Fremont Leidy, United States internal revenue collector for the district of Kansas, who has been one of the forceful men of the state for years, was born in Jefferson county, Kansas, April 4, 1863, the son of Abram and Martha (Stith) Leidy, the former born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Kentucky. They both left their native states when young and today are as loyal to the State of Kansas as if native to the soil. Abram Leidy was reared on a farm in the Keystone State, learned the practical branches of the vocation and when only sixteen years of age determined to cross the mountains to the broad plains of the West and make his fortune in the new country. He first went to Texas, then to Jasper county, Missouri, and finally about 1860 came to Jefferson county, Kansas. After his son was born, Mr. Leidy returned to Missouri for a short time, but found that the broad plains of Kansas called him and he returned there in 1870, taking up land in Butler county, where he has since continued to reside. During the Price raid, in the fall of 1864, he served in the state militia in defense of his adopted state. Today the old farmer and his wife are eighty-four and sixty-seven years old respectively, but are both hale and hearty, though they passed through the first hard years in Kansas when many settlers were discouraged by drought, grasshoppers and winter frosts that reduced so many to almost a state of starvation. But the Leidys were confident in the future of the state, and time has proved that their faith was not in vain. Fremont was one of the three children born to Abram and Martha Leidy, and is a thorough Kansan, reared on his father's farm in Butler county, attended the country schools and learned farming by practical experience. He was an ambitious boy and as his father wished to give him every advantage, he entered the Fort Scott Normal School, where he graduated with the class of 1887, after attending the high schools at Augusta and Eldorado. He then accepted the principalship of the Severy schools, where he remained two years. Then took the superintendency of the Augusta schools, which he held for three years. He then entered the law department of the state university, Lawrence, Kan., read law in an able attorney's office at Eldorado and was admitted to practice in 1893. He at once opened an office at Eldorado, where he practiced a short time, when his health failed and the doctors advised a change. Mr. Leidy at once determined to live out doors and started to farm, which he has followed since. He has always taken an active part in local affairs; is held in high esteem by the people among whom he has lived, and who showed their appreciation of his worthy qualities by electing him to the state senate in 1900. In 1908 he was reëlected to the same important office. Governor Stanley selected him as a member of the text-book commission, where he served with credit to himself and for the benefit of all the school children of the state. On June 27, 1910, Mr. Leidy was appointed United States revenue collector for the district of Kansas, a position which he is well qualified to fill. In politics he has always been a loyal Republican, never wavering from the great fundamental principles of that party and has ever been an earnest worker in its interests. He made some thirty-eight speeches in Butler county on the sound money doctrine when it was said there were only two men in the county who believed in that theory. When only a lad of twelve Mr. Leidy attended his first county convention in the company of his father, and has missed but one since that time, due to the fact that he was confined to his home by illness. He has decided views on the tariff question; is an ardent supporter of protection; is a friend and advocate of the ship subsidy bill, and many other principles of the Republican party. Mr. Leidy is a gifted orator and an effective and forceful political speaker, clear, logical, and with an ever ready supply of statistics, to verify his position on every question and policy he supports. During his service in the state senate, no man made his influence felt more keenly or to better effect. All his life Mr. Leidy has been a student, not alone of books, but also of men, and each year sees him expanding along all lines. He is one of the native sons of Kansas of whom she should be most proud. In July, 1893, Mr. Leidy was united in marriage with Myrtle Jenkins, of Augusta, Kan. She was born in Tennessee but came to Kansas as a child of two years with her parents. She died on July 22, 1906, leaving three children: Pauline, Richard J. and Roger. Mr. Leidy is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, but has no other fraternal affiliations.Pages 376-378 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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