firm Chapman.

Portrait and biographical album of Otoe and Cass Counties, Nebraska, containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of the State, and of the Presidents of the United States online

. (page 111 of 154)
Online Libraryfirm ChapmanPortrait and biographical album of Otoe and Cass Counties, Nebraska, containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of the State, and of the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 111 of 154)
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Miss Emma L. Flude, of Hopkinton, Iowa, daugh-
ter of Prof. William Flude, of Lenox College. She
died five and one-half months after marriage.

Prof. Crusinberry is very highly respected, not
only for his learning, but for his irreproachable
moral character. He is a member of the Christian
Church ; politic.illy, he is a Republican.

J j] AMES H. MERCER has the reputation of a
ll strictly first-class business man, reliable and
ll energetic, and is a citizen of whom Wichita
1/ may be justly proud. He is the offspring of
excellent stock of stanch German ancestry, his
great-grandfather having come from the Father-
land. Settling in Kentucky during the early days
of the Blue Grass regions, the latter was one of the
first pioneers and a contemporary of Daniel Boone,
the first white man who ever trod Kentucky soil.

Joseph Mercer, son of the above and grandfather
of our subject, was born in Kentucky during the lat-
ter part of the last century, and was a relative of
Gen. Mercer, of Revolutionary fame. Joseph mar-
ried Miss Jennie West, of Kentucky, and carried on
agriculture as a livelihood. His household in due
time embraced six children, namely : James, Felix,
Margaret, Caroline, Jennie and Alfred. Joseph
Mercer was a typical backwoodsman and lived to
be an old man. A short time before his death he
could shoot a squirrel with his rifle from a tall tree.
In the meantime he had left Kentucky and mi-
grated to Indiana, where he assisted to cleai- the
heavy timber from the ground now occupied by
the present site of the city of Bloomington, and
where the court-house stands. He regarded his ax
and rifle with almost paternal affection, sleeping
with them on a shelf over his bed. Politically, he
was an old-line Whig, and religiously, a member of
the Baptist Church. After farming for a number
of years, he moved into Bloomington and oper.ited
as a general speculator. He died at the age of sev-
enty-eight years, retaining his faculties and strength
to the last. His faithful partner survived him, liv-






ing until ninety-two years old, and also retained
her mental and physical endowments to a remarka-
ble degree.

Alfred S. Mercer, the father of our subject, was
born in Kentucky in 1816, and was but six years
of age when taken b^' his parents to Indiana. He
developed into manhood, and sought for his wife
among the maidens of that region Miss Eliza Hard-
erly, who was born in 1822, in Indiana. She was
born on the same day, April 29, that Gen. Grant
was. The mother of our subject was the daughter of
Thomas Harderly, who with his wife spent their
last days in Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Alfred S. Mer-
cer became the parents of nine children, six of
whom — William, James, Edward, Martha, Lucy and
Hattie — lived to mature years. The other three died
in childhood. Mr. Mercer first followed harness-
making, at which he had served an apprenticeship,
but several years later engaged in general merchan-
dising, and built up a prosperous trade. In 1869
he changed his residence to Brazil, Ind., and did
mercantile business there. Subsequently he retired
from active life, and is spending his declining years
at the home of his son, our subject, in Wichita.
He is a strict Democrat, politically, and a Method-
ist in religious belief.

James H. Mercer, of our sketch, was born in
Monroe County, Ind., April 15, 1849, and learned
harness-making of his father. When about twenty-
five years old he was married, March 5, 1874, to
Miss Sarah Easter, who is a native of Indiana, and
was born March 2, 1853. Mrs. Mercer is the daugh-
ter of Daniel and Martha (Pennington) Easter,
who were natives of Ohio, and are now deceased.
The four children of our subject and his wife bear
the names of Alfred, Edith, Roscoe and Winnifred.

In 1877 Mr. Mercer left harness-making and en-
gaged in the livery business at Brazil, Ind., but
subsequently resumed his old business in connec-
tion with the new venture. As a man of intelli-
gence, energy and integrity he was called to the
various local offices, and remained a resident of
that town for a period of six years. The spring of
1883 found him with an eye upon the growing city
of Wichita, and he determined to establish in busi-
ness here. This resolution was not long afterward
carried into effect, and the well-known Empire

stable is the result of his successful operations.
This structure, which Mr. Mercer himself erected,
is one of the finest of its kind in the city, and his
imposing residence on Laura avenue still further
attests to the reception which has been granted him
by the people of this community. In addition to
the affairs of his stable his transactions have been
quite extensive in the buying and selling of horses.
He has dealt considerably in real estate, and has
become owner of eleven lots and four houses within
the city. He differs with his honored father in
politics, being a Republican, but coincides with the
latter in religious views as a member of the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church. Socially, he belongs to
the Red Men and Foresters, having passed through
all the Chairs. Personally and in a business sense
he is popular among his townsmen, and considered
a valued addition to the community.

