William C. Roughton

WILLIAM C. ROUGHTON, editor and proprietor of the Manchester Motor in Dickinson County, with his wife as local editor, has been identified either with the printing trade or with newspaper work since early boyhood. His father was at one time proprietor of the Jetmore Republican. The Roughton family is one of the earliest names that occur in the history of Hodgeman County. At Jetmore in that county William C. Roughton was born September 21, 1882. He is a son of Columbus E. and Amanda (Wilson) Roughton. Columbus E. Roughton, who was born in Yadkin County, North Carolina, in 1843, a son of Josiah L. Roughton, grew up on a North Carolina farm and being in active sympathy with the Union and the North he refugeed out of that country at the outbreak of the war. For a time he was employed as a horse buyer by the United States army and later was employed as assistant wagon master in the quartermaster's department until the close of the war. He then located at Mattoon, Illinois, and farmed in that recently cyclone devastated country until 1868.

In that year he made his first visit to Kansas for the purpose of viewing out a new home. However, he did not permanently locate in the state for ten years, in the meantime resuming his work as an Illinois farmer. In 1878 Columbus E. Roughton went to the western frontier of Kansas and secured a tract of Government land in Hodgeman County, one year prior to the organization of that county. He was one of the very first settlers and was active and influential when the county was organized and had a part in the founding of Jetmore as the county seat in 1879. He was elected commissioner of the second district at the first election of officers in that county, being re-elected three consecutive terms. In the sessions of 1901-03 he represented Hodgeman County in the State Legislature having been elected on the democratic ticket. He had been a republican up to 1896. Columbus E. Roughton has been a farmer, merchant, hotel man and newspaper proprietor at Jetmore for many years. In 1895 he took over the Jetmore Republican and was its editor and publisher for a number of years. He served as the first postmaster at Jetmore and in 1912 was again appointed to that office and is still officiating in that capacity.

In 1875 Columbus E. Roughton married Amanda Wilson, who was born at Charleston, Illinois, in 1850. She died at Jetmore in 1911. She was very devoted to her religious duties and active in the Methodist Episcopal Church. They had five children: Mabel Louise, born in 1876, is the wife of Charles L. Christy, of Dodge City, Kansas; the second in age is William C.; the younger daughter is Ethel L., who was born in 1888 and is now the wife of Wilber Lester, of Jetmore and two children, Clifford and Cora, died in infancy

William C. Roughton has the distinction of having been the first male child born at Jetmore. He attended the public schools there and at the age of eleven was working in his father's office and learning the printing trade. He followed the trade continuously until 1908, when he bought the Dresden Sunflower, of which he was editor and publisher for six years. In 1915 Mr. Roughton acquired the Manchester Motor of Manchester in Dickinson County. This paper was founded in 1910 by Frank E. Pattee. Mr. Roughton is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Mrs. Roughton is a member of the Christian Church.

At Concordia, Kansas, June 16, 1904, he married Miss Mabel E. Evans, of Kansas. Mrs. Roughton, who is a very capable and energetic woman and does the work of local editor for the Manchester Motor, was born in Bates County, Nebraska, December 25, 1885. To their marriage have been born five children, two sons and three daughters: Alpha Wilma, born, March 18, 1905; Norma Julia, born, June 20, 1908; Clifford Evans, born January 2, 1911; William Clyde, born January 16, 1913; and Roma Lucile, born December 9, 1916, and died January 11, 1917.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Bradley K. Cox, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, December 1, 1999.

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