Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

History of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions online

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is now over three hundred thousand dollars on deposit. The present officers
are : President, William F. Orr ; vice-president, George Craven ; second vice-
president, Andrew Nestor ; cashier, Fred G. Bergen, and assistant cashier,
James A. Hamler. The bank owns its own banking house, which was erected
in 1889 and is one of the substantial structures of the city.

George L Bergen was born in 1827 and died in 1869; his wife, Maria
S. (Field) Bergen, was born in 1824 and died in 1866. Mr. Bergen was a
successful manufacturer of army boots and the inventor of the famous
Brown's corn planter. He was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and it was
Lincoln who joined in marriage his sister and A. L. Scoville. Maria S.
(Field) Bergen was a member of the Field family, of which Marshall Field
and Cyrus W. Field were representatives.

His parents having died when he was but a child, Fred G. Bergen was
reared by James Compton, of Augusta, Illinois. He remained with the


CtJmpton family until he was nineteen years of age and received the advan-
tages of a good common- and high-school education. In 1884, at the age of
nineteen }Tars, he came to Seneca, Kansas, and engaged in the study of law
with C. C. K. vScoville. lie continued his law studies for two years. He
and ?kfr. Scoville later engaged in the lianking Inisiness. For fifteen years,
Mr. Bergen was connected with the Scoville State Bank, when in 1900 he
cnme to Summerfield as cashier of the State Bank of Summerfield. In addi-
tion to his interests in the bank he is the owner of two hundred acres of land
in Marshall county. He is identified with the Republican party and has ever
taken much interest in local afTairs and is a man of much influence in that
party's councils. On November 7, 1916, he was elected to represent his dis-
trict in the state Senate, bv a majority of over one thousand six hundred.
Wdiile he was yet a resident of the state of Illinois, he was captain of Com-
pany I, Seventh Regiment, Illinois National Guards, at Galesburg. Owing
to an accident he was unal)le to contraue service. During the Spanish-
American War he raised and drilled a company for Governor Leedy in 1898.
Since locating at Summerfield he has served as a member of Governor Bailey's
staff. For live years he served as treasurer of the Kansas State Banker's
Association and was one of the organizers, and is now vice-president of his
congressional district of the Banker's Association.

Fraternally, IMr. Bergen is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons and is a member of the Summerfield Chapter No. 354. He is also
a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is active in the Sons of the
American Revolution, his paternal and maternal grandparents having served
in the Revolutionary War. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bergen are active members
of the United Presbyterian church, and Mr. Bergen has been a teacher in the
Sunday school for over ten years; has served as- superintendent for three
years and for two years has been president of the County Sunday School
Association. He gives his best efforts to the work that he undertakes, and
with his commanding personality he meets with much success, both in organ-
ization and the accomplishment of results. Few men of the county have
assumed greater responsibilities for the development of the moral, social
and financial conditions of the district, than has Mr. Bergen.

On August 5, 1889, Fred G. Bergen was united in marriage to May
Matthews, the daughter of Mortimer M. Matthews, one of the early pioneers
of Seneca and for forty-live years surveyor of Nemaha county, Kansas.
Mrs. Bergen is a graduate of the Seneca high school and is a woman of
considerable culture. Like her husband, she takes much interest in the


religious, social and educational development of the city and district, she has
always been devoted to the interests of her family, and with Mr. Bergen is
held in the highest regard and esteem. They are prominent in the social
life of Snmmerfield and consider it a pleasure to entertain their neighbors
and friends. They are the parents of three children, Fredrica G., Mary J.
and George I. Fredrica G. is a graduate of the Seneca high school and the
State Normal at Fmporia and has had a year in Northwestern University.
She is now a teacher in the primary department of the Topeka, Kansas,
schools. Mary J. is a member of the junior class of the Summerfield high
school and George is also an attendant in the schools of their home city.


