Francois Oliver, Sr., of Danville, is a prominent representative of the successful Kansas agriculturist. He is a native of France, and was brought to America by his parents when six years old. He was born October 11, 1842, and is a son of Alexander and Barbara (Mercier) Oliver, both natives of France, who came to America in 1848, locating in Wayne county, Ohio, where the father was a successful farmer. He died in Holmes county, Ohio, September 3, 1883. Francois Oliver was one of a family of six children. He attended a French Catholic school in Holmes county, Ohio, until he was sixteen years old and then entered an English school, where he learned to speak the English language and received a very good general education. When twenty-five years of age, he engaged in farming in Ohio, where he remained until 1884, when he came to Harper county, Kansas, and bought unimproved land in Odell township, in which he invested $4,200.00 which he brought with him. He still owns this place and has bought additional land from time to time until he now owns 2,800 acres, all under cultivation and well improved with good buildings. In 1906, he bought 600 acres of prairie land, for which he paid $25,600.00. He broke this and planted it in wheat and the proceeds from the first crop nearly paid for the land, the yield being approximately 26,000 bushels. In addition to his extensive farming operations, he has been a successful breeder of pure blood Poland China swine. He was engaged in this business in Ohio, before coming to Kansas, and since coming to this State has sold for breeding purposes about 2,000 head of Poland China swine. In 1914, he entered twenty head at both the Kansas and Oklahoma State fairs and took twenty-eight premiums. His male hog "Smuggler," whose pedigree is traced back seven generations, all prize winners, won the grand championship at the Oklahoma and Kansas State fairs for three consecutive years, four States being represented in the exhibition contest. This is undoubtedly the most valuable hog in the west. Mr. Oliver was united in marriage November 15, 1866, to Miss Marie Blanchard, and to this union have been born twelve children: Frank L., born September 4, 1867; Mary M., born July 22, 1869; Louis L., born October 5, 1871; Harry J., born March 30, 1874; George A., born October 20, 1876; Paul P., born January 24, 1879; Katherine M., born May 7, 1881; Laura M., born September 1, 1883; Lawrence L., born November 19, 1885; Louis L., born November 3, 1888; Francis A., born March 24, 1892, and Joseph H., born May 31, 1891. The family are members of the Catholic church, and are well and favorably known in Harper county.Pages 311-312 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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