F. M. Pearl, postmaster of Hiawatha, Kans., is a native of Ohio. He was born in Perry county, October 20, 1864, and is a son of William A. and Elizabeth (Studer) Pearl, both natives of Ohio. The mother was born in Perry county of German ancestry. The Pearl family is of Spanish origin, and the first record of their settlement in America was at Marblehead, Mass., in 1671. William A. Pearl, was a grandson of Captain Nichols, an Englishman, who was a Captain in the Revolutionary war. William A. Pearl was born in Morgan county, Ohio, March 17, 1836, and when a young man went to Zanesville, Ohio, where he worked as a journeyman cigar maker, and later engaged in the manufacturing of cigars, until he retired from business. He now resides at El Reno, Okla. His wife died in December, 1909. F. M. Pearl attended the district schools in Perry county, Ohio, until he was fifteen years old and in the spring of 1879, began work as a farm laborer, and the following year got employment on a gravel train on the Pennsylvania Railroad, as water boy, and worked at various odd jobs until the spring of 1885. In 1884, he purchased a telegraph instrument, and at spare times studied telegraphy, practicing on his instrument. He was working as a railroad section hand at this time, and in January, 1885, the local railroad agent taught him station work. In June, 1885, he took charge of a station and followed railroad work in Ohio until September, 1887. He was then in the employ of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company at Newark, Ohio, and resigned to accept a position with the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company at Fairbury, Neb., which was the terminal of that road at the time. December 15, 1887, he entered the employ of the St. Joseph & Grand Island, as station agent at Fairfield, and remained in the employ of this company in station work, in various points until 1894. In 1891, while agent at Robinson, he began reading law, and in November, 1894, soon after severing his connection with the railroad company, he was admitted to the bar at Hiawatha, Kans., Judge J. F. Thompson, father of Senator Thompson, presiding at the time. He then engaged in the practice of law at Robinson Kans., remaining there until November, 1898, when he came to Hiawatha, where he has since been successfully engaged in the practice of his profession. Mr. Pearl is a Democrat, and has always taken an active part in political affairs. He has served as city attorney of Hiawatha two terms, and was county attorney of Brown county one term, and while county attorney, he conducted a campaign against joints, gambling houses and gambling devices, with such vigor that it was but a short time, until Brown county was free from lawlessness of that character. In 1909, he purchased the "Kansas Democrat" and reorganized that paper, and has since been its editor and publisher. The "Democrat" is a live weekly newspaper, and has a large circulation, and is now the official county paper of Brown county. In 1902 he was the Democratic nominee for attorney general and carried more than his party vote, but the overwhelming odds were against him, and he lost in a hard fought campaign. In 1912, he was floor leader of the Wilson forces at the Hutchinson Democratic State Convention, and brought in a minority report instructing the Kansas delegates to the Baltimore convention for Wilson. In 1908, he was the Democratic nominee of the First Kansas District, for congress, and in 1896, was elected delegate to the Democratic State convention, and has been a delegate to every Democratic State convention since that time. In 1908, he was chairman of the Kansas delegation to the National Democratic convention at Denver. In 1908 he was appointed local attorney for the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company. Mr. Pearl was the original promoter of the Brown County Telephone Company, now known as the Northeast Kansas Telephone Company. This was in 1901, and it was the first telephone company in Hiawatha, and he has been secretary and attorney of this company since its organization. He was also one of the organizers of the Life and Annuity Association, and was its president for a number of years. This is a fraternal insurance company, with headquarters at Hiawatha, and has members in every State in the Union. On January 12, 1914, Mr. Pearl was appointed postmaster of Hiawatha, and is now serving in that capacity. He was married April 2, 1892, to Miss Cordelia, daughter of J. M. and Jane (Hobbs) Idol, of Brown county, Kansas. The father is a prominent farmer and stockman, and has been a member of the board of county commissioners, being the first Democrat to be elected to that position in Brown county. Mrs. Pearl was born in Walla Walla, Wash. Her father was a native of North Carolina, and mother of Missouri. They were married at White Cloud, Kans., and about the time the Civil war broke out, they crossed the plains with an ox team, and went to the Pacific coast, and finally settled at Walla Walla, Wash. They returned to Kansas in 1868. Mrs. Pearl was educated in the public schools of Kansas, and Campbell University, Holton, and taught school seven years before her marriage. To Mr. and Mrs. Pearl have been born six children: Lucile, graduated from Mt. Saint Scholastica's Convent, Atchison, in the class of 1912, winning the gold medal for proficiency in music; Lenore, died at Albuquerque, N. M., June 21, 1912, aged eighteen years, one month and three days; Idol, a student at Wentworth Military Academy, Wentworth, Mo.; Sutro, Cordelia, and Francis, all attending the public schools. Mr. Pearl is a Knights Templar Mason, and his wife belongs to the Eastern Star. The family are members of the Episcopal church of which Mr. Pearl is a vestryman.Pages 252-254 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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