|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||301|
SOME of the most progressive of Barton County's citizens are Russia born, and, coming to this county when land was cheap now ride in their automobiles and take life easy. Of this class is Andrew Seibert, seven miles southwest of Great Bend. He was born February 25, 1870, on a farm in Russia, and came to America with his parents, Andrew and Luffintine Seibert, in the fall of 1874. They first settled east of Dundee, and later moved to Rush County, but at this time they reside in Barton County, Kansas. Andrew, jr., was educated in the public schools of this state and became a successful farmer under the instruction of his father, and in 1890, when he began farming on his own account was well qualified to meet the obstacles in front of him. He at first rented the one hundred and sixty acre farm which he has owned for years, and began life on his own account with little beside a good team. The first two years were reasonably successful and he determined to buy and get married and this he did. Then followed the bad years from 1893 to 1896, and failure seemed to stare him in the face. His little all was invested and he could not leave; and so he stayed on and by courage and determination won.
The farm is in a high state of cultivation and the improvements are good. The house is a one and one-half story frame with eight large rooms. There is a nice grass plot in front enclosed by a neat fence, and in it are many plants, shrubs and flowers. At the back is an acre of towering boxelder trees which furnish shade. The barn is 14x32, and the cow shed 12x32. Then come the automobile garage, granary, chicken house and other outbuildings, which form a comfortable picture.
Andrew Seibert and Miss Carie Beese of Barton County, were married on October 23, 1892, and they have been blessed by three interesting children: Elvena May, 14; Grant Louis, 11; and Victor Charles, 6.
THOUGH he had no choice in the matter of seeking a new home, Louis Damm has never regreted the choice of his parents which led them to emigrate from Germany when he was only 1 year of age and come to America. He was born October 16, 1863, in the Rhine country of Germany and in 1864 the family moved to the United States, settling in Ohio where they lived for 11 years. The Santa Fe railroad wae built across Kansas in 1872 and stories of the great fertile plains here were the talk of the day in the east. Two years later, in 1874, the family moved to this country where the parents, Peter A. and Elizabeth Damm, bought the Chas. Rose homestead, west of town, for $1,100. It was a good price in those days and values fluctuated for a number of years so that it was problematical whether too much had been paid or not. The value today has extended itself ten times, it might be remarked in passing.
Louis and brother assisted the parents in farming the place and in 1888 Louis was married to Miss Caroline Windhorst, of Germany. A year later both parents died and Louis and wife assumed the management of this farm which they still own and which is one of the most productive pieces of land in the county. To them have been born three children, Henry Louis, age 20, Lillie, age 11 and Minnie Esther, age 9. The parents have provided well for their children. They knew the hardships of the earlier years and profiting thereby have lived carefully and frugally and have farmed the place to good advantage. They live six and one-half miles west of Great Bend.
MAX CRESTON SHAFER was born March 1, 1861, at Ashland, Ohio. He came direct to Kansas from his native state in 1884 and lccated at Seneca where he remained a short time after which he went to Iowa. Like many others who have lived a short time in the Sunflower state and left he returned in about a year and located in Barton County where he has since resided. For ten years he was engaged in the mercantile business in Great Bend and Claflin but recently it has required most of his time to look after his farming interests. He owns a quarter section of good land in Union township and a like amount in South Bend township. All of this land is being cultivated and worked by renters. Mr. Shafer has made a study of farming and is recognized as an authority on things horticultural when they apply to this county. He came to this county at a time when it required knowledge and study to get the best results from farming and Mr. Shafer has profited by this fact and made a study of farming methods in all branches that apply to the soil
and conditions in this country. He was married July 8, 1892, to Mrs. Anna Bell and they occupy a fine modern residence at 2915 Broadway in Great Bend. The residence contains seven rooms, bath and all the necessary closets and a room that is given over to Mr. Shafer as a den. Mrs. Shafer is the mother of three children, Emma Bell, who is now Mrs. W. W. Garry, 39 years of age, of Wichita, Kansas; Ray, 30 years of age, in the cattle business in Mexico, and Lee, 28 years of age, is farming in Stafford County. Mr. Shafer is an enterprising and progressive citizen and has had a great deal to do with the upbullding and development of the county's resources since he came to this section of the state.
Mrs. Shafer and her former husband, Mr. Bell, ran the old Southern Hotel and for a time Mrs. Shafer taught school in the city of Great Bend and many of the best known men and women in Great Bend today are former pupils of Mrs. Shafer. Mr. Bell's death was the cause of a grea deal of sorrow in this community as he was a popular and well known citizen and always took a leading part in the affairs of the town and county.
