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


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


OLAUS HANSEN, Sunday-school missionary of the American Sunday-school Union, came to Kansas, March 1, 1869, and first located in Hoeward County, where he resided until May 1, 1881, when he moved to Centralia, Nemaha County, Kan. He is a member of the Grange, the I. O. G. T., and the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hansen was born in Bottne, Holmestrand, Norway, April 19, 1837, and lived in his native place until December, 1865, and then came to America and located in Clinton County, N. Y., where he lived about one year, and then removed to Chicago, where he resided until 1809, and from there came to Kansas. Was married, October 17, 1864, in Bargan, Ilillestad, Norway, to Miss Marie Tolffesdatter, a native of Norway. They have four children, viz.: Hakon, Torvald Dicken, John Adolph and Amelia. Mr. Hansen's field of labor as a missionary extends over ten counties in the northeastern portion of the State of Kansas. His mission is to organize Bible-schools in destitute districts, and to provide the scholars and parents with Bibles and Sunday-school literature. He has met with good success, and during the last three months has visited twenty established Sunday-schools, organized twenty-four new ones, with a membership of 825 scholars, and 103 teachers, and visited 640 families, and has traveled during this time 1,227 miles. He is active and zealous in the discharge of his duties, and gains the respect of all with whom he comes in contact.

J. H. HEROY is of French lineage, was born in 1845, in Ulster County, N. Y., and reared there, the son of a farmer. During the winter of 1863 and spring of 1864, he was in the United States Government employ, and in the spring of 1868 was induced by the glowing accounts he received to start for that part of the famed West where he now resides, and on the 6th of May was pleased far beyond his expectations to see the beautiful, rich and rolling prairies of Kansas. He had in his possession a cash capital of ten cents. With a little aid from home he started a harness shop, the first in Centralia. During the summer his father sent him $500, which was in vested in eighty acres of land one mile east of town. After running the harness business for four years he was married to Mrs. Frank A. Hazeltine, nee Matthews. He again turned his attention to farming, leased and rented different farms for a few years, meanwhile visiting the old York State home. He finally settled on the eighty acres east of town, improved it, built a house and barn, and stayed on the place for about three years, then sold land and crops for $2,600. His last move was to buy 160 acres of raw prairie half a mile east of Centralia, and a home in the village, where he now resides. Mr. and Mrs. Heroy belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Jay E. Matthews, an adopted son, is all that composes their family. A good comfortable home, and a welcome for visitors.

DR. JOHN S. HIDDEN is one of the best known men in Northern Kansas, both in a business and a professional view. He is the oldest regular practitioner in Nemaha County and one of its wealthiest men, and as a man and citizen has few, if any, peers. He was born in 1820, in Tamworth, N. H. He received a liberal education in the schools of his native village, and when twenty years of age removed to Saco, Me., where he began the study of medicine, entering the medical college at Dartmouth, N. H. He graduated with unusual credit as a physician and surgeon in 1846. Practiced three years in Maine, then spent a winter in the Bellevue Hospital College, New York, thus perfecting his knowledge of surgery. In 1857, he was a member of the New Hampshire Legislature. His settlement in Kansas dates from the fall of 1858, he being one of the colony, or Home Association, that located in Home Township. His home was at old Centralia, he being the first graduate to practice in Nemaha County. The Doctor took long rides in the old days, often going as far west as Waterville, east to the river, and north into Nebraska. At the dissolution of the Home Association, he was treasurer and a trustee. The Central Pacific Railroad employed the Doctor as chairman of the board of appraisers for the adjustment of claims for the right of way, and he got his pay for it, as certain railroad magnates may remember. When the present Centralia was laid out, Dr. Hidden was owner of one-sixth of the town site, and no man has done more for the advancement of the town and its interests. While devoted to his chosen profession, winning with every recurring year a greater prestige as a careful physician and skillful surgeon, he yet found time to buy and improve farms, to build stores, opening the first drug store in 1869, and to breed fine stock. He has been United States Examining Surgeon for twelve years past; is both a royal Arch Mason and an Odd Fellow Home Lodge No. 89, A. F. & A. M., of Centralia, having had no other Treasurer since its institution. He is a consistent Republican, and in 1863 and 1864 represented his district in the Kansas Legislature. Mrs. Dr. Hidden was Miss Hannah M. Wadleigh, of Parsonfield, Me., a lady of fine attainments, and a descendent of an old and honorable New England family. Two daughters resulted from the union, both now married to the Messrs. Birchfield, a couple of brothers who enjoy a first-class reputation among Centralia business men.