(ip ENRY A. ALBEE, a progressive and enter-

1^^^ prising farmer of Valley Center Township,
1^1^ residing on section 12, is a native of Ken-
^P dall County, 111. The date of his nativity
was May 16, 1847, and he is a son of Harrison A.
and Eunice (Rosier) Albee, both of whom were na-
tives of the Empire State. His father was born in
Clinton County, N. Y., and removed to Aurora,
111., where he is still living. He was reared a far-
mer, which business he followed for many years.
Having accumulated a good store of this world's
goods, he has retired from an active participation
in business, and is living at No. 129 South Lincoln
avenue, Aurora. A little before the Chicago fire
he made an investment in some seventy-five shares
of stock in the Aurora Fire Insurance Company,
which had been removed from the city of his resi-
dence to Chicago. In the fiery calamity that over-
took the latter place in 1871, the company was
simply annihilated, and Mr. Albee was minus his

In politics the elder Mr. Albee is a strict Repub-
lican, but no jxspirant for political office. He has
always taken great interest in all public affairs, and
in influence is second to none in the locality where
he lives. His wife is a native of Onondaga





County, N. Y., and is still spared to her husband
and children. She is the mother of six children :
Henry A., the subject of this sketch; Frank, who
married Miss Orpha Ashley, is now living in Grand
Island, Neb., with his third wife; Isabelle, who mar-
ried James P. Weatherstone, a native of England,
and a silversmith, is a resident of LaGrange, Cook
Co., 111.; Ahaz, who is living on a farm in Grand
Island, Neb.; Willie, who is a fireman on the Chi-
cago, Burlington <fe Quincy Railroad, and makes his
home at Aurora; and Ward, who died at the age of
three years.

The subject of this personal biography remained
at home, assisting his father in his agricultural la-
bors and receiving the elements of a good education,
until he was some twenty-nine years of age. Six
years previous to the last-mentioned time, how-
ever, he had purchased a threshing-machine in part-
nership with John Titsworth, of Aurora, and with
him operated it for one season. The next year he
bougiit out the interest of his partner and ran it for
the three years succeeding. He next sold the old
machine, and, in company with John Simons, pur-
chased a new one, which supplied them with work
for two successive seasons, after which they sold
out and dissolved the copartnership. The next
five years of Henry's life were passed in the peace-
ful pursuits of a farmer's vocation. He then re-
moved to the city of Aurora, and was employed in
soliciting orders for agricultural implements for C.
S. Lewis, of that place, for about six months. Af-
ter about three or four months spent in running a
large power-drill in tlie shop of J. J. Budlong &
Co., he took in consideration the advantages of
moving to Kansas. After mature deliberation, in
February, 1883, he came to this State, and made a
settlement in Sedgwick County. The following
year he purchased the northeast quarter of section
12, of Francis Loyd, where he at present lives.
While a resident of the Prairie State, Mr. Albee
was united in marriage with Miss Celia* VanFleet,
the ceremony taking place Jan. 25, 1877. The
bride was a native of Kendall County, 111., born
Nov. 9, 1854, and is a daughter of William K. and
Wealthy W. (Thayer) VanFleet. Her parents
were natives of New York and Massachusetts re-
spectively. Her father had come West with his
-4« •

parents when he was but six 3'ears of age, and was
reared and educated in Kendall County, 111., where
they settled among the pioneers of that region.

In his political views Mr. Albee coincides with
the Republican party, but has no aspirations for
the onerous duties and vexations of political pre-
ferment. As a leading and influential citizen he
takes great interest in the success of the tickets
placed in the field by that party, and not only votes
himself, but strives, to the utmost of his power, to
induce others to see the question in the right light.
He is highly respected and esteemed by the entire
population of the township, and looked up to as a
man truly honorable and upright in all things, and
one whom they can depend upon as a friend.

