Abe Kepner Stoufer, for many years identified with the stock, newspaper and mercantile interests of Liberal and Seward county, is one of the up-to-date business men who are making history in the Southwest and developing that section to a high degree. Mr. Stoufer claims Pennsylvania as the state of his nativity, being born at Newburg September 21, 1858, a son of Rev. John M. and Margaret E. Kepner Stoufer. The father was born on a farm in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, in November, 1818. His grandparents were natives of Germany, who came from the Fatherland at an early day and located in Pennsylvania, where their children were born and reared. John Stoufer was a farmer in early life, but studied for the ministry and began preaching in the Church of God at the age of twenty-five. He was an eloquent and successful minister and remained active in church work until his death, in January, 1893, at Newburg, Pa. Mrs. Stoufer, who was born in 1829, in Perry county, Pennsylvania, was an orphan; she was married in 1845, and after becoming the mother of eleven children, passed away in 1886. There were six sons and five daughters in the Stoufer family: William S., Ellen Jane, Samuel S., Katharine E., deceased, Abe Kepner, Annie E., John H., deceased, Doyle S., Carrie, Frank E. and Blanchard A.
Abe Stoufer was educated in the public schools of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, and at the age of seventeen assumed charge of his father's farm, which he conducted until 1878, when, in the company of his brother, William, he came west, settling at Lathrop, Mo., where the two worked on a farm a season. William Stoufer had learned the printer's trade in Pennsylvania and secured employment for the winter at an office in Lathrop. Abe entered the same office to learn the trade. For a year and a half he remained in Lathrop, then went to Liberty for about the same length of time, but in 1881 became the foreman of the first paper published in Excelsior Springs, where he remained a year. In 1883 Mr. Stoufer helped start a newspaper at Richmond, Mo., but in May of that year returned to Lathrop and bought the "Monitor," in the office of which he had learned the trade. For three years Mr. Stoufer ran this journal, but in 1886 sold it and located in Seward county, Kansas, having filed on a government claim there the year before. April 22, 1886, he issued the Fargo Springs "News," which he owned and published until January 1, 1900. During this time he moved the plant twice to keep it at the county seat, which was being moved, and not an edition of the paper was missed. After coming to Liberal the name of the sheet was changed to the Liberal "News," which Mr. Stoufer sold to Ray Millman in 1900. In 1896 Mr. Stoufer bought a tract of land six miles north of Liberal, to which he added until he had a 6,000-acre ranch. This he stocked with cattle and ran until 1905, when the land was divided and sold as farms. The next year he embarked in the lumber and mercantile business in Liberal, which grew rapidly and was an exceedingly profitable concern. In 1908 Mr. Stoufer disposed of his lumber yard interests, but is still interested in the largest mercantile establishments in the city. He holds stock in the Citizens' bank, having been one of the organizers of that institution, in 1908. Mr. Stoufer has done much toward the upbuilding of Liberal, having been the owner and editor of the Liberal "Independent" for three years; in 1894 and 1896 he was clerk of Seward county; from 1888 to 1892 he was postmaster of Arkalon, and in 1896 was appointed postmaster of Liberal, an office which he filled with merit until April, 1901, when he resigned to look after his business interests. Mr. Stoufer is one of the prosperous and progressive citizens of Seward county and Liberal, and now devotes his time to his growing interests in that vicinity. He owns one of the finest homes in Liberal, and aids all civic improvements. In politics he is Progressive, while his fraternal associations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. On December 5, 1889, Mr. Stoufer married Hattie M. Martin at Garden City. She was born at Monmouth, Ill., November 5, 1872, the daughter of Solomon M. and Amelia Frazelle Martin, the latter dying at Garden City November 5, 1912. There are three children in the Stoufer family: Paul Martin, born March 13, 1891, who graduated from the high school in 1910 and then took a course in journalism at the Kansas State Agricultural College before becoming manager of the Liberal "Democrat"; Eugene Edwin, born February 9, 1899, and Margaret Amelia, born January 18, 1905.Pages 582-583 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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