Henry Colton is a progressive farmer and one of the most extensive breeders of hogs in the county. He has at this writing (November, 1901) one hundred and ten head of fine thoroughbred Chester Whites that are his especial pride. Among this number are fifty-two which he is feeding for the market. He has six brood sows whose increase aggregates fifty-six pigs. He has one pedegreed sow and nine thoroughbred pigs. Mr. Colton raises on an average from one hundred and sixty to one hundred and seventy pigs annually. During the month of September, 1900, he sold ninety-three April pigs for six hundred dollars; lumped them off to a Kansas City hog buyer. The proceeds of his sales in 1900 were $1,285.
The first ten or a dozen years of Mr. Colton's sojourn in Kansas he says "he had to rob Peter to pay Paul," and "rob Paul to pay Peter," but he had worked other people's land long enough and wanted a farm of his own, so he came to Kansas, the poor man's land, to secure one. In March, 1884, he bought what was the original homestead of John Pace, one of the early settlers of Cloud county. Mr. Colton put most of the improvements on the farm, remodeled the house, erected a substantial barn, sheds, a model and modern poultry house, etc. He was burdened with a debt of two thousand nine hundred dollars hanging over his head, but 1900 found him one of the most prosperous farmers and stockmen in the Solomon valley, with his farm clear of debt. He bought corn, fed hogs and raised good wheat; these were the industries that brought him to the front. He has been very successful the past four years.
Mr. Colton is a native of Jefferson county, New York, born February 12, 1838. He is a son of William Henry and Lucretia (Felt) Colton. His father was a Canadian by birth and served in the Patriot war of 1838, from which he never returned and was presumably killed. He was a blacksmith and wagon maker by occupation. The Felt ancestry were from the Green Mountain country of Vermont, and subsequently settled in Jefferson county New York. To this union three children were born. Edward and Edwin, twins. Edwin was a resident of Ottawa county for twenty-six years. In 1898 he moved to Oklahoma, where he now lives on a farm near Kingfisher. When her family of boys were small Mrs. Colton broke up housekeeping. Edward was placed with a family with whom he became dissatisfied, ran away from home at the age of fifteen years and has not been heard from since.
Mr. Colton received a limited education, working in summer and attending school in winter. He located in Indiana when nineteen years of age and began farming for himself. In 1866 he emigrated to Benton county, Iowa, where he farmed until coming to Kansas in 1884. Mr. Colton was married in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1862, to Esther Clark, a daughter of D.L. Clark, of Huron county, Ohio. Mrs. Colton was a successful school teacher in Ohio and Indiana. Her mother died when she was three years old and her father when she was nine.
To Mr. and Mrs. Colton have been born six sons and six daughters, viz.: James H., a farmer of Meredith township, married to Lydia Bates; they are the parents of one child, Neva. Edwin, employed as fireman on the Rock Island railroad, married Mary Hurley, a daughter of James Hurley (see sketch) they are the parents of three children, Ray, Frank and Theresa. Eva, the widow of William Mantz, is the mother of three children, Nona, Stella and Constance. Nellie, wife of Edwin Throckmorton, residents of Golden, Colorado, where he is employed as clerk in a store. He is a printer by trade. They have two children, Clare and Esther. Cynthia, wife of A.O. Holbert, a farmer and stockman of Meredith township; their family consists of two children, Fred and Lottie Marie. George, a member of the police force of Denver, Colorado, married Isabella Berry, of Deliver, formerly of Lincoln, Nebraska. Adelia, Lawrence and Laura, twins, (the latter died in infancy); Lucretia and Lenard, twins (the latter died in infancy), and Lester Grant, who was born on the aninversary of President Grant's birthday, and was named for that statesman. Adelia and Lucretia, prepossessing young women, are members of the household.
Mr. Colton is a Populist, politically. He has served his township two years as trustee, three years as treasurer and a member of the school board for several years.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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