KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

Hill City, Graham County, Kansas


Photo of J. A. Bundy.

fession.  We were much impressed with the profundity of his knowledge and the extent of his observation in his professional life.

     Dr. Bundy is a man who inspires the confidence of his patients.  Although young in his profession he has reached that welcome confidence and affection that all doctors know is the key note to the success of the family physician.   The doctor is recognized by all as a professional man of great promise.  With his kindly disposition, he easily wins his way into the hearts of the people.  His sympathies are easily awakened by the appeals of distress.  He is a man who stands high in his community both professionally and socially.

     Four [sic] four years Dr. Bundy has been a student in the University Medical College of Allopathy, taking his degree in May, 1906.

     For a year and a half he did hospital work in one of the largest hospitals in Kansas City, working with such surgeons as Perkins, James, Hill, Foster and Cordier.   The last year of his hospital work he had the distinction of being chief of the house staff at the University Hospital.

     He had charge of 700 patients, almost half of them being cases of surgery, and the others of severe and advanced diseases of all kinds except contagious.

     In his hospital experience and training he has met with the newest and most advanced discoveries in medical science and has put to practical use these methods and remedies.

     Dr. Bundy is located in Hill City and lives in his new and modern home on Capitol Hill.  For a time he will have his office in connection with his home and can be reached by telephone 155.

     Dr. Bundy was born in Grant county, Illinois in 1878 and moved to Kansas in 1886 with his parents who still reside on the old homestead six miles southeast of Hill City.

     After finishing the common schools of the county, Dr. Bundy taught five years and began his professional studies in 1902.   He was married in Kansas City, in June, 1906.

     Mrs. Bundy has had special training in the hospital as a trained nurse.


John Stanfil.

     “Progress” is an excellent watchword.   It denotes so many things ambition, energy and thrift.   A business built upon such a foundation is sure to grow and thrive.

     Mr. John L. Stanfil an extensive farmer living twenty miles northwest of Hill City is typical of the word “progress.”

     In 1879 when Mr. Stanfil was but seven years old he came with his parents to Graham county from Kentucky.  He grew up amid the hardships and privations which came with making a home in Graham county

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Photo of Stanfil home.

in the early 80’s, and when in 1896 he left the home place and began work for himself he was amply able to cope with all difficulties.

     At the time of his marriage ten years ago, he had but 80 acres of school land.  Later he bought a half section for $1000 and a quarter section for $2000 and has recently closed a deal which adds another half section to his place.  Today Mr. Stanfil's 640 acres are worth $30 an acre,

Photo of Stanfil barn.
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450 acres of the farm are under cultivation with the greater part o it devoted to the growing of wheat and the average yearly output for the last 3 years has been 10,000 bushels.

     Without a question Mr. Stanfil’s farm is one of the best improved places in the county.  Two years ago he built a fine eleven room home which cost him some $2000.   To the west of the main residence has recently been built a house for his tenant who farms 160 acres of the place.   The largest and finest barn that we have seen throughout our trip over the country is on Mr. Stanfil’s place.  It is a mammoth structure that can be seen for miles around, and the inside is as remarkable as the outside, with its immense hay mow above and many roomy stalls below.

     Although Mr. Stanfil is more distinctly a farmer than a stock man he has twenty-five head of fine cattle and sixteen head of good horses.  In making his many improvements he has not forgotten the trees which add beauty and usefulness to a place and has set out 200 thrifty fruit trees.

     Although Mr. Stanfil is but 34 years of age he owns one of the best farms in the county and his career shows what honesty and industry and thrift will do.  He and his wife are thoroughly satisfied with Graham county and think it is a good place to rear their two bright and attractive sons.

     And Graham county appreciates Mr. Stanfil’s worth as fully as he appreciates its worth as is shown by his recent appointment as county commissioner to fill the unexpired term of Mr. Porter.  So great is the satisfaction that there is no doubt of Mr. Stanfil’s election to the same office in 1906.


Alvin Law.

