W. J. Hurd, a prominent Kansas pioneer and veteran of the Civil war, died at his home in Holton, Kans., October 23, 1902. He was one of the most prominent citizens of Jackson county, and widely known throughout the State. He had been a resident of Jackson county for twenty-three years, and in that time, thoroughly identified himself with its business interests and progress, and acquired for himself not only a competence, but gained the esteem, good will and confidence of the people. William J. Hurd was born in Addison county, Vermont, December 28, 1840. His parents were both natives of the "Green Mountain State." When he was fifteen years old they moved to Whiteside county, Illinois, when they removed to Clear Creek county, Colorado. In 1863, W. J. Hurd left the parental home and returned to Whiteside county, Illinois, and enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Fortieth Regiment, Ilinois[sic] infantry, and served until the close of the war. After his discharge he returned to Whiteside county, Illinois, and learned telegraphy. He followed that ocupation[sic] for some time, and was also clerk in a hotel at Morrison, Ill. On January 17, 1868, he was married to Miss Amanda Bacon in St Lawrence county, N. Y., and with his bride continued to live in Illinois where he was appointed steward in the State penitentiary at Joliet, serving in that capacity for four years. Upon leaving this institution he engaged in the mercantile business for three years at Joliet, Ill., when he removed with his family to Colorado and engaged in the real estate, insurance and mining brokerage business at Georgetown, and afterward at Leadville. In July, 1879, on account of ill health, he left Colorado and came to Holton, Kans., where he spent a few months, and in 1888, purchased a farm in Garfield township where he settled. This was his first experience in farming and stock raising, but he posessed good judgment and an abundance of common sense, which he applied to his new vocation as he had to all other undertakings, and made a success. For ten years he lived upon his farm, increasing his original holdings until he owned a thousand acres of land. In 1890, he removed to Holton, where, a few years later, he erected a fine residence in the southeast part of the city. Mr. Hurd always took an active part in politics, being identified with the Republican party until 1890, when he joined the Populists. On March 1, 1893, he was commissioned by Gov. L. D. Lewelling as one of the directors of the State penitentiary, which position he held during that administration. On April 27, 1897, he was appointed by Governor J. W. Leedy as a member of the State school text-book commission for a term of four years. This was the first commission under the new school textbook law. In all public positions Mr. Hurd served with ability and no question was ever raised as to his integrity. To W. J. and Amanda (Bacon) Hurd were born two children: Abijah, engaged in the real estate business in Kansas City, Mo., and Robert Judson, a sketch of whom follows this article. The widow and mother now reside at Holton, Kans.Pages 277-278 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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