It is said, "history repeats itself," and if that be true each lover of history will be interested in the following sketch of C.J. Page, one of Cloud county's prosperous, energetic, well-to-do farmers and horticulturists. To attain perfection and financial success in any pursuit, years of experience and careful study must be passed through to determine the best and quickest mode of reaching the coveted "straight road" of independence.
Mr. Page has not aimed at sudden leaps but once a step is taken it is forward and never backward, feeling the way with prudence and careful deliberation; to this he owes his well-tilled farm and fine hearing orchard. If "tall oaks from little acorns grow," large majestic trees owe their infancy to tiny sprouts, and what Kansas farmer's wife does not remember being admonished, "not to step on the trees in the grove" which had the appearance of brown lead pencils set out in rows. But one season passes, when lo! the tender little shoots of green spring out here and there and demonstrate to her doubting mind that those little rods are actually trees, and how their growth was carefully watched by the whole household and neighbors as well, for settlers were as one large family, so united were their interests. The orchard so carefully planted not many years age and now, in its prime, yielded bountifully in in 1902.
Mr. Page came to Kansas in the year 1870, and settled in Elk township. His present commodious and happy home is the original homestead where after years of toil he can rest from the burden of the day under his "own vine and fig tree." During the grasshopper year, Mr. Page had three hundred trees besides a number of grafts destroyed by the "hoppers," but nothing daunted, he re-planted and has been well rewarded by the present results, and like all true Kansans, stoutly declares his loyalty to the "Sunflower" and does not know where he could have made any better stand, than in this world renowned commonwealth, truthfully called, "Sunny Kansas."
The subject of this sketch is a native of Defiance county, Ohio, he was born on a farm in the year 1841, and in company with his parents, while yet in his childhood, emigrated to Iowa and settled near Des Moines. At that early date Iowa was a wild and new country. The Indian roaming and hunting with all the freedom of the deer that fearlessly wandered down to the rivers and creeks for their evening drink. Three years afterward and during the troublesome times prior to the breaking out of the war, the family settled in eastern Kansas, and when matters became strenuous, and uneasy feelings prevailed throughout this section, they removed to Warren county, Illinois, and from this point Mr. Page enlisted in the First Missouri Engineers of the West, (which should have been called Colonel Bissell's First Missouri Engineers of the West) Company C, and served three years; this company was finally merged into Company B; their duties consisted of rebuilding of railroads and bridges. Mr. Page stood in water almost constantly; as a result contracted illness and was sent to the hospital where he remained nine months. His regiment took part in the Missouri campaign against Price's army in 1861, also the capture of New Madrid, Missouri and Island No. 10. They were engaged in the Corinth campaign in 1862, the battle of Corinth that took place October 3-4, 1862, and the never to be forgotten siege of Vicksburg. Mr. Page, after three years service returned to his home and re-enlisted as a substitute in the year 1864. A subject that had been drafted offered him $1,000 to supply his place. As it was his intention to re-enlist, he accepted the $1,000 and joined Company B, 12th Illinois Infantry, where he was in active service ten months; participating in the battles of Kingston and Goldsboro, North Carolina. His regiment was under the command of General Schofield and later joined Sherman's army where long marches through swamps, and dangers from shot and shell assailed the brave boys in blue, and on every side the heavy tramp, tramp of weary feet.
"Our bugles sang truce for the night clouds had lowered,
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky.
Thousands had sunk on the ground, overpowered
- The weary to sleep and the wounded to die."
After the close of the war Mr. Page was honorably discharged and returned to Illinois. January 1, 1866, he was married to Josephine Reed, a daughter of David Kingsley Reed of Warren county, Illinois. Her parents were residents later on, of Cawker City, Kansas, followed later by a removal to Clyde, Kansas, and are now sleeping the quiet slumber of the dead, resting peacefully in the pretty little cemetery of Mount Hope. One year after the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Page they moved to Iowa, but feeling that was not the place to make a home, emigrated to Kansas, which was then still new. Many changes had taken place since their first advent in the state in 1857. Mr. Page came to the "poor man's country," penniless and endured without murmuring the many privations incident to a new country, and has acquired his present competency through his untiring industry and enterprise. The first move after getting to the frontier was to take up a claim: the next move was to make a dugout, and dig a well. This was called home and their very own, where no sour visaged landlord presented a bill for the collection of rent. Their little dugout while not a thing of beauty was a warm shelter and more comfortable than many of their neighbors were possessed of. They lived two years in this unpretentious dwelling place and then erected a small frame dwelling.
Mr. and Mrs. Page are the proud parents of twelve children, all of whom are living and not one to spare, each holding its own individual place in the hearts of the parents. These children have all been reared on the Kansas homestead, have done credit to the training and schooling they have received and are fine representatives of the state to which they belong; they are possessed of more than average intelligence. There are six sons and six daughters, and each of these twelve children have brown eyes.
Emma B., is the wife of Bert Eashbaugh, a farmer near Zella, Kansas. Alfred M., the oldest son, is a farmer living east of Clyde. Phoebe, wife of Henry Schriver, a farmer near Elmwood, Kansas. Edmond Willis, a teamster of Boise City, Idaho. Mary, wife of Henry Baker, a farmer but at present employed in a grocery store at Boise City, Idaho. Arthur, a horse buyer is a resident of Clyde. Alla, wife of Walter Harrison, a carpenter and mine owner of Boise City, Idaho. Josie, is unmarried and lives under the parental roof. John assists his father in the duties of the farm. Nellie, wife of C.N. Bunda, who operates an elevator at McLouth, Kansas. Frank and Verr, aged respectively sixteen and fourteen years, are attending school in District No. 15, where all of these dozen children received their education.
The family are faithful attendants and members of the United Brethren church. When the society was organized at the Crammer school house the majority of the members consisted of the several Page families, hence it was given the name of "Page Congregation." After darkness comes dawn, and after many struggles and lowering clouds in the battle of life come rifts of sunshine as a reward for a well spent life. Mr. Page and his estimable wife are now enjoying the comforts of a pleasant home.
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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