Edgar Backus Schermerhorn, a prominent citizen of Galena, and one of the best known men in Kansas, in which state he has resided since 1875, was born on a farm in Will county, Illinois, Nov. 19, 1851, a son of Isaac B. and Mary J. (Backus) Schermerhorn. The father was born in the State of New York, of Holland ancestors, but when a young man went west and settled in Will county, Illinois, where he met and married Miss Mary J. Backus, a school teacher. She was born in Vermont, of English lineage. He farmed in Will county for more than thirty years, and in 1865 removed to Montcalm county, Michigan, where his death occurred. The subject of this sketch received a common school education, and at the age of fourteen years secured a position in a bank at Greenville, Mich., where he was employed until he was twenty-three years of age. Meanwhile he privately studied his textbooks, and thus gained a good English education. In 874 he went to Georgetown, Col., and in the fall of 1875 located at Baxter Springs, Kan., where he was employed in the mercantile business by John M. Cooper until 1877. He then became one of the founders and very first residents of Galena, where he engaged in the grocery business, which he finally developed into a general mercantile business. For several years he prospered as a merchant and then sold out. On locating at Galena he became a pioneer miner of the place, and perhaps no other man has controlled larger mining interests at Galena than has Mr. Schermerhorn. He still has extensive mining interests there, and to his activities is largely due the development of the now famous mines of that district. Mr. Schermerhorn is interested in the Citizens' Bank of Galena and has been its president since 1893. He is one of the largest farm land owners of Kansas, having about 6,000 acres of the finest land of the state. As a Republican he was elected to the Kansas legislature from Cherokee county in 1901 and in 1903. In 1905 he was appointed by Governor Hoch as a member of the state board of control, a position he held for four years, and during the greater portion of the time was president of the board. He was reappointed by Governor Stubbs in 1909 for four years, but he resigned in the spring of 1911 in order to give more of his time and attention to his private business affairs. Mr. Schermerhorn is a Knight Templar and Thirty-second degree Mason, and is also a Mystic Shriner, being a member of the Temple at Pittsburg, Kan. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and also the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
In 1878 Mr. Schermerhorn married Mrs. Abbie Simpson, at Galena. They have no children. Mr. Schermerhorn began his business career a poor but ambitious young man. By reason of keen business judgment, close application to business, and sapient business ability, he has amassed considerable wealth. He deserves the business success which has come to him, and throughout life he has manifested a commendable interest in the public weal.Pages 428-429 from volume III, part 1 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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