Transcribed from 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


James A. Templeton

JAMES A. TEMPLETON. One of the most important industries of the southeastern part of Kansas is the production of oil, a business that has enlisted the best talents of skilled men from every part of this and other states, and of the men who are devoting their energies to this line of endeavor few are better known than is James A. Templeton, of Caney. Mr. Templeton has been engaged in this business from early youth and his success therein has been brought about through a combination which includes a thorough knowledge of conditions, business talent of a high order and constant, unremitting industry.

Mr. Templeton is a native of London, Province of Ontario, Canada, where he was born July 11, 1871, a son of David and Sarah (Sumner) Templeton. The family originated in Scotland, from whence the grandfather of Mr. Templeton emigrated to Canada as a young man. David Templeton was born in 1849, at London, Ontario, and at the age of twenty-five years went to Petrolia, where he still resides. He has been an oil operator all his life, and has followed the opening of new fields in various parts of America, having for several years been largely interested in the Pennsylvania wells. He is still active in business, although now sixty-seven years of age, and through his operations has built up a large business and accumulated a handsome property. Mr. Templeton is a conservative in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for the past thirty years has been active in church work. David Templeton is a member of the Order of Foresters. He married Sarah Sumner, who was born in 1850, at Armada, Michigan, and they have had nine children, as follows: James A., of this notice; Maude, who married first Alex McAlester, who was killed in South America while drilling oil wells, and she is now the wife of David Clark, a fruit ranch owner and resides at Los Angeles, California; Etta, who married first Arthur Rouse, an oil well driller, now deceased, and she is now the wife of John Battice, an oil producer and oil worker, and resides at Petrolia, Canada; David, an oil producer residing on South Main Street, Caney; Rosa, who is the wife of Arthur Thompson, a tinsmith of Petrolia, Canada; Lula, who is the wife of Earl Sumner, a mechanic in the employ of the Ford automobile factory at Detroit, Michigan; Seth, who is an oil well driller and resides on North Wood Street, Caney; Roy, who is an oil worker of Coffeyville, Kansas; and Ernest, a journeyman barber, who does much traveling in different parts of the country.

James A. Templeton attended the public schools of Petrolia, Canada, until he was fourteen years of age, at which time he began working on a farm, a vocation which he followed for two years. He then entered upon the work in which he was to make his success, his first experience being gained in the Petrolia fields. He next went to the Island of Borneo, where he remained for two years and six months, then returning to Petrolia, where he spent another two years. His next location was Humboldt, Kansas, where he arrived in September, 1903, then to Chanute, Kansas, in 1905, next to Coffeyville, in October, 1909, and finally to Caney, where he arrived in 1910. Since that time he has been located at Caney, devoting himself to the business of oil and gas producing and contracting. He has gradually built up a profitable business, and at this time has fifteen producing oil and gas wells in Chautauqua County, Kansas. In addition to his home, at No. 210 Wood Street, he owns other real estate at Caney and Chanute. Mr. Templeton is a republican. He belongs to the Maccabees of the World, Caney Lodge of Odd Fellows No. 323, Caney Lodge of the Modern Woodmen of America, No. 941, and Caney Lodge of Elks, No. 1215. He also has a twenty-year endowment policy in the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, whose main offices are at Toronto, Canada. Few men have a larger acquaintance in the oil and gas business than has Mr. Templeton, who is justly accounted an authority in his field.

On September 11, 1900, Mr. Templeton was married at Petrolia, Canada, to Miss Sarah Ann Leach, daughter of the late George Leach, who was an oil producer of the Dominion.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1886-1887 of 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; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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