ELI F. MEADE, a gentleman of extended
business experience, is now successfully oc-
cupying his time as a speculator and com-
mission merchant at Wichita. A native of the
Buckeye State, he was born in Mt. Pleasant, Feb.
13, 1851, and was taken by his parents to Kentucky
when but two mouths old. There he was reared to
manhood, receiving a practical education in the
common schools, and at an early age engaged as a
stock-broker and in a general commission business.
He fed and marketed cattle and swine for many
years, gaining a good insight into all the details of
this business, and was also prominent in the city
affairs of Covington, where his familj^ had located.
He served eight years as an Alderman in the City
Council, and was President of the Board of Health
two years. He was on duty at the time of tiie
smallpox in that place, when men of sound judg-
ment and courage were mostly needed. Of his
public record he may well be proud, as he has been
a prominent man in the affairs connected with the
best interests of the people since reaching his ma-
jority. He served as Colonel of the Felton Guards,
a section of the Kentucky militia, and in his old
home is uniformly dubbed with the title of " Col-

The parents of our subject, Eli, Sr., and Susan
(Kinkaid) Meade, were natives respectively of Mas-
sachusetts and Virginia. The father, who was born





July 4, 1817, departed this life at his home in Cov-
ington, Ky., on the 11th of December, 1859. He
was a man of excellent education and fine business
capacities, and for many years served as General
Superintendent of the Covington and Lexington
Mail and State lines. He was also agent for the
mail line of a firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, for many
years, and received much praise for his management
of the same. He possessed all the chivalry of his
adopted State, being a man well reared and the
offspring of a highly intelligent and prominent
family. Socially, he occupied a prominent and re-
sponsible position in the Masonic fraternity, and
religiously, was for many years a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically, he up-
held the principles of the Democratic party.

The mother of our subject was born in Morgan
County, Va., Feb. 2, 1821. She is still living, and
a resident of Wichita. Her parents were Samuel
and Sarah (Morris) Kinkaid, and her father served
as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He spent his
last years in the Old Dominion, and met an acci-
dental death by a log rolling upon him at a house-
raising. His wife, the maternal grandmother of
our subject, died on the 17th of April, 1873, when
seventy-three years old. Their three children were
named: Susan, Samuel and Mary E. To Eli, Sr.,
and Susan Meade, the parents of our subject, there
were born six children : Mary E., the eldest daugh-
ter, died in childhood; Sarah died in May, 1885,
when about forty years of age; she was highly edu-
cated, especially in music, and on account of her
exceeding gentleness of disposition was gi-eatly be-
loved by her family and a large circle of friends.
Helen became the wife of Charles Noe, a native of
Kentucky, a painter by trade, and a Republican in
politics, and lives in Wichita; Eli F.,of our sketch,
was the fourth in order of birth; William H. and
George E. are the youngest.

Mr. Meade, our subject, left Kentucky in the
spring of 1887, and came directly to this State,
locating at once in the city of Wichita. Like his
father before him he is a strong Democrat, politi-
c.illy, and with his wife and son, prominently con-
nected with the First Baptist Church.

The wife of our subject, to whom he was married
in Covington, Ky., on the 4th of August, 1870, was

in her girlhood Miss Sarah J. Court, who was born
in Manchester, England, April 19, 1852. Her
parents, Charles and Mary (Morrow) Court, were
both natives of England, and came to the United
States at an early day. Mr. Court was born in
Manchester in 1830, and departed this life at Cov-
ington, Ky., in July, 1884. He was a tool-maker
by trade, or machinist. The mother is living in
Covington, Ky.

Mrs. Meade was a child eight years of age when
she crossed the Atlantic with her parents. Her
father, after becoming a naturalized citizen, identi-
fied himself with the Democratic party and main-
tained his principles with all the strength of his
convictions. Notwithstanding he had labored the
greater part of his life with his hands, he had re-
ceived a liberal education in his youth, and was a
classical scholar of no inconsiderable talents. To
our subject and his wife there has been born one
child only, a son, Charles E., who began life on the
14th of August, 1871. He is now a promising
youth not quite seventeen years of age, and holds a
good position as cashier in one of the leading
stores of the city.

