KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


SHAWNEE COUNTY, Part 33

[TOC] [part 34] [part 32] [Cutler's History]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (ROBY - SKINNER).

[Image of H. W. Roby] HENRY W. ROBY, M. D. is a native of Ohio. He was born in the town of Harmony, Morrow County, July 29, 1842. His father, with his family, removed to Wisconsin in 1846, and settled on a farm in Sugar Creek, Walworth County, where he lived until 1850. From there he removed to Monticello, Green County, and thence back to Ohio, where he remained two years. He subsequently returned to Green County. Wis., and took a permanent residence on a farm, where he remained for several years. Young Roby, following the fortunes and removals of his father's family, was bred on the farms he cultivated, and received his primary education in the common schools accessible. At the age of seventeen, he "bought his time," as it was termed, and set out sturdily for himself. By dint of hard labor and strictest economy, he managed to acquire a thorough academic education, during the succeeding three years, and to fit himself as a teacher, which calling he successfully followed for a time. At the age of twenty, in common with other patriotic young men of the time, he turned his back on all the peaceful aims of life and went to do service for his country. He enlisted as a private in Company K, Twenty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, August 2, 1862, and remained in the service, doing unflinchingly the faithful duty of an American soldier, until September 11, 1865, at which time he was honorably discharged, after a continuous service of over three years. He participated in nearly all the battles and marches of his regiment during that time, it being part of the "Army of the Tennessee." He was in eleven battles and many minor engagements and skirmishes. During the term of his service he was a prisoner of war for a month. He was captured with part of his regiment at Thompson's Station, Tenn., March 5, 1863, and transferred to Libby Prison, from which he was liberated early in the following April. After a short furlough, granted to recuperate from his broken health, he rejoined his regiment for continued service in the field. The close of his army service was in the Adjutant General's Department in Washington, after hostilities had ceased, where he remained, assisting in mustering the army out of service. Leaving the service he returned home and spent a few months in rest and study with his family, in Green County. During the years of his army service he had commenced and persistently studied to its mastery the art of phonetic short-hand writing, and commenced to put his knowlege to practical use in Bryant, Stratton & Co.'s Commercial College as a teacher of that art, soon after leaving the service. This was in the winter of 1865-66. In the spring of 1867 the office of Court Reporter in the various Courts of Wisconsin was provided for by act of the Legislature, and Mr. Roby, after competitive examinations and other tests of skill, not necessary here to detail, was appointed Official Phonographic Court Reporter for the counties of Milwaukee and Kenosha. From 1867 to 1876 he held the office, and, in connection with his associates, had the official reporting for sixteen different Courts, his being at that period, the leading phonographic firm in the West, and doing a more extended official reporting business than any other firm in the country. In 1867, while conducting his business as Court reporter, he also commenced the study of law, and after the required examination, was admitted to practice at the Milwaukee bar, in 1869. But, both his skill and success as a phonographic reporter, and his promise of success as a lawyer, were to him, from first to last, subservient to a fixed purpose to the attainment of which all his efforts were bent. From early boyhood his ambition had been to become a physician, and, to this end he labored from the beginning. He began reading medical works as early as 1860; through his army service, in hospitals and in the field he gathered the invaluable medical knowledge which comes from no other experience; for six years thereafter he continued his medical studies under the direction and advice of Surgeon General E. B. Wolcott, then and until his death, the most eminent surgeon in the West, who was not more his instructor and his teacher than his friend. His rudimentary course of reading in the school of homoeopathic practice was pursued under the direction of James S. Douglass, M. D., Milwaukee, whose reputation as a lecturer and writer as well as skillful practitioner, is co-extensive with the school of practice in which he was so bright an ornament, and of which he was a staunch advocate and able defender in its early days. He had been a learned and successful practitioner of the old school for twenty-five years prior to adopting homoeopathy, and was subsequently for several years a professor in the Cleveland Homoeopathic College. Thus having, under such favorable circumstances, already laid the foundation of his medical education, he, in 1876, gave up his business, already established on the basis that assured him an ample income for all future time, and entered Rush Medical College for a term, then the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago, from which he was graduated with the highest honor, February 22, 1877, writing the prize clinical report on medical and surgical diseases of women. He remained in Chicago in the practice of his chosen profession until June 2, 1879, at which time he removed to Topeka, where he has since resided, having established a large practice the extent of which has already outgrown the city, and is increasing from year to year under the only true test, viz: skill in his profession as evinced in successful results. Dr. Roby has been honored with many offices of trust and confidence, not only in connection with his profession, but in variou other departments of science. He is a member of the following medical societies and associations: Wisconsin State Homoeopathic Medical Society; Illinois State Homoeopathic Medical Society; Kansas State Homoeopathic Medical Society - president in 1881; and the Chicago Academy of Homoeopathic Physicians and Surgeons. He was for several years the secretary and assistant surgeon of the Clinical Society of Hahnemann Hospital, Chicago. For two years he was provisional secretary, and is at present (1882) vice-president of the Western Academy of Homoeopathy, and is a member of the American Institute of Homoeopathy. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Science and Letters; the Chicago Philosophical Society; the Kanasas Academy of arts and Sciences; and various musical, dramatic and literary societies. He has declined professorships offered from three different medical colleges. He has already attained high rank as a surgeon, and as a homoeopathic physician ranks among the foremost in Kansas. In the prime of a useful life, an ardent lover of his art, and a close and tireless student, his way seems open to the highest possibilities in the profession.

