John Drum, residing in his comfortable home at 324 East Second street, Ottawa, Kan., is one of Franklin county's earliest pioneer farmers and stockmen, having been a resident of the county since June, 1858, a period of more than fifty-two years. He was born in Wyandotte county, Ohio, on Nov. 16, 1837, the ninth in a family of twelve children born to Jacob and Susanna (Duchman) Drum, natives of Pennsylvania, the former born in 1792, and the latter in 1799. Jacob Drum and his wife were married in Pickaway county, Ohio, but soon after removed to Wyandotte county, and resided there until their emigration to Kansas, in the spring of 1858. He had prospered during his wedded life in Ohio, and by perseverance and industry, was the possessor of valuable farm lands, not only in Wyandotte county, but also in Seneca county, Ohio, of all of which he disposed prior to starting westward, and, therefore, was well equipped financially to meet the hardships incident to pioneer life in what was then wild and unbroken country. He decided to reach the far West via steamboat from Cincinnati, Ohio, and to reach that city the family divided. John, Elias and George each drove a two-horse team through, the one John drove being his own, while the father, mother and the rest of the family boarded a train at Adrian, Ohio, and in due time all were united in Cincinnati. They were soon aboard a steamer bound for St. Louis, Mo., where, after a delightful voyage down the beautiful Ohio and up the mighty Mississippi rivers, they were transferred to a Missouri river steamer, their objective point being Wyandotte, Kan., then one of the principal river points to disembark for those settlers who intended to locate in Kansas, or even farther west and southwest.
The day following their arrival at Wyandotte a Pottawatomie Indian by the name of Armstrong recognized Jacob Drum as an old acquaintance whom he had known when his tribe was still residing near Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and he advised Mr. Drum to preëmpt land near Wyandotte, declaring that a great city would be built there. Mr. Drum concluded, however, that it was too hilly and broken to suit him there, and at once ordered the team in line and took the old Santa Fe trail for some unknown location that he might find in a southwesterly direction. In due time the family arrived at Ohio City, Franklin county, and there being several families from Ohio located at that point and vicinity Mr. Drum resolved to preëmpt land near there, if suitable land could be found. He began his search and soon found five quarter-sections along Middle creek, on the south side and about three miles southwest of Ohio City, in Ohio township, which he preëmpted, and selecting the most desirable site for a home, he built a frame house and then engaged in farming and stock raising, the latter extensively, as the ranges for stock in that day were almost without limit. There he resided and prospered until his death, in 1867, at the age of seventy-five years. His beloved wife and helpmeet survived him until 1886, when she was called to her reward at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. As stated, these old pioneers were the parents of twelve sons and daughters, namely: Elias, Elizabeth; Henry, Elmena, Stephen, Mary, George, Malinda, John, Martha, Lucinda, and Daniel D., of whom John and Daniel D. are the only ones living at this date (1910).
John Drum was just out of his teens and filled with all the buoyancy of youth when he arrived in Kansas, which, at that period of the nation's wide excitement and discussion between the anti and pro-slavery cohorts, made it necessary to be armed for instant action at almost any hour of the day or night. He was a stanch advocate of the anti-slavery doctrine as set forth in the original Republican platform and proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln in his famous debates with the noted Stephen A. Douglas, and when the great Civil war broke out, his patriotism was soon manifested by enlisting in Company C, Sixth Kansas cavalry under Col. William R. Judson, which became a part of what was known as Lane's famous Kansas brigade. During the winter of 1861-62 the regiment was stationed at Fort Scott, and in the spring was completely reorganized, under General Orders No. 26, issued by Governor Robinson. The early part of Mr. Drum's service was chiefly along the border counties of the states of Kansas and Missouri, and the Indian Territory, but on Nov. 13, 1863, he accompanied his command to Fort Smith, Ark., where it was employed during the winter in scouting and on escort duty, moving thence to Roseville. On March 26, 1864, it joined the First division, Army of the Frontier, then enroute to join General Steele's command and took part in the Camden expedition. The regiment sustained its greatest disaster at Mazzard's Prairie, near Fort Smith, Ark., where a battalion was surprised by some 600 Confederates. After a gallant resistance Captain Mefford, Lieutenant DeFriese and eighty-two men were captured and a large number were killed and wounded. A list of the engagements in which Mr. Drum participated includes the following: Dry Wood, Morristown, Osceola, Carthage, Diamond Grove, Lost Creek, Taberville, Clear Creek, Hickory Grove, Coon Creek, Granby, Newtonia, Old Fort Wayne, Boston Mountain, Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, Webber's Falls, Fort Gibson, Cabin Creek, Honey Springs, Baker's Springs, Princeton, Jenkins' ferry, Dardanelle, Clarksville, Fayetteville, Iron Bridge, Mazzard's Prairie, Lee's Creek, Van Buren, Fort Smith, Fort Scott, Cow-Creek and Trading Post. It hardly seems possible that any living man could have taken part in all of the above named engagements without being killed, but as strange as it may seem Mr. Drum came through without a scratch, and about Dec. 1, 1864, he was mustered out of the service and received his honorable discharge at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He returned home and once more took up the occupation of farming and stock raising.
On March 29, 1867, he chose as his life companion Miss Ida M. Smith, born in Richland county, Ohio, Dec. 8, 1838, the daughter of Joseph and Maria (Paramore) Smith, the former born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1803, and the latter in Cadiz, Ohio, in 1806. Joseph Smith and his wife were married in Richland county, Ohio, and came to Kansas, in 1857, locating near Ohio City, Franklin county, where the former entered a tract of wild land and established his home. There they continued to reside until their respective deaths, that of the father occurring in Ohio City, and that of the mother at the home of her daughter, Mrs. H. W. Chaffee, in Ottawa. They became the parents of five children: Melvina, E. Y., Sarah, Ida and Jerusha, of whom Mrs. Drum and Mrs. Jerusha Chaffee are the only ones living (1911). To Mr. and Mrs. Drum have been born four children: Blanche V., who is an excellent bookkeeper; Minnie J., the wife of Robert Bingaman, a prominent merchant of Princeton, Kan.; Nellie E., deceased; and Clifford C., who resides in Williamsburg, Kan. Mr. Drum has always given his allegiance to the Republican party, and keeps in touch with his old comrades in arms by his membership in the George H. Thomas Post, No. 18, Grand Army of the Republic, at Ottawa. He and his wife are living practically retired from business cares and are enjoying the fruits of years of useful toil. Mrs. Drum holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and the family ranks not only as one of the oldest in the county but also holds a high place in the estimation of a large circle of lifelong friends and associates.Pages 1249-1251 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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