KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


SHAWNEE COUNTY, Part 24

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (GRAVES - GUTHRIE).

GEORGE C. GRAVES, attorney at law, was born in the province of Saxony, Prussia, September 2, 1830, and came to America with his parents in 1843, locating in Rochester, N. Y. He acquired his education in Germany and America, and finished his law studies in Rochester. In 1853 he settled in Des Moines, Iowa, where he practiced law until August 29, 1861, when he raised Company D, Second Iowa Cavalry, and entered the service as Captain of that company. He re-enlisted as a veteran, and was made Lieutenant-Colonel of his regiment, being commissioned Colonel just before leaving the army, November, 1865. He participated in all the engagements of the Second Iowa Cavalry, at New Madrid, Corinth, Iuka, etc., and was at one time in command of the entire brigade to which he was attached. After leaving the army he engaged in practice at Memphis, Shelby Co., Tenn., where he remained until 1873, then removed to Omaha, Neb., thence to Topeka, Kan., February 13, 1882, where he now resides engaged in the practice of his profession. Mr. Graves was married in Rochester, N. Y., October, 1853, to Sarah A. Myrick, a native of New York State, who died in 1866, leaving one son, Charles W. At Omaha, January, 1878, he was married to Miss Julia M. Werklein.

HON. JOHN P. GREER, attorney at law, came to Kansas, September 22, 1856, and after remaining a few days at Leavenworth, came to Topeka, and bought a claim one and one-half miles west of Tecumseh, and engaged in farming. In 1857 he went to Tecumseh and opened a law office there, which he removed to Topeka in 1861, but still resided at his farm, which he afterwards rented, and built a house in the city for the residence of his family. Judge Greer published the Topeka Tribune, the first daily paper issued in the city, in 1861, being editor at that time. It passed into other hands, and in 1865 he purchased the office and again published the paper about two years, being editor-in-chief, with A. L. Williams as associate editor a portion of the time. In 1869 he was appointed American Consul to Matamoras, Mexico where he remained a little over a year, and was then obliged to resign his position on account of ill health, occasioned by the climate. Judge Greer was a member of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, and of the last Territorial Legislature. He was twice elected to the office of Probate Judge, and held district court between the terms of Gilchrist and Morton, being appointed by the governor to fill the position. He was a member of Gov. Robinson's staff, with rank of Colonel, and has held the office of Justice of the Peace, and many minor local offices. He was born in Dayton, Ohio, October 21, 1824, and educated in the schools of his native town. In 1849 he graduated from the law department of the University of Indiana, but commenced practice at Troy, Miami County, before he entered that institution. He was admitted to the bar of the Tenth Judicial District of Indiana in 1846, and after leaving the law school was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1846 he removed to Bluffton, Wells Co., Ind., and remained there until he came to Kansas. He was married in Milton, Miami Co., Ohio, June 22, 1845 to Elizabeth Patty, a native of Miami County. Judge Greer served in the Second Kansas Militia (Col. Veale's regiment) during the Price Raid, and was badly wounded at the battle of the Blue. Judge and Mrs. Greer have two grandchildren--the children of his son, Elbridge Greer, who was Assistant Secretary of State at the time of his death, which occurred in 1874. Elbridge Greer was Captain of Company I, Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Infantry, serving a little more than three years.

JOHN GREIF, cigar manufacturer, came to Kansas in September, 1864, and located at Leavenworth, remaining in that city until 1879. He then moved to Topeka, and commenced the manufacture of cigars, in which he is still engaged, employing ten men in his factory now, and only four in 1879. He is a native of Germany, born November 29, 1845. He came to America in 1863, and lived in Michigan prior to his removal to Kansas. He was married in Chicago October 16, 1870, to Miss Minnie A. Rode, a native of Germany. They have three children--Frank J., Emma M. and Leo M. Mr. Greif is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Topeka Lodge, No. 17.

