John H. Edwards.The career of this prominent and successful merchant, like those of many of the prominent men of Kansas herein depicted, illustrates vividly that Kansas has been and is a state of opportunity to him who is seeking success, if he be a man of ability, of energy, and of industry. The Edwards family is of Welsh descent and was first established in this country by three brothers of that name who emigrated from Wales and settled in the eastern states. Many of their descendants were in the advance guard of civilization toward the West, and among these was Samuel Edwards, grandfather of John H. Samuel Edwards was something of a rover and, after leaving his Virginia home, spent the most of his life in Texas and Missouri, his death occurring in the latter state. His son, John W. Edwards, father of John H., was born in Missouri, and there wedded Lucy Eastham, a native of that state. They became farmer residents of their native state and still reside at Lamonte, Mo. They are both members of the Methodist Episcopal church. John W. Edwards espoused the Union cause during the Civil war and served as a member of the Missouri state militia. In politics he is a Democrat and in his business career has been successful, being the owner of a good farm and town property. Claburn Eastham, maternal grandfather of John H. Edwards, was a Virginia by birth, but in an early day removed to Missouri, where he engaged in farming, and there he died.
John H. Edwards was born in Pettis county, Missouri, March 2, 1866, and remained on the parental farm until his majority. His education was acquired in the common schools of Missouri. In 1887 he entered the Southwestern Railway Telegraph School, at St. Louis, and after mastering telegraphy was sent, in 1888, to La Harpe, Kan., where he remained in charge of the station three years. From there he was transferred to Fredonia, where he remained six years. He then decided to enter a more active business life and, with a capital of $1,000, opened a racket store at Sedan. This modest beginning has developed into the largest mercantile establishment in Chautauqua county. His store carries complete lines of boots and shoes, ready-to-wear clothing, drygoods, and other general lines essential to a fully equipped and well stocked general store, and his patronage covers a wide territory. The prominent position which Mr. Edwards holds in the business circles of Sedan has come to him as the result of his excellent business judgment, his perseverance, determination, and tireless energy; and through his efficiency as a business man he has not only promoted his own success but also the prosperity of his city as well. Besides his mercantile interests he owns a fine farm in Chautauqua county, has valuable business and residence property in Sedan, and holds an interest in oil leases and in the cigar factory at Sedan, being a half owner of the last named concern.
On Oct. 22, 1889, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Edwards and Miss Nannie E. Wyckoff, of Moran, Kan. She is a daughter of William and Celeste (Heinerich) Wyckoff, both born near Columbus, Ohio. They came to Kansas in 1879 and settled on a farm near Moran, where they still reside. To Mr. and Mrs. Edwards four children have been born: Celeste is a graduate of the Sedan High School, and has spent one year in the University of Kansas; Vera N. is a high school student; Pina Irene is a student in the grades at Sedan; and Edward Dana is now (1911) four years of age. Mr. Edwards and his family are communicants of the Episcopal church. In the Masonic order he has taken the Royal Arch, the Knights Templar, and the Consistory degrees, and is also a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He is high priest of his chapter at Sedan. He takes an active interest in the public life of his city and has served as a member of the city council two years. As a merchant he has been eminently successful and as a citizen none of his community stands in higher esteem.Pages 523-524 from volume III, part 1 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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