Reuben L. Wilt, the popular postmaster of Rossville, Kan., is a native of the old Keystone State, having been born on a farm near Blain, Perry county, Pennsylvania, April 26, 1868. His parents, Daniel and Malinda (Kern) Wilt, were also natives of Pennsylvania. When the great Civil war came on, Daniel Wilt answered Lincoln's call for troops by enlisting in a Pennsylvania regiment, and did noble and valorous service in defense of the Stars and Stripes. He removed with his family to Kansas in 1876, and both he and his wife are now honored residents of Rossville, Kan. They became the parents of nine childrenfour sons and five daughtersand of the sons only three are now living: Reuben L., of this review; Irwin B. Wilt, and John R., cashier of the Silver Lake State Bank.
Reuben L. Wilt received his earlier education in the graded schools, supplementing it with a course in the Topeka Business College. When yet a youth, he became a clerk in a feed store in Topeka, but after one year he returned to the farm, where he remained until he accepted a position in a grocry[sic] store in Topeka. The following fifteen years found him connected with that business. He then formed a partnership with his brother, John R. Wilt, to engage in the hardware business in Rossville, which was successfully conducted until 1905. Then Mr. Wilt again took up agricultural pursuits and was thus engaged until March 15, 1911, when he received the appointment by Postmaster General F. H. Hitchcock, recommended by Congressman D. R. Anthony, of the First district, postmaster and at once took charge of the office. While the Rossville postoffice is classed as a fourth class office, the business is steadily increasing and the receipts justify the prediction that it will soon acquire the third class rating and become wholly a presidential office. The office does a large local business besides supplying free rural delivery routes No. 13 and No. 14, out of Rossville.
In January, 1900, Mr. Wilt was united in marriage with Miss Lillie Ellis, daughter of Mrs. Emma Ellis, of Topeka, Kan. This union has been blessed with two children: Arline Josephine, aged ten years, and Ruby Alice, now six years old. Mr. Wilt has been a stanch Republican all of his life and in 1910 was elected treasurer of Rossville township, which position he still holds. He is a member of Lodge No. 111, Free and Accepted Masons, of Rossville, and is serving as secretary of the lodge. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. Both the paternal and maternal ancestors were early pioneers of Pennsylvania. The Wilts originally settled in Fishing Creek valley in Cumberland county, while the Kerns were among the first settlers of Perry county, Pennsylvania. John Kern, the grandfather of Mr. Wilt, ended his days in Rossville, Kan., in 1878. Mr. Wilt is in the prime of life and health, deservedly popular with all who know him, and is certain to continue to serve the people of Rossville and vicinity as one of the best postmasters in the Sunflower State.Pages 1594-1595 from volume III, part 2 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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