OF the old timers who came to Barton County in the 70's none is better known than Hugh B. Byers whose home place is the southeast quarter of section 36 in Eureka township and in addition to this land Mr. Byers rents 160 acres more which he also farms. He was born in Jones County, Iowa, August 24, 1859, and came to Barton County in 1876. He has been actively engaged in farming since that time and is one of those men who made this county one of the best in the State of Kansas. He was married October, 1, 1884, to Miss Matilda Wilkins, who is a daughter of John Wilkins, who located in this county north of Ellinwood in 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Byers are the parents of eight children as follows: Grace, 26 years of age, is now Mrs. A. A. Smith of Kingman County; Aletha, 24 years of age; Earl, 21 years; Pearl, 19 years, Hal, 15 years; Marion, 12 years; Stella, 9 years and Charles, 6 years of age. All the children are residing at home with the exxception of the first named. The residence which is beautifully situated, consists of eight rooms in addition to bath, closets, pantries, etc. The barn is 32 feet square and the other outbuildings, including granary, sheds, etc., are well and substantially built. With all Mr. Byers' private business, he has found time to take an active part in the affairs of his township and has held the office of trustee as well as being a member of the school board. He is an enterprising and progressive citizen and one of the best known old timers in the county who are still actively engaged in farming in Eureka township. It is to such men as Mr. Byers that the County of Barton owes its high standing among the best in the State of Kansas as well as being one of the most important agricultural sections of the country.
TOBIAS B. UNRUH was born in West Russia, in 1862, and came to America with his parents in 1874. They located east of Dundee in this county and immediately began the development of the land. Mr. Unruh was married in 1885 to Miss Eva Jontz. They are the parents of seven children: Albert, 24 years; Lydia, 22 years; Annie, 19 years; Gilbert, 17 years; Clara, 15 years; Edna, 13 years; Ira, 6 years. Mr. Unruh owns 1,200 acres of land, all of which is under cultivation, being rented or farmed by himself. The home place, which is occupied by Mr. Unruh, is owned by his father who is now engaged in the farming business in the State of Oregon. Mr. Unruh has always been an active citizen and takes a great interest in all matters that pertain to the betterment of the country. He is now serving his scond term as a trustee of Liberty township. He has twice been appointed deputy assessor for his district and is counted one of the most substantial citizens of that section of Barton County. Mr. Unruh's home place is well stocked with cattle and horses and the improvements are of the best to be found in the county. Mr. Unruh's history in this county began at a time when the future of the western part of Kansas was anything but bright. However, he is made of the kind of material that it required of the old timers to bring this county to its present standing among the counties of the state. Mr. Unruh is an enterprising and progressive citizen and is entitled to all the success he has achieved.
|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||303|
JOHN WILSON DENBO was born May 22, 1847, in Crawford County, Indiana, where he remained until 1880, when he came to Kansas and located in Atchison County, where he resided for six years before coming to Barton County. Upon his arrival here he purchased 160 acres of land in section 26 in South Bend township. His land comprises the southwest quarter of this section, all of which is being farmed under Mr. Denbo's supervision. Mr. Denbo was married in 1890 to Miss Marguerite L. Hawk of Atchison and they are the parents of six children as follows: Edna, 21 years of age; Vernon, 20 years of age; Edith, 17 years of age; Clarence, 14 years of age; Hazel, 13 years of age and Chester, who died December 9, 1910. The home place is located about nine miles southeast of Great Bend and it is Mr. Denbo's intention to erect a new, modern residence within the very near future. The home now consists of four rooms with closets, pantries, etc. The barn is 40 by 56 feet in dimensions. The other improvements consist of granaries and other outbuildings that are needed for successful farm management. Mr. Denbo enlisted in the 144th Indiana Regiment January 31, 1864, and was honorably disccharged August 5, 1865. In addition to the home place Mr. Denbo owns the northwest quarter of section 27, in South Bend township, and 240 acres of land in Gray County, Kansas. Mr. Denbo farms all the land in South Bend which altogether makes a total of 320 acres. Mr. Denbo farms according to best methods, having gained by experience the knowledge that can be obtained only by experiencing the years, both good and poor that have made the agricultural history of the country since he came to the County of Barton.
SAMUEL BENJAMIN COMFORT was born near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 26, 1857. He remained in his native state until he was eighteen years of age and then went to Nevada where he resided for four years. He then came to Kansas and located in Barton County on what is now his home place, in section 18 of Great Bend township, where he owns and farms 300 acres of land. He was married in 1886 to Miss Annie Majors and they are the parents of two children: May, 24 years of age, is now Mrs. Edward Hermis, of Ellinwood, and Bernard, who is 19 years of age, aids his father in the operation of the farm. The home place has on it a neat, well arranged residence that contains eight rooms in addition to closets, pantries, etc. The barn is well built and is 30 by 52 feet in dimensions and there are also found on the place all the necessary outbuildings including granaries, etc. Mr. Comfort was raised on a farm and has learned by experience the best methods to be applied under the conditions to be found in this section of the country. Mr. Comfort came to this county when it required men of know!edge to get anything like results from the soil while it was in the condition found by the early settlers. Mr. Comfort is one of that number of old timers who raised this county from a barren waste to its present high state of cultivation. It was men like Mr. Comfort who had unflinching faith in the future who took the bad years with the good and made them average enough profit to peg along and enable them to build homes and reclaim the soil from the Indians and buffalo. Mr. Comfort had no small part in developing the resources of the county and it is to him and those who came at the same time that Barton County owes its high standing among the best counties of the state of Kansas and the entire country.
