KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


MIAMI COUNTY, Part 9

[TOC] [part 10] [part 8] [Cutler's History]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

REV. SAMUEL L. ADAIR, minister of the Congregational Church, Section 9, Township 18, Range 22, Osawatomie. Mr. Adair is one of Osawatomie's very earliest settlers, and one of her most honored and respected citizens. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, April 22, 1811. His early life was passed on a farm. At the age of seventeen years he was apprenticed to a wholesale wagon and blacksmithing shop, served his apprenticeship and continued in the establishment five years. He then attended the Western Reserve College and completed his studies at Oberline College and graduated in 1838. He also took a regular course at the Congregational Theological College, graduated and was ordained a minister of the denomination in 1841. He began preaching at Sandyville, also at Bolivar, Ohio. Next went to Dundee, Mich., where he had a charge some two and a half years. In 1845, he went to Maumee City, where he spent nearly five years, during two of which he was Principal of the city schools. He next went to Lafayette, Ohio, where he preached four years. In the fall of 1854, came to Osawatomie where he purchased a claim, pre-empted the northeast quarter of Section 9, Township 18, Range 22. He organized the Congregational Church in Osawatomie in 1856, and has been except three years, the resident pastor of the congregation continuously since. During the late war he was chaplain of the general Hospital of Kansas two years by appointment of the Government. He also spent one year with the Christian Commission of Kansas. He was trustee for the Asylum for the Insane six years, from 1867 to 1873. In 1876, he was appointed Chaplain of the asylum and has served in that capacity continuously since. Mr. Adair was married at Hudson, Ohio, November 24, 1841, to Miss Florella Brown, daughter of Owen Brown, and half sister of John Brown, the great champion of freedom. Mrs. Adair was born in Ohio. Seven children were born to them, two sons and five daughters, of whom only three are living. the eldest Charles, S., married and lives in Osawatomie Township; Henry M., died, aged three and a half years; Emma F., is the wife of J. B. Remington, of Osawatomie Township, two of their daughters died in infancy; Addie E. teaches under the New West Educational Society at Las Vegas, N. M.; the youngest child, a daughter, died in childhood. Mrs. Adair died in Leavensworth, in February, 1865, while Mr. Adair was in that city on business, in connection with the Christian Commission. Mr. Adair resides in the old house, which he built in pioneer days and which is rich to him in memories of the turbulent times when his brother-in-law, John Brown, often enjoyed his hospitality and protection, and where he enjoyed the companionship of wife and children.

CALVIN BARNARD, farmer, Section 28, Township 18, Range 22, P. O. Osawatomie, is one of the very earliest settlers of this region, and one of the most respected citizens of Miami County. He was born in Guilford County, N. C., October 10, 1819. Although born in the South, he was of New England parentage, his father having immigrated to North Carolina from Massachusetts. Mr. Barnard was brought up a farmer, and in 1830, moved to Wayne County, Ind., thence to rush County of the same State, in 1836, and to Kansas in 1856, by team, arriving in Osawatomie Township June 4th. Being a member of the Society of Friends, he took no part in the troubles of the early days nor later in the war between the States. He has held various civil offices. He was Township Trustee in 1868 and 69, and was elected County Commissioner in 1869, served two years and was defeated on the railroad issue in the succeeding election. He was married in Indiana, October 31, 1844, to Miss Lucinda F. Macy, daughter of Thomas Macy, of Nantucket Island. Mrs. Barnard was born in North Carolina. Their family consists of three sons. Thomas E., is married and lives in Cherokee County, Kan.,; Addison L. is married and lives in Osawatomie Township: the youngest, Horace G. is married and lives in this township. Mr. Barnard has 350 acres of land and resides at the place where he built his first cabin.

