Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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a great consolidated Congregational church, was in 1863 a weak struggling
organization, but it had in the Thacher Brothers a good foundation and
strong support. Mr. Thacher often said that in those days, his brother,
Dwight, and family and himself made up the congregation. When he located
at ^^^ater^•ille, he transferred his membership from the Congregational church
at Topeka to the English Lutheran church of that place, and when his health
permitted he was a regular attendant at all church ser\ices.

Dr. George L Thacher recei\'ed his primary education in the district
schools of Kansas, after which he entered the public schools of Lawrence.
He then attended the high school of r^Ionte Vista, Colorado. In 1893 ^""^
completed a course in the Strickler Business College at Topeka. After com-
pleting his education he was employed by the City Real Estate Trust Com-
pany and the Shawnee Milling Company, as stenographer. In 1898 he
entered the Medical College at Topeka and completed his work in 1902 and
since 1903 has been actively engaged in the general practice at \A'ater\-ille,
where he has met with much success.


In Kjo:; Diictor Thacher was united in niarriaj^'e to Lucy Knowles, a
native of Topeka, the daucjliter of C. O. .and Rebecca (Holmes) Knowles.
I ler father was Ijorn at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in i<^43. There he received
his education in the pulilic schools and there he h\ed until he was seventeen
years of age, when he came to Kansas, and was for a number of years
engaged in dri\ing- an ox team from Leavenworth to Denver, Colorado,
being engaged in the freighting business. His trips took him throug'h Mar-
shall county, but he had never seen Marysville until Doctor Thacher took
him there some time before his death, wdhch occurred in 1916. For many
years Mr. Knowles was engaged successfully in the real-estate business at
Topeka and was one of the progressive and prominent men of the com-
munitv. His widow is now living at Topeka at the age of sixty-four years.
They were the parents of five children, George, who died in New Mexico in
July. 1916; Katherine, the wife of J. A. Cole, superintendent of the bridge
and iron works at Topeka: Charles; Lucy, the wife of Doctor Thacher and
one that died in infancy.

Mrs. Thacher received her education in the public schools of Topeka,
and is a graduate of Washington College at Washington, D. C. She then
took a course in kindergarten at Kansas City, Missouri, after which she
taught for one year before her marriage. She and Doctor Thacher are the
parents of three children, Rebecca L., Philip L. and Luin K., they being
twelve, ten and seven years of age respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Thacher are
prominent in social life of the community and are held in the highest regard.

Doctor Thacher has long been identified with the Republican party and
has ever taken the keenest interest in local affairs. In 1907 he was elected
a member of the council of Waterville and served for tw^o terms, and w^as
then elected mayor, which position he held for two terms. During his term
of office the electric lights and waterw'orks were installed and many other
substantial improvements were made, that have added much to the beauty
and importance of the city. The Doctor is progressive and is an advocate of
the highest class of public improvements. He is a firm believer in the best
schools possible and the building of good roads, for in these he feels that
much of the future depends. He served as county health officer for four
years, and his term of office was regarded as successful. To him the health
department, if rightly conducted, is of the greatest importance.

Fraternally, Doctor Thacher is a member of the Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons and has held all the offices in the local organization. He
is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd F'ellows and the Modern
Woodmen of America. He takes much interest in the conduct of these


orders. Few men in the community have met with more success in their
chosen work and few are held in higher regard. He and his wife are acti^■e
members of the Evangehcal church ; they take much interest in all church
work and are liberal supporters of the local society.


Clark M. Stewart, a well-known architect and builder, of Alarysville,
Marshall county, was born in Steuben county. New York, on March 21,
1854, being the son of Samuel and Sarah Ann (Leach) Stewart, who were
natives of the state of New York, the father having been born in that state
on March 7, 181 1, and the mother on September 17. 1815. They received
their education in the public schools of their native state and there grew up
and were married on February 6, 1836. The father was born at Troy and
there he learned the trade of a carpenter. He worked at his trade in the
.state until 1854, when he located at Millidgeville, Illinois, where he estab-
lished himself as a contractor and l)uilder and continued in the business until
the outbreak of the Civil War when he enlisted in the Fifty-fifth Regiment,
Illinois Volunteer Infantry and saw much active service in the campaigns
about Vicksburg, Shilo and Pittsburg Landing. His eldest son also served
in another regiment. After a service of one and one-half years, Samuel
Stewart received his honorable discharge and returned to his home at
Millidgeville and again engaged in his work of contractor and builder until
1875, when he went to Iowa, where he died on November 29, 1889. Mr.
Stewart was of a family whose history dates back to over two hundred years
in the state of New York. Mrs. Stewart died on February 24, 1873, after a
useful and active life. She was an active member of the Methodist Epis-
copal church and took a prominent part in all the services of that denomina-
tion. Her paternal grandparents were natives of Holland and established
themselves in New York and became identified with the life of that state.

