E. W. Buffon

E. W. BUFFON. For the greater part of twenty years Edmund Woodbridge Buffon has been engaged in educational work and is now superintendent of the city schools of Centralia. He is a highly educated gentleman and has made his influence a decided factor in Nemaha County in other ways than as a school man.

Mr. Buffon was born at Beatrice, Nebraska, November 30, 1875, but has lived in Kansas since early childhood. His ancestry goes back to Denmark. His great-grandfather came from that country and settled in one of the New England states. Mr. Buffon's grandfather, George Buffon, was born in Vermont. His wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Chipman was a native of the same state. They were married in Ashtabula County, Ohio, and were the first couple given license to be married in that county. They were farming people and subsequently removed to the vicinity of Danville, Illinois, where both of them died.

Mr. Buffon is a son of the late Dr. Charles Woodbridge Buffon, who was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio, in 1823. He spent his early life in Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan, became a successful physician, practiced at Waterloo, Iowa, and during the Civil war served four years as a surgeon in the One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry. After the war he removed to Beatrice, Nebraska, and in 1878 came to Jackson County, Kansas, where he was in successful practice up to the age of seventy-five. He finally retired and he died at the home of his son Edmund at Powhattan, Kansas, in 1915. Politically he was a republican. Doctor Buffon was three times married. By his first wife he had a son, Hugh, who served as a private soldier in the One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He is now deceased. Doctor Buffon had no children by his second wife. Edmund W. is the only child by his marriage to Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Bickley) Ross, who was born in Staffordshire, England, in 1840 and died at Denison, Kansas, in 1902. Her mother Mrs. Bickley came with her family to Jackson County, Kansas, in 1856, being among the earliest settlers there. The Bickleys drove across the prairies in wagons to their home on what was then the Kansas frontier.

Edmund Woodbridge Buffon grew up in Jackson County, Kansas, attended the public schools there, and subsequently in the intervals of his teaching studied at Campbell University, from which he received the degree Bachelor of Pedagogy in 1914. Mr. Buffon began teaching at Union Star, Missouri, in 1898, was there two years, was subsequently principal of the Denison, Kansas, schools for four years, and following that was a Jackson County farmer three years. On leaving the farm he served two years as superintendent of schools at Mayetta, was superintendent at Powhattan five years, and in 1916 accepted his present post as superintendent of the city schools of Centralia.

Mr. Buffon is now president of the Nemaha County Teachers' Association and is active in the Kansas State Teachers' Association. He is a member of the Methodist Church, is superintendent of the Sunday school, and is affiliated with Powhattan Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Holton Chapter Royal Arch Masons, and the Home Camp, No. 1356, of the Modern Woodmen of America at Centralia. Mr. Buffon was barely twenty-one years of age when he was elected to his first public office as clerk of Cedar Township in Jackson County. As a republican he has served as township committeeman.

Mr. Buffon married at Denison, Kansas, in 1900, Miss Minnie M. Gates, daughter of Merritt C. and Elizabeth (Lydick) Gates. The parents reside at Centralia, where her father is a retired merchant. Mr. and Mrs. Buffon have five children: Marjorie born February 20, 1901; Merritt W., born June 25, 1903; Mildred, born August 21, 1907; Beulah, born July 28, 1910; and Ralph, born January 5, 1915.


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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