CHARLES BIRCHARD, of the firm of Harden & Birchard, proprietors of livery, sale and boarding stable, was born in Linn County, Kan., in December 14, 1859. When three years of age moved to Osawatomie with his parents and has made this his home ever since. He began the battle of life working out by the month when only eight years of age, and has hoed his own row from that time out. Messrs. Harden & Birchard established their business at Osawatomie in 1877. They have a roomy, commodious stable, about twenty good horses, and a suitable lot of carriages. A tasty hearse is one important feature in the outfit.

DANIEL BRENEMAN, book-keeper of the Kansas State Asylum for the Insane, was born in Dauphine County, Pa., December 18, 1847. received a common school and business education and engaged in book-keeping in a banking house. He came to Kansas in 1872 and located at Leavenworth, where he was employed as a book-keeper for four years. He held that position in the First National Bank of Leavenworth. He was appointed to his present position July 1, 1879. Mr. B., like the other officers and employees of the asylum is capable and efficient in his department.

REV. DAVID H. BUNDY, farmer and Methodist minister, Section 1, Township 18, Range 22, P. O. Osawatomie, was one of the pioneers of Miami County (then Lykins) of 1855. He was born in Randolph County, Ind., March 19, 1834. Was brought up in his native state and in the spring of 1855 came to Kansas with his parents. Spent the summer at Lawrence, and in the fall of that year came to Miami County, and located in the south part of the township of Stanton, on the banks of the Marais des Cygnes River, at what is still known as Bundy's Ford. Mr. Bundy soon became acquainted with John Brown and being an earnest Free-state man he joined Brown in some of his expeditions against the Pro-slavery men. When Reed marched on Osawatomie on the memorable 29th of August, 1856, Mr. Bundy witnessed the advance and return of the Pro-slavery forces but was unable to participate in the fight. He was an explorer and mission preacher for the Methodist mission, and while serving in that capacity traveled extensively in Kansas and Nebraska. At one time while he was holding service in the log cabin near Lane, know as John Brown's cabin, his congregation was composed principally of Proslavery men armed with revolvers and guns. While they listened with respectful attention and departed in peace, John Brown lay secreted in the loft, separated from his enemies by only a few loose boards. Mr. Bundy was married April 7, 1859, at Osawatomie to Miss Mary A, Littlejohn, a daughter of John Littlejohn, a Free-state pioneer of Kansas of 1855. They have five children, four sons and a daughter, Emma B., wife of Dr. S. A. Day of Osawatomie, William A., Henry D., Wesley L. and Ralph. Mr. Bundy moved to his present farm in 1869, returned to Stanton again, and came back to this place in 1879. He has served as Justice of the Peace in this county fourteen years.

JOHN C. CHESTNUTT, senior partner of John C. Chestnut & Bro., merchants, was born in Scotland, in 1840. Came to America with his parents in 1842, resided in Connecticut til 1854. The family then immigrated to Miami County, Kas., his father Wm. Chestnut, located on the southwest quarter of Section 11, Township 18, Range 22, a portion of which is now embraced in the town platt of Osawatomie. A large portion of the father's original claim is now property of the son, John C. John C. enlisted in the late war as a private of the Third Kansas Infantry, afterward consolidated into the Tenth. On his return from the army he engaged as merchant's clerk and in 1874 in company with his brother, William established their present extensive business. This firm carry a $15,000 stock of general merchandise at the old stand, and have recently purchased the extensive general store of Mr. H. B. Smith adjacent, which carried on under the firm name of Wm. Chestnut & Co.