FRANK NICHOLAS BATCHMAN was born December 6, 1867, in Sandusky, Ohio. He came to Barton County with his parents in 1878. His father, Jacob Batchman, bought land and immediately began the cultivation of the soil. The subject of this sketch went to school for several years and took up the same occupation as that followed by his father and his home place is now one of the most desirably located in Comanche township. The home place consists of 160 acres in section 19. In addition to this land Mr. Batchman owns and farms 40 acres of land adjoining his on the north. He was married in 1886 at Ellinwood to Miss Lillie Wonders. To this union there were born two children: Elmo, 25 years of age, who resides north of Great Bend, and Mabel, 22 years of age, is now Mrs. V. Dantzman and resides near St. John, Kansas. Mr. Batchman survived his first wife and was married to Miss Louise Schrepel of Ellinwood. They are the parents of five children: Fred, 13; Dora, 10; Frank, 8; Alfred, 7; and Lola 5 years of age, all of whom are
students in the schools of Barton County. The residence is located on a high spot of ground and consists of six rooms in addition to the closets and pantries. The barn is 40 by 44 feet in dimensions and has a large loft. A small orchard is found on the home place where trees representing nearly all varieties of fruits, common to this section, are raised. Mr. Batchman has a good grade of cattle and horses and is an enterprising and progressive farmer and has taken a large part in developing that part of the county lying south of the river.
DENNIS RUDOLPH LOGAN was born August 22, 1848, in Huntington County, Pa. He came to Barton County in 1872 and located a homestead near Pawnee Rock. it being the southeast quarter of 32-15-20. He proved up on this claim, residing there four years. Then he went to Barber County where he was in the cattle business for two years. At the end of this time he returned to Pawnee Rock and formed a partnership with Chas. Gano. This partnership continued for several years when Mr. Gano sold out to E. W. Smith. The firm of Logan & Smith continued for several years in the same business after which Mr. Logan became the sole owner of the store which carried a fine line of general merchandise. Mr. Logan has been engaged in mercantile trade in the town of Pawnee Rock for thirty-five years and at the present time owns a big general store and a completely stocked furniture store both of which are under his personal management. Mr. Logan was married to Maggie T. Mardis of Johnson County, Kansas, July 25, 1847. They are the parents of six children: Earl, 29, assists his father in the management of his business interests; Helen, 15 years of age, resides at home and is being educated in the schools of the county; Arthur, 17; Lloyd, six months. Effie, three years and Roy, two years, died at the ages given. The cause of their deaths being an affection of the throat which was so common among the children of this section in the 80's. Mr. Logan has always taken an active part in the upbuilding of Pawnee Rock and the development of this section of the county. In addition to his business interests, Mr. Logan owns a fine modern residence containing nine rooms, bath, closets, etc. Several town lots and 60 acres of farming land which is being cultivated by renters. He is vice-president and a director of the Farmers and Merchants Bank and owns both the business houses which are occupied by his stores. Mr. Logan is one of those pioneers who came to this county at a time when it required nerve and great faith in the future to remain here and withstand the hardships incident to home building and development work at that time in the State of Kansas. Mrs. Logan enjoys the distinction of having been mayor of Pawnee Rock. She is one of the few women in the State of Kansas who has held the highest office in a municipality. The Logan family is one of the best known in Barton County and Mr. Logan is especially well known in commercial circles and has done a great deal to make Barton County one of the best in the State of Kansas.
HENRY GAGELMAN was born in Prussia in 1854, and came to this country with his parents in 1864. He followed his brother William west, coming to Barton County in 1887, ten years after William had arrived. He bought railroad land and like his brother, became one of the substantial citizens of the county. He remained on his farm twenty-three years and cultivated the soil and during that time he accumulated 400 acres of land which he still owns. Since his retirement from the farming business in 1910, the land has been cultivated and managed by his sons. Henry Gagelman was married to Miss Adele Buscher in 1882 and they now have five children as follows: William F., 27 years; Edward W., 25 years; Annie, 23; Lillie, 21; and August, 19 years. Of these, William, Edward and Lillie are married and all five of them are living in Barton County. Mr. Gagelman owns a fine, modern residence at 2222 Broadway in Great Bend. His original home place is located thirteen miles west of Great Bend in one of the richest sections of the county. Although he has always taken an active part in any movement that was for the benefit of the country he has never mixed in politics and never held a public office of any kind. He came to this county at a time when only the stout hearted could see anything but disaster in the future, but he, like a number of the other old timers, could see the future that was in store for this county by the right kind of development work and he always took an active part in this work and his success has been due to consistent effort and a never lacking faith in the county's ultimate importance as an agricultural section second to no place in the country.
