William J. Branden, of Kingman, Kan., the present popular clerk of the district court, was born at Curwensville, Clearfield county, Pennsylvania, April 4, 1851, the eldest son of John Branden and his wife, nee Miss Ellen Bloom. The father was a lumberman and spent the whole of his active career in Pennsylvania, where he died in 1901, survived by his wife until 1904. They were the parents of six children: William J. is the eldest; Mary is the wife of Harry Hamilton and resides in Pennsylvania; Josephine married William Kelso and resides in Pennsylvania; Ruby is Mrs. Schoff, a resident of her native State; Frank A. is a successful physician in Pennsylvania, and Russell died in infancy.
Mr. Branden received his education in a Pennsylvania log school house and began at an early age to assist his father in the lumbering business. The Branden home was in the midst of the lumber district of Pennsylvania and there the son was employed until 1882, when he removed to Kingman, Kan., which at that time had no railroad. Different pursuits claimed his attention until 1909, having in the meantime engaged as a laborer, as proprietor of a hotel, and later in conducting a grocery and plumbing business in Kingman. In 1908 he was elected clerk of the district court as the Democratic candidate and proved so popular and efficient in that service that he was reëlected to the office in 1910.
Mr. Branden chose as his life companion Miss Pauline F. Conway, whom he wedded in 1889 at Kingman. She is a daughter of John Conway, also a native of Pennsylvania. To Mr. and Mrs. Branden has been born a son, Russell Lowell, born Jan. 24, 1891, and he is being afforded excellent advantages for a good literary educationan advantage denied his fatherbeing a graduate of the Kingman County High School, class of 1910, and is now a student in the University of Kansas.
The first period after the Civil war found Kansas in a state of recovery and readjustment. The last thirty years has been the period of its phenomenal progress and development along all lines, and it is during this latter period that Mr. Branden has been a resident of Kingman county, and he has seen it pass through the same development as the State in general. His success in life has been achieved by individual effort, for he began with no capital, except a pair of industrious hands and a willing heart, and he now owns valuable property in Kingman and has acquired a competency for his later years. The year 1882 was yet a pioneer day for Kingman, and Mr. Branden has ever been a hard worker for the development of the town and for its best interests. His life has been such as to well deserve the respect and esteem of his fellow citizens.Pages 959-960 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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