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


[TOC] [part 12] [part 10] [Cutler's History]


JAMES W. PLATT, foreman carpenter department of Plankinton & Armour's Packing House. He came to Kansas City, Kan., in May, 1879. Has twenty-five men in his department. He was born in Greenwich, Washington, Co., N. Y., June 15, 1842, and was raised there. Enlisted in Company 1, One Hundred and Twenty-third New York Volunteer Infantry, 1864. Transferred soon afterward to New York Veteran Volunteer Infantry; promoted to Orderly Sergeant, and participated in all battles of his command. Mustered out at Ogdensburg, September 16, 1865. Discharged August 29, 1865. Was married in October of the same year to Miss Christina Sawyer, of Whitehall, N. Y. They have four children - Mary A., John P. and Edward and an infant daughter. He is a member of I. O. O. F., A. O. U. W. Corbett, Post, No. 128, G. A. R., of Whitehall, N. Y.

G W. ROBAUGH, pump manufacturer and steam fitter. This business was established in 1881. He handles all kinds of pumps, though his principal business is the manufacture and sale of a pump patented by himself in 1874 and 1875. Mr. Robaugh was born in Cambria County, Penn., June 14, 1835. He learned the trade of a machinist at Altoona, Penn., and in 1857, moved to Kansas, making Wyandotte his headquarters. He visited different parts of the Territory, putting up mills for the Indians and other parties. In 1860, be returned to Pennsylvania, and in 1862, enlisted in the doctors' corps of the United States Army, being employed as Hospital Steward at Hampton near Fortress Monroe, W. Va., some two years. He then returned to Altoona, where he was connected with the railroad shops. In 1864 he again settled in Wyandotte, Kan., where he put up a saw mill and operated it until the loss of an arm the same year, by accident, compelled him to change his business. He was married in Wyandotte, in 1858, to Miss Mary Reeves, a daughter of A. Reeves, one of the pioneers of 1857. They have two children - Alfretta and Capitola. Mr. R. is a member of the I. O. O. F. Lodge and Encampment, and of the A. O. U. W. February 1, 1865, he engaged as foreman on the Union Pacific Railroad, then starting out from this place; was engaged on the railroad about two years, then started a wagon and drove throughout all the country near Kansas City, selling dry goods, notions, boots and shoes, taking in exchange farmers' produce. Followed this business until 1875, when he gained his patent on the "Little Giant force pump," and engaged in the manufacture of said pump, and is at present in same business.

A. H. ROGERS, Cashier Wyandotte Bank, was born in Le Claire, Scott Co., Iowa, February 2, 1858. His parents settled in Leavenworth, Kan., in 1868, where he pursued his preparatory studies at the high school. In 1874, he entered Harvard College, taking a full classical course, though making a special study of philosophy, in which he took honors. He graduated in 1878 with the degree of A. B. Shortly afterward commenced the study of law in Wyandotte in the office of E. Bartlett, and was admitted to the bar in Olathe in 1880. In 1879, he entered the firm of J. C. Rogers & Co., at Spring Hill; Kan., and engaged in the milling and banking business, in which he continued until his present business was established. Mr. Rogers was married in Phoenix, Oswego Co., N. Y., May 18, 1881, to Miss Kittie Coburn, of Phoenix. They have one son, Percival Caldwell.

D. J. ROSS, M. D., physician and surgeon, was born in Hickman County, Ky., September 7, 1843. He was educated at Asbury University at Greencastle, Ind. Commenced professional studies in 1860, under his father's instructions, The following year, commenced a regular course at the Kentucky School of Medicine, from which institution be graduated in 1885 .During his regular course of lectures, be held a commission as Hospital Cadet attached to the military hospitals. In 1865, he settled in Lexington, Ind., where he engaged in practice until 1860, then moved to Illinois, where he engaged in successful practice until 1876. He then took an European tour, visiting the hospitals of Germany and other places. Shortly after his return, he moved to Kansas, settling in Oskaloosa in 1878, where he continued in practice until he moved to Wyandotte in October, 1881.

