FRANCIS HIBBARD LAMBERSON has been a factor in the agricultural development and business affairs of Rice County for a great many years. He came here comparatively poor, has prospered by his own efforts, and still owns a large amount of farm land in the county, though he is living retired at Lyons.
He was born in Allegany County, New York, May 24, 1847. His people in the paternal line were of Holland Dutch stock and were settlers in New York in colonial times. His grandfather, John Lamberson was born in Herkimer County, New York, spent his life as a farmer and died at Rushford in that state in 1867.
Anson Lamberson, father of Francis H., was born in Herkimer County in 1824, made farming his main business, though he was also extensively interested in cattle and livestock dealing and he died near Rochester, New York, in 1902, at the age of seventy-eight. He became affiliated with the republican party upon its organization. He married Amy Hibbard, who was born at Warsaw, New York, in 1826 and died in Lyons, Kansas, in 1910. Her father, Jonathan F. Hibbard, was born at Orwell, Rutland County, Vermont, in 1793, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and after that struggle he settled on what was then the western frontier at Warsaw in Wyoming County, New York. He lived the life of a farmer and finally came out to Kansas, dying at Lyons in 1883. He married a Miss Humphrey, a native of Vermont, who died in Wyoming County, New York. The Hibbards were of English stock and were Vermont settlers in colonial days. Anson Lamberson and wife had three children, Ralph, referred to in later paragraphs; Francis H., and Mary, who died at the age of seven years.
Francis Hibbard Lamberson acquired a common school education in Wyoming County, New York, and also attended the Pike Seminary there. At the age of eighteen he began working for himself, was employed on farms and for four years taught school in Wyoming County. In 1873 he went West to Battle Creek, Michigan, taught one winter in Kalamazoo County, and farmed in that section of Southern Michigan for four years. In 1877 he went back to New York, and farmed there about a year.
Mr. Lamberson came to Kansas in April, 1878, and located in Rice County. Here he bought 200 acres two miles south and four miles east of Lyons, but subsequently sold that, and has bought several tracts of land in this county, most of which he has developed into good farms. At the present time he is the owner of 480 acres in Rice County, each of the three farms containing a quarter section. One is located two miles south of Lyons, one at Saxman and one four miles east of Saxman. Mr. Lamberson in 1916 built two modern residences on Grand Avenue in Lyons and occupies one as his own home. He is also a director in the Lyons Exchange Bank.
Mr. Lamberson has had much to do with the public life of Rice County, having served six years as county commissioner, and for three years was trustee and assessor of Wilson Township. He is a democrat in politics and is an active member and trustee of the Christian Church.
In 1881, at Stafford, Kansas, he married Miss Alice May Guernsey, daughter of Levi and Hannah Guernsey. Her parents are both deceased. Her father was a farmer and brick manufacturer in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and finally came to Kansas and farmed for a brief interval in this state. Mr. and Mrs. Lamberson have four children, Floyd Anson, born July 21, 1882, is a farmer in Rice County; Ethel May, born July 22, 1884; Ray Guernsey, born May 6, 1886, is in the publishing and book business in Chicago; Amy Alice, born in October, 1894, is teacher of domestic science and music in Greenleaf in Washington County, Kansas.
Ralph Lamberson, brother of Francis H., is also an old resident of Rice County. He was born in Allegany county, New York, December 23, 1844, and worked at home on the farm until he was twenty years of age. He remained in New York farming until 1879, and then came to Kansas and bought a farm six miles southeast of Lyons. This farm was his home until 1905, and he now lives in Lyons but gives his active superintendence to one of the largest individual farming estates in the county. He owns 1,720 acres in Rice County and 320 acres in Sedgwick County. Some years ago he gave his daughter the 160 acres contained in the old homestead. For many years he carried on farming on the diversified plan and raised many carloads of thoroughbred cattle. He is a stockholder in the Lyons Exchange Bank and his home in that city is at Lyons and Wilson avenues. Politically he is a democrat.
In 1864, at Cuba, New York, he married Augusta Weaver, also a native of Allegany County of that state. Their one child, Mamie, is the wife of B. S. Barker, and they have a son, Ralph, born in 1901.
A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Sylvia Schlatter, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, January 26, 2000.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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