John Franklin Pomeroy.The death of John Franklin Pomeroy, August 17, 1913, closed the career of a notable Kansas pioneer, whose life was filled with usefulness. He did not live in vain. His work was done, and he passed to the great beyond. He was the descendant of a long line of honorable ancestors. The Pomeroy family was founded in America by Eltweed Pomeroy, who was born at Beaminster, Dorset county, England, July 4, 1585, and about the time he reached maturity England was besought with religious controversies and he turned his attention to America, as an asylum in which he and his family could enjoy the freedom of conscience in peace, and without fear. In March, 1630, he and his wife, whose maiden name was Margery Rockett, embarked with a party of Puritans for the new world, on the good ship "Mary and John," and after a voyage of seventy days they reached the harbor of Nantasket, landing at Matapan where the company laid out the town of Dorchester. Eltweed Pomeroy was married three times, and was the father of ten children, the sixth of whom was Medad Pomeroy, who was born August 19, 1638, and at whose home his father died in March, 1673. Medad Pomeroy settled at Northampton, Mass., in 1659, where he died December 30, 1716. He was a skilled mechanic, and became prominent in official life. He was married three times, and reared twelve children, the eldest of whom was John, born August 24, 1662. He married Mindwell Sheldon, April 30, 1684, and two children were born to them, of whom John was the only son. John was married and his son Luther, was the grandfather of John Franklin Pomeroy, whose name introduces this sketch. Luther Pomeroy was born at Northampton, Mass., November 8, 1757, and served in the Revolutionary war in Captain Allen's company of Minute men, and other organizations during the progress of the war. His enlistment dated April 27, 1775. He died March 11, 1855. His son, John, was born April 12, 1804, and married Arvilla Jackson at Lebanon, N. Y., November 2, 1825. To this union was born four children, of whom John Franklin Pomeroy, the subject of this sketch was the youngest. He was born at Worthington, Mass., December 18, 1832. His boyhood was spent on a farm in Massachusetts, where he received a public school education, and spent some time at an academy, nearby. At the age of twenty-two, he started out for himself in life battles, and for two years clerked in a store at Hartford, Conn. Here he acquired a desire to, "Go west and grow up with the country," and soon landed in Illinois, and worked on the farm of John Bryant for two years. In the winter of 1858, in company with Chester Dee, and Peter Bryant, equipped with an ox team, and a covered wagon, they started for the gold fields of Colorado to seek their fortune. In the spring of 1859, they reached Kansas, and pushed on to the Blue River where they met many returning gold seekers and came back, and took up homesteads in Jackson county on Banner creek. John Franklin Pomeroy made his home on this place for thirty-four years, and in 1893 he removed to Holton to give his children better school advantages, and to enjoy a well earned rest himself. Yet he kept the management of his large farm until 1907, when his son Frank C., assumed control. Mr. Pomeroy was married December 30, 1862, to Martha Jane Blake, of near Circleville, Kans. Four children were born to this union: Katie, Ellen, Charles W. of Kalispel, Mont., and Scott. Katie died in her eleventh year, and Ellen and Scott died when less than one year of age. The wife and mother passed away January 2, 1872. On September 1, 1872, Mr. Pomeroy married Isabella Clark, who survives him. To this union were born seven children: Delia, died in infancy; Franklin C., a sketch of whom follows this article; Horace Greeley, now of Eureka, Mont.; Alice, married Charles Lyall, of Peoria, Ill.; Harriet, married Reamer S. Billard, of Topeka, Kans.; Clara B., married Edward S. Dunn, of Holton, and John A., of Holton, a sketch of whom appears in this volume. John Franklin Pomeroy was a community builder of the highest order, ever in the front ranks for the advancement of those with whom he mingled. He took an active part in the public affairs of his town and country. He was a member of the school board of Banner township, in 1867, when the stone school house was erected there. In 1871 he was a member of the board of county commissioners, when the first court house was built, and signed the bonds for the first railroad that came to Holton, during his term of office. In 1880, he was trustee and member of the building committee when the Methodist Episcopal church was built on Banner creek. He was a trustee of Campbell University when it came into existence, in 1881. In 1892-3, he was a member of the Kansas legislature, where his love for peace and quiet stood him well in hand, in assisting to preserve order and quiet within the halls of State. In 1897 he was elected mayor of Holton, and directed the erection of the city building. In 1906 he was chairman of the school board, when the new Holton High School building was erected. He put his hand to the plow, and the rolling prairies were transformed into bountiful fields of grain, and he laid his ax to the root of the trees of the forest, and a home sprang up. He thought of the happiness of others, and a garden of roses, and an orchard laden with the rarest fruit surrounded his home. He thought of the mental and spiritual needs of others, and the school and church sprang up near his home. His keen eye beheld the need of justice and the court house came forth. The march of progress demanded more rapid transportation, and the railroad came to our relief. As time rolled on, new wants appeared, and he ever was in the front rank as a community builder. Every road, bridge, school house, church, lodge room, hall, store office or home, now in his community, have come into existence since he drove his yoke of oxen, for the first time across these rolling prairies in 1859.Pages 217-219 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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