From A Biographical History of Central
Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1314
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
In no department of human endeavor are character and business ability more essential to success than in farming. A good reputation is splendid capital in any business and to be a successful farmer one must develop ability not only to produce good crops and to market them advantageously but to handle a farm judiciously. In Kansas the era of scientific farming was ushered in some time ago and one of the best exponents of successful farming in Rice county is Samuel Clutter, of Little River. He is a native of Fairfield county, Ohio, received a fair education in the common schools and has given his life to the intelligent study of agriculture.
Mr. Clutter was born March 4, 1822, a son of Stephen and Sarah (Tester) Clutter, natives of West Virginia, but they were married in Ohio. Stephen Clutter's father was Samuel Clutter, and he married a Miss Workman, both of whom were born in Virginia. When quite young Miss Workman and one of her sisters were captured by Indians, but some time afterward the former was restored to her parents, but no intelligence of the fate of her sister was ever received. Samuel Clutter was a farmer and mechanic, who without being "a jack of all trades" was able to do almost anything with tools. Eventually he located in Hocking county, Ohio, where he lived out his days and died honored by all who had known him. His children were named John, Margaret, Esther, Benjamin, Amos, Priscilla, Samuel, Nancy, Mary and Stephen. The latter was the father of the subject of this sketch.
Stephen Clutter was born in Virginia and was taken by his parents to Ohio, and grew to manhood and was married in Fairfield county, that state, where he lived until after most of his children were born, but in time he located in Allen County, Ohio, where his younger children were born. In the course of events his older son bought and gave him 40 acres of land in Mercer county, Ohio, on which he spent the remainder of his days and died at a ripe old age, some years after the death of his wife. He was in politics an old-school Democrat, and though he was never an active politician, he took an intelligent interest in public affairs. His wife was the daughter of Samuel Tester, a Virginian, who settled early in Ohio and lived out his days and died in that state. His children were named Frederick, George, Nancy, Hannah, Kate, Margaret, Betsey, Jacob and Sarah. His daughter last mentioned was the mother of the subject of this sketch.
Stephen and Sarah (Tester) Clutter had children named as follows: Samuel; Elizabeth, who married D Tester; Amos and Stephen who died young; Catherine, who married W Frazee; William, who died at the age of twenty-two years; Nancy J, who married John Borders; and Sarah, who married H Fish. Of this family of children Elizabeth, Sarah and Samuel are the only survivors. Samuel was born and reared in Ohio, where he was twice married and where he acquired a good common school education, and developed his natural ability as a musician. During his young manhood he gave considerable time to teaching singing school. He remained with his parents until he was twenty-four years old, helping to support his family by working hard on the home farm and on neighboring farms and by clearing land under contract. In 1845, he married and for a year afterward assisted his wife's parents to work their home farm. At the expiration of that time he bought the farm on credit. Seven years later, when his wife died, he owed nine hundred dollars of the purchase price of the farm, and sold a part of the place in order to clear off that indebtedness. Later he sold the remainder of the farm and removed from Allen county to Mercer County, Ohio, where he bought a farm and set about the work of improving it. As a means to that end he utilized a four-horse team, which he owned, in freighting between Cincinnati, Ohio, and different interior towns of the state. The work was hard, but for the time it was fairly well paid. After a while he relinquished it and gave his entire time to farming, and during the thirty years he remained there was satisfactorily successful and came to be known as one of the enterprising and prominent citizens of the county. After making a prospecting tour in Kansas he bought, in 1886, four hundred and eighty acres of land in Rice county, about one quarter of which was improved and on which was a stone house, a good barn and adequate outbuildings. Three quarters of the place was pasture land. His son took charge of this place and in 1889, Mr. Clutter traded his Ohio homestead for the one hundred and sixty acre tract known as the Bean farm, on which he now lives. This well improved farm is located in the valley of Little River, a mile from the town of Little River. Mr. Clutter owns a tract of two hundred acres at another point not far distant and is the proprietor of an aggregate of six hundred and eight acres of farm and pasture land, including three well improved and well equipped farms. He does general farming and gives special attention to stock.
