Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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ware and Implement Company, of which the subject was the manager. This
business w-as conducted for ten years, when they sold. The drug store was
burned in 1894, after which Mr. Thomann took over the business, which
he conducted until 1904. After this he operated the elevator until 191 3, in
which year he retired to private life. He was president of the bank at Sum-
merville for twenty-six years, but at the present time he has no interests in
the institution. He still has large land interests, owning three h.undred and
sixty acres of splendid land in Guittard township, one hundred and sixty
acres in Pottawatomie county and one hundred and twenty acres in Osage
county, Kansas, as well as an additional eighty acres in Marshall county.

Frank Thomann was united in marriage on March 10, 1883, to Charlotte


W'ncster. the (laughter of Ahnihaiii and Mar,o;iret (P.aiier) Wuester, both of
whom were natives of Germany, where ihey received Iheir education in the
pubhc schools and grew up. They later came to the United States and estab-
lisiied themselves on a faruL

To Frank and Charlotte Thomann have been born the following children :
James A., the ilrst born, deceased; Wilbur Charles; Warren F. and Frank
Charles. Wilbur Charles is an automobile salesman at Indianola, Nebraska;
Warren F. is a painter, of I-'rankfort. Kansas, and b'rank Charles is a student
in tbie University of Kansas.

Politically, Mr. Thomann is a stanch Democrat and has ever taken much
interest in local affairs. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United
AVorkmen, the Knights and Ladies of Security and the Free and Accepted
]\Iasons. having attained the Knight Templar degree and is a member of the

During their early life in the county, the Thomanns lived in a tent and
experienced many of the difficulties of the early settler. There w^ere many
Indians in the vicinity, and at times they camped near the home of Mr. and
r^lrs. Thomann. At one time there was a band of thirty-five redskins that
stopped at their home, and during their stay they took two gallons of whiskey
which the family had for medical use. It was not long until the greater
number of the Indians were intoxicated and were determined to fight. Lucky,
there were enough of the band that remained sober to care for the drunken
ones, and by morning the band had disappeared. After the Indian raid in
1864, the settlers of Washington county and the counties west, returned east
through Marshall county, and the road was lined with people from Marysville
to Guittard Station. Much of the fear that animated their hasty retreat
at that time, was caused by a large band of Pottawatomie Indians that were
on their way to visit the Otoes. and when they crossed the military and the
stage road, the settlers saw them and gave the alarm that the Indians were
again on the war-path.

Frank Thomann having come to Kansas in an early day, when he was
but a lad, has seen the wonderful transition of the country from the wild
prairie, inhabited with the wolf and roving l^ands of Indians, to the present
w^ell-developed farms, with fields of golden grain and pastures dotted here and
there with fine herds of the best of cattle ; droves of hogs growing fat on the
products of the farm, and the finest horses, fit for the plow and driving
purposes. This great change from the most primitive to the highest state
of efficiency, has only been accomplished by the hardest kind of work and
dose economy. Splendid buildings and well-kept premises are now seen,


where once stood the settler's cal3in and the rude barn. In all of this Mr.
Thomann has had an important part, and he and such as he are entitled to the
greatest honor for the work that they have done. It is difficult for the pres-
ent generation to realize the wonderful changes that have taken place during
the life of some of the men and women now living.


John L. .Davis, one of the pioneers of Marshall county, a well-to-do
retired farmer and an honored veteran of the Civil War, now living at
Frankfort, is a native of the old Buckeye state, but has been a resident of
Kansas since the year 1870, when he came to Marshall county, and hence
has been a witness to and a participant in the development of this county
since pioneer days. He was born in Mechanicsburg, Ohio, August 22, 1838,
a son of John M. and Avelander (Pierce) Davis, natives of the state of
Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively, members of old families in that state,
whose last days were spent in Mechanicsburg, where John ^I. Davis was a
well-known and well-to-do building contractor.

