The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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Fred Minard, their eldest, born May 26, 1878; Ralph Oliver May 20, 1880; Austin E. September 7, 1882.  In the fall of 1876 he formed a partnership with G.H. Griffin in the stock business and from that time until 1880 devoted most of his time to buying and selling Indian and Texas ponies.  He and Griffin made a trip to the Black Hills in 1877 and the same fall built a livery barn in WaKeeney which they ran for several years in connection with their business of buying and selling horses and cattle.  In the spring of 1880 he and the writer went to the Gunnison country in Colorado and spent the summer prospecting for gold and silver, and incidentally working a little on the D. & R. G. R. R. that was built in there that year.  In 1881 he and Griffin handled stock in Norton and WaKeeney and in 1882-3, he, Broquet and the writer went to the Indian Territory and bought ponies of the Indians, driving them to Kansas and selling them.  In 1884 he, Griffin and the writer went to the state of Nueva Leon in Old Mexico and bought 1000 head of mustangs which were brought to Kansas and sold.  Since 1885 he has been engaged largely in feeding cattle and dealing in real estate.  He built his fine residence on the east side of town in 1889 where he resides.  He is vice president of the First National Bank of Norton and owns and operates one of the largest general stores in Norton.  He is one of the largest real estate owners of the county, most of it under fence and well stocked with horses and cattle.  He was a member of the Norton Town association and an active partisan in behalf of Norton during the county seat trouble.  He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and a republican in politics.  He has never been a candidate for public office but was a delegate from Kansas to the farmers congress held at Montgomery, Alabama, in 1889, and was elected as a World's Fair commissioner 1891 which office he held until the board was reorganized by Governor Lewelling in 1892.  He is at the present time mentioned as an available candidate for congress from this district.  He was in 1882 elected road overseer for a joke in this township against his threats of vengeance; but they put him in just the same.  His revenge was complete however: when he qualified he served notice on every man in the township to appear before him, team end shovels.  He put them all to work on a boulevard from his house to the city, built up a spacious road on Washington street where all the work was expended during his term.  He was never trifled with after that.

[*see transcriber's note at end of this marked section] William Simpson is a man about six feet tall, with broad shoulders and commanding figure, a prominent man in any assembly; the marked personal trials are his modesty, entire freedom from self-assertion and accessibility.  Both his mind and body were made for work; clear perception and quick judgment enable him to get rid of a vast amount of labor each day.  He is a man in whom all can confide, and he is trusted with the most delicate and weighty duties;

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