|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||305|
"WOODLAWN PLACE" three and one half miles west of Great Bend, covers two hundred acres and is the home of Samuel H. and Adda Bratton Gwinn. It is so named because of the gigantic growth of woodland surrounding the residence and covering ten acres in its immediate vicinity. The orchard is a part of this, and when in full bearing supplies much dainty fruit. The house is a large two story frame and stands well to the front, and as the location is at a turn of the main Larned road it is very conspicuous. Well back in the rear is a large barn and other outbuildings, and across the roadway are still others. There are fifty acres in pasture lands, and on it graze many cattle. In fact, Mr. Gwinn divides his time between farming and breeding bovines, and when crops are good grows, buys and feeds quite a few. The near proximity of this farm to the city, its immense growth of timber and its high state of cultivation makes this one of the valuable and attractive farms of the section.
Samuel H. Gwlnn was born July 13, 1857, in Carroll County, Indiana. He grew to manhood on a farm and received his education in the public schools of the Hoosier state. In 1878, when twenty-one year of age, he came to Barton County to begin life, and first found work as a farm hand. In 1884 he conducted a livery barn in Great Bend and in 1890 bought the two hundred acre farm on which he resides.
Samuel Gwinn and Miss Adda L. Bratton, of Great Bend, were married on August 1, 1883, and they are the parents of three living children: Fay Jennie; Edward J. and George Robert Gwinn, all residing with their parents at their home.
THE life story of Jacob Alefs is more of a success than of adventure, although his first recollections are so intertwined with the early history of Barton County that it is hard to separate the cne from the other. He came to the county when about thirteen years of age, accompanying his parents, Henry and Katherine Alefs, who settled on two quarters of land in the Cheyenne Bottoms, seven miles north of Great Bend. The father and mother were German, born and bred and the family that crossed the ocean in 1860 were the parents, a brother, John, and little Jacob, only seven months old. They first settled in Michigan, then in Chicago, where the father owned a furniture store. This was burned in the great Chicago fire and shortly after, in 1873, the family came to this county to make a new home. The father's health soon became impaired and at the age of sixteen the management of the farm fell to Jacob and he was the main support of the family until their death, Henry Alefs dying in 1884, and Mrs. Katherine Alefs on September 13th, 1887. The death of an only brother, John Alefs, occurred on January 31st, 1888, and Jacob Alefs became possessed of the lands and property of the deceased. He had, however, begun farming on his own account in 1884 and was fast laying the foundation for the fortune he has since acquired, and this rugged education and preparation for the handling of a large landed estate has probably been the chief reason for his success. It has been acquired by great effort and self denial and he richly deserves the retirement he no doubt longs for.
Jacob Alefs owns and farms eleven hundred and twenty acres of the best wheat, corn and alfalfa land in the county. It is located four and one-half miles northwest of Great Bend, and is practically in one body. It is in a high state of cultivation nd the buildings, fences, etc., are in good repair. The residence is a two-story frame, containing twelve rooms and a hall; it is enclosed within a neat yard and this plot is set with grass, shrubs and flowers. The large barn, granary, elevator and other buildings cluster about and they are all painted so tastefully that they harmonize with the green foilage of the trees which park the whole surroundings.
Jacob Alefs and Miss Elizabeth Miller were united in marriage on August 13th, 1884, and they have had four children born. Two died in infancy, and Daniel Alefs, 18, and Mae Alefs, 11, add sunshine to the home.
THE life story of Patrick Emmet Murphy would be unusual in any other country than this where it seems all are self-made; but when spread on paper and the rough places glossed over one can read between the lines the struggles and hardships he and his family must have endured while making their start in this county. He landed at the depot in Great Bend in the spring of 1884 with his household goods, a team of mules and two cows, and when he had paid the freight had but one dollar left with which to begin his struggle for existence. Land was plentiful and tenants in demand and he soon had his family located and began the fight. When harvest came he worked for seventeen days with his team at good wages, and during the first year as a renter he kept things going by working for others when opportunity offered. The second year he decided to purchase railroad landthe price being around ten dollars per acre; divided into eleven yearly payments. To make this trade he had to raise $136 for the first payment. Fortunately one hundred of this could be had, but the other $36 was, as he first thought, an impossibility. Finally by mortgaging his mule team and paying 36 per cent interest, he secured the loan and became possessed of the first quarter section of his present farm of three hundred and twenty acres. Since then life has been less strenuous, and his farm has been made one of the most fertile and best improved of his neighborhood, which is seven miles southwest from Great Bend. He has built there a two and one-half story frame, with nine large rooms, grown a grove of three acres of beautiful forest trees, has a barn 40x40, a cow barn 18x28, and numerous other outbuildings. Patrick E. Murphy was born on August 10, 1856, near Montreal, Canada, and in 1866 came to Chillicothe, Mo., with his parents, John and Margaret Murphy, where they settled on a farm. There he was educated and remained until coming to Barton County, Kansas, on March 7, 1884. In addition to conducting his farm Mr. Murphy has been manager of the Moses Bros.' elevator at Dundee for thirteen years, and was elected commissioner of the Third district in 1908. His term is for four years and expires this year. He will no doubt be retained as his duties have been performed concientlously and to the satisfaction of all. Patrick E. Murphy was married on January 10, 1882, to Miss Margaret Theresa Welch, of Livingston County, Mo., and they are the parents of ten children: Mrs. Catherine Keenan, of Liberty township; Thomas Emmet and John Francis Murphy, conducting a grocery store at Hoisington; Mary Magdaline, Agnes Bernadine, Ralph Michael, Margaret Grace, William Walter, Lawrence Patrick and Edward Mathew all living at home.