W. H. GRIFFITH came to Topeka in May, 1869. Has been principally engaged in contracting and building until March 1, 1882, since which time he has been engaged in the lumber trade. He has also considerable real estate in the city. He was born July 29, 1843, near Saltillo, Perry Co., Ohio, and lived in Perry and Muskingum counties until 1862, when he enlisted in the Sixth Independent Company First Ohio Sharpshooters and continued in the service until June, 1865, never receiving a wound or being captured, but returned safely home, where he remained until February 18, 1868, when he was married near New Lexington, Perry County, Sarah M. DeLong, of the same place. They have buried one son, who died May 9, 1878, aged nine years, and have two children living--Lottie and Birdie, ages, ten and five respectively. Mr. G. is a member of Orient Lodge, No. 51, A. F. & A. M., of Kansas.

JOHN W. GRIFFITH located at Topeka in April, 1868, and was for four years employed as a carpenter, and then until November, 1878, in contracting. He then engaged in lumber business, which he continued alone, except during a few months, until October 15, 1882, when he was made General Manager of the Kansas Lumber Company, at Topeka. Mr. G. has been a member of the Topeka School Board two years, Alderman of the Third ward since April, 1881, and President of the Common Council since May, 1882. He was born near Saltillo, Perry Co., Ohio, June 28, 1841. In 1857 he moved to Hopewell, Muskingum Co., Ohio, and resided there until he enlisted in Company G, Thirty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered into the service July 28, 1861. He was wounded in the attack on Atlanta, July 20, 1864, and mustered out July 29, at Columbus, Ohio. He returned to Hopewell after leaving the army and was married in Madison Township, Perry Co., Ohio, November 16, 1865, to Sarah Dilts, a native of Madison Township. They have one child--Mabel D. Mr. G. is a member of G. A. R. and I. O. O. F.

WILLIAM RILEY GRIFFITH was born May 8, 1820, at Tippecanoe County, Ind. His father, James Griffith, was a minister of the United Brethren Church. He received the rudiments of an education at the district school near his father's farm, about six miles from Lafayette. In 1843 he entered Asbury University, and graduated in 1847. On the 24th day of December, of that year, he was married to Margaret Landes, and was soon afterward called to Otterbein, Ohio, to take charge of the university of that name which had been recently founded there, and of which he became first President. In September, 1850, the ravages of cholera having spread terror throughout the neighborhood, the faculty of Otterbein University determined to temporarily close its doors, and Mr. Griffith having received a call to take charge of a similar institution at Mount Pleasant, Pa., he removed there with his family. Here he remained diligently prosecuting his labors until 1854, when he, too, became infected with the wild and weird contagion for the sunny slopes of Kansas which he suffered in common with countless thousands of restless spirits in the older States. He arrived in Kansas in the spring of 1855, and settled upon a farm in Bourbon County, five miles from Fort Scott, on the Marmaton River. Before he was fairly settled in his new home he was summoned to take a hand in the stirring events that were now transpiring on every hand, and whatever the hazard or the cost, the summons was never made in vain. Bourbon County is one of the eastern tier of counties, bordering on Missouri, and was, consequently, during the whole of the Kansas troubles, overrun by desperate and marauding bands of "border ruffians," and it was said at the time of Mr. Griffith's arrival, that the county did not contain in all a dozen Free-state men. Though danger to life and property was constantly imminent, he never faltered in the avowal of his principles, nor lost an opportunity of of exerting his influence in the cause of freedom. Early in the fall he was sent to Topeka as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, which convened October 23, and he signed the celebrated constitution there framed. On March 10, 1857, he was a member of the Free-state Convention which met at Topeka, and was a member of the committee to draft an address to the American people. In July of the same year he was a member of a Free-state Convention which met at Topeka, and was appointed a member of the Republican State Central Committee. He was a delegate to the Minneola Constitutional Convention, which met March 23, 1858. He was elected a member of the Free-state Convention at Topeka, to nominate State officers under the Leavenworth constitution, and was re-appointed a member of the Central Committee. On December 1, 1858, the Free-state men of Bourbon and adjoining counties held a mass meeting for the purpose of taking into consideration the state of affairs on the border, and of devising ways and means to restore peace and quiet. Mr. Griffith was made President, and the convention, after discussing various measures for the suppression of the troubles in the southwest, passed resolutions repudiating violence and lawlessness, and pledging themselves to speedily bring the guilty to punishment, adjourned. On June 4, he was elected a member of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, which met in July, and was chairman of the Committee on Education. October 12, 1859, he was a member of the Republican State Convention which met at Lawrence to nominate State officers, and on the first ballot received the nomination for Superintendent of Public Instruction, receiving forty-nine votes to sixteen for Elder Davis, of Baldwin University. The election occurred December 6, and he received 7,598, to 5,287 for J. D. McGill. He immediately removed his family to Topeka, and assumed the duties of the office. On the evening of February 9, 1862, on returning to his home he complained of a severe headache. In a few hours he became unconscious. His malady baffled the skill of physicians, and he breathed his last February 12, after an illness of only five days. He left a widow and six children. During his residence in Bourbon County his life was several times sought on account of his well known Free-state principles. On one occasion his house was surrounded and searched, but he happening to be away from home, escaped. On several occasions he found it necessary to take his family in a wagon and travel by night into some adjoining county, and remain concealed for days or weeks at a time. The universality of the Pro-slavery sentiment, which was dominant in the minds of all ages and both sexes, is forcibly illustrated by a circumstance that occurred shortly after the shooting of Roads by Weaver, which caused intense excitement at the time. The fatal rencounter sic occurred near Mr. Griffith's house, and being fully convinced that Weaver had acted solely in self-defense, he concealed his old neighbor and friend at the imminent risk of his own life and property. His home was surrounded and search made for both Griffith and Weaver, but they were concealed in the orchard and escaped detection. Mr. Griffith's family still reside at Topeka, with the exception of William R., who is in the hardware business at Emporia.

