JAMES R. PETERS. Among the wealthy and influential citizens of the county, none stands higher in the public esteem and can count more real friends, than James R. Peters, a farmer living in section 15, township 32, range 22, in Sheridan township. He was born in Dutchess County, New York, November 4, 1839. His father, John Cotton Smith Peters, was the owner of and ran a cotton factory for many years. Going South when our subject was only six months old, he died there of yellow fever.
The mother married a second husband, Stephen Griffin, whose occupation was milling. The two children of her first marriage are: George A., deceased, and James R., our subject. To the second marriage were born a son and a daughter, both of whom are living: John, a miller at French Creek, New York; and Ella, who lives in Pennsylvania.
In 1844, Mrs. Griffin and the children moved to Chester County, New York, where she died in 1846 and our subject was left alone in the world when only seven years of age. From the time of his mother's death, he lived out among relatives, and received rather harsh treatment, and had no advantages whatever. His schooling was sadly neglected, and little chance if any was given him to obtain even a common education.
Mr. James R. Peters married Harriet A. Morgan, a native of New York State. She was boorn in Clymer, in the aforenamed State, on February 17, 1842. The family consisted of five children, three of whom are living, as follows: Sarah A., the eldest child, born November 15, 1860, who is the wife of Asa Westervelt, a farmer of Sheridan township; Ella O., born October 15, 1862, who died two years later; Abbie C., born September 9, 1869, who married Francis Kutz, of Sheridan township, and had six children, of whom five are living; Emma E., born May 15, 1878, and deceased August 28th of the same year; and Pearl Estella, born December 18, 1879, who married Henry Bucklen, of Kansas, and has one son,--Gordon.
Ahasuerus Peters, the grandfather of our subject, was a Methodist Episcopal minister in Connecticut.
After his 15th birthday our subject went to work for himself and by selling stock and doing different kinds of work in and about Clymer, New York, he, by the hardest labor, accumulated enough to buy a farm of 130 acres. He started with the small sum of 50 cents and is now possessed of about ten thousand dollars. In October, 1879, he came to Cherokee County, Kansas, and located on 80 acres of land in Sheridan township. Later he added another 80 acres to his first purchase, and has now nearly 160 acres of improved land. The first year of his residence in the county he raised 40 bushels of wheat, 114 bushels of oats and 1,800 bushels of corn. His farm now produces all of the small grains besides large quantities of hay. Mr. Peters has dealt in stock quite extensively and keeps numbers of horses, cattle and hogs. He has also been engaged in the loaning business, having large amounts out at a time.
In politics our subject is a stanch Republican and is very active as he is one of the leaders of his party in the county. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is well known in religious circles.
His success here as well as during his more youthful days is due to his habits of industry and to his perseverance and well directed efforts, the latter being the keynote of success in any line.
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, 5/5/97.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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