Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 63
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
Currence Gregg came to Rice county nineteen years ago, and through the intervening period has been a well-known representative of the farming interests of Washington township, his home being now on section twenty-seven. He was born in Rush county, Indiana, March 6, 1848. His paternal grandfather, William Gregg, was a Kentucky farmer and removed to the Hoosier state in pioneer days, there carrying on the work of the farm until his lifeís labors were ended in death, in 1854. He was of German parentage. He reared five children, three sons and two daughters, and among the number was William Gregg, Jr, the father of our subject, who was born in the state of Kentucky, in 1810. Having arrived at years of maturity he wedded Mary Hillegoss, also a native of Kentucky and a schoolmate of her husbandís during her girlhood days. They were married in the Blue Grass state, but soon afterward went to Indiana, where they became the parents of ten children, five sons and five daughters. They lost one daughter at the age of eight years, but seven of the number are now living. The eldest, America, is the wife of James Coer, of Rushville, Indiana, where she was born seventy years ago. All of the nine children were married and had families with the exception of one son and one daughter, and the grandchildren numbered from three to eight in each family. The father of our subject was a life-long farmer and stock-dealer and dealt considerably with the Indians. About 1857 they removed to Clark county, Iowa, where the father died in 1876. The mother survived him about three years, passing away at the age of sixty-eight. Their remains were laid to rest in Clark county, where they had been highly esteemed as worthy citizens.
Currence Gregg received but meager educational privileges in the district schools, pursuing his studies in a log school house with puncheon floor, seats and desks. His services were largely needed upon the home farm and thus he had little opportunity to master the branches of English learning. He has been twice married, his first union being with Josephine Piper, whom he wedded in 1868. She lived for ten years after their marriage and then died, leaving four children. In 1882 Mr Gregg was again married, Miss Mattie Thomas, of Rice county, Kansas, becoming his wife. Her parents were Solomon and Ruth (Morman) Thomas, natives of Indiana, and their daughter, Mrs Gregg, was born in Clark county, Iowa. In 1874 they removed to Rush county, Kansas, where the mother died in 1894, at the age of sixty-three years, leaving seven of her nine children. The father is now a farmer in Oklahoma and has been again married.
Mr Gregg came to Kansas nineteen years ago, and in the spring of 1893 he removed to Oklahoma and made the run to the Cherokee strip. He improved one hundred and sixty acres of land, upon which he engaged in farming for seven years. He not only built a home but added a fine orchard, containing all kinds of fruit, of which he made annual displays each year at the county fairs, carrying off many premiums. In one year he gained twenty-one prizes and each year took the lead among the exhibitors. He was the leading man in this enterprise in his section of the country and was one of the most prominent shippers of fruit to other states. In his home he has several excellent pictures of his exhibits and of his Oklahoma property. He there engaged in raising wheat, corn and broom corn. He also exported watermelons weighing one hundred pounds and raised sweet potatoes weighing eight pounds each. While residing in Oklahoma he made considerable money and at length sold his property there for three thousand dollars. He then came to Rice county and purchased a half section of land for which he gave fifty-five hundred dollars cash. All of this he had made himself, for when he came to Kansas he had nothing and was glad to get fifty cents per day for his services. His leading crop is wheat and he now has two hundred acres planted to that cereal. He threshed five thousand bushels in one year. He also has from forty to one hundred acres planted with corn and from thirty to fifty acres in broom corn, which pays from seventy-five to one hundred and sixty dollars per ton.
Mr Gregg had eleven children. Those of the first marriage are: Homer William, of Oklahoma, who has a wife and two children; Lola, now the wife of Charles Geist, of Reno county, Kansas; Adolphus, at home; and Josephine, now the wife of James Ashley, of Clark county, Iowa, by whom she has two children. Those of the second marriage are: Olive M, a youth of sixteen; a son who died in infancy; Sulva, a lad of twelve summers; Gola, who died in Oklahoma, at the age of eight years; Ethel, who is now seven years of age; Murray, two years old; and Alto, who is a year old. Mr Gregg votes with the Republican party and is one of its stanch advocates, believing firmly in its principles. He has, however, never sought or desired office, his attention being given to his farming interests, which claim his entire time. He is an example of the boys who educate themselves and secured their own start in life, - determined, self-reliant boys, willing to work for advantages which other boys secure through inheritance, destined by sheer force of character to succeed in the face of all opposition and to push to the front in one important branch or another. As a man his business ability has been constantly manifest, showing large possibilities, and the farm of which he is now the owner is a monument to his exceptional power.