The Hon. William W. Potter, judge of probate for Marshall county and
one of the best-known residents of Mai-ysville, the county seat, is a native
of the state of Illinois, but has been a resident of Kansas and of Marhsall
county since he was fourteen years of age and has consequently been a wit-
ness to and a participant in the development of this county almost since the
days of the pioneers. He was born on a farm near the city of Olney, in
Richland county, Illinois, March 4, 1S71, a son of Benjamin F. and Rebecca
(Neal) Potter, natives, respectively, of Kentucky and Indiana, who came
to Kansas in the early days of the settlement of this part of the state and
settled on a farm in the vicinity of Beattie, in this county, where Benjamin
F. Potter spent the rest of his life, his death occurring on February 27, 1907,
and where his widow is still living.

In 1885 Benjamin F. Potter came into Kansas with his family. He
established his home in Guittard township and it was not long until he came
to be recognized as one of the progressive and substantial farmers of that
part of the county. Fle and his wife were the parents of nine children, of
whom the subject of this biographical sketch was the seventh in order of
birth, the others being as follow: John F., a farmer, living near Frankfort,
this county: Nancy J., wife of David H. Beaver, of Home City; Kate, wife
of J. G. Braxton, a farmer, living in the neighborhood of Frankfort : Thomas
A., a farmer, of Blue Mound; Mary M., of Beattie: Emma, wife of Oscar
Halsel, of Frankfort ; Lucy, now deceased, was the wife of Daniel S. Thomas,
of Grand Junction, Colorado, and Dr. Harry E. Potter, of Fairbury,


William \\'. Potter was about fourteen years of age when he came to
Marshall county with his jjarents in icS85 and his schooHng was completed
in the district school in the neighlxniiood of his new home and in the high
school at Marysville. Shortly after leaving school he became employed in
the drug store of E. L. Miller at Marysville and was thus engaged during
the years 1890-92. after wliich he accepted a clerkship in the general store of
Arand & Son. In the spring of 1893 he accepted a position as a traveling
salesman for a photographers' supply house and was thus engaged for ten
years, at the end of which time he took over the management of the home
farm for his father and was thus engaged during the years 1903-08. In
January. 1908, he became associated with the Bank of Beattie and was thus
engaged at the time of his election, in the fall of 1910, to the position of
judge gf probate for Marshall county. Judge Potter entered upon the duties
of his important office in January, 191 1, and so satisfactorily has he dis-
charged the duties of that office that he was re-elected in the successive elec-
tions of 191 2- 14-16 and is now serving his fourth term as jndge of probate.
Judge Potter is a member of the Masonic fraternity and his wife is a mem-
ber of the local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.

On January 9, 1908, Judge W. W. Potter was united in marriage to
Blanche Burnside, who was born in this county, daughter of Thomas and
Jane (Ruddy) Burnside, natives, respectively, of Ireland and of the Dominion
of Canada, who settled in this county, becoming pioneers of the Beattie neigh-
borhood, Mrs. Potter having received her schooling in the Beattie high school.
Judge and Airs. Potter ha^'e a very pleasant home at Marysville and take a
proper ])art in the general social activities of the city.


In the memorial annals of Marshall county there are few names held in
better remembrance than those of the late William J. Holtham, the first rail-
way station agent and postmaster at Frankfort and for many years a well-
known merchant of that city, and his father-in-law, the late Albert G. Bar-
rett, one of Marshall coimty's very first settlers, founder of the town of Bar-
rett and for many years the real outstanding figure in the history of this
county, his activities in the way of promoting the various interests of the
county in pioneer days having made him a participant in pretty much every
serious mo\-ement that marked that development in the days when the plains


were being claimed to civilization. Mr. Floltham's widow, a daughter of
Mr. Barrett, is still lix'ing at Frankfort, which city she has seen grow from
a mere railway station on the bleak plain, to its present substantial state.
She has been a resident of Marshall county from the days of her childhood
and has thus been a witness to the wonderful development that has been made
here during the past generation ; a development to which she has contributed
her part, ex'er helpful in the promotion of all movements having to do with
the advancement of the common welfare and the extension of the social and
cultural life of the comhiunity of which she has been a member since ]:>ioneer

