M. G. Kays, of Monmouth, is an old resident of this part of the county, having come here in 1873, and has since been known as one of the leading and successful agriculturists of Crawford county, being foremost in the qualities of enterprise and progressiveness by which he has won his present position among his fellow citizens and business associates.
Mr. Kays was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, August 1, 1844, and when he was still in his teens he became a Union soldier, and throughout the remainder of the war proved his fidelity to his country. He enlisted in his native county, October 17, 1863, in Company H, Twelfth Ohio Cavalry, under Captain T. K. Parkinson and Colonel A. T. Ratliff; was in camp at Cleveland, and at Denison was equipped with a horse and other accoutrements; thence crossed into Kentucky and went on to the Cumberland Mountains to fight General Morgan, who was then on his celebrated raid; at Lexington the regiment got a supply of fresh horses, and were in a number of operations in that state and in Virginia, getting into the skirmish at Crab Orchard, Kentucky, among others; towards the close of the war they were in pursuit of Jeff Davis, and were only two hours behind him when the Confederate president was captured; guarded the Weldon Railroad for some time; and some time after the actual cessation of general hostilities were honorably discharged, Mr. Kays coming out as corporal of Company H.
Mr. Kays was a son of Daniel and Martha (Milligan) Kays, his father a native of Trumbull county, Ohio, near Warren, and the mother also an Ohioan by birth. His grandfather, who was from Connecticut, was also a soldier in the Civil war, and lost his life at Corinth when sixty-two years of age. The mother died in Ohio at the age of forty-two, and the father, who was a member of the Baptist church and politically of strong abolition tendencies, died in Missouri at fifty-two. One other son was a soldier, W. M., in the Forty-second Ohio Infantry, serving for four years and four months. The other children were as follows: Isabelle, Sarah J., James A., Daniel, Martha, Ella, Etta, John.
Mr. Kays was reared on an Ohio farm, where he was taught industry among other valuable lessons necessary to success, and shortly after his return home from the war, in 1867, he moved west to Pettis county, Missouri, and later to St. Clair county, of the same state, remaining in both places about six years. In 1873 he came to Crawford county, and for the first eleven years lived on a farm five miles northeast of Monmouth, and then bought the beautiful little place of forty acres near town where he has since lived. He has a finely improved place, excellent buildings, and he has been particularly successful in the raising and shipping of potatoes, which he has carried to the point of a very large enterprise.
Mr. Kays was married in Guernsey county, Ohio, in 1866, to Miss Caroline Slasor, and they have passed a most happy married life of nearly forty years. She was born, reared and educated in Ohio, being a daughter of William Slasor, a native of Ohio. Her mother, whose maiden name was Penn, now lives at Newark, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Kays have the following children: William, Della, Susan, Ethel, Harvey, Alta and four who died in childhood, Myrtle having been a bright girl of thirteen and the other three dying in infancy. Mr. Kays is a stanch Republican, and for five years served as constable and has also been a school director. He and his wife are devoted members of the Methodist church, and he is a church trustee. He is also affiliated with Shiloh Post No. 56, G. A. R., at Cherokee, and is popular in all circles.Pages 551-553 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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