LEANDER L. CLYNE is one of the pioneers of Ness County, having lived there since 1879. He is a splendid specimen of physical manhood, and is now in his prime. The vigor and power which he has exerted in his business affairs have been equaled by the public spirit with which he has identified himself with the community. The secret of his success is largely due to the fact that he has pursued what is called mixed farming. He has been one of the very successful wheat growers, but he has never put all his dependence upon one crop. While some of his neighbors were waiting for a rain to give them a crop of wheat, he has been looking after his black polled cattle, and when one resource failed he always had another to take its place, and consequently there has hardly been a single year since he came to Kansas in which he has not added something to his fortune.
The brief story of his career begins with his birth in Saline County, Nebraska, on December 10, 1860. His father is Thomas Clyne, now living at a venerable age at the home of his son Leander in Ness County. Thomas Clyne was born in Indiana November 3, 1828, and was one of the early pioneers of Nebraska. He entered land there soon after the territory was opened for settlement, and he is familiar with every phase of pioneering in the two states of Kansas and Nebraska. The fact that he lived on the Nebraska frontier was the chief reason why he was not in the Civil war as a Union soldier, though he belonged to a company for home protection against the Indians. He has been identified since early youth with a Methodist Church and is now an active prohibitionist, having joined that party from his former republican allegiance. He married Sarah Keeney, who died in Mitchell County, Kansas, in 1880. Their children were: George, whose last residence known to his family was in Missouri; Daniel, who is at Idaho Falls, Idaho; Leander L.; and Charles, whose present whereabouts are unknown.
Leander L. Clyne spent his early years in one of the pioneer districts of Nebraska and gained only a limited education. In 1874, when he was fourteen years of age, the father came to Kansas and took up a timber claim in Lincoln County. A number of years later he moved to Ness County.
When Leander L. Clyne left Lincoln County and came to Ness County he not only took up a homestead, but for four years followed that adventuresome and rather dangerous business of catching wild horses. In this he was associated with the firm of Babcock & Tichnor of Bazine. That is an industry long since obsolete. In those early days these wild horses were usually found in bands of from eight to ten. When the hunters discovered such a drove they would run or walk them down, and after capturing them would chain their legs until they could be handled with rope or bridle. When partly tamed they were sold to residents of Western Kansas to be used for farm purposes. In hunting the parties would go as far west as Barrel Springs in Greeley County. Such horses brought from $30 to $75 a head. The horses were small, inbred with the Texas horse, and were perhaps the offspring of horses lost by emigrants in crossing the plains. Mr. Clyne and his associates usually caught as many as sixty of such horses a year.
Mr. Clyne's original homestead was the middle quarter of section 7, townhsip[sic] 16, range 24. He took his land in that position in order to get the natural water on the section. This section he largely used for cattle raising. After giving up the business of catching horses he started cattle raising, and has continued in the business from the first. Some years ago he abandoned the grade cattle industry, and for the last twenty years has specialized in Black Polled cattle. He has a herd of about 100 of these beautiful black cattle and there is a ready market for all the males of the herd which are sold as calves.
As a wheat raiser Mr. Clyne began sowing that grain on a small scale just before the Missouri Pacific Railway was built through Ness County. Since then he has had some crop most every year. There had been two complete failures and his best yield per acre has been thirty-three bushels. But by judiciously combining his wheat crops and his cattle he has prospered so that he is now proprietor of a large estate, and has ten quarter sections of land. All the permanent improvements he has placed on his homestead. He is now cultivating under his own direction or through his tenants about 600 acres.
The pioneer school district of his section had Mr. Clyne as one of his organizers. This is Sandwall District No. 63. The first school was taught in a private sod residence and the first permanent schoolhouse is now a part of the farm home of Mr. Miller. The present schoolhouse is on Mr. Clyne's farm and it has been located there since about 1902. He is now treasurer of the school district and has filled that office for several years.
Mr. Clyne for a number of years was a member of the Ness County Telephone Company and its president. He helped organize the First State Bank of Ransom, of which he is president, assisted in organizing the Arnold State Bank, of which he is president, and is a director of the Citizens Bank of Utica.
In Mitchell County, Kansas, in October, 1883, he married Miss Ella Lore. Her father, Michael Lore, was a farmer, a native of Pennsylvania, and an early settler in Iowa. The children of the Lore family were named Henry, George, Levi, Mrs. Mary Duncan, Mrs. Clyne and Mrs. Lillie Lewis. Mr. and Mrs. Clyne have three children, all of whom have finished their education in the home district. Elmer, a farmer in the old home locality, married Bessie Giddings, and has two children, named Elva and Harold. Roy and Dora are still at home.
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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