William James Holtham was a native of England, born in the citv of
London on September 5, 1848, and was but two years of age when his par-
ents, William and Caroline Rosamond Holtham. came to America and pro-
ceeded on out to Indiana, locating at E\'anston, in Spencer county, in the
southern part of that state, not far from the Ohio river, whence thev i)res-
ently came farther West and located at Atchison, this state, where the elder
William Hr)ltham, who was a trained brickmason, became an active building
contractor. It was thus that \\ illiam J. Holtham was reared and educated
at Atchison. He early became attracted to the telegraph key and became an
expert telegraph operator, at seventeen years of age drawing one hundred
and seventy-five dollars a month, and was one of the first of the operators
of the Western Union Telegraph Company to be sent across the plains to
Denver. During that period of his career as an operator, Mr. Holtham had
many thrilling experiences and while accompanying the construction crew of
the W'estern Union while the line was being constructed west to Denver, not
infrecjuently was compelled to tap the line to report evidences of Indian out-
rages discovered along the way. He was a sort of a protege of Charles
Stebbins, the magnate of the W^estern Union Company at that time, and when
the railway came through this county in 1868 he was made agent of the rail-
way company and telegraph operator at the new station of Frankfort. At
the same time he opened a general merchandise store at Frankfort, with the
firm name of Holtham & Nelson, and was made the first postmaster of the
new town. In 1870 his store was destroyed by fire and he shortly afterward
decided to go to the coast. Fie was married in that year and for a time after
the destruction of his store he engaged in farming in the vicinity of Frank-
fort, but presently he and his bride went to California, where he was engaged
in railway service until 1882, in which year he returned to Frankfort and
the next year, 1883, engaged in business there and was thus engaged until
his retirement on account of ill health, from active business in 191 4, a sue-


ceestul merchant and one i)\ the al)lest factors in the ui)hnil(hn.^- of his home
town. -Mr. Holtliam was a Repnhhcan and ever took an active interest in
local politics, hut was not included in llie office-seeking class. He was a
member of the F.piscopalian church and liis widow is a member of the Presby-
terian church. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and was also
a member of the local lodges of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of
the Knights and Ladies of Security and of the Knights of Pythias. Mr.
Holtham died on October 28, 1915, and was buried at Frankfort, his funeral
being in charge of the Masons.

On January 1, 1870, A\'illiam J, Holtham was united in marriage to
Winifred Barrett, who was born in Harrison county, Ohio, July 24, 1850,
daughter of Albert G. and Mary (McKeever) Barrett, the former of whom
was born on July 17, 1816, and the latter, June 14, 1821, and whose last
davs were spent in this county, for many years among the most prominent
and influential pioneers of this section of Kansas. Albert G. Barrett was of
Quaker stock and was reared in Ohio in accordance with the rigid tenets
of that faith, the uprightness of his life during the years of his residence in
this county ever reflecting the lessons of rectitude and faithfulness in man's
relation to man he had learned in his }Outh. He was married at Cadiz, Ohio,
in 1843, ^"'^^ continued to make his home in that community until 1856, when
he came with his family and a number of other colonists from Ohio to Kan-
sas and settled in what afterward became organized as Marshall county. Two
years before, in 1854, Mr. Barrett had come out here in company with some
others and had started a grist- and saw-mill on the banks of the Vermillion
in the southwestern part of township 4, range 9, east, the first mill erected
in this county and the onlv one within forty miles of that point: beginning
business there as a company, under the name of the Barrett Milling Company.
The other members of the company presently became discouraged at what
appeared to be the barrenness of the outlook and Mr. Barrett bought their
interests in the mill, determined to operate the mill alone, having become
convinced that it could not l)e long until this section of Kansas would be
filling up with settlers. He then returned to Ohio and in 1856 brought out
his familv and quite a number of others whom he had been able to interest
in the subject of homes out here (jn the plains, and it was thus that he founded
the town of Barrett, wdiere he spent the rest of his life.

