Pages 404-406, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


  HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY 404 cont'd

William H. Avery, justice of the peace of El Dorado, is a Civil war veteran and a Butler county pioneer. Mr. Avery was born in Hillsdale, Mich., November, 19, 1837, and is a son of Horace B. and Mary (Hause) Avery, the former a native of Steuben county, New York and of New England stock, and the latter of Pennsylvania, and a descendant of Pennsylvania Dutch. The Avery family came from Vermont to New York State and Ebenezer Avery, grandfather of William H., was the founder of the family in New York. Horace B. Avery, and his wife, the parents of William H., removed from Steuben county, New York, to Michigan and spent most of their lives in Branch and Hillsdale counties, that State. H. B. Avery died at Pontiac, Ill., and the mother died at Hillsdale, Mich., in 1857.

William H. Avery is one of seven children born to his parents, as follows: William H., the subject of this sketch; C. F., a Civil war veteran who served in Company B, Eleventh regiment, Michigan infantry, and now resides at Pontiac, Ill.; D. S. was also a Civil war veteran and served in the same company as O. F. and was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, now living at Pontiac, Ill.; D. C. also served in the same company and regiment, was captured, and confined in Libby prison, contracting rheumatism from exposure, from which he never recovered and is now deceased; Mrs. Emily V. Swartout, a widow, residing at Bancroft, Mich.; Mrs. Anne Jeanette Austin, a


  HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY 405

widow, residing at El Dorado, Kans., and Mrs. Ella Withington, a widow residing at Detroit, Mich.

Mr. Avery was reared to manhood in Hillsdale county, Michigan, and attended the public school. He was brought up on a farm and thus became familiar with that line of work, and in early life learned the stone-mason's trade, and worked at that occupation until July 31, 1862, when he enlisted at Hillsdale, Mich., in Company D, Eighteenth regiment, Michigan infantry. His regiment served with the army of the Cumberland, and after participating in a number of skirmishes, they took part in the battle of Nashville. Mr. Avery was thrown from his horse and his spine so severely injured that later he was placed in the invalid corps and detailed to duty in the quartermaster's department and served until after the close of the war, receiving his honorable discharge in July, 1865.

Mr. Avery was married February 21, 1860, to Miss Mariah A. Hall, a native of New York who was reared and educated in Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Avery passed their golden wedding anniversary six years ago and bear the distinction of having been married longer than any other couple in Butler county. To Mr. and Mrs. Avery were born two children, Ulysses Sherman and Hattie L., the latter dying at the age of sixteen years. Ulysses Sherman married Maggie Dean, a Butler county girl, now deceased. Two children were born to Ulysses Sherman Avery and wife: Anne M., who was educated in private school and is a graduate of El Dorado High School, now serving her second term as clerk of the District court of Butler county, and Elizabeth, a student in the El Dorado High School. The mother of these girls died when the younger was about a year old, and the children were reared and educated by their grandparents and they seem more like the children of Mr. and Mrs. Avery than their grandchildren.

William H. Avery is a Kansas pioneer in the fullest sense of the term. He came to this State, or rather territory, in 1860, and at that time there was not a mile of railroad in the territory of Kansas. Mr. Avery came as far as St. Joseph, Mo., by rail, having started originally for Pikes Peak, but about the time he reached St. Joseph he heard discouraging news from the Pikes Peak boom and he drifted as far west as where Emporia now stands, the town at that time consisting of three houses, one of which belonged to Preston Plumb who later became United States Senator from Kansas. Mr. Avery went as far west as Little River on a buffalo hunt and has seen the plains when buffalo could be seen as far as the vision reached. In 1860 he killed seven buffalo on one trip, and when Avery first came to Kansas deer could be seen here by the thousands. After remaining here during the summer and fall of 1860, he returned to Michigan where he remained until he enlisted in the army, as above stated, and in 1865, after receiving his discharge, he returned to Kansas and located in Clifford township, Butler county, and was a pioneer of that section of


406 HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY  

Butler county. He built the first stone school house in Butler county, which was in District No. 21, Clifford township, and was built in 1872 and is still standing. He built a number of stone dwellings in the early days. Further interesting historical information in reference to Mr. Avery's career in Clifford township will be found in the chapter containing the history of that township. When Mr. Avery settled in Clifford township his nearest neighbor was three miles distant and he experienced all the trials and vicissitudes of pioneer life in Butler county. He remained on his Clifford township homestead until 1887, when he removed to El Dorado. Here he bought out a marble works and conducted that business for two years.

In 1890 Mr. Avery was admitted to practice as a pension attorney in the Department of the Interior at Washington. D. C., and since that time has conducted an extensive practice in that specialty of the law. He has been a notary public for a number of years and for twenty-four years has been a justice of the peace in El Dorado, and he has also been a police judge for six years. Mr. Avery is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Lew Wallace Post No. 66, and is past commander of the local order here. He was made a Mason at Lexington, Ky., fifty-two years ago, and for fifteen years has been secretary of the local lodge. He is a Republican and takes an active part in local politics and served as chairman of the Republican county central committee for six years.


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Pages 404-406, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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