LAUREN CHARLES GANO. The poet who said "sweet are the uses of adversity," had a true understanding of life's meaning, since it is true that those are happiest who have lived and have had experiences in which the sweet and the bitter have been mingled. It is the prosperity and the contentment won by years of faithful toil, self sacrifice and economy that Lauren Charles Gano enjoys, after nearly thirty years of residence in Seward County, where he was one of the early settlers. Mr. Gano is an Ohio man by birth and training, and from that state have come some of the thriftiest people found anywhere in the Middle Wiest.
He was born in Portage County, November 30, 1863. Some generations back the Ganos were directly French, though perhaps crossed with German blood. His grandfather, Daniel Gano, was a pioneer in Ohio and was father of the following children: Miles, who was a soldier of the Union during the Civil war, afterwards a farmer and spent his life at Edinburg, Ohio; Harriet, who married William Goldie and finally lived in Florida; and Royal Edgar.
Royal Edgar Gano was born in Portage County, Ohio, and spent practically all his days in that state. He died at Cleveland and is buried beside his wife in Windom Cemetery. He was a republican, took an interest in popular education, but with his own children he did not force education in schools to any extreme, and always saw to it that they had plenty of physical recreation on the home farm. He gave his liberal support to churches. Royal E. Gano married Mary E. Hudson. The Hudsons were among the earliest pioneers of the old Ohio Western Reserve. Portage County was wild and full of game when the members of this family first settled there. Mary Hudson's father was Isaac Hudson. Royal E. Gano and wife had five children to grow up: Wesley; Clara, who died as Mrs. Drew Baldwin; Lauren Charles; Cassius Royal; John Earnest.
Lauren C. Gano acquired a country school education of primitive character. As far back as his recollection goes he was working on the farm, helping raise crops in the summer, making maple sugar in the early spring and also wielding an axe in clearing away some of the heavy timber that encumbered the ground and using the maul and wedge in splitting fence rails after the manner of Abraham Lincoln.
Having been reared to all the departments of farm life he naturally turned to farming when he came west to Seward County in 1885, at the age of twenty-two. He entered a preemption in Meade County, five miles northwest of old Mertilla, and lived there during the requirements of the law. However, he was without capital and money was required to develop and open the way for profitable farming. Accordingly as soon as possible he returned to his native county in Ohio, a region of much industry and numerous opportunities, and there followed different vocations and later went to Cleveland, where for five years he was a conductor with the Cleveland Street Railway Company. When he resigned his position and returned to Kansas he brought a modest amount of savings which he had accumulated with the express purpose of resuming farm life in Kansas on a better scale than he had previously been able to afford. He invested some of his money in plug horses at seventy-five dollars apiece, and cattle were also exceedingly cheap as compared with modern prices, though both horses and cattle could be bought for even less figures later on.
On his second trip to Kansas Mr. Gano bought the relinquishment of and filed on the northwest quarter of section 10, township 32, range 30. He completed the government requirements and secured his title. His pioneer improvement was a three-room sod house, floored and plastered, and with a cover like a car roof made with sods. He and his family used this as a comfortable home while proving up. In 1899 he again abandoned Kansas and spent about thirteen months in his Ohio home. On his return he farmed near Plains two years, and then bought a section in the community where he now lives and which is still part of his domain. It was new land, and in occupying it he made a half dugout home. Thus he spent another three years half under ground. In the spring of 1905 Mr. Gano came to his present place, the southwest quarter of section 36, township 32, range 31. This tract was absolutely new, and his first shelter was a small box house. The top of the dugout brought from his previous home served as a chicken coop. At this location Mr. Gano turned loose the cattle he had accumulated on the open range. It was all wide open country then and he calculated that his range cattle operations would not be interfered with by settlers for many years to come. However, he was disappoined in this, as the final and apparently permanent influx of homesteaders soon began, and more and more the range has been curtailed. When at the zenith of his stock business two or three hundred head were grazing the range under his brand "bar-T-bar."
A modest appraisement of his present condition would show that Mr. Gano accumulated about five quarter sections, all fenced, has 400 acres in cultivation and as a farmer is accentuating the raising of wheat and feed. He also owns a section of land in Prowers County, Colorado. While his neighbors look upon him as one of the substantial citizens, Mr. Gano is prone to review the past with something of a feeling of regret, when he thinks of the many opportunities that lay dormant but unseen by him and which had they been seized at the proper time would have achieved financial independence to the possessor. He says that he has seen many newcomers pick up real and valuable opportunities right from under his nose, as it were.
Mr. Gano has never been inclined to become active in politics, merely voting regularly as a republican on the national ticket. His only public service has been as a member of the local school board, and he is still a member and has served several years. Mr. Gano is one of the stockholders of the Kismet Equity Elevator and was one of the original stockholders and one of the board of directors of the Kismet State Bank.
About ten years after he first came to Kansas Mr. Gano married in Meade County this state, September 17, 1895, Miss Blanche Taylor. Her father, Eb Taylor, a son of Andrew Taylor, a pioneer Indiana farmer who lived in that state in the days when it was necessary to carry corn to the mills miles away for meal, was born in Whitley County, Indiana, February 27, 1846, and brought his family to Western Kansas in 1886, and was a homesteader three miles north of where Mr. Gano now lives. Eb Taylor has been a farmer throughout his active career, has lived quietly with little participation in outside affairs, and is now a resident of Plains. He grew up as a Dunkard but is now a Methodist and in politics a republican. He married Joanna Adams, daughter of Charles Adams. Their children are: Charles, of Plains; Laura, wife of Richard Graham; Mrs. Gano, who was born November 25, 1876; Cora, wife of George Philips, of Plains; and Pearl, who married Luther Hay and lives in Colorado.
Since their marriage a family of sturdy sons and daughters have grown up around Mr. and Mrs. Gano. The oldest, Alta, is the wife of Donald Traylor, of Plains; Loa is a student in a business college at Cleveland, Ohio; the younger children, all at home, are Julia, Lauren Cassius and Charles Ernest. Mr. and Mrs. Gano are in sympathy with moral and Christian movements wherever established and have done much to support such causes. Mrs. Gano acquired a good education in the common schools. She cast her first presidential vote in 1916, supporting the republican candidate.
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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