GEORGE R. HUNT, farmer, P. O. Centralia, born in 1834, in Oakland County, Mich. During the Civil War he served as a volunteer, and was with Gen. Butler on the Dutch canal, his regiment being cut to pieces by the terrible slaughter, going into one battle 1,200 strong, and coming out with only 225 men. This caused a re-organization, and he was transferred to the Twelfth United States Regulars, which regiment did grand service in quelling the famous draft riots in New York City; afterwards guarding rebel prisoners on Bedloes Island, N. Y., until the close of the war. Mr Hunt removed from Michigan to Kansan in 1869, settling with his wife and five children near where Washington now stands, there then being only five shanties in the place. He then took a claim on White Rock Creek, Jewell county. He was driven out by the Indians. The settlers made a strong fight at the mouth of White Rock Creek, but had to give up. He returned to his family in Washington County. In the spring of 1871 Mr. Hunt again went West with his family, and made the third claim on the Solomon River, in what is now Smith County. In the fall of that year their settlement had increased to five families and a few single men, but the Indians again attacked them and drove them out, but Mr. Hunt returned in the spring. Three of the families never came back. He took his revolver with him to work, and buffalo meat was the only meat he had to live on. In 1872 Messrs. Morrison and James and John Johnson were appointed by the Governor of Kansas to organize Smith County, which they did, by laying out three voting precincts. Mr. Hunt was elected Trustee, made the first assessment, and was chairman of the first convention. He removed from that county to his present location in May, 1882, though he still holds his ranch in Smith County.

A. H. HYBSKMANN, proprietor of the Centralia Steam Mills, is a Dane by birth, and a thorough-going American by adoption and enterprise. Born in 1837, he came to this country in 1867, locating at Galesburg, Ill. He has been a miller since his fifteen year, and, if 'practice makes perfect,' ought to be a good one. Since he has been in Kansas has worked in Marysville, Seneca and Centralia, and purchased the Centralia Mill in 1880 of Wood & Holyoke. It is 28x40, has three run of stone, a forty horse-power engine, and has a large patronage. Mr. Hybskmann has twenty-five lots in Centralia, a pleasant home, and hosts of friends. His wife was Anna Magroda and they have seven children.

E. D. HYMER, deceased was born in North Carolina, and after a residence in Indiana and Illinois, removed his family to Kansas IN August, 1859. His wife was Nancy Pope, of Shelby County, Ky., and their eight children accompanied them. The first location was on a farm in the 'Home Colony,' the next on a farm southwest of Centralia. He died, January 18, 1881, full of years and honors, leaving eight children - Sarah, James, Mary, Lillie, Julia, E. D., A. P. and Mattie, all born in Illinois. A. P. Hymer enlisted in the Eighth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and served with his regiment through the Atlanta campaign under Sherman, and the Nashville campaign under Thomas. After the collapse of Hood the regiment was sent into East Tennessee, then into Texas, and mustered out at San Antonio in 1866. Mr. Hymer then returned to peaceful pursuits; was a farmer till 1880, and has since engaged in the coal, salt, plaster and building- material trade in Centralia. His widowed mother now lives with him.

GERARD LETELLIER, farmer, Section 16, P. O. Centralia, was born in 1850, in Gernelle, France, and came to America in 1868. Two years later he settled in Kansas, working by the month for various Nemaha County farmers, thus securing means to purchase a farm of his own. It comprises ninety-five acres, is well located and valuable, part timber, part meadow, and the balance prairie. He married Mary A. McLaughlin, daughter of W. J. McLaughlin, a prominent and honored citizen of Nemaha County, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Letellier have four children, all born in Kansas.

