KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


LYON COUNTY, Part 18

[TOC] [part 19] [part 17] [Cutler's History]

READING.

Reading is a pleasant little village of 150 inhabitants, and is located on rolling prairie, fifteen miles northeast of Emporia and fourteen miles southwest of Osage City, on the A., T. & S. Fe Railway, and two miles south of the Marais des Cygnes River.

EARLY HISTORY

A tract of land on which Reading is now located was in 1870 owned by McMann & Co., of Reading, Pa. On the building of the A., T. & S. Fe Railway, James Fagan, agent for the lands, and T. J. Peter and M. S. Sargent, who represented the railroad interest, organized a town company, with James Fagan as president. A town site of sixty acres of Section 3, Township 18, Range 13, was laid off and called Reading, in honor of a town of that name in Pennsylvania, and during the summer of 1870, when the town site was laid off, a depot was built, a few dwelling houses, a store building, erected by Bothel & Buns, in which was also kept the postoffice; a drug store was opened by a Mr.. Pierson; Mr. Coleman started a tinshop; D. L. Pettinger, who erected many of the first buildings, located as a resident carpenter; James Fagan sunk a town well, which supplied the inhabitants with water.

The postoffice, which was established in the summer of 1870, was made a money order office, October 7, 1882, T. C. Biddle purchasing the first money order. It receives four mails a day, and is a "Star Route" office, having a route to Williamsburg, Franklin County. J. M. Stevenson, present Postmaster.

CHURCHES AND SOCIETIES.

Prior to the settlement of Reading, there were about ten Catholic families in its vicinity, who were supplied by a priest from Topeka who held monthly services in the house of James Fagan until 1870, when a frame church edifice was built. Since that time they were supplied by Father Perry, of Emporia, until 1880, when Father D. Mier, of Emporia, took charge.

First Congregational Church. - Was organized in 1874 with seventeen members, by Rev. D. Phillips. The first services were held in the old United Presbyterian Church, which was purchased in 1875 by the Congregationalists. The building is a small frame structure, 20x34, but answers the purpose. Mr. Phillips remained eighteen months, and was six months later succeeded by Rev. W. C. Walkup, who was in turn succeeded by Revs. L. Newcomb and J. Feemster, Rev. M. H. Smith being the present pastor. Present membership, 113.

Methodist Episcopal Church, Dunlap Circuit. - An organization of this denomination was effected February 12, 1880, with thirteen members, by the Rev. H. J. Coker. In March, 1881, it was re-organized in Reading by Revs. J. W. Anderson and A. Buckner. A parsonage was built during the summer of the same year. Present board of trustees (1882) J. A. Stratton, E. A. Edson, J. Swinkins, M. W. Stratton, J. T. Wright. The old board of trustees was found to be illegally organized, and a new board was elected and organized, and a new charter obtained January 11, 1883. The members of the new board are W. H. Severy, Thomas C. Biddle, Henry Jacoby, G. D. Patten, James F. Wright, Eli Patterson, M. W. Stratton, J. A. Stratton, A. M. Etdson (sic). The society will erect a fine new church edifice the coming summer. Regular meetings are held on Alternate Sabbaths, in the schoolhouse. Present number of members, twenty-four.

Reading Lodge No. 201, I. O. O. F. - Was organized in May, 1882, with twelve members. Its officers are H. F. Homes, N. G.; A. H. Bryan, V. G.; W. Davis, P. S.; H. W. Bryan, Treas., L. D. Hultz, Sec'y. Regular meetings are held every Friday evening, in Postoffice building. Present membership, twenty-two.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES - READING TOWNSHIP.

