KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


LYON COUNTY, Part 15

[TOC] [part 16] [part 14] [Cutler's History]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (PARRINGTON - WRIGHT).

COL. JOHN W. PARRINGTON, farmer, Section 26, Township 17, Range 10, P. O. Americus, was born at Great Falls, N. H., January 25, 1830. When he was two years of age his parents removed to Gorham, Me., where he remained until 1855. He was only six years old when his father died, and since he was eight years old he has been dependent upon himself alone. He was educated in Maine, graduating from Waterville College, now Colby University, class of 1855, with the degree of B. A. The then engaged in teaching in the boys' high school at Portland, Me., where he remained about one year. In the fall of 1856 he removed to Aurora, Ill., and for five years thereafter was principal of the West Aurora High School. During the next two years he was principal of the Geneva School in the same county. In August, 1863, he was appointed and commissioned by President Lincoln Captain of Company A, Fourth Regiment United States Colored Infantry, which regiment was raised in Maryland. He was stationed in Yorktown, Pa., during the winter of 1863 and 1864, and in May, 1864, was assigned to the army operating against Richmond and Petersburg, forming part of the Colored Division of the Army Corps, and later part of the Twenty-fifth Army Corps. He participated in all the engagements in which his regiment took part until June 15, when he was wounded in an engagement before Petersburg. He was disabled from further service until October, 1864, when he was assigned to light duty at Harpers Ferry, Va., and detailed as Adjutant at camp distribution. He also served on court martial duty at that point. He reported to his regiment for duty December, 1864, joining his company on the north side of the James River. His regiment was in the expedition against Fort Fisher, N. C., under Gen. A. H. Terry. Upon their arrival at the Cape Fear River he was detailed with his company for skirmish duty, and was under fire from Saturday until the capture of the fort, Sunday. He took part in the capture of Wilmington, N. C., February 22, and was afterward stationed at northeast station for about two months. His regiment then marched to Raleigh, where he was stationed at the time Gen. Johnston's surrender. From there the regiment was ordered to Goldsboro', N. C., where Capt. Parrington was detailed upon the staff of Gen. Paine. From this point the regiment went to Newberne, N. C., where Capt. Parrington was detailed as Judge Advocate upon court martial duty most of the time until October, 1865, when the regiment was ordered to duty on the fortifications around Washington. Capt. Parrington had command of Fort Sumner, Maryland, from October to December. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in December, 1865, and ordered to the command of Fort Totten, Va., which position he held until May, 1866. He was mustered out of service May 4, 1866. He then returned to Aurora and completed law studies began previous to entering the army. Was admitted to the bar in January, 1867, by the Circuit Court of Kane County, Ill., and began the practice of law at Aurora. In 1868 he was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court and ex officio Recorder of Deeds of Kane County for four years. In 1872 he resumed the practice of his profession, which he continued until 1876. In the spring of 1877 he came to Kansas, locating in Americus Township, two and a half miles north of the village upon 160 acres of trust land which he had located in 1874. He has improved this farm by the erection of a dwelling house, barn and other farm buildings. Has an orchard of 1,150 apple trees, fifty peach trees and other smaller fruits, planted in 1876. He also has a farm of 160 acres, 110 of which are under cultivation, one and a half miles south of the home farm, which he purchased in 1875. Col. Parrington is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, also a member of Aurora Commandery, K. T. He married Miss Louisa M. McClellan, of Bristol, Ill., June 27, 1861, by which marriage he has had four children, of whom John M., and L. Vernon are living.

