Jesse T. Nichols, of Olathe, who is serving his second term as treasurer of Johnson county, was born in Belmont, Ohio, sixteen miles west of Wheeling, W. Va., Sept. 20, 1846. He is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Hoge) Nichols, the former of whom was a Virginian by birth, while the latter was a native of Ohio. The family came west in the fall of 1869, and spent the first winter in Kansas City, Mo. In the spring they continued on to Johnson county, Kansas, where the father bought a farm in Monticello township. There he resided until his death in 1874. The mother, too, has passed away. They were the parents of eight childrentwo of whom survive: Jesse T., and Susan, the widow of J. J. Mead, of Junction City, Kan. She is the present county recorder of Geary county. Mr. Nichols received his early education in the public schools of Ohio. His business career began as a clerk in a store at Burton, Va., where he was employed about a year and a half prior to joining his father's family in Kansas. After coming to this state he assisted his father in the duties and management of the home farm until the latter's death, when he took charge and remained at home to care for his mother. The three sons of this family all gave valiant service to the Union cause during the Civil war. The two elder brothers, Charles and Isaac, each served three years, the former as a member of the Nineteenth Iowa infantry, and the latter in the Ninety-eighth Ohio infantry. Charles Nichols was captured by the Confederates, and for ten months endured the horrors of Andersonville prison. Jesse T. Nichols, the youngest son, enlisted in Company G, One-Hundred-Seventieth Ohio National Guards, when but seventeen years old. He saw considerable service with the regiment and was present at the engagements of Winchester, Harper's Ferry, Snicker's Gap, Sandy Hook, also a number of other minor engagements. Mr. Nichols left the home farm in 1878, though he still owns and operates it, and in the fall of that year he accepted a position as clerk in the Johnson County Cooperative Association at Olathe. The institution had then been organized but about one year and employed a force of but two men. At that time it handled groceries only. About 1881 several other departments were added to the store and Mr. Nichols was made cashier, which position he retained until May 1, 1908, when he resigned. The concern in the meantime had developed from a small grocery into a complete department store with four branch houses and with an aggregate business of over a quarter of a million dollars a year. In the fall of 1908 Mr. Nichols was nominated for county treasurer of Johnson county on the Democratic ticket and was elected. In 1910 he was reëlected to the office, leading his ticket by a majority of 550 in a county in which the normal Republican majority is 300, which speaks for itself, as to Mr. Nichols' popularity in Johnson county. On April 13, 1872, Mr. Nichols was united in marriage with Miss Josie Jackson, a native of Atlanta, Ga. Her Southern home was in the path of "Sherman's march to the sea" and everything her parents had was destroyed by the two armies. The mother, with her two little daughters, Josie and Emma, was a nurse in the Union army for two years. Shortly after the war the family removed to Iowa and from there came to Johnson county, Kansas, in 1868. To Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have been born two children: J. C., who graduated in the University of Kansas, and also attended Harvard University, is now engaged in the real estate business in Kansas City, Mo.; Maud E., also a graduate in the University of Kansas, is the wife of W. A. Mitchell, of Kansas City, Mo. In politics Mr. Nichols is a Democrat. Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic order and of the Grand Army of the Republic.Pages 227-228 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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