Photo of Law family.
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“It ain't the funniest thing a man can do--
Existing in a country when its new.
Nature--who moved in first--A good long while---
Has things already somewhat her own style.
She carries in her pockets bags of seeds,
As general agent of the thriftiest weeds;
She sends her black birds, in the early morn,
To superintend her fields of planted corn;
She gives him rain past any duck’s desire--
Then may be several weeks of quiet fire;
She finds time, ’mongst her other family cares,
To keep in stock good wild-cats, wolves and bears;
She spurns his offered hand, with silent gibes,
And compromises with the Indian tribes.
In short, her toil is every day increased,
To scare him out, and hustle him back East;
Till finally it appears to her some day.
That he has made arrangements for to stay:
Then she turns ’round, as sweet as anything,
And takes her new-made friend into the ring.”

     This tells well the story of Alvin Law, one of the earliest settlers of Graham county.  For eight years nature tried to “hustle him back East,” but when she realized “that he had made arrangements for to stay,” she “turned ’round, as sweet as anything, and took her new made friend into the ring.

     Mr. Law has resided since 1878 on his Prairie Home Stock Farm, a 2400 acre ranch in the south part of Graham county.  He has 80 acres of upland and 300 acres of bottom land planted in alfalfa, 100 acres in cane, 100 in corn and 200 in small grain.  The place is well watered and has on it 20 miles of three wire fence.  The commodious residence of eight rooms is surrounded by fine trees, with many large evergreens and flowring shrubs of all kinds.

     On the ranch are six acres of Native forest trees and six acres which Mr. Law has planted, in addition to one of the finest orchards in the south part of the county, having 500 bearing fruit trees and a splendid grape arbor.

     The out buildings on the ranch are complete and well built.  There is a large barn, 40x60, in addition to two cow barns, two spacious granaries and a two story machine house.

     Mr. Law raises much fine stock, having at present some 315 head of cattle and 24 horses besides a large number of hogs.

     He is known far and wide not only for his work and thrift, but for his royal hospitality,--the latch string of his outer door is always out and the friend and stranger are always greeted with a warm welcome.

     Mr. Law represented Graham county for two terms in the legislature with credit to himself and satisfaction to his friends.

     In 1878 Mr. Law married Miss Hilda Johnson, of Osceolo, Iowa. They have eight children.


The Clayton Farm.

     These two views are from the orchard on the Clayton Farm, in the northern part of Graham county, on the famous “Bow Creek Divide.”

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     The orchard consists of about 500 trees, and is now yielding apples, cherries, plums, pears, peaches and apricots.  It was set out in 1899 and 1900.  The ground was raw prairie only a few years ago.  Modern methods were used is [sic] setting out and cultivating the trees.  Good, reliable nursery stock was used.  The weeds have been kept from growing, some mulching was used; but the “dry farming system” was thoroughly prac-

Photo of Orchard.
Photo of Orchard.
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ticed by keeping the surface of the ground loose to a shallow depth during the summer.  The ground was never allowed to lose its moisture by evaporation, when possible to prevent it.

     Mr. Clayton has recently moved to Hill City and is now editor of the Hill City New Era.  He asks $15,000 for his three quarter sections of fine, level upland and second bottom, with Bow Creek touching its southern border.  Mr. Clayton spent ten years on the farm and demonstrated, the same as many others have also done, that the raw prairie can be turned into a comfortable home with pleasant surroundings, and pay handsomely for the labor of subduing the soil and farming it with due regard for western conditions.


A. C. Brandt.

Photo of A. C. Brandt family and home.

     A. C. Brandt, a brother of our present County Treasurer, who lives twenty-two miles northwest of Hill City, came to Washington county, Kansas from Ohio in 1886.  Two years later he came to Graham county and homesteaded on the farm which is still his home.  It was here he brought his young wife, formerly Miss Flora Earnhart of Blue Springs, Nebraska.  Together they builded them a sod house and began the struggle with fortune, who has treated them kindly.  Mr. and Mrs. Brandt have an interesting family of four girls and one boy.

     Farming like all other occupations, has its ups and downs.  Mr. Brandt had his downs in 1903 and ’04.  Crops failed and he lost practically all he possessed.