jl? AFAYETTE SIMPSON, eng.aged in the real-
I (@ estate business in AVichita, is one of the
/i Li^ Directors of Garfield University, and also of
the West Side National Bank, Wichita. He occu-
pies a prominent social and business position among
the influential citizens of this county. He is a na-
tive of Menard County, 111., born Dec. 23, 1849.
His paternal grandfather and his f.ather (James W.
Simpson) were born in Kentucky. The former,
Joseph Simpson by name, was united in marriage,
Feb. 23, 1797, with Ann Espy. Our subject's father
was reared on a farm, and followed agricultural pur-
suits for several years. He was twice married, first to
a Miss Hathaway, of Kentucky, by whom he had nine
children, as follows: John E., who died during the
Mexican War; Joseph E., Katharine A., Julia E.;
James and Philip, who died in the late war, and
twins, who died in infancy. His second wife was
Lucretia Watson, a native of Kentucky, who was I
the daughter of Arthur and granddaughter of Ricli-


— •►

ard Watson, both natives of Virginia. In 1830 the
parents of pur subject removed to Illinois, where
Mr. Simpson, the father, engaged in farming and
stock-raising on an extensive scale in Menard
County, remaining there until his death. To him
and his wife were born four children, of whom our
subject is the only one living. His venerable
mother, now seventy-seven years of age, makes her
home with him. She is a most estimable lady and
a worthy member of the Christian Church, in which
her husband was for many 3'ears an Elder.

The subject of this sketch was reared on his
father's farm in the Prairie State, receiving a dis-
trict school education, and a careful home training
from his parents. Since attaining manhood he has
been engaged much of the time in farming and
stock-raising, and besides building up for himself
a reputation as a skilled agriculturist, has distin-
guished himself as an able financier, a man of sound
judgment, and a valuable member of the com-
munity. In 1868 Mr. Simpson was united in mar-
riage with Miss Sarah J. Combs, also of Menard
County, 111., a daughter of Samuel and Margaret
(Wilson) Combs. Mr. Combs has been dead sev-
eral years; the mother lives in Cass County, 111.,
where she is extensively engaged in farming.

After marriage our subject remained in his na-
tive State several years, successfully engaged in his
chosen occupation. In 1879, wishing to profit by
the superior advantages possessed by Kansas as an
agricultural State, he removed to Sedgwick County
and settled in Wichita, where he purchased 120
acres of land on the Little Arkansas River. After
living there a year and a half Mr. Simpson bought
a farm on Cowskin Creek, where he remained ten
months before returning to the city of Wichita. A
short time after this he removed two and one-half
miles northwest of the city, living thei-e until Sep-
tember, 1887, when he again returned to Wichita,
and moved into the beautiful residence which he
had previously built, at a cost of upward of $15,000,
on the corner of Fern and University avenues. There
our subject and his wife are enjoj'ing life, surrounded
by their five interesting children — Eva E., Maggie
P., James S., Kale and Lulu. One child, Julia E., born
Jan. 31, 1885, died August 14 of the same year.

Mr. Simpson is at present engaged in the real-

estate business, and besides attending to that, de-
votes much of his time to tlie different organiza-
tions and enterprises in which he is interested. He
is a Director of the West Side National Bank, a
Director and stockholder in the Wichita Watch
Factory, and a stockholder and Vice-President of
the Sedgwick Loan and Investment Company. He
became a Director in Garfield University a short
time after its organization, and is also one of the
Executive Board. In politics Mr. Simpson is an
adherent of the Republican party ; sociall}', he is a
member of the United Workmen. He takes a gen-
uine interest in the welfare of his community, and
is the encourager of all enterprises tending to its
moral, intellectual or financial advancement, do-
nating liberally for all improvements for his adopted
city. Both he and his excellent wife are valued
members of the Christian Church, and rank among
the representative people of one of the most popu-
lar, cultured and enterprising cities of Kansas.

Among the many handsome views presented in
this Album may be found that of Mr. Simpson's
residence. This is one of the most elegant and
richly designed dwellings in the city. We can
even say more — it compares in beauty of architect-
ural design favorably with the residences on the
best avenues of the large cities. It is the enter-
prising spirit of such men as Mr. Simpson that has
done so much for Wichita.

LIN BRIGGS. Among the -leading far-
mers and stock-raisers of Attica Township,
there is none better known in its history
than the individual whose name heads this
article. He is the oldest living settler of this sub-
division of the county and probably the best rifle-
shot in Southern Kansas. He removed to Kansas
in 1871, and in August of that year pre-empted
160 acres of land, part of which he still owns.
There was one man who came to this locality some
five days previous to Mr. Briggs, but was not able
to stay here on account of the hardships of those
days and the hard times of 1871-72. Mr. Briggs
could not have staid himself had it not been that
in his boyhood he had learned to trap and hunt the






game that was then so plentj' in this neighborhood,
and often while living on a dugout in his place, the
wolves that then roamed this country would come
to his cabin and peer into the window.

