Charles Proctor

CHARLES PROCTOR. The men who came in the early days to Kansas and stuck to their posts in spite of discouragements and setbacks, have with few exceptions gained all the prosperity that a man of ordinary ambition could crave. Such men possessed character as well as the ability to do hard work, and it is not strange that many of the public honors have been given to such citizens.

One of this class in Cloud County is Mr. Charles Proctor of Miltonvale. He has lived a long and useful life and is now past fourscore. His years have ripened his judgment, and through all his experiences and relationships he has maintained unsullied a reputation for integrity of character. He was selected by the citizens of Miltonvale and adjacent territory to various offices of trust and responsibility and gave conscientious exactness to every public performance.

From 1888 to 1892 he served Cloud County as county clerk for two terms. He was county commissioner one term and on the school board several terms. He established a postoffice one-half mile west of what is now Miltonvale, where he was postmaster until resigning the office to R. T. Modrell. Mr. Proctor was elected the first president of the Home State and now the Drovers State Bank of Miltonvale, and he was succeeded in that position by his son-in-law, Mr. Culp.

Charles Proctor was born in Joe Daviess County, Illinois, in the extreme northwest corner of the state, November 10, 1835. His parents, Abel and Mary (Moffett) Proctor, were natives of Vermont and Maine respectively, and came to Galena, Illinois, in 1827 and were married there in 1829.

One of a family of seven children, Charles Proctor is the only one who identified himself permanently with the State of Kansas. As a young man, after completing his education in the public schools of that day, he became a salesman for the Manny Reaper Company. He was getting ahead in business affairs when the war broke out. After some of the early disastrous campaigns of the Union forces, he became convinced it was the duty of every loyal northern man to support the Government, and he therefore willingly enlisted and offered his services to the country. He became a member of Company K of the Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry and was in active service three years. At Prairie Grove, Arkansas, on December 7, 1862, he was captured, but was exchanged after two weeks. For meritorious conduct in the face of the enemy he was promoted to first sergeant in 1862. On March 26, 1863, he was commissioned second lieutenant of his company, and was discharged with that rank after having served three years, to the close of the war. He was present and an active participant in every battle in which his command had part, and of his company of forty-eight men thirty-two were killed during the service.

Following the war Mr. Proctor located in Macon City, Missouri, and was engaged in the implement business there for one year and for nine years was on a farm. In 1876 he drove a herd of cattle out to Kansas, bringing them to Cloud County and in the same year he settled here and has since made this his permanent home. He was early identified with business affairs at Miltonvale, where he opened a stock of drugs, and subsequently was in the insurance business.

He also took up a homestead in 1876 and later bought out two claims from other homesteaders. For one of these he paid $40. Thirteen acres had been cleared and the original owner agreed to plant this field in corn. The other claim was a timber lot, and Mr. Proctor bought it for $50. Forty acres were already cleared. That was the beginning of many successful investments he made, and he has built up practically a fortune, now represented by 1,040 acres. Most of his property adjoins Miltonvale on the west.

Mr. Proctor married Miss Caroline Hundley, a daughter of Joshua and Julia A. Hundley. To their marriage were born three children: Eva S., Ada C. and Charles A. The mother of these children died in 1891, and in 1894 he married her sister, Emily E. Hundley. Mr. Proctor keeps up associations with his old army comrades through his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. Politically he has always been a loyal advocate of republican principles and policies.


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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