Milford O. Reitzel, a well known citizen of Washington, Kan., who for a number of years was actively engaged in newspaper work, and played his role in the moulding of public sentiment as newspaper men invariably do, was born January 10, 1859, at Clayton, Hendricks county, Indiana. He is a son of William M. and Melinda (Osborne) Reitzel, the former a native of North Carolina and of German descent, and the latter of Indiana, and of Scotch-Irish extraction. The father was a farmer in Indiana, and in August, 1877, with his family, came to Kansas, driving the entire distance. They settled at Waterville, where the father engaged in farming and stock raising, and remained there about five years. He then went to Washington county and settled just south of Greenleaf, where he also followed farming about five years, when he removed to Osborne county.
Milford O. Reitzel received his education in the public schools of Indiana and Kansas. After coming to this State, in 1877, he remained with his parents until the fall of 1880, when he returned to Indiana, where he worked on a farm about a year. In 1881 he came to Kansas again, and located in Marshall county, where he was engaged in farming and stock raising until 1884. He then removed to Greenleaf township, Washington county, where he also followed farming about two years. In November, 1886, he began work at the printer's trade at Barnes, Kan., and in April, 1887, purchased the Barnes "Enterprise," which he owned and published until 1896. At that time he bought the Greenleaf "Journal," and consolidated the two papers, discontinuing the Barnes "Enterprise" and publishing the "Journal" at Greenleaf.
In 1896 he disposed of this publication, and removed to Cherokee county, Kansas, where he remained a short time, when he went to Oronogo, Jasper county, Missouri, and again entered the field of journalism, publishing a weekly paper there until 1899, when he returned to Washington county and was employed on the "Post-Register," from April to November of 1899, when he engaged in the real estate, insurance and loan business at Washington. In 1900, Mr. Reitzel was elected to the office of justice of the peace in Washington, and held that office eight years. During the time he also served as city clerk for six years, and was manager of the opera house at Washington. In 1908 he was elected probate judge of Washington county, and at the expiration of that term was reëlected, serving until January 1, 1913. In the fall of 1912 he was elected representative to the legislature from Washington county, serving as a member of the Thirty-fifth regular session of the Kansas legislature. During the session he was a member of the following committees: Charitable institutions, county seats and county lines, revision of journal and political rights of women. Politically, Mr. Reitzel is a staunch Republican, and has always given that party his loyal support.
He was married July 4, 1885, to Miss May, daughter of Christopher and Jensene (Anderson) Peterson. The parents are natives of Wisconsin, and Mrs. Reitzel is also a native of that State, having been born at Racine. The Peterson family were pioneer settlers of Washington county, Kansas. They located in Greenleaf township in 1868, when Washington county was considered the frontier. Most of that section at that time was unbroken prairie. Mr. and Mrs. Reitzel are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and his fraternal affiliations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.Pages 489-490 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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