     But with 1895 came prosperity which has continued to the present time.  Each succeeding year better than the last.

     Mr. Brandt has done general farming but has been especially successful in the raising of corn, not having had a failure for eleven years.

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     Today, as an evidence of his industry and good management, he owns 480 acres of good farm land valued at $25 an acre; a roomy comfortable dwelling house and other buildings amounting to $2500.  His farm is well stocked with 40 head of cattle, 20 hogs and 7 horses.

     One of the most desirable features of Mr. Brandt’s place is an eight acre choice grove of forest trees planted in 1890.  In addition to this he has 100 bearing apple trees and 30 cherry.  This fine farm with its many improvements has been made in eleven years and his remarkable success and prosperity Mr. Brandt owes to his own conscientious work and good judgment.


William Wells.

Photo of Wells home.

     One of the most prosperous farmers of Graham county who owns 1960 acres of the county’s best land is William Wells, who lives ten miles northeast of Hill City.

     Mr. Wells came to Graham county from Atchison six years ago with a capital of some $10,000 and invested it in raw prairie land, when it was selling for much less than now.  The same land today is on the market for $30 an acre.

     The ranch consists of 900 acres under plow, 50 acres in alfalfa and the remainder in wild prairie grass, used for pasture and meadow; 400 acres of it is fine bottom land especially adapted to growing of alfalfa, and produces four crops a season, each crop averaging one and on-half [sic] tons to the acre.  Last season there was a yield from this farm of 8000 bushels of wheat, 400 tons of hay and kaffir corn, and some oats and barley.

     The place is peculiarly adapted to stock raising, having one and three-fourth miles of spring fed creek which never freezes or dries up.

     This year Mr. Wells fattened for the market 180 head of steers and 150 head of hogs.

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     Mr. Wells, by his good judgment and industry has improved his place in the last six years, so that it is an ideal place to live, an excellent place to make money and surpasses many older farms in its vicinity.

     The residence home, a new, well-built house of seven rooms is surrounded by many thrifty trees, a garden of roses and lilacs and all kinds of flowering shrubs add beauty and comfort to the home.

     Mr. Wells has not been unmindful of the practical value of trees.  He has 150 peach trees, 20 apple trees, 35 cherry trees, all bearing, and small fruit and berries in abundance.

     This large farm is often termed Wellsville as the three tenant houses on the place are occupied by his employees, giving the farm a population of from 20 to 30 people.

     The rural route brings mail daily and telephone connections are had with town and county exchanges.

     In addition to the four homes on the place are corn cribs, granaries, cattle sheds, hog house, hen house, smoke house, implement shed, ice house, where the farm’s supply of ice is stored during the season, and a recently built mill house which is equipped with a gasoline engine and grinder where the grain for the stock is prepared.

     Eighteen miles of fence has been built and 40 acres of farm is enclosed in hog tight fence.

     The constant work and close application of Mr. Wells to his business interests has made him financially independent and a desire for a life less confining has caused him to put his excellent farm on the market.

     Mrs. Wells who enjoys this prosperity with her husband has done her full share in making it a reality and they with the youngest boy, Elmer, who is at home will locate in town as soon as a sale or trade for the ranch is completed.  Anyone wishing to negotiate for this ranch, will address, Wm. Wells, at Hill City, Kansas.


The Gudgell Ranch.

     Though Graham county points with pride to her many large enterprises, she is particularly proud of one institution which is not only the greatest of its kind in the state of Kansas, but in the United States as well.  We say particularly proud because no institution could mean more to a stock raising and farming country than this the largest thoroughbred Hereford cattle ranch in the world, feeding at present on its 10,000 acres, 900 registered Herefords.

     This immense stock-farm, known as the Gudgell Ranch, was bought 9 years ago, for F. M. Baker, of the Greenleaf-Baker Grain Co., of Atchison by A. E. Kerns, and Mr. Wells of Hill City.  Mr. Kerns and Mr. Wm. Wells bought the 10,000 acres at an average of $5 an acre, and during the. five years in which Mr. Kerns was manager and overseer of the ranch made improvements worth $25,000.