J. P. GRISWOLD was born in New Haven, Conn., but was reared in Le Roy, Genesee Co., N. Y. Began learning the milling business at Batavia, in the same county, twenty-four years ago, remaining there until 1862, when he removed to Michigan. In 1863 he went to Peoria, Ill. Remained there until 1871, when he came to Topeka and engaged in the milling business here with his partner, J. L. Shellabarger. Mr. Griswold has been constantly following the business which he commenced at Batavia when a boy. He is one of the directors of the Topeka city railroad company, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was married at Batavia, N. Y., October 11, 1877, to Leila M. Garrett, a native of Pembrook, Genesee Co., N. Y.

L. Y. GRUBB, M. D. was born in Washington, Fayette Co., Ohio, December 27, 1841. He received his literary education at the schools of his native place, and graduated from the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, Ohio. Came to Dover, Shawnee Co., Kan., in March, 1869, where he remained in practice (except during a period of a few months absence in the mountains on account of ill health) until he came to Topeka in September, 1882. He was married at Terre Haute, Ind., February 19, 1873, to Jennie Wiley, a native of Washington, Ohio. They have two children--Clyde and Loehr. The doctor is a member of the Topeka Academy of Medicine and Surgery and of A. F. & A. M., Blue Lodge No. 17, of Topeka, and Fayette Chapter 103 at Washington, Ohio; Topeka Commandery, K. T., No. 5, and G. A. R. Topeka. He served three years in the United States army.