WILLIAM CHESTNUTT, SR., one of the early pioneers of Miami County, now resident of California, was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1816. He was a weaver by trade, and followed that business until 1842, when he immigrated with his family to America. On arriving in this country he made his home in Connecticut, where he worked at his trade til 1854. He then immigrated to Kansas Territory and located on the southwest quarter of Section 11, Township 18, Range 22 east; a portion of which tract was platted and is now a part of the village of Osawatomie, Miami County, and built the first frame house in that town. The greater part of the original claim is now property of his son, John C. Mr. Chestnut although an earnest believer in the principles of the State's rights men did not take a conspicuous part in the struggles of his first years in Kansas. He was a lover of peace and was not in sympathy with the many violent scenes occurring about him. At the first election he was the only Free-state man on the Board of elections. As a great number of fraudulent votes were polled he refused to sign the returns. He was a member of the Free-state Military Company and twice elected a member of lower House of the Kansas Legislature. His principle business was farming but believing that the manufacture of salt could be profitably conducted here He engaged extensively in that business, being the first to undertake such an enterprise in this section of the state. The venture proved unprofitable and the business was abandoned after a trial of three years. In 1874 he moved to Chicago and from there to California in 1880.

WILLIAM CHESTNUTT, JR, of the firm of Wm. Chestnut & Co. and of J. C. Chestnut & Bro., general merchants, was born in Ulster County, N. Y. in 1844. His parents were from Scotland and had immigrated to America in 1842. In 1854 he in company with his family came to Kansas and located at Osawatomie. He witnessed the turbulent scenes of 1856 but was too young to participate in them. April, 1862, he enlisted as a private of Company K, Second Kansas Cavalry, and served three years and two months in the late war. He spent some years in the wilds of the Western territories. Returning to Osawatomie he engaged in mercantile business with his brother, J. C. in 1874, under the firm name of J. C. Chestnut & Bro. They have a large well stocked general store, carrying an average stock of $15,000. In October, 1882, they purchased the stock of general merchandise of Mr. H. B. Smith and organized the firm of Wm. Chestnut & Co. The latter business is conducted at the old Smith stand under the management of Wm. Chestnut. Their average stock in this store is about $10,000.

S. A. DAY, M. D., physician and surgeon, was born in Indiana, came to Kansas with his parents in the fall of 1866, and located in Miami County. He studied medicine at the medical college at Kansas City, from which he graduated in 1879. He at once established himself in practice at Osawatomie and is gradually building up a satisfactory business.

HENRY M. DOWNS, M. D., Second-Assistant Physician to the Kansas State Asylum for the Insane at Osawatomie. Dr. Downs was born in Wyandotte County, Kan., in 1858. Was educated at Ann Arbor, Mich., at the Michigan State University. He took his degree at the medical department of the University in 1880 and began practice at Kansas City, Mo. He was appointed physician and surgeon of the Missouri Pacific Railway and held that position one year, or until he was appointed to his present position in August, 1881. Dr. Downs is a promising young physician, whose career is only well begun. He is now serving his second year at the asylum, where his ability in his profession and general courteous bearing have won him many friends.

JOHN R. EVERETT, farmer, Section 22, Township 18, Range 22, P. O. Osawatomie, a pioneer of Kansas of 1854, was born in Wales; immigrated to America in childhood, made his home in Oneida County, N. Y. til 1854, when he came to Kansas, arriving in Osawatomie in June of that year. He made a claim on Section 22, and has resided in this township ever since. He now has a fine stock farm of 285 acres, situated in the bottoms. He was married in New York, in 1852, to Miss Sarah M. Colgrove, of Pennsylvania. He has one son living, John E., born in Kansas in 1863. Mrs. Everett died in 1864. Mr. Everett was elected the first Clerk of School District No. 57, and held that office til the fall of 1881.

W. D. GEAR, Supervisor of the Kansas State Asylum for the Insane, was born in Pennsylvania in 1851, was brought up in that State and engaged in teaching school. In 1870, he came to Kansas and located at Garnett. He pursued the occupation of teacher til July, 1874, when he was appointed Supervisor at the asylum. Mr. Gear has proven himself an efficient officer, the fact that he is now serving his ninth year as supervisor is conclusive evidence that he has discharged the duties of his position in a satisfactory manner.