     Mr. Baker, who took particular pride in this ranch, held it until his death, when the Baker estate sold it to Charles Gudgell of the Gudgell-Simpson Stock Co., who is the largest breeders of thoroughbred cattle in the world.  This is Mr. Gudgell’s third and largest cattle ranch, the other two being in Anderson county, Kansas, and Independence, Missouri, and on the latter Mr. Gudgell makes his home.  The Graham county ranch be [sic] used for breeding and feeding, the Independence ranch for exhibition and sale.  Mr. Gudgell’s manager and overseer is Wm. Hendry who has

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Photo of home on Gudgell Ranch.

been in his employ for seventeen years, coming here direct from the Anderson county ranch.  Mr. Hendry, because of his keen business insight good judgment and long experience, is a valuable man in this position.

     To the visitor, the Gudgell ranch is a marvel in expanse, beauty an utility.  These 10,000 acres form an immense triangle, 4 miles in width by six miles in length, the beauty of which beggars description.  The gentle undulating lands of waving wheat and alfalfa and rich pasture are broken only by well-wooded Bow creek which with many graceful curves transverses the ranch from east to west, giving it some six miles of heavy timber.

     1,700 acres of the ranch are under cultivation, 1000 of it being devoted to the raising of alfalfa, which yields three crops a season and averages three tons to the acre, making an average yield of 3000 tons yearly.  Throughout the alfalfa season, 30 men are required to cut and care for it.

     The corn which is fed to the stock during the feeding season is grown on the 400 acres of the ranch devoted to its cultivation.  200 acres are sown in wheat.

     Five houses are required to shelter the fifty employees of this ranch; the main building is a twelve room house, which the manager occupies, and in which about thirty of the men are fed.  Of the other buildings there are barns, granaries, implement sheds, mill house, chicken houses, carpenter, harness and blacksmith shops, and the old log house which was the first building erected on the ranch.  The upland pastures and feed lots are supplied with water by eight wells, each with a windmill and tank.

     Fifty-five miles of fence are already built on the place and two carloads of hedge posts have been ordered to be used for fencing purposes.  It would be impossible to find a farm better supplied with new and improved implements than the Gudgell ranch.  Among the countless ma-

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chines and mechanical devices are the double row rollers, an invention of Mr. Gudgell’s.  These are used after listing the corn and weigh 2,500 pounds each.

     The work of the ranch is carried on chiefly by twelve teams of fine mules, which cost Mr. Gudgell $500 a team, and twelve teams of heavy horses worth $350 a team.

Photo of Gudgell Ranch cattle.
Photo of Gudgell Ranch cattle.
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Photo of Gudgell Ranch cattle.

     An interesting feature of the place is several braces of fine stag hounds which protect the stock from wolves and other enemies of the herd.

     This season the ranch wintered and fattened 6,000 sheep besides the vast herd of 900 thoroughbred Herefords.

     While this ranch is marvelous in every respect, the feature which

Photo of Gudgell Ranch mules.
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Photo of Gudgell Ranch mules and horses.

predominates is that for which the ranch is maintained--the breeding of thoroughbred white-face cattle.  The Hereford is an ideal grazer.  The range is appropriating the Hereford because he suits the conditions and climate.  He is naturally a grazer, with courage and perseverance, a fine traveler, and in many respects more indifferent to climate than any other beef breed.

     The progress of the Hereford has been forward--surely but not slowly.  They have made wonderful strides as beefers in the last ten years, until now they rank with the best.  The white-face have met the requirements of the beef-packers, and their onward march cannot be stopped.  The dressed beef men take these cattle in preference to all others of the range.

     Mr. Gudgell, knowing the advantage of the range to the Hereford; has made this his breeding ranch.

     Of the 900 registered white-faces, several are prize winners.  One of them being Dandy Rex, the prize Hereford bull of the world, and the holder of the Armour Cup.  His register number is 71689 and his weight is 2,000 pounds.  Other prize animals on the ranch are, Beau Dandy, Beau Modest and Beau Donorus, all sons of Beau Brummel, register number 51,817.

