LEONIDAS A. PANGBURN is a pioneer homesteader of Russell County, still owns and occupies the quarter section which he entered and his steadfast labors of many years have served to develop his home and give him a generous degree of prosperity in that part of the country.
Mr. Pangburn was born at Galesburg, Illinois, December 18, 1852. The Pangburns have been Americans for many generations. His great-grandfather was one of three brothers who came from Scotland, and while the other two settled in Canada he made a home in the wilderness of Brown County, Ohio. He lived there enduring all the hardships of early life and was past fourscore years when accidental death came to him.
Stephen Pangburn, grandfather of Leonidas A. Pangburn, was born in Brown County, Ohio, and spent all his life on one farm there. He died before his grandson L. A. was old enough to know him.
Eli Pangburn, father of L. A., was born in Brown County, Ohio, September 1, 1814, a date which in itself indicates how early the Pangburns were established in the Buckeye state. He grew up and married in that county and left home to get the excitement and adventure found in the river boating of those days. He worked on Ohio and Mississippi river boats from cabin boy to first mate and on leaving the river he settled on a farm near Galesburg, Illinois, but in April, 1856, moved to Taylor County, Iowa, and was a farmer in that region the rest of his days. He died at Siam in Taylor County January 10, 1895. As a youth he became deeply interested in the abolition movement and was one of those conductors of the underground railway for aiding fugitive slaves. After the formation of the party he was an active republican. He was very devout and regular in his duties as a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. During the Civil war he served in the State Militia, and was called out when Price's Confederate army invaded Missouri and Kansas.
Eli Pangburn married Tabitha Boice. She was born in Brown County, Ohio, and died in November, 1863, at Holleyville, Taylor County, Iowa. A brief record of her children is as follows: J. K., a farmer who died at Waldo, Kansas, in 1912; Ellen, who died at Washington, D. C., in September, 1895, married Robert Aiton, who for forty years has been a resident of Washington and has been connected with the office of Commissioner of Patents. Elizabeth, who died at Waldo, Kansas. July 31, 1912, married S. J. Nye, a farmer of Page County, Iowa, now deceased; Louisa, who resides at Washington, Iowa, widow of J. A. Boyer, who for thirty-three years was an employe of Swift & Company and died at Washington, Iowa; the next three children all died young, George in infancy, Martha, at the age of twelve years, and Mina, aged twenty; Lycurgus was formerly a Congregational minister but is now in the real estate business at New Haven, Connecticut; Leonidas A. is the ninth in the family; and the youngest, Lorena, died in infancy.
Leonidas A. Pangburn received his early education in the schools of Iowa and lived on his father's farm in that state to the age of sixteen. When he left home he took no capital with him, and had only such training and knowledge as he had acquired, but a determination to make the best of his opportunities. He worked for several years at monthly wages on farms. It was in following that employment that he first came to Kansas in 1874, locating in Doniphan County. April 25, 1876, he came to Russell County, where he was in the very vanguard of pioneers and homesteaded 160 acres. That quarter section he still owns and occupies, but in recent years has relieved himself of the obligation of actual farming and is now practically retired. It would be a long story to recount all the shifts and methods by which Mr. Pangburn found it possible to make a living in the early days. He hired out every season to help run threshing machines and he also did much freighting of goods between Osborne and Russell and between Russell and Waldo, then called Grand Center.
Besides his interests as a farmer and land owner Mr. Pangburn is a director and stockholder in the Waldo State Bank and is a stockholder in the Cooperative Farmers' Union. His first home in Western Kansas was a dugout. On September 20, 1885, he completed a good modern residence which at that time was far in advance of the style and conveniences of most country homes in that community. Later he equipped his farm with a good barn and other outbuildings.
Mr. Pangburn is an independent voter. He served as treasurer of Fairview, now Waldo Township, three terms, and justice of the peace six years. He is a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is past grand of Waldo Lodge, No. 428, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has a veteran's jewel indicating twenty-five years of membership in good standing in the Lodge. He is also a member of Waldo Camp, Modern Woodmen of America.
October 25, 1876, at Troy, Kansas, Mr. Pangburn married Miss Jane Simpson, daughter of James Simpson. James Simpson was born in Pennsylvania in 1810. He was a border day Kansan, taking up a homestead in Doniphan County in 1856. During the Civil war he served as a member of the Kansas State Militia. He was a strong abolitionist and a devout member of the Methodist Church. He died on his old farm in Doniphan County November 6, 1902. Mr. Simpson married Nancy Hahn, who was born in Ohio in 1818 and died in Doniphan County, Kansas, in April, 1903. Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Pangburn had the following children: W. E., separately referred to in this work; James A., who died at the age of sixteen; Rev. E. S., who was educated in the State Agricultural College at Manhattan and is now a Methodist Episcopal minister living at Langley, Kansas; J. E., a farmer at Ticona, Colorado; Armita, wife of T. C. Bartholomew, a farmer at Ticona, Colorado; Mamie, wife of R. L. Lake, a farmer in Osborne County, Kansas.
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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