William R. Lott

WILLIAM R. LOTT. A resident of Kansas since 1893, William R. Lott came to this state to secure feeding grounds close to the central market. He had for a number of years been extensively engaged in ranching in New Mexico, and is one of the men most familiar with the life of that former territory, especially of conditions there twenty-five-or thirty years ago.

The fact that he went to New Mexico and sought his fortunes in a country and period where only the strong and the courageous survive is sufficient to indicate the independence and enterprise of Mr. Lott. As a matter of fact he has had to exercise the quality of self reliance since early boyhood. He was born in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, June 19, 1854, one of nine children, three of whom are still living, born to Dennison and Eunice (Camp) Lott. His father was a blacksmith by trade, though for the most part he followed farming, and for many years held the office of justice of the peace in Pennsylvania, where he died. His widow later removed to Illinois with a son and spent the rest of her days in DeKalb County of that state.

Left fatherless at the age of sixteen, William R. Lott then and there began to depend upon himself for a livelihood and for his advancement in fortune. He had a common school education as the basis of his practical experience.

It was in 1882 that Mr. Lott went to New Mexico Territory. There he became familiar with the livestock business in all its details, and the raising of sheep was his principal occupation. New Mexico at that time had its quota of Indians who would sometimes escape the vigilance of the United States troops and go on the warpath. There were many noted desperadoes and outlaws who also found it a safe haven for their operations. Then as now a large part of the population was Mexican. Altogether the conditions were such as to test the fortitude and ability of the strongest man. Mr. Lott had the good fortune to experience no special difficulties with either the Indians or the outlaws, and though he met some discouraging circumstances and disasters, he was on the whole fairly successful as a rancher.

Finally in order to give his children better educational advantages and to secure feeding ground for his stock, he moved to Kansas and bought a quarter section of land practically adjoining the limits of the City of Topeka. He has lived there for the past thirteen years, has engaged in farming in a limited way, has handled stock extensively and he also operates a stone crusher on his property, where large quantities of suitable stone for that purpose can be found. Mr. Lott is a republican who confines his politics to voting and the conduct of himself as a loyal American citizen.

In 1876 in Pennsylvania he married Rebecca Clark. Five children were born to their union: Lloyd D.; Cleo, who is Mrs. Alfred Long; May E., who is Mrs. Charles Kilmer; Harold; and Irene, who died in infancy in New Mexico.


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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