The subject of this sketch was born in Wyoming
County, N. Y., March 7, 1841, and Is the son of
Wheaton Allen and Fanny (Barber) Briggs, both
of whom were born in the neighborhood of Hart-
ford, Conn. His father, whose birth took place in
1790, was taken to the State of Vermont by his
parents when he was quite a small boy, and there
grew to manhood. In 1808, when about eighteen
years of age, he removed to Wyoming County, N.
Y., of which section of the country he was one of
the first settlers, and where he was married and
spent the remainder of his life. He was Captain of
a company of militia during the war with Great
Britain in 1812-15, and was present at the burning
of Buffalo by the British array. He was a farmer
by occupation, and followed that business the
greater portion of his life. He was the father of
fifteen children, all of whom grew to manhood and
womanhood. The following is a partial list of the
brothers and sisters of our subject: Lyman, who
died at the age of twenty-two; Eunice, Mrs.
George Shepard, residing in New York State; An-
thony; Orson, who lives in Gratiot County, Mich.;
Althea, Mrs. Luther Briggs, deceased; Jason, de-
ceased; Fanny, Mrs. Horace Bump, living in Rock
Count}', Wis.; Aliva, the widow of L. H. Porter,
who died in the army, is living in Rock County,
Wis. ; Helen, who married J. G. Valentine, lives at
St. Mark, Kan.; Merritt lives in Wyoming Count}',
N. Y., on the old homestead; Dwight, who was
drowned at Green Bay, Wis., when eighteen years
old, and Harriet, Mrs. Seth Porter, living in Ionia
County, Mich. Mr. Wheaton Briggs died in 1863.

The subject of this personal narrative was reared
upon his father's farm, and received in his youth
but a limited education, but having acquired a
habit of reading good books, he has made himself
a well-informed man. At the age of ten years he
and a brother left their home, and from that day
until the present he has made his own way in the
world. In the course of his wanderings he has
traveled a great deal, having visited every State and
Territpry in the Union except four, and has also

been in Mexico. In August, 1862, he enlisted in the
23d Michigan Infantry, where he served about a
year, but was sick for nearly nine months. In 1863
he re-enlisted, in the 3d Michigan Cavalry, and
served with that gallant band of heroes about two
years and one-half, receiving his discharge March
10, 1866. He had settled previously to his enlist-
ment in Michigan, from which State he came to
Kansas. It is said of him that he was one of the
most famous hunters, both in Ionia County, Mich.,
before he left there, and in Sedgwick County, and
has killed a great quantity of game in the course of
his natural life.

Mr. Briggs was united in marriage, April 4, 1869,
with Miss Evelina M. Watkins, a native of Coal
Creek, Ohio, born June 25, 1851, and daughter of
John and Eveline (Stephens) Watkins. She was a
resident of Ionia County, Mich., whither her par-
ents had removed in 1863, at the time of her mar-
riage. By this union there have been born two
children: Willis Henry, whose birth took place Jan.
8, 1874, and Robert, who was born Feb. 10, 1882.
On the 19th of July, 1884, Mr. Briggs was called
upon the mourn the loss of his wife, who passed
away to her rest regretted by all. In his political
opinions, our subject is in hearty concurrence with
the Republican party, and took an active part in
the organization of the township, and was the first
to" fill the office of Constable. He still takes great
delight in reading, and is a highly intelligent and
much respected citizen of the community.

A view of Mr. Briggs' place is presented in this

p^ TEPHEN M. S. CAMPBELL. The subject
^^^ of this personal narrative is one of the most
\J\M successful and progressive farmers within
the borders of Waco Township, and may
be called one of the pioneer citizens, having pre-
empted the farm on section 3, where he is at pres-
ent living, in April, 1871. He has made his special
field of industrj' an eminent success, and is highly
esteemed and respected by those who know him

Mr. Campbell is a native of Pennsylvania, born
I in Beaver County, Aug. 20, 1842, and is the son of


Josiah and Rosanna (Teal) Campbell. His father,
who was also a native of the Keystone State, was
born in 1806, and followed the business of carpen-

Online Libraryfirm ChapmanPortrait and biographical album of Otoe and Cass Counties, Nebraska, containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of the State, and of the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 111 of 154)