Charles Sumner Risdon, superintendent of the public schools of Independence and one of the well known educators of Kansas, is a native Kansan and a son of which the state may well be proud. He comes of mixed Scotch and German blood and combines most admirably the best characteristics of both nationalities. He was born on a farm in Clay county, Kansas, Jan. 3, 1874, son of James T. W. and Mary Catherine (Rumple) Risdon, the former born in Tiffin, Ohio, and died in Clay county, Kansas, in 1882, aged forty-seven years. He was a farmer by occupation and of Scotch lineage. The mother, who now resides in Topeka, was born in Columbus, Ohio, of German parentage. She went with her parents to Iowa, in which state she and James T. W. Risdon were married, and continued to reside until they came to Kansas in 1873 and located in Clay county. Unto them were born seven childrenfour sons and three daughtersCharles S. being the sixth child in the family. He was reared on the farm, where his parents located, in 1873, and led the average life of the country boy, attending the district school in winter and working on the farm with his father and brother in summer. He grew up care free, healthy and self-reliant, as do most boys reared in a new and progressive farming community. His parents were anxious that their children should have every advantage and equipment for the battle of life, and since Charles S. had determined to become a teacher they sent him to the State Normal School when sixteen years of age. After leaving that institution he taught for two years, but desiring still further educational training he entered the Salina Normal University at Salina, Kan., where he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, in 1898, and two years later the same institution conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts. From 1898 to 1902 Mr. Risdon was principal of the schools at Thayer, Kan., but resigned that position to accept the superintendency of the Independence city schools, which latter position he has since held. He has met with marked and gratifying success in his chosen profession and is recognized as one of the ablest educators in Kansas. He is a member of the Montgomery County Teachers' Association, the Southeastern Kansas Teachers' Association, the Kansas State Teachers' Association and the National Educational Association, having been an active member of the last named since 1902. In 1909 Mr. Risdon was president of the Kansas State Teachers' Associationa position which he filled with dignity and great credit to himself. He has always voted the Republican ticket, but takes no active part in politics and is not bound by party ties in local elections, believing that the best man should hold office. His fraternal affiliations are with the Masonic order, being a member of Fortitude Lodge, No. 107, Free and Accepted Masons, of Independence.
In 1898 Mr. Risdon married Myrtle May Starr, daughter of John Charles and Wilhelmena Starr, both of whom are of German descent. Mrs. Risdon was born in Iowa, is a lady of refinement and culture and a beautiful home maker. Three children have been born to Charles S. and Myrtle RisdonMyrtle Anita, Mary Catherine and Wilhelmena Christina. The family are members of the Presbyterian church.Pages 1072-1973 from volume III, part 2 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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