W. A. LYNN, FARMER, Section 19, Mitchell Township, P. O. Centralia, was born 1840 in Orange County, N. Y. In 1861 he enlisted in the Eighth New York Cavalry, a regiment made world famous by its dashing, heroic deeds, and fought through from Antietam, Fredericsburg, etc., to the Sheridan campaign, in the 'Valley' and the Wilson raid on Richmond, the battles of Gettysburg, Winchester and Five Forks, to the final surrender at Appomattox, 'and,' relates Mr. Lynn, "it was to our Lieutenant Colonel that the first flag of truce was waved, as we held the front and centre of Grant's army that memorable morning." Mr. Lynn was wounded in the head at Gettysburg and laid up three months. From 1865 to 1871 he resided in Missouri, then settled where we now find him in Kansas. His wife was Margeret Raught, and they have three children. Mr. Lynn is a holder of many local offices, and is a Republican.

JOHN McBRATNEY, farmer, P. O. Centralia, was born in 1818, in Ireland, and came to America in 1834 with his parents, who settled in Adams County, Ill. Here he learned the trade of blacksmith, and through that attainment was employed as a manufacturer of plows for about six years in Pattersonville, La. In 1859 he settled in Kansas, where we now find him. His brick house, built in 1860, is with one exception, the oldest brick house in Nemaha County, and it is pleasantly environed by a good orchard. Mrs. McBratney was Presenda Chapman, and of their nine children, three were born in Illinois, two in Louisiana, and four in Kansas. Mr. McBratney is a noted and successful breeder of Clydesdale horses, his imported stallion 'Confidence' being regarded, before his unseasonable death, as a most valuable and promising horse.

TIMOTHY McLAUGHLIN, farmer, Section 8, P. O. Centralia, came to Kansas in 1857, and to Nemaha County the next spring. His 160 acres was secured by a United States land warrant, and he still holds it by virtue of a United States Patent His pioneer log cabin, 14x16 feet, is replaced by a comfortable farmhouse, and on every hand is to be seen evidences of the good work done as a civilizer by Mr. McLaughlin, who now, with his wife, owns a valuable farm of 400 acres. He was born in Lawrence County, Ind., and resided in Peoria County, Ill., from 1847 to 1857. Mrs. McLaughlin was Hannah S. Hammett, and a large family of intelligent children has blessed their union.

WILLIAM J. McLAUGHLIN, deceased, was one of the most energetic and successful, as well as cultured and scholarly men, who, by reason of early settlement, became pioneers of Nemaha County. Born in Kentucky, he was reared in Peoria County, Ill., where he received a rudimentary education. In 1856 he brought his family, comprising a wife and one daughter, to Kansas, locating on the beautiful valley farm in Home Township, Nemaha County, on which he died August 20, 1875, aged forty-six years. Beginning as a frontiersman, he hewed and chopped, plowed and planted, and in due time evolved a pleasant home, supported by 300 acres of rich, well-cultured land. Failing health during his later years, caused greater application to books on the part of this already studious man, and the most advanced ideas, religiously and socially. He left at his death a wife and nine children, viz: Mary, Marcus, Hiram, Addie, William, Rebecca, Simon, Emma and Darwin.

G. J. MAELZER, farmer, Section 18, P. O. Vermillion, born in 1846 in Saxony; after a course in the private schools, he attended a Mechanic's Institute, and later served an apprenticeship as carpenter and joiner. Attaining his majority, he came to America, and located at Cleveland, Ohio. In July, 1876, he came to Kansas and bought his present farm, comprising 100 acres. For two years past Mr. Maelzer has made a specialty of breeding Poland China hogs, his stock, purchased of A. C. Moore, Canton, Ill., being very fine. The sorghum industry also finds an able and successful advocate in Mr. Maelzer, he having manufactured about 800 gallons in 1881, and 1,800 gallons in 1882, he making it for 22 1/2 cents per gallon, or for one-half the yield. Mrs. Maelzer was Miss E. S. Krapf, and their six children are - Anna C., Jacob K., Valentine, Louisa M., Emilie A. And Edwin B.

