Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918


Frederick H. Ireland

FREDERICK H. IRELAND. For many years Fort Scott has been recognized as one of the leading commercial centers of Kansas, being splendidly fitted for such preeminence by its location in regard to transportation facilities. This supremacy, which is recognized even in the old eastern cities, has been brought about and maintained by the aggressive business men who have chosen this city as the field of their operations, many of which are far-reaching in their results. Among the men belonging to this class of citizens is Frederick H. Ireland, of the Ireland & Rollins Planing Mills Company, whose career is one typical of the city's progressive spirit and advanced commercialism.

Frederick H. Ireland was born in Clermont County, Ohio, not far from the City of Cincinnati, September 21, 1861, a son of Robert and Sophia (Morgan) Ireland. His father was born in Dublin, Ireland, where he learned the trade of coppersmith, and as a young man emigrated to the United States, where, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he met and married Sophia Morgan. He was of a roving disposition and traveled all over the West on horseback, following his trade and practicing medicine, and finally died at Cincinnati, in 1864, of copper poisoning. Sophia Morgan was born in London, England, and was brought to the United States as a girl, the family coming to this country on a sailing vessel which took two months in crossing the Atlantic. Her father was Thomas Morgan, a young man of family, who had studied medicine in his youth, and who passed away at Philadelphia. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Ireland moved with her children to a farm in Clermont, Ohio, where the elder sons supported the family by farming for several years, and then sold out and went to Illinois, locating on a farm in Macon County. There they remained eight years and then again disposed of their land and went to DeKalb County, Missouri, traveling overland in a covered wagon and arriving at their destination in 1869. Mrs. Ireland made her home with her son, William, in that county from 1869 until 1891, in which year she went to Allen County, Kansas, and there her death occurred. Mrs. Ireland was a devout Baptist, a good Christian woman, who bore her trials bravely and patiently, and who reared her children to lives of honesty and industry. Of the seven children, three are deceased, the survivors being: William, a retired farmer of Bronson, Bourbon County, Kansas, who has been afflicted with total blindness for a number of years; David, a resident of Sacramento, California; Ellen A., who is the widow of William Clark, of Buffalo, Kansas, who fought as a Union soldier during the Civil war; and Frederick H.

Frederick H. Ireland was the youngest of his parents' children, and was three years old when his father died. He secured as good an education as the means of the family would permit, attending the public schools of DeKalb County, Missouri, and Stewartsville (Missouri) College, and at the age of twenty-one years began to learn the trade of carpenter. In 1882 he came to Kansas and in his first season assisted his mother on the home farm in Allen County, following which he was occupied at his trade in that county until 1887. He next went to Bronson, Bourbon County, and worked as a journeyman carpenter, and in 1897 came to Fort Scott, where, in April of that year, he formed a partnership with Elisha J. Rollins. This formed the nucleus for the great business now known as the Ireland & Rollins Planing Mills Company, which has become the largest enterprise of its kind at Fort Scott. The business began in a small way, but gradually developed under the careful handling and energetic labor of the partners, and its plant now occupies a floor space of 20,000 square feet, and employs from twenty-five to thirty mechanics in the manufacture of special designs of store fixtures. During the past ten years the company has been under special contract to manufacture fixtures for the S. H. Kress Company, of New York City, but this is only one angle of the business, for its products are sent throughout the South to Florida and as far west as Arizona, with an immense business in the Middle West. Mr. Ireland is well deserving of the title of self-made man. He owes his success to his hard work, to the following out of a well-defined idea, to his business acumen and judgment and to a strict integrity that has given him high standing among leading business men all over Kansas. Independent in his political views, he has served Fort Scott as a member of the city council. He is connected with several fraternal organizations, and his religious relationship is with the Christian Science Church.

Mr. Ireland was married May 20, 1887, at Bronson, Kansas, to Miss Emma E. Ellis, a native of Anderson County, Kansas, and a daughter of Charles Ellis, of Garnett, Kansas. They have one daughter, Paulina, who was born at Fort Scott, September 29, 1895, a post-graduate of the Fort Scott High School, and now a student at Horner's Institute, Kansas City, Missouri.

Elisha H. Rollins, partner of Mr. Ireland in the proprietorship of the Ireland & Rollins Planing Mills Company, and one of the progressive and energetic business men of Fort Scott, was born March 15, 1859, on Prince Edward Island, a son of John and Mary (Harker) Rollins, natives of that place, who passed their entire lives there in agricultural pursuits. The father died in 1909, at the age of seventy-five years, while the mother passed away many years before, being forty-seven years old at the time of her demise.

The fourth in a family of nine children, Elisha H. Rollins received a public school education, and in his youth learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed at his native place until 1876. In that year he came to Kansas City, Missouri, where he followed his trade for three years, and then came to Fort Scott and continued at his trade as a journeyman until he joined Mr. Ireland in the planing mill business. Like his partner, Mr. Rollins is a man of foresight and good judgment, a thorough business man, and a citizen of high character and standing. He is a republican in politics, a Presbyterian in his religious faith, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Fraternal Union.

On August 30, 1886, at Fort Scott, Mr. Rollins was married to Miss Jennie Margrave, daughter of Hon. William and Sarah (Hefton) Margrave. They have one son: William M., born October 22, 1888, a graduate of the Fort Scott High School and the Kansas State Normal School, of Pittsburg, who has taught three years in the public schools of Fort Scott and two years in the Wichita High School.

Hon. William Margrave, father of Mrs. Rollins, was born in Barton County, Missouri, January 17, 1818, studied law, was admitted to the bar in Missouri in 1851, and in 1854 came to Fort Scott. In November of that year he was appointed justice of the peace by Governor Andrew Reeder, and his subsequent service in that office has never been equalled in continuity, for had he lived but a few months longer he would have rounded out a half century in that position of honor and responsibility. His death occurred September 29, 1904, when the people of city, county and state mourned. Coming to the town of Fort Scott when it was still in its infancy, he watched its growth and development through the passing years, and did much to assist in its transformation into one of the leading cities of the West. He was the first justice of the peace in the State of Kansas, and, unlike many who came after him, had a thorough knowledge of civil and criminal law, so that he was able to dispense justice in a fair manner, as evidenced by the fact that his decisions were seldom reversed. He was a remarkably fine judge of character and human nature, and while he was stern and courageous in his handling of law-breakers, was at heart kindly disposed and a stanch and tried friend of the unfortunate. In his death Fort Scott lost one of its first and foremost citizens, a man universally respected and beloved.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 2093-2095 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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