Reared at Mechanicsburg, John L. Davis was early trained to the trade
of carpenter and cabinet-maker by his father, who gave him a bench and
tools in his shop when he was a boy, telling him to go to work and make
whatever lie wanted to, and he was working at his trade in that citv when
the Ci\'il War broke out. In 1863 he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred
and Thirty-fourth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served with
that command for four months. His brother, Joseph Davis, served through-
out the war as a soldier in the Thirty-second Ohio Regiment. In 1870
John L. Davis came to Kansas and located at Frankfort, where for two
years he was engaged as a builder and then, in 1872, began farming on a
place just north of the town. At the same time he opened and began oper-
ating the first retail meat market opened in Frankfort, but presently sold
that and bought a tract of one hundred and thirty-five acres south of the
town, which he proceeded to develop. When Mr. Davis took possession of
that farm it had a little two-room house on it and that he enlarged and built
other and adequate buildings until he came to have one of the best-ef|uipped
farm plants in that part of the county. He now owns a splendid farm of
two hundred acres and is regarded as being quite well circumstanced. In
addition to his general farming Mr. Davis also for years was quite exten-


si\cl\ ciioaiied in the rai.->in,i^- of li\c stuck. Since his retirement from the
farm and removal to h'rankfort his son, Joseph Davis, who is making his
home on liic ])lace. is ojjerating the farm and is doini;- very well.

On Noveml}er 28, 1861, eight or nine years hefore coming to Kansas,
jolm L. l)a\is was nnitcd in marriage, in Ohio, to l^sthcr Cox. who was
born at Salem, in C"oluml)iana connt\, tliat state, December 25, 1844, a
daughter of Sanuu'l and i\acliel Cox. both of whom were born at Edinburg,
]*enn.-y]\ania, and to this union three children ha\e been born, namely: Ora,
who married M. .M. ilaskins, of Frankfort, and has hve children, Frank,
Harold, Fletcher, Hazel and Davis; Elizabeth, w lio married W. ]. Gregg,
of Frankfort, and has five children. Gerva, Gracia, Geraldine, Gilbert and
Edward, and Joseph, mentioned above as operating the old home farm, who
also is married and ha? hve children. Hazel, Norma. Madia, Joseph Leroy
and Carrol. In addition to the fifteen grandchildren here mentioned, Mr.
and Mrs. Davis have three great-grandchildren, Catherine, Ellen Ora and
Alarshall Haskins. The Davises are members of the Presbyterian church
and have ever lieen warm supporters of the same, as well as all other local
good works. Mr. Davis is an active member of the local post of the Grand
Army of the Republic, in the affairs of which he for years has taken a warm
interest, and Airs. Davis is a member of the Woman's Relief Corps and of the
local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, in the affairs of both of
which organizations she takes an active interest, being conductor and past
matron of the latter societv.


In point of continuous residence Peter Shroyer, the well-known pioneer
farmer, now living retired at Marysville, is the oldest living resident of
Marshall county. He came here in 1857, there being at that time but two
other families within the present confines of the county, and has lived here
ever since. During all that time he has never employed a physician for his
own use and has likewise never had personal use for a dentist, his teeth to
this day being perfectly sound. Mr. Shroyer attributes much of his present
soundness of teeth to the fact that in the early days out here he ate so
much frozen bread and dried buffalo meat that his teeth were kept in per-
fect condition and he never developed later troubles of that sort. Mr.
Shroyer also claims to have shucked more corn than any man in Marshall


county. He began when five years of age and even since his retirement
from the active laljors of the farm continues to "take a hand" during corn-
husking season and can keei) ^^P '^is row with the best of them.

Peter Shroyer is a nati\'e of the old Buckeye state, but has been a resi-
dent of Marshall county since he was nine years of age. and has consequently
been a witness to and a participant in the development of this county since
the earliest days of settlement hereabout. He was born on a farm in Perry
county, Ohio, near the town of Thornville, July 30, 1848, a son of John
and Mary (Zortman) Shroyer, natives of Pennsylvania, both of Dutch
stock, the former a son of Philip Shroyer and the latter a daughter of Peter
Zortman, the Shroyer and Zortman families being early settlers in Perry
county, Ohio. It was there that John Shroyer was married and established
his home. He became a farmer and was the owner of one hundred and
sixty acres of land. In T853 '^^ '^^^^^ that farm for thirty dollars an acre,
accepting partial payments for the same, and with his wife and six children
came to Kansas. Three years later he returned to his old home in Ohio to
collect the final payment and found that in the meantime the farm that he
had sold for thirty dollars an acre had been resold for one hundred and
five dollars an acre. John Shroyer and his family crossed the country to
their destination in Marshall county in a "prairie schooner," which they had
amply freighted with provisions for beginning life anew on the plains be-
fore leaving St. Joseph. They had three horses upon arriving in this county,
but these presently died and for ten years^ John Shroyer conducted his farm-
ing operations with oxen. Upon arriving in this county the Shroyer family
settled on a farm on the Blue river, at the point where the railroad station
of Shroyer, named for the family, is now located, and there erected a log
cabin and set up a home. In that humble habitation the family made their
home for years, or until a more commodious and convenient house could be

