Frederick Funston, brigadier-general and commandant of the United States service schools at Fort Leavenworth, is a native of Ohio, born at New Carlisle, Clark county, Nov. 9, 1865. He is of Scotch-Irish descent, his paternal grandfather having emigrated from the old country, in 1800, and located on a farm near Paris, Ky. Subsequently he removed to Ohio, and there Edward Hogue Funston, General Funston's father, was born. He was reared upon his father's farm and followed that vocation until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in the army and was commissioned second lieutenant of a company of light artillery, under command of Capt. Anderson Mitchell. In 1861 he married Captain Mitchell's cousin, Ann E. Mitchell, whose great-grandmother was a sister of that famous Kentucky frontiersman, Daniel Boone. In 1867 Edward H. Funston brought his family to Kansas and located on a farm in Allen county. Here General Funston attended the district school, graduated in the high school at Iola, in 1882, and entered the state university at Lawrence, in 1886. For a year he taught school, and for another year worked as a train collector on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad. While at Lawrence he took a great interest in natural history and was a member of several parties sent out by the university to gather specimens. When he left college Funston became a reporter on a newspaper at Fort Scott and later a member of the staff of the "Kansas City Journal." Within a short time he received an appointment to go to the Bad Lands of Dakota and Montana to collect botanical specimens, in which he succeeded so well that the following year, 1891, he was sent with a scientific expedition to Death Valley, in the Mojave desert, to collect flora of that region. He was engaged there for nine months, had several narrow escapes from death by thirst, and at one time walked forty miles across the desert, an almost unprecedented feat. In 1893 Secretary Morton, of the United States Agricultural Department, sent him to Alaska to make a collection of the flora there. He lived with the Thlinket Indians and traversed the Klondike before gold was discovered. During this expedition he reached the Arctic ocean, going farther north than any white man had gone up to that time. Upon his return to the United States he was highly commended for bringing back the best preserved collection of Alaska flora ever gathered. The following year the department sent him to the interior of Alaska on a similar expedition. He crossed the coast range into the upper Yukon country with a party of gold miners and spent the summer at Fort McQuestion, on the Yukon. In the fall General Funston went to an Indian village on the Powder river, from which he made two snow-shoe trips with the Indiansone to carry letters to a Hudson Bay post, 200 miles away and bring back provisions, and the other a hunting trip of over 600 miles, in the dead of an arctic winter. On this trip he visited some ice-bound whalers in the Arctic ocean. He built a boat, and when spring came floated 1,500 miles down the Yukon, collecting specimens on the way. He returned to San Francisco on the United States revenue cutter Bear and later delivered a series of lectures in Kansas. In the spring of 1895 he went to Mexico and Central America to see about coffee plantations, after which he went to New York to get the scheme financed. About this time he became associated with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad, as deputy comptroller. While in New York he formed the acquaintance of some of the members of the Cuban junta who induced him to join their army, and "Harper's Weekly" gave him a position as Cuban correspondent. On reaching Cuba he was made an officer of the native artillery and continued in this branch of the army during the twenty months he was in the service, reaching the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He was placed in command of all the artillery east of Havana and took part in more than twenty engagements. He was shot through both lungs and one arm, and was forced from active duty when his leg was broken by having his horse fall on it. On his way to the coast he was captured by Spanish soldiers, but passed himself as a Cuban deserter and reached home on crutches. He was giving a series of successful and brilliant lectures when the Spanish-American war broke out, and immediately volunteered for service, being appointed colonel of the Twentieth Kansas. Little need be said of his brilliant and daring work in the Philippines. On more than twenty battlefields he led his regiment to victory, and was soon promoted to brigadier-general. General Funston is not only a good officer, but is also a man of great executive ability. While commander of the northern military district of Luzon he planned the expedition which penetrated the mountain wilds and captured, March 23, 1901, Emilio Aguinaldo, the commander of the Philippine army, an event that for months had been regarded as impossible, and its accomplishment is considered by military authorities as one of the most daring in modern military history. Upon learning of Aguinaldo's capture Major-General McArthur cabled the war department: "The transaction was brilliant in conception and faultless in execution." At the same time he recommended that Funston be appointed brigadier-general in the regular army. At the present time General Funston is one of the ranking officers of the United States army and is in command of the service schools at Fort Leavenworth, a position of great importance, as it is here that the graduates of West Point are given their post-graduate courses in the art of warfare, and it is a recognition of the great abilities of the general that he, who never attended West Point, should be put at the head of this great government institution of military training.Pages 629-631 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.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project