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


[TOC] [part 39] [part 37] [Cutler's History]


LOUIS WIKIDAL, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 9, P. O. Topeka, owns 150 acres here and 160 acres in Monmouth Township; makes a specialty of raising fine cattle - nothing but thoroughbred Durham; has at present ten head of horses and sixty-five head of cattle. Came to Kansas in October, 1876, and located on this place. Was born in Canton, Ohio, August 27, 1835, and lived in native town until coming to Kansas. His father, Mathew Wikidal, is a well-known banker of Canton, and still active in business although eighty-two years of age. Was married October, 1861, to Miss Elizabeth C. Williams; has five children: Mary, Julia, Martha, William and Lewis. Mr. W. is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and Mrs. W. is a member of the English Lutheran Church.

A. P. WILDER, car accountant, A., T. & S. F. R. R., was born in Weston, Windsor Co., Vt., July 22, 1832. He was educated in the district schools and at an academy in his native county, and then commenced his business life in mercantile establishments; afterward engaged in business for himself in Brattleboro, Vt. From 1861 till the close of the war he was connected with the Quartermaster's Department. In 1866 he removed to Kansas and began a stock ranch in the vicinity of Topeka; the following year moved into town to take the position of Secretary of the State Fire Insurance Company, retaining this position until the company wound up, reinsuring all its risks for a period of about 5 years. He became connected with the A., T. & S. F. R. R. in 1872, holding a position in the treasury office a few months; the same year received the appointment of car accountant, the position at that time barely occupying his time, though now employing eleven clerks, all of whom find ample to do.

EDWARD WILDER born in Boston, Mass., September 4, 1843, was the third of four brothers, only children of David Wilder, for many years Auditor of the State of Massachusetts. When about fourteen years of age he left school to enter the office of the Cunard Steamship Company in Boston, where he remained nearly three years, and in 1860 entered the office of the Superintendent of the B. & W. R. R. Co., where he became paymaster and subsequently auditor, holding these offices until the consolidation of the company with the W. R. R. Co., forming the present B. & A. R. R. Co. Early in 1870, having an attack of the "Western fever," he accepted an offer to go to Hannibal, Mo., as land commissioner of the H. & St. J. R. R. Co., to succeed Mr. George S. Harris, who had just accepted the same position on the B. & M. R. R. In the summer of 1871 he was summoned by telegraph to meet the Directors of the A., T., & S. F. R. R. at Topeka, and there accepted the position of assistant treasurer of the company. He has since been elected secretary and treasurer, which office he now holds. Hon. Ginery Twichell, for many years President of the B. & W. R. R. Co., and afterward President of the A., T. & S. F. R. R. Co., was a staunch and warm friend, and Mr. Wilder gratefully remembers that he is one of hundreds of Massachusetts' men who received their start in life through this warm-hearted, noble friend. Mr. Wilder was married, December 29, 1868, to Miss Mary C. Scott, of Philadelphia, and they have three attractive children. While yet a boy, Mr. Wilder acquired a fondness for library work, having assisted his teacher in organizing and operating the Public Library at Brookline, Mass. His residence in Hannibal was marked by the organization and growth of a Public Subscription Library, which held an important place in that city, until the hard times, which crippled many of the progressive people of the place, compelled the library to succumb. Mr. Wilder has been secretary or president of the Topeka Library Association continuously, with one break of less than a year, since early in 1872, and counts it one of the chiefest of his pleasures that the library has grown constantly in favor with the people until it has become a free library, with a building of its own on the most prominent spot of ground in Kansas. Mr. Wilder was brought up in the church of the New Jerusalem, which he joined with his wife soon after their marriage, and he has aided materially in building up a little society of that faith, and in establishing a house of worship for it in Topeka.

