Simon P. Donmyer.In presenting to the readers of this volume the biography of Mr. Donmyer, the founder of New Cambria, Saline county, Kansas, we are perpetuating the life record of a Kansan who, by diligence and industry, not only promoted his own personal success but also contributed largely to the industrial growth of this state and was a worthy representative of the intelligence, the integrity and moral worth of its citizens. He was one of those many Eastern men who came to Kansas when it was but an infant state, and was descended from that sturdy type of German-American ancestors, a class of citizens who by their thrift, perseverance and honest toil have added more to the material growth and prosperity of our nation than have any other type of settlers.
Mr. Donmyer was born at Johnstown, Pa., Jan. 13, 1832, a son of Louis Donmyer, born Dec. 31, 1799. Being the owner of large timber tracts in Pennsylvania, he engaged in farming and in operating a sawmill in his native state until 1872, when he came to Kansas and located in Saline county. Shortly afterward Mr. Donmyer secured the opening of a new town and station on the Union Pacific railroad six miles east of Salina, which was named "Donmyer Station" by the railroad officials but later was changed to New Cambria at Mr. Donmyer's request. He was postmaster and railroad agent at New Cambria for a number of years and also became one of the most extensive farmers and cattle feeders in Saline county, owning at the time of his death over 1,000 acres of valuable wheat land, besides a large amount of grazing land. In addition to directing the affairs on his broad and fertile acres he also conducted a large general merchandise business. A man of strong common sense, capable and foreseeing, he proved a competent merchant, gave the closest attention to details and directed his general merchandising business with skill and success, and his progressive ideas and distinct business acumen gradually gained him precedence as one of the most substantial farmers and business men of Saline county. He was essentially a home builder, a citizen of integrity and worth, possessed of those sterling qualities of character which endeared him to a wide circle of friends, and his name will go down in history with all the attributes of a well spent life and honorable career. He was a Democrat in his political views but cared nothing for public and political recognition and never sought official honors. His interests centered around his home and family, his business interests and in the development of the northeast section of Saline county, in which development he was an acknowledged power and took a justifiable pride. He passed away in July, 1905. His life companion, who was a Miss Susan Jacoby prior to her marriage, survived him until Nov. 21, 1909. They were the parents of three sons and three daughters, all of whom are now filling honorable and useful stations in life. Sarah, the eldest of the children, is the wife of Joseph M. Brubaker, a farmer of New Cambria; Rebecca married Paul P. Ruch, also a farmer of New Cambria; Edwin S. is a farmer residing near Salina; Elizabeth D. is the wife of Hon. C. B. Kirtland, mayor of Salina (See sketch); Edward is a large owner and automobile dealer of Salina; Harry S. is a stockman residing at New Cambria; and J. Vincent is traveling auditor of the Arizona lines of the Southern Pacific railroad.Pages 767-768 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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