Ira Heaton

IRA HEATON, One of the leading members of the Cherokee County Bar, and one of the early settlers of Columbus, was born near Peru, Miami County, Indiana, on the Miami Indian Reservation, August 26, 1856.

The parents of Mr. Heaton were not able to give him educational advantages, or assistance in the shaping of his career. His school days ended at the age of 12 years, and when he was 16 years old he left Indiana, and came to Kansas, reaching Humboldt on October 10, 1872. Going still farther West in search of employment he stopped at what was then known as Howard, Kansas, and lived there until November, 1876, when he went to Fayetteville, Arkansas. There he lived until the fall of 1879, when he came to Columbus, where he has resided ever since.

Mr. Heaton has no trouble in recalling conditions at that time. The city was then, as now, the county seat, but there was not one well settled farm in Cherokee County. All the fine rural residences, with their great barns and many improvements, have been placed here since 1879. In the present busy city, there were but three buildings of note on the public square, which is now the pride of its citizens, the others being merely frame structures which have since been destroyed by fire, or replaced by those more in keeping with modern ideas and public progress. When Mr. Heaton came to the county there were but two coal shafts. One of these belonged to the Scammon brothers, and was located at what is now Scammon; and the other, at what was then known as Stillson, one mile south of Scammon, which was owned and operated by Gilbert Allen. Soon afterward Keith & Perry started in the coal business and other companies in that line rapidly formed.

In 1884, Mr. Heaton entered the office of Ritter & Skidmore and took up the study of the law. He was admitted to practice in June, 1889, and has successfully followed his profession ever since.

Mr. Heaton was married September 1, 1878, to Calzonia Peck. They have had seven children, all except the eldest daughter being born at Columbus. This daughter is the wife of Harry B. Price, editor and proprietor of the Harrison Herald, a stanch Republican paper at Gotebo, Oklahoma. One son is a brakeman on the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway; H. C., lives in Oklahoma, at Gotebo; and Gertrude and Mary reside at home. Clarence and another son died in infancy.

Politically, Mr. Heaton is a very active and zealous Republican. He supports the administration, and believes in the gold standard, and a high protective tariff. Fraternally, he is a Knight of Pythias.


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, 3/11/97.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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