Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1336
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
WILLIAM Q. ELLIOTT
Taking advantage of the splendid opportunities and resources which nature has provided for the agriculturist in central Kansas, William Q Elliott is now successful carrying on farming in Rice county. He was born in Wayne county, Indiana, February 19, 1837. His grandfather, Exum Elliott, emigrated to Wayne county, Indiana, from North Carolina, in the year 1815, becoming one of the pioneers who settled in the midst of the dense forest, there aiding in reclaiming the wild land for purposes of civilization. He wedded Catherine Lamb, of Guilford county, North Carolina, and they reared twelve children, eight sons and four daughters, all of whom reached mature years, were married and had children of their own with the exception of one daughter, who remained with her parents for a long period and was married in advanced years. All have now removed from Indiana, the family becoming widely scattered over the country. The grandfather died at the age of eighty-six and was laid to rest in the Friends’ cemetery at West Grove, Indiana, where Mark Elliott, father of our subject, was also interred. He was born in North Carolina, December 28, 1813, and was only two years of age when with his parents he went to Wayne county, Indiana, there spending his remaining days. He wedded Mary Haworth, who was born in Tennessee, on an island of two hundred acres, which was owned and occupied by her father, Joel Haworth. He afterward removed to Union county, Indiana, and purchased a large tract of land, for which he paid a dollar and a quarter per acre in gold. The value of this rapidly increased and he became wealthy. Of his large family of children Mr Elliott was the eldest. She died in Sterling February 23, 1902, aged eighty-eight years, two months and twenty-one days. She gave her hand in marriage to Mark Elliott on the 22nd of August, 1835, Union county, Indiana, the marriage being celebrated after the manner of the Society of Friends, both being members of that religious sect. They took up their abode in Wayne county, Indiana, where Mr Elliott died in 1858, leaving a widow and seven children, four sons and three daughters. The youngest child, Lewis D, died of diptheria in Indiana, at the age of eight years. Joel H was with General Custer and was killed by the Indians in November, 1868, the troops being attacked by Chief Black Kettle’s band. He was a major of the Seventh Cavalry in the regular army and he and sixteen men were ambushed and butchered by the savages. His body was left on the ground for two weeks, but was afterward buried in the National cemetery in the western Territory. The living members of the family are William Q; Hannah, the widow of Isaiah Sleeper, of Baldwin, Kansas; Permelia, the widow of Oliver Miller, of Wayne county; Elton B, a lumber dealer of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Sarah E, the wife of Marion Barr, of Sterling, Kansas.
William Q Elliott, of this review, was educated in his native state, in the Friends monthly meeting school at West Grove, under Jeremiah Griffin. He was reared to farm life and taught school for five winters, teaching his first term before he was seventeen years of age. He remained at home and cared for his invalid father, who suffered for three years with sciatica. He was a large muscular man, six feet and two inches in height and was an industrious and prudent farmer, having been worth about ten thousand dollars. On the 4th of February, 1858, our subject was joined in wedlock to Rebecca Jane Jackson, who was born in Wayne county, Indiana, in January, 1838, a daughter of Joseph W Jackson, the wealthiest farmer of the community. She is the oldest of thirteen children, eight sons and five daughters, all of whom are living and have large families. Her mother died in Wayne county, when past the prime of life, and the father was called to his final rest six years later, when sixty years of age. He was a large, corpulent man. His estate, valued at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and acquired through agricultural pursuits and pork-packing, was left to be divided among his children.
Mr and Mrs Elliott began their domestic life in Vermilion county, Illinois, renting the McDonald farm. Our subject was a very successful agriculturist there for seven years, at the end of which time he returned to the old homestead and assumed its management, his father having died and his brother being in the army. He there remained until the fall of 1873, when he came to Kansas and filed a homestead claim of eighty acres of land, on which his house is now standing. In March, 1874, he came to the village of Peace, which was later changed to Sterling, and took up his abode there, where the family resided until July 1, 1875, then coming to the homestead, where a house and barn had been erected. Subsequently he made purchases of railroad and school lands and took a timber claim, thus adding to his possessions until he owned thirty-three hundred acres. In 1880 he opened a private bank in Sterling and followed the banking business for seven years, conducting the Rice County Bank, a private institution, but in October, 1887, he made an assignment, having been made the victim of some designing persons. He was too kind and confiding and he lost heavily. However, he has largely retrieved his lost possessions and he now owns three hundred acres of valuable land, having a very large barn on the property and another upon rented land which he formerly owned, the barns have been constructed by him. He has made a specialty of the breeding and raising of horses and mules and also raises about one hundred and seventy head of hogs each year. He secured his large tract of land when it was in its primitive condition, and the trees which constitute his groves and the cottonwood, which shade the long avenues, together with catalpas and black walnut trees, were all planted by him, the first being set out in 1876. His fine apple orchard of twenty acres was planted in 1878, and he has five acres of seedling peaches. In 1882 he sold peaches to the value of one thousand dollars, receiving about two dollars per bushel. All these went to one merchant, R J Shay. He also has a fine grove of evergreen trees, where at one time he intended to build.
Mr Elliott and his wife have buried three children, two of whom died in early life in Illinois, while Charles Sumner passed away in Sterling and was laid to rest in the Cottonwood Park Cemetery, which Mr Elliott personally established in 1875. Their living children are: Mark H, a farmer of Reno county, who has a wife and eight children; Joseph W, who follows agricultural pursuits near the old homestead and has a wife and three children; Cashius M C, of Farmington, New Mexico, who has a wife and seven children; Selena Margery, the wife of Albert Snook, who is living on the home farm and by whom she has three children; Lincoln Lloyd, of Pratt county, Kansas, who has a wife and four children; Sylvester J, who is now in Colorado, having been honorably discharged from the regular army after five years’ service; William Quincy, of Oregon, who is married and has five children; Clarkson Taber, an agriculturist of Oklahoma, who is married and has four children; Caleb B, a merchant of Delta, Colorado, where he is widely recognized as a thrifty business man; Laban Moody, who is the foreman on his father’s farm and has a wife and two children; Stanley P, a young man of twenty-one years, and also married and living with his parents; and Chester Garfield, who is nineteen years of age and is now in New Mexico.
Mr Elliott has been a life-long Republican from the time when he took an active part in the Fremont campaign. His first vote, however, was not cast until 1860, when he supported Lincoln. In religion he is a Friend and is known throughout Kansas as one of the leading and active members of that denomination. He has taken an active part in advancing the agricultural and horticultural interests of the state, and his labors have been most effective in this work. He is a man strictly honorable in all life’s relations, and though he has met with many misfortunes in his business he has always retained the confidence of his fellow men. He is now a prosperous farmer, honored and respected for his integrity of character and sterling worth.