Franklin Elliott

FRANKLIN ELLIOTT, county treasurer of Cherokee County, whose portrait appears on the opposite page, is the owner of a fine farm of 200 acres in section 26, township 33, range 24, in Crawford township, and has been a resident of Columbus since the fall of 1903. He was born in 1842 in Henry County, Indiana, and is a son of Solomon and Penelope (Morris) Elliott.

Solomon Elliott and his wife were born in Indiana and came from Quaker ancestry. The great-grandfather on the paternal side was born in North Carolina, and as far back as can be traced the family has lived up to the faith of peace and simplicity advocated by the followers of that early reformer, George Fox.

Solomon Elliott died in Indiana about 1902, aged 83 years. In his locality he was considered a just man, and to him were entrusted the estates of many minors, his integrity of character being above question. His wife also died in Indiana, aged 65 years. Of their children. Franklin was the eldest, the others being as follows: Martin Luther, a carpenter by trade, and now a resident of Carthage, Missouri; Emma F., who died in Ohio, several years ago; Lindley, now an invalid, and a resident of Carthage, Missouri, who formerly served four years in the collector's office in that city; Laura C., who is the wife of William Mills, of Indiana; Amanda, who has been a teacher in the public schools at Moline, Illinois, for a number of years; and Milo P., who has recently located near Salem, Oregon, having formerly managed the home farm in Indiana.

The subject of this sketch was educated at Earlham College, at Richmond, Indiana, after serving his country for three years during the Civil War. He enlisted in 1861 in Company A, 36th Reg., Indiana Vol. Inf., as a private. His first baptism of fire was on the field of Shiloh. His regiment was first attached to the 21st Army Corps, which was in the advance guard of General Buell's army, and Mr. Elliott was a participant in that campaign. On December 31, 1862, he was wounded, at Murfreesboro, and again, on October 19, 1863, at Chickamauga. While the first wound was slight, the second was of a very serious nature, and was complicated by his being taken prisoner. He later secured a parole, but recovered sufficiently to take part in the siege of Atlanta and the battle at Jonesboro south of that city. In the fall of 1864, he returned to Indiana, with the record of a brave and gallant soldier, who was never absent from his post of duty except when incapacitated by wounds.

Mr. Elliott then entered college where by close application he was able to cover the three-year course in two and a half years, but at the expense of his health. Prior to leaving college he began to preach, a profession he followed for about 30 years, although not continuously. His ability was recognized by various educational institutions, and he received numerous flattering offers, but his health continued to be so precarious that he felt obliged to decline them all; he continued, however, to make some mental efforts and did a little farm work. He accepted a position as school teacher and spent several months in that occupation in Indiana. Then at the solicitation of Prof. Joseph Moore, one of his admirers and a former instructor, he went to Deep River, North Carolina, where he assisted in normal school work.

Mr. Elliott continued to improve in health, and later accepted a position in a college at Friendsville, Tennessee. This was quite a distance from his previous location, but Mr. Elliott decided to make of the journey a partial walking trip. From Deep River to Knoxville was something of a journey, thence to Concord was another, and from there to Friendsville he made his way entirely on foot, over a but little traveled highway. He safely reached the quiet little Quaker village, and was welcomed with the heartiness of simple people, and the respect which attaches itself to superior educational requirements in a locality of that kind. There he opened Newburg Academy, with about 60 young men and women from the town and its vicinity and numerous children; he had an enrollment of from 125 to 140 pupils during his two years in that school.

Mr. Elliott then returned to Indiana and took up the study of dentistry, which he pursued for one year, after which he was tempted to return to teaching, by the offer of what he considered a sufficient salary, as principal of the Little Rock (Arkansas) High School. Prior to taking up the duties of this promising position, he went to Tennessee, and was married in Blount County. After spending, one year at Little Rock, he returned to Blount County and there entered upon educational work, being elected superintendent of the schools of that county, a position to which he was reelected. Before he had completed his second term, he resigned the position, in order to go to the Indian Territory as a missionary to the Indians.

In 1879, Mr. Elliott, with his wife and two children, located at Shawneetown, Indian Territory, where he remained six years, lacking one month, devoting himself to work with the Pottawatomies and Shawnees. Then he removed to Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas, where he remained during the winter, coming to Cherokee County in April, 1884. He located at what was called "Timbered Hill," but is now known as "Quaker," a station on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, in Crawford township. Here he purchased a farm of 40 acres, the nucleus of his present fine farm of 200 acres. It was formerly a nursery, and was very valuable property on account of being well stocked with fine fruit, the cultivation and sale of which have for years resulted in a large addition to his income. His peaches and cherries are his most reliable crops, and both do well. He has also carried on general farming, meeting with excellent success and, with the exception of six years spent in Iowa in ministerial work, the farm continued to be his home until his election to his present position required his residence in Columbus.

In the fall of 1884, Mr. Elliott went to Iowa and was followed by his family in the succeeding spring. As before mentioned, he spent six years in that State. He was pastor of the Congregational Church at Monona, Clayton County, for 16 months; of that at Eagle Grove, Wright County, over two years, and for two years he preached at Manson, Iowa. During this time the farm had been leased. Since his return to it, he has not been engaged actively in church work, giving his attention almost exclusively to his farm, and to performing the duties of township treasurer, trustee, and member of the School Board.

Mr. Elliott first married Lyda G. Grinnell, born in Indiana, daughter of Rev. Jeremiah A. Grinnell, a Quaker minister, who had traveled far and wide. Rev. Mr. Grinnell was born in Vermont, where he married Martha Tabor, who died in Tennessee, while his death, in advanced age, took place in California. Exclusive of Mrs. Elliott, his children were: Dr. F., of Pasadena, California; Rev. S. S., a graduate first, of Marysville College, Tennessee, then of Oberlin College, Ohio, and lastly of Harvard, who entered the Congregational ministry, and died in California; Edwin, lately deceased at Des Moines, Iowa, who was an editor, a member of the Iowa State Senate, and later a minister; Mrs. Rose Hastings, of Maryville, Tennessee; Mrs. Mary Alfred, who died in the Indian Territory, leaving three sons, now at Hampton Institute, Virginia; and Eveline, wife of Rev. William Cleaver, a Quaker minister at Carthage, Indiana. Mrs. Elliott died in Iowa in 1889, aged 42 years, and was buried at Des Moines. She was the mother of seven children, the youngest of whom, Albert, a babe, died soon after her decease. The others are as follows: Ethel, a professional nurse, who was born in Tennessee; Clara, born also in Tennessee, who is a teacher in the city schools at Columbus; Carl, born in the Indian Territory, who graduated in May, 1904, from the Cherokee County High School; Wilmot, who is a farmer on the homestead in Crawford township; Theron, who is engaged in fruit growing in Oregon; and a son, who died in infancy, in Tennessee.

Mr. Elliott married, second, Annie Kenyon, who was born in Iowa, of Rhode Island parentage. Two children resulted from their union,—Laura, who died aged six months, in Cherokee County, and Sarah Kenyon.

For many years Mr. Elliott was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, in Iowa, and was active in the affairs of the post at Eagle Grove. He is a Mason, was formerly identified with the Odd Fellows, and belongs to the organization known as the Anti-Horse Thief Association. Mr. Elliott commands the universal respect and confidence of his fellow citizens, and they could not have placed their financial interests in more capable hands. In politics, he has always been an ardent Republican, and has served the public in many official capacities. He was elected to his present office of county treasurer in 1902.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 2/18/97.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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