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Biographical Sketch
of
A. A. Pyles
Brown County, Kansas

 

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The following transcription is from a 750 page book titled "Genealogical and Biographical Record of North-Eastern Kansas, dated 1900.  These have been diligently transcribed and generously contributed by Penny R. Harrell, please give her a very big Thank You for her hard work!

Gold Bar

A. A. Pyles.

One of the self-made men of Brown county, whose history stands in exemplification of the possibilities that lie before those of determined purpose and of unflagging industry,  Mr. Pyles is now numbered among the substantial farmers of Brown county, owning, occupying and operating a valuable farm in Morrill township.  He was born in Monroe county, West Virginia, March 22, 1847, and is a representative of old southern families.

His parents, George I. and Elizabeth (Arnott) Pyles were both natives of Virginia, and the former was a son of Jacob and Sarah (Baker) Pyles.  The grandfather was of English descent, the wife of German lineage, and both were reared in the Old Dominion, the latter at Hagerstown.  Jacob Pyles made farming his life work, was a Methodist in religious faith and died in the state of his nativity.  His children were George I., Allen, who was a commissioned officer in the Confederate army during the Civil War; John W., who also was a Confederate soldier; Mary, the wife George McCoy; Ellen, the wife of H. Arnott, and Elizabeth, the wife of L. Spangler.  Elizabeth and Ellen are the only ones now living, and they reside in West Virginia.

The Arnott family was of Scotch origin.  The great-grandfather Arnott never received any school privileges and could not read or write until after his marriage, when his wife instructed him in those branches of learning.  He then eagerly availed himself of every opportunity to add to his knowledge, and became an intelligent and prominent man.  Henry Arnott, the grandfather of our subject, was one of the early settlers of West Virginia, was a farmer by occupation, and was one of the leading and influential
citizens of that community.

He had fifteen children: William, Joshua, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church; Caliph; Henry; Zachariah, who was a colonel in the Confederate army; Addison, who studied for the ministry and became a captain in the Confederate army, his death occurring during the service; Jesse, who was a lieutenant in the southern army; John, a private, who also died in the service; Rebecca, the wife
of J. Mann; Elizabeth, the mother of our subject; Nancy, the wife of William Wickle; Mary, the wife R. Smith; Sarah, the wife of A. B. McNeer, becoming the mother of several sons who entered the ministry; Lucinda, the wife of Andrew Baker; and Caroline, the wife of William Ellison.  The children named above were of two marriages.  The Pyles and Arnott families became united through the marriage of George I. Pyles and Elizabeth Arnott. 

The former was reared to manhood on the old homestead farm, and there began farming on his own account.  In addition to the cultivation of the fields, he at one time operated a tannery, but after a short period sold his interest in that enterprise, and soon joined the militia.  He did some important service for the Confederate army in a private capacity, and later became a regularly enlisted soldier, participating in the battle of Winchester, where he was captured, being taken to the military prison at Point Lookout.

After being incarcerated for four months he died in prison and was buried there.  His widow remained at home and conducted the farm until her children were grown and had gone to homes of their own.  The old homestead property is still the possession of the heirs.  Coming to Kansas to visit her sons, the mother died at the home of her son, A. A. Pyles. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Pyles were members of the Methodist church and people of the highest respectability. They had nine children: Henry M., who served for three years in the Confederate army; Sarah, the twin sister of Henry; Addison A.; John W., of West Virginia; Mary A., the wife of A. Hutchison; Margaret, the wife of Richard McNeer; Martha, the wife of J. P. Fisher; Emma R., the wife of R. W. Hill; and George W., a farmer of Brown county, Kansas.

Mr. Pyles, of this review pursued his education in the subscription schools near his home, and was reared upon the farm, his attention being divided between his studies and the duties of the fields.  At the age of seventeen he responded to the call of his loved southland and joined the Confederate army, becoming a member of Wallace's Reserves, under the command of Colonel Wallace, in August, 1864.  He continued at the front until he was taken ill, when he received a furlough and was at home at the close of the war.  He spent the previous winter between Richmond and Petersburg, but took part in no pitched battles.

When his military service was ended Mr. Pyles assisted his mother in the care of the old home farm, attended school to some extent and also engaged in teaching.  In October, 1873, he came to Kansas, and for one year was employed as a farm hand in Doniphan county.  Mr. Pyles then came to Brown county, where he worked as a farm hand until 1877, when he was married and rented a farm. 

In 1879 he purchased eighty acres of land, upon which a small house, while some of the land was under cultivation.  He cultivated the farm until the spring of 1882, when he purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved prairie conveniently located a mile east of Morrill.  He has made many substantial and excellent improvements, has erected a commodious dwelling and substantial outbuildings for the care and shelter of grain and stock and has added other modern conveniences and accessories which contribute to the ease and perfection of farm work.  There is also a good orchard upon the place.  In addition to the cultivation of grain he raises stock and buys and feeds cattle and hogs, feeding all the products of the farm.

In 1877 Mr. Pyles was united in marriage to Miss Ellen M. Belts, a representative of an honored pioneer family of Kansas.  They now have six children: William E., who died at the age of fifteen years; Mary A., who died in infancy; Charles A. and Grace E., at home; Robert E., who died at the age of eight years; and Edna W., who completes the family.  The wife and mother was called to her final rest October 3, 1899.  She was a member of the Methodist Church and a lady whose many excellent traits of character endeared her to all who knew her. 

Mr. Pyles also belongs to the same church, and in politics he is a Republican. He has made all that he has since his arrival in Kansas, and as the architect of his own fortune, he has builded wisely and well.  When determination is guided by sound judgment and industry is supplemented by perseverance, prosperity becomes the logical sequence of effort, a truth which has been verified in the career of Mr. Pyles.

  Gold Bar

Last update: Friday, July 18, 2003 20:22:08


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