HON. ROBERT MITCHELL RUGGLES, deceased, was born at Canfield, Mahoning County, Ohio, August 28, 1833. He received an academic education, and in early life entered a printing office, working as a journeyman printer in several cities, North and South, including, Cleveland, Chicago and St. Louis. He was an able writer, and contributed to many leading papers of the country. He early commenced the study of law, attending a course of lectures at Poland, Ohio and at Cleveland. He graduated from the Ohio State and Union Law College, at Cleveland, July 2, 1858, with honors and a diploma, conferring the degree of Bachelor of Laws. On September 16, 1858, he was admitted to the practice of law by the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri, and for a year after practiced in St. Louis. With faith in the great opportunities and possibilities presented to the ambitious and intelligent early settler in Kansas, he came to the Territory in 1859, and in September of that year, he was admitted to practice by the United States District Court for the Territory of Kansas. He resided for a time at Americus, and in addition to his law practice, edited the Americus Sentinel. Soon after the location of the county seat at Emporia, he removed to that town, and at once became prominent in his profession. He was appointed Judge of the Fifth Judicial District in 1862, to fill a vacancy in that office. The duties of this position he discharged with such ability and sound judgment, that at the ensuing election he was elected for a four years term, running as an independent candidate, and defeating the regular Republican nominee. In politics he was a Democrat, but was never a mere partisan, and his election in a strong Republic District, in the most exciting days of partisanship, was a proof of his high reputation as an honest and upright Judge. On leaving the bench Judge Ruggles resumed the active practice of his profession, forming a partnership with Col. P. B. Plumb, now United States Senator. The success of this firm was remarkable, and was probably not exceeded by any law firm in the State. Col. Plumb retired from the firm in 1872, after which time Judge Ruggles was the senior partner in the various law firms of Ruggles & Sterry and Ruggles, Scott & Lynn. He was a member of Emporia Lodge of A., F. & A. M., of which he was for several years master. In the various relations in life, as father, husband, neighbor, friend, citizen, lawyer and jurist, he had few equals, and many in the county, in which he so long resided, can testify to his noble deeds, and many acts of kindness and charity. May 22, 1864, he married Miss Susanna L. Spencer, of Emporia. They had two children - William S., born May 4, 1867; and Robert M., Jr., February 9, 1871. Judge Ruggles died April 24, 1879, from the effects of injuries received by being thrown from his carriage. Resolutions of respect and sorrow were passed by the members of the bar before the District Courts of Lyon, Osage, Coffey, Chase, Morris and Marion counties. From resolutions passed by the Morris County bar we make the following extract, which well expresses the estimate placed upon the deceased by those who knew him best, "In the death of Judge Ruggles the bar of Kansas has lost one of its brightest lights, and one of its ablest and most distinguished leaders, whose great learning and legal skill and incomparable logic and reasoning powers commanded the attention and respect of all courts before which he practiced and all lawyers with whom he came in contact. In the discharge of his duties he was always faithful and true to his client and to his sense of right, and has left a record in Kansas jurisprudence, and the reported cases that have been tried before the Supreme Court of this State that will last as long as time itself, and will prove him a great and distinguished lawyer."

STORY L. SARGENT, real estate and insurance agent, was born, February 24, 1837, at New London, N. H., where he received a common school education, finishing at the New London Academy. When about seventeen years of age he removed to Stoneham, Mass., where for the next four years he was engaged in boot and shoe manufacturing. In 1858, he enlisted in the united States Army, and was sent to Utah to put down the Mormons. In 1860, marched from Salt Lake City to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in August of that year, he was discharged from the army, but remained in New Mexico, employed in the United States Quarter-master's Department. In 1863, he came to Kansas, locating at Council Grove, Morris County, where he engaged in farming. In 1869, he removed to Lyon County, and bought 177 acres of reserve and trust land, situated on Wright's Creek, in Americus Township, which he has improved by the erection of a dwelling house, nice large barn, and other farm buildings, planted an orchard of 500 peach and 200 apple trees, besides other fruits. IN 1879, he started in the real estate and insurance business. He is also Notary Public. Has an office at Dunlap, Morris County, and still continues to operate his farm. Principal crop raised is corn. He also raises cattle and hogs. He married Miss Mary M. Sowers, of Americus Township, February 27, 1865, by whom he has six children - Colby A., Curtis H, Eddie, Robert M., John G., and Frank P. - all living.

