Ferris Orlando Mott, one of the successful men of Southern Kansas, who has been prominent in the affairs of that section of the State for over thirty-five years, is a native of New York, born in Tompkins county, January 9, 1850. He is a son of M. P. and Ann Eliza (Hanford) Mott. The father was born September 6, 1823, in Deleware[sic] county, New York. In 1850 he removed from New York State to Branch county, Michigan, where he died September 13, 1886, at the close of an active and successful business career. His wife was also a native of New York State, a daughter of Seth and Nancy (Brownell) Hanford, born March 20, 1826. Ferris Orlando Mott is one of a family of ten, as follows: Leroy Tallman, born June 3, 1846, unmarried, farmer, Anderson county, Kansas; Meraby C., born February 16, 1848, widow of Armour Jameson, Caro, Mich.; Ferris Orlando, whose name introduces this review; Serena Adelaide, born September 8, 1853, married Sidney R. McNitt Coldwater, Mich.; Clarence Valentine, born January 4, 1855, was a Harper county pioneer, married Ella U. Friday, of Danville, Kans., died May 17, 1912, at Danville, Kans.; Alice Opha, born June 11, 1857, unmarried, resides in Anderson county, Kansas; Ida Evaline, born August 16, 1859, died August 14, 1876; Lois Adell, born August 11, 1863, died March 13, 1865; Flora Ellen, born July 31, 1865, came to Kansas in 1882, married James Gillespie, a sketch of whom appears in this volume. She died March 3, 1911. The youngest of the family, Charles Edgar, born May 21, 1870, and died October 24, 1883.
Ferris O. Mott, was rearer on a farm and educated in the public schools of Michigan, and learned the carpentry trade in early life. He came to Kansas in 1878, and took a claim in Odell township, Harper county. In 1880, when the Southern Kansas Railroad was built into Harper county, he became a grain buyer in the town of Danville, and erected the first building in that town. It is now occupied as a telephone office. He served as station agent for the Southern Kansas Railroad Company about six months, during the early days of the town. He took an active part in public affairs, and in the development of the new country. In 1884, at the urgent request of A. S. Lindsey, editor of the Anthony Republican, and other friends, Mr. Mott accepted the nomination for clerk of the District Court of Harper county, on the Citizens' ticket, and was elected by a large majority. He had not sought the office, and the flattering majority which he received under the circumstances was a tribute in unmistakable terms from his fellow citizens. At the expiration of his first term, he was re-elected, holding the office four years. In 1890 he was elected probate judge, of Harper county, and in 1894, was elected a member of the State legislature, and re-elected to that office in 1896. He served on the judiciary, and other important committees. He has served six years as a member of the Harper city council, and has filled various township offices. Mr. Mott was married May 5, 1887, to Miss Agnes, daughter of James and Isabella (McCall) Moffett, of Harper, Kans. She departed this life, January 22, 1892, leaving one child, Ethel Belle, born February 2, 1888. She is a graduate of the Westport High School, Kansas City, Mo., and is now a student in the University of Chicago.
On August 15, 1893, Mr. Mott was united in marriage with Mrs. Lydia Eleanor Prather, widow of John Prather, and a daughter of John and Prudence (Roberts) Hite, of Trenton, Iowa, where she was born February 18, 1855. Mrs. Mott is a member of the Presbyterian church, in which she is an active worker. She is prominent in social and club affairs, and is president of the Study and Social Club of Harper. Mr. Mott is a Royal Arch Mason and a Democrat.Pages 170-171 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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