S. W. WILDER, farmer, two and one-half miles south of Topeka, came to Kansas in May, 1866, from Brattleboro, Vt. Has been Township Trustee and member of School Board of Topeka Township; is also master of Capital Grange, No. 16, P. of H. of Topeka. Enlisted in the army July 13, 1863, in Company H., Sixth Vermont Infantry and was with his command at Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Petersburg and the final capture of Richmond. Was born March 6, 1838, at Weston, Windsor Co., Vt.; lived at Weston until he was of age, and then moved to Brattleboro, and engaged in the grocery business until he entered the service. When mustered out he returned to Brattleboro, where he remained until coming to Kansas. Was married March 2, 1866, at Westmoreland, N. H., to Miss Ellen E. Sabin, of that place. They are both members of K. of H., and Capital Grange, No. 16. Mr. W. is also a member of the Shawnee County Horticultural Society.

EDWARD A. WILHIDE, proprietor of Central Hotel, came to Kansas, April, 1877, and located at Abilene, Dickinson County, and engaged in carpentering. Came to Topeka in September, 1881, and took charge of the Central. Was born in Frederick Co., Md., October 5, 1834, and remained in his native town until coming to Kansas. Was married in 1856 at Frederick, Md., to Elizabeth Caine, and have four children: Rebecca, now Mrs. R. Hughes; William, Della and Cora. Mrs. Wilhide died August 15, 1874 at Frederick, Md. Mr. W. is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The Central Hotel has a capacity of fifty persons and is centrally and pleasantly located. Mr. Wilhide is a millwright, by trade and followed that while in Maryland.

A. L. WILLIAMS, attorney, came to Topeka, April 1, 1861, and has since been engaged in practice in that place. During the war he served in the State militia, doing border service to some extent. He has held the offices of Alderman, City Attorney, County Attorney, Assistant U. S. District Attorney (acting as U. S. District Attorney), District Attorney of the State courts, and Attorney General, having been elected to the latter office in 1870, and re-elected in 1872. He is attorney for the U. P. R. R. Co., Kansas Division, and for several other corporations. His native city is Quincy, Ill.

GEORGE WILLIAMS, druggist, was born near Davidsonville, Md., August 10, 1848; lived at Annapolis and in that vicinity until he came to Kansas in July, 1882; engaged in drug business since he came to this city. Dr. E. A. Tuttle, from Boston, having been associated with him since February, 1883. Their store is located on the northeast corner of Topeka avenue and Sixth street, it being the only drug store in that part of the city.

GEORGE O. WILMARTH has been a citizen of Kansas since October, 1855, locating in Lawrence at that date. In 1859 he came to Topeka, and engaged in book and stationary business, which he continued until 1870, when he took charge of the Volunteer Fire Department, being made chief engineer in April, 1871. He has continued in the service since that time and is now chief engineer. He has also been for five years City Clerk. He was born in Providence, R. I., April 13, 1843, and resided there until he immigrated to Kansas. He was married at Attleboro, Mass., August 15, 1864, to Mary A. Starkey, a native of that place. They have buried two children - a son who died in infancy, and Edward G., who died at the age of four years. Charles B., born January 19, 1872, is their only remaining child. Mr. W. is a member of A., F. & A. M., Topeka Lodge No. 17, and of A. O. U. W.

H. C. WILSON, eating house and bakery, came to Kansas in December, 1866; was born in Giles County, Tenn., near Pulaska, February 4, 1849; went from Tennessee to Arkansas, and from there to Nebraska and thence to Kansas. Made a trip to Denver and Fort Kaspar by freight teams in 1866. Was with the First Nebraska Regiment awhile, early in the war. Was married in 1871, at Topeka, Kan., to Laura Shattio. Have had six children, four of whom are living, as follows: Joseph, Annie, Ogeal sic and Frankie. Is a member of A., F. & A. M., Euclid Lodge, No. 2, Topeka; is a member of Second Baptist Church of that city.

