Harry W. Shideler, superintendent of Girard schools and Spanish-American war veteran, has had, as these descriptive titles would indicate, a most interesting and varied career, and although still in the ranks of young men is a progressive leader of many affairs and a definite influence for good in that which pertains to the civic and educational advancement of his community.
He was born in Clay county, Indiana, January 14, 1873, a son of Henry and Sophia (Harbaugh) Shideler, both natives of Ohio. His father is a wagon-maker by trade, but for the last twenty-four years has been engaged in farming. He came to Kansas in 1882 and located in Cherokee county, where he still resides. His good wife died in 1885, at the age of thirty-two.
Coming to Kansas with his parents when nine years of age, Mr. Shideler finished off his common school education in Cherokee county, and later attended the Kansas Normal College at Fort Scott. During his student career in the latter institution he taught for his tuition, and after his graduation he became instructor of history, civics and political economy in the same school, which shows the fine record he made for studious work and keen intelligence in subjects which have ever since kept him in more or less close touch with public and institutional affairs. Before the late war he held the rank of second lieutenant of Company F, Kansas National Guard, and was commissioned to the same rank in Company F, in Twentieth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, recruited for service in the Spanish-American war. March 23, 1899, he was promoted first lieutenant, and was in command of Company D during part of the campaign against the Tagalogs, and was promoted to the rank of captain on July 24, 1899, upon which he was placed in command of Company F. He served throughout the severest campaign in the Philippines, and took part in twenty-seven engagements in the islands. He acted as battalion quartermaster, was battalion ordnance officer for a time and also secretary of the regimental exchange. After his muster out and return home from the orient he took up his residence in Girard and for two years was principal of the high school. He then accepted a position as associate editor of the Daily Republican at Fort Scott, and a year later was elected superintendent of the Girard schools, an office which he has since filled with the most satisfactory degree of administrative ability and has shown himself to be an educator of the progressive and enterprising type, and has systematized and broadened the school work in all its departments. Mr. Shideler also employs his time in writing for newspapers and magazines, and he wrote a large portion of the book entitled "Campaigning in the Philippines," notably the part entitled "The History of the Twentieth Kansas Regiment." Among his earlier experiences was a term spent in teaching school among the Mormons of Idaho, in 1893-94.
August 17, 1904, he was appointed county superintendent of schools to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of H. E. Hornaday. He appointed Mrs. H. E. Hornaday, the widow of his late friend, his deputy, entrusting the duties of the office to her, while he himself continued his duties as superintendent of the Girard schools.
Mr. Shideler and family are members of the Christian church. He is a stanch Republican in politics. His fraternal affiliations are with Lodge No. 93, A. F. & A. M., at Girard, and also the Ancient Order of United Workmen at the same place.
September 15, 1897, he was married to Miss Iva Jessup, a daughter of Solomon P. and Mary (Long) Jessup, of Cherokee, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Shideler have four children in their pleasant and comfortable home at Girard, namely: Harry Kenneth, Ralph Jessup, Robert Theodore, and Frederick Muriel.Pages 464-466 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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