JOHN B. SCROGGS, attorney at law, was born in Canton, Ohio, November 24, 1837. His parents moved to Crawford County, Ohio, in 1839, where be received his education in the district and high schools. Commenced reading law in 1859, in Bucyrus, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar in 1861. In 1862, enlisted in Company K, Eighty-sixth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out in 1862. He then entered the Quartermaster's department in which he continued until 1864, then located for a time in Freeport, Ill. In 1868, he removed to Kansas, settling in Wyandotte, where he has since actively engaged in practice. Was elected County Attorney in 1868, and served one term and then returned to his private practice. He was married in Wyandotte June 1 1875, to Mrs. M. E. Cruise, one of the pioneers of 1858. Mr. Scroggs is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the A. O. U. W.

SCOTT, ORR & CO., dealers in real estate, loans and insurance. This is the leading firm in their line in the city, their sales the last twelve months exceeding $300,000. Thomas A. Scott, of above firm, was born at Port Hope, Canada, October 16,1854. His parents were farmers of a sturdy and vigorous order, and imparted to their children strong minds and healthy bodies. In 1859, when the subject of this article was but five years of age, his parents moved with him to McHenry Co., Ill., where they resided until 1869. Young Thomas, in the meantime, was attending school at Beloit, Wis., where he received all the education he has. In 1869, he went to Chicago and engaged in the grocery business, and remained there until 1871, when he came to Kansas City, Mo., and engaged in the dairy business with his brother, Samuel F. Scott. He remained in the dairy business one year and a half, and in 1872, returned to Chicago and engaged in the retail market business, in which business he remained about three years. In 1875, he, with C. W. Marsh, of "Marsh Harvester" fame, O. N. McClintock, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Col. E. W. Chapman, of Keokuk, Iowa, incorporated the Northwestern National Planing Machine Company of Chicago, of which he was elected Treasurer. He remained with that enterprise about one year, when he sold out his interest and engaged in the real estate business in Chicago, where he remained until the latter part of 1879, when he again came to Kansas City, Mo., and went into the real estate business with his brother and the firm of S. F. Scott & Company. The firm did a large business, but desiring to widen out his business and extend his dealing, Thomas A. Scott, in July, 1882, founded the well-known "real estate and loan broker" agency, known as Scott, Orr & Company, of Wyandotte, Kan., where he now is. Mr. Scott was married to Alice M. Orr, a daughter of Thomas Orr, one of the wealthiest men in the West, and a resident of Wyandotte, Kan., on the 23d day of November, 1881. Mr. Scott is one of the best business men in the country, and by his indefatigable energy and unquestioned honesty and ability, has made for himself and family a competency; and, although a young man yet, has a business which is second to none west of the Mississippi. Mr. Scott is a man of affable address, courteous with friends and customers, and of splendid physique. A long and useful life is before him, and his many friends are proud of his acquaintance, and not a few remember with grateful reeling his unstinted liberality and generosity.

O. K. SERVISS, Chief of Police, Deputy County Sheriff, and Deputy United States Marshal, was born in Clark County, Ohio, December 9, 1836, and was educated in his native town. In 1856, he settled in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where he was engaged in mercantile business. In 1866, he removed to Wyandotte, Kan., where he was engaged in mercantile business until about 1878. In 1879, he was appointed Under Sheriff by Sheriff Bowling, a position he still retains. Mr. Serviss has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Forgy, to whom he was married at Waverly, Ind., in 1857. She died, leaving two children - Edgar F. and Clara. He was married to his present wife in Streator, Ill., in 1873. She was Miss Ella A. Haskell, of that city. Mr. S. is a member of the Grand Lodge and Grand Encampment, I. O. O. F., also of the Blue Lodge, A., F. & A. M. He has been a member of the City Council several terms, also City Treasurer several terms.

