Harry O. Sutcliff

HARRY O. SUTCLIFF is superintendent of the city schools of Wheaton in Pottawatomie County. Mr. Sutcliff is still young, with life before him, but has already proved an instrument of great service in the educational affairs of his native state.

He was born on a farm in Jewell County, Kansas, January 14, 1891. The Sutcliff family has lived in this state for over thirty-five years. His grandfather, Robert Sutcliff, was born in England in 1820 and came when a young man to the United States, living in Illinois until 1880, when he removed to Jewell County, Kansas, and followed farming in that locality until his death in 1895.

R. M. Sutcliff, father of Harry O., was born near Pontiac in Livingston County, Illinois, March 4, 1861. When he was nineteen he accompanied his father and stepmother to Kansas, and for many years was a successful teacher. Most of his work as an educator was done in Jewell County, though he has taught in other sections of Western Kansas for several years. He homesteaded a claim of 160 acres in Scott County, but after five years, having proved up, sold that and gave his attention to other affairs. He was honored with the office of county clerk of Scott County. Politically he was a democrat and a very useful and active member of the Christian Church. His death occurred in Concordia, Kansas, in January, 1917. He was affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America. R. M. Sutcliff married Barbara Oberly, who was born in Germany in 1862 and is now living in Osborne County, Kansas. Harry O. Sutcliff is the youngest of their three children. R. A. Sutcliff, the oldest, is a dentist practicing at Twin Falls, Idaho. Juanita, the only daughter, graduated Bachelor of Science from the State Agricultural College of Manhattan and is now a teacher in the high school at Wellington, Kansas.

Harry O. Sutcliff spent his early life in the rural districts of Jewell County, where he learned his first lessons in the public schools. In 1910 he graduated from the high school at Mankato and then taught a year in one of the country districts of his native county. Mr. Sutcliff was a student of the State Agricultural College of Manhattan one year. His service as superintendent of the schools at Wheaton has been continuous since the fall of 1912. He has done much to instill new interest into local school affairs and has improved and strengthened the course and made it more adequate for the service demanded of a modern town school.

In addition to his work as superintendent of schools Mr. Sutcliff is justice of the peace in Lone Tree Township of Pottawatomie County. He is a member of the Pottawatomie County and the Kansas State Teachers' Associations. He is independent in politics and a member of Wheaton Camp No. 3695, Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Sutcliff owns a farm in Jewell County.

In his native county in 1910 he married Miss Lela A. Walker, daughter of J. C. and Minnie (Ayers) Walker, who still live in Jewell County. Her father came to Kansas in 1874. Mrs. Sutcliff is a graduate of the Mankato High School and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They have one child, Max, born June 12, 1911.


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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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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