KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


MORRIS COUNTY, Part 10

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (SHARP - WHITE).

[Picture of Hon. Isaac Sharp] HON. ISAAC SHARP, attorney-at-law was born in Lancaster County, Pa., May 5, 1832. His father, Dr. Samuel Sharp, was a distinguished physician, descended from Samuel Sharp, a member of the Society of Friends who came from England with William Penn, and settled in Chester County, Pa., where Dr. S. was born. Samuel Sharp, the pioneer with Penn, was a surveyor, doing much work for the latter, including the laying out of Philadelphia. The mother of Isaac Sharp--her maiden name being Catharine Caroline Dugan--was a native of County Donegal, Ireland, immigrating to America when four years old, with her parents, and settling in Pennsylvania, where she married Dr. Sharp. They had six children, of whom the subject of our sketch was the third. All except Isaac and a brother, Joseph L., a resident of Council Grove, died when quite young. Isaac Sharp received his primary education in the common schools of Pennsylvania, and completed it at the Pennsylvania State Normal School, where he graduated. When seventeen years of age he began teaching school, continuing seven years, and during the last two years of that time, he studied law under Thaddeus Stevens and Jacob B. Armvage. In 1856 he began the practicing law in Lancaster County, and was there elected Justice of the Peace; resigning that office the next year. He then moved to Kansas, settling in Wyandotte County. In the spring of 1858 he went out on the plains with other parties, making headquarters on Sharp's Creek--named after the first settler in what is now McPherson County. He then engaged in hunting game from northern Nebraska to Texas, and west to the Rocky Mountains, and in trading with the Indians. He became familiar with the language and habits of several tribes. He also made a large collection of fossils and minerals which he sold to a scientific man representing an Eastern college, for $4,000. In 1862 he moved to Council Grove and resumed the practice of law, to which he has devoted his attention, practicing in all State and Federal Courts. In 1875 he was sent to Washington by the settlers of the Kaw Indian reserve, to secure the passage of an act to place that land on the market. He not only succeeded in doing this, but also got the price lowered. Mr. S. has always been a firm adherent to the principles of the Democratic party, giving that ticket his influence and support. He has twice been a delegate to the National Democratic Conventions, being a Vice-President in both, and was one of the committee appointed to inform the nominees of their nomination by the convention held at New York City, in 1868. In 1870 he was the Democratic candidate for governor of Kansas; but was defeated, though running over 2,000 votes ahead of his ticket. He has also been closely identified with local interests in Morris County; serving twelve years on the School Board, at Council Grove; taking an active part in the building up of the Public Schools. Has also been a member of the City Council of Council Grove, several terms, and was twice Mayor of the city, and twice a member of the Board of County Commissioners, being Chairman of that body both terms; at the same time he was elected to the Legislature, serving in the Judiciary Committee of the session of 1868, and drafted the laws relating to taxation and settlement of estates, and also represented the Committee on enrolled bills. He is also a member of I.O.O.F. lodge, at Council Grove. Was grand master of the State, and has attended all the sessions of the Grand Lodge during the past twenty years. Has frequently been chosen to deliver the annual address at different points. He was married in Lancaster County, Pa., December 28, 1854, to Miss Emeline, only daughter of Thomas and Mary Armstrong, a lady of good education and refinement. They have had twelve children, of whom only two, Elwood and Jessie, are living.

WILLIAM F. SHAMLEFFER, Mayor of Council Grove, was born in Baltimore, Md., January 23, 1843, remaining until the spring of 1863, when he located at Council Grove. Two years later he engaged with other parties in the mercantile business, which he continued until 1874. His firm did a very extensive business, amounting to $150,000 per year, in furnishing outfits and supplies for the Indian trade and New Mexico. Mr. S. has also taken a very active and prominent part in public matters. He was appointed Treasurer of Morris County to fill a vacancy and was elected for the succeeding term. He is now Mayor of Council Grove and a member and Secretary of the School Board. He has also been identified with several public enterprises. Was a member of a company which located the town of Augusta and helped build the first house in that town in 1868. Was Treasurer of the Chicago, Kansas & Texas Railroad, and assisted to work up franchises to the extent of $1,000,000; also took an active part in obtaining franchises for the M. K. & T. R. R. and is now an incorporator and director of the Topeka, Saline & Western Railroad, and has done much to secure the success of that road. He is past grand master of the I.O.O.F. lodge and a receiver of A.O.U.W. at Council Grove. He was married at Council Grove, Kan., October 21, 1868, to Miss Maggie Munkres. They have three children--Fannie, Leonard, Byron. He is the proprietor of the Morris County mills at Council Grove, which were built in 1876 by the grange and purchased by Mr. S. and brother who now operate them. They have three run of stone and all modern improvements and a capacity of 300 bushels of corn and wheat each per twelve hours. It is run as a merchant and custom mill and does a business of $50,000 per year. Mr. S. deals extensively in live stock, keeping an average of thirty head of cattle and shipping from $2,500 to $3,000 worth of hogs each year. His facilities for feeding stock are very complete.

