Thomas D. Hinshaw, sheriff of Clay county, Kansas, successful contractor and popular citizen, was born on his father's farm near Winchester, Randolph county, Indiana, June 12, 1873, a son of Thomas J. and Sarah (Mills) Hinshaw. The elder Hinshaw was born in North Carolina in 1828, and came to Indiana, with his widowed mother, in 1840. Here he became a farmer and, in 1879, removed to Kansas and located on Government land in Trego county. He assisted in the organization of the county and was the first treasurer of Wakeeny township. From the birth of the Republican party he was an ardent advocate of its principles and policies. He was one of the most influential men in his party in western Kansas, and in his home county, Trego, he was one of the most potent factors in development and betterment. As a farmer and stockman he was widely known for his success and honorable dealing. He married, on October 25, 1850, Sarah Mills, who, like himself, was a member of the Quaker faith. She was born at Fort Wayne, Ind., December 30, 1820, and died at Portland, Ind., February 17, 1905. Her husband had preceded her in the rest eternal on June 16, 1891. To this union fourteen children were born: Aaron, Jesse, Nathan, Franklin, Alva, Leonard, Emma and Thomas D., our subject, all of whom are living; Narcissa, Elijah, Elwood, Rebecca, Elmina and Woodard are deceased.
Thomas D. Hinshaw was educated in the public schools of Trego county, and through study at home, where he prepared himself for examination for a teacher's certificate, which he secured, but did not avail himself of its privileges. He learned the trade of a bricklayer and plasterer and became a building contractor. Public affairs were of interest to him and he began taking an active part in the politics of his county soon after attaining his majority. He, like his father, gave his allegiance to the Republican party, and was honored by his party with nomination for the office of sheriff in 1901, to which he was elected. His administration of the business of this department of Trego county's official service was such that he was elected to succeed himself in 1903. As an officer who enforced the law his record will bear comparison with any incumbent of the office of sheriff in the State. The duties of this office allowed him ample time in which to conduct his business of building contractor, and in this line of endeavor he was successful. He was, also, while a resident of Wakeeny, active in its civil affairs, serving as a member of its council for three years, as a member of its school board, and was clerk of the latter body. In 1907 he disposed of his Trego county interests and removed to Clay Center, where he engaged in the retail grocery business, which he conducted for one year, and then reëntered the contracting business. In the latter line of activity he has constructed a number of the best buildings in Clay Center, is conceded to be its leading building contractor, and one who knows thoroughly all of the essentials which make for success in his line. Since becoming a resident of Clay Center he has taken the same keen interest in civic affairs that obtained while he resided in Trego county. His record as sheriff of Trego followed him and the result was that the Republicans of Clay county, who wanted an efficent officer in the sheriff's chair, elected him to the position in 1912. It is needless to state that Clay county is under his administration enjoying law enforcement to the letter. Mr. Hinshaw has always made good as a contractor, councilman and as sheriff. His methods have been clean, capable and honest and he possesses a popularity that is deserved.
Mr. Hinshaw married, on October 20, 1898, Miss Mabel, daughter of A. P. Lawrence, a retired merchant of Clay Center. She was born on her father's farm in Clay county on March 25, 1876. Mr. Lawrence is a native of Vermont, a veteran of the Civil war, and came to Clay county in 1866, locating on Government land five miles south of Clay Center. He participated in the organization of the county, was active and influential in county affairs and has served in various county offices. He has been identified with the commercial development of Clay Center since its early days, was a success as a merchant and possesses the esteem of his fellow citizens.
Mr. and Mrs. Hinshaw are the parents of four children: Asahel Delma, born September 30, 1900; Ada Blanche, born February 14, 1902; Emma Hazel, born January 5, 1904, and Mabel Ruth, born January 10, 1906. Mrs. Hinshaw is a woman of culture, well informed, and is prominent in the social and religious life of Clay Center. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and is assistant probation officer of Clay county.Pages 466-468 from a supplemental volume 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 October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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