CAPTAIN WILLIAM B. LOGAN, of Lakin, has long filled a notable place in the annals and among the citizens of Kearny County. He was one of the early settlers and has been an outstanding figure by reason of his character, his long experience with men and affairs and the worthy part he has played in every role of human endeavor.
Captain Logan was not a young man when he came to Kansas in 1886. He had spent many years in Missouri, battling for existence not only through the perilous times of the Civil war but also against the hard circumstances that beset the farmers of that state for many years afterwards. Therefore when he came to Kansas he came to stay. In effect he "burned the bridges behind him" and declared his intention of passing his remaining days in the West.
Fortunately his years had enabled him to accumulate some possessions and capital, so that he did not come to Kansas as poor as many of the early settlers. He shipped to this state a carload of goods containing among other things two span of mules and two cows, household utensils, about a year's provisions. and brought with him $1,200.
On September 14, 1886, Captain Logan filed on his homestead, and thus began his residence and citizenship in Kearny County. His claim was the southwest quarter of section 15, township 21, range 36. There he erected a frame building, and to this he added what was perhaps the largest "soddy" in the county, being 34 by 20 feet in dimensions, with nine-foot ceiling and also with a sod kitchen 16 by 16. All of this was plastered inside, while at the front on the outside a coat of stucco was put on. This gave him the warmest and coolest as also one of the roomiest of pioneer homes. It was all the house he needed while he was proving up. Captain Logan secured enough from his farm to keep his table supplied, including roasting ears, melons and other garden stuff. He cut the first crop of wheat and the first crop of rye in the north end of Kearny County. Though he succeeded in raising feed and forage, his efforts as a farmer were not sufficiently encouraging to enable him to concentrate all his energies upon agriculture alone.
There was still another factor in the situation. By the time he had proved up on his claim nearly all the other settlers had left the school district. To maintain a good and efficient school was therefore an impossibility, and Captain Logan then exchanged his homestead for a tree claim relinquishment near Deerfield. He proved that up and it is now one of the best farms watered by the Amazon Ditch. Captain Logan has always continued to be identified with farming in Kearny County and also to a considerable extent as a cattleman. Thus he has never lost touch with the agricultural and stock husbandry of this section.
For many years he has been a factor in public affairs and in business. In August, 1888, two years after he came to the locality, Governor John A. Martin appointed him probate judge. He first served out an unexpired term and was then twice elected to the office. The principal duties he was called upon to perform in that office were looking after the filing and proofs of claims. In 1903 he was again honored with the probate office, which he filled for two terms. During this time he had a repetition of his former work but he also noted an increased number of marriage licenses issued and ceremonies performed. Since leaving office he has devoted himself to the real estate and insurance business, and continued that work until failing eyesight forced his retirement.
Captain Logan is regarded among the first citizens of Lakin, not only in point of time but in point of influence and achievement. At the age of eighty-one he is still bodily fit, but the loss of one eye in the army and the sight of the other impaired by a cataract has caused his retirement from business life. While many men might be content to leave off at his age, he regrets enforced idleness when he feels that he is not yet worn out, but his interest in life and all that goes with it is still as keen as ever.
As a republican Captain Logan has taken a very active and influential part in local politics. He served as chairman of the County Central Committee many years, and occasionally attended outside conventions. He was a delegate to the state convention for the selection of delegates to the Republican National Convention of 1916. His advice and suggestions politically have been of much weight among his people in bringing about certain results. He has also shown the human side of his nature by coming to the aid of friends in need of pecuniary assistance, and his optimistic outlook has been brightened by his experience in seldom being disappointed in the promises of those assisted to repay.
Many years ago Captain Logan joined the Presbyterian Church and has almost continuously held the office of elder. He has also contributed from his personal means to the erection of every church at Lakin and he and his wife were regular attendants as long as they were physically able at Sunday schoool.[sic] Captain Logan is an Odd Fellow, and has filled the chairs of the local lodge. The Odd Fellows Hall is above his business house in Lakin.
The career of Captain Logan begins with his birth in Boone County, Missouri, March 23, 1836. He is of sterling American ancestry, originating in England. His grandfather, John Logan, served with the Revolutionary army from Virginia, and died in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1848. This Revolutionary patriot married Miss Barringer, of Pennsylvania Dutch family. They had twelve children. John B. Logan, father of Captain Logan, was a native of Henry County, Kentucky, born January 4, 1804, and died in 1855. His parents in 1832 moved to Missouri. He married Annie C. Hulen, a daughter of Taylor and Elizabeth (Fielding) Hulen, who were English people. Mrs. Logan died in Quitman, Missouri, in 1903, at eighty-six years of age. John Logan and wife had the following children: Captain Logan; Laurenda, who died in Clinton County, Missouri, as Mrs. Yates; Elizabeth, who married Logan Holt and died in Nodaway County, Missouri; James R., who served as a Union soldier with his brother, Captain Logan, and died in Nodaway County; Millie, who married T. C. Bond and died at Lincolnville, Kansas; John A., Hiram and Richard M., all farmers in Nodaway County; Joseph W., at St. Joseph, Missouri; Margaret, who married John T. Scantling, of Trinidad, Colorado; and Martha, who died unmarried at Quitman, Missouri. John B. Logan was captain of a company in the Florida Indian war, and served in the Indian ways of Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio.
When Captain Logan was seventeen years of age his parents moved to Clinton County in Northwest Missouri, and that was his home and the scene of his experiences until he was about fifty years old, when he came to Kansas. He secured a country school education and at the death of his father was left as the responsible head of the family. When the war broke out he was engaged in farming near Lathrop, Missouri.
He first enlisted in the Lyon Home Guard, as a Union man, and took part in some of the first skirmishes in fighting rebels and bushwhackers. In the fall of 1861 he joined Company B of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, under Capt. William Plumb and Col. D. O. Catherwood. He was himself a lieutenant. This regiment after drilling and preparing for service was sent to Springfield, and then on the campaigns down to Fort Smith and Fort Gibson and on to Red River. Through Indian Territory and Arkansas they fought General Cooper and the Indian General Stan Watie. Returning, they captured Fort Smith and held it for the United States. His command then went into Eastern Missouri around Cape Girardeau, and prevented General Price from reaching St. Louis. They assisted in turning the Confederates on this invasion up the Missouri River and followed closely after them to Kansas City, where Price's army again turned south. They continued to fight him into Arkansas. Captain Logan was placed in charge of the guarding and feeding of Confederate prisoners taken during this campaign, and placed a large number of them in a stockade at Springfield. He remained as commander of this military prison the rest of his service. He was there when the war ended and then turned the property over to the quartermaster and was mustered out with the rank of captain.
He then returned to the farm in Clinton County, but was called upon to fight guerrillas as late as July, 1865. He then organized a small band of loyal men and put an end to the depredations of Ol Sheppard and his gang of bushwhackers and thus opened the way for permanent peace in that locality.
When only eighteen years of age Captain Logan joined the Good Templars organization, and through all his years has used his influence to hold young men in the path of sobriety and honor.
In Clay County, Missouri, April 9, 1865, at the close of the war, Captain Logan married Hannah G. Albright. Her father, Elias Albright, came to Missouri from North Carolina and was a farmer. Mrs. Logan proved herself a splendid wife and mother and it was not her family alone that sincerely mourned her death when she passed away at Lakin July 19, 1915. Captain and Mrs. Logan's children are: William, of Lakin; Mrs. Minnie L. Hedge, of Lakin; Calvin S., of Syracuse, Kansas; and Miss Annie Catherine, of Lakin.
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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