Transcribed from 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


Albert N. Curtis

ALBERT N. CURTIS. One of the most active among the operators in the Mid-Continent oil fields is Albert N. Curtis, an oil man with twenty-two years of experience behind him. Mr. Curtis, who now makes his headquarters at Chanute, came here from Ohio in 1903 and has since occupied a foremost position among producers, having drilled hundreds of wells and being interested at this time in oil and gas wells in four directions from the city. He was born at Monroe, Monroe County, Michigan, January 2, 1864, and is a son of Norman and Minerva (Choate) Curtis, and a member of a family which originated in England and settled in Massachusetts prior to the War of the Revolution.

Norman Curtis was born in 1832, at Dundee, Monroe County, Michigan, and passed his entire life in that state, where he was engaged in successful agricultural operations. In his later years he retired from active affairs and located at Detroit, in which city he passed away in 1906. Mr. Curtis took a leading part in political affairs and civic matters, was a stanch democrat, and served for a time as township supervisor. Fraternally, he was affiliated with the Masonic order. In 1861 he enlisted in a regiment of Michigan Volunteer Infantry, with which he served three years and three months, and then re-enlisted in the hospital corps and continued to act with that branch of the service until the close of the Civil war. He married Minerva Choate, who was born in 1838, at Monroe, Michigan, and they became the parents of four children: Clara, who is the wife of Frank Mulholland, a farmer of Monroe, Michigan; Isie, deceased, who was the wife of the late George Strayer, who was a farmer of Monroe County, Michigan; Albert N.; and Lottie, who died at the age of eighteen years.

Albert N. Curtis was educated in the public schools of his native county, and remained on the home farm until he was twenty-six years of age, at which time he left the parental roof and struck out for himself, renting a farm in the same county, on which he carried on fairly successful operations for four years. In 1894 he entered the oil business, receiving his introduction thereto in the fields of Ohio, where he became a contractor. He met with success in his enterprises in Sandusky and Wood counties in that state, and in June, 1903, came to Chanute, as a pioneer in the Mid-Continent field, where he has since been engaged in producing and contracting. Mr. Curtis is now producing north, south, east and west from Chanute, being interested in about 100 oil and gas wells, and his furthest property is twelve miles from the city. He has also drilled hundreds of wells and is justly accounted one of the experienced men in this industry, in which he has gained a wide reputation. Mr. Curtis is the owner of a 200-acre farm, located 2 1/2 miles west and one-half mile north of Chanute, and a residence at No. 501 West Fifth Street. His honorable dealing upon all occasions has given him an enviable reputation in business circles. Politically, Mr. Curtis exercises his right of franchise in behalf of the candidates and policies of the democratic party. He fraternizes with Hector Lodge No. 64, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Chanute Lodge No. 806, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and Chanute Tent No. 56, Knights of the Maccabees. He is also an active member of the Chanute Commercial Club.

Mr. Curtis was first married in 1891, at Monroe, Michigan, to Miss Emma Zoran, who died in December, 1913, at Chanute, leaving three children: Mabel, who resides at Monroe, Michigan; Emerson, who is the proprietor of a wardrobe cleaning business at Chanute; and Emma Thelda, who is attending the Chanute public schools. Mr. Curtis was again married, in March, 1915, at Chanute, to Mrs. Ethel (Scott) Craeg, the widow of Ben Craeg, who was an employe of the Chicago & Alton Railroad.


Transcribed from volume 4, page 2135 of 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; originally transcribed October 1997, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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