HOWARD I. FLOYD. It would be difficult to pick a man who has had a more important influence in the material and business affairs of Ness County than Mr. Howard I. Floyd, of Ness City. In the thirty years since he came to Western Kansas he has done his work as a capable school man, as a public official, in various lines of commercial effort, and as a farmer.
He is a native Kansan, born in Doniphan in Doniphan County, January 22, 1869. His grandfather, James H. Floyd, was born near Paducah, Kentucky. He lived for a short time in Illinois and from there came to Kansas and for a number of years followed the trade of cooper in Doniphan County. He and several of his children gave honorable service in the Union army during the Civil war. By his marriage to Lucy Parigo he had six sons and a daughter: Edwin D., William P., who was a Union soldier and is now in the Kansas Soldiers' Home; James H., who spent his last years in Ness County; Albert H., who died in Ness County; Charles N., of St. Joseph, Missouri; Truman L., of Beaver, Oklahoma, and Mrs. John Lyons, of Atchison, Kansas.
Edwin D. Floyd, father of Howard I., is a pioneer Kansan, and is now living in his comfortable home at McCracken. He was born in Kentucky in 1844, and in 1857, at the age of thirteen, came from Alton, Illinois, to Kansas. His early education was limited to the advantages afforded by the country schools. He had not long been in Kansas when the war broke out, and he joined the Seventh Kansas Cavalry under Colonel Jennison. Though a boy, he fought bravely and was conspicuous for his fidelity to every duty to which he was assigned. He was with his regiment in the Army of the Tennessee, fought at the battle of Pittsburg Landing, served as dispatch bearer for General Rosecrans in the battle of Corinth, and afterwards was with his command engaged in repelling the invasion of General Price through Missouri. Though in the army four years, he came out unwounded.
Following the war he engaged in farming in Doniphan County and also as a truck gardener. In April, 1885, he arrived with his wife and children in Ness County. Here he took up wheat farming. He bought some school land in Bazine Township, and the development of that claim was one of his important contributions to the material improvement of this section. He lived on his farm there until he retired to his home in McCracken. During that time he accumulated 480 acres, and is one of the successful men whose experience has identified them with Ness County. In the early days he and his family lived in a sod house. He is a voter and not an office seeker in matters of politics, and he belongs to no church and no lodges. In Holt County, Missouri, he married Miss Ione Irwin. Her mother was Charlotte (Kelley) Irwin. Her father came to Missouri from Indiana. Mrs. Edwin D. Floyd died in 1914. Her children were: Howard I., Mrs. C. P. Dutton, of McCracken; Hayes, who is associated with his brother Howard in the firm of Floyd & Floyd at Ness City; Mrs. Maud Robertson, of Arlington, Colorado; Mrs. Grace Weir, of Lawrence, Kansas, and Miss Lida, at home in McCracken.
Howard I. Floyd was sixteen years of age when he came with other members of the family to Ness County. With a public school education he qualified as a teacher and taught for several years in Ness County, and then attended the Kansas State Normal two years. He was connected with the Ness City School four years, three of those years as principal. He spent parts of the years 1898 and 1901 in the State Normal School and afterwards a year in the Agricultural College at Manhattan. After giving up his work as a teacher Mr. Floyd entered the court house at Ness City as register of deeds. The confidence of his fellow citizens which placed him in that office was more than justified by the capable service he rendered four years, and his successor in the office was his brother Hayes. On retiring from the register of deeds office he took the abstract, real estate and loan business, and when his brother's official term was ended the two combined their interests under the firm name of Floyd & Floyd.
Mr. Floyd is one of the leading business men of Ness County. For a number of years he has been engaged in farming on a large scale, and has been one of the factors in wheat growing in this section. During the seven years he has been growing wheat he has met with only two complete failures, and his best yield, twenty bushels to the acre on the average, was in 1916, when he harvested 20,000 bushels. He is associated with Mr. Holdridge, the well known miller of Wichita, in managing some extensive tracts of land. In his farming operations Mr. Floyd employs tractors for plowing and cultivating, and is thus able to get his crop into the ground while soil conditions are most favorable. At Ness City Mr. Floyd owns one of the principal elevators, another at Beeler and a third at Alamota. He buys grain at all these places, handling about 120,000 bushels at each elevator during good crop years.
Mr. Floyd is a progressive republican. He has been secretary of the republican committee of the county, has been a delegate to state conventions, including that one in which Governor Stanley was first nominated, and was a delegate to the district convention which nominated Victor Murdock for Congress the first time. In the National Republican Convention at Chicago in 1916 he was an assistant sergeant-at-arms.
In Columbus, Kansas, June 7, 1905, Mr. Floyd married Miss Birdie Adams. Archibald H. Adams, her father, was born in Kentucky and came to Kansas from Clinton County, Missouri. Mrs. Floyd was the fourth in a family of seven daughters and one son. Her mother was Emeline Kelley. Mrs. Floyd has also had much experience in school work and just before her marriage was serving as county superintendent of schools in Cherokee County. She and Mr. Floyd became acquainted while they were fellow students in the Kansas State Normal. They have one son, Richard A.
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.
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