JOSEPH PAUL WARDEN. The enterprise and resources of the Warden family have been identified with Rush County more than thirty years. Joseph Paul Warden engaged in business as a merchant at McCracken in January, 1887, and became a resident of the county the preceding year. He was at the time a young married man, and had a limited experience in commercial affairs.
He was born July 19, 1862, spent his boyhood and grew up near the Town of Mount Pleasant in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and the environment of his early days was a farm. He attended the Mount Pleasant Institute and the Westminister College at New Wilmington, and for a time he clerked in a store in Mount Pleasant and was twenty-four years of age when he came to Kansas. He clerked for a time at LaCrosse, Kansas, before coming to McCracken.
At McCracken Mr. Warden erected one of the first store houses in the town and opened up with a stock of hardware under his individual name, J. P. Warden. That is one of the oldest mercantile enterprises in Rush County. He has expanded his business with the increase in population and the general development of this part of Western Kansas, and now has the principal hardware and furniture house at McCracken. Mr. Warden has also acquired important farming interests. He is a director of the Bank of McCracken, and took stock at the organization of the Farmers Elevator. He has been a consistent worker for local progress, has served as a councilman at McCracken and as trustee of the local schools. In matters of politics he supports the democratic party.
This branch of the family is of Irish stock. Mr. Warden's great-grandfather was Samuel Warden, who came from the north of Ireland, representing a Protestant family of the United Presbyterian faith, and was a colonial settler in East Huntington Township of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He arrived there during the Revolutionary war, and died in 1815, at the age of seventy years. He was a man of much intelligence, methods and force of character in those early days. His son Paul Warden, the grandfather of the McCracken merchant, was born in 1784 and lived on the old Pennsylvania homestead until his death in 1853. He was a tanner and distiller near Mount Pleasant. His children comprised Samuel, John, Robert, William, James S., Clark and Eleanor, who never married. Robert and Clark Warden both served in the Union army during the Civil war. Robert was promoted to the rank of major, and a distinctive honor was paid him when Robert Warden Post, G. A. R., at Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, was named in his honor.
James S. Warden, father of Joseph P., also became well known in Western Kansas, particularly in Rush County. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 1828, and in manhood became one of the most extensive farmers in that rugged district of Pennsylvania. His efforts as a grower of corn, wheat and hay were prospered, he was a stockholder in the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Mount Pleasant, and finally extended his financial interests to Kansas. That was in 1885, and during his tour over the various counties of the state he selected McCracken as his location for investment. He bought a tract of land and became an original stockholder of the Citizens Bank of LaCrosse, and when the Bank of McCracken was organized he took stock in it and was selected its first president. He held that office until his death on February 18, 1905. Although he was not a man of college education, he had a habit of logical and concise thought and could express himself in well chosen language. He often made political speeches, and was an ardent democrat. He served in the State Legislature of Pennsylvania in 1879-80. He was an elder in the United Presbyterian Church, but no fraternal order ever won his membership.
James S. Warden was married March 17, 1857, to Sarah J. Cunningham, daughter of Joseph and Jane (Gault) Cunningham. Mrs. James Warden died December 23, 1909, at the age of seventy-five years. Her children were: Robert C., who died unmarried; Jennie, who died in Greenfield, Iowa, as Mrs. James E. Andrews and without living children; Joseph P.; Miss Edith, of Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania; Edward, who died unmarried; and Eugene, a lawyer at Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania.
Joseph Paul Warden was married in December, 1885, to Miss Marion Marquis. Her parents were Andrew and Elizabeth (Pomeroy) Marquis. Her paternal ancestors were of that branch of French people, who were driven out of their native country because of religious persecution, went to the north of Ireland and from there came to America and settled in Pennsylvania in colonial times. Andrew Marquis was a Union soldier, followed as his life vocation the trade of carpenter, and died January 20, 1899, at the age of seventy-two. His wife passed away October 3, 1916, when eighty years of age. Their children were: William E., of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania; Robert, of New Wilmington; Zenista, wife of Frank H. Dalton, of Denver, Colorado; Mrs. Warden, who was born January 17, 1863; and Ellen, wife of Edgar Smith, of Utica, New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Warden are the parents of two children, Paul and Madeline. Both of them have received the advantages of the McCracken schools. Paul is associated with his father in business, and married Miss Kate Wharton.
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