Samuel and Sarah Ann Stewart were the parents of nine children as
follow : Hezekiah, Calvin, Julia, Rena, Sarah, Helen, Melvin, Clark M. and
James W. Hezekiah resides at Madrid, Iowa, where he lives a retired life.
He is a veteran of the Civil W^ar and was during his younger days an
accomplished musician ; Calvin lives in Grundy county, Iowa, where he is a
successful farmer and stockman ; Julia Bowen is a resident of Illi-
nois, where she and. her husband li\-e retired after active ser\ice spent on the


farm; Rcn.'i Afcad is a widow and lives in Illinois; Sarah Heath is now
deceased; Helen Sniilh and liu-hand reside in Minneapolis; Melvin lives at
Conrad, h.wa, and is a retired farmer, and James W. lives at Waterville,
Kansas, and is a well-known farmer.

Clark M. Stewart was reared in Illinois and there received his education
in the puhlic schools and as a young man learned the carpenter trade. In
June. 1878. he and his hrother. James W., came to Marshall county, having
driven a team of horses from Grundy county. They each purchased eighty
acres of railroad Irmd. for wliich they jiaid five dollars and fifty cents per
acre, and had to borrow the money to make the first payment. Mr. Stewart
at i:nce engaged in breaking the wild prairie land and the next year he built
a small house and de\-oted his time to farming until 1881, when he went to
Herkimer, v.here he worked at his trade until 1887, when he went to western
Kansas and purchased a tract of land in Thomas county, and again engaged
in farming for a short time. He later lived in Colby and Kansas City, Mis-
souri, and in 1888 returned to Marshall county and located at Marysville,
where he established himself as a contractor and builder. He has built some
of the finest residences as well as the Pusch cigar factory and the city hall.
He has substantial property in the city. He sold his farm of eighty acres
in the countv in 1915, but owns the other farms that he purchased.

fVjlitically, ]\Ir. Stewart is identified with the Democratic party and has
served on the city council for a number of years. He is a member of the
Knights of Pythias and the Ah^dern Woodmen of America, and is a man of
much influence in his home community.

In 1879 Clark M. Stew^irt w^as united in marriage to Mary E. Purcell,
who was born in Berkeley county, X'irginia, on September 18, 1855, and is the
daughter of Thomas V. and Nancy X. HA'alters) Purcell. Thomas and
Xancy Purcell were natives of Loudoun county. Virginia, the former hav-
ing been born on June 7, 181 8. and the latter in 1820. They received their
education in the schools of tlieir nati\e states and there grew up. They first
met in the state of Virginia and were there married. They continued to
reside in \^irginia after their marriage until i860, when they moved to Illi-
nois. Mr. Purcell being a Quaker, was not compelled to serve in the Civil
War, the religious belief of that denomination being recognized by the gov-
ernment. On their arrival in Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Purcell established their
home on a farm, where ^Ir. Purcell was actively engaged as a general farmer
and stockman until seven years before he died when he moved to Millidge-
ville, Illinois, where he died on February 19, 1887, and his widow died on
November 2, 1893. They were the parents of the following children : Joseph,


Mahlon, Anna, John, Thomas, ]\lary E. and Elias H. Joseph is now deceased;
Mahlon is a retired farmer of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma ; Anna married
Jasper Shoemaker, and after some years of married life, Mr. Shoemaker died
and the widow is now living at Pasadena, California; John is a resident of
Billings, Montana ; Thomas is a resident of Polo, Illinois ; Mary E. is the
wife of Clark ]\I. Stewart; and Elias H. is professor of music in Chicago,

