William Anthony

WILLIAM ANTHONY was long known as a dry goods merchant in Burlingame, Kansas. When he died there he left his widow and four young children. Mrs. Anthony, who now lives at Topeka, gave a splendid exposition of resourcefulness in a critical time. After the death of her husband she took the active management of the dry goods store, and though little acquainted with mercantile methods, she managed the enterprise so successfully that she gave her children the advantages they required at home and in school, and a few years ago sold the business, and moved to Topeka.

Born at Marysville in Union County, Ohio, the late William Anthony had the qualities of patriotism and enterprise highly developed. When a mere boy he ran away from home and enlisted in the Union army in Company A of the Sixty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He saw three years of regular service and then re-enlisted and veteranized at Huntsville, Alabama. He was finally mustered out of the service of the United States Government at Louisville, Kentucky, on July 13, 1865, as a corporal. He participated in all the campaigns, battles and marches of his command, and made a splendid record as a soldier.

After leaving the army he went to Harrison County, Missouri, and spent about three years teaching school. As a boy he had little opportunity to gain an education, and it was by much hard study in private and by the exercise of a great deal of enterprise that he secured his first certificate to teach. He quickly proved his ability in that field as in practically every other undertaking of his life. From school teaching he entered the dry goods business, and in 1885 moved to Burlingame in Osage County, Kansas. There he continued merchandising, and earned and gained the respect of all who knew him. His death occurred March 29, 1892.

In October, 1868, Mr. Anthony married Miss Delana Ainslie of Worth County, Missouri. Mrs. Anthony was born in Geauga County, Ohio, a daughter of Joseph Ainslie, a native of the same county. The Ainslie family were of English antecedents and were pioneers in Ohio. Joseph Ainslie married Hannah Turner, and their three children were Delana, Irvin A. and Jeannette. Irvin is now living in Oklahoma City, being a commercial traveler for a shoe house. Jeannette married Henry Peek of Los Angeles, California.

To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony were born five children, three daughters and two sons: Irwin, Ella, Alta, Edwin and Nell A. Irwin and Edwin are now dead. Ella is the wife of William M. Bowen of San Diego, California. Alta married A. E. Lake, a successful attorney of Chicago, Illinois. Nell A. is private secretary to a distinguished Chicago woman.

When their father died these children were young people and it was Mrs. Anthony's self sacrifice and careful administration of the store and the estate which enabled them to gain a training fitting them for lives of usefulness and purpose. Mrs. Anthony carried on the dry goods business successfully for over fifteen years. In 1912, having sold the store, she removed to Topeka and now lives in comfort at her home at 1127 Polk Street.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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