Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1284
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
B. F. HORNER
The distinguished citizen of Rice county, B F Horner, has for many years been a resident of this favored section of the state. As a soldier, pioneer and agriculturist he has won the respect of all with whom he has been associated, and he is widely known as one of the most prominent citizens of central Kansas. He was born in Henry county, Indiana, November 7, 1841. His parents, Richard and Hannah Horner, were natives respectively of Maryland and Tennessee, and their wedding was celebrated in Indiana. The mother, who was of German descent, was a daughter of William Manifold, one of the early pioneers of Indiana and a prominent farmer there. He reared a family of six children, - Martha, Betsy, Henry, Joseph, Jessie and Hannah. The parents were members of the Methodist church, and the father passed away at his old home in Indiana. Richard Horner, the father of our subject, was of Scotch-Irish descent, and was also reared in Indiana. He learned the blacksmith’s trade, which he followed in the Hoosier state until 1855, when he removed to Iowa, entering land from the government. He placed his farm under cultivation and also followed blacksmithing to some extent, but he afterward sold that place and purchased another farm, where he remained until his death, passing away September 13, 1886. He followed farming as a life occupation and was a Republican in his political views, but was never an aspirant for political preferment. His wife survived him for twelve years, dying on the 11th of April, 1898. They were the parents of five children, namely: B F, the subject of this review; William, who served in the Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry during the war of the Rebellion; Jesse, who served in the same regiment, and was killed in battle on Red river; Shepard, a resident of Iowa; and Joseph, who died when young.
B F Horner accompanied his parents on their removal to Iowa when fifteen years of age. He remained at home until 1861, when he loyally responded to his country’s call for troops, becoming a member of the Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Captain John Scott. They were consigned to the western department of the Sixteenth Army Corps, under General A J Smith, and were at Island No. 10, Fort Pillow, Tennessee; and Columbus, Kentucky. During his army service Mr Horner contracted measles, which went to his lungs, and on account of disability he was then honorably discharged. He then returned to his home in Iowa, but for three or four years thereafter he was unable for manual labor, and he has never fully regained his former health. He now receives the small pension of sixteen dollars a month in compensation for his services.
Remaining under the parental roof until 1864, he was then married and began farming in a small way in Iowa. He remained in that state until 1878, when he came with a team and covered wagon to Kansas, locating in Rice county, and, like most pioneer settlers, he had all to make and nothing to lose. Mr Horner purchased a squatter’s claim in Union township, on which was located a small stone house and a few fruit trees had been planted. Thirty acres of the place had been broken and was planted to wheat and sod corn. Mr Horner purchased a half-interest in the crop and immediately began the further improvement of his land. He lived in the old house for five years, and then built a story and a half frame residence, in which he now resides, also erected a good corn crib, barn and other outbuildings, has planted an orchard and in many other ways has improved and beautified his place. As time has passed he has added to his original purchase until he now owns three hundred and twenty acres, and his land is located nine miles northeast of Little River.
On the 14th of December, 1864, Mr Horner was united in marriage to Miss Susan Clemens, who was born in Pennsylvania, February 3, 1843, a daughter of David and Mary (Carbaugh) Clemens, natives also of the Keystone state. Their marriage was celebrated in Pennsylvania, and in 1858 they removed to Iowa, where they entered and improved a good farm, and there the father died on the 7th of September, 1866. He was a plain, unassuming farmer and never aspired to public notoriety. His wife survived him many years, passing away on the 10th of January, 1890, at the ripe old age of ninety-nine years and nine months. She was of German descent. The children born unto Mr and Mrs Clemens were twelve in number, namely: Catherine, born August 16, 1820, became Mrs David Crowe; George, born December 29, 1821, died in Pennsylvania; Christina died when young; Anthony, born December 2, 1825, was a resident of Pennsylvania; Samuel also died when young; Lewis, born April 2, 1830, died in Pennsylvania; Nicholas, born June 15, 1831, is a resident of Iowa; Jonathan, born April 10, 1832, also resides in Iowa; David, born March 19, 1835, is now living in Oregon; Lydia, born April 23, 1837, is the wife of H Jones; Lucinda, born August 23, 1840, is the wife of A Jones; and Susan, born February 3, 1843, became the wife of our subject. The parents were members of no religious denomination, but were honest, Christian people, and were loved and respected by all who knew them. Unto Mr and Mrs Horner have been born five children: Robert R, born September 12, 1865, is a farmer of this township; Oscar B, born June 4, 1868, is also engaged in farming here; Mary A, born January 11, 1870, is at home; Sylvester, born November 23, 1872, died April 10, 1881; and Melissa, born December 19, 1879, is the wife of Jesse Boston. Mr Horner is a member of the GAR Post of Little River. His life has been one of activity in the industrial world, and the success which he has achieved is the fitting crown of well directed labor.