ANDERSON S. WILT. - Among the honored and well known citizens of Wyandotte county stands prominent Anderson S. Wilt, veteran of the Civil war, formerly engaged in the manufacturing business and for the past several years superintendent of Quindaro Cemetery. He has been identified with this section for the past fifteen years and has witnessed its splendid development, while at the same time contributing his quota of good citizenship to the result. As custodian of the natural beauties and the regulations and rules designed to protect this lovely and justly renowned cemetery, he has given service of signal faithfulness and efficiency for a period of eleven years.
Anderson S. Wilt is an Easterner by birth, his nativity having occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 20th day of March, 1845. He is a son of Joseph and Louisa (Tapper) Wilt, the mother a native of the United States, the father of Germany. He received his education in the schools of Philadelphia. A very young man at the opening of the Civil war, he was high spirited and patriotic and in the year 1864, enlisted as a member of the Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry which, before the close of the war, consolidated with the Eighty-ninth Pennsylvania Regiment. He did particularly gallant service, and was discharged as corporal, July, 1865. Mr. Wilt was on picket duty at Winchester, when Sheridan made his famous twenty mile ride from Winchester. The subject served from 1864 until the close of the war as a member of the Sixth Army Corps, known as the Bloody Sixth. He was mustered out at Halls Hill, Virginia.
After the return of peace Mr. Wilt went into the manufacturing business, being identified with the A. M. Collins Manufacturing Company, the largest manufacturers of card board in the United States, continuing in this association for fifteen years. In 1896 he came to Kansas City on account of poor health. In 1900 he became superintendent of Quindaro Cemetery and has remained in such capacity until the present time.
Mr. Wilt has maintained his relations with the comrades of other days and formerly was a member of G. A. R. Post, No. 2, Department of Pennsylvania. One of the most important and vividly remembered of the varied events of his life was his participation in the Grand Review at Washington, D. C.
Mr. Wilt has been twice married, his first union occurring in Philadelphia, when Miss Elizabeth Maginly became his wife. She died in 1883 at the age of about thirty-three years, leaving one daughter, Effie M., who resides at home and is in the office of the Beal Excelsior Produce Company. The second union was solemnized in Oakland, California, the lady to become his wife and the mistress of his household being Margaretta Davis, daughter of David and Jane (Scott) Davis, Mrs. Wilt having been born in Alleghany City, as was her father. One son is the issue of the second union - Merrill Anderson, born in Philadelphia December 27, 1893, and a student at the Wilson High School. Mr. and Mrs. Wilt and their family are popular and useful members of society and are known to a wide circle of friends.
Quindaro Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in the state of Kansas, having been established in the year 1855. Originally it was a part of the possessions of the Delaware Indians, the government later buying the land. Before the middle of the nineteenth century, a missionary to the Indians, Rev. James Witten, settled on the site and built upon it a small log church and school house, this being three years previous to the treaty which transferred the surrounding land to the United States government. The Rev. Mr. Witten's wife died in 1852 and her remains were the first to be interred here. Subsequently the United States commissioners reserved these two acres as a public cemetery. Numerous Indians are buried here as well as white men, and there is scarcely a foot of ground in the original two acres that is not utilized. As Wyandotte county became more thickly settled with white people, the citizens of the section formed an association, and bought land surrounding the original tract, which they plotted into lots. This was incorporated in 1869 under the laws of Kansas and is now one of the finest, if not the finest cemetery in the state, as well as the oldest. From the grounds, which are the highest in Wyandotte county, one secures a most beautiful view of the surrounding country in all directions. It is the only cemetery in Kansas City conducted on a plan by which the property receives all the benefits of its revenues. Its method of operation has been pronounced by competent judges the best ever devised for cemetery purposes. The existence of the old log church was brief, for it was burned in the spring of 1857. Many famous people are interred within the boundaries of old Quindaro Cemetery, among those whose spirits have passed on to the Undiscovered Country, but whose ashes are here treasured, being: Judge Gray, George M. Gray, Judge Leland, the members of the Combs' family, and the Mendenhalls. The organizers of the association were R. M. Gray, Elisha Sortor and others. The present officers are James McNaughten, president; Fred Sortor, secretary; H. A. Mendenhall, treasurer; and Anderson S. Wilt, superintendent.
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