JOHN CHATTERTON, farmer, Section 12, Township 17, Range 12, P. O. Ivy, was born June 30, 1844, in Clark County, Ohio, where his youth was spent. He received a common school education. In August, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company I, One Hundred and Tenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, was assigned to the Third Division of the Sixth Army Corps, and participated in the battle of Winchester, June 13 and 15, 1863, being taken prisoner on the 15th. After remaining in the rebel prison at Belle Isle, Richmond, five weeks, he was paroled and sent to Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md. Two months later he was exchanged and rejoined his company, afterwards participating in the following battles and engagements: Locust Grove, November 27, 1863; Mine Run, November 28; The Wilderness, May 5 to 11, 1864; Spottsylvania, May 12 to 21; Gaines Mills, May 30 and 31; Coal Harbor, June 1 to 12; Bermuda Hundred, June 14; Petersburg, June 22 and 23; Monocacy, July 9; Charlestown, Va., August 21; Smithfield, August 29; Winchester, September 19; Flint Hill, September 21; Fisher's Hill, September 22; Cedar Creek, October 19. He was mustered out of service at Washington D. C., in July, 1865. He then returned to Clark County, and engaged in farming, in which he continued until he came to Kansas in the spring of 1872. He bought eighty acres of land, situated on Elm Creek, in Reading Township, which he improved and farmed one year, and in the spring of 1873 he bought eighty acres in the same township, which he has ever since resided upon. He has since made additional purchases, so that the home farm now contains 535 acres. Upon this he has made valuable improvements, including a commodious dwelling house, barn, corn cribs and other farm buildings, and has planted an orchard. His principal crop is corn. He is also engaged in raising cattle and hogs. Mr. Chatterton married Miss Alice A. Frazier, of Reading Township, July 19, 1876, by which marriage he has two children, Harry T. and Hattie A.

JOHN DICKSON, farmer, Section 7, Township 17, Range 13, P. O. Reading, was born in Bornehelme, Denmark, June 17, 1837. Came to the United States in 1861, locating in Illinois, from which State he enlisted in August, 1862, in Company B, One Hundred and Fourth Regiment Illinois Volunteer. Was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, and in their first engagement at Hartsville, Tenn., December 7, 1862, almost the entire regiment, including Mr. D., were captured by John Morgan. They were soon after paroled by Gen. Bragg, and were sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, from which point they received leave of absence to return home. After the expiration of its leave the regiment was sent to duty guarding rebel prisoners at Camp Douglas, Chicago. The sever winter weather and exposure so broke down the health and constitution of Mr. D. that he was transferred to the Second Regiment United States Invalid Corps, and served the remainder of his term of enlistment in Chicago, most of the time at the city hospital. Was discharged in September, 1865, and soon after he went into the diary business at Peru, Ill. Continued in this business until the spring of 1880, when he made a visit to his native country, and upon his return in the fall of 1880, he came to Kansas, located in Lyon County and purchased 300 acres of unimproved, situated on One Hundred and Forty-second Creek, in Reading Township, to which he has added by subsequent purchase 160 acres adjoining. He has all his land fenced, and sixty acres under cultivation. Principal crop is corn. Raises some cattle and hogs. Has made valuable improvements upon the farm, including dwelling and necessary farm buildings and an orchard. He married Miss Catharine M. Dahl, of Peru, March 15, 1880, by whom he has had one child, Mary M. Mr. and Mrs. Dickson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Reading.

WILLIAM H. DOUGLASS, farmer and stock dealer, Section 34, Township 17, Range 13, P. O. Reading, was born in Chautauqua County, N. Y., March 30, 1828. When he was five years old his parents removed to St. Joseph County, Mich., where he was brought up on a farm and received a common school education. After attaining his majority he engaged in farming, in which he continued until 1865, when he engaged in the livery business, and dealing in produce in St. Joseph County. He came to Kansas in the fall of 1869, locating on the Marais des Cygnes River, in Osage County, where he bought a farm, which he sold the following August, and removed to his present location. He then bought an improved farm of 320 acres, north of and adjoining the town site of Reading. He has since purchased 1,600 acres of unimproved land about two miles south of Reading, which he uses for grazing. He is extensively engaged in feeding and dealing in cattle and hogs; has on an average about 400 head of cattle. All of his home farm is under cultivation, his principal crop being corn. Mr. Douglass has held the office of Treasurer of Reading Township seven years, and has held other local offices. He married Miss Ellen Hill, of White Pigeon, Mich., February 20, 1851, by whom he has three children - Charles W., Frank and Jennie, all living.

