The author has endeavored to gather the material for the historical part of this work from the most authentic and reliable sources possible, has gleaned many extracts from admirable newspaper articles, and nearly every old settler has added his quota of historical lore.
No one yet ever wrote a history, either ancient or modern, that pleased everybody; but the substance of the greater part of the following has been collected from the people themselves, and in most instances individuals agree that "out of the months of so many witnesses the truth is established." To produce a truthful and trustworthy volume of history, one must possess a knowledge of things as they actually occurred, and give them from an unbiased standpoint which renders them a permanent value.
The "homestead settler" and "pioneer" imply a great deal more than is generally accredited to them, and should be considered distinguished personages. In the chronology of all historical works, they are accorded a conspicuous place. Around them cluster the traditions and early memories of romance, as they penetrated the wilderness and plain, fraught with untold hardships and privations to pave the pathway for the masses that followed, and many of the old veterans who saw the work begun, have passed into the great beyond and left the plans to be carried forward by civilization.
A record is herein given of personal experiences that cannot but interest and prove delightful chapters to the citizens of Cloud county. The biographies represent all classes of society, from the hardy pioneers who procured their homes by privations and toil, that now offer many luxuries - to those who cast their fortunes among them in more recent years. The contrast in transportation was great, however; the former came through the roadless, bridgeless tract of the frontier; the latter seated in a palace car - or reclining on a downy couch, and after a few hours of luxurious travel is landed in Cloud county. Those who enjoy these modern blessings would be less than human were they not filled with gratitude to these early settlers who paved the way and made the present condition of things possible.
The pioneers were attracted by the hope of procuring lands and making homes in a new country. The hope as to the future that lured them on, "Springs eternal in the human heart." Those who came were, as a rule, enterprising,. open-hearted and sympathetic. They were good neighbors, and hence good neighborhoods were created. They illustrated the idea of the brotherhood of man more by example than by quoting creeds.
The traveler wending his way across the fair state of Kansas with its evidences of civilization upon every hand, its magnificent churches, schoolhouses, and palatial residences, evincing wealth and refinement - cannot realize that less than a half century ago this favored land was the home of the red man and the buffalo, roaming at will over its now fair and fertile prairies. Nature seems to have made that singular appreciation of the beautiful an instinct of the savage. These fields were as green then as now, the flowers bloomed as brightly and diffused their fragrance everywhere; then all was as nature formed it; now all traces of the primitive are obliterated. Where the tall prairie grass grew, one beholds the broad fields of waving golden grain; the transformation is complete.
To the pioneers and old settlers more especially, is this work dedicated with the hope that their virtues may be emulated, and their toils and sacrifices duly appreciated by coming generations. Thus is afforded an effectual method of keeping green the memory of those to whom honor is due for their useful and worthy lives.
The author has been closely associated with the people of Cloud county for many months, and has studied the minutest detail of everything pertaining to the county and its citizens. The time is approaching when I shall bid them adieu with a sigh of regret, to enter upon a new field of labor. My sojourn among them is fraught with many pleasant memories and I shall ever remember the kindly courtesies extended me by the residents of Cloud County. They are a people full of noble and generous impulses, and entertain with a genuine hospitality proverbial in almost every household.
I wish to thank J.M. Hagaman, who so kindly submitted notes from which valuable extracts have been gleaned, particularly relating to the early history of Concordia. His tabulated estimate of the rainfall of Cloud county for forty-three years will be read with interest.
I am also specially indebted to J.B. Rupe, the veteran editor of the Clyde Herald, for much desirable data. Mr. Rupe is one of the most reliable, enthusiastic and best informed men on the early history of Cloud county. His "Early Recollections of Clyde and Vicinity" was kindly submitted to be used in the compilation of this work and was of incalculable value.
To the press, many old settlers and representative people generally, who have so generously and magnanimously aided in the construction of this volume, I tender my sincerest gratitude and trust the following pages will meet the approbation of its patrons and friends to the fullest extent.
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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