LEVI LELAND CHANDLER has figured in the life of Chase County as a farmer, merchant, and in all those activities which sum up the public affairs of a community.
Most of his life since early childhood has been spent in Chase County. He was born on a farm near North Springfield, Vermont, December 3, 1867, and is a son of Roswell Henry and Mary Elizabeth (Leland) Chandler and is a brother of Charles H. Chandler, present state architect of Kansas. The Chandler family were colonial Americans and by grant of King George III the town or township of Chester in Windsor County, Vermont, was given to people of the name. The original Chandler homestead was kept by the family until about forty years ago. Roswell H. Chandler was born in Vermont, married in that state, and in 1876 moved to New Hampshire and in the spring of 1879 to Chase County, Kansas. Here he located on a farm seven miles south of Cottonwood Falls at the trading point known as Bazaar, a station on the old Santa Fe trail. Roswell Chandler and wife spent their remaining years in that community. He was elected in 1893 and in 1895 a representative in the State Legislature and for many years held the office of justice of the peace.
Levi L. Chandler grew up on his father's farm in Chase County from the age of twelve, and completed his education in the district schools. Later he attended the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan during 1896-97. While farming and stock raising in Chase County Mr. Chandler manifested unusual ability in that field, though his real forte is merchandising. During 1910-11 he was in the lumber business at Topeka and on returning to Chase County he opened a store at Bazaar and has the leading place of business in that old town.
As an active republican Mr. Chandler has been secretary of the Chase County Republican Central Committee and has filled various minor offices. He is a member of the Masonic Order and the Methodist Episcopal Church.
On November 29, 1905, Mr. Chandler married Miss Alice Goldie Moon, who left two children: Paul Eugene, born August 29, 1906, and Earl Leland, born January 28, 1908, and died October 21, 1909.
On November 1, 1916, Mr. Chandler married Caroline H. Breese, who was born at Mount Gilead, Ohio, and is a daughter of Capt. Sidney A. Breese, one of the pioneer characters of Kansas. Captain Breese was born at Mount Gilead, Ohio, October 20, 1836, a son of Alfred and Rachel (Lyon) Breese. His parents were natives of Morris County, New Jersey. Captain Breese first came to Kansas at the height of the territorial period of the border warfare, 1858. His first home was at Lawrence, but the following year he was appointed by the territorial governor as one of the census enumerators and his assignment included the present County of Chase. In the organization of Chase County in 1859 he took an active part and also in founding the Town of Cottonwood Falls, the county seat. He was a member of the first board of county commissioners, and the board held its first meetings in his cabin. Chase County was then on the extreme frontier and Indians were more numerous than the white settlers, while herds of buffalo were everywhere on the prairies. At Cottonwood Falls Captain Breese opened one of the first general stores. All merchandise was then hauled by wagon from Leavenworth. He served as register of deeds and in other county offices prior to the war. With the coming on of the war he went to Rolla, Missouri, to enlist in Company A of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry. He served as captain of that company under Col. Samuel M. Wood and was an active soldier almost four years, finally resigning on account of disablement from wounds. At the close of the war Captain Breese went back to his old home in Ohio, but in 1867 was again in Kansas at Cottonwood Falls. Here he opened a store, bought land, and thenceforward was one of the leading factors in the upbuilding of that section of country. Politically he was always a republican, and after the war he served as county clerk and clerk of the district court, and was also postmaster. He was a delegate to state conventions and usually controlled a large following in those bodies. He was a member of the Masonic order, a Presbyterian in religion, and was distinguished by a kindly and liberal brotherhood with all mankind. The death of this notable Kansas pioneer occurred at Cottonwood Falls September 29, 1903.
Captain Breese was twice married. May 19, 1864, he married Margaret Martin Irwin, who was born at Zanesville, Ohio, in 1839, daughter of William W. and Hannah (Finley) Irwin. William W. Irwin was born in Pennsylvania in 1797, his birth occurring in a block house on the frontier for protection against Indians. His wife was a native of Ohio. Captain Breese's first wife died at Mount Gilead, Ohio, in 1873. She was the mother of two children, the first being Mrs. Chandler, and the second, Margaret, who married in 1892 E. D. Replogle, a native of Pennsylvania. Mr. Replogle died in 1913, and they have one child, Sidney Breese Replogle.
In October, 1876, at Cottonwood Falls, Captain Breese married for his second wife Miss Theresa L. Young. She was born at Washington, Iowa. There are two sons of the second marriage: Harry Young, now a lumber merchant at Jetmore, Kansas; and Sidney Irwin, now a pharmacist at Caney, Kansas.
Mrs. Chandler is one of the accomplished women of the state. She was educated in the public schools of Cottonwood Falls and the University of Kansas at Lawrence, where she specialized in English and art. For ten years she was a teacher in the public schools of Cottonwood Falls and spent four years at Kingman and two years at Jetmore. Her interests and tastes have been developed by much study and extensive travel, covering almost the entire United States. Mrs. Chandler is an active member of the Kansas State Historical Society and is a charter member of the Shakespeare Club of Cottonwood Falls, one of the oldest literary clubs in Kansas. As an artist she has done work of more than local note, her favorite subject being landscapes.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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