George W. Veale, Topeka, Kan. This history covers the first half century of the statehood of Kansas and was prepared at the close of that period. Of the men who were conspicuous figures in the making of the state's history, comparatively few yet remain. One of those pioneers who have completed a half century within the state is Col. George W. Veale, of Topeka, well known to the people of Kansas through a long and useful identification with the public affairs of the state, Colonel Veale was born on a farm about five miles south of Washington, Daviess county, Indiana, May 20, 1833, and is the descendant of one of the oldest of American families. In 1640, there came to the colony at Jamestown, Va., three brothers, one of whom finally settled in New Hampshire, where the family name became established as Viele. The second brother settled in New Jersey, and his descendants adopted the surname of Vail. The third brother settled in South Carolina and established that branch of the family to which Colonel Veale belongs. James C. Veale, the father of Colonel Veale, was born in South Carolina in 1787, the fourth in a family of five sons and three daughters born to his parents, James C. and Lovina Veale. He received a good education in South Carolina, and taught school in North Carolina and Georgia prior to his removal to Indiana with his parents in 1806, or when he was nineteen years of age. In 1809, he taught the first school ever taught in Daviess county, Indiana, and continued to be thus engaged until the war of 1812, when he joined General Harrison in his campaign against Tecumseh. He served under Captain Moderl and was wounded at the battle of Vincennes. He died on the old homestead in Daviess county, Indiana, in 1858, still bearing the ball he received in that engagement He was numbered among the early abolitionists in Indiana, and was one of the most esteemed and honored pioneers of Daviess county. He was a Whig in politics, though he voted for James K. Polk, the Democratic candidate for the presidency in 1844. In 1813 he wedded Eleanor Aikman, a native of Shepherdstown, in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia, where she was born in 1792. She was reared in Virginia and there received an excellent education. About 1811 or 1812, she accompanied her parents, James Aikman and wife, to Daviess county, Indiana, where they located near a creek still known as Aikman creek. During the war of 1812, both the Veale and Aikman families were taken to Corner's Fort for protection while the fathers were with General Harrison fighting the Indians and British. Both were farmer families and both pioneers of Daviess county, Indiana. James C. and Eleanor (Aikman) Veale began housekeeping on a farm five miles south of Washington, Daviess county, Indiana and there became the parents of ten children, namely: William T., John M., who lost his life at sea due to a wreck by storm, while en route from New Orleans to Pensacola, Florida, in 1849; Sarah, James A., Julia, Mary M., now Mrs. Fielding Johnson, of Los Angeles, Cal.; Elizabeth, Eleanor, who died when eight years old; Anderson, who resides at the homestead in Indiana, and Col. George W. Veale, of this review. Of these children but three are living: Mary M., Anderson and Col. George W. (1911). The mother passed away in 1871; she was a member of the Presbyterian church. James C. Veale, the grandfather of Colonel Veale, was a native of South Carolina and a patriot under Sumter in the Revolutionary war. He removed his family to Daviess county, Indiana in 1806, making the journey in wagons and accompanied by nine slaves. He located near a creek that was named for him, and when Daviess county was organized one of the townships received the name of Veale. He died on his original homestead there about 1841, when ninety-three years of age, and was survived by his wife until 1844, when she too passed away at the same place. Col. George W. Veale grew to manhood in Indiana. He attended school about three months each year until seventeen years of age, when he entered Wabash College and was a student there two years. He then became a clerk in a dry goods store at Evansville, Ind., and remained in that position from 1852 until 1857. On Jan. 20, 1857, George W. Veale and Miss Nannie Johnson were united in marriage in Evansville, Ind., and on March 29 following, Colonel Veale and his bride left Evansville on the steamer "White Cloud" in company with the family of the late Judge Crozier, of Leavenworth. On April 7, 1857, they arrived at Quindaro, a historic free-state town near the Missouri river in what was then Leavenworth county, but is now included in Wyandotte county. There Colonel Veale engaged in merchandising and also began his career of public usefulness which has continued for half a century. He served as the first sheriff of the new county of Wyandotte and, under President