When the Shroyers settled in Marshall county there were but two other
families in the county and Indians still were numerous and wild game
plentiful. The markets for the grain raised in this part of the state then
were at Leavenworth, and at Atchison and until the railroads came this way
a long trip to market was necessary on the part of the early settlers, while
the nearest mill was at St. Joseph until the Hutchinson mill was built at
Marysville. Buffalos still were roaming the plains in countless numbers
and it was the practice of the settlers to go out on a buffalo drive and put
up enough meat for a year's supply. Wheat was threshed by the primitive
method of having the cattle trample it out, the grain then being winnowed


in tlic wiml. l)in the market t"(ir wlicat was so Hmiteil in tlmsc- davs tliat it
not infre(|iiently sold for as ^niall a snm as t\vent\'-ii\'e cent? a l)nshe] in
the Atcliison market. John Sln-o\er put in much of In's time as a freighter
and it was while tluis employed, in iSC)^. that he met his death. He had
just returned from a freighting trip to I't. Kearney and had gone to Leaven-
worth for a load of ])r<»\isior,s. On coming down a stee]) hill out of Leaven-
worth he fell off his wagon and was killed heneath tlie wheels. It was
three weeks hefore word of his death could he brought to his family. His
wid(-w sur\i\ed him for sex'en years, her death occma-ing in 1870, she then
being tifty-foiu' _\ears of age. jolm Shroyer and his wife were the parents
of nine children, three ha\ing been born to them after they came to this
county. Of these the subject of this sketch is the eldest and the others are
as follow : T'hilii), w ho owns the old Shroyer farm in Elm Creek town-
ship, but is now living at Granite, Oklahoma, Peter Shroyer's eldest son
running the farm for him; Hiram, who lives near Shroyer; John, who lives
in Oklahoma; Benjamin Franklin, who lives near Oklahoma City; Mrs.
Harriet Hammet, of Shroyer; Mrs. Amanda Griffin, of Blue Rapids; Mrs.
Mary Bender, of Commanche, Oklahoma, and Samuel, of Oklahoma City.

As noted above, Peter Shroyer was but nine years of age when he
came to this county from Ohio and he grew to manhood on the home farm
in Elm Creek township, from earl}' boyhood taking his part in the W'Ork of
developing the pioneer farm. A\'hen but a boy he went to St. Joseph and
drove back three }'oke of oxen. With these cattle he broke the first ground
on the bottoms at Shroyer, continuing to use cattle in his farming opera-
tions until he was twenty-five years of age. Wdien twenty-one years of age
he homesteaded a tract of land across the river from Shrover and in that
same year, i8( 9, bought an additional "eighty." For tweh^e years, or until
his marriage in 1881, Mr. Shroyer "batched" on his place and after his
marriage continued to live there for twentv-four vears, at the end of which
time he retired from the active labors of the farm and moved to Marys-
ville, wliere he and his family are very pleasantly situated, having a beau-
tiful home in the north part of the city, the house being- surrounded by at-
tractive shrubbery and a five-acre grove which forms part of the place,
lending greatly to the attractiveness of the same.

In 1 88 1 Peter Shroyer was united in marriage to Emma Rowe, wdio
was born in Iowa in 1864, daughter of Allen and Euphemia (Rilev) Rowe,
who came to Marshall county about 1875, and to this union four children
have been born, namely: Violet, who is at home; Jesse E., who is operat-
ing his uncle's farm at Shroyer, the old original Shroyer place ; Airs. Rose


