KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (O'CONNOR - ROEDIGER).
WILLIAM T. O'CONNOR, attorney, is a native of Lincoln County, Ky., born May 6, 1844, but reared from infancy in Johnson County, Mo., that being his home until he removed to Elk Falls, Kas., in the spring of 1871, where he established the Elk Falls Journal, conducting that paper and practicing law there one year. In April, 1872, he located at Independence, where he has since devoted his entire attention to the practice of his profession. Mr. O'Connor was educated at the State University of Missouri, and at the State Normal School at Warrensburg, Mo. He read law at Danville, Ky., with his uncle Frank Woolford; was admitted to the bar of Kentucky in 1870, and in Missouri and Kansas in 1871. He is a member of the K. of H. He was married at Independence, November 14, 1875, to Mrs. Leah E. Newlan, a native of Ohio. They have two children, Gwendolin and Floyd. Mrs. O'Connor has one child by former marriage - Blanche Newlan.
TIMOTHY O'KEEFFE, manufacturer of cigars, was born in Waterford County, Ireland, April 11, 1849. He came to America with his parents when but a child. They located in New York City, where they lived two years, and then went to New Bedford, Mass., and Nantucket Island, where they resided one year, then to Zanesville, Ohio, where Timothy grew to manhood. He learned the cigar maker's trade and traveled through several States and Canada for several years, working at his trade in different cities. In 1869 and 1870 he worked in Leavenworth. In 1874 he located at Urbana, Ohio, where he resided until 1878, when he came to Kansas. He located at Independence and worked as a journeyman until October, 1881, when he began business on his own account. He has a fine shop on Pennsylvania avenue, and has a large trade, factory No. 25, District of Kansas, Havana and domestic stock. He was married October 7, 1875, in Urban, Ohio, to Miss Johanna Farrell. They have three children - Thomas F., Mary Ellen and Margaret.
C. D. OTIS, dealer in farm implements and fruits, was born in Farmington, VanBuren County, Iowa, July 27, 1858. Resided in Des Moines, Iowa, from 1866 to 1875, and in November of the latter year he located at Independence, Kansas, where he engaged in the sale of agricultural implements. He spent two years, 1878 and 1879, in Kansas City, Mo. He deals largely in fruit. In the season of 1882 he shipped 3,000 boxes of peaches, paying about 75 cents per bushel, and marketing principally in Des Moines, Iowa. He deals largely in farm machinery, carriages and sewing machines. Does an extensive trade in implements and self-binding harvesters in various parts of Montgomery and adjoining counties. He is a member of the Congregational Church.
WILLIAM E. OTIS, banker, is a native of Farmingham, Mass., born March 29, 1852. When he was but five years old his parents removed with their family to Marengo, Ill., remaining there only six month, however, then settled at Farmington, Van Buren Co., Iowa. After nine months residence there they removed to Bentonsport, in the same State, living there two years; at Eddyville six years, and at Des Moines a like period. His early knowledge of banking was acquired while at the latter place. In November, 1871, he came to Independence, Kan., and became cashier of J. Q. Page's bank. Then engaged in banking business in partnership with William T. Turner, they continuing together until October, 1878, when Mr. Otis became sole owner of the institution, continuing without a partner since that time, although the business is conducted under the name of William E. Otis & Co. He also does a large agricultural implement business. Mr. Otis is a prominent member of the Congregational Church. Mr. Otis was married at Cairo, Ill., September 8, 1880, to Daisy R. Robbins, a native of Chicago. They have one child - a daughter.