Clark M. and Mary B. Stewart are the parents of one child, Edith S.,
who was born on October 9, 1883. She is a graduate of the Marysville high
school and the University of Kansas. She was married in 1903 to Clarence
T. Rice, who is prominently connected with the high schools of Kansas
City, Kansas, where he is principal. To Mr. and Mrs. Rice has been born
one child, Mary, whose birth occurred on August 7, 1914. Mr. Rice is the
son of Charles ?nd Inez (Crane) Rice. Charles W. Rice was born in Eng-
land on October 16, 1856, and was the son of William and Ellen (Watson)
Rice, who came to Canada in 1864. The parents were ribbon-makers in
England, and when they located in Canada they were employed as laborers.
In 1867 they came to Indiana and located near Bluffton, where they engaged
in general farming, and there William Rice died in 1869. It was there that
Charles W. Rice lived until 1877, when he left his mother, two sisters and a
brother and on a horse started on the long trip to ^Marshall county. Here
he located in Winifred and for two years worked as a farm hand, at which
time he was married in a log cabin, in 1879, to Inez Crane, after which he
rented a farm and tliere established his home. After three years he pur-
chased a farm two miles south and one mile east of Home City, where he and
his family lived until 1889 when he engaged in the grocery business at Home
City, which lousiness he conducted until 1891, when he engaged in the car-
penter work. In 1896 he moved to Alarysville, where he worked in the
general store of Erank Powell until October, 1899, when he purchased the
furniture store of H. B. Walker, which he conducted until the time of his
death on December 20, 191 1. The mother of Clarence T. Rice was born on
November 15, 1862, in Milford, Illinois, and died on August 6, 1890. Her
^father was born in Pennsylvania in 1830 and was one of the early home-
steaders in Marshall county. His wife, Sarah Anna (Deeds) Crane, was
born in 1834 in Pennsylvania and is now living in Marysville, Kansas. Clar-
ence T. Rice received his education in the local schools and at the University
of Kansas and later engaged in teaching, in wdiich profession he has met
with much success, and is now the principal of the high school of Argentine,
Kansas City, Kansas. He and his wife are held in the highest regard and


esteem hy all wIk^ k'now them, and tlicy arc aiiKui^- the cultured and reihied
people of the cdmnnmity in which they li\e, and where they have an extended
inlluence on the moral and educational development.

Clark M. Stewart is a man who has always taken a prominent part in
the aetivities of his home community, and on the occasions of celebrations he
has been selected as marshal of the day, and on his lart^c black horse he has
presented a commanding appearance, lie has ever taken much interest in
hunting and is recognized as one of the genial sportsmen of the district.
He has hunted ducks from the lakes of Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, and
his abilitv in this line is known to all. In his home life he is an ideal hus-
band and father, and his highest ambition has been to make his home one of
pleasure and comfort. His home on North Broadway is one of the beautiful
places in Marysville.


The Rev. Francis H. Taton, pastor of the Catholic church of St.
Michael's at Axtell, this county, is a native of the old Hoosier state, but has
been a resident of Kansas ever since the early days of his ordination to the
priesthood, a period of nearlv thirty years, during which period he has per-
formed a wonderful work in the mission fields of this state, a labor that has
endeared him to the hearts of many in various portions of the state. Father
Taton has been in charge of St. IMichael's parish at Axtell since the- sum-
mer of 1903 and has a record for faithfulness and efficiency of service rarely
equaled in a \A'estern diocese. In an interview published following the
celebration of the silver jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood in 191 4,
Father Taton said : "During my charge a,t Easton, Kansas, I took sick on
the lOth day of January, 1890, whilst in Leavenworth and was confined to
St. John's hospital there for six weeks. Otherwise I never missed a Sunday
whilst in charge at Easton. Whilst in charge of Paola I was absent one
Sunday. Since my appointment in Axtell I took a vacation for six weeks in
1 9 10. during which I visited the Pacific coast from Los Angeles to Seattle,
Washington. Outside of this I was absent from duty in Axtell on three
Sundavs. This is the extent of my being absent from duty in twenty-five

A sympathetic fellow-priest, the Rev. T. H. Kinsella, a companion of
Father Taton's seminary days, writing on that jubilee occasion and com-
plimenting his old friend upon becoming a jubilarian, said.: "The celebra-

