Jonathan P. Alden, a prosperous farmer near Monmouth, has lived in Crawford county since 1877, and during this period of more than a quarter century he has witnessed the development of the county from almost pioneer conditions to the flourishing present. Of sturdy New England ancestry, a descendant of the famous Alden family whose members have figured in history and romance from the coming of the Mayflower in 1620, Mr. Alden has inherited many of the virtues of this stock, and has the substantial integrity and force of character which have always dominated the true Puritan and have won them a place of esteem in whatever community they have resided.
Mr. Alden is now a man past the age of threescore and ten, and his long career has been filled with an unusual degree of useful activity. Born in Dearborn county, Indiana, August 15, 1832, he was educated in the schools of his locality and reared to the honest industry of a farm. On October 30, 1862, he enlisted in Ripley county in Company K, Seventh Indiana Infantry, under Captain Jesse Armstrong and Colonel Gavin; the regiment was sent east to Alexandria, Virginia, being in the Army of the Potomac; took part in the battle of Fredericksburg, at Cold Harbor, and in the Wilderness campaign, in the James river campaign, and the siege of Petersburg. Mr. Alden was in the hospital at the time of the battle of Gettysburg, so that he did not participate in that crucial conflict. He had many narrow escapes, his clothing being pierced by bullets on several occasions. He received his honorable discharge at Indianapolis July 21, 1865, and went home with a good record as a soldier of his country.
Mr. Alden was a son of Isaac and Ruth (Morgan) Alden, the former a native of Massachusetts, and the latter of an old New York state family, and a daughter of John Morgan. The mother, who was a woman of many virtues, lived to be ninety-one years old, and the father met death by accident while butchering at the age of forty-five. Isaac Alden was a Whig in politics. There were twelve children in the family, seven sons and five daughters.
Mr. Alden was married in Indiana, October 30, 1858, to Miss Catherine L. Ehler, who was born in Dearborn county, Indiana, a daughter of Thomas Ehler. Their happy married life extended over thirty odd years, being terminated by the death of Mrs. Alden in January, 1891, at the age of fifty-four. She was known as a good mother, a kind friend and neighbor and a diligent member of the church and social circles, and was highly esteemed for her excellent qualities of heart and mind. She was the mother of six children: Moody, who married Cassie Emerson, has one son, Clarence; Clarence is a railway telegraph operator; Lillie Kelly; George, who lives on the homestead, married Emma Volt and has a son, George Earl; the two deceased children are William, who died when twenty-one years old, and Etta, at thirteen.
Mr. Alden lived in Edgar county, Illinois, until he came to Crawford county in 1877. He has a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, most of it bottom land, situated a mile and a half from town, and has made such a happy combination of progressiveness, thrift and industry that he has accomplished a large success, and is one of the well fixed and substantial farmers of south Crawford county. Mr. Alden is a Mason of over thirty years' standing, having been initiated into that order at Milan, Indiana, in 1874. He is a member of the United Brethren church, and is well known and popular throughout the community.Pages 566-567 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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