William Oliver

WILLIAM OLIVER has been a resident of Kansas more than thirty years, and during the past fifteen years has carried on some very prosperous activities as a farmer and truck raiser in the vicinity of Topeka.

He was born in Iowa County, Wisconsin. His father Evan Oliver was born in Wales in 1830, and came to America in 1836 when a boy of six years, his parents settling near Dodgeville, Wisconsin. The Olivers were pioneers in Wisconsin Territory, and pursued farming and developed a fine homestead which members of the family occupied for a great many years. In 1856 Evan Oliver married Catherine James of Iowa County. To their union were born eleven children and those still living are. William, Emma, Mary, Evelyn, Elizabeth, Charles, David, Eugene and Thomas. Emma resides in Joliet, Illinois, Mary in Spring Valley, Illinois, Evelyn in Chicago, Elizabeth in Joliet, Charles on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, David in Braidwood, Illinois, Eugene at Chicago Heights, Illinois, and Thomas at Joliet, Illinois. Evan Oliver, the father of these children was a member of the Congregational Church, which he served as an official, and was a man of kind and affectionate disposition, and highly esteemed. Soon after his son William removed out to Republic County, Kansas, Evan started to visit him there. On reaching Doniphan County, Kansas, he became temporarily deranged, left the train, and for thirty days wandered on the river bluffs without nourishment. On account of this exposure and his advanced years he died in 1886.

William Oliver spent his early life in Wisconsin, receiving a fair education, and developing the powers of his mind and body adequate for the responsibilities of mature life. On leaving Wisconsin he moved to Will County, Illinois, and from there came to Republic County, Kansas, in 1877. Locating at Wayne in Republic County he carried on a hardware business for a number of years, but in 1901 sold out and came to Shawnee County, establishing his home half a mile south of the State farm for two years. In 1904 he bought ten acres near Topeka on the Rochester road, and added to it sixteen acres more which he has successfully and profitably employed in the raising of potatoes and corn. He has also developed a very attractive home. As a potato raiser he ranks among the leaders, especially in the high yield per acre, some seasons his fields having produced as much as two hundred and fifty bushels to the acre. In 1877 Mr. Oliver married Miss Phoebe Ann Fletcher of Will County, Illinois. She died in June, 1913.


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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