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tion of the silver jubilee of a Catholic priest is no longer an event of rare
importance. Its frequent occurrence in our day has reduced it to the com-
monplace; yet. to the priest himself, and to all who are near and dear to him,
the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination must always retain its joyful
aspect, its symbolism and its solemn significance. It is usually the only mile-
stone he comes up on in his weary journey from his sacredotal consecration
to the last anointment. Few there are who live to count the golden years,
and fewer still who find sympathy and affection in a generation not their
own, and in a world they have outlived. Twenty-five years of struggle and
self-effacement — in rain and sun and storm, in weakness of health and
depression of spirit; and a loneliness on the prairies of Kansas, that at times
forces the mind to w^oo the stars and the eye to admire the kindly human
face that is reflected on the moon — twenty-five years of faithful effort on the
Western missions cannot but leave their traces on the brow of every faithful
priest of God who has lived through them."

Though Hoosier born. Father Taton is of French descent, both his
parents having been born in the beautiful Champagne country of France.
He was born on a little farm well back in the woods of Perry county, in the
southern part of Indiana, three and one-half miles from the village of Leo-
pold, September 15, 1 86 1, only son of Alexander and Appoline (Duchainois)
Taton, the former of whom was born in 1842 at Assigny, in the old province
of Champagne, France, and the latter of whom was born at Meziere, in that
same district, in 1842. In 1849 Father Taton's parents came to this country,
his father then being eleven years of age and his mother, nine years of age.
Their respective families emigrated from France together, being a part of a
considerable colony that came over on the same vessel, and they settled in
the woods of southern Indiana, which even at that date retained much of
their unbroken, primeval grandeur. Amid pioneer conditions the two grew
up and in i860 were married, making a home for themselves on a little farm
in the Leopold neighborhood. In 1864 Alexander Taton and his little family
left Indiana and came to Kansas, having heard much of the possibilities that
awaited the homesteader in this state. He homesteaded a cjuarter section in
Johnson county, the tract now occupied by the town of Edgerton, and pro-
ceeded to develop the same, his son, the future priest, thus, in childhood,
gaining a very distinct impression of Kansas pioneer life. Three years later,
in 1867, Alexander Taton sold his homestead and returned to Indiana, where
he died in 1874, leaving a widow and three children, the subject of this sketch
having had two sisters, Victoria, who married Jacob Oaks and is now living
at Ottawa, this state, and Mary, w^ho died in girlhood. Years later, in 1889,



after her son had become an estal)hs1ie(l i)riest at Easton, this state, the
Widow Taton returned to Kansas and rejoined her son, later movini^ with
him to Axtelh wliere she spent lier last days, her death occurring on .\])r\] 2,
1908. The beautiful, clinging- affection that marked Mother Taton's devo-
tion to her onh son was often the occasion of comment. It has been written
of her that from his very infancy "All her heart's love went out to him ; every
good influence was thrown around him, her prayers were unceasing and, in
the exuberance of her French nature, she gave over to 'Notre Dame' a gift
like unto the one given her on Mount Calvary. Madame Taton dedicated
a.nd in a mannei' consecrated her only son to the Blessed Virgin in the early
davs of ci\ilization in southern Indiana, just as had been done so often in her
beloved France. A memento of that event may still be seen in the gold chain
that hangs, or did hang, around the figure of the Madonna in the parish

