winter of 1861 and of 1862 he taught school, and in 1863 he graduated at Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Soon after that he went to New York City and was bookkeeper for several years in large wholesale houses. In 1870 he removed to Franklin County, Kan., not far from Ottawa. He was engaged in teaching and farming until the spring of 1873, when he entered the ministry, joining the South Kansas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was appointed to Florence and Cedar Point in 1873; to Neosho Falls in 1874 and 1875; Americus, in 1876, 1877 and 1878; Burlington, in 1879; 1880 and 1881, and Parsons in 1882 and 1883. He was married in the fall of 1872 to Miss Rasha A. Smith, of Princeton, Kan. Her parents were from Richland County, Ohio. Her father is a lineal descendent from James Smith, who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They have two children - Arthur G., nine years and Nellie E., seven years of age. He has been a member of the Masonic Fraternity, Sylvan Grove Lodge No. 275, New York City, since 1867. Has been master in the same, also a member of the Chapter in the same city. Rev. Mr. C. has secretary of the South Kansas Conference of the Methodist Church for the past four years.

M. HERMANN, in the employ of W. M. Blau, merchant tailor, was born in Austria, July 25, 1852. Came to America, June 10, 1870, locating first at Patterson, N. J., where he remained one year, removing then to Chicago. He has spent considerable time in the Southern States. He was worked at the tailor's trade for seventeen years.

SAMUEL C. CHAPMAN, carpenter, contractor and builder, is a native of Madisonville, Monroe Co., Tenn., being a son of Rev. Wilson Chapman, a Baptist clergyman who was compelled to remove from Tennessee in 1850 on account of his outspoken anti-slavery sentiments. Samuel C. was born May 10, 1839. Went with his parents to Pike County, Ill., in 1850, where his father died in October, 1868. He came to Kansas in 1856 and spent about four years in this State, participating in the early struggles to make Kansas a free State, returning to Illinois in 1860. In September 1862, he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was immediately commissioned Second Lieutenant of his company, serving in that position until he was discharged on account of disability. February 25, 1865, returned to Pike County, Ill., where he resided until 1869, when he located at Montana, Labette Co., Kan. In the spring of 1870 he assisted in starting Labette City, and resided there until the fall of 1871, when he came to Parsons, having been here prior to the time that the town was located. He had the reputation of being one of the finest workmen in the State. He has done the carpenter work on several of the prominent brick business blocks of this city, among which are Wunderlich's, Rose's, J. Moore's and the Osage Coal Mining Company's office building besides many of the frame buildings which have been erected. He has also been quite extensively engaged in building in the Indian Territory, doing the work on the government buildings at Muskogee, and also for the Indians, besides erecting buildings for the Osage Coal and Mining Company at McAllister in the Indian Territory. He was City Marshal of Parsons in 1874, and served three years as a member of the Republican Central Committee of Labette County, frequently being an active member of the various Republican Conventions. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. and K. of H. Mr. Chapman was married at Naples, Scott Co., Ill., September 18, 1860, to Almira J. Carrel, a native of Ohio. They have three children - Ida, Lulu, and Alice.

J. S. CLARK, manager of the firm of G. Y. Smith & Co., corner of Forest Avenue and Central, was born near Dayton, Ohio, in 1857. He was educated in the public and high schools of that city, where he lived until 1875, at which time he completed a thorough business and commercial course. His father was born in Ohio - his grandfather in Pennsylvania. He has three sisters living - Lizzie, married to Rev. D. H. Bauslin, of Bucyrus, Ohio; Mrs. Andrews, of Kansas City, Mo., and Manie, living with her parents. Mr. Clark was married to Ida V. Bellmere, of Kansas City, Mo., in 1881. Mr. Clark came to Parsons in 1875 as manager of G. Y. Smith & Co. He continued in business nearly four years until they closed out in October, 1880. He established the business again in the fall of 1882. Mr. C. is a young man of first-class business ability.