HON. JOSEPH C. WILSON came to Kansas in October, 1867, and first located in Jackson County, whence, after six months' residence, he removed to Atchison County, settled near Muscotah, and engaged extensively in stock-raising. While here he was twice elected member of the House of Representatives, and once to the State Senate. He served as chairman of the Board of State Commissioners for investigation of all State institutions - charitable, educational and penal. He was appointed Clerk of the Court in April, 1875, and United States Commissioner in December of the same year, both of which positions he still holds. Since his removal to Topeka, Mr. Wilson has been chairman of the Republican State Committee one year, and was elecred sic Mayor in the spring of 1881, which position he now occupies. He was born in Richmond, Wayne Co., Ind., October 24, 1844, and married at Rockville, Ind., October, 1867, to Anna J. Morris, of Parke County, Ind. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have four children - Elinor, Mabel, Helen and Joseph C. Mr. Wilson is a member of A., F. & A. M., and of A. O. U. W.

JULIUS WILTSCHEK, M. D., was born in Vienna, March 4, 1848, and educated at the Medical University of that city, from which he graduated in 1872. He came to America in 1879, located in Topeka in March of that year, and has since been engaged in practice in that city; he was married in Vienna, in May, 1873, to Elsie Weinehart, a native of that city. They have two children, Zella and Mary. Dr. Wiltschech (sic) is a member of the State and District Medical Societies.

MARTIN B. WINGERT, carpenter, came to Kansas in November, 1876, first locating at Lawrence from Franklin Co., Pa.; enlisted in the army in 1862, in the One Hundred and Sixty-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry; was stationed at Suffolk, Va.; was mustered out in July, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa.; was born April 4, 1820, in Franklin Co., Pa. six miles east of Chambersburg, and remained in his native county until coming to Kansas; engaged in tanning and farming; was in the mercantile and other business five years in Fayetteville; was in a tannery five years; was married December 30, 1867, in Chambersburg, Pa., to Miss Rebecca Fry, a native of Franklin County; they have six children, Mary A., Winfield Scott, John W., Anna, Maggie and Edith; when coming to Kansas remained in Lawrence two years and came to Topeka in November, 1878, where he has since resided, working at his trade.

S. WISSMANN, baker and confectioner, North Topeka, of the firm of Wissman & Co.; came to Kansas in April, 1881, from Austin, Texas; was born March 27, 1848, at Leopoldsthal, Germany; lived in native place twenty years; came to America in 1867 and located at Freeport, Ill.; went from Freeport to Rock Island, and then to Chicago in May, 1872, and engaged in stone-cutting; remained in Chicago until 1877; and removed from there to Texas; is a member of Lodge No. 239, I. O. O. F., Freeport, Ill.

HENRY WOHLKE, carpenter, North Topeka, came to Kansas in 1864 from New York City, and first located in the western part of the State and came to Topeka in March, 1881. Was born December 21, 1845, at Hamburg, Germany; he remained in his native city until seventeen years of age, and was ship carpenter; sailed on vessels in that capacity for almost eight years, and made twenty-three trips to America on a steamship belonging to Hamburg, American line, and was in various parts of the globe and finally came to America in 1869, first locating at Lombard, near Chicago; he returned to New York and remained about four years, then came to Kansas, where he has since resided, working at his trade; was married May 28, 1870, in New York City, to Miss Catharina Wohlgehagen, who was born in the Province of Schleswig, near Fiensburg, Germany. They have three children, Adolph, Lillia, and Ferdinand. Mr. W. is a member of Topeka Turn Verein, and of Capital Lodge No. 3, A. O. U. W.

GEORGE W. WOOD was born at Westford, Chittenden Co., Vt.; in 1850 he engaged in the wholesale dry goods in Boston, which he continued until 1855, when he removed to Galesburg, Ill., and carried on the same business in that city until 1866, and then went to Chicago, where he formed the Chicago Brush Manufacturing Co., of which he was secretary and a director, and of the firm of Wood Bros. & Co. until 1870, in 1870 he was appointed Superintendent of the United States Railway Mail Service, and held the position until 1872, at which time he engaged in the mercantile business in Quincy, Ill., where he remained until he emigrated to Kansas and located in Topeka in August, 1878; he is the proprietor of a large wholesale and retail carpet establishment in Topeka, which in its various departments gives employment to from fifteen to twenty hands. Mr. W. is one of the directors of the First National Bank and is a member of the A. F. & A. M. Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, and of the A. O. U. W. He was married at Brattleboro, Vt., April 8, 1858, to Adelaide Hastings, a native of Cambridge, Mass. They have five children: Marian Hastings, now Mrs. W. D. Dickinson, of Eldorado, Kan.; Fred. Worthington, George Stanton, Arthur Hastings and Harrington Mead.