     Mr. Gudgell talks enthusiastically of the future of the ranch and is planning many improvements within the year, among them a commodious residence for the manager, several fine new barns and some material changes in the boarding hall for the men.


J. E. Cook.

     On an 80 acre tract ten miles north of Hill City, J. E. Cook keeps his well known “Banner Herd” of registered Poland China hogs.  Of his twenty thoroughbreds, he has registered seven,. some in the Standard and some in the American association.

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     Those registered with the Standard are: Money Musk No. 40357, Beauty No. 92559 and with the American are: Sis Hadley, No. 241332, Maude Wilkes No. 248530, Miss Perfection No. 261632, Daisy L No. 261630 and Number Sixty No. 259101.

     One of the best Poland Chinas in the county, Big Diana, belonging to Mr. Cook was burned recently.  She was taken out of the lot for exercise and sought shelter in the tall grass of the prairie where she was burned in a clearing fire.

     Mr. Cook considers Sis Hadley the banner hog of the “Banner Herd” and her picture appears in this edition.

     Not only is Mr. Cook interested in his thoroughbred herd, but he divides interest with his fine Plymouth Rock chickens and Bronze turkeys.

     Mr. Cook’s brother and his wife make their home on the ranch.

Photo of hogs.

J. R. Nicholson.

     Mr. J. R. Nicholson’s career surely exemplifies the well known Kansas motto, “Ad Astra per Aspera,”--To the stars through difficulties.

     It seemed for years that Fate held only ills in store for him, sending poverty, sickness, death and disappointment against which he made a courageous and continuous fight and came out conqueror in the end.

     Mr. Nicholson in early boyhood moved from Monroe county, Iowa to Republic county, Kansas and on March 24th, 1895 he journeyed on to the sunny prairies of Graham county.  His first home he built of the sod and the county assessed him on one span of horses, two cows, two yearling heifers and two wagons.  To obtain money to improve his own place he broke prairie for his neighbor.  In ’86 and ’87 the continuous and severe sickness of his wife and daughter resulted in the death of the wife, May 4th, 1887.  He was aroused from his bereavement by the consequent duties and responsibilities which were forced upon him.  Four children,

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mere babies, the oldest being six years of age, were left solely to his care, and together with the $900 of debt incurred by these misfortunes it seemed almost more than human love or strength could endure.  He undertook the care of his children alone, cooking, sewing, ironing, washing and churning in addition to the regular farming.  Six years later, in 1892, he remarried.  Mr. Nicholson today owns 360 acres of good land, all of it under fence, and a good herd of cattle, 100 hogs and 10 horses.  He

Photo of Nicholson home and family.
Photo of Nicholson barnyard.
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owns a two-thirds interest in 16 horse power steam thrasher, and has builded him a modern eight room frame house in addition to many good outbuildings.

     In 1905 Mr. Nicholson’s corn crop amounted to 2500 bushels, and in the same year he marketed $1200 worth of hogs.  His prospects for 1906 are most flattering.  He has $1500 worth of hogs which he will market by fall and his crops are in a flourishing condition and promise an abundant harvest.  There are 60 acres in wheat, 100 acres in corn and 26 acres in alfalfa.  A splendid orchard of 200 trees adds beauty to the place, 70 peach, 6 pear, 6 apricot and 20 apple.

     Mr. Nicholson has recently assisted his son in the purchase of 160 acres of good farm land.


A. W. McVey.

Photo of McVey home and family.

     Farm house of one of the most prosperous farmers of Graham county.  He has large land holdings and live stock interests, and his wealth, was made in Graham county.

     He is at present a County Commissioner.

Dr. N. Crank.

     While hundreds who came west during the early eighties became disgusted and returned to the east and their friends, there were those who possessed the will and loyalty to purpose to withstand the hot winds and the drouths and privations of the unsettled west and remain at their post of duty, believing they could win in spite of adversity.