L. N. CORNELIUS, of the firm of Cornelius & Porter, real estate, collecting, loan and insurance agents, was born near Washington, Wayne Co., Ind., October 7, 1842. When he was about two and half years of age, his parents removed to Jefferson Township, Wayne County, and lived there until he was nine years of age, then they located in Hamilton County, Ind., where he resided until 1870, when he went to Hagarstown, Indiana, and engaged in hotel and livery business, which he conducted for five years, afterwards farming in Henry County, Ind., for two years, then he came to Monroe City, Monroe Co., Mo. remaining there about six months prior to locating at Parsons, August 5, 1879. Since that time he has been engaged in real estate business here. He is a member of A. F. & A. M. and A. O. U. W. He was married in Hamilton County, Ind., February 26, 1868, to Nancy M. Cooper, a native of Ohio. They have three children - Lulu May, Bertha and John Carl.

THOMAS C. CORY, lawyer, was born in Cranberry Township, Crawford Co., Ohio, July 5, 1838. That was his home until he enlisted in 1861, in Company I, Fifteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded seven times; shot through the left shoulder at a charge on Peach Tree Creek, July 20, 1864, and was discharged February 14, 1865. In 1866, he graduated from the Cincinnati Law School, subsequently spending about eight months in Missouri, prior to locating near Canville Trading Post in Neosho County, Kan., in March, 1867. At the first term of court held in that county in the spring of 1867, he was appointed County Attorney, and was elected to the same office in the fall of that year but did not qualify. In 1868, he was again elected and then moved to Osage Mission where he afterward resided. In March, 1871, came to Parsons, purchased one of the first lots which was sold here, and erected there on one of the first residences which was erected in Parsons, being located on Morgan Avenue. In April the same year removed his family to this place. Since coming here he has given his attention exclusively to the practice of law, except during a period of six months when he was associated with V. J. Knapp in the proprietorship and publication of the Western Enterprise. Mr. Cory was married in Canville Township, Neosho Co., Kan., August 9, 1868, to Miss P. L. Comstock. They have four children - Maud, Leroy A., Clarence C. and Paul M.

E. M. CURTIS, dealer in boots and shoes, was born at Columbus, Warren Co, Pa., August 16, 1848, lived there until eight years of age and then at Elkador, Clayton Co., Iowa, for about twelve years. For about eighteen years he has given his attention to the boot and shoe trade, for several years being employed as a traveling salesman for Milwaukee and Chicago wholesale houses. He came to Parsons in November, 1880, establishing a wholesale and retail boot and shoe store here, continuing that until December, 1881, and since then the firm has been E. M. Curtis & Co., retail dealers. They carry one of the most extensive and elegant stocks to be found in Southern Kansas, never calculating to have less than $10,000 in stock. Mr. Curtis was married January 6, 1876, at Racine, Wis., to Emma M. Maxfield. They have three children - Alice, Louise and Willie. Mr. C. is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and K. of P.

