Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1168
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
WILLIAM P. HINDES
The unostentatious routine of private life, although of vast importance to the welfare of the community, has not figured to any great extent in the pages of history. But the names of men who have distinguished themselves by the possession of those qualities of character which mainly contribute to the success of private life and to the public stability, and who have enjoyed the respect and confidence of those around them should not be permitted to perish. Their example is more valuable to the majority of readers than that of heroes, statesmen and writers, as they furnish means of subsistence for the multitude whom they in their useful careers have employed. Such are the thoughts that involuntarily come to our minds when we consider the life of him whose name initiates this sketch.
Born near Waukesha, Wisconsin, September 27, 1856, William P Hindes was reared to the honest toil of the farm, but by his industry and enterprise has won a prominent place for himself in business circles, being now the principal lumber dealer and general merchant of Mitchell, Rice county, Kansas. He is a son of Francis G and Eliza (Smith) Hindes, the former a descendant of one of the honored New England families. He was born in Vermont and came to Wisconsin when thirteen years of age with a sister and grew to manhood there, where he married and engaged in farming. He was a self-made man, starting out in life a poor boy and depending entirely upon his own efforts, and by hard work and honest dealing was successful and accumulated a fine property. He remained in Wisconsin until after his children were born and then sold out and moved to Western Kansas, settling in Cheyenne county, where he engaged in farming and stock-raising, but the crops were short and the crash in the cattle trade of 1894 was disastrous to his finances and he lost heavily, becoming so discouraged that he disposed of his interests in Western Kansas and in the spring of 1895 moved to Mitchell, where he acted as salesman in his sonís store until his death, which occurred on the 29th of October, 1898. He served as a soldier in the Civil war, received an honorable discharge and later in his life received a small pension for his services from the government. His brothers and sisters were: Hiram, John and Robert, who also served in the Civil war; and Jane, now Mrs Thomas. He married Miss Eliza Smith, a native of England, and the daughter of William Smith, a wagon-maker by trade, who spent his last days with his daughter in Wisconsin. He had three children: John C, of Lincoln, Nebraska; William, who remained in England; and Eliza, the mother of our subject. The marriage of Francis G and Eliza (Smith) Hindes was blessed with five children, namely: Sarah, now Mrs Rosier; William P, our subject; Mary, now deceased, who married Mr Weaver; Ellen, the wife of William C Hiden; and Kate, who became the wife of E T Fraker.
William P Hindes, the subject of this review, was reared in Wisconsin, his native state, and remained under the parental roof until he grew to manhood, acquiring a good education in the common schools. In 1877, he went to Missouri, locating at St Joseph, where he engaged in the dairy business and married, remaining there until 1885, when he removed to western Kansas, where he homesteaded a land claim and also pre-empted a claim. These he undertook to improve and cultivate, but the crops in that section of the country at that early day were often almost a total failure and he, as well as his neighbors, lost heavily. Becoming discouraged he moved to Mitchell, where he still makes his home. He there engaged in the hardware business, including farm implements, meeting with good success, and in 1895 he added lumber, opening an extensive lumber yard and furnishing everything in building material that is needed. In 1900 he erected a large stone block, fifty by eighty feet, with a good basement, and in this commodious business block he now carries a full line of hardware, tinware, harness, lumber, furniture, farming implements and in fact nearly every article needed by farmers except drygoods and groceries. Since coming to central Kansas he has been very successful in his business, owing to his energy, enterprise and fine business ability. His residence is large and commodious, containing all the modern conveniences and improvements.
Mr Hindes was united in marriage, in Illinois, to Miss Ida M Christopher, who was born in Jersey county, Illinois, February 24, 1863, and is a daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Fisher) Christopher, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of New Jersey, and they were married in Illinois. He was a farmer by occupation and moved from Illinois to Kansas in 1891, locating in Chase, where for a time he clerked in a store, and later moved to Mitchell, where he and his wife now reside and he is conducting the post office there. Their children are as follows: Mary, who married W H Beatty; Frances, now the wife of C W Minor; George C, of Kansas; Ida M, the wife of our subject; Ada, who became the wife of E J Huff; and J J, of Chase, Rice county, Kansas.
The marriage of our subject and his wife has been blessed with two interesting children, Ada, born November 6, 1892, and Sarah E, born September 7, 1896. Mrs Hindes, who before her marriage was a successful school teacher and bookkeeper, is a bright and capable business woman, and is now assisting her husband in his business by acting as his secretary and bookkeeper. She is an active worker in all charitable enterprises and is a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr Hindes was formerly a Democrat in his political affiliations, but is now a stanch Republican, and by that party was nominated and elected in 1893 to the position of township clerk, which position he filled with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of his fellow citizens. Early in 1890 he was made deputy postmaster of Mitchell and soon after received the appointment of postmaster, which position he still holds. Socially he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen organizations. In demeanor he is quiet and unostentatious, in manner he is pleasant and genial, - an approachable gentleman who enjoys the friendship of a select circle of acquaintances.