Frank Hobart, postmaster, Glen Elder, Kan., is a Kansas pioneer who saw a great deal of the early day life on the plains and in the mountains of the West. He was born on a farm in Oswego county, N. Y., February 26, 1845, and is a son of Edward and Mariam (McCall) Hobart. Edward Hobart, the father, was a native of Ireland, born in Dublin in 1794. The building in which he was born has been used for a city hospital for the last half century. When a young man he entered in the British navy as a midshipman and later became a captain, having been promoted through the various offices in line. He was in the service at the time of the War of 1812 and about the time that peace was declared he resigned and engaged in the merchant marine, his father having presented him with a vessel plying between Liverpool and New York. His father, Richard Hobart, was said to be one of the wealthiest men in Dublin and was related to the Duke of Buckingham. About 1824 Edward Hobart abandoned the sea and located in New York, where he engaged in the milling business, remaining in that State until 1850. He then came to Illinois and located at McComb, where he died March 4, 1885. His wife, Mariam McCall, was a native of New York and a daughter of John McCall. They reared a family of twelve children, Lewis, Richard, Robert, Henry, Edward and Elizabeth, all of whom are deceased, and the following ones who are living: John, Nelson, Wesley, Albert D., Frank and Martha. The mother died May 4, 1895, at Macomb, Ill.
Frank Hobart was educated in the public schools of McComb, Ill., and spent his boyhood days on his father's farm, where he was living the peaceful life of the average farmer boy when the Civil war broke out. He enlisted in Company D, Sixty-fourth regiment, Illinois volunteer infantry, known as "Yates Sharp Shooters." This regiment took part in many hard fought engagements, among which was the battle of Atlanta, where one-third of its number were killed or wounded. Mr. Hobart was with his regiment in all the principal engagements in which it took part and escaped without a wound. He was discharged in July, 1865, and returned to his Illinois home, where he remained until the following year, when he and his brother, Richard, fitted themselves out with a team and drove from McComb, Ill., to Helena, Mont., for the purpose of engaging in gold mining. The trip across the plains and mountains occupied a hundred days. They joined several other parties en route for the same destination, forming quite an extensive train for mutual protection against the Indians, who were plentiful, and somewhat hostile at that time. The Hobart brothers were very successful in the mining business, taking out as much as $100 in gold some days. After remaining there about a year our subject was compelled to abandon the mines and return home on account of an injury which he received. On his return trip he came from Fort Benton, Mont., to St. Joseph, Mo., by boat, thence returning to Illinois. In 1868 he went to Iowa and located in Poweshiek county, where he followed farming until 1872, when he came to Kansas and located on government land in Mitchell county, one mile east of Glen Elder. He still owns his original homestead. Mr. Hobart has been extensively engaged in farming, grain and stock shipping, and in 1907 he built the Hotel Hobart at Glen Elder, which he now owns. It is a modern hotel which was built at a cost of $14,000. Since coming to Kansas he has been active in public affairs as well as in private enterprises. He was elected sheriff of Mitchell county in 1877 and reëlected to that office in 1879. This was at a time when the sheriff of a western Kansas county was a border peace officer and frequently had things to do. He has served two terms as mayor of Glen Elder and was appointed postmaster of that town in 1897, which office he still holds. Mr. Hobart was married September 15, 1873, at Beloit, Kan., to Miss Lizzie E., daughter of Caleb and Mary F. (Pratt) Harvey. Mrs. Hobart is a native of St. Johnsbury, Vt., and was born April 24, 1851. Three children have been born to this union, as follows: Sylvester E., born February 18, 1875, a graduate of the Glen Elder High School, now postmaster and mayor of Nunn, Colo.; Earl, born December 20, 1876, and died June 1, 1879; Albert Lyle, born May 20, 1879. Mr. Hobart is a Master Mason of Glen Elder Lodge, No. 294, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and politically is a Republican and has taken an active and prominent part in political affairs.Pages 346-348 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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