L. S. B. OTWELL, physician and surgeon, was born in Willamsburg, Wayne Co., Ind., November 7, 1833. In 1840 parents with their family moved to Darke County, Ohio, living in that county seven years; thence removed to Granville, the county seat, where he received his early education. He then became a student at Ohio Wesleyan College at Delaware. He afterward read medicine with his father, Curtis Otwell. He graduated from the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati in 1864, having previously attended a course of medical lectures at Ann Arbor, Mich. He practiced his profession five years at Greenville with his father before graduating. He practiced medicine twenty-one years in the East before coming to Independence, Kan., where he located in September, 1881. C. W. Otwell, a brother associated with him in practice, was born in 1837. He graduated from the Columbus Medical College, Ohio, attending a preliminary course at Ann Arbor, Mich. He began practice at Stelvideo, Darke Co., Ohio, remaining until he entered the army as a soldier, in which capacity he served three years, after which he was engaged in the practice of his profession until he came to Kansas. Was married in 1866 in Darke County, Ohio, to Sarah Hecker. They have three children - Luella, Gerold, and Curtis Williams, Jr. He is a member A., F. & A. M., and I. O. O. F.
JAMES F. OUTT, grocer, was born in Tully, Onondaga Co., N. Y., May 3, 1836. In 1859 he went to Lenox Township, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, and resided until he came to Independence, Kan., in October, 1870, where he purchased real estate and made a permanent settlement. In the spring 1871 he erected the Diamond Corner Building at the corner Pennsylvania avenue and Main street. In fall of the same year erected the double building on Lot 7, Block 55, which property he still owns. He clerked for G. Y. Smith part of a year, then engaged in farming and dealing in stock, opening a farm of 200 acres on Section 3. Fawn Creek Township, which he yet owns. In fall of 1882 removed to Independence, and October same year embarked in the grocery trade. He served as Treasurer Fawn Creek Township two years. Was married in Lenox Township, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, March 7, 1858, to Phoeba E. Holman, a native of the latter township. They have one son - James Franklin, Jr. Mr. O. is a member Masonic order and G. A. R. On February 14, 1864, he enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Ninety-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Mustered out May 15, 1864.
M. J. PAUL, grocer, is a native of Smithfield, Jefferson Co., Ohio. Came to Ottawa, Kan., in the fall of 1869, remaining there one year, engaged in mercantile business, having clerked at Findlay, Ohio, for a period of seven years before coming to Kansas. He removed to Independence in the autumn of 1870, embarking in the grocery trade here at that time, which he has since continued, being one of the most reliable and prominent merchants of this city. His business is principally of a retail character, but he does some jobbing. He is a member of the A., F & A. M. Mr. Paul was married at Port Washington, Ohio, in December, 1879, to Della Kilgore, a native of that place. They have one child - Morgan J.
HILL L. PAYNE, proprietor of marble works, is a native of Danville, Vermillion Co., Ill.; born October 21, 1854; lived in his native place until February, 1878, when he came to Independence, Kan. His first contract was for the stone work on the Seminary at this point. He had charge of Dawson's marble works for a period of four years. Engaged in business for himself since January, 1883, H. H. Dodd being associated with him as a partner. He has worked at his present business since he was fifteen years old. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, and of the K. of P. Mr. Payne was married at Frankfort, Ind. July 10, 1876, to Isabelle Feageans, a native of Champaign County, Ill. They have three children - Hugh D., Ethel and Emma.
A. T. PETERSON, farmer, P. O. Independence, was born in Licking County, Ohio, July 4, 1834. In April, 1839, his parents moved to Henry County, Ind. He was raised on a farm, and in February, 1867, moved to Iroquois County, Ill. Here he was engaged in farming until December, 1875, when he came to Kansas, locating on a farm six miles south of Independence in the township of the same name. He is engaged in farming and stock raising. In 1879, he was elected Township Trustee, and in 1880, a Justice of the Peace, serving one term in each office. He has been a director of the Montgomery County Agricultural Society ever since his advent in the county; vice-president in 1881-82, and president in 1883. He is a Mason of the R. A. Degree. Was married, March 13, 1863, in Henry County, Ind., to Miss Margaret Talburt. They have five children - Francis Morton, John T., Cora Lee, Mary Bell and Allie Jane. Mr. Peterson is keeping a complete abstract of the weather and current local events that is destined to become valuable to the county. The record runs back through eight years.