DR. ANSEL M. EIDSON, Section 36, Township 17, Range 14, P. O. Reading, was born April 13, 1846, at Peru, Ind. He early evinced a taste for study, and when twelve years old left the District schools of his native town for a more advanced institution at Valparaiso, Ind., where, with three years' study, he obtained a complete classical course. The opening of the Rebellion found him here, and, at the age of fifteen he entered the army as a private, Company K, Second Regiment, Indiana Cavalry, in the fall of 1861. Fifteen months later, having developed a taste for and knowledge of surgery and medicine, he was appointed Assistant Surgeon of his Regiment, and served the remainder of the term of enlistment of the regiment in the performance of duties of his office, in the hospital and upon the field. He was mustered out of service in the fall of 1864, and soon after entered the office of Drs. Shultz & Taylor, at Logansport, Ind., and in completion of his medical studies he attended two full course of lectures at the Eclectic Medical Institute, at Cincinnati, Ohio, from which institution he graduated in February, 1869. Previous to graduation, he practiced about two years in Delphi, Ind. He came to Kansas in October, 1869, locating at Topeka, where his skill and ability soon gained for him an extensive and lucrative practice. Attracted by his reputation in the treatment of surgical and chronic cases, many came long distances from this and other States to be benefited by his skill. Dr. Eidson was one of the prime movers in the formation and successful establishment of the Kansas Eclectic Medical Association, which was chartered in 1871, and for eleven years after he was the Secretary of the Association. The duties of this office and the extensive practice he had acquired had so encroached upon his health, that in the spring of 1881, he relinquished his practice at Topeka, and with the hope of regaining his health and vigor he removed to his present location and engaged in farming and stock raising. His farm is situated on the Marais des Cygnes River, in Osage County, two miles east of Reading, and contains 880 acres of fine land, 350 acres being bottom land. He has about 300 acres under cultivation and uses the remainder for hay and grazing. All his land is fenced. Dr. Eidson pays special attention to the breeding of thoroughbred cattle and hogs and an excellent strain of inbred Hambletonian horses. He has at the head of his steed, Boniface, a bay horse foaled in 1880, bred in Kentucky. He has a very fine pedigree of the Hambletonian and Mambrino family, and is expected to make a good trotter. At the head of his herd is a red male, of the Mrs. Mott family, and a red male of the Red Rose family. He has also females of the Strawberry, Red Rose, Mrs. Mott, Lady Elizabeth, Lady Fairy and Tarrik families. His hogs are of the Jersey, Poland-China and Red Berkshire breeds. He has made very extensive improvements upon his farm, and has unbounded facilities for the purposes of stock breeding. He has erected a fine dwelling and is surrounded with the evidences of his cultivation and refinement. Dr. Eidson is one of the board of trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Reading, of which he is a member. He is a member of Topeka Chapter, No. 17, A., F. & A. M., also a member of Topeka Lodge, No. 40, I. O. O. F.

ED. PERCIVAL FRYE, farmer, Section 3, Township 8, Range 13, P. O. Reading, was born in Cornwall, England, November 17, 1855. Came to the United States in 1871 and to Kansas the same year. He located in Lyon County and engaged in farming. In 1877 he bought an improved farm of eighty-five acres situated on Duck Creek, in Reading Township. This he cultivated until the fall of 1880, when he sold it and removed to his present location, south of, and adjoining the town site of Reading, where he has a farm of 140 acres of land, upon which he has made valuable improvements, including a good dwelling house, and necessary farm buildings. He raises some cattle and hogs, feeding all his crop to his own stock. He has sixty-five acres under cultivation and uses the remainder for grazing purposes. Mr. Frye is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Reading. He is now serving his third term as a Clerk of Reading Township. He married Miss Mary Jane Jacoby, of Reading, September 3, 1879, by whom he has two children - Henry P. and John.

HUGH F. HOLMES, farmer, Section 17, Township 17, Range 13, P. O. Reading, was born December 17, 1845, in the County of Down, Ireland. Came to the United States in 1850, with his parents, who located at Williamsport, Penn., where the subject of this sketch remained until he came to Kansas, in the summer of 1869. He located in Lyon County, and purchased 250 acres of unimproved land, situated on One Hundred and Forty-second Creek, in Reading Township. He has since purchased 250 acres additional, in the same township. Has about 100 acres under cultivation, the remainder being used for hay and grazing. He has made valuable improvements upon the home farm, including a commodious dwelling, barn, corn crib, sheds, etc., and an orchard of 500 apple and 1,000 budded peach trees of different varieties, besides other fruits. Corn is his principal crop. He is also quite extensively engaged in stock raising and feeding. Mr. Holmes is a member of Reading Lodge, No. 201, I. O. O. F., also a member of Emporia Lodge, No. 2, A. O. U. W. He held the office of Trustee of Reading Township from 1871 to 1880, inclusive, resigning in the fall of the latter year. Was elected Commissioner of Lyon County in November, 1880, which office he held two years. He married Miss Amanda J. Beck, of Emporia, December 25, 1879, by whom he has two children - Mary F. and Susan J. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

