Amos Mardis, one of the leading financiers of Kansas, who has been a resident of Reno county since the early '80s, was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, Nov. 23, 1839, a son of William and Frances (Bell) Mardis, and is descended from fine old Colonial ancestors, as his grandfather, William Mardis, a Virginian by birth, served under General Washington during the Revolutionary war and was one of the brave army that suffered during the memorable winter at Valley Forge. At the close of the war, when the colonies were freed from the Mother County, he returned to his old Virginia plantation near Harper's Ferry, where his son, William, was born, in 1797. He was reared in his native state, received the educational advantages afforded at that period and, stirred with patriotism like his father, enlisted in the army from Ohio and served with the Ohio troops during the war of 1812 and 1813. He was honorably discharged at Detroit, Mich., in August, 1813. He was one of the early settlers of Ohio, having located in that state about 1802, when it was on the very western edge of civilization. He took up land on the Ohio river and passed the remainder of his days there; Mr. Mardis died, in 1865, at Newcomerstown, Tuscarawas county, after a long and honorable life. Frances Bell was born in Pennsylvania, but accompanied her husband to Ohio, and died in Guernsey county, in 1842. Amos Mardis was next, the youngest in a family of thirteen childrenseven sons and six daughtersfive of whom are now living: Margaret, the wife of Abram Forney of Peabody, Kan.; Lucinda, the wife of Nathan Sheppard of Sylvia, Kan.; Matilda, who married John D. Mulvane of Raymond, Neb.; Abija, who lives in Omaha, Neb.; and Amos.
Amos Mardis was reared and educated in Ohio, where he learned telegraphy and worked as an operator on the Pan Handle railroad until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in April, 1861, in Company K, Twenty-fourth Ohio infantry. For a year he served in that regiment, was at Cheat Mountain, Va., and other minor engagements, but was later transferred to the western army. He marched through West Virginia to Parkersburg and then went by boat to Louisville, Ky., and marched with his regiment to Pittsburg Landing, where he took part in the battle of that name and then came home on furlough. On his return to duty he was promoted to second lieutenant and assigned to duty in Company F, Eighty-eighth Ohio infantry, and shortly after was transferred to the cavalry service and commissioned second lieutenant of Troop C, Tenth Ohio cavalry. Subsequently he was promoted to first lieutenant and then to captain, in which position he served until the close of the war. Captain Mardis saw service at Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Stone's river, and many other engagements and skirmishes before his discharge, the latter part of the summer of 1865. Soon after leaving the army he was appointed deputy revenue collector of the Federal government and served two years during General Grant's first administration. At the close of that work he was appointed government gauger in the Sixth district of Kentucky, where he remained until 1872, but resigned to engage in the wholesale liquor business in Cincinnati, where he remained about ten years. In 1883 he disposed of his business interests in Ohio and came to Kansas, locating at Burton, but six months later came to Sylvia, which was then known as the "Tom Anderson ranch," as the town had not been dreamed of at that time. Mr. Mardis entered the employ of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad as right-of-way agent, and while acting as such purchased 240 acres of land and laid out the town of Sylvia, donating 51 per cent. of the stock to the Santa Fe. The town was named by A. A. Robinson, chief engineer of the road, in honor of his wife, whose name was Sylvia. After selling his remaining interest in the town, in 1887, Mr. Mardis moved to Hutchinson, which had been chosen as the seat of justice of the county, and was there during all the "boom" days. He organized a land company there known as the Mardis Syndicate, and handled a great amount of real estate within a few years. In 1892 he returned to Sylvia, which has since been his home, although he has been interested in many commercial enterprises in Kansas and other states. Mr. Mardis secured the franchise for the Metropolitan Street Railway of Kansas City, Kan., from Argentina, and sold it to the company. He then went to Houston, Tex., and secured a franchise to build the Houston Belt railway, of which he was vice-president. At different times he has been interested in other enterprises, all of which have been remarkably successful.
Mr. Mardis married Emma, the daughter of Gov. John Greiner of Ohio, where she was born. Mr. Greiner was the receiver of public moneys under President Lincoln and was appointed governor of New Mexico territory and subsequently elected its first governor and then again served as receiver of public moneys. John Greiner was the editor of the "Zanesville Times" and Columbus Gazette," and one of the well known newspaper men of the Ohio valley. He wrote the celebrated campaign song, "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too." Two daughters were born to Amos and Emma Mardis: Laura, deceased, was the wife of L. L. Jackson, now deceased, and left three boys; Lewis, deceased; Lincoln L., chief gunner of the United States battleship Maryland; and J. W., a telegraph operator with the Santa Fe railroad. They were reared and educated by Mr. and Mrs. Mardis. The second daughter, Cora, now deceased, married Edward Stallup, cashier of the bank at Sylvia. Mr. Mardis is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and has always been a Republican in politics, although too busy with his many interests to hold office.Pages 761-762 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.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project