William Eugene Peddycord

WILLIAM EUGENE PEDDYCORD. No individual in a community wields a greater influence in the molding and shaping of character than does the educator, and the capable, conscientious instructor often stands nearer to the hearts of the people than does their spiritual guide. On entering the schoolroom the child's mind is as plastic clay and is as readily made to take shape in the skilled hands of the educator. It is for this reason that the individuals who have charge of the education of the children of a community should be chosen with the greatest care; their responsibilities are grave and important - their acquirements and characters should be beyond reproach. In the person of William Eugene Peddycord, the people of Elk Falls have a superintendent of schools who possesses the necessary qualifications for the proper instruction of the young. He is the possessor of an excellent education, and as a young man of exemplary habits his influence and example should prove beneficial to the youths placed in his charge.

Mr. Peddycord was born at Wilsey, Morris County, Kansas, September 29, 1892, and is a son of L. M. and Mary (Schenck) Peddycord. He is of Scotch-Irish descent, and on the paternal side the family traces its ancestry back to colonial Pennsylvania. His grandfather, the Rev. Nathan T. Peddycord, was born in 1834, in Ohio, and the fact that he was a minister of the gospel did not prevent him from participation in the Civil war as a soldier of the Union army. As a young man he had joined the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and when his military duties were over he came to Kansas, where he preached for many years, traveling often from one pulpit to another and filling many charges. He was greatly beloved, not only in this state, but also in Texas, where he also ministered for a number of years, his death occurring in the Lone Star State, at Hager, in 1910, when he was seventy-six years of age. He married Mary Smith, who was born in Ohio, and who traces her ancestry back in America to John Quincy Adams. She still survives and resides at Hager, Texas, being seventy years of age.

L. M. Peddycord was born in 1866, in Indiana, and was reared and educated in the Hoosier State. He was twenty-three years of age when he located at Hamilton, Kansas, and, having learned the blacksmith trade in his youth, followed that vocation for several years. In 1891 he removed to the vicinity of Wilsey, Morris County, where he engaged in farming, and during the next seventeen years continued to till the soil as an agriculturist. In 1908 he gave up the plow for the forge, removing into Wilsey and resuming his trade, which he still follows as the proprietor of an establishment of his own. Mr. Peddycord is a republican in politics and has wielded some influence in party circles at Wilsay, where he has served as city clerk. With his family, he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his fraternal connection is with the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Peddycord married Miss Mary Schenck, who was born in Germany and came to the United States as a child, her parents first settling at Keokuk, Iowa, and subsequently removing to Hamilton County, Kansas, where they still reside. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Peddycord, namely: William Eugene; Lydia May, who has for several years been an educator and is now teaching in the school at Mulberry, Kansas; and Clyde, Ida Ruth, Dorothy and Lucille, who reside at home with their parents.

William Eugene Peddycord completed the graded school course at Wilsey and the sophomore year of the high school course, and in 1912 began his career as an educator when he began teaching in Morris County District No. 1. He remained there for one year, and then resumed his own studies, enrolling as a student at the State Normal Manual Training School at Pittsburg, Kansas, where he completed the junior and senior high school years in 1914. Once more he resumed teaching, this time at Midway, Crawford County, where he remained one year, and in 1915 went back to the State Normal Manual Training School, where he completed the freshman and sophomore college years in 1916. In 1915, while a student, he established the College Inn at Pittsburg, which he conducted for one year. He was one of the most popular students of the school, and was prominent in athletics, being one of the members of the football team, which won many honors on the gridiron. In order to complete his studies and at the same time to carry on his work as an educator, it was necessary that he attend the normal school during the time that he could find vacant, and this left him no leisure for vacations, but his ambition of securing an education was accomplished, and his hard work in this direction is but indicative of the spirit that is fashioning and characterizing his career. In the fall of 1916 Mr. Peddycord was offered and accepted the position of superintendent of schools of Elk Falls, and this he has retained to the present time. He has been esteemed for his thoroughness in instruction as well as his excellence in discipline, and his schools have invariably maintained a high standard of scholarship and deportment. Mr. Peddycord is a member of the Kansas Teachers' Association, the Southeastern Kansas Teachers' Association and the Elk County Teachers' Association, and in 1914 and 1915, while teaching in that county acted in the capacity of treasurer of the Crawford County Teachers' Association. He is a republican in politics, and his religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is a teacher in the Sunday school. Fraternally, he is affiliated with Pittsburg Lodge No. 187, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Mr. Peddycord is a young man of spirit, of enterprise, of resource and of executive ability, and the schools of Elk Falls should profit materially during his superintendency.

In 1913, at Pittsburg, Kansas, Mr. Peddycord was united in marriage with Miss Fannie Jane Oliver, daughter of James and Jane Oliver, residents of Pittsburg. Mr. Oliver, who is a miner by vocation, is one of the well known citizens of Pittsburg, and has served in the capacity of city commissioner. Mr. and Mrs. Peddycord have one son: James Munson, born December 9, 1914.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed by Jeremy McElhaney, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 1-28-99.

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