Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 587
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
Rice county, Kansas, has no more honored and representative pioneer citizen than Samuel Sanderson, who cast in his lot with the early settlers of the Sunflower state twenty-eight years ago and has ever since been actively identified with the agricultural interests of that locality. His father, William Sanderson, was of Irish descent. He served his country through the entire war of 1812 and at an early day settled in Highland county, Ohio, and later moved to Pike county, same state, where he improved a good farm and remained during his life. He was an industrious man, whose integrity and honor were above reproach, very social in his nature, greatly enjoying the friendship of his many friends. He was very successful in his farming operations and accumulated a comfortable competence with which to make himself and family comfortable and happy in old age. Politically he was a Whig and cast his last vote for Abraham Lincoln. He was converted to Christianity when sixteen years of age and joined the Protestant Methodist church, in which he served as class-leader for over twenty years and was also one of the stewards of the church, contributing liberally to its support. He married Miss Elizabeth Evans, a native of Ohio, and they had eight children, namely: Sarah, the wife of Noah Nicely; Mary A, who married Irvin Nicely; Margaret, who became the wife of J Spring; James, who served as corporal of his company during the Civil war and is now living near Newton, Iowa; Martha, who became the wife of C Flake; Samuel, the subject of this sketch; David, who lives in Ohio; and Emma, now the wife of H Aldridge. All are yet living but Sarah, who left four children. The father of the above named died at his old homestead in Pike county, Ohio, September 20, 1861, and their mother, who also was a member of the same church, survived her husband for a number of years, remaining at the homestead until her children were married and settled in homes of their own, when she made her home with them and died at the home of one of her daughters in Iowa when seventy-two years of age.
Samuel Sanderson, whose name introduces this review, was born in Highland county, Ohio, June 20, 1848, but was reared in Pike county, where he acquired a common-school education and remained under the parental roof until twenty-two years of age, when he married and settled on a rented farm in Ross county, Ohio, where he remained for one year. In 1873 he moved to Kansas and located a homestead in Rice county, where he yet lives. He thus became one of the pioneer settlers of that locality, and his claim, which was fourteen miles from the nearest neighbor on the west, was the most western claim in the county. Buffalo, antelope and other wild game was very plentiful, furnishing excellent sport for the huntsmen and fresh meats for the table. He built a small sod house and with characteristic energy and determination began breaking the prairie and preparing it for cultivation. The crops were not always sure or bountiful, and he met with many discouragements, as when in 1874 the grasshoppers swarmed over the prairie and devoured every vestige of vegetation; but he had raised and saved about one hundred bushels of wheat, and later crops being abundant, by economy and careful management he has been enabled to provide himself and family with all the necessaries and many of the comforts of life. He is engaged in general farming and stock-raising, his fields are all now under a high state of cultivation, he has built a comfortable and commodious two-story frame farm house, which is supplied with all modern conveniences, has large barns, sheds and outbuildings, and has made many other substantial improvements upon his place, making it very attractive and valuable, and he is numbered among the solid men of the county.
In 1871 Mr Sanderson was united in marriage to Miss Jennie A Weaver, an intelligent and cultured lady who was born in Adams county, Ohio, January 22, 1847, a daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Gorman) Weaver, both natives of Ohio. He was a son of John Weaver, of German descent, a farmer by occupation and an early settler of Ohio. His children were: Henry, now living in Ohio; Polly, now Mrs Murphy; Benjamin J, the father of Mrs Sanderson; and John, who makes his home in Ohio. The maternal grandfather of Mrs Sanderson was William Gorman, who was or Irish descent, a farmer and early settler of Ohio, and he and his wife were earnest Christian people, respected by all who knew them. Unto them were born the following children: Mathew; Michael; Nancy, now Mrs Wyscupp; John; James; Elizabeth, the mother of Mrs Sanderson; Mary, now Mrs Gardner; and Ann, now Mrs Shoemaker. The marriage of Benjamin and Elizabeth Weaver was blessed with three children: Catherine, who died at the age of twenty-one years; Jennie, the wife of our subject; and John B, who died while serving his country in the Civil war. The mother of these children died in 1850, a consistent member of the United Brethern church. The father was again married, to Miss Hannah Jenkins, by whom he has three children, - Marion, James and Walter, - all yet living in Ohio, where the parents both died. Unto our subject and his wife have been born eight children, namely: Ernest W, born March 6, 1876, and now and agent of the New York Life Insurance Company; Arthur W, born November 11, 1877, a farmer by occupation; Alice B, now Mrs Foote, born December 20, 1880; George B, born August 15, 1882; Eliza E, April 13, 1884; James W, March 1, 1886; John H, November 25, 1888; and Charles E, October 24, 1891, still at home.
Both Mr and Mrs Sanderson are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He helped to organize the first church of this locality and helped conduct the first protracted meeting, which was a complete success, there being thirty-two conversions, and all of the converts remained stanch and worthy members of the church through life. Mr Sanderson is connected with the Masonic fraternity, joining the order when the lodge was held under a dispensation, and thus became a charter member of Chase Lodge, No. 247, AF & AM, of Chase, Kansas. He is a loyal and public-spirited citizen, deeply interested in all movements for the upbuilding and progress of his town, county and state, and well deserves mention in this volume.