LOUIS M. H. WOOD, architect, son of Samuel and Lucy M. (Curl) Wood, was born in Brownsville, Fayette Co., Pa., November 22, 1846. After attending the common schools and academies in the vicinity of his home, he entered Waynesburg College, in Greene County, Pa., where he remained two years; he subsequently took a two years special course of study in architecture and kindred arts at Cornell University; after leaving Cornell he returned to Brownsville and remained one year; then spent a year in Chicago, from whence he removed to Lawrence, Kan., remaining in that city from 1872 to 1879, when he located at Topeka. Since 1872 Mr. Wood has been associated with J. G. Haskell, one of the oldest architects in Kansas, and they have designed many of the finest buildings in the State, among which may be mentioned the Osawatomie Insane Asylum, Topeka Insane Asylum, State Reform School, Emporia National Bank, Barton County Court House, Fort Scott Opera House, Salina Opera House, Lawrence Opera House, Topeka Opera House, Hutchinson Opera House, Arkansas City Opera House, Asylum for Deaf and Dumb at Olathe, Asylum for Imbeciles and Feeble Minded Children at Lawrence, Government Building at Topeka, besides numerous elegant churches, school houses and private dwellings. Mr. Wood was married at Cleveland, Ohio, January 10, 1874, to Miss Mary Burns, a native of Cleveland, of Scotch descent. They have two children, Samuel Curl and Edna Lucy.

S. M. WOOD, Register of Deeds, Topeka, Kan., was elected to his present office in November, 1879, and in 1881 was re-elected to the same office. Mr. Wood is a native of Waterloo, Ohio, born June 18, 1845; in 1857 he removed to Sidney, Champaign Co., Ill., where he resided until September, 1861; at that time he enlisted in Company I, Tenth Illinois Cavalry, commonly known as the "Champaign Rangers;" he served until January, 1865, and was in nearly all the engagements of his command; for about two years he was on detached service with the Army of the Frontier, and was under Gen. Carr at the close of this service. After leaving the Army he returned to Illinois, and was a student at Abingdon College, Knox County; he was afterward employed with railroad engineering parties in Missouri, on the Iron Mountain Extension and the Louisiana & Missouri River Railroads; in 1869 he left railroad work, came to Kansas and located in Williamsport Township, Shawnee County, where he was engaged in farming until 1871; he then located on a homestead in Osage County, Kan., where he remained until November, 1872, and came to Topeka and accepted a clerkship in the post office, which position he held until October, 1879, when he was elected to his present office. He was married at Clarksborough, N. J., May 8, 1877, to Frances N. Gill, a daughter of Hon. D. B. Gill, and a native of Clarksborough. Mr. Wood is a member of the G. A. R.

