Harvey, James Madison, the fifth governor of Kansas after her admission as a state, was a native of the Old Dominion, having been born in Monroe county, Va., Sept. 21, 1833. While still in his childhood his parents, Thomas and Margaret (Walker) Harvey, removed to Rush county, Ind., thence to Iowa, and later to Adams county, Ill. The future governor of Kansas received his education in the common schools of these three states, and after completing his schooling began life as a surveyor. In 1854 he married Miss Charlotte R. Cutler of Adams county, Ill., and in 1859 came to Kansas, locating in Riley county, where he took up a claim upon which he made his permanent home. When the Civil war broke out in 1861 he organized a company at Ogden, Kan., which was mustered into the United States service at Fort Leavenworth as Company G, Tenth Kansas infantry. He was commissioned captain of his company, and when the Fourth and Tenth regiments were consolidated he retained his rank in the new organization. In 1864 he was mustered out and returned to his farm. The following year he was elected to represent Riley county in the lower house of the state legislature, and was reëlected in 1866, when there was but one vote cast against him in the county. During the years 1867-68 he was a member of the state senate from what was then the Seventh district, composed of Marshall, Riley and Shirley (now Cloud) counties. In 1868, when some of his friends urged him to run for governor, he looked over the field and concluded that he was not financially able to make the race. At this juncture a friend came to him and voluntarily offered to furnish him with sufficient money to pay the expenses of his campaign. Mr. Harvey borrowed $200, which paid all his expenses, received the nomination and was elected. Some years later he said to the man who had furnished him with the money for his campaign: "That offer of yours was the turning point of my life. I had decided not to go before the state convention as a candidate, and had given it all up. I would not ask any one to loan me money, but the tender of it unasked was the occasion of my going into the convention, and the result made me governor and, later, United States senator."
Mr. Harvey was reëlected governor in 1870 by an increased majority, and upon retiring from the office in Jan., 1873, he resumed his old occupation of surveyor. He was thus employed in western Kansas when he was elected to the United States senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Alexander Caldwell, the term expiring on March 4, 1877. While in the senate he served on several important committees, and at the expiration of his service he again took up the life of a private citizen on his farm near Vinton, Riley county. Between the years 1881 and 1884 he was engaged in making surveys in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. Ill health in 1884 led him to return to Virginia, where he spent six yearsthree in Norfolk and three in Richmondbut in 1890 he came back to Kansas. In 1891 he surveyed No Man's Land, and the winter of 1893 was passed in southern Texas. Gov. Harvey died on April 15, 1894, and was survived by his widow, four sons and two daughters. While a member of the Kansas legislature he received the sobriquet of "Old Honesty," which clung to him throughout his public career, and was a splendid, if somewhat homely, description of his character.Pages 816-817 from volume I 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 May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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