William Clinton Bardo

WILLIAM CLINTON BARDO, vice president of the Security National Bank of Arkansas City, was a pioneer in the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma, was a homesteader and farmer there for a number of years, but finally moved across the line to Arkansas City where he has become prominent in financial and business affairs.

Mr. Bardo is of an old Pennsylvania family. The lineage goes back originally to France. Four brothers of the name during the turbulent times that led to the French Revolution came from France and landed in Pennsylvania, and from there their families became widely scattered. One of the number, Abraham Bardo, settled near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and left two sons, Abraham and Daniel. The latter was W. C. Bardo's paternal grandfather and was born in Pennsylvania in about 1790. Daniel Bardo and his wife in about 1820 moved to that part of Pennsylvania later organized into Penn Township of Lycoming County, and he had to make a road through the forest to reach his homestead. The emigrants left the river bottoms, for the "hills, big trees, good lands" was their motto. Daniel Bardo lived the sturdy life of a farmer, and died there in 1863. His wife, Catherine (Sellers) Bardo, died in Lycoming County when ninety-six years of age. Seven children were born in the pioneer home of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Bardo. They were George, Sarah, Samuel, Anna, John G., Jacob and Mary.

John G. Bardo was born in 1827, and married a school teacher, Savilla Baker, who was born November 11, 1828, near the Town of Hughesville, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Samuel and Hannah Baker. John G. Bardo was a jovial man, of high moral character, and with a fine sense of humor, always ready with a good story. He was a millwright and contract carpenter as well as farmer, and had the reputation of building the best bank barns in Lycoming County. His sons Wilson and William were apprentices under him. John G. Bardo died from the effects of quick pneumonia March 31, 1917, near the place of his birth, at Hughesville, Pennsylvania, being almost ninety years of age at the time of his death. He was a republican, had filled various township offices, and was always active in civic affairs and in local politics. For many years he did much to support and keep up the Evangelical Lutheran Church in his community. In earlier days he was also a member of the State Militia. Mr. and Mrs. Bardo had a large family of eleven children, who were born on or near the original homestead, a part of which John G. Bardo had purchased from his father. The children were as follows: Emma, who was born in 1851, and died in Lycoming County at the age of thirty-nine, and her husband, Steven Flick, a farmer, is also deceased. Sarah, born in 1853, died in Lycoming County in 1887, wife of A. Dorey, a lumberman. Samuel Wilson, born in 1855, is a carpenter at Hughesville, Pennsylvania. He married Melissa Kepner. Francis Levi, born in 1858, was a school teacher and died in Colorado City, Texas, in 1884. W. C. Bardo is the fifth of the family. John Henry, born in 1862, is a retired farmer and capitalist at Arkansas City, having removed to Cowley County in 1906. He married Sylvia Smith in 1903, at Newkirk, Oklahoma, who died in 1904, and on September 2, 1909, at Wayne, Kansas, he married Maude Teagarden. Lloyd Monroe, born in 1865, is a photographer residing in Seattle, Washington. Cora Alice, born in 1867, died when fourteen years of age. Carrie Jane, born in 1870, died at the age of eleven. Maggie, born in 1872, married William H. Holmes in 1894. Harry Augustus, born in 1875, is employed in a munition factory at Berwick, Pennsylvania. He married Emma Rebecca Walburn July 7, 1897.

William Clinton Bardo was born in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, August 11, 1860. He spent his early life in the rugged district of his birth, had the training and environment of the farm, and took entire charge of the farm work at the age of fourteen. During this period of his life his dreams were all of the great western farms where there were no stones to pick and no briars to cut from fence corners. Besides the local public schools he attended Williamsport College, where he graduated in 1881. At the age of fifteen he was made superintendent of the Mount Zion Sunday School. For two years, during the ages of seventeen and eighteen, he taught school in his native county, and then became a contractor and builder. He also kept books for the Blackwell Paint Company, and read law with A. D. Hower, a lawyer of Muncy, Pennsylvania. In 1888 Mr. Bardo came West, and for several years was a merchant at Washington, Iowa.

In September, 1893, he participated in the great rush of homeseekers into the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma, the greatest horse race ever staged. He made the run, a ride of fifteen miles in fifty-five minutes, and secured a homestead of 160 acres in Kay County four miles west of Newkirk. He lived on it, proved it up, and was one of the substantial farmers in that section for twelve years. Having sold his farm which had been improved from prairie land to a high state of cultivation, Mr. Bardo moved to Arkansas City in 1906 and became associated with the Security State Bank as a director. In 1912 he was elected vice president, and has held that position ever since. The Security State Bank was established in 1905, and since 1914 has been the Security National Bank, operating under a national charter. It is one of the safely managed and well secured banking institutions of Southern Kansas. The bank home is at the corner of Summit Street and Washington Avenue. It has a capital of $100,000 and surplus and profits of $12,500. The officers of the bank are: J. E. Tutton, president W. C. Bardo, vice president, W. M. Stryker, cashier; and B. T. Ausmus, assistant cashier.

Mr. Bardo in politics is a republican. While living in Kay County, Oklahoma, he served on the school board. He was also secretary of the Farmers Institute of that county, and secretary of The Oklahoma Seed Corn Growers Association. He is a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Arkansas City, and was a member of the building committee for their new church edifice, built in 1912. He was married at Washington, Iowa, April 13, 1887, to Miss Emma R. Right, a daughter of E. N. and Emma (Smith) Right. Her father was a farmer and is now deceased, and her mother still lives at Washington, Iowa.

Mr. Bardo's first interest and greatest pleasure is in his home. He is intensely interested in the progressive development of the State of Kansas, and firmly believes that the city of his adoption is one of the finest spots on earth.


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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