S.H. Knapp, the popular postmaster of Clyde, is a Kansan born and bred. His birth occurred ten miles west of Manhattan on Wild Cat creek, in 1867. He is a son of Honorable George W. and Rhoda E. (Hampton) Knapp. His paternal grandfather was smothered to death by the caving in of a well where he was working. Mr. Knapp's father was a Kansas pioneer. He settled in the old Pawnee reservation, near Junction City, in 1854, and homesteaded land on Wild Cat creek, now within a half mile of Keats, a station on the Rock Island Railroad.
The Knapps are of English origin and early settlers in the state of New York. George W. Knapp resided in the Adirondacks, the place of his nativity, until he emigrated to Kansas in the pioneer settlement of Geary county, where he experienced many hardships. He served his country in the Civil war and was one of Company G, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry. After the war he located in Riley, Kansas. In October, 1878, he came to Clyde, erected a barn and engaged successfully in the livery, 'bus and transfer business, where he continued until 1888. During the winter of 1887 he was elected to the legislature, discharged his duties faithfully and won the confidence and respect not only of his constituents, but those who differed from him politically. He has always been active in politics and in every enterprise to forward the best interest of his town. In 1890, he received the appointment of postmaster and served four years during President Harrison's administration. In 1894 he removed to Kansas City, Kansas, where for several years he has been engaged in the transfer and real estate business, transacting an extensive business. For the past four years he has been engaged in newspaper work and is still active in politics. The present year (1902) he was delegate to the state convention held at Wichita, and has been suggested as nominee for register of deeds of Wyandotte county.
S.H. Knapp is the eldest of three children, two boys and one girl. He received his education in the public schools of Clyde and the commendable night business school conducted by Prof. Roach of Clyde. Mr. Knapp assisted his father in the livery business until 1885, when he entered the employ of S.S. McIntosh in his book and stationery store until 1887. The spring of 1888, he embarked in farming and moved on his father's ranch in Mitchell county, remaining there three years. He was successful in this enterprise but his father sold the ranch and opened an extensive flour and feed store in Clyde. His father had received the appointment of postmaster in the meantime and S.H. Knapp entered the office as assistant postmaster. In the spring of 1891, he established a book and stationery store in the front of the postoffice building, and has built up a paying enterprise: carrying a full line of books and periodicals, stationery, fancy goods and a line of fine confectionery. They are leaders in this line and their stock is in advance of that usually found in a city of Clyde's proportions.
Our subject was appointed postmaster in 1898, to succeed Judge McFarland and was reappointed in 1902. The Clyde postoffice with Mr. Knapp and his able assistants is one of the best conducted offices in the country.
Mr. Knapp was married in 1887, to Mary E. Kinch, a daughter of Honorable Samuel R. Kinch who was a prominent resident of Clyde for many years. He was the first engineer of the Clyde city water works and for years he was proprietor of a flour and feed business. He was well known in political and municipal circles; filled the office of mayor of Clyde and was a valued member of the council. At the opening of the strip in Oklahoma, in 1901, he was the lucky winner in drawing a fine claim and with his family removed to their new possessions near Bridgeport, where they now reside. The Kinchs are from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of Mrs. Knapp. Mr. and Mrs. Knapp are the parents of three engaging children, two boys and a daughter; Harold and Kenneth, two manly little fellows, aged twelve and nine years respectively. Marion Jeanette - or "Dolly" as she is called by her parents and associates - is aged seven. Miss "Dolly" enjoys the distinction of being the only child that gave and received a kiss from President Roosevelt when he visited Clyde in 1900. It was bestowed upon her in receipt for a handsome bouquet tendered the President.
To S.H. Knapp belongs the absolute credit of instigating the organization of the, Young Men's Republican Club of Cloud county. He first conceived the idea from the Kansas Day Club, and submitted the proposition to the late Mr. Ackley, of Concordia, who at once conceded the popularity it would command. After Mr. Ackley's death Mr. Knapp requested Fred Sturges, Jr., to accept the honor of becoming the club's first president. Mr. Knapp became secretary and through the combined efforts of these two young Republicans this club was made one of the most popular organizations ever in Cloud county.
Socially Mr. Knapp is a Mason of eight years' standing, a Modern Woodman, a member of the Sons of Veterans, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Triple Tie, and the Life Annuity Association. In business circles Mr. Knapp ranks among the most successful; in political affairs he is preeminently a leader among the young men of Cloud county. He is a genial, courteous man, and a general favorite with his large circle of acquaintances and friends.
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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