HOMER H. EIDSON, of Liberal, whose familiarity with the country, people and affairs of Western Kansas is the result of more than thirty years' residence, has been a cattleman on the ranch and range, working for others and for himself, is a former sheriff of Seward County, and is now conducting a satisfactory business as dealer in automobiles and proprietor of a garage at Liberal.
He was born in Hancock County, Illinois, in 1869. The old family home in Illinois was six miles south of Nauvoo, a place famous because there the Mormons had their principal colony before they finally migrated to Utah. William Marshall Eidson, father of the Liberal business man, was born near Eaton, Ohio, and was taken to Illinois when a child. He had a fair education, and his chief occupation was as stock dealer. His brothers and sister were: Marion F., of Colorado; John, of Stafford County, Kansas; Clay, living near Warsaw, Illinois; and Mrs. Maggie Coleman, of Kansas City.
William M. Eidson married Miss Amanda E. McCollom, a native of Hancock County, Illinois. Their children were: Homer H.; Alonzo, of Liberal; Carrie, twin sister of Alonzo, married Thomas Hayes and died at Wichita, Kansas; Jesse E., who died in young manhood; Clifford, who died at Liberal, leaving a wife and two children; Clarence, a resident of Grand Junction, Colorado; Marion F., who died in Liberal, leaving three children; Amos, who died without children; and Fred, a resident of Grand Junction, Colorado.
It was in 1886, when Homer H. Eidson was about seventeen, that the family came into Western Kansas. The father selected his home twelve miles southwest of Plains, taking both a homestead and tree claim. He had barely begun the work of improvement when death took him, and it was left to the widow and her children to complete the task he did not live to finish. The widowed mother proved up the homestead, managed to keep her children together, and give the younger ones the advantages of the common schools. She died in Seward County five years after her husband.
Under the conditions described it is easy to appreciate the reasons that impelled all the children to contribute to the upkeep of the family as soon as their age and strength permitted them to earn a dollar. Homer H. Eidson began doing his share as soon as the family reached Kansas. All his education was acquired in the schools of Illinois, and he was only about sixteen, though strong, agile, and keen-witted, when he went to riding the range in the employ of George Griffith, whose ranch was near Canyon City, Colorado. A year later he was cowboy on the Sanford ranch at Clayton, New Mexico, and from that went to a livery establishment at Pueblo, Colorado, and for four years made a hand at wages of thirty to forty dollars a month. While a cowboy on the range he had been paid twenty-five to thirty dollars a month and board. From Pueblo he returned East and for a time worked on the construction of the great new union passenger station at St. Louis. A few months later he was back in Kansas and carrying the star mail route between Plains and Mertilla. Again he took the role of a cowboy, putting in a year on the X-I ranch in Meade County, after which he was with the Three-C on the Beaver River in No Man's Land, was on the Crooked-L near Meade, and then back to the Three-C outfit.
Mr. Edison abandoned the ranch and range to take a position as clerk in a store at Liberal until he and his brother finally bought out the business and continued it for several years, when he sold his interest to this brother, a move made necessary by his election as sheriff. He was elected sheriff on the republican ticket in 1911 as the successor of George Quinlan, and by re-election served two terms. He characterized himself as a vigilant and fearless officer of the courts. The most unpleasant duties he had to perform were in removing a number of prisoners to the state penitentiary and several to the reformatory.
At the close of his second official term Mr. Eidson took the local agency for the Buick car, and with headquarters on North Kansas Avenue has been the means of distributing a number of that popular and high-class car throughout this section. He also conducts a well equipped garage and general repair shop. Mr. Eidson has farming interests in Stevens County at old Moscow, and for his home in Liberal he built a substantial five-room cottage.
Mr. Eidson has an interesting little family. In August, 1901, he married Julia Esther Neathery, daughter of one of the best known old time settlers of this section, Philip S. Neathery. Mr. and Mrs. Eidson have two children, Carrie and Arthur.
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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