COL. G. H. HUME, farmer and inventor, Section 19, Township 18, Range 22, P. O. Osawatomie, is a pioneer of Kansas of 1857. He was born of Scotch parentage, July 16, 1826. Removed to Buffalo while a child and was brought up in that city. He received a liberal education and engaged as salesman in a mercantile house. After following that vocation several years he emigrated to Davenport, Iowa, and engaged in steamboating on the Mississippi River. Spent four years in that business and during this time was master of the steamer Enterprise and of the Osceola. In 1857, he came to Kansas. he spent some time at Paola and then purchased a farm of 380 acres in Miami Township, where he made his home. On the breaking out of the late war he enlisted May 8, 1861. Organized Company E, of the Missouri Home Guards, and was mustered into the Kansas Volunteer service September 15 of the same year. He helped organize the Ninth Kansas Cavalry and was commissioned First Lieutenant commanding company. The company was disbanded March 1862. Lieutenant Hume was then commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the Kansas State Troops, still retaining his First Lieutenant commission in the United States service. He continued in active service until the close of the war. Col. Hume was an efficient officer, cool and determined. He won the respect and regard of his command during the war. As is well-known, the Kansas and Missouri border was the scene of many battles and outrages. Vicious men took advantage of the situation to plunder and to do violence, regardless of the politics of their victims. In dealing with this class Col. Hume exercised his authority to the utmost in behalf of decency and honorable warfare. In politics, always a Democrat, he was one of the few officers who while doing their duty as soldiers claimed the right to vote according to their conviction. Col. Hume was married in Kansas, December, 1858, to Miss Rebecca daughter of Tilden Shipley. Mrs. Hume was born in Illinois. They have seven children, four sons and three daughters-Alexander H., Franklin G., Edgar G., John S., Rose, Viola and Emma. After the close of the war, Col. Hume devoted his attention to farming until the spring of 1872. He then moved to Pennsylvania and engaged in the hardware business. In 1875 he sold out and purchased his present farm of 320 acres in Osawatomie Township and has continued to make that his home. He has devoted considerable attention to mechanical inventions and is the inventor and patentee of the celebrated Hume's Fire Escape.

L. W. JACOBS, M. D., physician and surgeon, was born in Virginia in 1844. He took a regular course at the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, from which he graduated in the spring of 1868. He began practice in Baltimore, Md., but removed to Paola til 1870; he then came to Osawatomie and has since practiced in this place and vicinity. He served a term as Superintendent of the State Asylum for the Insane at Osawatomie. Dr. Jacobs has a large and increasing practice and is one of the popular physicians of Miami County.

DR. A. H. KNAPP, Superintendent of the Kansas State Asylum for the Insane. Dr. Knapp was born in Scholarie County, N. Y. in 1829. While quite young he moved with his parents to Ulster County. He took a regular course at Rush Medical College, Chicago, and graduated in 1852. He practiced his profession in the State of New York, seventeen years and then moved to Ottawa, Kan.(1870) He practiced in that city until 1873, when he was appointed to the responsible position he now holds. In 1876, he resigned his position, but in the fall of 1878, he was re-elected and has continued to serve as Superintendent to this date. Dr. Knapp is peculiarly well qualified for the position he holds, thoroughly skilled in his profession, he has made a specific study of diseases of the brain. Cheerful and kind-hearted in his intercourse with everyone, systematic and through in everything, it is only necessary to visit the asylum and inspect its workings to be satisfied that he is the right man in the right place, and that he is supported by a corps of competent assistants.

JOHN A. LESSENDEN, farmer, Section 27, Township 18, Range 22, P. O. OSAWATOMIE, was born in England in 1834; immigrated to America in 1848; spent two years in New York, and moved to Illinois in 1850; then to Iowa in 1859; and from Iowa to Kansas in 1876. He came direct to Osawatomie township and purchased the old Richard Mendenhall place on Section 27.This farm is historic, having been one of the earliest places settled in the township and during John Brown's time was one of the stations of the Underground Railway. Mr. Lessenden now has a fine farm of 287 acres. He was elected Trustee of this township in 1882, and re-elected in 1883. He was married in Iowa, September 30, 1858, to Miss Olive Hanson, daughter of John E. Hanson. Mrs. Lessenden was born in Maine. They have four children, two sons and two daughters-Orin E., Ella J., Arthur and Olive A.

