Joseph M. St. John, cashier of the Farmers' State Bank of Westmoreland, has a life story that is not much different from the story that might be written of many other successful men of Kansas, but it is one that should encourage the average boy who is possessed of industry and honest purpose. He belives[sic] that he has done nothing remarkable, and that statement is probably true, but he has done his best, and by integrity and persevering industry has attained a position that any youth may envy. He is a native of Indiana, born at Indianapolis, in 1865, son of James and Catharine (Lingerman) St. John, the former born in Hamilton county, Ohio, in 1821, and the latter was born in 1826. The father received a good common school education and, after finishing his schooling, learned the millwright's trade, but never followed it, for, being reared in Indiana on his father's farm, he preferred the out-door life to being confined in a mill. He became interested in the lumber business in Indianapolis and only gave it up when he came to Kansas, in 1868. Upon arriving in this state Mr. St. John bought a half-section of unimproved land in Pottawatomie county and lived on it eight years, when he sold the place with the improvements and bought a 400-acre farm near Louisville, where he lived until his death, Oct. 1, 1909. He was an excellent farmer and believing that all work upon land was returned many fold with bountiful crops he always kept his farm in a high state of cultivation. In politics he was a Republican and took an active part in local affairs. Mrs. St. John still resides at Louisville, Kan.
Joseph M. St. John spent the early years of his life on the Kansas homestead, as he was a child of three years when his parents emigrated from Indiana, and in the country district school he laid the foundation of the education which he continued to build up at the high school in Topeka and the Spalding Business College in Kansas City, Mo. At eighteen years of age he began teaching and followed this vocation sixteen years. During this time he became well known as an educator; was county superintendent of Pottawatomie county four years; taught in Louisville and was principal of the Belvue schools seven years.
In 1890 he married Katie M., daughter of James Huey of Pottawatomie county, and four children have been born to them: James Lloyd is engaged in his father's store at Wamego, and Fred H., Clara and Joseph Edward are at home. Although devoted to his educational work Mr. St. John desired a larger field of activity, as he had natural business ability, and at the close of his service as county superintendent, in 1905, he was offered and accepted the position of cashier of the Farmers' State Bank of Westmoreland. Considered from the standpoint of years he is still young in the banking business, but is making a name for himself among the members of different banking institutions; and his keen foresight and knowledge of men and affairs are helping him to shape the policy of the bank. His political relations are with the old-line Republicans, while fraternally he is associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Masons, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. The family are members of the Methodist church.Pages 595-596 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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