ALBERT W. SIMCOCK, Postmaster, was born at Council Grove, Kan., September 23, 1857. He was appointed Postmaster February, 1879, having acted as assistant postmaster for two years. Prior to the time he entered the postoffice, he was employed as a clerk in attorney's office and in a dry goods store, and for a short time kept a book and stationery store. He is a Republican and an active worker for the interests of that party. He is also a member of the I.O.O.F. and A.O.U.W. lodges at Council Grove.

JOHN SIMS, Sheriff, was born in Greene County, Mo., January 6, 1844, where he resided until the close of the war, when he went to Texas remaining until 1870, engaged in stock raising. He then came to Council Grove, where, for several years he was employed as a clerk in a store. In 1876 he engaged in farming continuing it three years, when he became interested in lumber business, which he followed until January, 1880. During the summer of 1882, he entered into business with John Heaston, forming the firm of Heaston & Sims, successors to Heaston & Martin, dealers in agricultural implements, carrying a stock of $7,000 and doing a business of $25,000 to $30,000 per year. Mr. Sims was elected Sheriff of Morris County, in the fall of 1879, and is now serving his second term. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge and A.O.U.W. Lodge and Select Knights of same order at Council Grove. He was married at Council Grove, Kan., July 5, 1871, to Miss Eliza Simcock. They have four children--Emma, Ida, James Wesley and John.

SIMCOCK & SEWELL, dealers in a general line of groceries, queensware, etc., opened trade under present firm name January 1, 1883. The above business was established by G. M. Simcock and E. M. Sewell in the fall of 1879. E. M. Sewell first came to the old Sac and Fox Indian agency, then in the Indian Territory, sixty miles east of Council Grove, in 1846, where he embarked in the Indian trade until 1854, thence settled on Rock Creek, eight miles east of the latter place, where he followed farming and stock raising until 1861, when he removed to the village and engaged as a clerk until 1868, from which time until 1874 he was backwards and forwards between here and the Indian Territory trading with the Indians of several different tribes. In 1874 he moved on to a farm six miles south of Council Grove and lived there until the spring of 1879, and engaged in the grain business until he became a member of the above firm. He was born in Butler County, Ohio, May 10, 1832. His parents moved to Tazewell County, Ill., in 1835, where he lived until 1838, when he went to Van Buren County, Iowa. He was raised on a farm. Married in 1856 to Miss Margaret Baker, a native of Iowa. They have three children--Clyde B., Robert E., and James G. He is a member of the Blue Lodge, A., F. & A.M., and a Democrat.

JOHN THOMAS STEVENSON, retired, was born in Versailles, Woodford Co., Ky., October 21, 1816, living there until 1854, when he moved to Andrew County, Mo., where he resided until the breaking out of the war, when he was driven into the Confederate army. He was captured in 1862 and held a prisoner until the close of the war, when he moved to Council Grove, where he has since resided. Mr. S. learned the tailor's trade in Kentucky, following that vocation until a few years ago. He held the office of Justice of the Peace at Council Grove thirteen years and then entered mercantile business, which he carried on five years, when he retired from business. He has long been identified with the I.O.O.F. order and instituted the lodge at Council Grove, being one of its charter members. He was married at Versailles, Ky., March 15, 1836, to Miss Susan P. Stone. They have five children living--Elizabeth W., Sarah Ann, Blackburn Kincaid, George S. and Agnes A.

C. H. STRIEBY, blacksmith, has been in present business at Council Grove, since 1857, when he located in the town. He does a general blacksmith business and horseshoeing, employing two men continuously, and during a portion of the time two additional hands. He was born in Beaver County, Pa., May 22, 1836, living there until twenty years old and then learning his trade, which he has since followed. He came to Kansas in 1856, working at his trade in different places one year. He then located at Council Grove, where he married in 1865 Miss Harriet E. Wright, a native of the State of New York. They have five children living--Henry, Robert, Edna, Frank and Ellen. He is a member of the Masonic order.

SAMUEL M. STRIEBY, wagon-maker and carpenter, does a general wagon-making and repairing business, also does an extensive business building and carpentering, employing two to thirteen hands, his entire business amounting to $4,000 per year. He has built a number of business houses and residences at Council Grove for speculative purposes. For twelve years he carried on an undertaking establishment in connection with his other business and was also in the lumber business a short time. He was born in Beaver County, Pa., February 15, 1841, residing there until 1861, when he enlisted in Company K, Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves, serving nearly three years in the Army of the Potomac. He took part in a number of the principal battles fought by that army and was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness. In 1864 he was discharged on account of disability. He soon afterward came to Kansas, locating at Council Grove. He was elected Register of Deeds on the first straight Republican ticket elected in Morris County. Has since been a member of the city Council and Township Trustee. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. order and has held all the official positions in the lodge at Council Grove. He was married at Council Grove, Kas., in 1875, to Miss Agnes A. Stevenson, daughter of J.T. and Susan P. Stevenson. They have two children, Charles Cook and Andrew Hughes.

