Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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Mr. Irvin is recognized as one of the influential men of the city.


The late James M. Scott, who died at his home in Marysville in 1900
and who for years was one of the best-known citizens of Marshall county,
was a native of the state of Pennsylvania, but had been a resident of Kansas
since the days of his young manhood, having come here from Missouri, to
which state he had moved when about fourteen years of age. He was
born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, July 29, 1865, son of George and
Sarah Scott, natives of that same state.







About the year 1886 James M. Scott came from Missouri to this
county. He presently became engaged on the Tootle ranch in the adjoining
county of Washington, but not long afterward located at Marysville, where
he became engaged in the livery business. Some time later he disposed of
that business and returned to the Tootle ranch and was engaged as foreman
of the same for seven years, at the end of which time, in 1899, he returned
to Marysville, where he spent his last days, his death occurring in January,

On November 6, 1890, James M. Scott was united in marriage to Ger-
trude Crane, who was born in Davis county, Iowa, September 5, 1869,
daughter of Robert and Sarah Ann (Deeds) Crane, and who was but six
weeks of age when her parents moved to Marshall county and established
their home in Center township, early becoming recognized as among the
most substantial and influential pioneer residents of that part of the county.
It was on that pioneer farm in Center township that Mrs. Scott was reared.
She received her elementary schooling in the district school in the neigh-
borhood of her home there and supplemented the same by a course in the
high school at Marysville, from which she was graduated, after which she
began teaching in the district schools of Marshall county and had taught
three terms of school at the time of her marriage to Mr. Scott. To that
union three children were born, namely: Earl F., who is now living at
Dawson, New Mexico, where he is conducting a barber shop; Gladys, who
married C. E. Meinzer and is now living at Atlantic, this state, and Melvin
J., who is a machinist in the Travelute garage at Marysville. Mrs. Scott
is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal church and takes a warm
interest in the various beneficences of the same. For years she has taken
an active part in the local work of the Woman's Christian Temperance
Union and for some years has served as secretary of the Marys^â– ille branch,
giving her most intelligent and earnest attention to the promotion of the
temperance movement in this part of the state. Mrs. Scott is the owner of
a quarter of a section of land in Garfield county, Oklahoma. She is now
making her home with her mother at Marysville.

Robert Crane, father of Mrs. Scott, was born on a farm in Preble
county, Ohio, February 13, 1830, son of George and Elizabeth (Beatty)
Crane, natives of Pennsylvania and of New York, respectively, who moved
from Ohio to Miami county, Indiana, where Robert Crane grew to man-
hood and in 1852 was married to Sarah Ann Deeds, who was born at
Coshocton, Ohio, May 5, 1834, daughter of William and Elizabeth


(Slothour) Deeds, natives of the state of Pennsylvania. In i860 he
moved from Indiana to Iroquois county, IlHnois, where he was engaged in
farming until 1869, when he set out with his family for Kansas, driving
through in a "prairie schooner'' and settling in Center township, this county,
where he establi.shed his home. Mr. Crane homesteaded a tract of eighty
acres in Center township and built a frame house on the same, gradually
making other improvements to his place and extending his land holdings
until he Ijecame the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres.
In 1883 he retired from the active labors of the farm and moved to Marys-
ville, but in i8go moved back to the farm and there remained until 1897,
when he returned to Maryvsille and there spent the rest of his life, his
death occurring there on December 27, 1909. His widow is still living
there, her daughter, Mrs. Scott, making her home with her, and the two
are very pleasantly and very comfortably situated. Mrs. Cr)ane retains
possession of the old home farm of two hundred and forty acres in Center
township and is quite well circumstanced. During his long residence in
Center township, Robert Crane took an active part in public affairs there
and rendered valuable public service as a member of the school board in
his home district.

To Robert and Sarah Ann (Deeds) Crane ten children were born, of
whom Mrs. Scott was the eighth in order of birth, the others being as fol-
low: EHzabeth, who married J. H. Wakefield and is now living at Eagle
City, Oklahoma; Matilda, the second in order of birth; William R., who
is a well-known farmer of Marysville township, this county; Alpharetta,
now living at Lawton, Oklahoma, the widow of T. H. Edmundson; Mrs.
Inez Rice, deceased ; Tryphena, who married L. N. Neal and is now living
in Graham county, this state; Harvey, who died while the family was en
route from Illinois to this state ; Samuel, who is living at Lone Wolf, Okla-
homa, and Albert N., deceased.