[Picture of Willard Davis] *HON. WILLARD DAVIS is a native of Kentucky, having been born in Madison County, of that State, on the 26th day of January, 1837. His father, James Davis was a Kentucky farmer of Welsh descent. His mother was of German parentage. Her father, George Teater, who was of German birth, immigrated to Kentucky in early youth, from the state of New York, and was also, by occupation, a farmer. James Davis died when the subject of this sketch was only two weeks old, leaving a large family - Willard being the youngest of eight children - to the care of a widowed mother whose resources were limited. The individual history of the members of the families so early in youth bereft of their chief natural supporter and protector, never was, never can be written. The trials, sufferings, hopes, labors, ambitions, disappointments, which enter into the early life and experience of every boy of true spirit and courage can never be portrayed by the pencil of the artist or the pen of biographer. In this respect, young Willard Davis, has like all others, an unwritten history. Orphaned in early infancy, which orphanage, two years afterwards, was relieved or modified by his introduction to a step-father, it will require by a limited exercise of the imagination to here supply the "missing link" of life. Knowing naught we would not speak unjustly - it is sufficient in this respect, to say that, in the feeble age of youth we find Willard Davis in the burning sun of a Kentucky landscape, hoe in hand, laboring for his bread, and toiling for his raiment. And such had been his success in the youthful struggles to overcome the adverse tide of fortune, and to prepare himself for the realization of his higher ambitions that at the early age of sixteen he had become a teacher in the schools of his native district. From thence, alternate teacher and student, he plied his mind to his books until he was prepared to enter upon a regular collegiate course, when he entered the Missouri University, where he completed his collegiate education in a three years course. Returning to Kentucky, having selected the profession of law as his "way of life," he resumed his occupation as a teacher, applying assiduously to the study of the law, attended and graduated at the Lexington Law school, and was admitted to practice in the courts of Kentucky. Immediately after his admission to the bar, he was nominated by the "opposition" for the office of County Attorney. Parties in the county were about equally divided. The Democratic candidate was a man of greater age, and greater experience, strongly backed by wealthy connections. The canvass was vigorous and animated, but Mr. Davis' victory was complete - being elected over his Democratic opponent by a majority of one hundred and ninety-five votes. It was while yet engaged in the discharge of the duties of this his first official position, in the spring of 1861, when the country was shocked by the bombardment and fall of Fort Sumter. Not withstanding Willard Davis was a native of Kentucky. When the integrity of his country was assailed, and her flag dishonored, his intuitive love of liberty his convictions of right, his ardent patriotism, at once pronounced the judgment of Willard Davis conscience - The Union, now and forever, one and inseparable." Without hesitation, with the Revolutionary fathers, he calmly and fearlessly placed upon the "altar of his country," his life, his fortune, and his scared honor. By his voice and acts he opposed the secession of Kentucky from the Union. With a Lieutenant's commission he entered the service of the country, in the Thirty-first Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. In the battle of Richmond, the Union forces were defeated, and a large number taken prisoners, by the combined forces of Generals Kirby Smith and John Morgan. Lieut. Davis, with a few others, made his escape through the rebel lines to Louisville, Ky., one hundred and fifty miles distant where he immediately joined the command of Gen. Jefferson C. Davis and took an active part in preparing for the defense of that city against Gen. Bragg, who, with a large force, was at that time, threatening Louisville from the South. After the battle of Perryville, Lieut. Davis was compelled to retire from the army, because of failing health. A short time after his retirement from the military, he found employment in the civil departments of the Government. On the 14th day of March, 1863, President Lincoln commisioned[sic] Mr. Davis Collector of Internal Revenue for the Second Collection District of the State of Kentucky. This District embraced more than half the State, and adjacent to the borders of Virginia and Tennessee. The duties of this office were discharged by Mr. Davis with zeal and success, under circumstances of great peril, and personal danger, large portions of the District being constantly over-run by guerrilla bands, and divisions of the Confederate army. On one occasion, being surrounded by the forces of the notorious guerilla, Champ Ferguson, he was compelled, in order to escape capture, to swim the Cumberland river. Subsequently he was successively commissioned Collector of the Fifth and Seventh Collection Districts of the State of Kentucky. It was whilst in the successful and satisfactory discharge of the duties of the Seventh (Ashland) District, Mr. Davis received from the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. McCulloch, his circular letter, in substance, exacting a pledge from Mr. Davis to support the "policy" of the President, Andrew Johnson. This Mr. Davis firmly but courteously declined, and consequently, on the first day of September, 1866, received his letter of dismissal from the public service. Upon this abrupt termination of his official labors, Mr. Davis resumed the practice of his chosen profession, and was immediately employed at a liberal salary, by the directors of the Cincinnati & Chattanooga Railway Company as their attorney in Kentucky. It is needless to say that, mingled with his professional labors, Mr. Davis embraced all collateral opportunities to impress on the Kentucky Bourbons his Stalwart Republican principles. In the summer of 1867, he was called upon by a committee of colored soldiers to deliver their Fourth of July oration. He at once accepted the invitation, against the protestations and entreaties of many personal friends in both parties, who were apprehensive of his personal safety if he should attempt to carry out the program of the colored soldiery. He chose for his theme, "Colored Suffrage." At that time no white man in the State of Kentucky had had the temerity to promulgate, in a public