THOMAS B. JONES, deceased, was born in South Wales, August 10, 1813. He came to the United States in 1861 and for ten years was engaged in mining in Lucerne County, Pa. He came to Kansas in the spring of 1871, and located on the east line of Lyon County. He bought 160 acres of land, which he improved and continued to cultivate until his death, in November, 1874. He was married twice, his first wife leaving no children. By his second wife, Miss Mary Powell, of South Wales, he had nine children, of whom John C., Samuel T., Mary Jennette, Jennie, Bessie and Thomas B., are living. Since his death his widow has operated the farm, to which she has added, by subsequent purchase, 640 acres. She has made valuable improvements upon the place, including a new and commodious dwelling, good barn and other farm buildings and an orchard of five acres. She raises and feeds cattle and hogs. Principal crop is corn. About 160 acres of the farm is under cultivation, the remainder being used for hay and grazing. The children are all married, except John C., who is in Arizona, and Jennie and Thomas B., who reside upon the home farm with their mother.

JOHN QUINCY KISER, farmer and stock dealer, Section 4, Township 17, Range 13, P. O. Reading, was born October 13, 1826, in Rockingham County, Va. When he was six years old, his parents removed to Montgomery County, Ohio, and seven years later they located in Logan County, Ohio. Here the subject of this sketch remained until he attained his majority. In 1849, he went to California by the overland route driving an ox team being five months on the road from Independence, Mo., to Sacramento. Here he engaged in mining and in hunting game for the mining camps for a time, then turned Boniface and kept the "Twenty-six mile House" at Knight's Ferry. He returned to Ohio in 1851, with the intention of going back to California, but his marriage changed his plans, and he went into the live stock business in Van Wert County, Ohio. This not proving an entire success, he removed to Dane County, Wisconsin, in 1853, and engaged in farming. Here he made a success of raising wheat, and enlarged his farm from 95 to 400 acres. He remained in Dane County, until he came to Kansas, in the spring of 1870. He was one of the first settlers upon the Sac and Fox reserve lands, then just opened for settlement. He bought 960 acres of this land, situated on Elm Creek, in Reading Township, and at once commenced to make improvements. He has since sold some of the original purchase and has bought other lands, and now has in his farm 760 acres, of which about 150 acres is timber land. About 350 acres of his farm is under cultivation, the remainder being used for hay and grazing. He is quite extensively engaged in raising and feeding cattle and hogs, keeping on average about 250 head of cattle. His principal crop is corn. He has an orchard of about 200 apple and 100 peach trees, besides other fruits. Mr. Kiser is a member of Martha Washington Lodge No. 400, K. & L. of H. He married Miss Rebecca McConnell, of Montgomery County, Ohio, February, 1852, by which marriage he has had nine children, of whom William T., Mary, Ida, George, Sadie, Jefferson M., Nancy and Hattie, are living.

DAVID NICKEL, farmer and stock dealer, P. O. Reading, was born in Vermillion County, Indiana, where he was brought up on a farm and remained until he was about twenty-six years old, when he removed to Edgar County, Illinois, and engaged in farming and stock dealing, in which he continued until he came to Kansas, in the fall of 1868. He located in Osage County and bought 800 acres of unimproved land, which he commenced at once to improve. He has since made additional purchases of land in Osage and Lyon counties, and now owns 2,000 acres. This is divided into two farms upon each of which he has erected dwelling house, barn, and necessary farm buildings, made orchards and other valuable improvements. He is extensively engaged in raising and feeding cattle and hogs. Has at present about 350 head of cattle. In the spring of 1883, he removed from the home farm to a residence in the village of Reading, which he purchased the previous year, having taken a partner, to be relieved of a part of his care and labor. Mr. Nickel is a member of Reading Lodge, No. 201, I. O. O. F. He married Miss Sophia Rush, of Vermillion County, Ind., January 17, 1850, by which marriage he has had five children, of whom Laura, Margaret E., Joseph A. and Alonzo C., are living.

