The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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Neal, born March 23,1886; Nellie, May 19, 1887 and Norma, July 10, 1889.  In May of 1890 they separated and were divorced that September.

In 1884 John bought one-half interest in the Norton Champion of P. H Loomis, took the management of it until fire completely destroyed the plant January 2, 1886.  Loomis assigned his interest in the name of the paper, all that remained of it, yet the paper was kept running without loss of issue.  He has owned and published it ever since very successfully.

After serving as deputy recorder over three years in Allamakee county. Iowa, John was selected among fourteen competitors to attend the Iowa Agricultural college, located at Ames, in which institution he remained as a student three years, 1870-71-72.  In 1873 he read law in Mankato, Minnesota, in the office of Brown & Wiswell, but abandoned law for journalism by accepting a place on the editorial page of the Dubuque, Iowa, Herald.  After a time his health failed, and wandering about idly, except when teaching school now and then and a while on the Chicago Tribune, he made the trip to Norton for his health. 

He speaks of his years on the homestead as the happiest he ever experienced; solitude gave him ample time to indulge his fancy in literature, a specimen of which he has given in the recent publication of a volume of poems, "Thrice Words." 

On March 23, 1892, he was married to Frances G. Shaw.  They have one child, Rose, born February 8, 1893. 

botsford.JPG (42153 bytes) Gideon B. Botsford was born April 2, 1834, in Newton, Fairfield county, Connecticut of American parentage and lived on a farm until 17 years of age when he went to learn the trade of a carpenter.  He was married August 18, 1858, to Mary E. Hill of Southberg, Connecticut;: two children have been born two (sic) them: Austin L. Botsford, born February 23, 1860; Eva F. Botsford, born February 16, 1871. 

He enlisted October 9, 1861, in company E 12th Connecticut volunteers infantry and was discharged June, 27, 1862, from the result of measles at Carlton, Louisana (sic).

In November 1877 he came to Missouri and August 20, 1878, he landed in Norton.  He was without money, but soon secured a job with FitzPatrick.  In 1879 he worked in Lenora, built a hotel for Charley Lansing.  He took the northeast quarter of section 22, township 2, range 24, in Garfield township; where he makes his home at this time. 

Mr. Botsford lost his property in Connecticut in 1879 and separated from his family at the same time.  He went back to his old home that year, but returned in the spring of 1880.  In 1882 a contest was started on his claim, he was at work in Chicago at the time and out of money; a friend gave him $10.00 and a railroad pass to Kirwin.  He went to 

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