The subject of this sketch is Charles Proctor, one of the old landmarks of Miltonvale who has gained prominence both in the business arena and in politics. Mr. Proctor was born in Joe Daviess county, Illinois, in 1835, where he was educated and as soon as he attained his majority he accepted a position as traveling salesman with the Manny Reaper Company until he responded to his country's call for men at the breaking out of the Civil war. He served three years in the Twentieth Wisconsin Regiment, under Colonel Henry C. Bertram. On the 2d day of March, 1863, he was promoted from first sergeant to section lieutenant of his company, and served with distinction all through the war. His brother George was a member of the same company. Their greatest loss occurred December 7, 1862, at Prairie Grove, Arkansas. Of the four hundred and eighty men of his regiment they lost two hundred and sixty-two. Of his immediate company of forty-eight men thirty-two were killed and wounded. Mr. Proctor was taken to Fort Smith from this battle as a prisoner and detained two weeks when he was exchanged. After this engagement they returned to St. Louis, and down the Mississippi river to Vicksburg and then to Yazoo City, which they captured and on to New Orleans and across the Gulf of Mexico to Brownsville, Texas, where they laid nine months until the attack on Mobile. His company were engaged in the taking of Fort Morgan and again in the spring of 1865 in the city of Mobile. Mr. Proctor took part in several battles that will live in history so long as records endure. They were mustered out July 17, 1865. A younger brother, Henry, served a few months at the closing of the war - a lad of only fifteen years.
Immediately after the war Mr. Proctor located in Macon City, Missouri, where he became established in the implement business and later in the insurance business and subsequently engaged in farming in the same locality. In 1876 he emigrated to Cloud county, driving a herd of cattle through, and took up a homestead where his son-in-law, A.J. Culp, now lives. This part of the country was sparsely settled at that time and the outlook was not altogether encouraging. As an illustration of the newness existing here at that time Mr. Proctor was discussing the matter of building their dugout near the section line, explaining to his wife "some day there would be a road there." She archly replied, "I would like to know where it would go to," evincing little faith in the resources and development of the country.
In 1886 Mr. Proctor moved to Miltonvale and engaged in the drug business. At the expiration of one year he traded the store for land in Ottawa county. He then conducted a real estate and insurance business until elected clerk of Cloud county in 1888, which office he held until 1892. His official record was one of pride to his constituents and satisfactory to all regardless of party affiliations. He was also county commissioner from 1878 until 1881. He is a man of unquestionable principles and who holds the administration of office a sacred trust.
Mr. Procter has acquired a competency of this world's goods. He owns eight hundred and forty acres of land, most of which he has accumulated since coming to Cloud county and feeds from one hundred to two hundred head of native cattle. The Proctors have a suburban residence near Miltonvale which they have improved and made a desirable home.
Mr. Proctor's parents were Abel and Mary (Moffatt) Proctor. Abel Proctor was born in Vermont in 1800. He had one brother and three sisters. They were of English and Scotch ancestry. When Abel Proctor attained the age of twenty-one years he started off with a one horse vehicle and sold shoes through the south until he landed at New Orleans, from which point he secured the position as clerk upon a steamboat plying the Mississippi river. In June, 1827, he landed in Galena, Illinois, when the lead mines were flourishing and when the Indian was more numerous than the white man. He was married In 1829, to Mary Moffat, a native of Maine, and whose father was driven out of Canada by the British during the rebellion. The Moffats moved to Peoria, Illinois, in 1823, and later to Galena. Mrs. Proctor died in 1865. Abel Proctor sold his interests in Illinois and settled on a farm in Wright county, Iowa, where he died in 1888 at the age of eighty-eight years.
Charles Proctor was one of seven children, all of whom are living except the eldest sister, who died at the age of sixty-seven years. Catherine, widow of Samuel C. Noland, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Elizabeth, wife of John M. Brooks, of Wright county, Iowa. George, a miner of Joplin, Missouri. Mary Ann, wife of Duncan McKinley, of Iowa. Henry, a resident of Hampton, Franklin county, Iowa.
Mr. Proctor was married in 1859, to Caroline Hundley, a daughter of Josiah and Julia A. (Avery) Hundley, an old English family who came to New York in an early day and settled near Galena, Illinois, in 1826. The Moffat and Avery families were neighbors in Peoria in 1823. Josiah Hundley died in California, in 1851 where he had gone during the gold excitement of 1849. His wife survived him until 1896. She was born in St. Louis and the Averys were the only American family in the town at that time.
To Mr. and Mrs. Proctor three children were born, viz: Eva S., wife of James Neill (see sketch); Ada C., wife of A.J. Culp (see sketch); Charles A., a young man of nineteen years, associated with his father in farming and stock raising. Mrs. Proctor died in April, 1892, and in 1894 Mr. Proctor was married to Emily E. Hundley, a sister of his former wife. Mrs. Proctor, who is a most estimable woman, was a teacher in her earlier life but ten years prior to her marriage was engaged in the millinery business in Nesla, Pottawatomie county, Iowa.
Mr. Proctor is a staunch Republican and takes an interest in all legislative affairs, but is practically retired from public life and devotes a greater portion of his time to the domestic felicity of his home. He is an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was the first commander of the Miltonvale post and is its present adjutant.
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.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project