An interesting feature, worthy of note, in connection with the Scott
familv historv, is the circumstance that William R. Crane, brother of Mrs.
J. M. Scott, is married to a woman who has the distinction of being the
first white child born in Marshall county. Mrs. W. R. Crane is the
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Martin, who, in 1857, came to Kansas
and stopped on the Vermillion, south of town. Joseph Martin served in
the Civil War as a member of Company D, Eighth Kansas Volunteer In-
fantry. During his period of service he was taken ill and subsecjuently died
of lung fever. In 1868 his widow married William Lewis and they settled


on a homestead farm at Home City, two miles from Marysville. Mr.
Lewis died on July lo, 1903, and his widow (Mrs. Crane's mother) sur-
vived until June 20, 1907, when she died at the age of sixty-nine years,
eight months and ten days.


James W^ells, deceased, for many years one of the well-known and sub-
stantial residents of Marshall county, was born on December 20, 1840, and
died on October 2^, 1908. He was born in Bath county, Kentucky, the son
of Thomas and Martha (Warren) Wells, both of whom were natives of ihat
state. The parents were educated in the schools of Kentucky and there they
resided until 1858, when they came to Kansas where they located in Bigelow
township, Marshall county. Here the son, James, came with his parents and
here he was married on February 21, 1865, to Julia McClure, who w'as born
on February 14, 1849. She was born in Union county, Kentucky, and there
she received the greater part of her education. She is the daughter of Nich-
olas and Rebecca (Jones) McClure. Her parents were natives of Virginia,
where they received their education in the public schools and there grew to
maturity and were married. James Wells may well be numbered with the
early pioneers of the county, for he came to Marshall county when it was
mostly in a primitive condition, and when few people had attempted to make
a home in the new country. For many years he was a resident of the county,
where he constructed a home on the undeveloped plains and where he and
his family lived for many years, and where he was ever a useful factor in
the growth and the development of the district.

Nicholas and Rebecca (Jones) McCliire,' came from their home in Vir-
ginia and were early settlers in Kentucky, w'here they established their home
on the farm, and there Mrs. McClure died in 1857. The father and children
continued to reside in the state until 1864, when they came to Kansas and
located at Irving, Marshall county, where the father engaged in the buying
and the selling of live stock. To Nicholas and Rebecca AlcClure were born
the following children : William, Elizabeth Virginia. George, Julia and
Mary S. A\'illiam is now a resident of Kentucky; Elizabeth Virginia Cal-
houn is living in New Mexico ; George is a resident of Missouri and Mary S.
Walls resides near Bigelow. The McClure family were prominent in their
home community, and were held in the highest regard and esteem. They


took a i)roniiiieiit [)arl in tlic (Icvclopnicnt of ilic townsliip in which they lived
and where they made their h(^me for many years.

Soon after tlieir marriage James and JnHa Wells located on a farm on
the Vermillinn ri\er near I'arrett, Vermillion township, Marshall county.
Here they purchased eighty acres and homesteaded eighty acres. They
made their liome on the first farm, which they developed and improved, and
there they made their home for ten years. They sold it and then home-
steaded on the IMne ri\er. Mr. and Mrs. Wells built the first log cabin on
the place. There they continued to live for some years and in 1873, pur-
chased a farm on the Blue river in Bigelow township. They purchased one
hundred and sixty acres of land and homesteaded eighty acres, to which they
later added forty acres. They later sold a team of horses and a wagon and
purchased forty acres of splendid land, which is now worth six thousand
dollars. They added to their original log cabin in which they lived for a
number of years, and in time built one of the beautiful and substantial homes
of the tow'nship. By hard work and close economy they became the owners
of two hundred and eighty acres of land, which they developed and improved
and there they engaged in general farming and stock raising with success.
The farm was one of the best in the township, owning to the high development
that had been made. In 1903 Mr. Wells and his wife moved to Irving and
retired from the more active duties of life, and there Mr. Wells died in 1908,
after an active life of usefulness.

