Charles Abner Clift, a leading business man of Bluff City, Kans., is one of the pioneers of Harper county. He was born on a farm in Belmont county, Ohio, August 21, 1855, and is a son of Perry P. and Hester (Steele) Clift. The father was a native of Delaware, born in 1825. He removed to Ohio when a young man, and in 1857 went to Illinois. He was extensively engaged in the stock business, in which he was very successful, and was one of the early shippers of stock to the Chicago market. He died September 20, 1892, at Urbana, Ill. He was twice married, his first wife, to whom he was married in 1848, Hester Steele, was a native of Maryland, born in 1832. She died at Champaign, Ill., August 8, 1867, leaving the following children: Leander B., born September 20, 1851, married Eva Ice of Champaign county, Illinois, and six children were born to this union as follows: Etna, Howard, Austin, Alvin, Maude and Anne. He came to Kansas in 1886, and in 1889, went to Oklahoma when that country was opened to settlers and now resides at El Reno, Okla. William A. Clift was born June 7, 1853, came to Kansas in 1886, and located in Harper county, where he remained until 1889. He then went to Logan county, Okla., where he now resides. He married Jennie Vest, of Urbana, Ill., in 1871, and they have eight children: Ida, Eleanor, Jesse, Irwin, Nellie, Lillie, Sylvan and Minnie. Charles Abner Clift, the subject of this sketch was the third in order of birth. Frank P. Clift was born September 19, 1857. He came to Kansas in 1892, following farming in Sumner county for ten years, when he went to Texas and now resides at Higgins, Tex. He married Alice B. Cook, of Champaign county, Ill., in 1887. Josephine Clift was born March 20, 1859, and married Ernest Eaton, now deceased, of Champaign county, Illinois, in 1878, and they had three children, Bertha, Frank and Lelland. Mary Belle Clift, was born February 20, 1861, married Mervin M. Smith in 1885 and they had six children: Howard, Rufus, Blanche, Paul, James and David. September 1, 1868, Perry P. Clift married Mrs. Emma Fitzgerald and two children were born to this union: Albert E., born in 1869, he began the railroad business at the age of seventeen, and was promoted from time to time, and in 1911 became General Superintendent of the Illinois Central Railroad and is located at Chicago. He married Tish Yates in 1894. The youngest of the Clift family, Lillie, was born in 1871. She has been twice married. Her first husband, Laurence Pickerel, to whom she was married in 1890, was killed in an accident at Urbana, Ill., in 1892. She is now Mrs. Chilton Hurd, and has one child, Blanche. Charles Abner Clift, the subject of this sketch, was united in marriage November 8, 1876 at Fredonia, Kans., to Miss Lillis Jane Roe, a native of Champaign county, Ill., born September 20, 1851, and was a school mate of Mr. Clift. She is a daughter of John B. and Susanna (Ditling) Roe. The father came to Kansas in 1876 and located in Wilson county, where he was engaged in farming fifteen years, when he removed to McPherson county, where he now resides. The mother died in 1909. To Mr. and Mrs. Clift have been born the following children: Clarence Roe, born September 10, 1880, married Katie Shellhammer, January 14, 1904, and they have one child, HoIlis Roe, born January 20, 1914; John P., born May 7, 1885, married Miss Flossey Peters, May 12, 1903; Bessie May, born March 13, 1888, married Herbert A. Aldridge, June 27, 1909, and they have one child, Russell, born August 27, 1910; Grace Pearl, born July 12, 1890, married Elmer J. Allen, June 30, 1909, and they have two children, Charles E., born April 1, 1910, and Robert, born January 27, 1912; Elsie, born November 11, 1895, and Walter Russell, born July 28, 1902. Charles A. Clift was reared in Belmont county, Ohio, and received his education in the public schools of Champaign county, Illinois. He first came to Kansas in 1876, and worked as a farm laborer for a time, when he returned to Champaign county, Ill., where the family then resided. Here he folowed[sic] farming until 1883, when he came to Kansas, this time to stay. He bought land four miles southeast of Bluff City, where he was engaged in farming and stock raising for fifteen years. He became an extensive buyer and shipper of cattle and hogs, and was very successful in this line of endeavor. In 1893 he gave up farming, removed to Bluff City, and devoted himself exclusively to the live stock business, and was one of the successful stock men of Southern Kansas. In 1904, Mr. Clift and his sons, Clarence and John, engaged in the implement business in Bluff City. They handle all manner and form of farming implements, and endeavor to handle the best make of goods on the market. They also handle automobiles, and altogether are one of the largest concerns of the kind in Southern Kansas. Mr. Clift is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Modern Woodmen of America, and the other members of the family are members of the Christian church. He is a Republican, but has never sought office, although he has served as a member of the school board, and was justice of the peace four years. He is one of the substantial business men of Harper county who has made good.Pages 323-325 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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