HENRY JAMES CAMPBELL was born September 17, 1862, in Stark County, Illinois. He remained in his native state until he was twelve years of age when he came to Barton County. He was accompanied by his father, they having made the trip from Illinois in a wagon. They located on the John Atkin farm in Clarence township. Henry's first work was on Ellinwood-McPherson branch of the Santa Fe Railroad. He began farming for himself when he was nineteen years old. He now farms 560 acres of land in this county and owns three quarters in Rush County and a section in Ford County. He was married in 1889 to Miss Mary Merten and they are the parents of four children. Mrs. Campbell's parents are old timers of the county and are mentioned in another part of this book. The children are: Arthur, 22 years of age, is farming near Spearville; Frank, 20 years of age, Leslie, 19 years of age and Nellie, 14 years of age are living at home. Mr. Campbell is one of those men who came here when he was but a child and has seen the country grow from an abode of buffalo and Indians to its present high state of cultivation. He is one of the large number of younger farmers who have taken up the work of developing the soil where their elders left off and are maintaining its high standing among the best counties of the State of Kansas. Mr. Campbell's home place is well located and is surrounded by fine shade and ornamental trees. The residence contains seven roams besides the closets, pantries, etc. The barn is 60 by 28 feet in dimensions, is well built and has a great deal of room. Mr. Campbell has found time to take an active part in the affairs of the community and has served on the school board as well as having held township offices. Mr. Campbell is one of the best known men in that part of the county and is an enterprising and progressive citizen.
|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||307|
BEFORE becoming a peaceful farmer and retiring to Great Bend John T. Morrison was a member of Co. H, 13th Missouri Cavalry and he served in the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Colorado and Wyoming during the war of the rebellion, 1861-5, and participated in a number of battles, but as his regiment was stationed for the greater part of the time on the frontier their duty was to protect the lives of citizens from the depredations of the Indians on the border. In 1865 he found himself stationed at Ft. Zarah where the city of Great Bend has since been built, and he now claims an earlier knowledge of this sectica than is possessed by those who came later. In describing the country he says it was a barren waste, covered with tufts of buffalo grass and inhabited by Indians, prairie dogs and ant beds. That there was little timber on the streams, and one taking a position about where the court house now stands, the barren mounds of sand across on the south side of the river looked like shocks of wheat. Rattle snakes, wolves, antelope and buffalo were too numerous to be comfortable, and the latter were so thick that one in a low place often mistook a herd on a rise in the distance for a cloud or coming storm.
John T. Morrison was born May 27th, 1842, in Gurnsey County, Ohio, on a farm, and when two years of age his parents moved to Wayne County, Iowa. While receiving his schooling at the public schools of his district he worked for his father on the farm, and in 1861 volunteered as a soldier and joined the 13th Missouri Cavalry. Three years after the close of the war, on January 26th, 1868, he married Miss Clarisa E. Ormsby, of Wayne County, Iowa, and they are the parents of five sons: Dr. Elmer E. Morrison, of Great Bend; Thomas C. Morrison, merchant, Hoisington; Sydney N. Morrison, who died in 1903; John C. Morrison, civil engineer, supposed to be in the Klondyke country, and Clarence E. Morrison, jeweler, of County, Kansas, in the fall of 1878, and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in Fairview township, and later purchased another quarter of school land. He also owns his residence at the corner of Kansas Avenue and Eighth street, and he and his estimable wife take life easy.
