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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


O. A. Sproul

O. A. SPROUL is a Norton County citizen whose substantial position is attested by the fact that he is president of the First National Bank of Edmond and directs large and profitable farming enterprises in that vicinity. His life is the more interesting for its varied experiences, which has been enriched by work and residence in a number of Kansas communities and also in the far northwestern states.

Mr. Sproul was born in Doniphan County, Kansas, February 27, 1864. His ancestors came from Ireland and were early settlers in Tennessee. His father, Frank Sproul, was born in Tennessee in 1829. When he was a small boy his parents removed to Indiana. He grew up there, and during the early '50s he moved to Western Missouri and established a home near St. Joseph, owning 160 acres south of that town, where the stock yards are now located. That was about the time the railroad was first built into St. Joseph and when the principal business of that town was due to its position on the Missouri River. He moved across the river into Kansas Territory in 1857, trading his 160 acres in Missouri for an equal amount of land in Doniphan County. He farmed there until the fall of 1878, when he made another move, stimulated by the instinct to acquire free land. He homesteaded 160 acres four miles northeast of Edmond, and also took a timber claim of a quarter section. For a number of yeurs that land was his home and the scene of his active efforts. In 1893 he took a tract of school land near Densmore, Kansas, and continued an active career at farming until he retired in 1910 and lived at Edmond until his death in 1912. He was a man inclined to study and take a serious interest in political affairs, and was not afraid to change his party. He began voting as a republican, later was a greenbacker, and finally voted as a socialist. He married for his first wife a Miss Llewellyn, who died near St. Joseph, Missouri. She was the mother of two children: Porter, deceased, and Ellie, wife of Thomas Jones, a farmer at Moorehead, Minnesota. For his second wife Frank Sproul married Virginia Chilton. She was born in Missouri February 27, 1834, and she now lives in Edmond, aged eighty-five. She was the mother of eleven sons and daughters, a brief record of whom is as follows: Thomas Franklin, a farmer who died at Bogue, Kansas, in 1911; Harvey Tucker, who died at the age of nineteen years; Arvin Otis, a farmer four miles northeast of Edmund; Sylvan Lee, who died in infancy; O. A. Sproul, fifth in age; Maggie, wife of Louis Dean, a carpenter living at Edmond, Kansas; William Weston, a contractor and builder at Lander, Wyoming, and a prominent man in public affairs there, being now democratic representative in the Legislature; Lark, a farmer near Edmond; Bert, a farmer at Bogue, Kansas; Annie May, living at Blessing, Texas, widow of Charles Woodward, a blacksmith who died in Texas; and Tillie Belle, wife of Frank Boomer, a farmer at Densmore, Kansas.

Mr. O. A. Sproul first attended school in Doniphan County, Kansas. He was fourteen years old when his parents moved to Norton County in 1878 and he spent the next four years on his father's homestead. During the summer of 1883 he had valuable experience as a worker in the employ of ex-Governor Bailey on the latter's fine stock ranch in Nemaha County. After that he was a farmer in Brown County, Kansas, until 1886, and in the spring of 1887 bought a relinquishment of eighty acres nine miles south of Edmond in Graham County. Six months later he sold that and moved to the State of Washington. For eighteen months he was employed in a sawmill at Bucola, a town now called Seatco. For five years Mr. Sproul was in the sash and door business and a carpenter at Portland, Oregon, and also spent a year raising hops in Southern Oregon.

In November, 1891, returning to Edmond, he squatted on 160 acres of school land a mile southeast of Edmond, and still owns that quarter section, now highly developed as a farm for grain and stock. Altogether Mr. Sproul now farms 1,100 acres, and is one of the men of distinctive influence among the agricultural element of Northern Kansas. He has been president of the First National Bank of Edmond since 1917 and is also a stockholder and director in the Farmers' Co-operative Association.

In politics he votes as a democrat. He is a past grand of Edmond Lodge of Odd Fellows and is a member of Edmond Camp, Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Sproul has one of the comfortable homes of Edmond and is surrounded by a happy family of sons and daughters. He married at Hiawatha, Kansas, in January, 1887, Miss Mary E. Brook, daughter of George T. and Rachel A. (Chinewith) Brook. Her father was a painter and decorator and died in Hiawatha, where her mother is still living. The oldest of Mr. Sproul's children is Charles, now a farmer in Calexico, California. The second in age, Maggie, died in infancy. Linnie, who died October 27, 1918, at Torrence, California, was the wife of Lloyd D. Wells, now employed in the shipyards at Torrence, California. Jessie is the wife of Sumner Johnson, a farmer at Morland, Kansas. Earl Lane is one of Mr. Sproul's two sons whose services were required by the Government during the great war. Earl is in the United States Naval Training Station at Hampton Roads. George F. is also in the navy in Bellam Bay, New York. The four younger children all at home are Glenn, Harry, Alice and Daisy.


Pages 2281-2282.


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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 5 - Table of Contents

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