J.F. Randolph is one of those individuals who realize that "life is real." The contest for wealth and position grows more and more the object to be desired, and to gain a position in the world a man must possess both intellect and natural ability. In the struggle essential to success in life Mr. Randolph has not only benefitted himself, but others. The original name is Fitzrandolph. He is a grandson of Joseph Fitzrandolph who emigrated with the loyalists to Nova Scotia, where he subsequently became one of the foremost citizens of Higby county and for several years was a member of the legislative council of Nova Scotia. He owned a large tract of land called "Belle Farm," at Bridgetown, where he carried on general farming until his death, at the age of three score and ten years. He belonged to the denomination of Quakers or Friends. He reared four sons and a daughter, none of whom are living. The Randolphs are of distinguished ancestry. A relative, the Honorable A.F. Randolph, of Frederickton, New Brunswick, who died May 14, 1902, was held in great esteem and as a tribute to his memory, business was suspended, flags flying at half mast and hundreds followed his remains to their last resting place and many distinguished people among his circle of friends were in attendance. Governor Snowball, who was absent from the city, sent as representatives, Private Secretary Barker and Captain Lister, A.B.C. A.F. Randolph acquired great wealth, rising from a clerk. In 1855 he established a small general merchandising business and from this date his rise was rapid and he became one of the most prominent men in business, political affairs and social circles. He was a leader among men and achieved the splendid result from a career that in the beginning was fraught with the usual vicissitudes that surround one's start in life.
J.F. Randolph, the subject of this sketch, is a native of Nova Scotia, born on a farm near the town of Bridgetown in 1849. He received his education in the common schools and finished an academic course in the academy at Bridgetown. He moved to Boston in 1866, where he remained as clerk in a store until coming to Kansas, in 1871. In company with some friends he came to Waterville, the terminus of the railroad, and westward to Clyde when that town was in its infancy. Mr. Randolph enjoys the distinction of having assisted in surveying the first railroad in the Annapolis valley in Nova Scotia, as well as the first streets in the town of Clyde, Kansas. He was one of the body of select men who served as the first board of councilmen, has since been elected member of the council several times and was mayor in 1890. He has been associated with and owned several merchandising enterprises, among them an extensive furniture store, a shoe store and hardware business, and was once owner of the "Regulator," Clyde's most extensive department store. In 1873 he became interested in a general merchandising business, at Kirwin, and in 1879, at Clayton and Norton, removing his family to the latter place, but returned to Clyde in 1883. He was associated with R.F. Herman for several years and in the meantime turned his attention in sundry different directions; became a stockman and drove horses through from Texas. He has had a taste of western life in various capacities, among them the association of the cow-boy and buffalo hunts on the plain, in which capacity he acted for pleasure and profit. Being of a speculative and adventurous nature he drove through to the mountains and mining camps with wagon loads of supplies. He visited Denver in 1875, the Black Hills in 1877, and Leadville in 1879. When Mr. Randolph returned to Clyde in 1883, he opened a loan and real estate office. Land near Clyde was worth from eight to fifteen dollars per acre and money on real estate at that time was ten per cent and often times a commission added to that. Personal loans were three per cent per month.
Mr. Randolph was married in October, 1872, to Emma Kirkpatrick, who is conceded to have been the second white child born in the city of Leavenworth. Her father, James Kirkpatrick, assisted in laying out the city of Leavenworth, and was a pioneer of St. Paul, Minnesota. They were the first white settlers of St. Paul and owned the first store established there, where the older sisters and brothers of Mrs. Randolph were born. Mr. and Mrs. Randolph are the parents of four children, three of whom are living. Grace died at the age of two years; Blanche is a graduate from the Clyde High school; she is an accomplished young woman, possessing considerable literary talent. Frank is the wife of William Decker, of Hollis, Kansas. John F., Jr., assists his father in the office. He has not yet finished his education but was compelled to forego his school work on account of illness.
Mr. Randolph is a Mason of twenty-one years standing, and for the past five years has been high priest of the chapter and has filled the chair of master. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He takes an active interest in political affairs and is a member of the state central committee. On April 1, 1902, he received the appointment of deputy revenue collector and is a most efficient officer. He is a man who takes much interest in educational matters and has been a member of the school board in Clyde for the past eight years and holds that office at the present writing. The Randolphs occupy the Rice residence, one of the most desirable properties in Clyde. Mr. Randolph was with Mr. Rice on his Dennison, Texas, trip, and with that financier, who is mentioned elsewhere on these pages, took the toboggan slide financially. No man is more popular or more deserving of popularity among his acquaintances than Mr. Randolph, for he possesses those admirable personal qualities that make him friends whereever known. His brothers and sisters are now residents of Boston, Massachusetts, which place he considers his family 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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