Baron S. Edwards, banker, former miller and veteran of the Civil war, came to Kansas in 1872, in which year he located in Chetopa where he engaged in the flouring mill business, in which he successfully continued until March 30, 1906, when his mill was struck by lightning, set on fire and destroyed. Since April 1, 1906, he has been the official president of the Farmers' and Merchants' State Bank of Chetopa. Mr. Edwards was born at Newark, Kendall county, Illinois, Oct. 9, 1846. His parents were Morgan and Mariah Vanderpool (Jones) Edwards. His father was born in the city of Newark, N. J., and his mother was born in Albany, N. Y. His paternal grandfather, Jonathan Edwards, was a native of New Jersey and the son of an Englishman who came from the city of London, settling in New Jersey, and became one of the founders of Brown University at Providence, R. I. Maternally, Mr. Edwards is of Holland Dutch lineage, his ancestors in America settling on Manhattan Island and becoming founders of the city of New York. In 1842 the parents of Mr. Edwards removed from Philadelphia, Pa., to Illinois, and settled at Newark, where his father began his ministry in the then West as a Baptist minister. In subsequent years he held charges in the ministry at various places in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, including St. Louis and Chicago. His death occurred in 1890, when he was eighty-three years of age. He was then residing at Burlington, Iowa. Owing to changes of residence incident to his father's ministry, Mr. Edwards' childhood and youth were spent in these various places. He was in school when the Civil war came on, and was but fifteen years of age. He quit the school room and tendered his services in the defense of the Union. He was under age for enlistment, but through the influence of his friends he was accepted and made a private in Company K, First Iowa cavalry, in the first year of the war and remained in the service until the close of hostilities in 1865, however, he was not mustered out of the service until in March of 1866. During the five years of his service in the army he was for the greater part connected with the medical department as a hospital steward. For many years Mr. Edwards has been prominent in the Grand Army of the Republic, and among acquaintances he is known as "Captain Edwards." Having closed his army services, Captain Edwards returned to Burlington, Iowa, where he was first in the employ of the American and United States Express Companies. Later he was bookkeeper and assistant manager of a wholesale drygoods and notion house at Burlington, and still later superintendent of coal mines at Ottumwa, Iowa, from which place he came to Kansas in 1872 and located at Chetopa, then a new and promising town. Here he engaged in the milling business. His business career has been a successful one, notwithstanding that he began in business on limited capital. Politically Captain Edwards has always been a stanch and active Republican. He has served as mayor of Chetopa; on the board of councilmen; and as school trustee.
At Ottumwa, Iowa, Captain Edwards was united in marriage in 1869, to Miss Mary L. Hunter, a lady of sterling qualities of heart and mind, who has been, indeed, a helpmate to him during their forty years of happy wedded life. Mr. and Mrs. Edwards have an only daughter, Jessie Margurite. The family is numbered among the very best and most respected in Chetopa.Pages 839-840 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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