speech, a declaration in favor of this great right. But, without this occasion and its eloquent utterances, Mr. Davis' life and character could never have been understood by the world, and never would have been appreciated by the thousands of the good and the true of this land who have read, and will read the words of heroic eloquence uttered in his Lexington speech, on the 4th of July, 1867. It was the conception of a noble mind - the utterance of a great and good heart. J. B. McCullough, now editor of the Globe Democrat, reported the speech in full for the Cincinnati Commercial, an original copy of which paper, containing the speech at length, the writer now has before him. In a speech of the gifted and eloquent Summer, delivered in the Senate of the United States on the 13th of July, 1867, just one week after the delivery of Mr. Davis' speech in the city of Lexington, the learned Senator paid this merited and beautiful compliment to Mr. Willard Davis. Senator Summer said: "Mr. President: - I say nothing about Massachusetts. Her history and her character will speak for her. I shall say something, however, of Kentucky. I have in my hands a newspaper, which I have received this morning, which contains the accounts of the celebration of the Fourth of July at Lexington. Is that not a town in Kentucky? I read therefore, for what I say, only Kentucky authority.* * * * Then comes another able speaker, Willard Davis, who makes an elaborate able, compact, forcible address, and any Senator on this floor might court the ability, to make such an address as is made by Mr. Willard Davis, of Kentucky."** And the great Senator proceeded to weave that speech - paragraph after paragraph, sentence after sentence, period after period - into his own great argument. Another correspondent, writing upon this subject, says: "I could have naught but admiration for a native of Kentucky, who, making Kansas the home of his adoption, among the privileged classes of that common wealth, renowned for its statesman, could 'beard the lion in his den,' and, periling the safety of his hearthstone, proclaim the inalienable rights of a former enslaved race; and he feels it due to the age in which we live, to rescue from a possible oblivion such thrilling utterances from living public men, wherever found and whoever they may be." Whilst in Kentucky, Mr. Davis was the same ardent, fearless Republican that he has been in the State of Kansas. He was a member of the State Republican Committee, and Chairman of the Republican Committee of the Seventh Congressional District of the State of Kentucky, which positions he resigned when he came to Kansas in the fall of 1870. Mr. Davis settled, when he first came to Kansas, at Neosho Falls but had been there but a few months when he was employed as attorney for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company, to succeed Ruggles & Plumb of Emporia - those eminent attorneys of Southern Kansas. Mr. Davis, in the winter of 1870-71, removed to the embryo city of Parsons, subsequently known as Milt. Reynolds' "Infant Wonder" and became the first Mayor of that "aspiring metropolis." In 1873 be resigned the position of attorney for the railroad company, and entered upon the general practice of the law with flattering success. In the fall of 1874 he was elected to office of County Attorney-General in 1876. As Attorney-General, Mr. Davis is now serving the last year of his second term. It would be circumscribing the judgment of the intelligent citizens of Kansas, merely to say that his administration of the legal department of the government had been conducted with ability. No it would be drawing very mildly upon the archives of that department to say that the administration of Mr. Davis was characterized by marked ability and distinguished integrity. His options have been eagerly sought and highly esteemed by the legal profession, and by the people of the State. The records of that office show an immense amount of labor preformed. His management of important State cases has been pre-eminent, saving to the State many thousands of dollars. In this as in all other official positions to which he has been called, he has summoned to his aid a ripe judgment sustained by an intuitive sagacity and a profound knowledge of human nature, drawn from the deep wells of ancient and modern literature and learning. Fully determined and convinced of the right, his will is of the iron mould, and his tenacity of purpose of the "Lutheran order." In short, Mr. Davis, in his nature and being, is aggressive and pronounced. Forward and upward - higher and still higher - are all his aims, purposes and ambitions; whilst all are seasoned with the spirit of childlike candor, and the gentle tenderness of pure benevolence. Mr. Davis is of tall and commanding appearance. And of graceful and lofty bearing; never forgetting that he was born in Kentucky. At this period of his life he is of slender figure, his whole personnel witnessing to the observer that the intellectual has been, and now is, over-working the physical man. The blue gray eye, the delicate texture of the skin, the thin coat of brown hair, the large brain, represented by a large prominent forehead, with the fine chiseled features, upon which the "finger of time" has written out the life-services and character of Willard Davis in full - all declare him a true man. Religiously, Mr. Davis is a high toned Christian, of broad and liberal views, having like the late President, General Garfield, been an active and consistent member of the "Disciples" Church since early his youth. Socially, Mr. Davis is an exemplary gentlemen. Believing, with Lord Chesterfield, that Paul is the most perfect gentlemen that the world has ever produced, he, too, would cultivate and imitate the Christian graces. Mr. Davis, in selection of his life companion, has there, also, evinced the purity of character and refinement of taste which has uniformly characterized all of his public or private conduct. The mother of Mr. Davis' three children was formerly Miss Addie Colman, one of Kentucky's purest and fairest daughters. A woman of talent, culture and attainments, the pride of her husband, and an accomplished conversationalist, she at once becomes the soul and the life of the social circle in which she moves. Mrs. Davis is ever ready, with all the strategy and zeal of her woman's nature, and with strong purpose and loving heart, to encourage, strengthen and support her husband in all the arduous times in life. [Since Mr. Davis retired from the office of Attorney General in January, 1881, he has been engaged in the practice of law, and mining extensively in Colorado. - Editor]