     A notable illustration of the latter class is Dr. N. Crank who fought the natural enemies of the west with the same fortitude and perseverance that he fought the enemy in his four years service in the Civil War.  Dr. Crank was born in Ohio, on December 12th, 1837, and twenty-one years

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later emigrated to Missouri where he engaged in farming, until in the autumn of 1861 where he enlisted in the Missouri Home Guards.  In October, 1863 he became a member of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, M. S. M., and served until the regiment was mustered out at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, in July, 1865, where he returned to his farm.  In the autumn of 1878, Dr. Crank with his family homesteaded in the south part

Photo of Crank home and family.

of Graham county and they have been continuous residents since that time.

     Dr. Crank sold his original homestead and moved to a farm three miles southwest of his present home, but two years later moved to his farm eight miles southwest of Hill City where he has resided for the past nineteen years.  He was at one time an extensive sheep raiser, having some 1500 head, but luck seemed to turn against him when a fatal epidemic prevailed among his flock and left but 200 sheep uninjured.  This, with a debt of $1400 on the land involved him in a debt some $3500 and for a number of years he paid 10 per cent interest on that amount.  But Dr. Crank was not discouraged and in 1890 his persistence was rewarded.  That year he marketed 1100 bushels of onions, 32000 heads of cabbage, 1100 bushels of potatoes 800 bushels of tomatoes and after all expenses were paid had $1800.  In 1895 he sold $500 worth of peaches grown on his place.  Mr. Crank’s orchard and grove are foremost among the many delights of the farm.  He has 1500 fruit trees consisting of plum, pear, cherry, peach, apricot and apple trees, besides a fine grape vineyard of 500 vines.  There are ten acres of large forest trees following for a mile a spring fed creek on the place.

     Of Dr. Crank’s 320 acres 80 are especially adapted to alfalfa growing from which large crops are realized each year.  In his prosperity Dr. Crank has not forgotten the joys of real living, and has built a large two story stone residence of twelve rooms with large cellar, closets, bath and

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Photo of orchard.

wash rooms and has furnished it elegantly throughout.  Aside from the $4500 residence, $5000 has been spent in other improvements such as stable, cowbarns, fences and ice house.  In the season of 1905 Dr. Crank’s farm produced splendid crops, of which he still has 1500 bushels of wheat and 100 bushels of oats.  He now has 65 head of grade cattle, 51 head of hogs and 9 head of horses.  Not only is Dr. Crank a successful farmer but he is a doctor of no little note.  He is the patentee of a medicated steam bath machine which was exhibited at the Paris Exposition and took the first diploma and gold medal over all the like machines exhibited there.  Besides successfully treating people with his steam bath machine Dr. Crank is the originator and manufacturer of a cattle virus which for thirty-seven years successfully prevented and cured black-leg in cattle.

     Dr. and Mrs. Crank went to the Portland Exposition, sojourning in five western states, but returned to Graham county satisfied that this is the Mecca for the poor man.


B. S. Sherman.

     For fifteen years Mr. B. S. Sherman was a renter in Illinois and Eastern Kansas, but tiring of the unequal struggle imposed on him by the landlords there, he came to Graham county five years ago, and rented a section of land from Illinois parties.  Being raw land, a house and barn had to be built, fences made, and sod turned; but in all this Mr. Sherman managed well and the first season he turned 100 acres of sod.  He now has under cultivation, on this tract of land, 215 acres, and the writer at once noticed the neatness displayed on his farm.  The grass surrounding the dwelling is preserved, the yard is free from wagon tracks, and trash, and the building is kept in good repair.  At the barns each article has its place, the harness is neatly hung on pegs, the stable stalls are clean, the

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wagon and buggy are under shed, and the implements in proper order.  The cultivated lands are free from weeds and the growing crops are doing nicely.  Particularly is this true of a large field of wheat which is much better looking than the average fields we have seen on our trips over the county.  Mr. Sherman says from a “rental” stand point, he has more property to show for his five years labor here, than for the fifteen years he labored for the Eastern landlord.

Photo of Sherman family and home.

     He married Miss Nellie Peck, in Henry county, Illinois, February 24th, 1882, and to this union were born two girls.  A visit to the Sherman residence, impresses one with the fact that home life there is of real,, enjoyment.