SAMUEL NEWELL SIMPSON. The subject of this sketch was born in Deerfield, N. H., October 3, 1826. He has two brothers, Henry M. and William A., who have been intimately associated with him, both in business ant in his pioneer work in Kansas. The Simpson family is a distinguished one in American history. John Simpson, the great-grandfather of Samuel N. Simpson, fired the first gun on the American side at the battle of Bunker Hill. A son of this John Simpson, whose name was also John, was a gallant soldier during the entire Revolutionary war. John Simpson, Jr., was the father of four sons and two daughters. Samuel Simpson, one of these four sons, was born in Deerfield, N. H., January 29, 1792, and died at Lawrence Kan., January 12, 1872. He was one of the truest and firmest friends of the Free-State cause. He was married in Deerfield N. H., to Miss Hannah Pearson, daughter of Timothy M. and Deborah Pearson. Samuel and Hannah (Pearson) Simpson were the father and mother of the subject of this sketch. Samuel N. Simpson was well instructed in his New England home, in the day school, the Sunday school and the church. He remained at home with his parents until the attainment of his majority when he made a contract with the Manchester & Lawrence Railroad Company to furnish lumber to fence twenty-six miles of their road. When twenty-two years of age, in company with his brother, Henry M., who was two year younger than himself, he engaged in retail and wholesale trade. The two brothers soon extended their business so as to embrace extensive real estate and lumber trade, in which they failed, $6,000 in debt. This was about 1849. In 1857, Mr. Simpson sent $11,000 in gold from Kansas to liquidate the indebtedness, and interest. He had moved to Kansas in 1854, during the discussion of the Kansas-Nebraska bill in Congress, not at all depressed by his misfortunes in the East. From St. Louis, Mo., to Lawrence, Kan., he made his way on foot, too independent to ask assistance or let his circumstances be known. He reached Lawrence September 29, 1854, bare-footed, carrying his boots upon his a shoulder, weary and foot-sore from his tramp. On the next day, he surveyed a claim, with the hope of making it the foundation of a fortune. From this time forward, he was actively engaged in promoting his own interests and those of his fellow-men. On the 1st of October, 1854, he organized a Bible class, and was elected its teacher. On the 7th of January, 1855, he opened a Sunday school, which in time became the Plymouth Congregational Sunday school. He also organized Sunday schools at Franklin and at other places, and it was while he was engaged in his capacity of Sunday school teacher that he discovered the Franklin plots to destroy Lawrence. In the fall of 1851, he assisted in forming the Plymouth Congregational Church at Lawrence. At a meeting held in October of this year, to name the new town, Mr. Simpson moved that it be called Lawrence, which motion was seconded by Dr. Robinson, and thus the city was named after Amos A. Lawrence, of Massachusetts, one of the staunchest friends of early Kansas. Mr. Simpson was active in securing arms and ammunition from the East to aid in the defense of the Free-State cause against the border ruffians of those days, as well as to provide provisions for the Free-State men while they were engaged in the defense of their homes. As a result of arrangements made by him with New York capitalists, the Simpson Bank was started, of which he and his two brothers were the proprietors for several years. For eighteen months of John Brown's career in Kansas, Mr. Simpson had charge of his guns and ammunition, and after the Quantrill massacre he had charge of the interment of the bodies of the hapless victims, which work occupied two days and two nights. Mr. Simpson was married, January 1, 1864, at Columbus. Ohio, to Miss Kate L Burnett, daughter of Judge Calvin Burnett, of Morrisville, Vt. Mrs. Kate L. Simpson was born in 1833. She is a woman of superior mental endowments and culture, and a successful teacher. The oldest son of this couple, Charles Lyon Simpson, was born November 23, 1866: Theodore was born February 10, 1866, and died in infancy; and Newell was born July 13, 1869. Recently, Mr. Simpson has been actively engaged in business pursuits, principally in the sale of real estate. Some few years since, he laid off a town adjacent to the east line of Kansas, on the banks of the Kansas River, adjoining Kansas City, Mo., calling his town River View. At this new town he lives, in a home well supplied, and surrounded with all that tends to render life enjoyable and dignified, and in the confident hope of a happier life beyond.

JAMES SNEDDEN, mine owner and operator, is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, from which country he emigrated at the age of eight years. He came to America and located in Johnstown, Penn., in 1850, where he remained until 1867, being four years in the Union army, in the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers. In 1867, he came to Wyandotte, Kan., and was painter on Union Pacific Railroad for two years, and was then on the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad in the same position, seven years. He then traveled as agent for lost cars for the same road for three years. He was then in the Weir City Zinc Works for a short time. He went to Galena, Kan., in mining interests in 1879, and has operated largely on Moll Reserve and school land; also on Folmer ground. He is now operating on Bonanza ground with good prospects. Mr. Snedden's mining operations cover a period of four years. In January. 1881, he returned to Wyandotte and went into the paint, oil and glass business, and is doing a flourishing trade. He is a member, Past Master and Past High Priest in the Freemason order; also Past Thrice Illustrious Master; is Deputy Grand Master of the State; is Eminent Commander of the Knights Templar of Wyandotte. He was married to Miss Mary C. Speck, of Wyandotte, Kan., who is Grand Matron of the order of Eastern Star. They have one child - Irene M.

