Anthony, George Tobey, seventh governor of the State of Kansas, was born on a farm near Mayfield, Fulton county, N. Y., June 9, 1824, and was the youngest of five children born to Benjamin and Anna Anthony. The parents were active members of the society of Friends, or Quakers, and were unwavering advocates of the abolition of chattel slavery. The father died in 1829, leaving the family in somewhat straightened circumstances. When George was about nine years old the family removed to Greenfield, N. Y., where he attended school during the winter months and worked for the neighboring farmers in summer. At the age of sixteen years he entered the shop of his uncle at Union Springs, N. Y., and served an apprenticeship as a tinner and coppersmith. Here he worked from fourteen to sixteen hours each day, which doubtless inculcated those industrious habits that characterized his course through life. On Dec. 14, 1852, he married Miss Rosa A. Lyon, of Medina, N. Y., and there engaged in business as a tinner and dealer in hardware, stoves, etc. Later he added agricultural implements to his stock, and still later he removed to New York city, where he engaged in business as a commission merchant until the commencement of the Civil war. Gov. Morgan selected him as one of a committee to raise and organize troops under the call of July 2, 1862, in the 28th district, composed of the counties of Niagara, Orleans and Genesee, his associates being ex-Gov. Church and Noah Davis. Mr. Anthony organized the Seventeenth independent battery of light artillery in four days, and was commissioned captain of the organization when it was mustered into the United States service on Aug. 26, 1862. In command of this battery he served between Washington and Richmond until the close of the war; was attached to the Eighteenth corps while in the trenches in front of Petersbuurg;[sic] and was with the Twenty-fourth corps in the Appomattox campaign, which ended in the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Capt. Anthony was mustered out at Richmond, Va., June 12, 1865, and in November of the same year he became a resident of Leavenworth, Kan., where for nearly three years he was editor of the Daily Bulletin and Daily Commercial. He then published the Kansas Farmer for six years. After coming to Kansas, Mr. Anthony held a number of positions of trust and responsibility. In 1867 he was one of the commissioners in charge of the soldiers' orphans; in December of that year was appointed assistant assessor of United States internal revenue; was commissioned collector of internal revenue on July 11, 1868; was president of the Kansas state board of agriculture for three years, and president of the board of Centennial managers in 1876. In the last named year he was nominated by the Republican state convention for the office of governor. During the campaign some of his political enemies charged that he had been guilty of cowardice while serving with his battery in the Army of the Potomac, and insisted on his removal from the ticket. The charge was investigated by the state central committee, which refused to remove Mr. Anthony, and the committee's decision was ratified by the people at the election in November, when Mr. Anthony was elected by a plurality of nearly 23,000 votes. Two years later, in the Republican state convention, he was defeated for a renomination on the seventeenth ballot. In 1881 he was made superintendent of the Mexican Central railway, a position he held for about two years. In 1884 he was elected to represent Leavenworth county in the state legislature; was a member of the state railroad commission from 1889 to 1893; was the Republican nominee for Congressman at large in 1892, but was defeated by William A. Harris; was a delegate to the Trans-Mississippi Congress at New Orleans in 1892; was appointed superintendent of insurance by Gov. Morrill in 1895, and held this office until his death, which occurred at Topeka on Aug. 5, 1896. As an orator Gov. Anthony was logical and forcible, rarely failing to impress his hearers by his intense earnestness. He was often criticizedsuch is always the case with men of positive naturesbut no word was ever whispered against his honor or integrity. The Kansas Historical Society Collections (vol. VI., p. 204) says: "George T. Anthony's greatest usefulness to his adopted state was his work while editor of the Kansas Farmer and as president of the board of Centennial managers. The pioneer farmers of Kansas were negligent in the management of farm affairs. Corn was about the only crop produced, and at the end of the season the plow was left in the furrow and the mowing machine was left in the fence corner, while the live stock were left to shift for themselves. The Kansas Farmer taught diversified farming, economy in management, improvement in live stock, and higher regard for home and social life. The Centennial exhibit made a grand advertisement for Kansas."Pages 81-82 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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