Martin Larson.

     Among the number of foreign born people who have made homes in Graham county, is Martin Larson, a prosperous stock man living on his ranch twenty-two miles northwest of Hill City.

     Mr. Larson is a native of Denmark and came with his parents to Brown county, Kansas, when he was but one year of age.  Mrs. Larson, who was born in Sweden, came in 1888 to Brown county where she and: Mr. Larson were married.  To them were born two bright children, a girl and a boy.  Five. years ago the family moved to Graham county and have prospered as only Graham county farmers can prosper.

     From a $2500 investment made five years ago, Mr. Larson has cleared $7000 and his land, together with the $3000 in improvements, is valued at $9000.

     Of the 560 acres in his ranch, 125 are under cultivation, the remaining 435 being used to pasture his fine herd of Hereford cattle.

     Mr. Larson takes particular pride in his white-face cattle and of the

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Photo of Larson home and family.
Photo of cattle.

large herd which he now has, a goodly number are thoroughbreds.  He frequently ships a car load of fattened steers to the Kansas City market.

     No less worthy of mention are his Duroc Jersey hogs, 25 of which are registered.

     One need not wonder at the fine condition in which Mr. Larson’s

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stock is always found.  He spares no time or expense in making his barns and yards such as any farmer might be proud to claim.

     Mr. and Mrs. Larson are much pleased with Graham county and all that she offers, and intend to make this their permanent home--a place to live and a place to prosper.


I. L. Olmstead.

Photo of group in yard.

     The farm of I. L. Olmstead, one of the successful farmers of Graham county, who has made a comfortable fortune on the place.  He is engaged in the mercantile business on his farm, and is building a large store room.  He will stock it with everything the farmer needs and will buy everything the farmer has for sale.  He is postmaster at Togo which is thirteen miles south of Hill City.


James Holmes.

     Twenty-eight years ago, James Holmes of Wisconsin married in Iowa, and. brought his bride to Graham county, which was then a part of the great American desert, but what is today the garden of our great commonwealth.

     Mr. Holmes said, “In those days I was the poorest man in all Graham county.  I didn’t have a cent I could call my own.”  He tells an interesting story of his introduction to the west.  In June of 1879, the spring freshets were unusually heavy, and he narrowly escaped losing his life, while crossing the north fork of the Solomon river in a wagon box, in an attempt to reach the land office at Kirwin where he filed on his 160 acre homstead [sic], which lies sixteen miles northeast of Hill City and which is today the 880 acre farm home of Mr. Holmes and family, the land being valued at $25 an acre.

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     For twenty years the family lived in a sod house, but eight years ago they moved into their commodious seven room dwelling where they now live.

     To Mr. and Mrs. Holmes were born four children, three daughters and the youngest a son.  This winter within two months, the three daughters were married.  Two of them are now residing on farms within a few miles of the home place and the oldest with her husband in Gove county on a claim.  Mr. and Mrs. Holmes are enjoying the rewards of a quarter of a century of application and industry.

     Of the 880 acres comprising their farm 400 are under cultivation, producing corn, wheat, oats, and alfalfa.  There is a good orchard of peach, pear, cherry, and apple trees, which supply the family with fruit and to spare.

     But the noticeable features of this farm and the one in which Mr. Holmes takes particular pride is his herd of fine thoroughbred Poland China hogs, the herd being headed by Guy Hadley No. 39039 second register and Standard Poland China record.  Nine of the herd are registered in volumns [sic] 20, 21 and 22 of the Standard Poland China Record and 40 head additional are eligible to registration.  He raises registered hogs for sale, and invite correspondence.  In addition to the thoroughbreds, Mr. Holmes fattens many hogs for market, and at present writing has 100 head.

     He also keeps high-grade Durham cattle, having 70 head at present.

     With 18 head of horses and mules on the farm, lots of outbuildings and machinery, Mr. Holmes is making big money and is satisfied to make easy money in Graham county.  His post office address is Densmore, Norton county, Kansas.

Photo of Holmes home and family.
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