Nelson F. Gaylord, who is in the real estate and insurance business at Hepler and also carries on extensive farming operations on section 1 of Walnut township, has been numbered among the stanch and progressive agriculturists of Crawford county for the past thirty years, and farming has been the occupation to which he has devoted his best energies throughout the years of his active career, and in which he has gained his most eminent success.
Mr. Gaylord was born in Piatt county, Illinois, May 14, 1841, being a son of Eleazer and Clarissa (Ferguson) Gaylord, who were both born in New York state, and were among the early settlers of Illinois in the year 1831, and there followed farming. His father died in Kane county, Illinois, in 1895, at the age of eighty-four years, and his mother survived and passed her remaining days in Crawford county, where she passed away on January 23, 1903, after attaining the long life of eighty-five years.
Mr. Nelson F. Gaylord was reared and educated in Kendall county, Illinois, and spent the first twenty-one years of his life at home with his parents. He then moved to Livingston county, Illinois, and was engaged in farming near Dwight for a number of years. In 1874 he moved to Crawford county, Kansas, and bought a hundred and sixty acres which forms part of his present estate. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres of choice Crawford county soil, and the many excellent improvements on the place are all the result of his own energy and intelligent work. In addition, he owns two houses and lots in Hepler. His years of well directed labor have brought him good rewards and comfortable circumstances, and he has made the best use of the opportunities that have come in his way.
Mr. Gaylord holds independent views as to local and practical political affairs, and votes for the man and the principles that concur best with his judgment. He has been a member of the school board continuously since residing in Kansas, and has done much for the advancement of the cause of education in his community. He and his family are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Gaylord married, November 28, 1863, Miss Sarah E. Barron, a daughter of Thomas Barron. Both her parents were born in England, and are now deceased. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord: Nettie E. is the wife of Sidney Scheffner, of Elgin, Illinois; Frederick lives in South Mound, Kansas; Olive is the wife of Edward Stahl, of Girard; and Frank died in California in 1895, at the age of twenty-two.
Mrs. Gaylord's mother, Hannah Shaw, was a native of Hull, England. Her father, Captain Shaw, was drowned while on a voyage to the West Indies. At the age of eighteen she married Thomas Barron and with him went to live in Yorkshire. She was of a long line of Methodists, her grandmother's house having afforded to John Wesley both a temporary place of worship and a hospitable home, and among the relics cherished by her children are the veritable linen sheets slept in by the great founder of Methodism, also the hymn book that he used. In 1851 the father and mother came to America, with ten children, and settled in Plainfield, Illinois. Six of the children are still living: William in Plainfield; John E. Barron, a resident of Amsterdam, Missouri; James, in Texas; Walter, the youngest, is in Rushmore, Minnesota; Esther A. married Augustine A. Worthing and resides at Belvue, Kansas.
Sarah E. Barron married Nelson F. Gaylord in 1863, and lived in Dwight, Livingston county, Illinois, until 1875, when they came to Hepler, Kansas, and bought the farm where they are still living. There were at that time only three houses to be seen from their place; nothing but prairie and blue sky, very little timber, so they can well be counted in among the pioneers of the country.Pages 209-211 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Hazel Hibbs, students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, in January, 2003.
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