SANFORD H. PETTIBONE, attorney at law, was born in Springfield, Ill., December 13, 1848. In September, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Wounded at Butte, La., railroad accident, losing both legs at that time. He remained in the hospital at New Orleans, La., until July, 1865, then removed to Jefferson Barracks, Mo., and remained until discharged August 4, 1865. He then returned to Springfield, Ill., and in 1867 entered the Illinois Soldiers' College at Fulton, Whiteside County, where he remained as a student until 1871, and graduated. He then began reading law with Judge Crook, at Springfield, Ill. Admitted to the bar in July, 1872; after which he began the practice of his profession at McPherson, Kan., being the first attorney to settle in McPherson County. He removed to Vandalia, Ill., in February, 1877, and followed the law practice there until June, 1880. After prospecting until May, 1881, he located at Independence, Kan. He was married at McPherson, Kan., July 13, 1873, to Jennie Finan, of Des Moines, Iowa. Wife died February 8, 1883, leaving one son, Don, born October 6, 1878. They lost one daughter, Mabel, who was born August 8, 1874; died October 21, 1876. Mr. Pettibone is a member of McPherson Post No. 4, G. A. R. When at Vandalia he served some time as City Attorney.
H. PORTER dealer in real estate, was born in Cardiff, Onondaga Co., N. Y., July 28, 1843. In 1852, his parents, with their family, moved to Cooperstown, Otsego Co., N. Y., where he lived until 1864, then removed to Aurora, Ill., and remained two years. He then traveled eighteen months, visiting various portions of the Southwest, finally locating at Independence, Kas., in October, 1870, where he engaged in architectural and building work until the spring of 1873. He was a traveling salesman two years, and was in ill-health five years. In the spring of 1881 he engaged in the real estate business. He has two fine farms in the county, and pays some attention to agriculture. Was married in September, 1872, to Katie O'Brien, a native of Kane County, Ill. They have one son - Fred M.
J. H. PUGH, dealer in drugs, is a native of Barton, Washington Co., Ohio, born July 17, 1842. Made that his home until 1863. He then became a clerk in the Quartermaster's Department at the following places in order: Nashville, Murfreesboro and Tullahoma, continuing in that capacity until summer of 1865. In July, 1866, he came to Kansas, and prospected for over a year. Located at Fort Lincoln, Kas., fall 1867, and remained there until December, 1869. He opened the first drug store at Independence in February, 1870. Carried a grocery stock one and one-half years, since which he has dealt exclusively in drugs, wholesale and retail. He has served as Alderman three terms. Was married in Mapleton, Bourbon Co., Kas., February 15, 1870, to Josephine E. Knowles. They have three children - Ellen, Robert C. and Rachel. Mr. Pugh is a member of Masonic Order, of Independence, Kas.
BENJAMIN F. RALLS, grocer, was born in Iowa City, Iowa, February 16, 1847. When he was only four months old his parents removed with their family to Clermont County, O., where Benjamin lived until he was six years of age, when his uncle took him to Philadelphia. A year later his uncle died, and he was obliged to push forward alone in life. He began by peddling papers and doing other work which a boy of his age was capable of performing. In 1862, he went to Cincinnati, and there learned the machinist's trade in the large manufactory of Lane & Bodely, remaining with them until August 22, 1864, when he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving three months on the receiving ship, "Grampus," then taken to New Orleans, Louisiana, and assigned to duty aboard the steamer "General Bragg," continuing on that boat during the remainder of his term of enlistment - one year. He was discharged aboard the receiving ship, "Great Western," at Cairo, Ills., August 22, 1865. Going first to Chicago after his discharge, he afterwards went to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, New York and other cities, spending about three years in those various places. He then returned to Cincinnati and again entered the employ of Lane & Bodely, continuing in their shop two years, then traveled in Indiana, repairing machinery for a year, and from that time till he came to Independence, in January, 1883, he represented Lane & Brodey in the Southern States, making Greenville, Miss., his home. Mr. Ralls was married in Richland, Richland Co., Ind., August 6, 1871, to Sarah C. Perry, a native of Missouri. They have five children - Lilly E., Ota M., Dora A., Benjamin G , and William A.
