DANIEL W. LINDER. Few of the early settlers of Western Kansas can look back upon a better ordered or more satisfying career than Daniel W. Linder, who has now come to the age of fourscore, and with all justice and propriety is enjoying the fruits of his earlier industry and enterprise. For four or five years he has lived at Hoisington, only a few miles from the scenes of his homesteading and farming and stock raising efforts in Barton County.
Mr. Linder, who was born near Mattoon, Coles County, Illinois, February 13, 1839, comes of an old American family and one that in every generation has manifested its sturdy Americanism. Before the thirteen colonies were cemented into a nation as a result of the struggle for independence three brothers, Simon Anthony and Lawrence Linder, came from Germany, founding the respective breaches of their family in this country. The son of Lawrence, Daniel Linder, served with the Continental armies in the Revolution, and after the war he engaged in farming in Vermont. He married Rebecca Van Meter, and from Vermont he removed to Kentucky. Daniel Linder proved himself a man of great force of character and industry, and was a valuable contribution to the struggle for civilization on the dark and bloody ground of Kentucky.
Isaac Linder, grandfather of Daniel W. Linder, and a son of the Revolutionary soldier, was a native of Vermont, and when a young man he engaged in a number of Indian campaigns in Kentucky. He spent the greater part of his life in that state and died there in 1814, when still in the years of his prime. He married Nancy Richardson, and they were the parents of several children.
Elisha Linder, one of Isaac's children, was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, August 16, 1807, and was only seven years old when his father's death left him, as the oldest child, the chief dependence and support of his widowed mother. He learned the trade of brick layer in Kentucky, but in 1831 moved to Illinois and bought forty acres in Coles County, improving it with a log cabin home and raising one crop. He then returned to Kentucky and brought out his mother and other children. In Illinois he gave most of his time to farming and stock raising, and his success may be measured by the fact that he accumulated 2,000 acres, most of it in the rich corn belt of Central Illinois. On April 6, 1837, Elisha Linder married Rebecca Sawyer. She was a daughter of John and Hannah (Radley) Sawyer. The Sawyers moved to Illinois ahead of the Linders, John Sawyer having located in that state soon after it was admitted to the Union. He was one of the state's successful early-day farmers. Of the children of Elisha Linder and wife the oldest is Mary, who married Levi W. Johnson and lives at Hoisington, Kansas. The next in age is Daniel W. Martha married John Parr and died in Illinois. Nancy became the wife of William Campion and died in her native state. John, who married Nettie Mitchell, died at Joplin, Missouri. Rebecca died at Wellington, Colorado, the wife of William Puleston. Lillie E. is Mrs. William Bell, of Mattoon, Illinois. Louisiana died in Illinois, unmarried. Flora became Mrs. George Howell and died in Illinois. Sarah married John Linder and spent her life in Illinois. Sidney Jane, who also died in Illinois, married Henry Howell. Isaac, who married Allie Brotherton, is a resident of Pasadena, California. Minta is the wife of John Marshall of Charleston, Illinois, and Elizabeth, the youngest of this large family, died in childhood.
Among the early recollections of Daniel W. Linder he recalls the fact that as a boy he herded cattle over the townsite of Mattoon. The primitive country schools of that locality afforded him his early education, supplemented later by six months in a seminary at Paris, Illinois. On coming of age he farmed for several years, and then added a combination mill to a country grist mill near his birthplace. During the Civil war he served in the Illinois Militia, and one of his brothers was in the volunteer service.
For about a dozen years Mr. Linder was identified with the farming and milling interests of Coles County and then sold out and determined to embark his limited capital and enterprise in the new country of Central Kansas. He arrived in Barton County in August, 1875, bringing with him as his chief capital three horses, three hogs and fifty head of sheep. The sheep became afflicted with the scab and proved unprofitable. He bought a relinquishment on a homestead 4 1/2 miles northwest of Hoisington. He plowed the land and sowed wheat that fall and the next spring there was promise of an abundant crop. That was grasshopper year, and when the hoppers had finished their visitation the ground was cleaned as if it had been freshly plowed. He sowed the same patch again and got a small crop in 1877, and continued his experiments as a wheat grower. For the first fifteen years his accounts showed that his yields averaged fifteen bushels to the acre.
In the matter of home making he was hardly in advance of most of his neighbors. His pioneer home was a 10 by 12 frame structure with a dugout beside it, and he lived in the midst of such modest comforts for about three years. His family then consisted of his wife and four children. After the first year by good management and the expenditure of much labor, he made his farm provide his family support. Soon afterward he also bought a half section of railroad land at $7.50 an acre, and from time to time he bought other lands until in May, 1915, his holdings constituted a large farm and ranch. Nearly all of it has been brought under the plow and is chiefly devoted to wheat. Mr. Linder built a small frame house to succeed his dugout home, and in 1897 put up one of the best farm residences in his township. The barn on his farm is sixty feet square, and he has also invested much in fencing and other improvements.
Probably his first experience was the nearest to a total failure Mr. Linder had as a wheat grower. He has always had more than his seed at harvest time, and has sold wheat as low as 40 cents a bushel. The best price he received while on the farm was for seed wheat, $2.40 a bushel. After abandoning the sheep end of his livestock enterprise he turned his attention to cattle. His judgment and experience have favored the Hereford strain of beef-making cattle. He raised a considerable number and also occasionally was a feeder and shipper.
While living in the country Mr. Linder was treasurer of Albion Township two terms, a justice of the peace, and as long as his children were in school he was a member of the school board. He cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and has steadily supported every republican candidate since that date. He became a member of the Methodist Church at the age of sixteen, and has always been identified with that church in Kansas and served it as trustee. For ten years he was interested as a stockholder in banking at Hoisington, and was one of the original stockholders in the Hoisington State Bank.
On November 3, 1863, in Illinois, Daniel W. Linder married Rebecca Harriet Hall. Their marriage companionship, begun so happily while the Civil war was in progress, continued through all the years until the death of Mrs. Linder on January 25, 1918, when they had been married almost fifty-five years. Her father was Micaiah Hall, of near Russellville, Kentucky. A brief record of Mr. Linder's children is as follows: Olive L., wife of J. B. Prose, of Hoisington; Charles W., of Hutchinson, Kansas; Elisha, of Hoisington; Bessie, who married W. B. Lucas, of Hoisington, and has a daughter, Marian Rebecca; and Daniel Franklin, of Hoisington.
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
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project