FOUR miles northwest of Great Bend is the the 80 acre homestead of Jake Miller, now the property of Daniel Miller, Sr. It is a comfortable little body of land and in a high state of cultivation. About two acres is set in orchard; a part in timothy and alfalfa and the remainder reserved for corn and wheat. It is enclosed with stone posts and wired, and then divided into fields of the most convenient size. There has been no attempt at display in the erection of the improvements, yet every convenience necessary for the comfort of man and beast is there to be found. It represents the life work of a man born on a farm, who expects to die as he has lived. To part Mr. Miller from the soil which he loves would be cruel, but to separate him from the breeding and feeding of horses, cattle and hogs would be a crime. He was born March 11, 1842, and is 70 years of age. The first twenty years were passed on a farm in Pennsylvania, the next nineteen on a farm in Ohio, and the past thirty-three years improving the farm on which he now resides.
On March 25, 1878, when Daniel Miller, Sr., came to Barton County and took possession of this place he had little besides the bare land, a wife and a large flock of youngsters. If the crops failed, which was not unusual, he knew that be would have to face a condition, and not a theory. Remembering that once in Ohio he had followed butchering for a time, Mrs. Miller suggested that he take up that calling in addition to his farm work and he decided to do so provided he could induce some good soul to trust him for the first animal to be slaughtered. John Cook, Sr., now deceased, sold him a steer for $15, and when dressed and delt out netted a profit of $7.00. Then others were bought and killed and a business established that fed the wife and little ones, and at the same time proved that Mr. Miller understood the buying, selling and slaughtering of stock, and that he was prompt pay and worthy to be trusted. John V. Brinkman became advised of this and when Dan Miller decided that there was money to be made in buying, feeding and shipping cattle and hogs to the market backed him with what money he desired. He then began buying and shipping and was soon known as "Miller, the cattle man," over several counties, and it is said that he was the first man to ship in car lots from Barton County. He has not become as wealthy as some, yet for honest dealing he stands at the top and we consider that his life work has been a grand success.
He married Miss Margaret Elizabeth Harter early in life and from that union these children were born: Mrs. Jake Alefs, Warren Miller, Mrs. Chas. Gabbert, Arthur Miller, Mrs. William Schroeder, Daniel Miller, Jr., Mrs. Jas. A. Currey, Robert Miller, Mrs. Ed Schultz and Mrs. Walter Boyd. They are all prosperous and healthy and located within a day's drive of the old homestead.
THE ancestors of the subject of this sketch were of English origin. His father was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, his mother, Mary Griffin, in Baltimore, Maryland. When sixteen years of age, his father entered the American navy, and after four years service, he engaged in whaling in the Pacific ocean, during which service his vessel twice rounded Cape Horn, a very dangerous undertaking in those days. After serving a year and a half in this business he spent four years on the Sandwich Islands,' being the only white man on the Islands. On his return he married and settled in Huntington, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in the manufacture of carriages. From thence he removed to Pittsburg and afterwards to Boonville, Missouri, and established himself in his former business. When the gold fever broke out he joined a party of gold seekers, and crossing the plains went to California, being eventually engaged in trade with the Islanders who occupied the islands between San Francisco and China. He died there in 1856.
Channel P. Townsley was born in Huntington, Pennsylvania, February 4, 1833. After the removal of his parents to Boonville, Missouri, he came under the instruction of Professor Kemper, of the Kemper Institute at that place. His vacations and leisure time he occupied in acquiring the trade of carriage making in his father's shop. After arriving in his eighteenth year he remained in Boonville one year after his father's departure for California, then went to California, Moniteau Ccunty, Missouri and began the manufacture of carriages at that place. Devoting his spare time to the study of law at the expiration of three years he removed to Georgetown, Pettis County, and was there admitted to the bar and began the practice of law. He became city attorney and continued his practice until 1861 when he enlisted in the 40th Regiment Missouri State Militia. He was commissioned adjutant and joining General Lyons's command was in the battle of Wilson Creek.
He served four years in the state service with the rank of captain, his regiment being most of the time engaged in defending the borders against Price's troops and ridding the state of predatory brands of guerrillas and bush-whackers.
Returning to Pettis County at the close of the war, he settled at Sedalia, and again took up the practice and profession of law. In 1886 he was elected county and city attorney and in 1867 was elected to the State Senate on the Republican ticket. He was chairman of the penitentiary committee, and a member of the judi- establishing the State Agricultural College and State Normal School, being a member of the visiting committee, and also a regent of the State University. He was elected judge of the Fifth Judicial District, holding the position six years. On the expiration of his term of office he resumed the practice of law for another year, when the Democratic party, advocating measures not in accordance with his views, naturally induced him to remove to the Republican State of Kansas.
He came to Great Bend in 1875 and started in his profession. The next year he established the "Inland Tribune." Devoting his paper to the interests of the Republican party and the farming community, he obtained for it a wide circulation throughout the Arkansas Valley, where its influence was strongly felt. He married Miss Laura A. Moses, December 7, 1865. She was a resident of Rockford, Illinois, and daughter of A. G. Moses, formerly of New York. Ten children were born to the union, five of whom are still living. They are Chan P. Townsley of New York, Mrs. E. S. Leland, of Troy, Kansas, Will Townsley, Charles Townsley and Laura Townsley of Great Bend.