GEORGE ROPES, architect, came to Kansas in October, 1877, located his family in Wyandotte, and opened an office for the practice of his profession in Kansas City. In 1879 he was employed to assist in the preparation of plans for the State House, and after the plans were prepared took the position of superintendent of construction, and also superintended the erection of the Topeka Library Building, located on Capitol Square. Mr. Ropes is a direct descendant of George Ropes, who came from England and settled in Salem, Mass., in 1637. His ancestors following George Ropes were, second generation - John, born in Salem, 1646; third generation - Samuel, born in Salem, 1686, died October 12, 1761; fourth generation - Benjamin, born 1721, died 1790; fifth generation - Hardy, born in Salem, 1763; sixth generation - George, born in Oxford, New Hampshire 1800, died November, 1869. The subject of this sketch was born in Newbury, Vermont, March 12, 1831. He resided in various places in Vermont until 1854, when he went to Boston, Mass., to study architecture, and remained there in the practice of his profession until he came to Kansas. In 1861, he married Sophia A. Toft, a native of Boston, and a lineal descendant of Edward Rawson, who came to Newbury, in the Colony of Massachusetts, in 1637, the same year that the ancestors of Mr. Ropes arrived. He was a grantee of that town, the second Town Clerk, and was annually re-elected until he was chosen Secretary of the Colony about 1651, and held the office until the usurption of the government by Sir Edmond Andross, in 1686. Mr. Roper (sic) and his wife are both in the seventh generation, in their respective lines. They have three children - Ella Elson, Alice Hayward, and George Hardy. The present residence of the family is Lawrence, where the children are receiving their education in the State University.

WILLIAM H. ROSSINGTON was born at Galena, Ill., July 31, 1848. In 1850 his parents removed to California, where he received his early education, and remained until he entered Yale College 1864. After remaining a year and a half at this institution he went, in 1866, to Philadelphia and commenced newspaper work as reporter for the Evening Telegraph, resided in that city, employed on the Telegraph, Morning Post, and Enquirer until 1868. He subsequently resided in Washington for a time as newspaper correspondent, and from there went to Davenport, Iowa, where he was connected with the Argus at Rock Island. In the summer of 1870 he commenced the study of law at St. Louis, and in November, 1870, came to Topeka, where he soon became connected with the Kansas press. From 1871 to 1872, he had editorial charge of the Leavenworth Commercial, and on returning to Topeka served during one session of the Legislature as Legislative correspondent of the Commonwealth, and as editor-in-chief of the paper from February, 1873, to June, 1875. In the summer of the latter year he was admitted to the bar, and has been, since that time, engaged in the practice of his profession. Mr. Rossington was married in Topeka, June 9, 1874, to Mary Eleanor Holliday, a native of Wooster, Ohio. They have two children - Thressa sic and Florence. Mr. Rossington is a member of the Orders of A. F. & A. M. and K. of P.