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* Written by C. J. Ewing, of the Thayer Headlight, for the Leavenworth Daily Times 1880.
** See Congressional Globe, 1st session, Fortieth Congress, page 631.

JOHN DEAN of the firm of Dean & Bartlett, dealers in general merchandise, was born in Clermont, Sullivan Co., N. H., March 14, 1836. Lived there until April, 1861, when he enlisted in Company H., Second N. H. Volunteers, he being the second man in his town to enlist in the State. He served about twenty-two months in that regiment. Was then detailed for duty at Gen. Hooker's headquarters, having charge of the provost guards for about two months. He was then transferred to Gen. Hientzelman's headquarters, and assigned to duty as superintendent of transportation, remaining in that position with Gen. Auger. Afterward was assigned to duty at Washington, D. C. Mr. Dean remain in Government service until 1867, the last two years having charge of the Government farms in Virginia. He then returned to New Hampshire, and for two years was in the hotel business at Cornish leaving the hotel to return to Washington, where he received the appointment of farm and house stewart for the Government Hospital for the Insane, remaining in that position four years. He then went to Chicago, and for four years was superintendent of the People's Gas Company, and in June, 1878, he came to Parsons, becoming proprietor of the Belment House, July 1, 1878, having purchased the interests of the former proprietors, Charles Rasbach and J. R. Brown, in June. Two years later he sold out and engaged in the mercantile business with his present partner, W. L. Bartlett. Mr. Dean is a member ofthe A. F. & A. M., Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, and A. O. U. W. He was married, in Cornish, N. H., October 4, 1864, to Hannah Chase Harlow, a native of that place.