!\lr. Wells was identified with the Republican party and while he. was
n(jt a seeker after office, he took great interest in local affairs and was one
of the influential men of the township, as well as the county. He and his
wife were long members of the Methodist Episcopal church and were prom-
inent in the social and the religious life of the community, where they were
held in high regard. Mr. Wells was for many years one of the prominent
men of the township and his advice was often sought in matters relative to
the civic life of the district. He was a member of the Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons and had much to do with the growth and success of the
local society. His life was a worthy one and at his death the community felt
they had lost a good friend and a most worthy adviser.

James and Julia Wells were the parents of the following children : Mary
Belle, Ida, Ora and Frank. Mary Belle Miller is a resident of Oklahoma,
where her husband is one of the worthy and successful men of the section in
which they live. They are the parents of the following children : Lucy,
Ray, Ethel, Ruth, Gladys and Denis. Ida Stimson and her husband reside


at Houston, Texas, and they are the parents of five children : Edward. Carl,
Maude, Cora and Homer. Ora Traxler is a resident of Emporia, Kansas,
and she and Mr. Traxler are the parents of two children, Arthur and Ora
May. Frank is a successful farmer of Blue Ridge township, Marshall county,
and is married to Delia Johnson and to them the following children have been
born : Dorothy, Clyde, Edith and Lloyd. Mrs. Wells is still active in the
work of the church, since the death of her husband, who was a veteran of
the Civil War, having served with the Ninth Kansas Regiment and later
received his discharge on account of disability.


Cornelius W. Alspach, a well-known and substantial retired farmer of
Marshall county, now living at Axtell, is a native of Ohio, but has been a
resident of this county since pioneer days, having come here in 1871. He
was born on a farm in Eairfield county, Ohio, June 15, 1844, son of John D.
and Elizabeth (Heimbaugh) Alspach, both of whom are long since deceased,
having spent their last days in Ohio. John D. i\lspach was born in Ohio, of
Pennsylvania-Dutch parentage, and was twice married, having children by
both marriages.

Reared on the home farm in Ohio. Cornelius W. Alspach remained there
until after he was twenty-five years of age, when, in the spring of 1871, he
came to Kansas and homesteaded a tract of eighty acres southeast of Beattie,
in Rock township, this county, and proceeded to develop the same. Four
vears later he married and presently traded his improved homestead for a
tract of two hundred acres in Murray township, where he established his
home and where he continued farming for thirty years or more, becoming
one of the most substantial farmers in that neighborhood. Mr. Alspach
gave considerable attention to the raising of cattle and hogs and did very
well in his operations. He added to his land holdings in Murray township
and now owns three hundred and seventy-eight acres in section 4 and eighteen
acres in section 14 of that township, continuing to take an active interest in
the management of the place, even though he has for years been retired from
the active labors of the farm. It was in 1904 that Mr. Alspach retired from
the farm and moved to his present home near Axtell. There he owns
eighteen acres on the edge of the city and he and his family are very pleas-
antlv and comfortably situated. Mr. Alspach is a Democrat and has ever


gi\en a good citi/.cn's attciuioii to local j)olilical affairs. During his K)ng
residence in Murray township he held numerous township offices and was
for years a member of the school board in his home district.