A. F. MEEK, druggist, was born and brought up in Indiana; came to Kansas in 1874; was engaged in teaching school for several years, making his home near Louisburg, Miami County. In October, 1879, he started in his present business at Osawatomie. He carries a general stock of drugs, medicines, books and stationery. He is the only dealer in Osawatomie who keeps a full line of school books.

HENRY PARKER, first engineer and master mechanic of Kansas Asylum for the Insane, was born in England in 1834; learned the trade of practical engineer in his native country; immigrated to America in 1868. He located in Illinois and served four years as engineer at the Soldiers' Orphan Home at Normal. He then bought a farm in Kansas and devoted his attention to agriculture until 1873, when he accepted the position he now holds. Mr. Parker is a thorough mechanic, and discharges the duties of his responsible position with ability and fidelity. He is now serving his tenth year at the asylum.

HENRY B. SMITH, dealer in stock and grain, senior member of the firm of H. B. Smith & Co. Mr. Smith was born in Tioga County, Pa., in 1832, where he was brought up. About 1855, he went to Iowa, where he spent some two or three years. Went from there to Illinois, and soon after came to Kansas reaching the State in 1858. Soon after reaching this place (Osawatomie) he engaged in mercantile business. He opened the first hardware store in Miami County, which he located at Osawatomie. He also furnished the stock for the first hardware store in Paola. Mr. Smith has been in business continuously at Osawatomie since 1858 to this date. October, 1882, he sold out his stock of general merchandise to J. C. and William Chestnut, and is now engaged in the stock and grain trade. Mr. Smith was a member of the Kansas State Militia and served during the Price raid. He has served two terms in the Lower House of the Kansas Legislature, 1866 and 1871.

CAPT. REUBEN SMITH, Steward of the Kansas State Asylum for the Insane, at Osawatomie. Capt. Smith was born in England; immigrated to America in 1853, and made his home in Iowa until 1857. he then came to OSAWATOMIE, Kas. and engaged in farming. On the breaking out of the late war he enlisted in 1861, and was promoted to Captain in the Second Missouri Cavalry, and served until the close of the war. He was detailed at one time to capture the noted rebel Gen. J. W. Reed, who was in command of the party of Pro-slavery men who sacked Osawatomie in August, 1856, and was captured by another party and placed in the keeping of Capt. Smith, who had charge of him for some time. It was a singular turn in the course of events that Reed should be held captive by a citizen of the town he had burned. In politics Capt. Smith is a Republican and represented the Osawatomie district in the Legislature in 1870, 1871 and in 1873. In the same year he was commissioned by Gov. Osborne as a member of the Board of Trustees of the State Insane Asylum, and was chosen Secretary of the Board. After serving a few months he resigned and was elected Steward of the Insane Asylum and has held the position for ten years. He is not a member of any church, but he practices those Christian virtues which tend to make man happy in this world and fit them for the next. He is a Royal Arch Mason.

JESSE B. WELLS, farmer, Section 23, Township 18, Range 22, P. O. Lane, Franklin County, is one of the early pioneers of this township. He was born in Monroe County, Ind., December 6, 1828; was brought up in that State, and emigrated to Iowa in 1848. resided in Lucas County til May, 1856; he then came to Kansas and located a claim on Section 24, Township 18, Range 21. The following year he moved to his present place of residence, on Section 23, still retaining the old place. He now has 160 acres, a large portion of which is rich bottom timber lands. Mr. Wells was a Free-state man and was associated with John Brown in the time of the early strife, between Freedom and Slavery. At the time of the attack on Osawatomie, in August, 1856, he rode to Garnett and notified a company of Free-state men at that point and accompanied them to the scene of the fight, but too late to participate in it. During the late war he enlisted in Company C, Twelfth Kansas Infantry and served three years, or til the close of the war. He was married in Indiana, February 24, 1848, to Miss Elizabeth A., daughter of Wesley Whitson. Mrs. Wells was born in Monroe County, Ind., They had ten children of whom seven are living-Solon T., David T., died aged twenty-three years; Mary L., died in childhood; Mamie E., Numa W., John P., Jessie B., Minnie, Elmer, Freddie, who died in childhood.

