John L. Travers, a well known attorney of Osborne, Kan., is a native of the Empire State. He was born at Syracuse, N. Y., August 25, 1863, and is a son of Thomas and Margaret (Woods) Travers, both natives of New York State. The father was a successful farmer in the vicinity of Syracuse, where he died in 1903, aged sixty-eight years. He was of Irish parentage. Thomas and Margaret (Woods) Travers were the parents of six children, as follows: Mary, John L., Francis, William, deceased; Ella and Agnes. John L. Travers was educated in the public schools of New York and graduated from the high school of Syracuse in the class of 1885. He then entered Columbia University, New York City, graduated in 1887 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and the same year was admitted to the New York State bar and immediately commenced practice in Syracuse. He remained there until 1889, when he came to Kansas, located in Topeka, and followed the practice of his profession until he removed to Osborne, continuing the practice of law. He has built up a large practice and is regarded as one of the ablest lawyers of central Kansas. He has handled some of the most important cases that have been litigated in Osborne and adjacent counties in recent years.
Mr. Travers was married June 22, 1898, to Miss Marie A., daughter of Benjamin and Katherine (Wagner) Bower. The father was born in Buffalo township, Union county, Pennsylvania, in 1836, and was the son of John Bower, who was the son of Christian Bower. Christian Bower lived at one time in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, where the Bower family settled on coming from Europe. A number of them served in the Revolutionary war with the troops raised from Lancaster county, notably Lieut.-Col. Jacob Bower, Maj. Adam Bower and Ensign Abram Bower. Christian Bower moved to Union county, Pennsylvania, about 1800. He had five sons: Samuel and Isaac, who removed to Mercer county, Pennsylvania, where their descendants live; Abraham and John, who removed to Stephenson county, Illinois, about 1848, and Benjamin, who removed to Ohio, locating near Akron. John Bower, the grandfather of Mrs. Travers, settled at Orangeville, Ill. This place was founded by him, and at one time was called Bowersville. He was a prominent man in that section. He had seven children, of whom Benjamin, father of Mrs. Travers, was the fourth. Benjamin was a youth of twelve when he came to Illinois with his father and assisted him in clearing his land, building a grist mill and otherwise improving the property. He learned the miller's trade and operated the mill owned by his father. Later he operated other mills in Stephenson county. In 1884 he moved to Osborne County, Kansas, where he farmed until about 1890. He then returned to Orangeville, Ill., and lived there until 1901, removing at that time to Grand Island, Neb., where he died in 1902, and was buried there. During the Civil war he wished to enlist but was rejected for service on account of poor health and became a member of a home guard company. In January, 1864, he married Katherine A. Wagner, a native of Pennsylvania, whose parents came to Green county, Wisconsin, in an early day. To them were born five children, as follows: Elizabeth Belle, wife of Dr. John W. Straight, of Hastings, Neb.; James McKesson, of Chicago, an ex-officer of the United States Navy; Jerome, deceased; Jeanette, wife of Clarence Jackson, of Downs, Kan., and Marie Adella, wife of J. L. Travers. Mrs. Travers was educated in the public schools of Kansas and graduated from the Downs High School. After her marriage she took up the study of law in her husband's office and was admitted to the Kansas bar in 1900. She is one of three women who have been admitted to the bar from the Sixth congressional district and the only one now engaged in active practice. Mrs. Travers is a close student, and not only a capable lawyer, but also an able writer. She was assistant editor of the Osborne County "News" for eighteen months, when Mr. Travers owned and published that paper, and at present does special department writing for newspapers. Mr. Travers is a Democrat and has been chairman of the Osborne County Democratic Central Committee for eight years. He is also a member of the Democratic State Central Committee. He was offered the nomination for Congress in his district, but declined. He does not regard politics as a business, but rather as an element of citizenship.Pages 358-359 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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