GEORGE D. PATTEN, farmer and stock dealer, Section 16, Township 17, Range 13, P. O. Reading, was born August 10, 1847. In Morgan County, Ohio. When he was about three years old his parents removed to Hamilton County, Ind., whence they removed to Jasper County, Iowa, five years later. Here the subject of this sketch received his education and remained upon a farm until January 4, 1864, when he enlisted as a private in Company K, Twenty-eighth Regiment Iowa Volunteers. Was assigned to the Department of the Gulf, and participated in the Red River campaign, under Gen. Banks. The following July he was transferred to the command of Gen. Sheridan, in the Shenandoah Valley, and participated in the battles of Winchester, Cedar Creek, and Fishers's Hill, besides several light engagements and skirmishes. From here the regiment was sent to Savannah, Ga., where they remained until the close of the war gathering up Government supplies and abandoned property of the Confederates. Mr. Patten was mustered out August 12, 1865. He then returned to the home farm in Iowa, where he remained until he came to Kansas, in July, 1868. In all farming and business ventures since he came to Kansas his brother Charles has been connected with him. Charles C. was born in Hamilton County, Ind., January 3, 1851; is unmarried and resides with George D. upon the home farm. Member A., F. & A. M. Located in Osage County, and remained there upon a rented farm for three years. Then bought a farm in the same county, which they operated until January, 1880, when they sold it and removed to their present location in Lyon County. They then bought 800 acres of partly improved land, situated on or near One Hundred and Forty-second Creek, in Reading Township. They have since made additional purchases of land in Lyon and Wabaunsee counties, and now hold 1,600 acres in Lyon and 1,400 acres in Wabaunsee County. This is all under fence, and 500 acres in the home farm is under cultivation. The principal crop is corn, all of which they feed to their own stock. They are extensively engaged in feeding cattle and in raising hogs. They have at present made valuable improvements upon the home farm, including a fine and commodious dwelling, excellent barn, and other farm buildings. The subject of this sketch is a member of Osage City Lodge, A., F. & A. M.; also a member of Canby Post, No. 11, G. A. R., of Osage City. He at present holds the office of Trustee of Reading Township, and has held other local offices. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Osage County Bank. He married Miss May Besse, of Osage County, September 9, 1874, by whom he has three children - Nellie, Frederick W., and Philip S., all living.

OLIVER PHILLIPS, farmer, Section 23, Township 17, Range 12, P. O. Emporia, is probably the oldest settler now living in Lyon County. He was born in Luzerne County, Pa., June 21, 1816. With the exception of a residence of twelve years of his early youth in Columbiana County, Ohio, he resided in his native county until he came to Kansas. After attaining his majority he was engaged in carpentering and running saw mill most of the time. In March, 1855, he took a claim of 180 acres located on One Hundred and Forty-second Creek in Waterloo Township, upon which he built a log cabin and made some improvements. His nearest neighbor was Charles H. Withington, ten miles north on One Hundred and Forty-second Creek. Several families settled in abut him, but as their claims afterwards proved to be located upon the Sac and Fox Indian reserve, they were all compelled to leave except A. L. Watkins. Two years later Mr. Phillips sold his claim and pre-empted 160 acres of land situated on Duck Creek in the same township. Upon the organization of Reading Township his farm came within its limits. Here he has ever since resided. He has since bought and sold various parcels of land, and now has in the present home farm 360 acres, all under fence, and about sixty acres under cultivation. He raises many cattle and hogs, feeding all his crops to his own stock. He has made valuable improvements upon his farm, including a fine and commodious stone residence, begun in 1870 and finished in 1874; a large barn and other buildings. From 1857 until a few years ago his place was a public house, and for seven years was a change station on the stage line between Lawrence and Emporia. Mr. Phillips has been a Justice of the Peace eighteen years. Has held the office of County Commissioner of Lyon County one year and County Assessor four years. He has also been Trustee of Reading Township one year and has held other local offices. He is a member of the Christian Church. He married Miss Calista Wilcox, of Springfield, Pa., September 20, 1838, by which marriage he has had nine children, of whom Wm. H., Martha M., Arthur M., Caroline, Minnie B. and Frank are now living. Minnie B. and frank were born in Kansas. All the children are married, and with the exception of Martha M., who resides in Emporia, are all settled within three miles of the home farm.

