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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


Guy C. Biggs

GUY C. BIGGS is one of the leading farmers and stockmen of Blaine Township, in Lane County. He came to that county in the spring of 1900, but may be justly called a pioneer of Kansas, since he came to the state when a year-old infant with his parents, who located in Lincoln County.

He is a son of the late Alexander T. Biggs, who was a man of no little prominence in Lincoln County and was a veteran soldier of the Civil war. Alexander Biggs was born in Meigs County, Ohio, Julyy[sic] 31, 1843. He received his education by a "pine knot fire" before the war, and was teaching when that struggle between the states broke out. He enlisted in 1861 in the 18th Ohio Infantry, serving three months, and re-enlisted in Company A of the Second West Virginia Cavalry, with which command he served to the end of the war. He was a private in the ranks. He participated in the Shenandoah Valley campaign, at the battle of Winchester, and much of his service was as a scout in Virginia and West Virginia. He served under the gallant Sheridan and also under the intrepid General Custer. He went through the war without wounds or capture, was finally detailed for service as clerk in the quartermaster's department, and did not reach home until late in 1865.

In the meantime he had learned the shoemaker's trade, and after the war located at Chester, Ohio, working as a shoemaker until he moved to Kansas in 1871. He brought his family to this state on a boat to St. Louis and by rail to Ellsworth. His work up to that time had produced little surplus, and he brought very little money to take care of his family while getting started on the frontier. He homesteaded in Pleasant Township of Lincoln County, proved up and lived there during many years. A single quarter section was all he aspired to hold, since most of his time and attention were devoted to educational affairs in Lincoln County. He had troubles similar to those which the other pioneers of the county experienced, and in his early days he picked up buffalo bones and also worked at his trade to sustain the family.

In 1876 Alexander Biggs' was elected county superintendent of schools. During the six years he was in that office he organized most of the county into school districts and established the first Normal Institute there. As a reward for his service and in appreciation of his example and leadership, the teachers of the county gave him a rocking chair, which is now in the home of his son Guy, and a bookcase, which is also an article of furniture in the latter's home. From 1882 to 1888 he was out of office, and in the latter year was again elected superintendent of the county schools. This time he served four years. On retiring from office the second time he was presented with a gold watch inscribed "From your Lincoln county girls and boys." Alexander Biggs continued to teach during the winters and farmed in the summer seasons until he sold his place in Lincoln County, and in 1906 he moved to Lane County, spending his remaining years in Cheyenne Township. He died August 21, 1913. He began his political career as a republican, but subsequently became identified with the people's party movement and was elected as a populist for his last term as county superintendent. He was a campaigner in the Seventh District for Congressman Baker. With the passing of the populist party he became a socialist. In religion he was a Methodist. Alexander T. Biggs married Emma Cornell, a daughter of Dr. J. W. Cornell. She died in June, 1911. Her children are: Guy C.; Roy A.; and Anna, wife of Arthur Heaney, of Towner, Colorado.

Guy C. Biggs was born in Ohio, February 20, 1870. He received his education in the common schools of Lincoln County, and he followed the example of his father to the extent of one winter term of teaching in a country school. The duties of the home farm kept him engaged until he married, and he then started out as a corn and stock raiser. Mr. Biggs moved to Russell County in 1893, having his home in Plymouth Township, and in 1900 came to Lane County.

On his arrival in Lane County Mr. Biggs paid $425 for three quarter sections of land. Besides this capital he brought with him four horses and twenty-five head of cattle. That was the nucleus around which he has built his present prosperity. His homestead, a relinquishment, is the northeast quarter of section 27, township 17, range 30. His first home there was an old store building which he moved out from Healy. This served the purposes of a residence until 1915, when Mr. Biggs erected a substantial country home of eight rooms, with all the conveniences. Of all his land he has put a hundred sixty acres under the plow, has the entire tract fenced, and is now grading up his cattle with the Hereford strain and keeps a good grade of Percheron horses. Both horses and cattle have proved a source of reliable profit during his residence in Lane County. Mr. Biggs was also one of the original promoters of the Farmers' Elevator of Healy and is president of its board of directors.

In politics he cast his first vote as a populist, giving his ballot to James B. Weaver for president. The past six years he has been aligned with the socialist party. On the socialist ticket he was elected county commissioner of Lane County in 1912, and was re-elected in 1916. During his service on the board, in addition to the routine county matters, provision was made for a county high school, and it is now being built. Mr. Biggs was reared under church influences, but has not become a member of any denomination.

In Lincoln County, Kansas, November 27, 1890, he married Miss Lucinda Snyder. Mrs. Biggs was born December 17, 1872, the second of ten children. Her father, Peter Snyder, came to Kansas from Ohio in 1879, and became a farmer and is now living in Saline County. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Biggs are: Mabel; Harold, who is manager of the Farmers' elevator at Healy; Charles R., at the Great Lakes training station in the navy; and Billie. The daughter Mabel for the past seven years has been a teacher in the rural schools.


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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 4 - Table of Contents

Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

tcward@columbus-ks.com


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