ALEXANDER ELSWORTH ADDINGTON. In the southwestern part of Kansas, and particularly in Morton County, a country that has developed strikingly in recent years, there reside numerous men who have been part and parcel of the early life of the state in other sections and who have more recently come to their new surroundings, where they have continued to succeed and to add new prosperity to what has gone before. Alexander Elsworth Eddington belongs to the pioneer era of settlement of this southwestern region and is a ranchman and farmer of Morton County, his home being on section 27, township 32, range 43, where he has resided since 1899. He is almost a native Kansan, having grown up in the state since he was two years of age, when his parents moved to Jefferson County and settled near Tonganoxie.
Mr. Addington was born in Iowa, December 28, 1864, and lived along the line of Marion and Ringgold counties until 1866, when the family came overland to Kansas, crossing the Missouri River at Saint Joseph and locating on railroad land in Jefferson County purchased by his father. With the exception of a few years spent in Baca County, Colorado, where he proved up a claim, the father lived the rest of his life in Jefferson County. He was Branson Lee Addington, whose life was devoted chiefly to farming and soldiering, he having passed through the Civil war as a member of an Iowa volunteer infantry regiment. He was born at, or near, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and when still a single man left that locality with his parents, the family going to Iowa. He was able to secure only a limited education, and began farming for his serious vocation in life, and when still young was married and settled down to home-making. Shortly thereafter, when he was still a youth in his 'teens, he joined Company G, Fourth Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in which his father and two brothers were also private soldiers. Of the four he was the only one to return alive. Mr. Addington was with General Sherman's army during the Atlanta campaign and its march to the sea, and was taken prisoner on one occasion by the enemy, but escaped before his captors had a chance to place him in confinement. One of his brothers was sent to the notorious Andersonville prison, and his other brother and his father died of wounds. Mr. Addington never forgot his comrades of the Union blue, and for many years following the war was active in the work of the Grand Army of the Republic. In politics he was a stanch republican, was a Free Will Baptist in his religion, and took some interest in fraternal work, being a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He died near Jefferson, Kansas, December 27, 1901, at the age of sixty-one years.
Branson L. Addington married Rebecca Cade, a daughter of an Iowa farmer who was originally from Kentucky, and she survived him and lives at McLouth, Kansas, having reached the age of seventy-seven years. Their children were: Jeremiah B., of North Yakima, Washington; Ulysses Sherman, of Lecompton, Kansas, with the Santa Fe Railroad Company; and Alexander Elsworth, of this notice. The grandfather of Alexander F. Addington was also named Branson Lee Addington, and was a farmer. His family comprised: Branson Lee, Clinton, Sylvester and Teresa, the wife of Samuel McCord, of Oakdale, Nebraska.
Alexander Elsworth Addington secured his education in the country schools, but it was a very limited one. Like many other lads the spirit of play ofttimes got the better of him. He was indisposed to study, and on many occasions played truant, so that he did not make rapid progress, but when he came to full manhood he was able to read and write and to do a little "ciphering." He had come to his majority when he began to make his own way in the world, and on his arrival in the West entered land in Baca County, Colorado. When he came to a realization of the serious business of life Mr. Addington did not neglect it as he had his studies, and it is his boast that he has worked but one-half day in his life on public work for wages. When he entered Colorado he brought, beside his wife and child, three horses and $35 in cash, and his first home was a "hole in the ground," which he covered over, and into which he was forced to crawl for an entrance. There he commenced as a farmer, although his region was a cattle country, but, as he expresses it, he "came West with blood in the eye to farm." The venture, however, did not prove an unqualified success; in fact there were times eventually when he could not place his hand upon the price of a two-cent stamp with which to write home. He could not leave, for the expense of moving was not forthcoming and he could not walk, for there were too many children in the family. So he had no alternative but to stick it out and to enter the cattle business. Some time before he had secured his first cowa borrowed onewhich he milked for two years before it was presented to his wife by his father. He was urged to enter the cattle business by friends long before he did so, but finally followed the Beaty Brothers' advice and their backing and waded in. John Beaty proved his strong friendship and, as he did with many other settlers, furnished him with cattle to pasture by the head, a powerful source of income to Mr. Addington at that time. From that time forward he continued to pursue the cattle industry, and every dollar above his mere living expenses he invested in livestock, at the same time preempting a tree claim and a preemption, proving them both up.
Mr. Addington sold his Colorado lands to the Boice Cattle Company in 1899, and, as before noted, returned to Kansas, where he owns the south half of section 27, township 32, range 43, while his pasture embraces five sections and extends west to the Colorado-Kansas line. In addition to running 1,000 head of cattle, chiefly White Faces, he is making an effort at horse-raising of the Hamiltonian and Steel Dust blood, and is breeding mules also. In this latter direction there has come to him an excellent profit. Recently he has stocked up with sheep in a new venture, experimenting with Black Tips and Mexican ewes.
Mr. Addington has not been a seeker after public preferment, but has not dodged his responsibilities in the way of performing the duties of citizenship. While a resident of Baca County, Colorado, he served as a member of the school board of his district from the time of his settlement until his coming to Kansas. In Kansas he has served several years in a like capacity. He was trustee of Taloga Township for a period of six years, and has declined to act as a member of the board of commissioners of Morton County. His public service has been a splendid one, characteristic of the ability and energy which he puts into everything that he does. Beginning his voting by casting his first presidential ballot for Benjamin Harrison in 1888, Mr. Addington has been steadfast in his support of the republican party.
On November 1, 1886, Mr. Addington was united in marriage to Miss Annie E. Perry, a daughter of Benjamin Perry, of McLouth, Kansas. Mr. Perry came to Kansas from Indiana, married Lucy White, a Kentuckian by nativity, and spent his life in agricultural pursuits. Mr. Perry was an old soldier, having enlisted in a volunteer Indiana artillery regiment during the Civil war, shortly following which struggle he came to the locality of Eastern Kansas. At the present time he is engaged in farming in the vicinity of McLouth. He is a man of industry, and is well and favorably known in his community. There were four daughters and five sons in the Perry family, and Mrs. Addington was born in Jefferson County, Kansas, November 24, 1867. Her sad death occurred on the ranch October 3, 1913, being mourned by her family and a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. She was the mother of the following children: Grace, who became the wife of Norton J. Close, of Kingsdown, Kansas, and has three children; Mabel L., who married A. J. Posey and died in Morton County, leaving two children; Emery Lee, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in the vicinity of the ranch of his father, married Lucy Latham and has one son; Walter Ben, who was his father's associate in his stock raising operations until he volunteered as a soldier for the big war; Ethel Marie, who married Jesse Williams, of Morton County, and has a son; Bert, of the home ranch, who married Nola Fern Hirt; Roy Alexander, who was a student at the Salt City Business College, but still belongs to the home; Claude V., who is assisting his father on the home ranch; and Elton E. and Kenneth Jason, who reside with their father.
Mr. Addington has never made a formal declaration of joining any religious denomination or body, but is a man who respects religion and who holds to the doctrine of the Society of Friends. As a fraternalist he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and to the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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