GEORGE PLUMB, farmer and sheep breeder, Section 14, Township 18, Range 12, P. O. Badger Creek, was born in Union County, Ohio, December 15, 1843. He received a common school education. In April, 1857, he came to Kansas with his parents, and until 1861 remained upon his father's farm on Plumb Creek, in Lyon County. He enlisted, November 13, 1861, as a private in Company H, Eighth Regiment Kansas Volunteers. This company was a cavalry company and was shortly after transferred to the Ninth Regiment of Cavalry, and designated as Company B. Mr. Plumb was on detailed service as a scout, under the immediate orders of Gen. Ewing nearly a year, and rejoined his company at the time of their transfer to the Red River. He then remained with the company until he was mustered out of service, November 19, 1864. In the following year he engaged in the stock business in partnership with his brother, Col. P. B. Plumb, having the active charge of the stock, and increasing the business rapidly for two years. He then bought the interest of his brother and continued in the business alone until 1871. He then came to his present location on Badger Creek in Reading Township. Starting here with eighty acres he has since accumulated land by purchases at different times until he has now in his farm 3,200 acres. About 600 acres is under cultivation. His principal crops are corn, millet and cane. He makes a specialty of sheep breeding and wool growing, having at present about 3,000 head in his flock, including about 100 fine thorough-bred Merinos. Mr. Plumb is a member of Emporia Post, G. A. R., and a member of Emporia Lodge, No. 2, A. O. U. W. He is a Republican in politics, but, though he exerts considerable interest in the affairs of the party, he has never sought or held office. He married Miss Ellen M. Cowles, of Fremont Township, August 21, 1867, by which marriage he has had eight children, of whom Preston B., Maggie, James R., Joseph, and Inez are living.

CAPT. JOEL A. STRATTON, general merchant, Reading, was born March 9, 1837, at Leominster, Mass. He received a common school education in his native town and remained upon his father's farm until September, 1862, when he entered the army as Captain of Company C, Fifty-third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers. Was assigned to the Department of the Gulf, and participated in the battles of Fort Bisland, Port Hudson, May 27, 1863, and the second battle of Port Hudson, June 14, 1863. In the latter engagement he was severely wounded by a minie ball, which entered his head just below and behind his left ear and came out between his left eye and nose, destroying his eye, but most miraculously not proving fatal. He was mustered out of service September 2, 1863, and returned to his native town. In the fall of 1863 he was elected a member of the Massachusetts Legislature and served one term. He afterwards had the honor of being elected five consecutive years a member of the Board of Selectmen of his native town. In August, 1864, in partnership with his brother, Martin W., he bought a grist and saw mill, to which they added a large planing mill and engaged in flour, grain and lumber business in Leominster, continuing in the same until he came to Kansas, in the fall of 1878. Located in Lyon County, and, still in partnership with his brother, they purchased one-half the town site of the village of Reading. They also commenced that fall the erection of a store building. In the fall of 1879 they bought a stock of general merchandise and opened the present business, but in December, 1880, the partnership was dissolved and the possessions of the firm divided. J. A. taking the store and business, and M. W. the real estate. Captain Stratton has the largest general stock in town, and enjoys the confidence and patronage of his townsmen to an enviable extent. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace of Reading Township, and is now Notary Public. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Reading and one of the Trustees of the same. He is a member of the order of A., F. & A. M. and a member of Charles H. Stevens Post No. 53, Department of Massachusetts, G. A. R., of which post he was commander five years. He has a fine large residence in Reading, built in 1879 and 1880. He married Miss Hannah W. Comer, of Chelsea, Mass., October 4, 1865, by which marriage he has had five children, of whom Belle C., Stanley H., and Edith May are living.