AUSTIN J. SAX, M. D., was born in Gilboa, N. Y., February 20, 1849. Was educated in the public schools of New York. In 1866, he removed to McHenry County, Ill., where he was engaged in farming one year, then removed to Wilmot, Kenosha Co., Wis. The first three years of his residence here he was engaged in farming; then he taught in the schools of Kenosha County, two years. In 1872, he went into business as a general merchant, at Wilmot, which he continued only about a year. He then engaged in bookkeeping in Chicago, for a year, and in the spring of 1874, came to Kansas, located in Americus Township, about four miles northwest of town, and took a claim of 160 acres which he yet holds. For five years, he was engaged in farming in summer, and teaching in the county schools in winter. The next year, he was principal of the Americus schools. In 1876, he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. T. Arthur Wright, at Americus, and in June, 1882, graduated from the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio and commenced the practice of medicine at Safford, Chase County, where he remained until November, 1882, when he removed to Americus and engaged in practice. He is a member of I. O. O. F., and is a member of Buckeye Lodge No. 2038 K. of H. Married Miss Emma R. Bolt, of Americus, May 31, 1882.

THOMAS H. STANLEY, farmer, Section 8, Township 18, Range 10, P. O. Americus, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, November 20, 1818. He attended the public schools of his native county, and later the Mount Pleasant (Ohio) Friends College. When twenty-two years of age he married and settled at Mount Pleasant, where he engaged in carpentering until March, 1842, when he came to the eastern part of Kansas as missionary to the Shawnee Indians, under the auspices of the Society of Friends. He remained among the Indians in Kansas, with headquarters about eight miles south of the Missouri River and four miles west of the Missouri boundary line until August, 1845, when he returned to Mount Pleasant. In the spring of 1847, he returned to Salem, Iowa, and engaged in carpentering. A year later he entered a claim of eighty acres, near Salem, which he farmed until the fall of 1857. In 1852 he visited the Kaw Indians at Council Grove, with a view of elevating their temporal, moral, and spiritual condition, and after council with them, he applied to the Indian Department for permission to locate upon or near their reservation. This object was not fully effected until the spring of 1857, after the lands had been open pre-emption and settlement. He that spring attended the yearly meeting of the Friends of New York and New England, and encouraged by this body, applied for and received from the Department of the Interior, permission to locate near the reservation and to labor among them. In the fall of 1857 he came to Kansas, pre-empting a claim of 160 acres on the Neosho River, one mile south of the Kaw Reservation, and about four miles west of the present site of Americus. This land was paid for and presented to him by the Friends' Society of New York. Mr. Stanley continued to labor among the Kaws until their removal to the Indian Territory in 1873, at the same time cultivating and improving his farm. He has added, by purchase, 160 acres near the home farm, has built a large stone dwelling, commodious barn, and other farm buildings. He has an orchard of about 1,200 peach trees, 300 apple trees, and many of smaller fruit. His principal crop is corn. He raises some cattle and hogs. Since the removal of the Kaws, Mr. Stanley has spent two winters with them in the Indian Territory, and visits them, on an average, once a year. He has also visited among the Osages, the Modocs, and the Absentee Shawnees. He recently met among the Absentee Shawnees some of who had been his scholars thirty-seven years ago, when he first came among them as a missionary. His labors with these tribes have of late years been largely at his own expense, and his devotion to the cause of the down-trodden red men has always been appreciated by them, and been blessed by good results. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley and family are members of the Society of Friends, in which he has been an elder about twenty years. He has held the office of County Commissioner of Lyon County three years, and has held minor local offices. He married Miss Mary Wilson, of Mount Pleasant, Ohio, September 29, 1840, by whom he has seven children - William F., Hannah W., Daniel W., John, Jane, Sarah, and Thomas Wistar - all living.