CLAYTON M. RALSTIN, attorney, abstractor of titles and real estate dealer, was born near Georgetown, Brown Co., Ohio, November 14, 1840, lived there until October, 1849, then removed to Fulton County, Ill.; remained there until April, 1864, then went to Prescott, Arizona; November, 1869, returned to Illinois, and remained there until he came to Kansas. He came to Independence September 17, 1869. At that time there were no improvements on the town site. He engaged in the hardware trade about the middle of October. Brought some stoves and carpenter tools from Oswego first, and in January, 1870, be received the first invoice of goods from Kansas City. He engaged in the lumber business in January, 1870. Sold out the hardware business in June, 1870, continuing in the lumber trade until November, 1870. He was appointed County Attorney, May 9, 1870, and he has continued in practice since that time. Began dealing in real estate in the spring of 1871. Engaged in the abstract business in May, 1878. He is also engaged in loan business and farming. While he served as County Attorney he was also City Clerk. He was a member of the Board of Education two terms, and now holds the office of City Attorney. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. He was married at Lewistown, Fulton County, July 13, 1870, to Jennie C. Murchison, a native of Columbia, S. C. They have two children - Mary P., and Meena Elnora.
JOHN A. RANSOM, M. D., was born in Blackford County, Ind., August 25, 1840. He was educated in an academy in Jay County, Ind.: studied medicine in Hartford City, Ind.; took his first course at Ann Arbor, Mich., and finished at the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati. He began practice at Hartford City, Ind., and was in continual practice there, except when in medical school, until he came to Kansas in 1882. He located at Independence, and is now practicing there. He belongs to the I. O. O. F. He was married in Blackford County, Ind., to Miss Rebecca Landon. They have seven children - Caroline Frances, now Mrs. Ithamer Rhion: Robert L., James L., Florence May, John K., Leota and Estella.
GEORGE W. READ, dealer in lumber, was born in Shelby County, Ky., April 19, 1839. He was educated in Georgetown College, graduating in the class of 1861. He engaged in the grocery business at Shelbyville, and continued the business eight years, and then engaged in the lumber and coal trade at the same place. In 1883, he sold his business in Kentucky and came to Kansas, and located at Independence, where he has established a large lumber yard as the agent of R. A. Long & Co. of Kansas City. This firm have[sic] many yards in southern Kansas, and do an immense business. Mr. Read has ample grounds, a fine office and a lumber shed 22x320 feet. He carries all sorts of lumber and building materials. He was County Assessor of Shelby County, Ky., for eight years, and a member of the City Council for the same number of years. He is a member of the Masonic Order, R. A., and of the K. of H., and K. and L. of H. He was married September 26, 1861, at Georgetown, Ky. to Miss Ada E. Jenkins. June 11, 1881, Mrs. Read died. He has three children - the Misses Lena, Anna and Emma.
C. R. ROEDIGER, farmer, P. O. Independence, was born in Germany, May 6, 1843. Was educated in the agricultural college at Liebenz, and came to America in 1862. He located at Newark N. J., and clerked in a grocery store, until July, 1863, when he was appointed sutler to the Forty-sixth New York Regiment. In January, 1864, he resigned and settled in St. Louis, and was employed by Louis Balke, in the billiard table manufactory, and afterwards was in the grocery trade on Fifth street, between Chestnut and Walnut. In 1867 he moved to Kansas City, Mo., and was the business manager of the Kansas City Post, a German newspaper, for two years, and in 1869 went to California. He located in Sacramento, and engaged in the manufacture of fine cut chewing tobacco. He came to Kansas in February, 1872, and engaged in the confection and manufacturing business at Independence. He had purchased a fine farm west of the city, and in 1879 closed his business, rented his store, and moved on to his farm, where he now resides, engaged in the business of farming and stock raising. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity and K. of H. Married August 15, 1869, at Sacramento, Cal., to Miss Ellen Mayer. They have six children - Emily, Frederick, Carl, Edward, Robert, and Albert.