MARTIN W. STRATTON, real estate dealer and insurance agent, was born at Leominster, Mass., November 14, 1833. He received an academic education, and when nineteen years of age assumed the charge of the extensive lumber interests of his father at Canaan, N. H., where he remained three years. For the next five years he taught school in his native town during the winter, and spent the summer in travel. He then traveled two years in Kentucky, engaged in the sale of turbine water wheels and mill machinery. Returned home in March, 1861, and engaged in farming, in which he continued about three years. In August, 1864, he entered into partnership with his brother, Joel A., under the firm name of Stratton Bros., and engaged in flour, grain and lumber business at Leominster. This business was continued until the fall of 1878, when the brothers came to Kansas and located in Lyon County. They purchased one-half of the town site of Reading, and at once began the erection of a store building, in which, when completed, they put a stock of general merchandise. In December, 1880, the long-continued partnership was dissolved by mutual consent, M. W. retaining the real estate interests, and J. A. the store and mercantile business. Since that time the subject of this sketch has devoted his attention wholly to his real estate and insurance business. Mr. Stratton is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Reading, of which he is one of the trustees. He is a member of Wilder Lodge, A., F. & A. M., Leominster, Mass. He has never taken an active part in politics. He has been twice married. By his first wife, Miss Mary J. Litchfield, daughter of Col. Jarius Litchfield, of Leominster, he had eight children, of whom Lillian M., Albert J., Jarius L., Ellen A. and Mary A. are living. She died October 20, 1875, and he married November 2, 1876, Mrs. Martha A. Gale, of Chelsea, Mass., daughter of Langdon Ladd, Esq., of Laconia, N. H. By this marriage he has one child, Edwin L.

JOHN J. SWAN, hardware merchant, was born May 13, 1846, in Vermillion County, Ind., where fourteen years of his youth were spent, at which age he went to Iroquois County, Ill., and lived upon a farm, with his uncle, for four years. He then removed to Edgar County, Ill., and engaged in farming, in which he continued until he came to Kansas, in the fall of 1867, located on the Marais des Cygnes River, in Reading Township, and bought 160 acres of unimproved land, which he still owns. He has since purchased forty acres adjoining. He has made valuable improvements upon this farm, including a frame dwelling and necessary farm buildings, and an orchard of about 200 bearing apple trees, 150 peach tress, and other fruits. His farm is all fenced, and about 100 acres is under cultivation. He operated this farm until three years ago, since which time he has rented it. He removed to the village of Reading three years ago, and in March, 1883, engaged in the hardware and tinning business, buying out the only store in that line in the village. he is located in the central business portion on the Main street, and does a good business. Mr. Swan is a a member of the Congregational Church of Reading; also a member of the Reading Lodge, No. 201, I. O. O. F. He married Miss Estella A. Martin, of Reading Township, Sept. 8, 1870, by which marriage he has had three children, of whom Mary B. and Hattie E. are living.

TILGHMAN A. SWAN, farmer, Section 27, Township 17, Range 13, P. O. Reading, was born August 1, 1841 in Vermillion County, Ind., where his youth was spent upon a farm. In 1860 he removed to Livingston County, Ill., where he remained engaged in farming until July, 1862, when he enlisted as a private in Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers; was assigned to the Twentieth Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and participated in the following battles: Perryville, Buzzard's Roost, Snake Creek Gap, Resaca, Altoona, Burnt Hickory, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain, Lost Mountain and Peach Tree Creek. In the latter he was wounded in the knee by a minie ball, was sent to the hospital at Nashville, where he remained about two months. He then rejoined his company, just in time to start with Sherman on his great march to the sea, and afterwards followed that great commander through the Carolinas to Washington, and took part in the grand review in the National capital; was mustered out at that city in June, 1865, and returned to Vermillion County. In the following spring he removed to Edgar County, Ill., and engaged in farming. In the spring of 1868 he came to Kansas, located in Lyon County, and bought 160 acres of unimproved land, situated on Elm Creek, in Reading Township. He has since purchased forty acres adjoining, and has made valuable improvements upon his farm, including residence, barn, and other farm buildings, and an orchard of 200 apple and 100 peach trees, besides other fruits. All his land is fenced, and about eighty acres under cultivation. Mr. Swan is a member of the Congregational Church at Reading. He married Miss Ellen M. Conrey, of Edgar County, Ill., November 25, 1867. She died March 30, 1882, leaving one child, John G. He married Mrs. Elizabeth White, of Osage City, February 1, 1883. She has two children by her former marriage, Bert and Webster.

[TOC] [part 19] [part 17] [Cutler's History]