There were ten families in the Barrett colony, all Abolitionists 'and anti-
slavery folk, and during the troublous days preceding and during the Civil
War, Mr. Barrett, who was the acknowledged leader of the anti-slavery
movement in this part of the state, often was in serious danger. He was


elected a member of the territorial Legislature and for many years was an
influential factor in Republican politics in this part of the state, one of the
earnest factors in the movement which started Kansas out as a free state
in i86t. When .the Civil War broke out he was determined to enlist his
services and go to the front, but his friends persuaded him that his duty lay
at home, where his personal influence ever could be exerted in behalf of the
things for which he so notably stood, and he contented himself to remain, a
member of the Home Guards. He later took an active part in the work of
organizing Marshall county and ser\-ed for two terms as treasurer of the
county. In 1859' Mr. Barrett built the first hotel at Marysville, the old Amer-
ican House, and later erected there the Barrett House, long one of the lead-
ing hostelries in northern Kansas. He organized the first school in Mar-
shall county, the school in old district r at Barrett, and built the first school
house, ever afterward, giving much attention to the development of the pub-
lic-school system in the county. Upon coming out here Mr. Barrett entered
a section of land at the point where the town which bears his name grew up,
and ever afterward made his liome there. The house which he erected there
was the first really substantial house erected in Marshall county. It was
built of oak, finished with walnut, and was for years a social center for all
that section of the county. That old house is still standing, a beautiful place,
and is now occupied by one of Mr. Barrett's daughters, Mrs. Van Vliet. Mr.
Barrett was a member of the Masonic fraternity and the first lodge of that
ancient order in Marshall county was organized in that house. During the
early davs the town of Barrett was the center of pioneer activities throughout
this part of the country and Mr. Barrett's part in those activities was a most
wholesome influence in the formative period of the now well-established and
populous community. In connection with his general mill work, he also was
a skilled cabinet-maker and for some years after coming here made all the
coffins that were necessary in this part of the country. He invested largely
in lands and was the owner of several valuable farms, giving to each of his
children large farms. ATr. Barrett marie considerable money and was a gen-
erous contributor to all proper causes hereabout for many years, ever willing
to share his bounty in a good cause. He had a sister, Mrs. Winifred Walker,
and five brothers, Thomas, William, Uriah, John and Joseph, who joined him
after he had become well established in business out here and the Barrett
family thus became early one of the most numerous in Marshall county.
Albert G. Barrett died at his home in Barrett in April, 1900, a little more
than a vear after the death of his wife, the death of the latter having occurred
on January 20, 1899. They were the parents of five children, of whom Mrs.


Hullhani was the tliird in order <it" l)irth, tlie others ])eiiii^- as follow: Mrs.
Jane Love, who is now li\in^ at 1'aft, California; William, of Hiibbell.
Nebraska: Cyrus M.. who died at his home in Barrett, where his widow
and family are still livin.^-. and A'frs. George Van Vliet, of Barrett.

Mrs. Holthani has been a resident of this county since the days of her
childhood, having been Init six years of age wdien her parents established their
home here. She grew 111: at Barrett and was a student of the first school
taught there bv Doctor P>lackburn, wlio was the first physician in Marshall
countv. For some vears after her marriage to Mr. Holtman she lived in
California, but since returning to Frankfort in 1882 has continued to make
that place her home and is very comfortably situated there. Mrs. Holtham
is a member of the Presbyterian church and has ever taken a warm interest
in church work. She is a member of the local chapter of the Order of the
Eastern Star and is one of the charter members of the local organization of
the Woman's Relief Corps, in the affairs of both of which organizations she
takes an active interest. To Mr. and Mrs. Holtham one child was born, a
son. Charles Albert, who died in California. They later adopted two chil-
dren, Samuel, who died at the age of twenty years, and Jennie Barrett, who
married R. M. Emerv, ^r., of Seneca, Kansas.


