John R. Headley

JOHN R. HEADLEY, an extensive land owner and prosperous farmer of Cherokee County, lives at "Pleasant View Farm" in Neosho township, where he has a fine home and pleasant surroundings. He is one of the sturdy pioneers who came to this country at an early day, located on prairie land, and by dint of hard labor converted it into fertile fields. He has succeeded beyond the average, and is at the present time a man of prominence and influence in his community.

Mr. Headley was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, July 17, 1838, and is a son of Amos and Experience (Lindley) Headley. His father lived for a time in Ohio and died in Pennsylvanian, while on a visit, at the age of 65 years; at that time his home was in Tyler County, West Virginia. His wife died in Greene County, Pennsylvania, in 1846. They had 12 children,—seven sons and five daughters.

John R. Headley was about a year old when taken by his parents to Greene County, Pennsylvania, and nine years later he was taken by his father to Virginia, where they remained two years. Returning to Pennsylvania, he lived there until he was 25 years of age, farming most of the time and working in a mill for one year. He then went to LaSalle County, Illinois, and farmed two years, after which he sold out and returned to Pennsylvania where he was married. He later returned to Illinois, and then went to Iowa, where he lived one year. He next went to Missouri and rented a farm located 18 miles from Lexington, which he cultivated for two years. In the fall of 1867, he drove a team through to Cherokee County, Kansas, where he has since lived continuously. He settled upon a tract of 160 acres, for which he paid $1.25 per acre. He built a log cabin, 14 by 16 feet, in dimensions, and for 10 years lived in it with his family. He had a small mule and pony team, but did not break any ground until the second season, going to Missouri for his feed. Baxter Springs was the nearest post office, and Kansas City the nearest railroad point. In making these trips he often encountered the Indians, with whom he traded considerably for many years. He adopted approved methods of farming and, as his success became assured, enlarged his home farm to 400 acres, in addition to which he has four 80-acre tracts in various parts of the township. During the past five years he has been running a cheese factory at Melrose, an enterprise that is in a very flourishing condition.

In 1865, Mr. Headley was united in marriage with Mary Nuss, who was born in Pennsylvania, and they became the parents of the following children: George, of Neosho township, Cherokee County; Perry L.; Laura (Warstler), of Lyon township, Cherokee County; Sarah; Alice (Koch); James, of Kansas City; Franklin; Experience; Herman; Bessie; Grover C., who died at the age of nine years; and Kitty. Politically, the subject of this sketch has been a Fusion Democrat and Populist, and has held numerous township offices, having served as school trustee for nine years. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Lacey Myers, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 12/13/96.


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