ROBERT S. CARDEN is a farmer and stock raiser in Garfield Township of Pawnee County. He came to this section of Kansas a young man poor and with his possibilities untested. His success has been due largely to unremitting industry, and wise direction and conduct of his business affairs. He now owns a beautiful home half a mile south of Garfield, overlooking that town, and commanding a view extending for miles up and down the Arkansas Valley.
Mr. Carden was born in Hart County, Kentucky, November 20, 1880. His grandfather, Jesse Carden, was of English stock and of old American lineage. Jesse Carden had two sons, Alfred and Madison, who were Hart County farmers, while others of the family lived in another section of Kentucky.
Madison Carden, father of Robert S., was born in Virginia and accompanied his parents from that state into Kentucky when he was a child. He was a modest farmer, grew much tobacco and was fond of blooded live stock. He was actively identified with church work as a Baptist. He died in 1898, at the age of sixty-three. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Hardwick, died in the same year as her husband at the age of fifty-seven. Her father, Willis Hardwick, was a native of Scotland and a Kentucky farmer. Two of the Hardwick sons lived in Kentucky, one a merchant and the other a farmer. Madison Carden and wife had the following children: Willis, a farmer in Hart County, Kentucky; James and Jesse, twins, the former in Hart County, Kentucky, and the latter in Newton County, Missouri; Addie, wife of H. S. Clymer, of Clinton, Oklahoma; Emma, who married Charles Hatcher, of Garfield, Kansas; and Robert S.
Robert S. Carden was only eighteen years of age when his parents died. He had lived on a Kentucky farm, had been educated in the country schools and other experiences were work as a farm laborer at monthly wages in Kentucky. In 1900 he came to Pawnee County, Kansas, being induced to come here by the presence of old Kentucky friends. His first experience in Western Kansas was as clerk in an implement store at Larned. Subsequently he removed to Garfield, married there, and started farming. He began farming on the shares. His implements were furnished him, and he had a team which was only partly paid for. The first year he made a splendid crop, and from that time to the present has pinned his faith in wheat. For three years he rented land, and then bought the heirs' interest in his wife's estate, mortgaging it for $2,600. The next two years his wheat crop paid off the mortgage.
Mr. Carden now owns 320 acres, but his farming enterprise is conducted on a large additional acreage. In the way of permanent improvements he added in 1916 a modern nine-room residence. He also has a barn 60 by 56 feet, with room for the storage of 100 tons of feed stuff, with granaries of 5,000 bushels capacity, and he also has a group of buildings including a garage and various sheds for implements and stock.
The best wheat crop he has had came in 1914, when he harvested 15,200 bushels from 524 acres. In 1915 there were 6,000 bushels from 400 acres. In 1916, from his fields of 385 acres, he threshed only 8,200 bushels, but the remarkable price of that year made his crop perhaps financially more profitable than at any other time.
However, Mr. Carden is not exclusively a wheat and grain farmer. He gives some attention to the Percheron horses and has fed and fattened and shipped a number of cattle. As a public spirited citizen he has served as a member of the Garfield School Board. Politically he is a democratic voter but believes in exerting his influence in behalf of the man rather than the party, especially in local affairs. He takes a hand in church work, and Mrs. Carden is active in the Congregational denomination. Fraternally Mr. Carden is a member of the Masonic Lodge and of the Modern Woodmen of America.
On February 16, 1905, he married for his first wife Miss Gertrude E. Phelps, daughter of one of the pioneers of Pawnee County and a sister of Mr. Harry D. Phelps of Garfield. Mrs. Carden died December 7, 1910. Her two children are Howard Phelps and May Pauline. On December 20, 1911, in Pawnee County, Mr. Carden married Miss Anna Nystrom. Her father, Frederick Nystrom, was one of the Swedish pioneers of Pawnee County and died in Garfield in 1916, at the age of eighty-three, leaving two children, Mrs. Carden and Fred Nystrom, now of Edwards County, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Carden have one son, Harold Robert.
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.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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