In 1874 Cornelius W. Alspach was united in marriage to Barbara Wolf-
gang, who was born in Pennsylvania in h'ebruary, 1856, daughter of Jacob
and Sarah (Schwartz) Wolfgang, both of whom were born in that same
state and who came to Kansas with their family in 1870, settling on a home-
stead farm south of Beattie. To Mr. and Mrs. Alspach eleven children have
been born, namely: Mrs. f'riscilla M. Brooks, of Kansas City, Missouri, to
whom two children ha\e l)een Ijorn, one of whom is dead ; Sarah, who mar-
ried H. T. Totten. a farmer living northeast of Mina, this county, and has
two children; Cornelius F., who is employed in the Atchison, Topeka & Santa
Fe railroad shops at Topeka and wdio married Edith Kirk and has two chil-
dren : Delia, who married Fred Lower, of Centerville, Iowa, and has two chil-
dren ; AFrs. Nellie Graham, who lives south of Beattie and has two children;
Alta, who married H. B. Huddleston, a farmer living near Axtell, and has
four children ; Charles, who is running an elevator at Kensington, in Smith
countv, this state, and who married Dora Douglas and has one child ; Mrs.
Ruby Rodkey, of Blue Rapids, who has two children; Harry, who is at home;
Grace, also at home, and Effie, who is deceased. The Alspachs have a very
pleasant home near Axtell and have ever taken a proper part in the general
social life of the vicinity. Mr. Alspach is a charter member of the Masonic
lodp"e at Axtell and has ever taken an active interest in the affairs of the
same. He also is a member of the local lodge of the Ancient Order of United
Workmen and takes a warm interest in the affairs of that organization.


John Olson, father of George L. Olson, was born on a farm near the
city of Stockholm. Sweden, October 26, 1839, and his young manhood was
spent as a herder. He later became a coachman and remained in his native
land until he was about thirty years of age. when, in 1868, he came to this
country and settled in Missouri. A year later, in 1869, he came to Kansas
and located in Marshall county, where he ever since has made his home, one
of the substantial pioneer residents of this county. Upon coming to this
county Mr. Olson settled in Murray township, where he presently married,
and where he worked as a farm hand until he had saved about twelve hun-


dred dollars, when he bought a tract of eighty acres of unimproved land in
the Axtell neighborhood and there established his home, building a small
three-room house on the place. There he farmed for about eight years, at
the end of which time he .sqid his place and bought a quarter. section of land
in Lincoln township, where he made his home until 191 2, when he retired
from the farm and moved to Axtell, where he and his wife are now living
and where they are very comfortably situated. During the early period of
his residence in Marshall county, John Olson assisted in the construction of
the Grand Island railroad and also helped in the quarrying of the rock for
the bridge across the Missouri river at St. Joseph, the stones for that bridge
being secured from the quarry near Beattie, this county.

It was not long after his settlement in this county that John Olson was
united in marriage to Mary Johnson, who also was born in Sweden, March
31, 1859, and who was but fifteen years of age when she came to thiscountry
with her parents. To that union nine children were l)()rn. of whom the sub-
ject of this sketch was the second in order of birtli, the others being as fol-
low: Dora, who is conducting a general merchandise store at Frankfort,
this county; Sadie, who married J. Y. Johnson, of Lincoln township, this
county; Mrs. Hilma Lamm, also of Lincoln township; Robert, who is engaged
in business at Axtell, in partnership with his brother, George L. Olson; Etta,
a teacher in the business college at Salina ; Louisa, a teacher in the public
schools of Marshall county ; Josephine, deceased, and Kermit, who is at home
with his parents.

George L. Olson was reared on the home farm in Murray township and
later in Lincoln townshij), completing his schooling in the common schools
in the high school at Axtell and supplementing th.e same by a course of three
years in Campbell College at Holton. He then worked for his father a while
and on April i, 1903, began his mercantile career as a clerk in a general store
at Axtell. Eighteen months later he engaged in business for himself, starting
a general store at Axtell, in partnership with D. C. Henderson, and was thus
engaged until January, 19 10, when he sold his interest in that store and bought
the William McMahon store at Beattie, where he ever since has been engaged
in business and where he has done very well. The Olson store is well equipped
in up-to-date fashion, carries a complete line of goods and is widely patron-
ized by the people of Beattie and the country surrounding that thriving village.

On June 8, 1910, George L. Olson was united in marriage to Gertrude
Grazier, who was born at Decorah, Iowa, October 29, 1883, a daughter of
Darius and Delia (Taylor) Grazier, natives of Pennsylvania, who are now


li\ing at Tojjcka, this state, wlicre Air. Grazier is engaged in business as the
secretary of the 1\^peka Pasteurized Pure Milk Company, which he helped
to organize and of whicli lie is one of the principal stockholders. Mrs. Olson
completed her schooling at the Kansas Wesleyan " College and at Washburn
College at Topeka. from both of which institutions she was graduated, and
was the assistant principal of the schools at Axtell at the time of her mar-
riage to Mr. Olson.

