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.


Wallace D. Cleaver

WALLACE D. CLEAVER. Many of the substantial activities of Clark County revolve around the name of Wallace D. Cleaver, one of the early settlers Of that part of Kansas and a prosperous farmer and business man of Brown Township. A little business community and settlement and formerly a postoffice in that township is known as Cleaverdale and is one among many other evidences of Mr. Cleaver Is influence and work as a factor in the county.

Mr. Cleaver came to Clark County, Kansas, in January, 1889, direct from Clark County, Illinois. He was born in Shelby County, Indiana, April 19, 1862, and was two years old when his parents moved to Clark County, Illinois. He had a very good education in the public schools and was reared and trained as a farmer. On reaching his majority he went to work as a farm hand and his subsequent prosperity has been a net result of his unaided efforts and good management. Mr. Cleaver came to Clark County, Kansas, in company with an uncle, William T. Flood, who for ten years was a well known resident of the Minneola region of Clark County.

In Kansas Mr. Cleaver continued for a time as a farm hand. He married in this county, and he and his wife then spent eighteen months at his old Illinois home. On returning to Kansas he engaged in merchandising and had the only store at Minneola, while Mrs. Cleaver was postmaster. When her term expired the family moved to Ashland, and they became proprietors of the Aldine Hotel there. From Ashland Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver moved to a farm in the old Letitia neighborhood and more recently Cleaverdale. They took possession of the L. Snyder farm and have since been busily engaged in improving and cultivation it as owners. Perhaps the most important crops have been sorghum and corn. Formerly Mr. Cleaver engaged in the cattle business at a time when stock was cheap and prices low and little profit was to be made. He gave that up to become a grain raiser. He sowed two crops of wheat. In 1914 his field threshed twenty-five bushels to the acre while the crop of 1917 was a total failure. Mr. Cleaver owns 240 acres, 180 acres in farm lands. All the farm has in the way of improvements has been added during his ownership. He and his family enjoy the comforts of a six-room house, his barn is 16 by 40 feet, and he has a granary of 1,200 bushels capacity. The farm and the fields are completely fenced and cross-fenced.

Mr. Cleaver took a prominent part in interesting the farmers of this section in utilizing the privileges of the Federal Farm Loan Board. He was made a member and one of the directors of the local board of that organization. Politically he is a democrat, and cast his first vote for that party in Clark County, Illinois. In former times he was a delegate to state conventions and was formerly treasurer of school district No. 20. Almost every year since he came to Brown Township he has been elected justice of the peace, but qualified only once. The only service he rendered during that term was the acknowledgment of a paper, fee for which was 25 cents, and he never collected that. Brown Township is peculiarly fortunate in its peace and good order and in sixteen years there has not been a law suit among its residents. The township has another enviable fame. The largest yield of wheat per acre of any township in Kansas in 1914 was credited to Brown Township of Clark County. A single field of eight acres threshed nearly 500 bushels, the average being a little more than sixty-one bushels to the acre.

About twenty years ago Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver established the postoffice of Cleaverdale, and it was continued as a postal station for several years. Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver are identified with the Christian Church and have done much to hold up its work and built up the Sabbath School.

Mr. Cleaver represents a long line of solid and substantial American ancestors. His great-grandfather represented one of the old families of the New England states. His grandfather, Dakin Cleaver, was born at Danbury, Connecticut, April 18, 1798, and was a pioneer settler of Indiana, where he spent most of his career as a farmer. He died in Shelby County in that state in 1860. He married Margaret Davis, who was of Welsh descent and traced her ancestry back to John Davis, who came to the American colonies in 1725 and located in Connecticut. Some of his posterity bore an honored part in the Revolutionary war. From Gen. David Wooster of that family Mr. Cleaver has title to Revolutionary honors. Dakin Cleaver and Margaret Davis Cleaver, who was a daughter of Amos and Margaret (Jons) Davis, had the following children: Phoebe, who married Jonathan Baxter Harrison, a relative of General and President Harrison; Amos D., who died while a soldier in the Civil war; David, who died in Ottawa County, Kansas; Mary, who married John Dickey Henry and died in Shelby County, Indiana; George I.; Lauretta V., who married George William Foster and died in Jonathan County, Indiana; Caroline Z., who married William W. Andrew and died in Topeka, Kansas; and Wooster D., who died in Glasgow, Kansas.

George Isaac Cleaver, father of Wallace D., was born in Franklin County, Indiana, May 14, 1837, and spent his active career as a wagon maker. While a resident of Fairland Indiana, he enlisted in Company L of the Third Indiana Cavalry. He was killed in a duel with a rebel soldier of Gen. Joe Wheeler's Cavalry on March 11, 1864, and is buried in a soldier's grave at Knoxville, Tennessee. George I. Cleaver married Elizabeth Rhorer, daughter of Simeon H. Rhorer, of German ancestry. Two sons were born to their marriage, Walter L. and Wallace D. The mother, who was born in September, 1837, and is still living in Clark County, Illinois, is now the wife of Howard B. McNary. By her second marriage she has two children, Albert and Allen McNary.

On July 26, 1890, Wallace D. Cleaver married Miss Dora B. Snyder, who was born in Clark County, Indiana, January 1, 1868, daughter of Luman and Sarah C. (McCory) Snyder. Her father was born in Clark County, Indiana, was a farmer and blacksmith, and on coming to Kansas in 1885, pre-empted land near Minneola. He was a merchant of that village, when he died February 4, 1917, at the age of seventy-five. His wife passed away on the fourth of May of the same year, aged seventy-two. Their children were: Mrs. Cleaver; Walter V., who died unmarried in Oklahoma in 1896; Lillie M., who married Charles Reed, of Minneola; William R., a Clark County farmer; Frederick V., of Emporia, Kansas; Cora E., wife of Grover Dook, of Minneola, Henry C. of Newton, Kansas; and Grover L., who lives on the Island of Cuba and is interested in extensive tracts of land in Bolivia, South America.

Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver have an interesting family of three children: Nellie M., Wallace R. and Luman S. Nellie finished her education in the Southwestern University at Winfield, has been a teacher in Clark County, was recently secretary of the Liberty Bond Society of Clark County, active in Red Cross and other patriotic work and is now a stenographer in the aviation service at Washington, D. C. The son Wallace trained at Hempstead, Long Island, as a member of the Two Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Aero Squadron as a dispatch rider, and is with his squadron in England.


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

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