In the best sense of the term Mr. Clutter is a self made man and has shown Himself to be a conservative business man and a good financier. His judgment in practical affairs is respected by all who know him and as a public-spirited citizen he takes intelligent interest in all questions affecting the public good. He was rocked in a Democratic cradle and adheres principally to Democratic principles. While living in Ohio he ably filled the office of justice of the peace and township treasurer and filled minor positions of trust. During the period of the Civil war he was custodian of moneys appropriated by his county for the use and support of the widows and orphans of soldiers in arms, and he distributed a large amount of such funds with the most scrupulous fidelity. Wherever he has lived he has been identified prominently and helpfully with leading interests. He has reared a large family of children and as each son or daughter has gone out into the world he has given him or her most substantial assistance.
Mr. Clutter’s first wife was Miss Elizabeth East, who was born in Ohio, a daughter of John East, who was an early settler of Pennsylvania and became a successful farmer and prominent citizen who held many offices of trust and honor in Allen county, Ohio, where he lived out his days. John East had children as follows: Mary, who married Jacob S Baker; Isaac; Abraham; Samuel; and Elizabeth, who married Mr. Clutter. She bore him children named as follows: Caroline, who married M Stafford, of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Hiram, who became a farm in Mercer county, Ohio; and Albert, who has attained prominence as a business man at Lima, Ohio. Elizabeth (East) Clutter, who was reared by her parents in the Baptist faith and who in every way was an admirable woman, died May 10, 1852. In 1853, Mr. Clutter married Elizabeth Pfeifer, who was born in Germany, April 8, 1837, and was brought to America at the age of two years by her parents, Nicholas and Eva B (Zeor) Pfeifer, who were natives of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, and who reared her in Ohio to undertake the responsibilities of a noble womanhood. In his native land Mr. Pfeifer was a shoemaker, but upon arriving in America he acquired a farm in Allen county, Ohio, on which he lived a successful life until the end of his days. His wife bore him children as follows: Elizabeth, who married Mr. Clutter; Barbara, who became Mrs. J Hake; Henry, who died in 1897; John and Jacob, who live in Michigan; Catherine, who married M Borst, and after his death A Young; Nicholas, who is dead; Mary, who became Mrs. H Shirk; Adam, who lives in Ohio; Anthony, who lives in Michigan; and Martha, who married A Brown. Of these children Elizabeth and Barbara were born in Germany, the other in Ohio. Nicholas and Eva B (Zeor) Pfeifer, the parents of this family, were Lutherans and so far as possible they reared their children in the father of that church. By his marriage with Elizabeth Pfeifer Mr. Clutter had children as follows: Clarissa, who died young; Cyrus, who is a merchant at Little River; Eleanor, who died young; Mary, who died young; Newton, who lives at Lima, Ohio; Huldah, who married C Deal of Rice county, Kansas; Samuel, who died young; Eva, who died young; Sarah, who married A Snyder, of Little River township, Rice county, Kansas; Emma, who married W Wiest and lives in Ohio; Anna, who married J Cavenee and lives at Lyons, Kansas; Charles, who lives at Pawnee Rock, Barton county, Kansas; Augusta, who married B Briscoe, of Rice county, Kansas; Fannie, who is the wife of William J Edwards, of Lima, Ohio; James, who is managing his father’s homestead in Little River township, Rice county, Kansas; and John, who is a farmer in the same township. Mr. Clutter has had twenty children, fourteen of whom are living, and has adopted and reared six orphans. In every relation of life he has fully met his responsibilities. As husband, father, citizen, official and custodian of the money for widows and orphans he has been faithful to a degree that is worthy of the emulation of young men who would build character of such quality that it will prove to them more valuable than any mere inheritance of money, and it is to be regretted that we have not more such admirable men in public life.