As a representative of the people, Judge Townsley was deservedly popular. He was an able lawyer, keen-sighted and practical. As a resident of Barton County from the first he felt the need of letting the outside world know the advantage of county and state and he established the Inland Tribune which has grown continuously and which is a m™nument to him. A few years after the paper was started he changed the name to the Great Bend Tribune which name has continued.
He was noted as a writer of clear, concise English, and his editorial ability was such that the Tribune was a favorite among the reviewers of newspapers as long as he contributed to its editorial columns. He had opportunities to accept positions as editorial writer on large publications but preferred to be absolutely free, to own his own paper and to work for himself,his family and community. He had a deep faith in the future prosperity of Kansas and never an issue of the Tribune contained a doleful note concerning this locality. Plague or drouth might destroy crops, bad years might come, but he constantly preached the value of the land and the fact that conditions could not be bettered elsewhere. There was an optimism about the paper that undoubtedly did its share in attracting the eyes of the outside world to this locality and in a favorable way.
As an editorial writer any subject which he did not subscribe to would appear ridiculous under the shaft of his ridicule and sarcasm. As a writer on topics of national interest he was unexcelled. His knowledge of the Bible and of Shakespeare was such that he could quote from these books upon any subject. It would be hard to state in which particular he excelled. That the majority might fail to subscribe to his beliefs did not affect him. He was unswerving in his fidelity to the people, honest in his beliefs and politically often took a stand foreign to the desire of party bosses, but which in the end proved him in the right. He left his
|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||309|
impress upon the community in which he lived and much of the upbuildlng of Barton County is due to his stand for the right, during the crucial days when it was easier to overlook such things than to take a stand against them.
The end came to him August 4, 1907, after a period of nearly three years suffering from a nervous breakdown, during which time he tried in vain changes of climate and location to improve his health. At the time of his death he was 74 years, 5 months and 21 days of age. His widow and five children survive him.
A HISTORY of Barton County would be altogether incomplete without a sketch of C. Q. Newcombe, who, although not one of the very early settlers of the county came here when the country was in a formative state and did much toward the development of the earlier years. Mr. Newcombe was born in Batavia, New York, in 1823, and came from Flint, Michigan, in January of 1876, locating a homestead and timber claim on the east half of section 24 in North Cheyenne township. For a short time after coming to Kansas he located his family at Peace (now Sterling) in Rice County. At the time of his coming he purchased two sections of land from the Santa Fe Railway Company, being sections 17 and 19 in Independent township, and was at that time one of the largest land holders in that locality. He paid $2 an acre for this railroad land. Mr. Newcombe shipped the first full blood Shorthorn cattle to Barton County, also the first fullblood Berkshire and Suffolk hogs. He shipped four car load of live stock from his old Michigan home, part of which was high grade and part fullblood stock. For one bull of his herd he was offered $500 which was an enormous price at that time. Many of the better herds of the earlier days were here as a result of these shipments of fine stock in 1876. He shipped a very fine trotting mare to this county at the same time which was doubtless the best in the county at the time, having a record of 2:30. The name of the mare was Lady Nellie Seely. In the earlier years of his life Mr. Newcombe gave special attention to mathematical studies and might be classed as an expert along that line. From the time he was nineteen years of age he was engaged in civil engineering work, being employed in constructing locks along the Erie Canal, railroad work of various kind and sewer work. It was but natural that within a few years after his location in Barton County, when his special qualifications became known, that he should be elected to the office of county surveyor, which office was tendered him by a very large vote in 1879. He served as county surveyor for three terms, moving to Great Bend at the time of his first election. His work as surveyor was of the very best. In 1889 he established a nursery business in Great Bend and conducted this for about twelve years. Mr. Newcontbe has been a devoted member of the Masonic lodge since his early life and has the record of being a Knight Templar longer than any other man now living in the State of Kansas, having been a member of that degree of the order for nearly fifty-five years. At the time of the writing of this history, although well up in years, and physically feeble, his mind is clear and bright, and he delights to talk of his early day experiences in Barton County. Mr. Newcombe has three children, all of whom live in Great Bend and vicinity: Fred B., Sidney A. and Mrs. Millicent Treat
ON March 18, 1848 the subject of this sketch was born in Limerick, Ireland, which fact is intimation enough as to why his parents named him Patrick. That he would still be a son of the "ould sod' is probable but for the fact that he had nothing to do with his removal to this country, the parents bringing him here with them when he was 4 years of age. And they located in Cincinnati where young Patrick grew up among Germans but retaining his Irish brogue. At the age of 16 he was making his own way in the world and got a job as fireman on the old Ohio & Mississippi railroad, now the Cincinnati and Southern. He remained with that road four years being promoted to the position of engineer and then went to work in that capacity for the M. K. & P., in Missouri. He was an enginer out of Sedalia and in 1886 when the Missouri Pacific was built across Kansas he was made a conductor by the officials of the road and sent to the front in charge of a construction train. He was in charge of one of the first trains into Hoisington and was conductor of the first construction train to reach Great Bend, his runs being out of Council Grove. He is now conductor on the Missouri Pacific, the oldest man in point of service in this section of the state and we believe the oldest man in point of service on the road. He is a kind hearted, generous man, liked by everyone who knows him and is inclined to hide his charities and little kindnesses under a gruffness that is assumed. For years no man in this section was better known than 'Pat" Boughan and the only difference between the Pat of the old days and Capt. Boughan of the present is that he is a little more generous than ever, likes the young folks more and has received a promotion in title. He was married in 1870 in Vincennes, Ind., to Miss Emma McDonald. Three children, born to the union are living, Mrs. Jennie Bishop of Kansas City, Mo., Mrs. Ella Fish, of Eau Claire, Wis., and Will Boughan of Hoisington. His wife died in this city, January 3, 1891.
