George Plumb of Emporia is one of the widely known men of Kansas. He has resided in the state since fourteen years old, having come to Kansas with his parents, in 1857. He is a native of Ohio, born in Union county, that state, Dec. 15, 1843. His parents, David Prince and Hannah Maria (Bierce) Plumb, were descended from old and highly respected New England families of English origin, the Plumb family lineage tracing back to the time of William the Conqueror. David Prince Plumb was a native of Connecticut and was of a family of ten children born unto Horace Plumb and wife. Horace Plumb was also a native of Connecticut and removed from that state to Ohio in an early day, becoming a pioneer of Delaware county, where he lived many years. In that county David P. Plumb was reared and married. He learned the wagon maker's trade, which he followed until he came, in 1857, to Kansas, and settled in what was then Breckenridge, now Lyon county. His family was the first to reside in what is now the city of Emporia, for on arriving in Kansas he established his residence in a small house, the first built at Emporia, the house having been erected by the town company which promoted the building of the town. David P. Plumb became a successful business man and agriculturist in Kansas, and in the early political affairs of the state became a leader, being among the organizers of the Republican party in Kansas. His wife was a daughter of Colonel Bierce, a patriot of the war of 1812, serving in the New York militia. He was a tavern keeper in New York, where he owned extensive lands, but he left New York at an early date in the history of Ohio, to which state he removed his family, and there he afterward lived and died. There were seven children born unto David P. and Hannah Maria (Bierce) Plumb, one of them being the late United States Senator Preston B. Plumb, who was nearly six years older than his brother, George.
George Plumb received a fair common school education and was reared to a farm life. His life pursuit has been that of farming and stock raising, but before reviewing his business career, which has been a worthy and successful one, his services in the defense of the Union during the '60s deserve more than a passing mention. When the Civil war came on he was scarcely more than seventeen years of age. On Nov. 13, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Eighth Kansas infantry, but was transferred to the Second Kansas infantry, and still later to Company B, Ninth Kansas cavalry. In June, 1862, his company (Company B) escorted Governor Harding, the newly appointed governor of Utah, then a territory, across the plains to his destination, and while in the West the company campaigned against the Ute Indians that had become troublesome, and with which Company B had two engagements, the first being at Hot Springs, on the North Platte, and the second at the mouth of South Pass. The latter was a whole day's engagement and at the former several Indians were killed and the captain of Company B was severely wounded. During their stay in the West Company B built a new road from Fort Bridger to Camp Collins, and also built Fort Halleck at the foot of Medicine Mountains. Immediately after the whole day's engagement with the Ute Indians at the mouth of South Pass Mr. Plumb, on returning to the fort, received an order to report to General Schofield at St. Louis. That was in July, 1863, and at once he started back by overland stage. On reaching Fort Leavenworth he received an order from General Schofield to report to General Ewing at Kansas City, Mo., and proceeding to Kansas City he there was assigned by General Ewing to duty as a scout; and as such he served with distinction. He was at Lawrence at the time of the Quantrill raid at that place, and in the winter of 1863-64 served in the district on the borders, with headquarters at Humboldt, Kan., and participated in the campaigns against Indians who had been induced to coöperate with the Confederates. In March, 1864, his regiment, the Ninth Kansas cavalry, was ordered on the Red River expedition, and Mr. Plumb obtained leave of absence or permission to join his regiment on this expedition. He remained in the active service of the army until in the early part of 1866, when, with the rest of his regiment, he was mustered out, by reason of the expiration of the term of enlistment.
After the war was over and Mr. Plumb had returned to Kansas, he and his brother, the late, Hon. Preston B. Plumb, entered into a contract to engage in the raising of cattle and sheep. In 1868 Mr. Plumb bought his brother's interest and thereafter continued alone in the business. Success attended his business from the beginning and for many years he has ranked among the leading agriculturists and stockmen of the State of Kansas. He has been the builder of his own fortune and has displayed extraordinary business ability. From a small capital in the beginning he has increased his wealth extensively and is now the owner of a most excellent ranch of 5,000 acres in Lyon county, while about two years ago he sold a ranch of 4,000 acres. On his ranch are to be found the best of improvements and large droves of fine cattle and other stock. He has other valuable holdings, in the way of bank and other corporation stock, including stock in the Emporia National and other banks. He resides in the city of Emporia, where he has a handsome, though not a large, residence
Mr. Plumb has been a life-long Republican and in political affairs has taken an active and commendable part for years. In 1904 he was elected a member of the Kansas legislature, and in 1906 was reëlected to succeed himself for a second term. In the legislature he rendered creditable service and gained a still wider popularity and acquaintance over the state. In 1910 he was elected a member of the Kansas Railroad Commission, of which he is now chairman, and is rendering valuable service.
With his comrades in arms Mr. Plumb has long been an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and he is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Knights and Ladies of Security. In church faith he is a Methodist.
In 1867 Mr. Plumb married Miss Ellen M., daughter of Francis Cowles, a pioneer settler of Lyon county, Kansas, and a native of New York. Mrs. Plumb was one of the eighteen students who attended the Kansas State Normal School the first year after its establishment, in 1865. Unto the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Plumb were born the following children: Preston Bierce, who died at the age of twenty-six years; Edna, who died aged thirteen; Katy and Nora (twins), who died in infancy; James R., a graduate of the Emporia High School and now a farmer in Lyon county; Margaret, the widow of M. E. Roderick; Inez, a graduate of the University of Kansas; Joseph, a graduate of the University of Kansas, now a farmer and business man, residing in Montana; and Kitty, the wife of Clarence De Long, a farmer of Lyon county.Pages 1352-1354 from volume III, part 2 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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