Woods, of Joplin, Missouri, and Peter A., who is at home. Mr. and Mrs.
Shroyer are members of the Church of Christ (Scientist) and take a warm
interest in the affairs of the same. Air. Shroyer is a Republican and has
even given his close attention to local political affairs, luit has not been a
seeker after public office. As the oldest living pioneer of Marshall county
his life is a veritable Epitome of the history of this county and there is per-
haps no person in the county who has a more vivid or distinct recollection
of tlie incidents of pioneer days hereabout tlian he. In the days when he
drove the three yoke of oxen from St. Joseph to Marshall county the site
of the present city of Marysville was marked by the presence of a lone
shanty and there was nothing but an Indian trail leading to his home at
Shroyer. Despite the hardsliips he underwent during the pioneer days, Mr.
Shroyer is still a very vigorous man and continues to take an active interest
in current affairs. »


The late William C. Huxtable, for years one of the substantial farmers
of Marshall county, who died at his home in Frankfort in 191 5, was a
native of England, l)orn there in 1S33, and there grew to manhood. In
1857, 1^^ then being twenty-four years of age, he came to this country and
settled in New York state, where he engaged in farming and where he was
married in 1862. After his marriage Mr. Huxtable continued farming in
New York until 1871, in which year he emigrated to Kansas with his fam-
ily and became one of the pioneers of Marshall county. Upon coming here
.he bought a homesteader's right to a tract of land one mile north of Frank-
fort and there established his home, continuing his residence there for ten
years, at the end of which time he moved five miles northwest and bought
a fine farm of one hundred and ten acres of bottom land in Rock township,
where he remained, successfully engaged in farming, until his retirement
from the farm and removal to Frankfort, where he spent his last days. As
he prospered in his farming operations he added to his land holdings and
was the owner of a quarter of a section in addition to his home farm.
Politically, Mr. Huxtable was an independent Democrat. He had served
on his local school board and was treasurer of the school district for some

In 1862 William C. Huxtable was united in marriage, in New York
state, to Maria Page, who was born in 1841, daughter of William and Betsy


Page, natives of England, and to that nnion five children were born, namely:
Mrs. Sophia Hnnt, who lives on a farm near Bine Rapids, this county, and
has seven children, George, Harry, Kittie, .Archibald, Rnth, Lawrence and
Letha: Mrs. Bertha Flinn. who lives northwest of Frankfort and has four
children, Roy. Bessie, Lydia and Clarence: Mrs. Minnie Carver, who lives
on a farm northwest f)f hVankfort and has three children, Nina, Gladys
and Homer: William !>., of Blue Rapids, who married Bessie Saville and
has two children. Clark and Viola, and Edgar, a farmer, living south of
Frankfort. wIkj married h'ffie Saville, who died in 1916, leaving two chil-
dren. Dorotin- and Marvin. Since her husband's death in 191 5 Mrs. Hux-
table has continued to make her home in Frankfort, where she is very com-
fortablv situated. She is a memljer of the Episcopal church, as was her
husband, and has ever taken an earnest interest in church work, as well as
in other good works of the community in which she has lived since pioneer
da vs.


The Dominion of Canada has given to the United States some of her
best citizens and most progressive men, who have come to this country
where they have met with singular success and have become recognized as
among the progressive and substantial people of the community in which
they located. The greater number of these people who left their native
cHme, to seek a home in a new country, came with the determination to
make good, and obtain a home worthy of the name, for themselves and
those dependent upon them. With this determination and the inborn spirit
to succeed these people are today among the substantial and influential resi-
dents of the various states of the Union. Among the number who were
natives of Canada and later came to Kansas, is David DeLair, who came
to the United States when a young man, and has risen to a place of influence
and prominence. He was born in Haldimand county, Ontario, Canada, on
March 16, 1848, and is the son of John and Rachel (Hodge) DeLair.

John and Rachel DeLair were natives of Canada, the former having
been born on April 29, 1799, and the latter -on March 26, 1800. John
DeLair was the son of French parents, who came to Canada. Rachel's
forefathers were of New England descent. Mr. and Mrs. DeLair received
their education in the schools of Canada and there they grew up and were
later married. To them were born the following children : Edmund, whose


birth occurred on April ii, 1830; Alary, who was born on March 31, 183 1 ;
Francis, July 22, 1832; Samuel, September 13, 1834; Peter, February 4,
1837; Matilda, May 24, 1839; Nancy, April 5, 1841; Jane, born in 1845;
David, March 16, 1848, and Clement, August 20, 1849. O* these children
all are now deceased with the exceptions of Nancy, Jane and David. Samuel
died in 1865; Matilda Kronk died at Tacoma, Washington, and Clement
died in the mountains of Colorado. Nancy Williams lives at Tacoma,
Washington; Jane Alurdy is a resident of Dunville, Canada. Mr. and Mrs.
DeLair were highly respected people and were of the farming class in their
native country, where they lived their lives and where they were prominent
in the social and the religious life of the community.

