JOHN M. AINSWORTH. - Among the worthy pioneer citizens who contributed their quota toward the agricultural development of Wyandotte county, Kansas, and who were prominent and useful in the many sided life of the community, was John M. Ainsworth, a man honored and esteemed and who is still remembered by members of the older generation as a man of fine and benevolent personality. He passed on to the Undiscovered Country in 1870 and his seventeen years residence in the state of Kansas were in that period which marked the initial stages in its settlement and development.
John M. Ainsworth was born in Ohio, in 1818. He was the son of John and Sarah (Huling) Ainsworth, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. He was reared on a farm in Ohio, and in the district schools of the locality received such education as was afforded to the youth of that period. As early as 1853, Mr. Ainsworth followed the tide of immigration westward and located in Wyandotte county, Kansas, but not a long time afterward he removed to Johnson county, Kansas, where he bought a tract of land and raised horses and cattle. The charms of Wyandotte county remained strong with him during his absence and in 1865 he sold his Johnson county interests and returned to it. Here on an extensive and fertile farm he engaged in the raising of fruit until his death in 1870. Since his demise his widow has operated the affairs of the homestead, and for many years has had the assistance of her son. In addition to their other activities, they make a specialty of the raising of horses and cattle, and have been distinctly successful, practical industry, wisely and vigorously applied, never having failed of success.
In 1862, Mr. Ainsworth married Elizabeth L. Swingley the young woman of his choice having been born in Illinois in 1843 and having come with her parents to Kansas in 1860. They (the parents) were S. M. and Mary (Locher) Swingley, and the father, who was a farmer, lived to the great age of ninety years. Mrs. Ainsworth was one of a family of twelve children, she being the eldest and the others as follows: Rosina, now Mrs. Barber; H. S.; M. S.; S. N. J. J.; George L., deceased; Mollie, now Mrs. C. L. Burke; Hattie, deceased; Frank S., deceased; C. E. and Edna, deceased. In the Swingley ancestry were mingled the Swiss and German elements and the excellent characteristics of both of these nations which constitute two most valuable sources of American immigration have been the heritage of the worthy men and women above mentioned. All of them are devout church members, although differing in denomination. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Ainsworth was blessed by the birth of four children, the two eldest, Harry V. and Hattie C., being deceased; Edith being the widow of George A. Taylor; and Fred L., making his home upon the old homestead with his mother.
Mr. Ainsworth, the father, was a Republican, and faithfully subscribed to the principles of the party, and Mrs. Ainsworth's people were Democrats. In looking over his simple, but useful life history, one is impressed by the fact that his is the honorable record of a conscientious man - one who, by his upright life, won the confidence of all with whom he came into contact.
The place upon which Mrs. Ainsworth, widow of the deceased lives, was owned by the Indians in days long gone by, when the savage was lord of the prairies, and when the Ainsworths first settled upon this homestead, a log house built by the redmen was still standing upon it. The Ainsworth home is one of the most beautiful and picturesque in the locality. One of the interesting features of the estate is a mineral well, one hundred and eighty-five feet deep.
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