Lincoln's first call for volunteers he raised his first company at Quindaro in June, 1861, for service in the Civil war. He was commissioned captain and still has in his possession that commission, dated April 29, 1861, and signed by Charles Robinson, governor. His company was assigned to the Fourth Kansas Volunteer cavalry, and later he saw service as colonel of the Second Kansas Militia, which served in the campaign against Price in his invasion of Kansas. At the battle of the Blue, Colonel Veale and his men won distinction through their valorous conduct in holding their position against superior numbers with fearful loss. His whole military record is one of skill and bravery as a soldier, and he has well maintained the family prestige for courage and patriotism. After a brief residence at Quindaro, he established himself in the dry goods business at Topeka, the firm being Hamilton & Co. In 1866, he was appointed state agent for the sale of railroad lands, which position he held three years. He was also tax commissioner for the Union Pacific railroad a number of years and was one the incorporators of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad. He organized the Topeka Bank and Savings Institution, which is now the Bank of Topeka, and he built the Veale Block, one of the handsome business blocks of Topeka. Colonel Veale has been an ardent and active Republican all of his life. He was a member of the first legislature under the Leavenworth constitution; served two terms in the state senate during 1867 and 1868, as the legislature met each year then; and served fourteen years in the lower house of the state legislature, his services in the house beginning in 1871. In that same year he served as president of the State Fair Association. He is a member of the Kansas State Historical Society and served as its president in 1907-8. He is also a member of the Red Cross Association. He joined the Masonic order in 1866 and took the degrees with the late Senator Preston B. Plumb and Charles Columbia.
Mrs. Veale was born in Pike county, Indiana, in 1838, and was reared there. She is the daughter of Col. Fielding Johnson, a pioneer of Pike county and a veteran of the Black Hawk war. He was one of President Lincoln's first appointees in Kansas, having been made agent for the Delaware Indians, in which capacity he served until about the close of the war. He became prominent in many ways during the war. He was the son of Thomas Johnson, secretary to General Harrison and a member of the first constitutional convention of Indiana, where he took a prominent part in the formation of that state's constitution. Mrs. Veale is a first cousin of John W. Foster, the famous American diplomat, whose wife is the niece of General McPherson, commander of the Army of the Tennessee at the time of his death at the battle of Atlanta. Mrs. Veale has been an able and a noble companion to her husband during his long and active public career. Their former home, the site of which is now occupied by the Auditorium, was one of the social centers of Topeka in earlier years, and many distinguished people have been entertained there, including Gen. U. S. Grant and his suite. To Mrs. Veale belongs the honor and distinction of making and presenting to Captain Veale's company the first Union state flag used by Kansas troops in the Civil war. On horseback she solicited subscriptions for the material throughout Wyandotte county, and after receiving the necessary amount gave a dinner at her home in honor of the company. To that dinner she invited the wives, mothers, sisters and sweethearts of the company, who vied with each other in making the flag. It was a beautiful emblem and with the exception of the stars, which were placed on it by Col. Fielding Johnson, it represented the loving handiwork of those noble and patriotic women.
To Colonel and Mrs. Veale were born three children, two of whom grew to maturity, namely: George W. Veale, Jr., born in Quindaro, in 1858, and educated in the Topeka public schools, at Washburn College and at the Military Institute, Chester, Pa.; he is now proprietor of the U. V. Laundry in Topeka; Walter J. Veale, born in Topeka, in 1866, was educated in Topeka and at Notre Dame University, South Bend, Ind.; he is now in business in the City of Mexico.
Colonel Veale is now retired from all active duties, but he retains his former interest in public affairs and is thoroughly conversant with all the issues of the day. In Topeka, where he has resided over fifty years, he is esteemed as one of that city's most public-spirited citizens, one who in action was ever honorable and in life upright, and his name will go down in history supported with all the attributes of a well spent life and an honorable career.Pages 352-355 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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