Sedgwick County KSGenWeb

Portrait And Biographical Album of Sedgwick County, Kan.

Chapman Brothers 1888

Pages 232 - 233 

JOHN W. FOLLETT, of Grand River Township, came to this part of the county in 1878, bringing with him a stock of general merchandise, and for the first few years was engaged as a country merchant. He at once, however, wisely secured eighty acres of land, to which he has since added 160 more, and is now a full-fledged farmer, giving his attention principally to agricultural pursuits.

      Mr. Follett has been particularly fortunate in the selection of a wise, prudent and industrious wife, to whom he was married early one morning in Geauga (now Lake) County, Ohio, and as soon as they had eaten their breakfast the bride and groom started for Northern Indiana. They made their way by the lakes to Toledo, and thence by the pioneer railroad to Hillsdale, Mich. They had, however, in the meantime, spent about six months in Indiana, where Mr. Follett purchased a farm. He had learned the trade of a tailor during his early manhood, and his wife had become mistress of the same trade in the same shop with her husband. While they were in Jamestown she prevailed upon him to move to Fremont and set up a tailor shop, and with her assistance he built up a good patronage, doing custom work, and keeping cloths and ready-made garments for sale. Later they kept groceries and drugs, and still later general merchandise. They thus operated until 1873, by which time, having made considerable money, our subject became too generous to his friends, and by signing notes for other people lost his whole property. The five years following, and before coming to this county, were employed at whatever he could find for his hands to do.

      Mr. Follett and his wife after locating in this township established and have had charge of the post-office for about seven years, and our subject is now serving his third term as Justice of the Peace. In relation to his family history we give the following interesting details: He was born in Geauga (now Lake) County, Ohio, Feb. 10, 1824, and is the son of Eliphalet and Matilda (Hiscock) Follett, natives of Dalton, Mass. The father emigrated to Ohio, where he was married, and died when John W. was about four years old. He was a paper-maker by trade, but after his removal to Ohio purchased land and carried on farming. He was an old-line Whig politically, and a man of excellent principles.

      The subject of this sketch commenced his apprenticeship at the tailor's trade when a lad of thirteen, and served seven years, receiving in the meantime three years' schooling. When twenty-one years of age he was married, on the 6th of October, 1845, to Miss Angeline Trask, daughter of Retire and Asenath (Bartlett) Trask, natives of Southampton, Mass. Mr. and Mrs. Trask became residents of Ohio at the ages of fifteen and seven years respectively, emigrating with their parents in the same company, who were making the journey overland, and the boy led his future wife frequently by the hand during the journey. Mr. Trask was born on the 11th of June, l794, and his wife, Asenath, July 22, 1802. They were married in Geauga County, Ohio, Nov. 14, 1814.

      The father of Mrs. Trask was a carpenter by trade but owned a farm, and while the country was new also occupied himself in the winter season making shoes. The parental household included nine children, of whom seven are still living, and Mrs. Follett is the sixth child. The eldest, Almina, was born Feb. 27, 1818; Reuben B., born Jan. 8, 1820, died Feb. 14, 1886; Benjamin F. was born Feb. 20, 1822; Alfred B., April 22, 1824; Adaline, March 22, 1826; Angeline, Nov. 23, 1828; Almeda, who was born Feb. 24, 1831, died of consumption Dec. 27, 1884; John was born Jan 20, 1833, and Retire, March 22, 1835. Mr. Trask departed this life on the 30th of June, 1834, while still a young man. His wife survived over fifty years, and passed away on the 31st of December, 1885, at a ripe old age. She was a second time married, her second husband being Elliahu Emmons.

      To Mr. and Mrs. Follett there were given four children, all natives of Indiana: The eldest, a daughter Ethel, was born Aug. 12, 1848, in Steuben County, and became the wife of Samuel Bricker, a groceryman of Fremont, Ind.; they have one child. Alma was born Aug. 17, 1850, and is the wife of Emery G. Melendy, an attorney-at-law at Fremont, Ind.; they have one child. Cornelia was born Sept. 4, 1852, is the wife of John Greenamyer, of Reno County, Kan., and the mother of two children; Ralph W. was born Jan. 14, 1856, and is clerk in a hardware store in Wichita.

      The paternal grandfather of our subject was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The family was first represented in this country by three brothers, natives of France, who crossed the Atlantic during the Colonial days, and the grandfather was the son of one of these. James I. Follett, a brother of our subject, is married, has one son, and lives in Northern Michigan. Of the two sisters, one died in infancy, and the other died after her marriage with Zenas Bliss, of Ohio, by whom she became the mother of two daughters, who survived her. Mr. Follett is a member of the Masonic Lodge, also of the I. O. O. F., and his worthy lady is a member of Rebecca Degree Lodge, and order of the Eastern Star.

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