It is related that an extraordinary event, twice repeated, when he was
thirteen years of age, determined young Taton's vocation to the priesthood,
but the means to prosecute a course of study extending over many years was
entirely absent. He conceived the idea of laying his case before the abbot of
St. Meinrad's Abbey, over in the neighboring county of Spencer. Abbot
Finton was greatly impressed by the young man's story and took him in at
once, free of charge, until the day that Father Isadore recommended him in
glowing terms to Rt. Rev. Fouis Mary Fink, O. S. B., of the diocese of
Leavenworth, as a young man of extraordinary piety, good talent and excel-
lent health. In 1887, from Bishop McClosky, of Louisville, Kentucky, Father
Taton received minor orders. Sub-deaconship and deaconship were con-
ferred in 1888 by Bishop Chatard, of Indianapolis, and on February 24, 1889,
in the cathedral at Covington, Kentucky, he was ordained to the holy priest-
hood by Bishop Maes. On March 17, the following St. Patrick's Day, Father
Taton celebrated his first mass in St. Michael's church at Cannelton, Indiana.
He then was sent to Kansas and after ten days spent at the cathedral at
Leavenworth, was appointed to Easton and the outlying missions, taking
charge on the first of April of that appointment, which then comprised Easton,
Springdale and St. Joseph, of Mt. Olivet. During that appointment Father
Taton completed the church at Springdale and built the new church of St.
Joseph at Mt. Olivet. He said mass frequently in private houses in out-of-
the-way places, instructed the neighboring children and administered the sac-
raments. Though Catholics were then few and far between in that district,
many converts came to the church and the mission was a great success. For
six years and three months Father Taton had charge of those missions and


was then transferred to the parish of Paola and missions, of which he took
charge on July 17, 1895, that charge comprising Paola, Ossawatomie, the
State Asylum for the Insane at the latter place and the whole of Linn county.
At that time there was not a Catholic church in Linn county, but there were
scattered Catholics throughout the county, practically all of whom. Father
Taton recalls, had fallen away from the church. During his stay in Paola
tlie LIrsuline Academ.y was built and in 1896 was dedicated. The parochial
school near the church was built about that time and that school Father Taton
named St. Patrick's, in memory of his celebration of the mass for the first
time on that day. The school opened with fifteen pupils and by the close of
the school year had an enrollment of forty-four. During that time the church
at Ossawatomie was remodeled from end to end and a sacristy built. For
eight years and one month Father Taton was in charge at Paola and missions
and on August 17, 1903, was transferred to the parish of St. Michael's at
Axtell. of which he ever since has been in charge and where, in 1914, he cele-
brated the silver jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood, the occasion being
made one of much rejoicing on the part of his friends, not only in this county,
but throughout those other sections of the state where his ministrations have
endeared him to many hearts.

When Father Taton was sent to Axtell the parish comprised both St.
Michael's church and Beattie as a mission, services between the two points
being equally divided. In 1909 Father Taton built the parochial residence
at Beattie and in the fall of that year the Beattie mission was given over to
the Rev. Father Galvin, who became its pastor. On November 8, 1904, work
on the new St. Michael's church at Axtell was begun and in the spring of
1905 the corner stone was laid. On April 24, 1906, the church was dedi-
cated, the total cost of the same being nearly twenty-two thousand dollars.
In 1909 the new parish house was Ijuilt, at a total cost, including appurte-
nances, of more than seven thousand dollars. Father Taton moving into the
same in November of that year. In 1913 work on the new parochial school
was begun, l)ut delays, on account of crop failures during that year, put off
the completion of the work until February 8, 19x7, when the school was
completed at a cost of nine thousand dollars. St. Michael's parish is well
organized and its various auxiliaries, such as the Mutual Benefit Association,
the Temperance Society, the Knights of Columbus, the Altar Societv, the
Young Ladies Sodality, the Childrens Sodality and the League of the Sa-
cred Heart, are reported to be in a flourishing condition, progress being re-
ported in all departments of the work of the parish.



The Rev. Clarence Bradley, pastor of the Catholic church of the Annun-
ciation at Frankfort, is a nati\-e son of Kansas and has lived in this state all
his life, a resident of this county since 1907, when he was made the first resi-
dent priest at Summerfield, save for two years when he was serving the
parish at Emmett, in the neighboring county of Pottawattomie. He was
born in the city of Atchison on May 10, 1883. a son of Charles E. and Anna
(Ostertag) Bradley, tlie former a native of the state of Illinois and the latter,
of Buffalo, New York, well-known residents of Atchison and the latter of
whom is still living.

Charles E. Bradley was born iri Illinois on February 2, 1855, and in
1877 came to Kansas, locating at Atchison, where, in 1881, he established a
shoe store and was thus engaged in business there until his retirement in
191 5, a period of thirty-four years, during which time he became a cjuite well-
to-do merchant and one of the leading men in Atchison, having served for
some time as a member of the city council. He died on April 9, 19 16, and

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 44 of 104)