Hugh Piper, a Kansas pioneer and early day plainsman, now living retired at Hoyt, is a native of Ohio. He was born in Richland county, March 25, 1840, a son of James and Jane Piper, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Ireland. In 1844, the family removed from Richland county, Ohio, to Jasper county, Indiana, and settled in Beaver township. These were real pioneer days in Indiana, that part of the country being a dense wilderness. There were only three other families living in the township where the Piper family settled. The father followed farming there until his death in 1852, and in 1856, the mother and the children came to Kansas, locating in Jefferson county where they bought a farm near the Jackson county line, east of where the town of Hoyt now stands. The mother died there August 6, 1863. Hugh Piper spent his early days on the frontier, and his education was gained, largely in the rough school of experience. In 1859, he made a trip from Leavenworth, Kans., to Black Hawk, Colo., hauling a stock of drugs across the plains, and from that time on, was regularly engaged in freighting for the government. He hauled lumber from Fort Leavenworth, Kans., to Fort Laramie, Wyo., with which to build the fort at the latter place. He crossed the plains thirteen times, in all, going as far as Ogden, Utah, on one trip. Buffalo and Indians were plentiful on the plains at that time, and the freighters frequently encountered hostile Indians, and on two different occasions members of Mr. Piper's freighting party were killed by the Indians. Mr. Piper was here during the days of the Border War, and when Quantril raided Lawrence, Mr. Piper's freighting party was at Topeka, on the ground where the capitol is now located, and while going down town to buy provisions, they were arrested by citizens, who suspected them of being a pro-slavery out-fit, but they were able to explain the situation and were released. During the Civil war, Mr. Piper served in Company I, Eleventh Kansas Militia, in the campaign against General Price. He followed freighting about seven years, and in the spring of 1869, bought a farm of eighty acres in Jefferson county, where he engaged in farming and stock raising. He succeeded in his undertakings and bought additional land until he owned eight hundred and eighty acres, in one body, in Jefferson county, and twenty-five hundred acres in Thomas county. After getting a start, he engaged extensively in stock raising, making a specialty of high grade Herefords and Short Horn cattle, and fed large numbers of cattle for market each year. He was one of the organizers of the People's Bank of Meriden, Kans., but has disposed of his interest in that institution. In the fall of 1907, he removed to Hoyt, Kans., and retired from active business, and about that time divided his farms among his children, except his twenty-five hundred acre ranch in Thomas county, which he sold, and later bought another farm near Hoyt which he now owns. Mr. Piper was married March 21, 1869, to Miss Rachel May, daughter of George and Rachel May, of Wheeling, W. Va. Mrs. Piper was born and reared in Wheeling, and came to Kansas with her parents in 1856. They settled at Grasshopper Falls, now Valley Falls, where the father followed farming until his death in 1883. The mother died soon after coming to Kansas. To Mr. and Mrs. Piper have been born three children: Alice, married Louis Whittelsey, deceased, and she resides at Hoyt and has two children: Maude, who married John Matthews, and Ruby; Benjamin F., married Maude Bainbridge, resides in Jackson county and has three children, Emmett, Harold, and Orpha, and Maude, married Simon Stadel, farmer, Hoyt. They have two children, Edna and Ralph. Mr. and Mrs. Piper are members of the Baptist church, and he is a Mason. Mr. Piper is one of the men who has seen Kansas develop, from the wild and unbroken plains, which was then supposed to be a desert waste, to the most fertile and productive State in the Union, and a work of this character is performing its most important mission when it gives due credit to such men as Mr. Piper, for the part they have taken in this great transformation. He and his fellow pioneers performed their part nobly and well, and were the real makers of Kansas history.Pages 279-280 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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