A. S. ROWLES, farmer and live stock dealer, four and one-half miles southwest of Topeka, came to Kansas in 1880, first locating with his brother, near Auburn, Shawnee County, and engaged in farming. Located at his present place in May, 1881. Was born in Cadiz, Ohio, August 16, 1864, and remained in his native town until he was four years of age, and moved with his parents to Steubenville, and remained one year, and then moved to Bridgeport, Belmont Co., Ohio. Remained there about eleven years and then came to Kansas.

A. J. RYAN of the firm of Lockard, Maxwell & Co., real estate dealers, office under the Topeka Bank, residence 236 Buchanan street; came to Kansas first in 1868, from Columbus, Ohio. Born in Hardy County, Va., May 4, 1813; when four years of age, his father moved with his family to Clarke County, Ohio. Commenced the business of farming and stock-raising for himself in 1835, which he followed successfully in Clarke and Madison counties, and at intervals trading in Kentucky. He moved to Columbus in 1865, and engaged in real estate, and was superintendent of the Street Railway for one year. In 1869 organized a large excursion party and buffalo hunt from Columbus and Cincinnati to Kansas, having about 225 persons in the excursion, of whom there were about twenty-five ladies. A number of persons of note were on the excursion: Mrs. Despyre and her husband and son (Mrs. Despyre was formerly the wife of Mr. McDonald, the great horseman of Baltimore, Md., who was the owner of Flora Temple); Theodore Talmadge, son and daughter of Columbus, Ohio; Mrs. Crisman, of London, Ohio; Mrs. Col. Stanley and daughter of Columbus, Ohio, and many gentlemen of note from Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky. When the party reached Fort Hayes, Kan., the lamented Gen. Custer and Col. Cook, who were massacred at the Black Hills, through Gen. Sturgis, gave them an outfit of horses and ambulance wagons, etc., for a day's hunt on the Smoky Hill River. Killed about thirty buffalo in one day, had a big supper at a deserted Indian village, and a dance on the terra firma. Took the train in the night and reached the State fair at Lawrence, Kan., the next day. In the fall of 1870 had another excursion party, but did not kill so many buffalo. The following winter Mr. Ryan wrote a book, a lively representation of the State of Kansas, giving his experience in buffalo hunting, etc. Also gathered a great deal of useful information with regard to Kansas, her climate, soil, adaptation to farming and stock-raising, which book had a wide circulation, and was the means of bringing large numbers of emigrants to Kansas. Mr. Ryan has now in manuscript an historical romance of the late war, founded on fact, called "The Triumph of Loyal Ambition." The basis of the work is to illustrate true and noble manhood, and true and genuine womanhood - to contrast the loyal soldier with the coward and traitor. Mr. Ryan has been engaged in this work about two years and has shown a true spirit of literary genius. He was married in Miami County, to Miss Mary Cecil. Has but two living children - Mrs. Walling and Mrs. Head, both of Topeka. Mr. Ryan is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a Republican.

HON. J. SAFFORD, attorney at law, located in Kansas in 1858, having resided since 1855 in Nebraska City, where he practiced law, and also served as member of the Territorial Legislature during two winters. On emigrating to Kansas he located first at Lawrence, but soon removed to Tecumseh, and remained there until Topeka was made the county-seat, when he again removed to that city. He was elected District Judge at the first election, under the Wyandotte Constitution, and served in that position four years, and afterward for six years on the bench of the State Supreme Court. Since that time he has been engaged in the practice of law, and also somewhat in railroad affairs, having been for several years connected with the A. T. & S. F. Ry., and the Midland Ry. as director, and with the former as attorney. He is also director, secretary and attorney of the Leavenworth, Topeka & South-western, and the Topeka, Salina & Western, and organized the construction company which has control of the building of the latter road. Judge Safford was born in Royalton, Windsor Co., Vt., August 17, 1827. He went with his father, Jacob J. Safford (who was one of the founders of Oberlin College), to Oberlin, Ohio, when he was five years of age, and resided there until he moved to Nebraska. He was educated at Oberlin, and married at that place. He read law at Norwalk, Ohio, was admitted to the bar in 1854, and commenced practice in Norwalk.

