MRS. MARY OAKLEAF, widow of the late Benjamin Oakleaf, is living in the northeast quarter of section 20, township 33, range 18, in Mound Valley township, Labette county, Kansas. She is a native of Sweden, and was born in 1830. In Sweden she married Benjamin Oakleaf, who was also a native of that country.
Benjamin Oakleaf's Swedish name was Christianson, but before coming to America he took his wife's maiden name, - Oakleaf, - it being more easily spoken. He was born in 1827, and his death occurred, February 1, 1893. While a resident of his native country, he was united in marriage with Mary Oakleaf, and they came to America in 1857, settling in Moline, Illinois. There Mr. Oakleaf worked in a paper factory.
In the fall of 1869, Mr. Oakleaf, in company with his family, removed to Labette county, Kansas. They took up the present home farm which is the northeast quarter of section 20, township 33, range 18, in Mound Valley township. The first towns in that vicinity were Neosho and Oswego. Mr. Oakleaf at once began to make improvements on the farm, setting out a number of trees which were obtained in Montgomery county. He bought 80 acres of land south of his place, thus becoming the owner of 240 acres of fine farming land. He also bought each of his sons a quarter section, and they are prosperous farmers and good business men. Mr. Oakleaf made wheat his staple crop, and was very successful in all his undertakings. His death, which took place in 1893, was greatly lamented as he was one of the most loyal citizens, and progressive workers in the township. He was a man of good principles, and fine business ability, and was very popular in the community.
Mr. Oakleaf and his wife were the parents of two children, born in Sweden. One died, en route to this country, and the other child died but two weeks after landing. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Oakleaf, in America, namely: Charles P., who lives near the old homestead, and is one of the successful farmers of the county; Joseph, an attorney at Moline, Illinois; Emanuel, who married a daughter of Israel Johnson, and owns a fine farm near his former home; and Stephen, who is managing the home farm for his mother.
Stephen Oakleaf married Iola Wallace, who was born in Clinton county, Illinois, in 1866, and is the second of a family of seven children, namely: Silas, who lives in Oklahoma; Iola; Arthur, who is engaged in a sawmill in the Indian Territory; Gillam, who went to the Philippines in 1899, and is serving in the army; Minnie (Nelson), who lives a mile and a half west of Mound Valley; Rose, the wife of Ed Stotts, of Mound Valley township; and Victoria, the wife of William Humphrey, a hardware dealer in Mound Valley. The Wallace family settled in this county in 1881. Stephen Oakleaf and his wife have four children, whose names are: Wintress; Lillian; Gertrude and Marcus.
Benjamin Oakleaf was a Democrat, in politics, and served several terms as justice of the peace. The family attend the Methodist church, the services of which are held in the Richland school-house. Mrs. Oakleaf is a woman of many estimable qualities, and is greatly esteemed by all.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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