D. T. DePRY of the DePry & Nellis Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of sash, doors, blinds, mouldings, balusters, etc. Factory 50x120 feet, two-story brick building. The business was established by this firm in August, 1882. Prior to that time Mr. DePry had been engaged in contracting and building, being an architect by profession. He located in Parsons in 1880. He is a native of Pickaway, Miami Co., O., born August 29, 1848. He moved to Alton, Ill., when he was ten years of age, remaining there until he came to Parsons. He served the last year of the War of the Rebellion in Company A, One Hundred and Forty-Fourth Illinois Volunteer infantry. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and the I. O. O. F. He was married at Alton, Ill., June 14, 1869, to Virginia Belle Lowe, a native of that city. They have one child, Harry U., born June 11, 1872.

FRANK DURGAN, foreman of car department, Crawford avenue, was born, in 1838, in Boston, Mass. His father's name was Asahel Durgan, who died in 1872. His grandfather, Jeremiah Durgan, emigrated from the North of Ireland and settled on the Penobscot River, in Maine. He received a good education at the Lyman School in Boston. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a carpenter, and served his time, five years. At the age of twenty he came to Hannibal, Mo., where he engaged in the car department of the Hannibal & St. Joseph R. R. In 1880 he removed to Parsons and engaged in the shops of the Missouri Pacific R. R. as foremen for the car department. In 1863 he was married to Miss Lucy S. Stanford. of Hannibal, Mo. She was born in Cincinnati, Oh., in 1841. Her parents died when she was quite young. Her ancestors were from England. They have three children - Alice, born in Hannibal, 1867, educated at Hannibal; Edward F., August 22, 1872; Walter A., July 19, 1876. Mr. Durgan is a member of St. John's Lodge, Hannibal, Mo.

E. H. EDWARDS, of the firm of J. F. Steele & Co., dealers in agricultural implements, proprietor of the Edwards' Opera House, and Vice President of the Parsons & Western Railway Co., was born at Ellisburg, Jefferson Co., N. Y.; removed to Illinois in 1845, living at Earlville, LaSalle County, until he removed to Parsons, Kansas, March 7, 1875. He engaged in the hardware trade here and continued to conduct that business until 1880, since then carrying on an extensive agricultural implement business. He has been one of the directors of the Parsons' Commercial Bank since its organization under that name. In 1880 he began the construction of the Edwards' Opera House, which he opened February 25, 1881. It is one the finest amusement halls in Southern Kansas, having a seating capacity of 800. Mr. Edwards is a member of the A., F. & A. M. Blue Lodge Chapter and Commandery. He was married at Grand de Tour, Ogle Co., Ill., in 1859, to Verona M. Palmer, who was born near St. Albans, Vermont; they have two children - Gracia and Myra.

A. H. ELLIS, furniture dealer, was born in Wilstown, in the northwest part of the State of Alabama, November 12, 1829, being the son of Sylvester Ellis who was at that time a missionary among the Cherokee Indians of Alabama. At the age of three years, A. H. Ellis was removed to Ohio where he lived until he was twelve years of age, afterwards in Indiana until he was twenty-four years old, removed then to Vinton, Iowa, where he was engaged in the lumber business until he came to Parsons, January 25, 1877. Since July 19, of the same year, he has been engaged in his present business; from the fall of 1879 until 1881 his brother, Dr. M. D. Ellis, was associated with him in business; the present partner, George Thornton, has been with him in business since January, 1883. Mr. E. is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He was married at Vinton, Iowa, October 15, 1856, to Miss P. Conant, a native of Vermont.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ERWIN, architect, was born in Montgomery County, Pa., nine miles north of the city of Philadelphia, January 1, 1846; he learned the trade of carpenter and builder, and afterward took up the study of architecture, being a student at the Franklin Institute. In May, 1878, he removed from Philadelphia to Parsons, Kan., where he has since resided, now giving his entire attention to architectural work and superintending the construction of buildings for which he makes the drawings. He made the drawings for the library building of this city. He has also prepared designs for several residences and business blocks to be erected here.

[TOC] [part 7] [part 5] [Cutler's History]