J. H. SAUNDERS, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 28, P.O. Topeka, owns 320 acres, 160 acres under cultivation, and 160 fenced and used as pasture and meadow. Good stone dwelling, good out-buildings, stone corrals, and all conveniences for handling stock. In addition to the above farms, 160 acres of bottom land in Monmouth Township. Makes fine stock a specialty. In cattle has nothing but Short-horn. Has a fine Clydesdale stallion. Has at present time fifty-nine head of horses; 160 head of cattle, and 400 hogs. Came to Kansas April 10, 1863, first locating in Leavenworth County. Stayed there three years; then went to Lawrence and engaged in the mercantile business, remaining there three years, and from there to Soldier Township, in Shawnee County, locating on present farm in March, 1876. Was in the Kansas Militia during the Price Raid, and in the engagements at Independence and Westport, Mo. Mr. S. was born in Ohio, moving with his parents to Hendricks County, Ind. when a child only five years old. coming from there to Kansas. Was married November 21, 1852, to Mary A. Owen. Has six children - Walter W., William B. L., Grant E., Nellie M., Carrie L. and Alvin O. Is a Mason.

ARTHUR SAVOIR, employee of the livery, feed and sale stables, No. 118 Quincy street, was born in October, 1861; in Kankakee, Ill. He lived in that place until 1878, when he removed to Ellis, Kan., from there to Hugo County, and finally to Topeka, in September, 1881. Mr. Savoir was educated in the schools of his native town. His father was a business man for many years, and now lives in Kankakee. His parents were originally from Canada. He has four brothers and two sisters living in his native State.

SOLOMON SAWYER, confectioner, came to Kansas in December, 1868. Commenced present business in June, 1879. Was born in Surrey Co., N.C., July 1, 1840. Was pressed into the service of the Confederate army in 1861, and was compelled to work for the Southern cause in various ways for over three years, but finally made his escape to his native county, and remained concealed until the surrender of Gen. Lee. Came North in 1866, and went to Ohio where he remained until 1868, when he came to Kansas. Was married in June, 1869, at Topeka, to Mrs. Jane Woods, who died about five years ago. Was married again June 13, 1882, to Miss Sarah Mitchell, of Topeka.

EDWIN SCOTT came to Topeka in April, 1870, and commenced banking in the city with W. W. Gavitt, since which time he has given his entire time to that business. Mr. Scott was born in Lyme, Grafton Co., N.H., August 29, 1841, that place remaining his home until he was thirteen years of age, when he removed to St. Charles, Ill. In 1861 he enlisted in the Fifty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was appointed Hospital Steward of the regiment, which rank he held during the whole term of his service, although for a time he served on detached service as Chief Clerk in the purveyor's office of Grant's army, and later in that of Sherman. He was mustered out in 1864, and then carried on the drug business at Chattanooga, Tenn., for one year, when he went to St. Louis and remained in that city three years, engaged in the same business. Mr. Scott was married at Topeka, November 21, 1872, to Nellie Johnson, a native of Johnson County, Kan., and daughter of Col. A. S. Johnson, land commissioner of A. T. & S. F. Railroad.

M. S. SCOTT, Secretary of the Kansas Protective Union, was born in South Salem, Ross Co., Ohio, September 30, 1840. He has been engaged in the life insurance business for the last twelve years. In 1881 he came to Kansas, after spending a short time at Hutchinson, he located at Topeka, and is largely owing to his instrumentality the company of which he is secretary was organized. Mr. Scott was married at Chillicothe, Ohio, in March, 1861, to Marie Teresa Baird, a native of that place. They have three children - Lena T., Evan S. and Orville M.