JACOB MEYER, farmer, Section 29, Mitchell Township, P. O. Centralia, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio. He grew up the son of a poor village mechanic,, and at the age of fourteen, began as a farm laborer; when twenty-two he began farming on his own account in Jefferson County, Iowa. Came to Kansas in 1868 and began on 160 acres of raw prairie land, part of his splendid 330 acre farm. His farm-house is 20-30 feet, with additions since built; barn 32x48 feet, and with his stock-sheds, corn-cribs, etc., make up a small village. His stock yards enclose about three acres, his grove about five acres, and his orchard comprises 400 trees. An osage orange hedge encloses the original 160 acres, and the farm has rightfully earned for its enterprising owner the name of a model farmer. He married in Iowa and has three sons - John J., Amon L., and Henry F., and has an adopted daughter - Gracie A.

ROBERT MORRISON, farmer, Section 18, P. O. Centralia, is a native of Garrett County, Ky., born 1832. He was reared a farmer in Howard County, Ind., and sold out a good property there in order to come to Kansas in 1859. In 1864 he removed from his original location in Marshall County to a farm on the north branch of the Vermillion, which he improved. His settlement on his present 108 acre farm was in 1877, and this is the third farm wrought out and rendered valuable by his care and labor. His wife and helpmate was, as a girl, Harriet Garrett, of Madison County, Ohio, and they have eight living children, six born in Kansas. Mr. Morrison is a staunch Republican in political faith.

ELLIS W. MYERS, deceased, one of the earliest pioneers of Kansas, was born in 1812, in Howard County, Mo., and reared a farmer. Removing to Iowa, he married Sarah J. Barker. In 1855, accompanied by his wife and three children, and by Messrs. Smith, Neal, and another man, he started for Kansas, the then "dark and bloody ground." Arrived in St. Joseph, they were warned that it was almost certain death to cross into the troubled State or Territory of Kansas. However, he and his companions armed themselves and proceeded as far west as Marshall County, where Mr. Myers paid $300 for an unsurveyed claim, on which was built a log cabin with a weather boarded roof, and partially sided with hewed slabs, a primitive affair, in which many a pleasant season was passed by the family. Mr. Myers died here in October, 1863, leaving a wife and seven children - James T., Charles H., Jemima A., Margeret J., John E., La Fayette and Mary E., of these the two eldest daughters have gone the way of all the earth. James T. Myers, the eldest son, born in 1849 in Lucas County, Iowa, owns a fine farm of 144 acres, and is regarded as a prosperous and thriving young farmer. He married Lucy O. McLaughlin, by whom he has five children. As a stock breeder, he has Poland China hogs, and a fine drove of cattle and horses. He takes much pride in the early reminiscences of his parents, and relates that his father once spent fourteen days on the road in making a trip to St. Joseph, when that was the nearest market.

JOHN NESBETT, blacksmith, was born in 1836 in county Antrim, Ireland. Was brought by his parents to America and grew up in Pittsburg, Penn.; when seventeen years of age, he removed to Ottawa, Ill., and learned his trade. Since this time his life has been a changeful and eventful one, as he has pursued various occupations in Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Wyoming Territory, besides serving during the Rebellion as a volunteer in the Fourth Iowa Regiment. He fought with his regiment at Pea Ridge, through both the Vicksburg campaigns, at Arkansas Post, Jackson, and through the Atlanta campaign, then with Gen. Sherman to the sea, and through the Carolinas, taking part in the final grand review at Washington. He then followed blacksmithing in Illinois until 1876 and came to Kansas. His wife was Elizabeth Royle. They have two children - Annie E. and James D. Mr. Nesbitt is Senior Warden in Home Lodge A. F. & A. M., Centralia.

