Mary J. Kanatzer

MRS. MARY J. KANATZER, a well known and highly esteemed resident of Shawnee township, Cherokee County, Kansas, residing on a finely cultivated farm in section 12, township 33, range 25, was born in Greene County, Tennessee, November 10, 1850, and is a daughter of Hiram and Esther (Reed) Proffitt.

The great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Kanatzer emigrated from England. Her great-grandfather was born in Sullivan County, in Eastern Tennessee. Her father, Jeremiah Proffitt, was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee, as was his wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Cox. Jeremiah Proffitt's mother was born in Sullivan County and died there.

Hiram Proffitt was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee, June 13, 1829. He removed in boyhood with his parents to Greene County, that State, where he was reared. The opening of the Civil War found him a loyal and patriotic supporter of the government, and he enlisted at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, on October 1, 1861, in Company C, 2nd Reg., North Carolina Vol. Inf., U. S. A., and was discharged on August 16, 1865, at Knoxville, Tennessee. On one occasion he was taken prisoner and was confined in a military prison at Mobile, Alabama, for eight months. Prior to the war he rented land and was engaged in farming. After the close of his military services, he bought a farm in Tennessee and operated it until 1868, when he moved to Illinois. He continued to farm there until six years ago, when he moved to Neosho, Missouri, where he now resides, an honored citizen. Mr. Proffitt has been married three times. In 1848 he was married to Esther Reed, in Greene County, Tennessee, who was born in that county and was a daughter of Solomon Reed. She died in 1873 in Illinois. A family of 13 children were born to this marriage; 10 of these reached maturity, as follows: Mary J.; Elizabeth, deceased, who was the wife of Charles Alcorn; Jesse E., deceased; Rufus M., of McLoud, Oklahoma; Eliza C., who was the wife of A. J. Pitman, of Smithfield, Missouri; Margaret, the wife of Elijah Close, of Alton, Illinois; Solomon; John and Daniel (twins); and Charles E., of Santa Anna, California. On the 13th of August, 1878, Mr. Proffitt married his second wife. On June 13, 1894, he married Mrs. Matilda Proffitt Morris. This was a "runaway" match, as the bride and groom went from Rice County, Kansas, to Oklahoma, and were there married without the knowledge of his family.

Mrs. Kanatzer was reared in Tennessee and accompanied her parents to Illinois in 1868. She was married on March 1, 1869, to Joseph Kanatzer. The two children born to them are,—John, of Neosho, Missouri; and Cordelia, who is the wife of John Phillip, and has two children,—Pauline and May. Mr. Phillip operates the farm in Shawnee township, left by the late Mr. Kanatzer, who was a successful farmer, and a much respected citizen. Mrs. Kanatzer was reared in the Baptist faith, her parents having belonged to that church.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Jeremy Essley, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 5/16/97


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