RICHARD BAXTER TAYLOR was born in Buckland, Franklin Co., Mass., March 26, 1817. The genealogy of the Taylor family is traced to Capt. John Taylor, who was born in 1841, and was killed by the Indians May 30, 1704, in what is now Easthampton, Mass. Richard received a good common school and academic education. When seventeen years of age, he went to Canandaigua, N. Y., where he taught school; next going to Ellienville, Ulster County, where he engaged in the practice of law. Before completing his studies, however, he became connected with the Ellenville Journal and was proprietor of that paper until he came West in 1857. He did not bring his family with him until 1858, when he visited Wyandotte, intending to locate in Lawrence. Mr. Taylor came to Kansas with the premeditated purpose of assisting in making it a free State, and had the satisfaction of knowing, finally, that he was considered one of the most earnest leaders of the great movement. He concluded to settle in Wyandotte, purchasing an interest in the Gazette of S. D. MacDonald. In January, 1861, the office and its contents were destroyed by fire. Soon afterward, Mr. Taylor purchased a new outfit, and bought the interest of his partner, and continued sole editor and proprietor of the journal up to the time of his death, which occurred at his residence in Wyandotte March 26, 1877. As an editor and a man, Mr. Taylor was bold and honest, an honor to the profession and the State. He was among the foremost of the fraternity who favored the formation of a State Editorial Association, being chairman of the meeting which met in Topeka, January 17, 1866, to effect an organization, and was elected its President in 1868, delivering the annual address in 1870. The Editorial Association which Mr. Taylor was so active in organizing, at its annual meeting held at Manhattan, April 7, 1875, suggested the action which led to the organization of the State Historical Society, and he was made one of its first directors. Mr. Taylor was married to Miss Rachel Broadhead, May 22, 1851. She is the daughter of William and Susan Broadhead, of Ellenville, N. Y. William B. Taylor, their only child, was born December 30, 1855.

J. M. VOSS, dealer in furniture, curtains etc.; the business was established in 1873, by a Mr. Poehler, the present proprietor succeeding him May 1, 1883. He occupies a room 25x75 feet in area, with a shop in addition. He is adding to his regular business facilities for finishing and making furniture to order, for which his long experience gives him great advantage. Mr. Voss came to Kansas in 1866 with his parents, finishing his education in Wyandotte. In 1872, he went to Lexington, Mo., where he learned the cabinet-making trade in the large furniture factory of that city, and remained there until he bought out present business. Mr. Voss was married in Lexington, Mo., in 1875, to Miss Kate Lierman, of that city; they have three children - George F., Catherine M. and Arthur J. M.

CHARLES WAHLENMAIER, contractor and builder, came to Wyandotte in 1864, and worked at the carpenter's trade until 1873, when he engaged in contracting and building. He employs from four to six men, and has erected many buildings In Wyandotte. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, March 25, 1847; came to America in June, 1864; was married in 1872, to Miss Mary Herscheman, a native of Hanover, Germany. They have three children - Anna M., John Frederick and Nellie E. In 1876-77, Mr. W. followed contracting and building in California, and employed a large force of men.

J. W. WAHLENMAIER, dealer in lumber and all kinds of building material, came to Wyandotte in 1864, and engaged in contracting and building until 1872; he then opened the lumber trade; now employs six men in the business. He began a stock of $4,000; now carries a general stock of $10,000. He was born in Germany, January 12, 1846; came to America in 1864, coming directly to Kansas; was married in 1868, to Miss Caroline Hosch, a native of Baden, Germany. They have five children - Willie F., Bennie J., Frankie, Minnie and Albert. They are members of the German Methodist Episcopal Church, of Wyandotte. He has been a member of the Board of Education two years, and City Treasurer, elected twice, held the office two years, and a member of the City Council the same length of time, and is now serving his second year on the Board of County Commissioners.

J. D, WILSON, President of the Bank of Wyandotte, came to Wyandotte in October, 1882, and soon became President of the above bank; he was born in Crawford County, Ill., June 22, 1832. He resided in his native county until twenty-three years of age; being raised a farmer, he followed agriculture, also kept hotel a number of y ears. In 1815, he went to Charleston, Ill., and embarked in the mercantile and banking business until 1865, when be went to Chicago, Ill., and engaged in the wholesale business until 1867; thence embarked in the manufacture of lard and oil a year; sold out and moved to Oxford, Wis. He there bought the Oxford City Mills, built them and operated the same successfully until December, 1881; sold out and removed to Kansas. He then engaged in the banking business until he removed to Kansas. He was married in 1863, to Miss Sophia Ricketts, of Coshocton, Ohio. They had one daughter - Sophia R., now living in Coshocton, Ohio. His wife died in 1864; he was again married in 1867, to Ettie Spoor, a native of the State of New York. They are members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. W. is also connected with the Masonic order.

