The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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refuses to tell his experience for publication although enough of them is known to warrant us in saying that in bravery and heroism they equal the fairy tales of Simon Gety or Lewis Wetzel.  Mr. Rees lives on a farm at Jennings, Decatur county. 

Ledru H. Wilder was born in Dubuque county, Iowa, February 2, 1855.  He moved with his parents to Missouri in 1867.  When 16 years of age he went to work for himself, working by the month on a farm in summer and going to school in winter until he was 22 years old, he then started to Simpson's college at Indianola, Iowa, where he continued until 1881, when he graduated.  He then began the study of law and was admitted to the bar at Indianola in 1884.  He remained there and practiced law until 1887; in August of that year he settled in Norton and in October, 1887, he was married to Dora McClure; they have one child, Mark M. born April 12, 1891.  In politics Mr. Wilder has always been a democrat.  He was the nominee of his party for county attorney in 1888, but was not elected.  The democrats nominated him for the same office in 1890 at which time he was elected by a good majority, and in 1892 he was again nominated, this time by the populists, but was defeated at the polls. 

William J. Bower was born December 3, 1847, in Geauga county, Ohio.  He was raised on a farm and attended the common schools.  When 16 years of age he volunteered in the14th Ohio independent battery: and served 19 months; was in the battles of Reseca, Dallas, Kenesaw mountain, Peach Tree creek, in fact was in all the battles of the Atlanta campaign.  He then went to Nashville in the campaign to head off Hood.  After driving him back across the Tennessee from his regiment went to Mobile, Alabama.  His regiment was mounted prior to the Mobile campaign and was engaged in skirmishing and scouting during the remainder of the war.  After finishing the raid through Florida and Alabama his regiment was sent to Dennison, Ohio, and was mustered out. 

He then attended the Anslinburg academy for two terms.  He was married in 1867, to Augusta Atkin in Asthabula [Ashtabula] county Ohio.  Nine children have been born to them, eight of whom are still living.  He learned the carpenters' and joiners' trade and worked at that and teaching music until he came to Kansas in 1879.  He settled on a homestead four miles southeast of Norton.  He moved to Norton in 1884 and went into the furniture business in 1885, and has continued it ever since.  He has a branch store at Goodland which is in charge of his eldest son, A. A., who is also half owner in the Goodland branch.  Mr. Bower also has a furniture stock in Colby in charge of his second son, Frank. 

Charles M. Sawyer was born September 17, 1866, in Livingston county, Illinois, was raised on a farm near

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