Mr. Olson is independent in Iiis political views and takes a good citizen's
interest in the general civic affairs of his home community, but has not been
a seeker after office. He is a member of the Masonic lodge at Axtell and both
he and his wife are members of the local chapter of the Order of the Eastern
Star, in the affairs of both of which organizations they take a warm interest,
as well as in the general social affairs of the community in which they live,
helpful in promoting all causes having to do with the advancement of the com-
mon welfare thereabout.


Doctor Stephens, a well-known and prominent dentist of Summerfield,
is a native of the West, and located in Summerfield in his profession in
1901, since which time he has met with much success. He has been asso-
ciated with the practice of dentistry since boyhood. Doctor Stephens re-
ceived his education in colleges at Omaha, Kansas City and Chicago. As
a young practitioner he was associated with his brother. Dr. C. A. Stephens,
in the old Indian Territory, where they had an extensive practice in the
Ouapaw nation and throughout the northeast part of the territory. They
later practiced in Blue Rapids, Kansas, prior to the location of Doctor
Stephens in Summerfield.

Since locating in Summerfield Doctor Stephens has served as a mem-
ber of the city council for several years and was in the spring of 19 15
elected mayor of the city and re-elected in 191 7. During his official life
he has demonstrated his ability as an able law maker and executive. The
present administration have extended their lighting system to Burchard,
Nebraska, thus adding a substantial revenue to their home treasury. He
took a most active part in the endeavor of the city to issue bonds for the
installation of the present light plant, which is todav one of the substantial
institutions of the city, and in which all take the greatest pride. The old
board sidewalks have been abolished and cement walks have been placed in



all parts of the city. The park has been reconstructed and many improve-
ments have been made, including the planting of trees and the removal
of old stumps and dead trees. A new cement sidewalk to the cemetery,
one-half mile distant, has been completed, and the home-beautiful and tree-
pianting movement has been encouraged. A beautiful silver loving-cup
was given for the best-kept lawn, and a prize, "The Summerfield Beautiful
Trophy," for the best-kept residence. These had a most desirable effect
and many substantial improvements were made in the city. Another inno-
A'^ation that brought much good to the city and the surrounding country is
the good roads work of the Interstate Good Roads xA.ssociation, of which
the Doctor is president. Hills have been removed, grades established,
bridges raised and trees planted by the roadside. The street from the town
to the cemetery has been beautified by the planting of trees along the walk.

In addition to the physical development of the country, Doctor Stephens
has always taken a keen interest in the educational development of his home
community, and has encouraged the building of the best school houses and
the employment of the most efficient teachers. When the school house
burned in 1905 he was prominent in establishing a subscription school board
for the purpose of renting a building in which the interrupted term of school
could be finished and hiring the regular teachers, so that the senior class
of the school completed their work and were graduated, in spite of diffi-
culties. A new school building was in time erected, to which has since
been added a substantial addition. It has always been one of Doctor
Stephens' greatest ambitions to help and assist the young man or young
woman who shows a disposition to help themselves.

Fraternally, Doctor Stephens is a member of the Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons, and has attained the thirty-second degree. He has three
times served as master of his lodge at Summerfield. During his admin-
istration as mayor of the city, a ladies' rest-room has been erected, and is
one of the best in the county. It is entirely modern, with reading room,
rest rooms and toilets, all under the supervision of a caretaker, and is a
most comfortable and attractive place.

Doctor Stephens is identified with the Republican party and has rep-
resented his party in INIarshall county at the state convention. He has for
several years been a member of the central committee from St. Bridget
township. While taking the greatest interest in all civic life of his city
and county and always working for the best interest of the people, he has
never in anv sense been an office seeker, and while he has served as a mem-
ber of the city council and as mayor the honors came to him unsolicited.

(38) '


Doctor Stephens has always taken ninch interest in outdoor sports
and is at present the president of the "National Coursing Association." As
a hunter he is recognized as one of the genuine sportsmen of this section of
the country. He maintains one of the leading kennels of greyhounds in

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 56 of 104)