The subject of this sketch is Nicolas Weaver, an old settler, farmer and stockman of Solomon township. He is a native of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, thirty miles distant from the city of Pittsburg. He was born in 1847, and is a son of David B. and Jane (Henry) Weaver. His ancestors were of German origin and among the early settlers of that state. His father was born in Westmoreland county, where he lived on a farm until his death by accident, which occurred August 1, 1879. He was walking on the tracks of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad and was struck by the fast express. There were cars standing on the three tracks and though accustomed to walking there daily, he did not see or hear the approaching train that caused his death. Mr. Weaver's mother died when he was four years old, leaving eight children, five of whom are living; one in Streator, Illinois, two in Palmerville, Pennsylvania, and one in Boston. By a second marriage there were two children.
At the age of nineteen years Mr. Weaver began to map out a career for himself and emigrated to Livingston county, Illinois, where he farmed until coming to Kansas in 1871, and homesteaded the land where he now lives. Mr. Weaver began at the foundation, as seven dollars was his cash capital when he arrived in Cloud county. The same year he was married and moved into the 13x13 dugout, where they continued to live seven years and experienced many hardships; but their hospitality was not wanting and they kept any wayfarer that came their way. Although often without flour or milk, they lived for days on shorts minus fat enough of any kind to grease a bread pan, often drank coffee made from parched corn and burnt molassess. There was no market for eggs or butter when they had them, and many times they did not have a cent in their possession for weeks, not so much as a postage stamp. They had just arrived at the point where they could exist with some comfort when the grasshoppers put in an appearance.
In 1878 he built a small frame house of one room: two years later he added a kitchen, and in 1893 a one-and-a-half-story addition, making a comfortable residence. In 1897 he erected a barn 26x36 feet. Mr. Weaver now owns three hundred and twenty acres of land and has a wheat field this year (1901) of one hundred acres. He has had some very large yields of wheat and corn, and raises the latter when it fails in other localities.
Mr. Weaver was married in 1871 to Isabella Boyd, a native of Hallcock county, near Findlay, Ohio. She is a daughter of Alexander Hamilton and Alma (Overholdt) Boyd, both natives of Pennsylvania, where they were married and later settled in Ohio, and subsequently moved to Illinois. Her father was a miller and a farmer. He died July 27, 1901, at the home of his daughter, where he had lived since December, 1900. The Boyds were of Irish origin.
Mrs. Weaver's great-grandfather came from Ireland. Her paternal grandfather was a physician and had practiced medicine in Norristown, Pennsylvania, where he lived for years and until his death. Her maternal ancestors were German. Her maternal grandfather was a minister of the Mennonite. faith. She is one of seven children, five of whom are living, - one brother near Fremont, Iowa, and three sisters with residence in Streator, Illinois.
To Mr. and Mrs. Weaver five children have been born, four of whom are living. Their eldest child, David B., died on Christmas Eve, 1897, at the age of twenty-five years. He was stricken with typhoid fever while in the employ of a publishing company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and died after an illness of two weeks. He graduated from Streator (Illinois) Commercial College in 1892; worked and paid his own tuition. He was an expert penman and taught classes in penmanship. He had considerable artistic talent and executed some creditable work in black and white. He also took a course of penmanship in the pen department of Dixon College. He was a bright, intelligent boy of much character and firmness of purpose. He was an exemplary member of the Christian church. Frances, wife of A.J. Franks, a farmer of Solomon township; they are the parents of one child, a little daughter Odrey. Reno and Christopher are associated with their father on the farm. Ralph, the youngest son, is farming in Iowa. Mr. Weaver is a Democrat. His sons who have attained their majority vote the Republican ticket. The family are members of the Baptist church.
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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