COL. SAMUEL N. WOOD was born in Mount Gilead, Ohio, December 30, 1825. His grandfather was a native of Rhode Island. He was the son of David and Esther (Mosher) Wood, who had with their parents emigrated to Ohio from their Eastern homes as early as 1817. The Woods and the Moshers were of the peace-loving society of Friends, no less lovers of peace than humanity, and, as history records, the uncompromising foes of oppression and of African slavery, always and ever. The subject of this sketch thus inherited the Anti-slavery sentiments which became the ruling force in his character and life. His paternal grandfather was a leader in the meetings of the Orthodox Quakers till the time of his death. His maternal grandfather after 1828, when the division occurred, became a leader in the more progressive wing of the brotherhood, followers of Elias Hicks, and known ever since as Hicksites. Both these families of Friends were equally intense in their hatred of slavery. They were from time immemorial Abolitionists of the deepest dye, and ran successfully through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and all the border States, the underground railroads to liberty for the escaping slave. In such a school young Wood was nurtured. He was bred to habits of sobriety and industry on a Quaker farm, and received his early education in the schools in the vicinity. He early became interested in the politics of the country, and, at the age of nineteen, in 1844, was selected as the Chairman of the "Liberty Party" Central Committee of his county. James G. Birney was the Abolitionist candidate for the Presidency at that time. Thus early in life he struck out boldly for conscience and right against the popular current. Heedless of the applause or reproof of men, he has fought under the commands of his conscience and his judgment ever since that time. In 1848 he supported VanBuren as the presidential candidate, as opposed to Cass who stood on a slavery platform. In 1852 he supported the straight Abolition ticket of Hale and Julian, and canvassed his section in their favor during the campaign. He was, during the campaign, challenged to a public discussion of the questions at issue by Judson A. Beebee, a lawyer of some repute in the neighborhood. He accepted the challenge, but the discussion never came off, Beebee declining to discuss such weighty questions with a non-professional farmer. Mr. Wood soon after entered the office of Messrs. Stinchcomb & Brumbaugh as a law student, and was admitted to practice at the bar of Morrow County, Ohio, June 5, 1854. He was one of the most urgent and uncompromising opposers of the Kansas-Nebraska iniquity, and on the passage of the bill immediately sold out his effects and, in accordance with a promise he made while the bill was pending, "went to Kansas to fight the battle over again." He left Morrow County, Ohio, June 6, 1854, and traveled with his own team, accompanied by his family, to Cincinnati; thence embarking on a steamboat he made the somewhat arduous voyage by way of the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri rivers, reaching Independence, Mo., June 16. Two days after Mr. Wood, with his wife, entered Kansas on a tour of observation, and in search of a home. They proceeded leisurely, stopping at short stages, a day or two in a place. They travelled as far inland as the present town of Clinton, Douglas County, thence south to the Santa Fe road, and back on that road to Independence. Shortly after his return, leaving his family in Independence, he, in company with Mr. Rolf, again went across the Territory on horseback and selected a claim, four miles west of the site of Lawrence, in the present township of Wakarusa, where he resided during the exciting and troublous years of 1855-56-57. He became early distinguished as a bold and outspoken Anti-slavery man, who was not afraid to show his colors and defend them at all times. His life during the early days of the Territory is interwoven in ineffaceable lines with its history. The reader of the State history will not fail to trace the prominent part he took in the early struggles. He was both a talking and a fighting man, and, as such, incurred the intense hatred of the border-ruffian element. He early became identified with the Free-state party, being a candidate for election to the first Territorial Legislature. He first started a branch of the U. G. R. R., at Lawrence, assisting the first fugitive slave who appeared at Lawrence to escape. This occurred as early as February, 1855. November 21, 1855, Charles M. Dow was murdered by Franklin N. Coleman. The circumstances of the murder, the arrest of Branson for participating in a somewhat turbulent indignation meeting at which Mr. Wood was the principal speaker, his subsequent rescue by Wood, Abbott and others, and the "Wakarusa war" which followed, constitute an exciting chapter in the history of the Territory. Mr. Wood was twice arrested by "Sheriff Jones" for his participation in the Branson rescue, and was himself rescued at the time of his second arrest by his friends. His political career was, from the beginning, such as to place him in the front rank of Anti-slavery and Free-state advocates. He was a Kansas delegate to the National Convention held at Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1856, at which the Republican party was first formed as a national organization and was also a delegate, the