W.H. Page is in the broadest sense of the word an old and respected pioneer, having emigrated to Shirley (now Cloud) county, Kansas in March, 1866. He was attracted by the flow of home seekers on the way to the new "Eldorado," turned his back upon the old home in seeking his fortunes in the new, where nature seems to be kinder and more considerate to her children, in that her harvests to them yield richer with less toil of the hands and sweat of the brow so necessary among the rocky hills of the east.
Mr. Page pre-empted the land on which the town of Clyde now stands and as stated in the history of Clyde. The Town Company made him an offer, and thinking three hundred dollars a large price (greater than he would have given for the land) closed the deal. He could not believe or foresee a town of any dimensions spring up on the prairie one hundred and fifty miles from a trading point and could not conjure up in his wildest imaginations that the now prosperous town and the hills densely populated could spring up and prosper. The land grant which Mr. Page possessed, consisted of eighty acres, for which he paid the usual government fee, one dollar and a quarter per acre. The Town Company purchased forty acres and other parties the remaining forty. Mr. Page made several trades and deals until the year of 1875, When he bought the Joel Miller homestead two and three-quarters miles west and one and one-quarter miles north of Clyde, which he has steadily improved and made for himself and family the comfortable and pleasant home of today.
Mr. Page married in the year 1876, Lizzie A. Dutton, who was reared in his native state, Ohio, where a boy and girlhood friendship began, culminating in a closer tie. Alas, the beloved wife was deceased June 17, 1885, leaving as a solace one child, Aura L., a most estimable, obedient, and loving daughter, to help the bereaved father with kindly advice and brighten with rays of sunshine the desolated home. Miss Page received her education in her home school district No. 15, and later four years in Clyde, making the best possible use of her advantages. She is now her father's comfort in his declining years. She is refined and gentle, possesses a kindly and amiable disposition, is intelligent above the average, and a true woman. She was but a child of eight years when her mother died and she deserves great credit for her management of the household and its multiplicity of cares thrust so early upon her young shoulders. Two children died in infancy.
Mr. Page is a native of Meigs county, Ohio, and was born in the year 1829. His early days were spent on a farm. In 1860, he emigrated to Missouri, and one year later moved to Iowa, Freemont county, where he enlisted in the 4th Regiment, Company A, Iowa Cavalry, under Captain Benjamin Rector, commanded by Colonel A.B. Porter, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Captain Rector died from illness in 1862, and J.B. Rust, second lieutenant of the company succeeded him. Colonel Porter resigned and was succeeded by Edward F. Winston, who was promoted from Captain of Company B, to Captain of Company A. Mr. Page enlisted as a private and the last four years of the war was rewarded for valiant and fearless action by being promoted to a second lieutenancy. His company was ordered from Springfield, Missiori[sic] to join General Curtis and his forces at Batesville, Arkansas, and while enroute were camped at Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, when the following exciting, thrilling and amusing incident transpired: One of the cavalry horses broke lose from its fastening and glad of its freedom galloped unrestrained, bringing up to the picket lines; the night was very dark and the guard who had not long filled this post of duty, naturally fired upon the liberated steed. The report of his musket was heard in camp, as soldiers seem gifted by practice with double vision and hearing and were immediately aroused to action; supposing it was an attack, the wildest confusion of orders and movements prevailed; horses were saddled, fire arms seized in a fever of wild excitement and haste, each captain forming his men in line on the spot that was nearest, making as many ranks as companies, and in the event of action would have in all probability been shooting over each other's heads. The buglers were ringing out a half dozen different orders and a hundred voices were shouting; "Put out the fires!" "Put out the fires!" In the meantime the guards nearest the picket line soon learned the cause of the alarm and after a half hour of bewilderment and uproar an understanding that an engagement at that time was not imminent was effected, and out of chaos quiet reigned again. Orders were given to unsaddle and the men gathered their scattered and battered accoutrements of war together. Upon this occasion a story was told of Colonel Porter which made him the subject of much mirth and was said to be the real cause of his retirement. The colonel, being suddenly awakened, was very much excited by the commotion of a supposed charge by the rebel forces called vehemently for "Tobe." (Bartleff, the chief bugler.) As "Tobe" appeared, bugle in hand, the Colonel cried: "Blow, Tobe, blow!" without specifying, what order he should blow. "Tobe" stood embarrassed and bewildered, awaiting orders, when his commander shouted vorciferously, "Blow! why don't you blow?" "But what shall I cried the anxious trumpeter? The colonel, fairly gasping for breath, screamed: "Blow? Blow your bugle, d- you."
At Cotton Plant, Arkansas, Mr. Page's regiment captured a few prisoners. One of the company soldiers was a Dutchman and when he returned to camp he seized one of the captives by the shoulder shaking him vigorously, said, "Vat for you make war mit Sigel ? You yust break up the best government vat never vas," and in withering tones and cutting sarcasm added, "you g-d d-n secesh." Mr. Page with his company saw service principally through Arkansas. At Mechanicsburg, about forty miles above Vicksburg, where they marched every Sunday, they upon one occasion found the enemy very stubborn and made a severe saber fight. One of the heaviest charges made was at Bear creek, near Vicksburg, where one hundred and twenty men were detained to guard the road that General Johnston's army must pass and made a heavy fight with a loss of ten men killed on the field, several taken prisoners and only eight to return to camp. Mr. Page is justly proud of his war record, as he fought bravely for his flag and his country. After many years on his farm Mr. Page can look with pride at his trees, both fruit and ornamental, all put out by his own hands. His apple trees have yielded an abundant crop and his yard is adorned by numerous evergreens which add to its beauty. In later years Mr. Page has leased his ground consisting of two hundred and seventy-eight acres of excellent land. His crops are principally wheat, corn and oats. He has retired from actual farm labor, thus giving him ample time to attend to his orchard and poultry. Mr. Page is a true Republican and was elected county commissioner in the year 1870. He is a public spirited man, taking an active interest in all topics of the day as published in the leading news papers.
Mr. Page's paternal ancestors were of French origin. His father's maternal ancestors, the Mosiers were from England, thus uniting French and English ancestry. Mr. Page is now enjoying a rest well earned after a busy life and his record is above reproach.
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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