William Sawyer Bitler, now deceased, was a successful man of affairs of Lyon and Greenwood counties, and one of the influential citizens of that section for years. He was a native of Ohio, born December 1, 1846, and a son of Daniel and Sarah J. (Van Tress) Bitler. The father was a drygoods merchant in Ohio, and young Bitler worked in his father's store until he was twenty-one years of age when, in 1867, the Bitler family removed to Kansas, locating on Government land in what is now Olpe township, Lyon county. Here the father engaged in farming and stock raising on an extensive scale, and was successful up to the time of his death. In addition to his agricultural interests he also became interested in the banking business in Emporia and Eureka. Mr. Bitler took an active interest in public affairs and kept thoroughly abreast of the times. He died April 29, 1898.
William Sawyer Bitler, after coming to Kansas, continued his business association with his father and they operated together in the cattle business and other interests, practically throughout their lives. William Sawyer Bitler organized the Madison Bank of Madison, Kan., and was vice-president of that institution to the time of his death. He took a keen interest in political matters, and was a lifelong Republican. He served as one of the county commissioners of Greenwood county for a number of years. He was public-spirited and enterprising, having an extensive acquaintance and many friends. Mr. Bitler was united in marriage February 4, 1874, to Miss Arminda, daughter of James and Louisa (Weaver) Keith, natives of Illinois, and a pioneer family of Lyon county, Kansas. Mrs. Bitler was born in Indianola, Ill., and came to Kansas with her parents in 1859. The father passed away in Madison in 1900, and the wife and mother passed away August 15, 1910. To William Sawyer Bitler and Arminda (Keith) Bitler were born seven children: Clytie, born March 25, 1876, died February 14, 1878; Ina, born November 22, 1879, graduated at the State Normal School, Emporia, in the class of 1903, now a teacher in the Madison High School; Ella, born December 22, 1881, educated in the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia; Erma, born November 18, 1883, educated in the State Normal School of Emporia, married Etherbelt Shaffer, and has two children, William Earl and Fern; Clyde, born November 3, 1888, died April 19, 1889; Harry William, born February 9, 1890, and Fae, born July 16, 1894, graduated in the Madison High School, class of 1912. The Bitler family is well and favorably known throughout Greenwood county, and reside at Madison.Pages 522-523 from a supplemental volume 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 October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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