From A Biographical History of Central
Kansas, Vol. I, p. 1479
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
Frank H. Liscum
In a record of those who have been prominently identified with the development and progress of Rice county it is imperative that definite consideration be granted to the subject of this review, for not only is he a prominent representative of the agricultural interests of this favored section, but has the distinction of being one of the pioneers of the golden west, with whose fortunes he has been identified for twenty-seven years. His career includes a war record and many years on the frontier, and it is both interesting and instructive.
Mr. Liscum was born on the 8th of March, 1838, in the state of Vermont. His paternal grandfather, Gideon Liscum, was a native of Connecticut and was a soldier in the war of 1812. His ancestors were originally from Wales. Horace S Liscum, the father of our subject, was born in the Green Mountain state, in 803. He was united in marriage with Abigail Goss, a native of Connecticut and a daughter of Thomas Goss. The union was blessed with four children: Florentine P died in Cassville, Grant county, Wisconsin; Elliott H, who served as second Lieutenant of the Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, was later promoted to captain of the Fiftieth Wisconsin Infantry, and his death occurred at Richland Center, Wisconsin, at the age of fifty-two years; Melvina E, who became Mrs. Skellenger, is now a widow lady, residing in Guttenburg, Iowa; and Frank H, is the subject of this review. The mother of this family was called to the home beyond at the age of fifty-two years, dying in the faith of the Baptist church, of which she was a worthy member. Her husband survived her until 1882, dying at the home of our subject, in Rice county, at the age of seventy-nine years. He was a farmer and stonemason by occupation, and in his political views was first a Whig and later a Republican. He, too, was a leading member of the Baptist church, and was a man honored and respected by all who knew him.
Frank H Liscum, the immediate subject of this sketch, was but a babe when he was taken by his parents to Alton, Illinois, where they remained for five years. On the expiration of that period they took up their abode in Grant county, Wisconsin, where Frank H was inured to the work of field and meadow. His education was received in the public schools, but he has added greatly to his knowledge in later life by reading, experience and observation. When the trouble arose between the north and the south he was one of the first to respond to the call of his county, enlisting on the 27th of April, 1861, in Company C, Second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He was first under the command of Colonel S Park Coon, next under Colonel E O Conner, who was killed at the second battle of Bull Run, afterward under Colonel Lucius Fairchild, who later became governor of Wisconsin, and who lost an arm at the battle of Gettysburg; next under Captain David McKee, who was later promoted to the colonelcy of his regiment; and his last captain was George W Gibson. Mr. Liscum participated in many of the historic battles of the war, including Blackburn Ford, the second battle of Bull Run, Rappahannock Station, Sulphur Springs, Gainsville, Fredericksburg, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Laurel Hill and Spottsylvania. Mr. Liscum was wounded at the battle of Gainsville, a ball passing through the calf of his leg. He was serving as color-bearer of his regiment, and the old flag was pierced by sixty-nine bullet holes. In that memorable battle his company suffered a loss of forty-eight men, killed and wounded, out of a total of sixty-two. Mr. Liscum spent eight days in the hospital located in the Odd Fellow’s building at Washington, D C. After rejoining his command he was promoted to second lieutenant and later, for meritorious service, was made lieutenant. He next took part in the battles of Laurel Hill, Spottsylvania, North Anna and Cold Harbor. Mr. Liscum was a member of the famous Iron Brigade, and as such proved a brave and gallant soldier, nobly performing his duty in defending the stars and stripes. After the close of hostilities he was honorably discharged and with a creditable military record he returned to his home and resumed work at the mason’s trade.
On the 22nd of March, 1866, at Watertown, Jefferson county, Wisconsin, Mr. Liscum was united in marriage to Miss Aurelia L Mead, who was a popular and successful teacher before her marriage. She was born in Burlington, Chittenden county, Vermont, and was there reared and educated. Her father, Simeon Mead, was also a native of that county and was a son of Martin Mead, a native of Rutland county, Vermont. The mother of Mrs. Liscum was in her maidenhood Miss Sarah Lane, a native of Rutland county, and her father was Cyrus Lane, a native of the Green Mountain state. Simeon Mead has now reached the venerable age of eighty-three years, and is a resident of Vermont. He is a farmer by occupation; a Democrat in his political views, and a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which his wife also held membership. She was called to her final rest at the age of seventy-three years. This worthy couple were the parents of four children – Mrs. Liscum; Cyrus, who operates the old homestead; Delbert M, of Bakerville, Wisconsin; and Edna, who became Mrs. Burnett and also resides at Bakerville. Mrs. Liscum was a capable and efficient teacher in Wisconsin for a number of years, and after locating in Galt township, Rice county, she taught four terms in the Hunt district, while for the same length of time she taught in another district. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Liscum has been blessed with four children, namely: Delbert H, is married and resides on section 7, Galt township; Fred S, who is a graduate of the art school, is now a student in the law department of the Lawrence University, of Kansas; Alma, who was a successful teacher for a number of years, is now Mrs. Roach, of Geneseo; and Porter I, who is now twenty years of age, is at home.In 1874 Mr. Liscum located in Galt township, Rice county, securing a homestead claim. Later he became owner of a timber claim, on which he has cut fifteen thousand trees, and he now has three hundred and twenty acres of well improved land. His place is located three miles south of Geneseo, and there he is extensively engaged in general farming. His political support is given the Republican party, of which he is an ardent supporter, and he has many times served as a delegate to county conventions. He has also been the choice of his party for treasurer and assessor, and in all his public service he has been true and faithful to the duties which have devolved upon him. He maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades of the blue by his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. Both he and his wife are zealous members of the Baptist church. They are genial, agreeable people, and have drawn about them a host of warm friends, including many of Rice county’s representative citizens.