Fred Wilson Knapp, editor and publisher of the "Beloit Gazette," is a resident of Beloit, Mitchell county, Kansas, and a young man of exceptional ability, who has risen into prominence through the sheer force of his own industry and perseverance. Mr. Knapp was born at Eaton Rapids, Mich., Sept. 10, 1875, and is a son of John Wesley, and Lucilia Ann (Toles) Knapp, both of whom are living and reside in Oakland, a suburb of Topeka. John Wesley Knapp, the father, was born in Michigan in December, 1843, and for the most part gave his attention to mercantile pursuits throughout his active career. During the Civil war he served three years as a private in Company A, Twentieth regiment, Michigan infantry, and was severely wounded in a skirmish at Horseshoe Bend, Ky., after which he returned home in a condition which forbade further service. Upon the return home of John Wesley Knapp, his father, William Knapp, though over age, immediately volunteered his services to the Federal government as a private, joined the army, and died of sickness on Sherman's famous march to the sea. Lucilia Ann (Toles) Knapp, who was also a native of Michigan, was born Mar. 17, 1847, and was the daughter of Jehiel Wallace Toles, born Oct. 24, 1810. She and John W. Knapp were united in marriage at Eaton Rapids, Mich., in 1867, and to them were born two childrenAlbert Wallace, born July 22, 1868, is a resident of LaJunta, Col.; and Fred W.
Fred W. Knapp was but two and a half years old when his parents removed from Eaton Rapids, Mich., to Kansas in April, 1878, and located in Anthony, Harper county, seventy-five miles from Wichita, which was its nearest railroad point. They resided there until 1886, when they removed to Wichita county in the western part of the state, and located at Coronado, a town fifty miles from the nearest railroad point and which had been founded the preceding year. The father, upon locating there, became president of the Coronado Town Site Company but shortly after that a bitter contest took place between the townsCoronado and Leoti&$151;for the location of the county seat which ended in the selection of Leoti and the abandonment of Coronado for practically the whole population of Coronado including the Knapp family, removed to Leoti. The family remained there until 1896, when the parents removed to Carroll county, Arkansas, however, the younger son, Fred W., remaining in Wichita county, Kansas. They returned to Kansas in 1905, locating first at Pleasanton, Linn county, but finally removed to Topeka. They now reside at LaJunta, Colorado.
Fred Wilson Knapp was educated in the Kansas public schools until sixteen years of age, when he entered the Southwest Kansas College at Winfield, Kan., where he pursued his studies two years. In 1894, he won a scholarship in the Kansas Wesleyan Business College of Salina, being one of sixteen to compete from Wichita county. In the subsequent general contest, which was state wide in its nature, each county being entitled to four contestants, he won the grand prize over all of those who competed, which entitled him in addition to the free scholarship in the above institution, to free board and all other incidentals while taking the course. He graduated in the school in 1895, and during the three following winters taught schools in Wichita county. In February, 1899, he became editor and proprietor of the "Leoti Standard," but sold the paper in September, 1901, and in 1902, was appointed office deputy under United States Marshal L. S. Crum. That occasioned his removal to Topeka. In 1905, he was elected chief clerk of the house of representatives in the Kansas state legislature, but prior to that he had served as journal clerk in the house during the sessions of 1901 and 1903. He served as chief clerk during one regular session, that of 1905. On July 1, 1905, he was appointed executive clerk in the office of Gov. E. W. Hoch, which position he held but a short time, however, for on Aug. 9, 1905, he was elected to the position of secretary of the board of control of the state charitable institutions, from which position he resigned in January, 1911, to assume charge of his newspaper. He was secretary and treasurer of the state conference of charities and corrections in 1907 and 1908, and was president of the same in 1909. In June, 1911, he received the degree of Master of Accounts, conferred upon him by the Kansas Wesleyan Business College. He is now a member and secretary of the state conservation commission; secretary of the Beloit Commercial Club; and secretary of the Beloit Chautauqua Association. The Beloit Gazette, published by Mr. Knapp, is the oldest paper in the famous Solomon valley, having been established in 1872. It is Republican in politics. Mr. Knapp was married April 11, 1900, to Miss Edna Pearl Holmes, and to them have been born two children: Velma Lucile, born Nov. 30, 1901; and Vernon Leroy, born Dec. 28, 1903. Mr. Knapp is a Thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has served as noble grand.Pages 404-405 from volume III, part 1 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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