Shepard Keene Linscott

SHEPARD KEENE LINSCOTT. The late Shepard Keene Linscott, who was born March 6, 1837, and died December 11, 1905, represented in the best sense the highest type of American manhood. A farm near Chesterville, Maine, was the place of his nativity and he was the only son of Shepard and Esther (Keene) Linscott. The house in which he was born was built by his grandfather, Samuel Linscott, who was a soldier of the Revolutionary war.

When but sixteen years of age, Shepard Keene Linscott left the parental roof and became a pioneer farmer of Henry County, Indiana. Realizing the importance of an education, he became a student at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, and while there met, and on March 8, 1858, married Myra Simmons. That he might contribute his mite to the preservation of the Union, he became a member of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry and served in Alabama and Mississippi until after peace was declared. It is worthy of note that he was one of the few soldiers of the Civil war who never applied for a pension, although legally entitled to one. From Illinois Mr. Linscott moved to Washington County, Iowa, and there engaged in mercantile pursuits at Dayton, and later at Washington, and still later was identified with the lumber business at Seymour. His wife died in Iowa after bearing him two children: a boy that died when three years old, and Esther J., who is now the wife of Theodore Saxon, of Topeka, Kansas. On April 19, 1866, Mr. Linscott was married to Miss Josephine Mallett.

In the spring of 1872 Mr. Linscott moved to Kansas and located at Holton. Gifted with more than an ordinary degree of practical sense, he prospered and became widely and favorably known in business circles. For a time he was cashier of the Holton Exchange Bank and later founded the banking house of S. K. Linscott, of which he was president for nearly a third of a century, his sound judgment and keen foresight enabling the institution to grow to great proportions. Among bankers of the state he was known as a sound, conservative financier, whose first thought always was for the safety of his depositors' interests, and who could be depended upon to carry his banking craft safely through the troubled waters in time of financial storms.

Mr. Linscott was always an upbuilder in whatever community he centered his activities. In Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in Mexico, he helped to open new countries--always a pioneer who did not depend upon others to promote and foster the things which made for advancement, but on his own initiative organized and supported these movements, contributing his brains, his energies and his means. He was a benefactor of Campbell University second only to but one other man. To him more than to any other probably, Jackson County is indebted for the introduction of tame grasses and of an improved breed of stock. He loved to see animated nature and to learn from it the lesson of wisdom placed in the Holy Writ for our guidance. Foremost of all was his love of home and family. Here Mr. Linscott's fullness of love was made most manifest. To his descendants he left a name unsullied and a reputation undimmed. A friend said: "Whatever Mr. Linscott was in the community, he was more in the family circle. There he was pre-eminent in good qualities. He was a perfect gentleman in the family." Always courteous, after the manner of the old-style gentleman, he was known as the personification of gentleness. Tender, loving, helpful, wise, an instructor and advisor in all that was good, his place can never be adequately filled. As a boy, man, soldier and in his business relations, his life was blameless. The world is better because Shepard Keene Linscott lived in it.

To Mr. Linscott's second marriage there were born seven sons, of whom six grew to maturity. Mr. Linscott was a democrat in politics and a member of the Masonic fraternity.


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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