David DeLair received his education in the schools of Canada and
there grew to manhood. At the age of twenty, in 1868, he decided to
seek a home in the United States. He at once came to Kansas and here he
established himself on a homestead in section 18, Balderson township, Alar-
shall county. He was accompanied to this country by his brother-in-law,
Mr. Kronk, who also homesteaded in the township. Air. DeLair for ten
years lived by himself on his homestead, which he developed and improved,
and where he met with much success on his new claim, in the pursuit of
general farming and stock raising.

In 1880 David DeLair was united in marriage to Alargaret Cameron,
who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 18, 1848, the daughter of John
and Alargaret Cameron. Her father died in the native land. Airs. DeLair
received her education in New York City. She came over as a child and
spent her younger days partly in Illinois and Nebraska. Some time after
the death of the husband and father, the mother with her daughter and
sons decided to come to the United States. They located in the city of
New York, where they remained for some years, and in 1871 they left
their home in that city and came first to Illinois and then to Nebraska,
where they bought a homestead on Alission creek. There the mother made
her home until the time of her death some years ago at the age of eighty-
three years.

To John and Alargaret Cameron were born the following children :
Robert, Ellen, John, James, Peter and Margaret. Robert died at the age
of eighty-two years; Ellen Chapman died in the state of Alassachusetts in
1916 at the age of eighty-two years; John died at the age of seventy-eight
years ; James departed this life at the age of seventy-six years, in Furnas
county, Nebraska, and Peter lives on Alission creek, Nebraska.

After having selected his claim to a homestead. Air. DeLair at once

' (35)


proceeded to l)uild for himself a cabin. He cut the logs for his house, on
Indian creek. The building was twelve by fourteen feet and was boarded
up and down, and in this he made his home during the time he developed
his farm. In 1884 he disposed of his homestead and moved to Nebraska,
where he lived for nine years, when he returned to Kansas and established
his home on the farm, on section 17, Balderson township, this county, which
he had purchased before he moved to Nebraska. On his return to the farm
he made "many additional improvements and put the farm under a high
state of cultivation. Here he engaged in general farming and stock raising
until December, 191 5, when he retired from the activi-ties of farm life and
became a resident of Oketo. He is now the owner of one hundred and sixty
acres of land in Marshall county and one hundred and sixty acres in
Stephens county, Oklahoma, and is today one of the substantial and highly
respected citizens of the county. ""

Mr. and Mrs. DeLair are the parents of four children. Lillie, the wife
of C. J. Swanson, of Leadville, Colorado. She was born on May 31, 1881,
and grew to womanhood on the home farm; Claude was born on December
4, 1883, and is on the home farm; Clyde, a twin of Claude, died at the age
of seventeen years, and Russell, who was born on June 10, 1885, is a
farmer of Wakefield, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. DeLair are active members
of the Baptist church, and Mr. DeLair is a member of the Modern Wood-
men of America.


\\'illiam D. W^arnica, one of the real pioneer farmers of Marshall
county, now li^■ing retired in his pleasant home in Frankfort, is a native of
Canada, but has been a resident of the L^nited States since he was a child
and a resident of Kansas since the year 1869, when he became a home-
steader in Wells county, this state, where he made his home, one of the
foremost pioneers of that part of the county, until 1907, when he retired
from the active labors of the farm and moved to the nearby citv of Frank-
fort, where he since has resided. He was born at Berry, near Toronto, in
the Dominion of Canada, December 19, 1848, son of Joseph and Melvina
(Denure) Warnica, both natives of New York state and the former of
German descent, who had settled in Canada after their marriage.

Joseph Warnica was a carpenter by trade. In 1857 '""^ moved with
his family from Canada to Michigan and located within six miles of Grand


Rapids, on the plank road between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, and there
opened a tavern, also continuing to follow his trade as a carpenter. When
the Civil War broke out he enlisted his services in defense of the Union and

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 51 of 104)