JOHN S. STEADMAN, farmer, Section 17, Township 17, Range 11, P. O. Americus, was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, October 11, 1836. His father, Rev. Samuel Steadman, was an itinerent (sic) preacher of the Church of the United Brethren. The subject of this sketch removed, when sixteen years old, to Bureau County, Ill., where he remained, engaged in farming, until after his marriage. In 1859, he removed to Green County, Wis., where he engaged in farming until December, 1861, when he enlisted as a private in Company B, Eighteenth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers. The regiment was assigned to the division of General Prentiss, in the Army of the Tennessee. Mr. Steadman participated in all the engagements in which his company took part, including Pittsburgh Landing, the Capture of Corinth, the Defense of Corinth, and Iuka. He was discharged for disability in the fall of 1863, and returned to Wisconsin. Soon regaining his health, he enlisted in December, 1863, as a Sergeant in Company K, Sixteenth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, Colonel Cassius M. Fairchild. The Sixteenth Regiment was in the Seventeenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee, and participated in the battles of Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, the siege of Atlanta, Jonesboro, Snake Creek Gap and others. Mr. Steadman was promoted to Second Lieutenant of his company, January 2, 1865. He was afterwards in the great march to the sea with Sherman, participating in several battles and skirmishes. He then followed Sherman through the Carolinas to Washington, and was present at the great review at the National Capital in June, 1865. He was mustered out in July, 1865, at Madison, Wis., and returned to Green County. In the fall of 1865 he removed to Cass County, Iowa, where he remained a year, then located in Page County, buying a farm of twenty acres near College Springs, which he operated about three years. In the spring of 1870 he came to Kansas, locating in Cloud County. He took a claim of 160 acres near Clyde, which he improved and operated until the spring of 1878, when he sold his farm and removed to Lyon County. He purchased a fine farm of eighty acres, situated on Allen Creek, five and a half miles northeast of Americus, which he has improved by the erection of a commodious dwelling house, barn and other farm buildings. His principal crop is corn. He also raises some cattle and hogs. Mr. Steadman is a member of the Methodist Protestant Church. He is also a member of America Lodge, No. 28, A. O. U. W. He married Miss Eleanor E. McDonald, of Whiteside County, Ill., April 25, 1858, by whom he has had seven children - Arthur F., Sarah E., Charles S., Marcus E., Leah E., Ellen G., and Jessie S., all living.

JOHN W. STENSON, farmer, Section 35, Township 17, Range 10, P. O. Americus, was born in Nottingham, England, June 30, 1828. He came to the United States in May, 1848, locating at Canton, Ill., where he remained three years, then went to Chilicothe, Ill., where he remained seven years, engaged in farming. From there he went to Milan, De Kalb Co., Ill., where he engaged in farming. In 1875, he removed to Hinckley, Ill., and engaged in hotel business, operating the Hinckley House for about six months, then sold out and came to Kansas. Located in Americus Township, one mile north of Americus, where he purchased an improved farm of 160 acres, which he has further improved by the erection of a large dwelling, barn, crib and other farm buildings. His principal crop is corn. Raises cattle and hogs. Has ninety acres under cultivation on the home farm. In 1881 he purchased a small improved farm of seventeen acres near the town, which he rents. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Americus, of which he is a steward, and teacher of the Bible class. He married Miss Charlotte Pierce, of Canton, Ill., November 25, 1850. By this marriage he has had nine children, of whom Annie, Fannie, Ellen, Alfred L., Sarah L. and Charlotte are living. His first wife died in 1869, and he married, March 20, 1872, Mrs. Elizabeth A. Pattison, of Illinois, by which marriage he has three children - Leroy O., Mabel E. and Alice Victoria, all living.

LEWIS W. SUTTON, proprietor of the Sutton House, was born August 3, 1849, in Ohio County, Ind., where he resided until February, 1863, when he enlisted as a private in Company H, One Hundred and Forty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteers. Was assigned to the Army of the Shenandoah, in which he served until disabled by sickness. He was mustered out of the service at Hick's Hospital, Baltimore, Md., July, 1865, and returned to his native county, where he remained until the fall of 1868, when he came to Kansas. First located at Hartford, Lyon County, where he remained, engaged in farming, until the spring of 1870, when he removed to Americus and engaged in mercantile life. The firm of G. W. Sutton & Bro. continued for about two years, dealing in drugs and sundries. Mr. S. then engaged in the dairy business at Americus, in which he continued two years. He was then engaged for about a year in the grain business. In the fall of 1877 he bought the Goddard House at Americus, and under the name of the Sutton House, has since continued to operate it. It is the principal hotel in the town. He has also a livery stable in connection with the hotel. He also handles fat cattle and hogs quite extensively. Has about sixty head of cattle. He married Mrs. Hattie A. Walt, of Emporia, September 19, 1876, by which marriage he has had three children, none of them now living.