REV. LEVI C. PRESTON, deceased, one of Nemaha County's most gifted honored and lamented sons, was born in 1830 in Caroline, Tompkins County, N. Y. His boyhood was spent in school, and his whole life in study. After finishing a course of literary studies in Ithaca, N. Y., he entered the Free Baptist Theological Seminary at Whitestown; was ordained, preached regularly about four years. He married in her native county, Herkimer, Miss Mary Gorsline, an attractive and cultured lady, then recently graduated from the Whitestown Seminary, and thereafter, hand in hand they read together from life's great book. Ill health, a lung trouble, caused Mr. Preston to seek a milder climate, resulting in his settlement near Centralia, Kan., in 1862. Though not a farmer, the good work done by him in neat, economizing ways of farming and as a horticulturist, has left its indelible impress in the minds of the many old farmer neighbors, who so regretfully remember him. He literally made two farms, causing nearly a section in all of raw prairie land, to bloom as did the Babylonic gardens of old. His work in the pulpit was only occasionally that of a supply, though his eloquently practical sermons are cherished in the minds of fortunate listeners. Though not a politician, he was twice elected superintendent of schools, and twice to the Legislature of Kansas, 1870-'77. His death occurred August 8, 1878, at his father's in the old York State home, and his ashes, followed to the tomb by old classmates, repose in the family cemetery among the grass-grown hills and vales of that good old State. He was, while in Kansas, a consistent and faithful member of the Congregational Church, and was superintendent of the Sabbath-school at his death. His widow still is a resident on the beautiful farm made so attractive by his tireless hand and brain; is also a member of that church, as also are their daughters. Of these the eldest-Flora, after graduating at Hillsdale, married the Rev. A. C. Hogbin, the popular Congregationalist Pastor at Sabetha, Kan., and made the tour of Europe. Miss Mary Preston, M. S. PH. D., is a graduate of Cornell University and of Hillsdale College, and the son, Bryant Curtis Preston, will, in due time, graduate from the Hillsdale (Mich.) College.

P. H. RUNDLE, farmer, P. O. Centralia, was born in 1840, in Hocking County, Ohio, and removed with his father, Charles Rundle, to Vernon County, Wis., in 1954. Four years later they removed to Logan County, Ill., where, August 8, 1862, P. H. Rundle enlisted in the One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. His service was on the Bluff at Vicksburg and in Arkansas, regiment capturing Little Rock. He was honorably discharged with his regiment August 1, 1865, having served eight days less than three years. In 1870 he moved from Logan County, Ill., to Mitchell County, Kan., and made the third claim in Walnut Township, on which he lived ten years, since which time he has resided in Brown and Nemaha Counties as a farmer. He married Louisa Ewing. They have ten children, of whom only three are living, four of their children having been swept away within ten days in the fall of 1879. The three living are Ella, Francis and Arthur L.

A. W. SLATER, real estate dealer, one of the earliest and most respected of Centralia's pioneers, was born April 19, 1829, in Sullivan County, N. Y.; was early life apprenticed as a tailor; married in Orange County, N. Y., Marietta Holbert, and in the fall of 1858 came to Kansas. He had spent the summer in Galesburg, Ill., and remained there a week or two to hear the since famous joint discussion between Lincoln and Douglas; heard it, and has never regretted his delay. His first location was one and a half miles east of old Centralia, his house a substantial frame structure that was almost a marvel in that day, and his neighbors of the old home association were pleasant and congenial, people who thought more of good living and jolly times than of style, and who never allowed jealousy or pride to cloud any one's enjoyment. The house first built by Mr. Slater stood the dread cyclone of 1882, which burst the windows and actually thrust bits of glass into solid black walnut doors across the room. During the war times Mr. Slater relates that many a family spent night after night in boiling sorghum, that home-made staple that sugared down, sweetened the home-made coffee of the day. In 1871 Mr. Slater opened a real estate office in Centralia, where he has a most pleasant home, the farm being leased. Mr. and Mrs. Slater have had two daughters, Ella and Jennie. The eldest, grown to beauteous womanhood, married A. G. Rogers, who died May 23,1880, the young wife following him, a victim to the same fell disease, consumption, December 22, 1882. Two children, Mamie and Lena, survive them. Mr. and Mrs. Slater were founders of the Centralia Congregational Church, and he of the Home Lodge A. F. & A. M. and neither organization has more honored members.