[Picture of D. C. Webb] D. C. WEBB, dealer in dry goods, clothing, millinery, etc., has been in present business at Council Grove the past seven years, carries a general stock of clothing, boots and shoes, hats and caps, dry goods, notions and millinery, amounting to $20,000 to $30,000, doing a business of over $50,000 per year and employs eight to ten clerks. He has a similar store at Strong City, carrying a stock of $18,000 and doing a large and growing business. He is also interested in real estate in Morris County, having four farms of 160 acres each, 350 acres of the whole being under cultivation. He is also a stockholder and director in the Morris County State Bank. He was born in Lafayette, Ind., in 1834; when twelve years old he left his home and went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he obtained employment in a store as errand boy; in 1849 he went to South America, stopping on the way a short time at the cities of Havana and Kingston, on the islands of Cuba and Jamaica. He being at this time sixteen years old, settled at Peno Blanco, on the Isthmus of Panama, thirteen miles from Chagres on the Chagres River, where he built a hotel and was engaged in keeping hotel, the nearest white man at the time being ten miles from him. His customers were travelers crossing the Isthmus, going to and from California. He sold his hotel after keeping it less than one year, when, in connection with an elder brother, they built the Railroad Hotel, which was the first hotel built and completed in what is now the city of Aspinwall; they also built during the same year, in Aspinwall, a storehouse, and were engaged in selling clothing, provisions and groceries. They sold their real estate, and merchandise in Aspinwall, during the winter of 1851 and 1852, and returned to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they had built for them a large side-wheel steamboat, especially built for the cotton trade in the South. The first trip up Red River, in Louisiana, the boat was sunk and was a total loss. The two brothers then went to Guyandotte, W. Va., where, for about a year, they were engaged in the mercantile business. Not meeting with much success, for the want of sufficient capital to do business, they sold out, the elder brother, R. H. Webb, went to California, the other back again to Cincinnati, where he again found employment, either as salesman or book-keeper, in the mercantile business, until 1857, when he entered into business for himself at Mound City, Ill. Since that time he has been continuously engaged in the mercantile business. He was married in Decatur, Ill., in 1858, to Miss Mary A. Seamans. They have two children living, both are now married, Minnie M. Freyschlag and Norah Webb Fisk. Mr. Webb was a member of the order of Odd Fellows, in Mound City, Ill., and is a member of the Masonic order, the Blue Lodge, the Chapter, the Commandery, also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

SENECA TYLER, County Surveyor, was born in Syracuse, N.Y., July 31, 1842. He received his education at Hartford, Conn., graduating from the high school of that place. He there received his early training in civil engineering and was afterwards employed as civil engineer on the canals in the State of New York, and on railroads in Wisconsin, and Minnesota, following the business of civil engineer most of his life. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, Twentieth Iowa Infantry, serving until August, 1865, in the Army of the Frontier, and participated in the siege of Vicksburg and vicinity, Mobile, and in Florida and Texas. He moved to Kansas in 1871, locating in Cowley County, where he engaged in farming and land surveying. In 1878 he removed to Morris County and engaged in farming. In July, 1882, he was appointed County Surveyor of Morris County, to fill a vacancy and was elected for succeeding term in November following. He was married at Davenport, Iowa, March 1, 1870, to Miss Hannah M. Hubbard.

JAMES WATKINS, Deputy Sheriff, was born near Huntsville, Madison Co., Ala., in 1826, afterwards moving to Missouri, where he remained until 1856, when he came to Kansas, locating at Lecompton. However, on account of the border troubles then existing, he returned to Missouri, where he remained until 1863. He again came to Kansas, locating at Council Grove. During the next two years, he was connected with the Santa Fe Mail Company, running a supply train from Council Grove to points west. In 1865 he purchased an interest in what is now the Commercial Hotel, which he enlarged, and, in partnership with another party, ran about four years. Since that time he has not been engaged in regular business. He is now Deputy Sheriff, a position he has had most of the time for several years; has also been a member of the City Council of Council Grove. He is largely interested in town property, being one of the heaviest real estate owners in Council Grove, is also a director of the Farmers & Drovers Bank, of which he is a stockholder. He is a member of the Masonic order. He was married at Liberty, Clay Co., Mo., in 1865, to Miss M. A. Faulconer. They have six children living, Eva May, Hasie Bell, Era C., Todd, Ivy, Ona.

HON. WILLIAM H. WHITE was born in Lexington, Ky., August 27, 1847, living on a farm until seventeen years old, when he began clerking in a store at Council Grove, remaining there three years, having removed from Kentucky to Andrew County, Mo., when an infant and coming to Kansas when ten years old. In 1867 he began dealing in livestock, pursuing that business four years; then for seven years he had a general store. In 1877 he was elected Treasurer of Morris County, serving two terms. In 1882 he was elected representative to the Legislature from Morris County. Mr. White is a Democrat, supporting State and national Democratic tickets, but in county matters he supports men rather than party. He has also been identified with other public interests, having been a member of the City Council and is president of the Morris County Fair Association, also president of the Farmers and Drovers Bank. He is a member of the Masonic lodge at Council Grove. He was married at Council Grove, Kan., to Miss Sarah J. Hammond, March 8, 1874. They have two children living, Bertha and Clarence.

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