WHEN you take the receiver from the hook on your telephone and within a a few seconds are in conversation with a party sometimes miles away, did you ever stop to think how much money was required and how much time and energy had to be expended in order that you might enjoy this boon of modern civilization? Very few of us have done this and in writing the history of the Arkansas Valley Telephone Co., it will be seen that were it not for the fact the officers of this company are untiring in their efforts to make their system one of the best in the country, this section like other sections of the state would still be using the old style ring on, ring off phones. This company has kept just a little ahead of the demands made upon it for the best service and in October, 1911, the Great Bend Telephone Co., absorbed the system of the Larned Telephone Co., The Stafford Telephone Co., and later after these systems had been put under one management and were known as the Arkansas Valley Telephone Company's system the company purchased the Dodge City system and the Kinley system and all these formerly small exchanges are now merged into one of the most extensive exchanges in the State of Kansas. The wires of this company branch out in every direction from Great Bend and this consolidation into one organization has resulted in the construction of continuous, uniform toll lines which greatly improved the utility of the telephone in Central Kansas and has reduced the rates to a minimum consistent with the best of service. In the fall of 1911 work was begun which resulted in the entire reconstruction of the company's exchange and equipment. This work was finished in June, 1912, and on June 15 the "cutover" was made and the old exchange was abandoned and Great Bend became the possessor of one of the most modern, up-to-date telephone exchanges in the country. This exchange employs in Great Bend in the neighborhood of two score people and during the construction work periods this number is great increased.
The first telephones that were installed in Great Bend were put in along in the eighties. These telephones were crude and not of much success. Later a company was organized and telephones put in all over town. By an order emanating from the supreme court regarding patents, all these instruments were taken out and burned. The town was without a telephone system again until a few years ago, when the late William Grimes started a new telephone company. The plant was originally an automatic affair, but was not a success. Later a central energy system was installed.
In April, 1902, the Rock Telephone Company was organized, and toll lines built connecting the several towns in which The Lindas Lumber Company was operating lumber yards, for the purpose of placing the different yards in close touch with each other. In 1903 The Great Bend Telephone Company was organized taking over the properties of the Rock Telephone Company and the telephone interests of the Grimes company.
During all of this time the telephone interests of this section of the state, and especially those in and around Great Bend before the above mentioned consolidation was made, have been in the hands of Dr. H. E. Lindas and under his management the policy of the company has always been one of advancement. The result of the company's efforts are shown in the many up-to-date features of the system that are found in few towns of Great Bend's size. The system as now being operated has all its wires in cables, most of them being underground, and the remainder will be there as soon as conditions are such as to make it possible. The exchange is located in one of the most modern buildings in Great Bend at the corner of Lakin and Main streets. Every convenience for the employees of the company have been arranged for in laying out the different rooms for the switch board, operating rooms, offices, repair rooms, etc. Great Bend's history as far as the telephone part of it goes is far ahead of the times, but it is the intention, backed by a firm determination on this company's part, to give the people of this section of the state the best that is possible !n telephone communication, in both local and long distance service.
The people have seen this company's interests grow from a private telephone system to its present high state of development and utility. This company has 4,500 subscribers all of whom are enabled at any time to talk with the outside world at a small cost and it must indeed be gratifying to Mr. Lindas, the manager of the company, to know that he has in his charge one of the best telephone systems in this part of the country. Dr. Lindas invites the public to call at the company's offices and secure permission and a guide to show them the many intricate details that make up a modern telephone system. This invitation is open to the public and those who accept it will find that they owe this company all the support they can possibly give them for keeping their system right up to the minute in this branch of public utilities.
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Transcribed from Biographical history of Barton County, Kansas. ; Illustrated. Published by Great Bend Tribune, Great Bend, KS : 1912. 318 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, July 2006.
| Tom & Carolyn Ward
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