ISAIAH STICKEL, farmer and stock-raiser, Centralia, was born in York County, Pa., April 16, 1830. His parents, John and Mary Stickel, both Pennsylvanians, removed in 1837 to Macon County, Ill., where Isaiah Stickel grew to manhood. He received a classical education in McKendree College, working his way without assistance to successful graduation. He was then engaged as Principal of Union Academy, at Sparta, and of graded schools at Jacksonville and Monticello, Ill., until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he gave up teaching, and in July, 1861, enlisted as a private in Company F. Second Illinois Cavalry; was elected Orderly Sergeant at organization of the Company, promoted to Second Lieutenant, June, 1862, to First Lieutenant, August, 1862, and remained in the service four years and nine months. Lieut. Stickel was complimented for gallantry at Bolivar, Tenn., it being the first battle in which the regiment was engaged, and in which Lieut. Col Hogg and five of Company F, including the First Lieutenant and Orderly Sergeant, were killed in a saber charge. At Holly Springs, Miss., December, 1862, the Captain of the company was taken prisoner, and from that time to the close of the war the command of the company devolved almost upon Lieut. Stickel. On the Vicksburg campaign he, with six men, in canoes, penetrated the swamps and bayous for thirty miles in pursuit of a boat load of rebel soldiers, among them two Lieutenant Colonels, whom he captured after an exciting day's chase. Near Black River, in rear of Vicksburg, he, with twenty men having the advance, charged a company of mounted infantry numbering eighty men, and killed and captured thirty without the loss of a man. For this brilliant feat he was complimented by Gens. McClernand and Osterhouse. At the battle of New Iberia, La., Capt Higgins and Lieut. Stickel, having the advance, hurled their companies upon the Rebel cavalry and killed and captured one hundred men. As the Captain was unhorsed ant the first onset, the command of both companies devolved upon Lieut. Stickel. In an expedition from Baton Rouge, La., to Liberty, he, with twenty picked men, had the advance, in which he several times charged the enemy, though outnumbering him two to one, killing and capturing a large number. For the valuable service rendered on this expedition he was highly complimented in a general order by Gen. Lee. He settled in Centralia in 1866, built and occupied the first store, was the first postmaster of the place, and after a mercantile career of six years, engaged in stockraising, and is now superintending his farms, consisting of 480 acres lying near the town. His wife was Mrs. Gaylord, of New York, and both are prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

MRS. ANN E. WARD, of Centralia, was Miss Moss, of Galena, Ill., and married November 15, 1860, W. H. Bevard, a native of Indiana, who removed to Galena, Ill., married there, and enlisted in August, 1862, in the Ninety-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry; served two years, and died in New Albany, Ind., leaving two children, Mary M. (Mrs. Merritt Howard, of Centralia) and Wm. H., also of Centralia. In October, 1866, Mrs. Ward married her second husband, Allen Ward, of Wayne County, Ind., who served over three years as a volunteer in the Sixteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, through the Vicksburg campaign, and was nine months in Libby prison. In June, 1871, Mr. and Mrs. Ward removed to what is now Kirwin, Phillips Co., Kan., and thus became the fifth family to settle in that county. With them came other families, and for nearly a year they lived on the present site of Kirwin. During the time a band of Indians camped on a hill overlooking the town, and to frighten them sent word that all whites found there at sunset would be killed. This at once set the few men in the settlement at the work of throwing up an embankment of earth, and later of building a stockade, in which the few families passed a long dreary winter, enlivened by an occasional incident like that of the Irishman who, while on guard at night, supposing he saw Indians, fired his gun at the grindstone, and of course roused the camp. In the spring of 1872 Mr. Ward settled on a claim in Phillips County, and while here Mrs. Ward was the frontier white woman, farthest west of any in Kansas. In 1878 the family returned to Mitchell County, and in 1881 to Centralia. Mrs. Ward has been a widow nine years; she has three children, Russell W., J. N. and Cora B., the second child born in Phillips County. Mrs. Ward relates that her eldest daughter once drove off a buffalo that came to their home in Philips County and was 'too neighborly.'

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