L. H. WOOD, real estate amid insurance agent; business established in 1868; transacts a general real estate business, dealing in both city and country property; represents in insurance, Etna of Hartford, Continental of New York, Springfield of Massachusetts, Phoenix of Hartford, American of New Jersey, Hartford of Hartford and Home of New York. Luther H. Wood was born In Syracuse, N. Y., April 29, 1828. About 1831, the family moved to Huron County, Ohio where L. H. was educated in the common schools and academy. About 1848, his parents moved to Crawford County, Ill. His early life was spent in farming; afterward dealing in cattle, buying amid shipping. About 1855, he became connected in a clerical capacity with the construction of tile first railway across Iowa. In December 1857 he left Illinois and proceeded by rail to Jefferson City, Mo.; thence by stage to Kansas City, landing in Wyandotte the same month. The next spring, he went to St. Louis by the old steamer Sioux City, Gen. Harney and his staff being on the same boat. The same year returned to Wyandotte, establishing the first hack line to Kansas City. In August 1858, he sold out and bought a saw mill, which he operated until 1860. In 1859, was elected Sheriff, the first in the county, and was re-elected in 1861. In the winter of 1861-62, he assisted in raising the Ninth Kansas Calvary, and in January, 1862 he was commissioned Quartermaster of that regiment. In the spring of the same year, this regiment was consolidated with the Second Kansas Cavalry, and he was commissioned Commissary of the new organization, a position which he retained until October, 1864, when he resigned, and shortly after located in Kansas City, Mo., where he engaged in real estate operations until 1868. He was married in St. Louis, Mo., November 14, 1864, to Miss Louvenia Wood, of Brunswick Mo. They have six children living - Charles K., Ida, Laura, Edward L., James F. and Luther B. Mr. Wood is a member of the Lodge and Chapter A. F. & A. M. and of the K. of P.

G. W. W. YATES, attorney at law, is a son of William Yates, Esq., who passed through Kansas in 1849, en route to California, and who returned and settled with his family in that portion of Kansas now known as Douglas County, Kansas, in August, 1854. He was a very prominent figure in the border ruffian times, and organized and commanded a cavalry company of Free-State men, in his county, during the border ruffian war. The subject of this sketch was born In Pittsfield, Ill., September 2, 1844, and came to Douglas County, Kan., with his parents in 1811. He was educated in that county, and was a pupil in the first district school established in the Territory of Kansas. He commenced life in Lawrence, in 1863, as a clerk for George Leis, in Lawrence, and embarked in the drug business on his own account in 1878, continuing the same to June, 1881. Commenced reading law in 1878, in the office of the Hon. George J. Barker in Lawrence, at the same time entering the law department of the Kansas State University, graduating in June, 1880, and was admitted to the bar the same term and at once commenced practice in Lawrence. In July, 1881, he moved to Wyandotte, where he has since been engaged in practice. He was married in Lawrence, October, 31, 1868, to Miss Adelle B. Benedict of Sherburne, Chenango County, N. Y. Mr. Yates is a member of Acacia Lodge, No. 6, A., F. & A. M. and the I. O. O. F. and the A. O U. W.

JOHN E. ZEITZ, old settler, retired. Was born In Prussia, December 5, 1831. He was educated in his native place, and after leaving school served an apprenticeship of five years in the dry goods trade. About 1854, he came to the United States, and engaged in the mercantile business in Chicago. In 1817, he removed to Wyandotte Kansas, where he opened a hardware and grocery store, which he continued to operate until 1863. In that year, he bought an interest in the City Mills in company with Mr. Washington. Shortly afterward the firm was changed to J. E Zeitz & Co., under which title he operated the old mill, and also the Riverside Mills until 1882. He then disposed of his interest to Northrup Brothers. He was married in Prussia in 1867, to Miss Sophia Stade. They have three children - Esther, Helen and Herman. Mr. Z. is a member of the Common Council, also of the A. O. U. W.

[TOC] [part 12] [part 10] [Cutler's History]