HON. HENRY H. WILLIAMS. The subject of this sketch was one of the ablest, most courageous, and useful of the Free-state men in Kansas' early days. He was born in Hudson, Columbia Co., N. Y., September 26, 1828. His father, James Williams, was a native of Rhode Island, and his mother, whose maiden name was Esther Tracy, was born in Connecticut. She was a sister of Lieut.-Gov. John Tracy, of New York. James Williams was of Welsh extraction; Esther (Tracy) Williams was descended from English parentage. Henry H., though born in Columbia County, spent most of his youthful days in Chautauqua County. His early education was obtained at the common school, but being of an inquiring mind, and being a patient student, he has acquired a large fund of useful information, which qualifies him to occupy and acceptably fill any office within the gift of the people of the State. After leaving school, he served four years' apprenticeship as a journeyman in Brooklyn, Peekskill and Hastings, N. Y., In the spring of 1855, against the advice of his father, he moved to Kansas. His fathers advice was based upon the expectation that Kansas was the ground upon which the preliminary battle between slavery and freedom was fought, which was the very reason why Henry H. determined to go. Upon arriving in the Territory, he at first located on Pottawatomie Creek, in Anderson County, being the third settler in the county. Previously to his arrival, the Pro- slavery men in the vicinity had formed an organization and adopted a "squatter-law" under which each man was entitled to two quarter sections of land. Soon after his arrival at a meeting held by them, the Free-state men assembled, took possession of the meeting, organized it by electing John Brown, Jr., president, and H. H. Williams, secretary, and promptly repealed this and other laws obnoxious to themselves. In September, following, he was elected delegate to the Big Springs Convention, which met September 5, 1855. In November, hearing that Lawrence was besieged by twelve hundred Missourians, he, with four others, started for that place to assist in its defense. This little party overtook John Brown, his three sons and son-in-law, just after passing Blanton's bridge. All then proceeded to Lawrence, reaching there that night and being assigned quarters in the Free-State Hotel. That night the Pottawatomie Rifle Company was organized, with John Brown, Captain, John Brown, Jr. First Lieutenant, and H. H. Williams, Second Lieutenant. John Brown proposed that the company make a night attack upon the enemy, four miles distant, without permitting Gen. Robinson, Gen. Lane, or any other parties outside of the company to know of the movement, but Lieut. Williams opposed the movement as impolitic, impracticable, and insubordinate. After a treaty had been effected, and the enemy had retired to Missouri, the company was disbanded, and the men returned to their homes. In December, he was elected a delegate to the Free-state Convention, held at Lawrence, for the purpose of nominating State officers, under the Topeka Constitution. in January, 1856, he and John Brown, Jr., were elected from the Pottawatomie precinct, to the House of Representatives, under the Topeka Constitution. He walked to Topeka to take his seat in that body, a distance of sixty-five miles. Upon the reorganization of the Pottawatomie Rifle Company in May, 1856, John Brown, Jr. was elected Captain, and Mr. Williams declined to serve in any official capacity, preferring to act as a private and perform duty as a scout. Shortly after the reorganization of the company, news of the threatened attack upon Lawrence, which was made May 21, reached the Pottawatomie settlement, and John Brown, Jr.'s company immediately set out to assist in its defense, accompanied a part of the way by John Brown, Sr., his other sons and son- in-law Henry Thompson. Mr. Williams followed the company on its way and on the morning of the 21st, the same day that Lawrence was sacked, saw Mr. Morse-who kept a store on Pottawatomie Creek, and who furnished ammunition to the Free-state men-frightened and pale from the threats made to him and against him by border ruffians the day before. After advising Mr. Morse what to do, Mr. William rode on, overtook the company and to some of the members composing it, including Judge James Hanway, and old John