John Alfred Jeffries, a successful farmer and stockman of Southern Kansas, now living retired at South Haven, is a native of Ohio. He was born on a farm in Fayette county, May 5, 1856, and is a son of William and Ruth (Johnson) Jeffries. The father was also a native of Ohio, born January 12, 1819. In 1859 the family removed to Champaign county, Illinois, where the father followed farming until his death, November 4, 1863. He was a deeply religious man and lived a consistent Christian life. William Jeffries and Ruth Johnson were married August 3, 1837. She was also a native of Fayette county, Ohio, born April 27, 1818, a daughter of William and Eliza Johnson. The father was a native of Maryland, and died in 1867, at the advanced age of 104 years. Mrs. Jeffries died in Champaign county, Illinois, April 27, 1891. John Alfred Jeffries was one of a family of ten children, as follows: Simeon C., born May 11, 1838, a farmer in Oklahoma; James, born December 21, 1839, served as a private in Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Illinois infantry during the Civil war, and died December 29, 1893; Nancy J., born October 14, 1841, married William Hewerdine, who died at Champaign, Ill., December 17, 1913; Mary Ann, born November 4, 1843, now the wife of George Hewerdine, a retired farmer of Fisher, Ill.; Elizabeth, born September 12, 1845, now the widow of G. L. Whitney, and resides at Danville, Ill.; William Mathias, bore November 30, 1847, a farmer in Arkansas; Sarah D., born November 28, 1849, now the wife of George Evans, a farmer in Champaign county, Illinois; Andrew Jackson, born November 28, 1851, died September 17, 1853; Phoebe E., born December 23, 1853, now deceased; John Alfred, the subject of this sketch, and George L., born January 20, 1862, a farmer in Noble county, Oklahoma.
John Alfred Jeffries was educated in the public schools, but has obtained his education largely in the school of experience. He remained on the farm in Champaign county until 1886. He had no capital, but was ambitious and determined to win, and he has succeeded. When he first came to this State he located in Green township, Summer county, and farmed on rented land the first five years. In 1891 he purchased a farm of 320 acres in South Haven township, which he still owns. This is one of the best improved and most highly cultivated farms in the county. He also owns considerable land in New Mexico and has other investments. After a successful career, Mr. Jeffries retired from active labor on his farm, in 1906, and now resides in South Haven. He is a Republican and has taken a prominent part in the politics of the State. He represented the Seventy-fifth district, composed of Summer county, in the lower house of the Kansas legislature in the sessions of 1903-05-07, and is the only man ever elected to that office for three successive terms from the Seventy-fifth district. He introduced many important measures which became laws, among which was the law requiring railroads to equip locomotives with electric headlights. He was a member of the committee on railroads for two sessions, and also served on other important committees. He was treasurer of the South Haven school board for nine years, and has been honored by other local offices from time to time, serving one term as mayor of South Haven. Mr. Jeffries married Miss Sarah Jane Chism, a native of Champaign county, Illinois, born February 4, 1863, a daughter of Thomas J. and Margaret (Swan) Chism, both of whom were natives of Darke county, Ohio, the father born December 8, 1836, and the mother September 14, 1838. Mrs. Jeffries was one of a family of nine children, all of whom are now living: Anna, born November 21, 1862, now the widow of John Williams; Sarah Jane, the wife of Mr. Jeffries; James Sherman, born August 14, 1868, a farmer near Haskell, Okla.; Charles Anson, born August 7, 1870, a farmer in Illinois; Cora Catherine, born July 10, 1872, the wife of H. L. White, farmer, Sumner County, Kansas; Lilly May, born November 5, 1874, the wife of William Susdorf, grain merchant, Gibson City, Ill.; Olive Maude, born January 25, 1876, wife of George Swartz, Mahomet, Ill.; Mary Ellen, born May 5, 1878, now the wife of Ansly Susdorf, a farmer in Michigan, and Ada Margaret, born November 29, 1883, the wife of Roy Logan, Arkansas City, Kan.
To Mr. and Mrs. Jeffries have been born five children: Thomas F., born May 13, 1881; a farmer in Sumner county; Ruth Anna, born November 9, 1882, married J. S. Ellison, a farmer, Sumner county, July 14, 1899; John Alfred, born September 27, 1885, principal of the high school, Harper, Kan.; Bessie May, born January 23, 1887, married Lloyd Lantz, October 28, 1906, and Gladys Faye, born July 27, 1893, married Charles L. Bruce September 20, 1910. Mr. Jeffries is one of the substantial men of Sumner county, and has achieved well merited success. Starting in life a poor boy, he has accumulated a comfortable fortune. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The family are members of the Congregational church.Pages 569-571 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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