In the memorial annals of Marshall county no name occupies a higher
place than that of the late Capt. Perry Hutchinson, w^ho, from the days of
the verv beoinnino- of a social order hereabout to the time of his death in
1914, was one of the leading factors in the development of this now highly
favored region. An honored veteran of the Civil War, Captain Hutchinson
brought to all his relations with the community interest here a steadfastness
of purpose and a stu.rdiness of character that made him from the beginning
a leader of men and of affairs and it is undoulrted thnt he did much to give
direction to the early development of this ])art of the state. During the
fiftv-five vears in which Ca]3tain Hutchinson lived at Marysville he com-
manded the highest respect r.nd esteem of the entire community and he was
highlv honored bv the community, his services in the several civic offices to
which he was called ever having been exerted in behalf of the common good.
As state senator he gained a wide acquaintance among the leading men of
the state, in which he even before that time had attained a high position, and






as pioneer stockman, miller and banker he, from the beg^inning of things in
Marshall county, occupied a position of influence that left the definite imprint
of his sturdy character upon every enterprise he touched. One of the local
newspapers very aptly commented in the following terms at the time of
Captain Hutchinson's death: "From the day of the redman to the com-
forts of civilization ; from the boundless prairies, teeming with herds of
wild buffaloes, to the modern farm stocked with thoroughbred cattle and
horses and hogs; from the dangers of frontier life to the contentment of
peaceful and prosperous homes ; from the pioneer days to the present time,
the development of Marshall county passed like a panorama during the fifty-
five years that Captain Hutchinson lived in Marysville. And inch by inch,
step by step, and year by year that sturdy pioneer walked along the pathway
of development, always doing his full share in the work incumbent upon
those who transformed the desert into a land of peace, prosperity and happi-
ness, until his very existence among us was woven into the warp and woof
of every phase of the history of Marshall county for the past half century."
Captain Hutchinson was a native of the Empire state, born at Fredonia,
Chautauqua county, New York, December 2, 1831, a son of Calvin and Sophia
(Perry) Hutchinson, both representatives of old colonial famiHes. Calvin
Hutchinson was born in Chenango county. New York, a son of Elijah
Hutchinson, one of the pioneer settlers of that region and a cousin of Gov-
ernor Hutchinson, of Massachusetts. Sophia Perry was a daughter of Col.
Sullivan Perry, a first-cousin of Commodore Perry, the hero of the battle
of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, and himself a naval commander of
distinction, having been in command of a war vessel that sank a British
vessel off the coast of Dunkirk, New York, during that war. Captain
Hutchinson was reared at Fredonia and upon reaching his majority he turned
his face toward the great Northwest, which then was beginning to oft'er such
boundless promises of development, and on his arrival in Wisconsin secured
employment with the logging firm of McAdoo & Schuter, one of the leaders
in the timber industry of that region in that day. That was in the spring of
1852 and he put in his time until the close of the river navigation in the fol-
lowing winter, in charge of the crews that drove several large rafts of logs
from the Wisconsin river down the Mississippi to St. Louis. He then
returned to New York, but in the following spring returned to the North-
west and bought a farm near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he engaged in farm-
ing. He married in 1855 and in 1857 built a combined flour- and saw-mill
at Vinton, Iowa, and was engaged in operating the same for two years, at
the end of which time, through the defalcation of a partner w^hom he trusted,


he was forced to give uj) his eiuire ])r()pert)- to satisfy creditors. Though
thus stripped of material possessions, this sturdy pioneer retained a stout
heart, an undaunted spirit and an eager wilhngness to hegin over again. He
bought on credit a span of horses and a wagon and with his wife and chil-
dren drove through to Kansas, which then was beginning to ofYer induce-
ments as a place of settlement. During the first year of his residence in this '
state. Perry Hutchinson found employment as a farm hand wliile he was
looking around and "getting his bearings" in the new land, and in the fol-
low'ing year he entered a claim to a tract of land seven miles east of Marys-
ville. erected a small cabin on the same and there established his home, one
of the real pioneers of Marshall county. His place was on the old stage route
and his humble cabin was early utilized as a tavern and stage station.

While thus engaged Captain Hutchinson one night saved Superintendent
Lewis, of the Holliday stage line, from freezing to death and thus cemented
a friendship which resulted in creating what was perhaps the real turning
point in the career of the pioneer, for when the American Hotel (later known
as the Tremont House) was erected Mr. Lewis advised Captain Hutchinson
to rent the same, guaranteeing him all the patronage from the Holliday stage
line. A. G. Barrett, the owmer of the hotel, however, rejected the propo-

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 42 of 104)