JOSEPH M. SHEAFOR, attorney and president of the Connecticut Mining Company. Was born in Winchester, Preble Co., Ohio, September 24, 1842. When eleven years of age he went with his parents to Fairfield, Iowa, where he remained until he began the study of law with Henderson & Burton, of Ottumwa, Iowa. He remained in their office until he was admitted to the bar in November, 1864. In March, 1865, he went to Western Iowa, remaining there until October, 1865, when he located at Burlington, Coffey Co., Kan. There he was engaged in the practice of his profession (his brother M. V. B. Sheafor, being associated with him) until the spring of 1873, when he removed to Topeka. While at Burlington he was elected the first city judge, and at the time of his removal to Topeka he was serving a third term in that office, but not desiring any office he resigned. The Judge has been eminently successful in the practice of law, but having made profitable investments in Colorado mining property he is now giving almost his entire attention to those interests. Besides being a very large owner in the stock of the Continental Mining Company, which represents seven very valuable mines, he is the individual owner of mines in Gunnison County, Col. The Continental Mining Company was organized under the laws of Colorado, January 12, 1881. Its property is located in the Monarch, Chalk and Quartz Creek mining districts. He was married at Burlington, Kan., July 12, 1868, to Emma Dawson, a native of Logansport, Ind. The Judge is a member of the A. F. & A. M. His brother, John W. Sheafor, has been a partner in the law business since 1873, although residing in Concordia, Kan., since 1878, where he is now County Attorney.

SILAS E. SHELTON, M.D. came to Topeka May 14, 1866, soon after the close of his labors in the army as surgeon, and has been successfully engaged in the practice of his profession in this city since that time. Dr. Shelton was born in Carlisle, Loraine Co., Ohio, June 5, 1837. He received his earlier education in the commons schools of his native State, afterwards completing a course of studies at Baldwin University, Berea, Ohio, and commencing his medical education under the tutelage of the distinguished physician, Dr. Alexander McBride, with whom he remained two years. In 1858 he was a medical student at the University of Michigan, and in 1859 at Cleveland Medical College, graduating from the latter in the spring of 1860. He commenced the practice of his profession in Cleveland, remaining in his first location until he entered the United States service early in 1862, being first assigned by special appointment of Gov. Todd, of Ohio, to hospital duty on the river boats, July 23, 1862, he was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the Thirty-second Ohio Volunteer infantry, with the rank of Captain, commission dating from the 4th. May 9, 1864, he was assigned to the One Hundred and Fourth Ohio Infantry, as assistant surgeon, and promoted to Surgeon with rank of Major, which position he retained until he was appointed Medical Inspector upon the staff of Gen. J. D. Cox, in 1864, serving in the latter capacity until the close of the war. Dr. Sheldon sic was married May 9, 1866, to Ann Eliza, daughter of Captain John Ball, of Cleveland, Ohio. He is prominently connected with the Masonic fraternity, having held the highest offices of the Order in the State. He is a member of Topeka Lodge No. 17, Topeka R.A. Chapter No. 5, Topeka Commandery No. 5, and Zabud Council No. 4, and has received fourteen degrees in the Scottish Rite. He was Grand Commander of the Knights Templar of the State of Kansas in 1876, and G.H.P. of G. Chapter of Kansas in 1880 and 1881. He was first Grand Master Workman and is Grand Medical Director of the A.O.U.W. in the State, having held the latter position since February, 1882. In 1879 he was supreme representative of the Order, at the Supreme Lodge, which met at Nashville, Tenn. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, Knights of Honor, and G.A.R., being representative from Kansas of the latter Order at their encampment in Baltimore in 1882. Dr. Sheldon sic is a member of the State Medical Society, the Eastern District Medical Society, and is an honorary member of the Kansas Valley Medical Society and of the local medical organizations. He has been medical director of the Masonic Mutual Benefit Association of the State since its organization in 1873.

ALBERT P. SHREVE, book-keeper, was born in Richmond, Ind. He enlisted in the United States army April 14, 1861, at Cincinnati, Ohio, in Company B, Guthrie Grays (afterwards the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry). Served three months and was honorably discharged from the service. Was appointed paymaster's clerk and reported to Major W. H. Johnston, August 12, 1862, at Winchester, Va. Was appointed Paymaster of volunteers February, 1864, and ordered to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and by the Chief Paymaster of that department ordered to Sioux City, Iowa, on the staff of Brig. Gen. Alfred Sully, as chief paymaster, and from that time until mustered out - September 30, 1868 - I>sic he was engaged in paying the troops and fighting the Indians in the upper country, consisting of Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington Territories. His wife was Annie Gray, of Leavenworth, Kan. They have three children - two boys and one girl.

