Finley Lappin, deceased, of Seneca, Kan., was one of Nemaha county's first pioneers. He was a native of Jefferson county, Ohio, where he was born Aug. 18, 1804, and the son of Samuel Lappin, who was the son of Paul Lappin, a soldier of the American Revolution. Samuel Lappin was a native of Maryland, whence he removed to Pennsylvania and thence to Ohio, where he met and married Nancy Gary, the daughter of a Revolutionary patriot. The Garys resided in New Jersey at the time of the Revolution, and Nancy often told her children of events that occurred during those troublesome times, when the British soldiers frequently visited the Gary home, and how her mother saved their little store of valuables from those greedy soldiers.
Finley Lappin was the next to the youngest of a family of one daughter and six sons, and was the last of the family to pass to his reward. When about one year old he accompanied his parents to Tuscarawas county, Ohio, where he spent his boyhood and youth and helped to clear up the home farm. In 1837 Finley Lappin decided to obtain a farm of his own, and bought a quarter section of government land at $4 per acre in Sandusky county, Ohio. It consisted of an unbroken forest and soon meeting with a chance to trade it for a partly improved eighty-acre tract in the same county, he removed to the latter tract and ere long had developed a comfortable home.
On December 31, 1829, before leaving Tuscarawas county, Mr. Lappin married Miss Margaret Smith, and to them were born seven children, one dying in infancy. The other six were: Samuel, Matilda, Justiana, who married C. G. Scrafford, a well known pioneer of Seneca; Nancy, Amanda, who married John P. Cone, also a pioneer of Seneca; and Harriet. In the spring of 1857 Finley Lappin came to Kansas, whither his son and son-in-law, C. G. Scrafford, had preceded him. After visiting various parts of the northeastern portion of the territory, he came to what is now Seneca, then but lately laid out as a town site, and called Rock Castle. However, the Rock Castle Town Company had been dispossessed by his son, Samuel Lappin, R. U. Torrey and Mr. Ingersoll, and at the suggestion of Finley Lappin the name of the town was changed to Seneca. Mr. Lappin purchased an interest in the new townsite company and having fully decided on making Kansas his future home, he at once returned to Ohio for his family. In the autumn of the same year, 1857, he returned to Seneca with his wife and three daughters, Nancy, Amanda and Harriet. There was then but one building on the town site, a double log house which long continued to stand as a pioneer land-mark, north of Main street, a little west from Duane street. There Mr. Lappin resided for about two years or until he built a more commodious house on the site where the Gilford hotel now stands. For about ten years after locating in Seneca, Mr. Lapp1860 his wife died, and in 1867 his youngest daughter, Harriet, passed away, and as Nancy had returned to Ohio, the only member of the family left to him was Amanda, with whom, after her marriage to John P. Cone, he made his home, spending his old age in rest and quiet. Finley Lappin possessed domestic and social tastes of a rare quality, loved children and was ever ready with a narrative or anecdote of past events. His political bias was strong, and he acted with the Whigs until the Republican party was formed, after which he endorsed its principles and policies without a "scratch." After a long and useful life, Finley Lappin died in Seneca, Kan., in February, 1899, at the advanced age of ninety-five years.Pages 1382-1383 from volume III, part 2 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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