A. Harding Buckman

A. HARDING BUCKMAN. The knowledge that he has contributed materially to the agricultural, social and moral wealth of the community in which his entire life has been spent, is one of the satisfying compensations growing out of the industrious and well-directed career of A. Harding Buckman, farmer and Civil war veteran of Mission Township, Shawnee County. Mr. Buckman's agricultural assets are represented by his well-cultivated farm of 300 acres, the nucleus of which was his home when he first came to Kansas in 1869, and from that year to the present he has gradually added to his holdings, at the same time contributing to the welfare and advancement of his community.

Mr. Buckman was born on a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, January 15, 1839, and is one of the eight children born to Harding and Mercy (Bailey) Buckman. They were Quakers by religion, passed their lives in Pennsylvania, and devoted their energies to agriculture. A. Harding Buckman was given a limited education in a Quaker school, and early began to work on his father's farm. At the age of fifteen years he went to Ohio, where he served an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade and where he was living at the outbreak of the Civil war. He enlisted in the Union army, becoming a private in Company A, Thirty-second Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was in the service three years. He was connected with a hard-fighting regiment that took part in many bloody engagements, including those at Vicksburg and Atlanta, and at Harper's Ferry was captured by the enemy. After being interned for a time at Camp Douglas, Mr. Buckman was exchanged at Cleveland and at once rejoined his command, with which he marched to Atlanta with Sherman. When he reached Atlanta, Mr. Buckman's time expired and he received his honorable discharge. On his return to Ohio, Mr. Buckman prepared to take up his civic duties with the same show of spirit and faithfulness that had characterized his military service. With his brother, he engaged in the gristmill business, and in this line continued to be successfully occupied until coming to Kansas. While in Ohio Mr. Buckman was married to Miss Selina Elizabeth Cobbs, and to this union there were born the following children: Alice C., Elvina, Jesse M., Roy H., and Mabel, all of whom reside with their parents on the farm, and one child, Frederick, which died in infancy.

In 1869 Mr. Buckman was induced by a friend to come to Kansas, and here, in Mission Township, he purchased 160 acres of land. This was new land, which had not yet known the feel of the plow, and while it was being prepared for occupancy, Mr. Buckman and his family resided on a tract of seventeen acres on West Sixth Street. The ground was broken with oxen and horses, various improvements were made, and the lumber was hauled by him for his present home and other buildings. Although he had many setbacks at the start, he persevered in his labor and soon had the satisfaction of seeing the beginning of a farm which promised to become fertile and productive. This promise has been fully realized, for today Mr. Buckman is not only the owner of his original homestead, all under a high state of cultivation, but of an additional 140 acres, his tract now comprising 300 acres of some of the best land to be found in the county. In noting the qualities which have raised Mr. Buckman from limited circumstances to his present standing as one of the foremost citizens of Mission Township, one is forced to renewed appreciation of courage, moral strength, honesty in public and private life, and unselfish devotion to agricultural and general obligations. He is a member of the Grange, to which he has belonged since the early days of its organization, and in which he has held practically every office within the gift of his fellow-members. In spite of the fact that his private interests have kept him busily occupied, he has always found the time and the incantation to assist in movements for the general welfare. He has worked faithfully in behalf of the movements for good roads, realizing that good roads are an aid to progress and prosperity, a benefit to the people who live in the cities and an advantage to those whose homes are in the country. Among other things, he was one of the prime movers in the securing of rural free delivery service, and was successful in having it installed in his township. In politics he is a stanch republican, but not a seeker of political preferment. He is also a worker in religious movements, and in the line of prohibition. Mr. Buckman has not forgotten his old army comrades, and is a valued member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Like her husband, Mrs. Bucknnan is an active worker in all good movements in the community, and both are held in the highest respect and confidence of the people among whom the best part of their lives has been spent.


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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