Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 141
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
Missouri, a sister state of Kansas, has given to Kansas a considerable percentage of its leading citizens in different walks of life. Prominent among its farmers of Missourian nativity in Rice county is John Frank Leslie, who lives on section 7, Walnut township, and whose postoffice address is Thurber. (This location is actually in Reno Co which borders Rice Co – members of this family are buried at the Sterling Community Cemetery, Sterling, Rice Co, Kansas)
John Frank Leslie was born in Clark county, Missouri, August 28, 1860, a son of Alexander Leslie, who was born in Montgomery county, New York, December 19, 1804, and died in Walnut township, Rice (Reno) county, Kansas, July 2, 1878. Alexander Leslie settled on one-half of section 30, township 22, range 9, in the municipal township mentioned, February 16, 1876. His father, Daniel Leslie, came to America with his brother, Benjamin Leslie, when a young man. He married and was left a widower with four children. He afterward married Elizabeth (Carmen) Butts, widow of Edmund Butts, who had two daughters by her first marriage. Mr Butts was born October 20, 1807, and died September 19, 1843. Mrs Leslie, who was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, July 29, 1824, is now living, aged seventy-seven years. She is a daughter of Joseph and Martha (Duncan) Carmen. Joseph Carmen was born in the year 1800, and died in his seventy-ninth year. His wife was born in 1806, and died in her fiftieth year. Joseph Carmen was a native of France. Of their eleven children he and his wife reared nine. Their daughter, Mrs Leslie, reared ten of eleven children and has four sons and four daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, and one of her great-grandsons and one of her great-granddaughters are grown to manhood and womanhood.
John Frank Leslie was the oldest son of his parents, Daniel and Elizabeth (Carmen) Butts Leslie, who had eight children, and he was reared to farm life and was given a meager schooling. He lived on his father’s farm until he was twenty years old. May 14, 1882, he married Mary A Geist, a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of William Geist, deceased, and they have five children: Pearl, who is eighteen years old, is a student at Cooper College; Frank Leslie is fifteen years old; Ethel is nine years old; Vernie is six years old; and Eston is two years old. In Mr Leslie’s home farm there are three hundred and twenty acres and he leases five and half sections. Giving attention principally to stock farming, he feeds and ships annually one hundred and fifty head of cattle and usually from fifty to sixty head of horses and mules. He gives his attention largely to Hereford cattle, with special reference to registered stock. At this time he owns one hundred and seventeen head of grown stock and owns altogether six hundred head of cattle. His manner of stock farming has in certain respects commended itself to the emulation of neighboring farmers and his influence upon the development of the interest in his locality has not been inconsiderable. Realizing the fact that it costs no more to feed fine stock than ordinary stock and that fine stock is much more profitable than ordinary stock, his aim has been constantly to improve the standard of his cattle, and other farmers desiring to sell as advantageously as Mr Leslie and farmers of his school have been likewise progressive. He is public-spirited and enterprising and exerts a recognized influence in local affairs. He is an independent voter and has never yet been prevailed upon to accept any public office. He is a Knight Templar Mason and is favorably known to a wide circle of acquaintances. Mrs Leslie and their children are members of the United Brethern church.