John J. Veatch, a prominent pioneer citizen of Kansas, now a resident of Morrowville, was born in the Territory of Iowa January 2, 1843, and when the territory was admitted as a State, in 1846, the local division was known, as Davis county. The farm house was two miles east of the village of Monterey, where he lived with his parents until he was eighteen years of age, attending the district schools in winter from three to five months, and working on the farm the balance of the time. The school house was a log affair, with split log benches without desks or backs. The pupil was obliged to hold his book or slate on his knee. All kinds of teachers were employed, but the principal uniform thing about them was that they did not know very much. Fortunately they did good work in certain lines, the scholars being thoroughly drilled in spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and grammar. The teachers as a usual thing were conscientious, and gave their scholars the best of which they were capable. In this school a number of young men grew up who proved their worth in responsible positions in after life. During the summer of 1861 Mr. Veatch enlisted in what was afterwards known as Company I, Third Iowa cavalry, although living in Davis county he enlisted in a company from Appanoose county, on account of a former teacher of his being the captain. The enrollment was dated August 20, 1861, and he served nearly three years as a private and non-commissioned officer, reënlisting as a veteran about February 1, 1864, and was appointed commissary sergeant, which position he held until June 28, 1865, when he was promoted to first lieutenant and was discharged at Atlanta, Ga., August 9, 1865, and was finally mustered out of service at Davenport, Iowa, August 20, 1865, making four years of actual service. The Third Iowa cavalry was one of the best cavalry regiments from that State, and lost more men, killed and wounded, than any other cavalry regiment from Iowa. Mr. Veatch participated in numerous battles and skirmishes, and had command of his company in five engagements, and while struck four different times by bullets, he was not badly wounded but once, which was on April 1, 1865, at Plantersville, Ala. Here he received quite a serious gunshot wound in the right side. After his military career was ended and he was discharged, he returned to his Davis county home, and formed a partnership with a brother-in-law, and they bought a small store at Monterey, but sold it shortly afterwards, and in the spring of 1867 he came to Kansas, locating in Cherokee county in May of that year. From that date his personal history does not vary materially from the average pioneer in the settlement of the State. October 11, 1871, he located in Washington county, where he has practically resided ever since. He purchased a homestead on Iowa creek, eight and one-half miles west of Washington, where he farmed on an extensive scale for a number of years, adding more land to his original holdings as the years rolled on. He was always more or less active in the politics of his State and county, and has attended several State conventions. He was nominated and elected a representative in 1884, serving during the regular session in 1885, and the special session of 1886. In 1887 he failed to get the nomination on account of the Anderson and Wilson division in the party. Holding a petty office has never interferred with Mr. Veatch's farming operations, but in 1896 he bought the "Post Register," a Republican weekly newspaper, published in Washington, the county seat. He published this paper alone for six months, then took his son, A. E. Veatch, into the business as partner, and while neither had had any experience in newspaper work, the "Post Register" was soon making money and was known throughout the State for its vigorous and independent editorials. The partnership continued for six years, when the paper was sold to J. A. Totten, the son going to Jewell county and Mr. Veatch returned to the farm. At this point, misfortune crossed his path, in the death of his oldest son and only daughter, and the gradual decline of his wife's health, who passed away August 23, 1906. As his three younger sons were married, the death of his wife broke up his home, and he sold his place the following fall and made an extended visit to the Pacific coast, returning in the fall of 1907. He then engaged in house building for some time in Morrowville, and in 1908 was a candidate on the Republican ticket for State representative. He had no opposition at the primary, and was elected and served in the session of 1909. He was renominated at the primary of 1910, without opposition, and elected that fall with a majority equal to any candidate on the ticket. Having represented his county six years as a legislator, and during four sessions he has a right to be proud of his record; in fact, no legislative vote which he ever cast on any measure of consequence has been questioned and that he at all times was unquestionably on the side of people, for good and wholesome laws and an economical management of the State affairs. He is at present making his home in Morrowville, Washington county, and at this writing is over seventy years of age, hale and vigorous and is known for his soldiery bearing. He is a man of commanding presence, being six feet tall, fair, blue eyes, and slightly gray and now weighs 200 pounds, and has the prospect to live several years.
John J. Veatch, of this review, is a direct descendant of James Veatch, a Scotchman, who came to America about 1750, when he was twenty-five years of age. He settled either in the Carolinas or Maryland. He married Elinor Ramer, a young lady of Virginia, in 1750. The second son of this union was Elias Veatch, who was in the Revolutionary army and was at the Battle of Camden. He was wounded in the thigh, captured and held a prisoner on a prison ship in Charleston harbor for eighteen months, then turned loose and returned to his home. The next account of this man we find him in Illinois, in either White or Sangamon county, with quite a large family, he having married Jennie Brown. The second son, James Veatch, is in the direct line to John J. Veatch. He married Elizabeth S. Chandler. Three sons were born to them, when the father suddenly died, leaving her with her little sons, Elias, James and John, the latter only eighteen months old. At the time of the father's death they were living at White county, Illinois. Elias, the oldest son, was born November 8, 1817; the next record we find of the family they are at Burlington, Iowa, where Elias Veatch married Sarah Ann Cole, a daughter of John Cole and Susanna Duke. John Cole came from Scotland, and was in the Battle of New Orleans, under General Jackson, and after receiving his discharge after the War of 1812 he went to Kentucky, where he was married. The next we hear of the Cole family, the widow (John Cole having died) was living in Burlington, Iowa, and Elias Veatch, the father of John J. Veatch, married Sarah Ann Cole at Burlington, Iowa, October 11, 1838, and in the spring of 1840 they settled in Iowa, where Davis county was later located.
John J. Veatch, the subject of this review, was the second son born to this marriage. He was reared on the Iowa farm, and followed the career above outlined. He was married March 2, 1864, to Eliza Jane Stoffle, in Davis county, Iowa. His wife was a daughter of Isaac Stoffle and Martha K. Holsteine. She was born near Salem, Ind., November 8, 1842, and came to Iowa with her parents when five years old, and lived within about a mile of the Veatch home. Mrs. Veatch died August 23, 1906, in Washington county, Kansas. To Mr. and Mrs. Veatch were born five children, four sons and one daughter. S. W. and the only daughter, Anna, are now deceased. The former died in 1895, at Phoenix, Ariz., aged thirty years, and Anna died at Santa Ana, Cal., in 1897, aged thirty years; neither were married. The second son, Alvin Elias, is a lawyer by profession, and a newspaper man by occupation, and now lives at Montesano, Wash., and is the owner and editor of the "Chehalis County Call." He married Miss Belle Hoover, and they have two children, A. E., Jr., aged nineteen years, and Harold, aged nine years.
The next son is James Walter, a printer and carpenter, who lives at Morrowville, Kan. He married Miss Carrie Guthrie, and they have one child, William Byrle, aged five years. The youngest son, John C., is a blacksmith and carriage and wagon workman. He married Miss Emma White. They have no children, and as he prefers farming to his regular trade, he is now following that vocation near Mountain Grove, Mo.
Elias Veatch, the father of John J. Veatch, died Christmas day, 1883, at Seneca, Mo., and his wife died at San Jose, Cal., at the age of seventy-eight. The only brother of John J. Veatch lives in Salem, Ore, and is seventy-four years old. Three sisters live in San Jose, Cal., and one sister died in 1911.Pages 419-422 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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