The subject of this sketch is the late Dr. Ransopher, one of Clyde's most prominent and useful citizens, pioneer physicians and the first druggist of Cloud county. Dr. Ransopher came to Kansas in June, 1868, and settled temporarily on Parson's creek; his intentions were to locate on White Rock, in Republic county, where he secured a claim and erected a cabin, but the Indian troubles began and some of his relatives and acquaintances were among the victims of their murderous assaults. Finding it unsafe to take his family there he gave up his claim along with the improvements and settled in Clyde, March, 1869, occupying the only frame house on the town site of Clyde at that time. It was owned by Sylvester Way and stood on the lot where B.P. Morley's residence, built by Judge Borton, now stands. From that time he was a continuous resident, identified with the history of Clyde until the date of his demise. He contributed in every instance his energies and financial support to every advancement made in the city.
Dr. Ransopher was born in Coshocton, Ohio, February 4, 1830, where he graduated from the high school and began a career of teaching at the age of nineteen years. After teaching in various states he drifted into Iowa when that country was new and subsequently began reading medicine, taking his degree at Eddyville, Iowa. During his early residence in Clyde, Dr. Ransopher experienced many trying incidents. His practice extended over an area of many miles, crossing swollen streams and bridgeless creeks, and he would often encounter the dangerous and treacherous quicksands of the Republican river. He was a familiar figure riding over the prairies on horseback or in his buckboard, administering to the fever stricken settlers. The following is an illustration of many similar instancees:[sic] One night during the dark of the moon Dan Lusadder walked from Clifton over the roadless prairie to Clyde, a distance of eight miles to secure the professional services of Dr. Ransopher for his wife, who was in confinement with their firstborn, Gladys, known to many Clyde residents. They were camped in wagons. Imagine this poor woman under those circumstances waiting for the return of her husband with assistance for which he had to walk eight miles through the unsettled region of prairie.
Dr. Ransopher earned the lumber that built his first drug store in the following way: Captain Sanders was up a tree destroying a hawk's nest, whose inmates had been the happy recipients of many of his young chickens. The mother bird flew down and scratched him in the eye, inflicting a dangerous wound. Dr. Ransopher attended him and for his services took in exchange cottonwood lumber for the framing of his store building.
In 1883 Dr. Ransopher erected the substantial brick building for a drug store now occupied by the grocery house of the enterprising Sohlinger Brothers. The residence he built in 1869 and hauled the pine lumber from Waterville, is still occupied by his family. Perhaps the first tree planted in Clyde graces this humble but pleasant cottage. This giant cottonwood, placed by Mrs. Ransopher and her son Elmer, measures ten feet in circumference, with immense limbs and spreading branches.
Dr. Ransopher fell down an open stairway, which resulted in his death forty days later. He died January 28, 1890. The love and esteem by which he was held in the hearts of his friends, was signified by the suspension of business during the funeral services, and the long solemn procession which followed his remains to the cemetery.
Dr. Ransopher was married September 1, 1859, to Louisa Dayton, who died September 30, 1861. To this union one child was born, Mary, who died of diphtheria September 16, 1861. June 14, 1862, he was married to Sarah E. (Law) Archer, widow of Solomon Archer, who is supposed to have died in the army. By her marriage to Mr. Archer one child was born, Mittie, wife of Dr. C.T. Gillespie, a dentist of Jamestown. Mrs. Gillespie, with Judge Borton, carried the chain for C.0. Huntress, the civil engineer who surveyed the town of Clyde. She was assistant postmistress to "Uncle Heller" four years in the early part of the seventies. Dr. Gillespie has been a resident of Kansas since 1880. Much of that time has been spent traveling in his profession. For several years he was located in Clyde, and the latter part of June, 1902, established a dental office in Jamestown, Kansas, where he has built up a lucrative practice. To Dr. and Mrs. Ransopher three children have been born, viz: Elmer, the eldest child, was born in 1863; he is a druggist located at St. Anthony, Idaho. Carrie and Harry, twins, died in 1866.
Mrs. Ransopher's parents were Sarah and James Law. James Law was a son of Mathew Law, a British captain who was surrendered by Cornwallis to Washington at Yorktown in 1781. Dr. Ransopher was a staunch Republican. During the Harrison campaign of 1888 he erected a log cabin, emblematical of that candidate. He had two real live coons and a barrel of hard cider, which made his place of business headquarters for politicians and which created much interest. Others followed by erecting cabins, but his was the first in Clyde.
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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