Brown, communicated the information with reference to the proposed programme of the border ruffians he had obtained from Mr. Morse. This news so stirred the soul of old John Brown, that he promptly organized his little family party and returned to Pottawatomie, with the terrible results now known to the world as the Pottawatomie Massacre, a detailed account of which is embodied in the history of Franklin County. Mr. Williams, as did likewise Judge Hanway, received, but declined, an invitation to accompany the little party on its then mysterious mission. About the first of June, 1856, Mr. Williams, with about fifteen others, was arrested by a party of about two hundred Pro-slavery men, and taken to Paola, where the Pro-slavery Grand Jury was in session. In a day or two, eight were discharged, and the remainder taken to OSAWATOMIE and placed in charge of United States soldiers, in command of Capt. Wood. Here they were kept a week, with their hands firmly tied behind them until chains could be obtained, when they were chained together by the ankles, two and two and marched to Prairie City. When about half the distance had been accomplished, Mr. Williams' companion was taken sick and was released. Mr. Williams walking the rest of way with one end of the chain in his hand, and the other still around his ankle. After being detained a few days at Prairie City, they were taken to Lecompton and turned over to Marshal Donaldson. they were next taken to Tecumsah, examined by Commissioner Hoagland, and all set at liberty except John Brown, Jr., and Mr. Williams, who were held on a charge of high treason, as Commissioner Hoagland said, to prevent them from being murdered as he believed they would be if released. These two were taken to the camp of the United States troops, near Lecompton, and held as prisoners with Charles Robinson, G. W. Smith, G. W. Deitzler, Gaius Jenkins and G. W. Brown. It was during his imprisonment in this camp that the Topeka Legislature was to meet and which Col. Sumner had been ordered to disperse in case it should convene. Mr. Williams fearing that some of the members elect of that Legislature would lack the nerve to meet with their fellow-members and feeling the importance of as full an attendance as practicable, proposed to his fellow-prisoners that he should escape from the guards and take his seat in the Legislature. All consented to this proposition except G. W. Brown who fearing that the safety of the prisoners remaining in camp would be thereby jeopardized, threatened to inform upon him if he should make the attempt and so Mr. Williams was constrained to remain in camp. Mr. Williams was elected Sheriff of Miami County in 1857 and re-elected in 1859. In June, 1861, he entered the Third Kansas Volunteers and was elected Major of that regiment. This regiment was afterward consolidated with the Fourth Regiment and called the Tenth. Major Williams served in this capacity until the regiment was mustered out, commanding the regiment in the battles of Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, VanBuren and Fort Wayne. He participated in the battle of Pilot Knob on the staff of Gen. Ewing. As Provost-Marshall of the District of St. Louis, he had charge of the military prisoners for several months. Being honorably mustered out of service in February, 1865, he returned to Kansas City, where his family had resided since 1863, and was elected sheriff of Jackson County, Mo., serving eighteen months. In April, 1867, he returned to Osawatomie, and engaged in business as a hardware merchant, in which business he is still engaged. In 1867, he was elected to the House of Representatives, and in 1868, to the State Senate. Major Williams is a member of the Congregational Church. He joined the Republican party at a time of its organization by Horace Greeley at Osawatomie, in 1858 and has ever since been a strong and ardent supporter of Republican principles. Major Williams was married February 28, 1858 at Osawatomie to Miss Mary A. Carr, daughter of John Carr, who moved to Kansas in 1854. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have had six children, of whom four are living- Minnie, Walter, Charles and Fannie. John, their eldest son, died at the age of eighteen and George, another son was killed by the kick of a horse.

[TOC] [part 10] [part 8] [Cutler's History]