Joel J. Booth, the present postmaster at Conway Springs, Kan., is a native of Napoli, N. Y., where he was born July 22, 1849. He is the fifth in a family of six children born to Reuben and Percis G. (Glazier) Booth, the other children being: Jonas G. Booth, born Feb. 1, 1842, who served during the Civil war as a member of Company G, Twentieth Michigan infantry, and who died at Long Prairie, Minn., in 1909, leaving a family of three sons and four daughters; Zavala V. Booth, born June 5, 1843, who also served the Union cause as a member of Company E, Eleventh Michigan infantry, and died at Long Prairie, Minn., in 1905, leaving two sons and one daughter; Amasa J. Booth, who was born in 1845 and died in 1847; Frances H., born in 1847, who is the wife of A. H. Sheldin, a farmer of Marcellus, Mich.; and Sarah L., born in 1857, now the wife of William F. Matthews, a retired farmer of Rockport, Tex. Reuben Booth was born March 29, 1816, at Steubenville, N. Y., and resided in New York state until 1857, when he removed to Michigan and continued to be engaged, as previously, in farming and teaching school. He died in Marcellus, Mich., in April, 1873, survived by his wife until 1904, her death also occurring in Marcellus.
Joel J. Booth of this record received his education in the public schools near his Michigan home and also at Kalamazoo. His school days ended in 1865 on his going to Minnesota, where he was employed for three years on the construction of the Northern Pacific railroad. In that connection he went west as far as Devil's Lake, N. D., and hauled government freight and supplies with an ox team and wagon. His career as a teacher began in 1872 and for thirty years he was engaged in that profession, three years in Michigan and twenty-seven in Sumner county, Kansas, the year of 1885 being spent as superintendent of the city schools at Conway Springs. Upon coming to Kansas in 1875 he was one of the first to preëmpt land in Conway township, Sumner county, his claim being a quarter-section. He made settlement Feb. 12, 1876, and his final proof was made on Feb. 12, 1878. He has taken an active interest in the public life of his community during his thirty-five years or more of residence there and has filled a number of positions of trust and responsibility. He served five years as a member of the county board of school examiners, his service in that capacity beginning in 1881. He has also served as trustee of both Conway and Springdale townships and in 1890 was federal census enumerator for Conway township. He is a Republican and has taken an active part in both county and state politics, having been a member of the Republican central committee of his county for years. He received his appointment as postmaster at Conway Springs on Dec. 13, 1907, and as such has proved both popular and efficient.
On Dec. 24, 1874, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Booth and Miss Eliza J. Matthews. She is the daughter of Warren O. Matthews, a pioneer farmer of Michigan who settled there in its territorial days. Earlier in his career he was a railroad promoter and helped build the Grand Trunk raiload[sic] through central Michigan. He also served for a time as postmaster at Marcellus, Mich., where his death occurred on April 9, 1909. In 1877 Mrs. Booth taught the first school in Conway township. Two children have blessed their union. The son, Charles W. Booth, born Jan. 5, 1879, was married in 1905 to Miss Etta M. Barry, daughter of A. E. Barry, a farmer residing near Conway Springs. They live on a farm six miles north of Conway Springs and have one sonBarry. Eva Madge Booth, the daughter of our subject, was born July 17, 1884, and is the wife of Ernest Osterhaut, a merchant at Kingman, Kan. Mr. and Mrs. Osterhaut have two daughtersHelen and Cora Madge. Mr. Booth has had a prosperous career and owns two fine farms near Conway Springs and also owns town property. He is a Knight Templar Mason and a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and has held all the offices in the latter order as well as in the blue lodge, chapter and commandery of the Masonic order. He and his family are members of the Presbyterian church.Pages 1462-1463 from volume III, part 2 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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