same year, to the Philadelphia Convention which nominated John C. Fremont for the Presidency. He participated in the following campaign, speaking in Ohio and other Northern States. He was a warm advocate for the first movement for a State government, known as the "Topeka" government, and subsequently advocated the course which prevailed, of open and bold contest with the Pro-slavery forces, at the ballot-box. In 1859 he removed to Cottonwood Falls, Chase County, where, May 30, he started the Kansas Press, the first newspaper published in the county. In October of the same year, he removed it to Council Grove, Morris County, where as the Council Grove Press, it became the pioneer newspaper of that county also. He was the same year elected a member of the Territorial Legislature from the district comprised of Morris, Chase and Madison counties, and was re-elected in 1860, holding during his term the responsible position of Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Under the State Constitution he was elected a member of the first State senate, where he was again honored with the Chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee. Soon after the inauguration of Lincoln, he received from the President an appointment as Collector of Customs at Paso Del Norte, Texas. The war breaking out, he declined the appointment, resigned his position as Senator and enlisted. As Captain of the "Kansas Rangers," Company I, Second Regiment, Kansas Infantry, he fought with great bravery at the severe and hardly contested engagement at Wilson's Creek. He was subsequently assigned to a battalion of Missouri troops, "Fremont's Battalion," which he had recruited, serving with distinction, first as Major, and subsequently being promoted as Lieutenant Colonel. With his new command he fought at the battle near Salem, and formed a part of the command of Gen. Curtis in his campaign through Arkansas. He resigned in 1863 and returned to Morris County from he was elected a member of the State Legislature, serving in the session of 1864. He was re-elected in 1865, but an accident resulting in a fractured leg, prevented his serving during the session for which he had been elected. In 1866 he was elected as State Senator from Morris, Chase and Marion counties. During the session he introduced the first resolution ever offered in the Kansas Legislature favoring women suffrage. His mother, a contemporary of Lucretia Mott, and like her a member of the Society of Friends, had forty years before presided over the first women's suffrage meeting ever held in Morrow County, Ohio. In 1867 Mr. Wood started the Chase County Banner which in addition to its record of local affairs, was the special advocate of the rights of women, including that of suffrage. It was printed on the first hand-press brought into the Territory in 1833 by Rev. Jotham Meeker, an Indian missionary, mention of whom appears in the Indian history. The paper was edited by Mr. Wood until the spring of 1869, at which time he sold it out to an association of business men of Cottonwood Falls. In 1867 he was appointed Judge of the Ninth Judicial District. He himself lived in Texas 1869-70, where he became engaged in cattle-raising, his family still residing in Kansas. In 1872, with many other conscientious and leading Republicans, he for the first time broke from strict affiliation with the party he had helped to found, and whose fortunes he had followed unfalteringly through evil and good repute, and ardently supported Horace Greeley on the liberal Republican platform adopted at the time of his nomination. Since that time, although still sympathizing with his old party on most questions at issue, he has independently advocated financial and labor reforms, taking such advanced and radical grounds as are impossible within the pale of either of the old parties. He edited the Kansas Greenbacker at Emporia from 1878 to '79, and since May, 1881, has been the editor-in-chief of the Kansas State Journal, published at Topeka, where he has resided since his connection with it. Mr. Wood served in the State Legislature as a member of the Assembly, in 1876 and 1877, being elected Speaker of the House, the latter session. As appears in the railroad history of the State, he was one of the early directors of the A., T. & S. F. R. R. and has been identified with many other public enterprises for the upbuilding of his State. Radical in thought, upright in his motives, and honest in his purposes, few men in Kansas have better earned the right to a respectful and considerate hearing from his fellow-citizens, and few have the ability to plead more eloquently or argue more efficiently with tongue or pen than he. Mr. Wood married Miss Margaret W. Lyon, daughter of William and Elizabeth Lyon, October 3, 1850. Their children were: David, born August 25, 1851; William Lyon, born March 10, 1853; Florence, born January 20, 1857; Dearie, born July 7, 1865; Dearie died July 12, 1879. David is in business at Montrose, Colorado. He is engaged in forwarding goods into the mountain towns. He is unmarried, and in good worldly circumstances. William L. Wood is a well-to-do farmer in Chase County, Kansas. He has 460 acres of land. His children consist of two boys and a girl. Florence is married to J. B. Abbott, a mining engineer. They live at Lake City, Colorado. They have two children, one of each sex.

[TOC] [part 39] [part 37] [Cutler's History]