THOMAS H. WHITE, farmer, Section 17, Township 18, Range 11, P. O. Americus, was born in Huntington County, Pa., January 23, 1830, and a year later his parents removed to Bedford County, where he was raised upon a farm and remained until the fall of 1853. He then started West, and, after spending some months in Illinois and Iowa, came to Kansas. In May, 1855, he took a claim of 160 acres on the Neosho River, north of the present site of Emporia. He improved this claim and resided upon it four years, then sold it and bought an unimproved farm of 160 acres, situated three miles southeast of Americus, which he has improved by the erection of a commodious dwelling, large barn and other farm buildings. He has since added by purchase 160 acres situated on Allen Creek near the home farm. He has all his lands under fence and eighty acres under cultivation. His principal crop is corn. He also raises cattle and hogs, keeping on average 100 head of cattle and seventy-five hogs. He purchased in 1881 and 1882 a cattle range of 600 acres in Chase County, which he has improved and fenced. During the Rebellion Mr. White has enrolled in the State militia, and called into service at the time of the Price raid and during several Indian raids and alarms. Mr. White is one of the oldest settlers in the county, and has been out of the county to remain over night not to exceed half a dozen times since 1855. He is a member of Americus Lodge No. 109, A., F. & A. M. He married Miss Louisa Grimsley, of Americus Township, June 20, 1857, and by this marriage has nine children, Mary, George, William G., John S., Edwin, Perry M., Annie E., Susan and Thomas H., all living.

LAFAYETTE A. WOOD, farmer, Section 3, Township 18, Range 10, Americus, was born in Oswego County, N. Y., March 24, 1834. He received a common school education in his native county, where he resided until 1852, when he removed to Clayton, Jefferson County, N. Y., and learned the trade of carriage making. In 1856 he began business for himself at Clayton, continuing until August, 1864, when he enlisted as a private in Company K, Tenth New York Heavy artillery. He participated in the battle of Fisher's Hill, under Gen. Sheridan October 18, 1864, and was soon after transferred to the army in front to Petersburg, and participated in several in several engagements under Gen. Ord. His regiment was among the first to enter Petersburg at its capture and he remained on duty around Petersburg until he was mustered out in July, 1865. He then returned to Clayton and resumed his carriage making business, which he continued until he disposed of it and came to Kansas. He located at Americus, in Lyon County, and engaged in blacksmithing and dairying, in which he continued until the fall of 1879. He then rented his shop, purchased an improved farm of 250 acres and engaged in farming and stock raising, in which he has since continued. His principal crop is corn but he also raises some oats. He has held the office of County Commissioner of Lyon County four years, and has been a member of the School Board of Americus Township. He is a member of Americus Lodge No. 109, A., F. & A. M. He married Miss Harriet A. Babcock, of Clayton, N. Y., September 14, 1855, by which marriage he has had seven children, of whom Emma J., Adelbert D., Nellie M., Frank F., and Flora M. are living.

T. ARTHUR WRIGHT, M. D., was born in Kemptville, Province of Ontario, Canada, May 12, 1841. He was educated in the public schools of Canada, and in the fall of 1858 graduated from the University of Queen's College, at Kingston. In the same year he came to the United States, locating in Henry County, Ill. In 1862 he engaged in a general merchandising business at Sparland, Ill., which he continued until 1866. In May, 1867, he graduated from the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio, and commenced the practice of medicine at Sparland. Resided there until December, 1870, when he came to Kansas, locating at Emporia. In February, 1871, removed to Americus, where he engaged in the drug business, in addition to the active practice of medicine. In 1876 he disposed of the drug business and has since devoted his entire time and attention to his practice. Is a member of Americus Lodge No. 109, A., F. & A. M.; a member of the I. O. O. F.; and a member of Americus Lodge, No. 28, A. O. U. W. He married Miss Catharine I. Cotton, daughter of Judge J. Y. Cotton, of Sparland, Ill., May 18, 1863, and by this marriage has had six children, of whom Sarah E., Frances A., and Catherine I. are living.

[TOC] [part 16] [part 14] [Cutler's History]