Dr. Charles O. LaShelle, who ranks high in the professional sphere of dental surgery, is a native son of Kansas. He was born, in Lincoln township, Washington county, August 31, 1880, and is a son of Capt. James A. and Diantha (Seward) LaShelle. The father was a native of Gettysburg, Pa., a town which, by the way, was a very appropriate nativity for Captain LaShelle, as he was a gallant soldier and won distinction in the Civil war. He first enlisted in the three months' service and later went out in "Anderson's Body Guard" of picked men. This company was later enlarged into a regiment, which became the Fifteenth Pennsylvania cavalry. He served as captain of Companies E and M, Fifteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, throughout the War of the Rebellion. He was at the battles of Stone River and Laverne. He had typhoid fever while in the service, and did scout duty at the battle of Gettysburg, which was about the time he was recovering from the fever. He was also in the signal service for a time. He was noted for his horsemanship and was a good rider.
In 1870 Captain LaShelle came to Kansas and settled in Lincoln township, Washington county, where he took a homestead. Here he was engaged in stock raising and farming, in which he was very successful. In 1894 he rented his farm and took up his residence in Manhattan, Kan. While living there a cyclone did great destruction on his place, sweeping away many of the buildings and fences, whereupon he returned to his farm to repair the damage and make needed improvements, and after two years removed to Clay Center, Kan. Here he spent the remainder of his life in retirement, and died in 1904. Captain LaShelle endured the many hardships incident to pioneer life on the plains after coming to Kansas. After one of the grasshopper devastations in this section he, like many other settlers, was hard up, the crops being mostly destroyed by the pests. He was a painter by trade, and on one occasion walked to Washington, a distance of twenty-five miles, to get work to support the family, and after working a week carried a sack of flour and walked the entire distance of twenty-five miles home; and yet we venture the opinion that no one ever heard Captain LaShelle complain of the high cost of living. He first built a sod house on his homestead, and he and a neighbor, who came to Kansas with him, had a yoke of oxen in partnership, with which they broke the prairie and did their little farming. His wife, who was a woman of excellent Christian character, survived her husband about five years. She died at Junction City, Kan., in 1909.
Dr. LaShelle was reared on the old homestead in Lincoln township, spending his boyhood days attending the country schools and assisting with the farm work. He later attended high school in Manhattan for two years, after which he taught school in the rural districts and in the city schools of Barnes. He later attended the Salina Normal School and taught school for several years, and in the meantime learned the trade of painting and paper hanging and worked at it in connection with teaching. In 1907 we find him a student in the Kansas City Dental College, of Kansas City, Mo. The doctor worked hard to obtain his professional education. He worked at his trade nights, often hanging paper until midnight to pay his way through college. He graduated in the class of 1910 with the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. He then located at Barnes, Kan., where he has since been engaged in the practice of his profession. His capability and conscientiousness in his professional work have been rewarded by one of the most extensive practices in Washington county. He has done well and prospered. Since coming to Barnes he has built a modern well equipped office building and has also one of the finest residences in the town.
Dr. LaShelle was married, June 8, 1904, to Miss Susie Maud Wells, daughter of D. C. and Armanda (Organbright) Wells, the former a native of Arkansas and the latter of Ohio. The father was engaged in the mercantile business for several years in Barnes and is now a prosperous farmer in Barnes township. Mrs. LaShelle is a native daughter of Washington county. She was educated in the Barnes High School and the State Normal School at Emporia, Kan.
To Dr. and Mrs. LaShelle have been born two children: Golda C. and Marjorie. Dr. LaShelle is independent in politics and is now a member of the board of councilmen of Barnes. He and his wife are members of the Christian church and he is superintendent of the Sunday school. He is also a deacon and a member of the board of trustees.Pages 494-496 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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