Samuel P. Gebhart, of Pratt, Kan., editor and owner of the "Pratt Union," is a son of George W. and Mary A. (Shadwell) Gebhart, born at Graysville, Ohio, March 27, 1853. George W. Gebhart was a native of Maryland, born in 1814, and was descended from German ancestors. Accompanying his parents to Ohio at the age of ten, that state remained the scene of his business career, a very successful one as a shoe manufacturer. He married Mary Shadwell in 1834 and of their union were born ten children, five of whom survive: Sarah A. is Mrs. Joy, a widow residing at Kidwell, W. Va.; Mary L. is the wife of E. Hall, a farmer at Brownsville, Ohio; Mariah L. is the widow of E. Hendershott and resides on a farm at Graysville, Ohio; Samuel P. is the next in order of birth; and Rebecca A. is Mrs. M. L. Tippens, of Whiting, Iowa.
Samuel P. Gebhart acquired his education in the public schools of Ohio and at select schools, and became a teacher, following that profession seventeen years in Ohio, West Virginia, Iowa and Kansas. He came to this state in 1885, locating first in Rice county, where he taught two years. He then came to Pratt county and organized a mortgage and loan company, of which he was president and general manager, during the drought period, however, the company passed out of existence, after having been in operation four years. In 1889 he was elected on the Democratic-Populist ticket as superintendent of public instruction of Pratt county and was successively reëlected to that office four terms, a significant recognition of his exceptional ability as an educator and his general fitness for the position. In 1896 he turned his attention to newspaper work, buying at that time the "Pratt Union," of which he is still editor and owner. It is a weekly publication and a champion of progressive movements along all lines of industry, morals and civic development. The printing plant is modern in all of its appointments and is located in its own substantial stone building. A man of strength and ability, his adaptability to public duties soon became known. He has served as mayor of Pratt one year and has served at different times on the city council. He has been a member of the city school board three terms, its president one term, and has served three years as president of the Pratt County Fair Association, being now a member of its executive committee. Mr. Gebhart began life modestly, possessed of sound character, a clear head, and a worthy desire to succeed, and today Pratt numbers him among the most active, capable and energetic men of the city. Kansas has made the most rapid strides in its development in the last twenty-five years, and it has been through the efforts of such useful and wide-awake citizens as Mr. Gebhart that its present splendid standing along all lines has been attained. He has recently completed and now occupies one of the most modern residences in Pratt county. He also owns a number of improved farms in that county, where he extensively engages in raising horses and mules. He is something of a horse fancier, owning several fancy blooded racing horses of pedigree, bred and raised on his own farms. Aside from his farms and newspaper work, he is interested in the local grain elevators, and is interested in the Pratt Marble & Granite Company. He affiliates fraternally with the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of America.
On Sept. 30, 1871, Mr. Gebhart married Miss Mattie E. Fawcett, of Graysville, Ohio, a former schoolmate of her husband and a daughter of Samuel and Sypa M. Fawcett, Ohio farmers. To Mr. and Mrs. Gebhart have been born two sons and two daughters, concerning whom the following brief data are incorporated in this review. Rev. George A. Gebhart was born July 15, 1872, was educated at Denver University, and is now pastor of Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church at Grand Junction, Col. He married Miss Clara C. Collins of Denver, and to them have been born two childrenDortha and Orthia. Lucretia Mabel, born at Graysville, Ohio, July 25, 1874, is the wife of Leonard McMains, a salesman at Ashland, Kan. Austin A., born July 15, 1877, is foreman in his father's printing office. He was married Oct. 2, 1898, to Miss Ada, daughter of George W. Stewart, for several years clerk of the Pratt county district court. They have one child, Esther Evandale, born Oct. 17, 1907. Beulah Evandale, born Sept. 6, 1890, was married May 5, 1908, to D. A. Fischer, a son of Dr. Lee T. Fischer of Pratt. They have one child, Alvin, born March 18, 1909.Pages 958-959 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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