MANDES SHULER, farmer, Section 28, P.O. Topeka. Owns 155 acres. Came to Kansas in March, 1879, and located on present farm. Was born in Lehigh County, Pa., June 21, 1828. Moved to Butler County, Ohio, in 1849. In June, 1850, went to California; in 1856 returned to Hamilton, Butler Co., Ohio, where he was chief of the fire department for a period of six years, and was presented with a fine gold headed cane for efficiency. Was married in December, 1856, to Miss Mary Dubbs. Has four children living - Buel, Henry, Frank and Maud, one (Charles) dead. Mr. S. has a good farm. Makes a specialty of wheat and corn. Wheat this year (1882) averaged thirty-three bushels to the acre and his corn bids fair for eighty bushels to the acre; fair buildings.

HOWARD SILVER, teacher. Born at Dayton, Ohio, December 2, 1850. Removed with his parents to Urbana, Ill., in October, 1854, and continued to reside there until 1877. Graduated from the Illinois State Industrial University, class of 1872. Went to Wisconsin in 1877 and taught two years in the schools of that State. He came to Kansas in June, 1879, locating at Sterling. Was principal of the schools at Raymond one year, his wife assisting him. Next taught at Walnut City one year. Was a member of county board of examiners of that county and taught in county institute of 1881. Taught in the county institute of Rice County three years in succession. Was engaged as chief clerk and book-keeper for the firm of T. A. Butler & Co., extensive contractors on the A., T. & S. F. R. R., part of the years 1880 and 1881, after which he was employed in the general offices of the A., T. & S. F. R. R. at Topeka. Removed to Topeka in February, 1882, and was enrolled in the educational forces of this city and assigned to the Clay School as principal. He conducted the Barton County Institute of 1880. Mr. Silver was married at Champaign, Ill., September 17, 1873, to Miss Edna E. Foster, who had previously taught in the schools of Minnesota and one year at Raymond, Kan. By this marriage he has four children - two sons and two daughters.

WILLIAM SIMS, Secretary of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, is a resident of Mission Township, Shawnee County, his farm lying about seven miles southwest of the city of Topeka. He was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, May 22, 1831. He resided in his native county until the spring of 1868, when he removed with his family to De Witt County, Ill., being engaged in that locality in general agriculture for the four years prior to his coming to Kansas, which event occurred in the spring of 1872. Mr. Sims' farming operations consist principally in the growing and feeding of cattle and hogs, none of the productions of his land being sold on the general market. He was married in Hopewell Township, Muskingum Co., Ohio, October, 1852, to Hannah A. Richey, a native of that township. Their only surviving child is John R., who resides with his parents, having an interest in his father's business. In March, 1862, Mr. Sims enlisted as a private in Company G, Thirty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In the fall of the same year he was transferred to the Ninth Ohio Cavalry, of which regiment he raised Company A. About one year later he was promoted to Major of the first battalion of the same regiment, having previously served as Captain, commanding the battalion during the Major's absence. Mr. Sims was a member of the Kansas State Senate in 1877 and 1878, and for several years was Treasurer of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, being elected its Secretary in January, 1882. He has been for six years Master of the Kansas State Grange, P. of H. Mr. Sims takes a large interest in all matters pertaining to agriculture and is ardently devoted to its interests, especially as it relates to Kansas.

SKINNER BROS, removed from Barton, Vt. to Topeka, Ks., in 1869 and worked for S. E. Sweet, ice dealer, for one and one-half years, when they purchased the establishment, and at the same time purchased Fred Fensky's ice house, etc. They have been running the two places since January, 1877, and and have been doing a business of from $7,000 to $10,000 per annum. O. C. was married January, 1877, to Lulu Peck, and has two children - Edward, age three, and Henry, age one year. Mr. O. C. was elected a member of the school board in April 1882, for a term of three years. The two brothers, O. C. and O. B., were born October 6, 1849, being twins. The name of the first should have been Twin Bros., as they have never separated and have been in business together for years and have gotten along pleasantly. O. B. was married November 18, 1881, to Aginus (sic) Patterson, of Topeka, Ks.

[TOC] [part 34] [part 32] [Cutler's History]