HON. EUGENE N. GUNN, attorney, North Topeka, was born near Waterville, Lucas Co., Ohio, May 8, 1844. Less than a year after his birth his parents moved to Fulton County, Ohio, and he resided near Delta until he was about eighteen years of age. He was educated at Waterville high school and at Seneca County academy, located at Republic, Ohio, and at the age of eighteen years he removed to Oregon, Holt Co., Mo., where he began the study of law with Senator T. H. Parrish of that place. Was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1865. He came to Rush Centre, Rush Co., Kansas, in June, 1874. At the first election in that county he was elected County Surveyor, served one year and was then elected County Attorney. Afterward served another term as County Surveyor. For a short time he was editor of The Progress and later published The Blade in partnership with his law partner, Hon. F. S. Stumbaugh. In 1875 he platted Rush Centre. In 1877 more ground was added to the town site and the name was changed to Walnut City. Mr. Gunn remained in practice there until 1882, in the spring of which year he was appointed County Attorney by Hon. J. C. Strang to fill the unexpired term of Judge S. W. Taylor. He resigned this office in July, when he removed to North Topeka, where he now resides. He was married near Delta, Ohio, in February, 1867, to Laura C. Tappan, a native of Fulton County, Ohio. They have five children: Edgar S., Louisa May, Emma A., Laura E. and Lida L. Mr. Gunn is a Royal Arch Mason, and was the first W. M. of Walnut City Lodge, in Rush County.

HON. JOHN GUTHRIE, son of William and Margaret (Japp) Guthrie, was born in Switzerland County, Ind., July 2, 1829. His parents were both natives of Scotland. His father was born in Perth, and received a collegiate education at the University of Edinburg. His mother was born in Ayrshire, and came to America with her parents, who settled in Indiana, while yet a child. He was reared in the habits of industry on a farm, and received the early educational advantages of the common schools. He studiously continued his educational course for years after his school-boy days were over. He taught school for several years in Indiana and during that period commenced the study of law. In 1854, he gave up teaching and entered the law office of Hon. Lewis Chamberlain, of Logansport, Ind., where he completed his professional studies. Being admitted to the bar, he commenced practice in the counties of Cass and Miami, and was, in October, 1857, elected District Attorney for those counties. He held the office for some eighteen months then resigned, on account of the inadequate compensation afforded by the emoluments of the office. He continued the practice of his profession with increasing success until the breaking out of the Rebellion. In the fall of 1861, he recruited a company for Forty-sixth Indiana Infantry--Col. Graham N. Fitch--and entered the service as Captain. He continued in the service during the following year. He was with his regiment at Camp Wickliffe, Ky., Benton, New Madrid, Riddle's Point and Island No. 10, Mo.; Fort Pillow and Memphis, Tenn., bearing himself throughout as a true soldier should. At the close of 1862 his health became so seriously impaired as to compel him to resign. He returned to Logansport and resumed the practice of law. In 1863, when Morgan made his raid into Indiana, Captain Guthrie, in response to a dispatch from Gov. Morton, calling for aid, raised in Logansport and vicinity a battalion of 196 men and had them enrolled, mustered, and en route for Indianapolis in thirteen hours after receipt of Governor Morton's dispatch. In 1864 he received the unanimous nomination of his party (Republican) for member of the Indiana House of Representatives. He was defeated by a small majority on purely party grounds. He came to Kansas soon after the close of the war and settled in Topeka, which has been his home since May 10, 1865. His ability as a legal practitioner, and his merits as a politician, and his many virtues as a private citizen have been fully appreciated and acknowledged by his fellow citizens since his settlement in the State. He served as a member of the State House of Representatives from Topeka three successive terms, 1868, 1869 and 1870, being elected Speaker pro tem during the latter session. He was one of the Republican Presidential electors chosen in 1872, and was selected to deliver the vote to the Vice-President in person, at Washington. He served as chairman of the State Republican Committee in 1872 and 1874, and successfully conducted the political campaigns of those years. In 1875 he was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury one of the Commissioners to locate the site for the federal buildings at Topeka. He has been a leading candidate for the office of the Governor in the State nominating conventions of the Republican party, lacking in 1876 but eight votes of receiving the nomination. Mr. Guthrie, as appears in the railroad history of the State, has been largely identified with the development of its railway system. He was one of the early projectors and friends of the A., T. & S. F. road, in the days when it needed friends most. He became an A. F. & A. M. in 1862; in 1875 and 1876 was Deputy Grand Master, and served as Grand Master of the State in 1877. He was married in Logansport, Ind., to Miss Mary C. H. Updegraff, a native of Ohio.

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