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Parent Category: Kansas State History Articles
Category: Kansas People
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Hundreds of Kansas men and women have served their State in a way worthy of note. To tell the story of the services rendered by all of them would require many volumes. In a book like the present one, mention can be made of only a few of those most widely known.

In addition to names mentioned in the body of the text, the following are a few of the names of Kansans, no longer living, who had much to do with making the history of the State:

Preston B. Plumb came to Kansas to make his home in 1857. He started a newspaper, Kansas News, at Emporia. In 1861 he was elected to the State House of Representatives. The same year he entered the Union army and served until the close of the war. He then engaged in the practice of law. In 1876 he was elected to the United States Senate, which position he filled until his death in 1891, a period of fourteen years of continuous service.

William A. Harris came to Kansas in 1865, at the close of four years of service in the Confederate army, and entered the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company as a civil engineer. Later he became a well-known farmer and stock raiser. In 1896 he was elected to the State Senate, and in 1897 to the United States Senate. His later years were given to various lines of agricultural advancement. He served as a regent of the State Agricultural College. His death occurred in 1909.

Samuel A. Kingman came to Kansas in 1857. He was a lawyer. He served as a member of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention. He was associate justice of the Supreme Court of Kansas, 1861 to 1865, and chief justice, 1867 to 1876, when he resigned because of ill health. He died in 1904.

David J. Brewer came to Leavenworth in 1859, where he engaged in the practice of law. He served continuously in various offices. He was associate justice of the State Supreme Court from 1871 to 1884, a judge of the United States Circuit Court from 1884 to 1889, and in 1889 he was commissioned Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, which position he filled until his death in 1910.

John A. Anderson came to Junction City in 1858 as pastor of the Presbyterian church. In 1873 he was made president of the State Agricultural College. He reorganized that institution and remained at its head until 1878. when he was elected to Congress where he served until 1891. He was appointed consul-general to Cairo, Egypt, in 1891. He died on his way back home in the following year.

Francis Huntington Snow was elected to the first faculty of the University of Kansas as professor of mathematics and natural sciences, in 1866. In 1870 he became professor of natural history in the University. He organized the collecting expeditions which have resulted in the extensive natural history museums of the University. He was made Chancellor of the University in 1890, from which position he retired in 1901. He died in 1908.

Edmund G. Ross came to Kansas in 1856. He was a member of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention and served in the Union army. In 1866 he was appointed to fill the vacancy in the United States Senate caused by the death of James H. Lane. He cast the deciding vote in the Senate against the impeachment of President Johnson, which act aroused great indignation. He engaged in newspaper work until 1882, when he went to New Mexico where he served as Territorial Governor from 1885 to 1889. He died in 1907.

Mrs. C. I. H. Nichols, a writer and lecturer, came with her family to Kansas in 1854. She lived first at Lawrence and then at Wyandotte. She was a strong advocate of a more just understanding of the rights of women. She attended the meetings of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, and counseled with the members on all matters relating to women, with the result that the Kansas Constitution was one of the most liberal in the United States at that time. Her death occurred in 1885.

Mrs. Mary A. Bickerdyke, generally known as "Mother Bickerdyke," served as a nurse during the Civil War. At its close she came to Kansas and was instrumental in assisting soldiers who were left without employment to come to Kansas and take homesteads. Through her efforts aid was given settlers after Indian raids, and she assisted in securing aid for Kansas settlers after the grasshopper invasion. The Mother Bickerdyke Home for soldiers' widows, at Ellsworth, was named in her honor. After a life of great activity she died in 1901.

Alfred Gray came to Kansas in 1857. With the exception of his period of service in the Union army he was engaged in farming until 1873. From 1866 until 1870 he was a director of the State Agricultural Society. When the State Board of Agriculture was organized, in 1872, he became its first secretary, and filled the position until his death in 1880.

Frederick Wellhouse came to Leavenworth County, Kansas, in 1859. He was engaged in the growing and sale of fruit trees until 1876, when he began planting commercial apple orchards. During the next eighteen years he planted 1637 acres of apple trees. Many years were given to experiments to determine the varieties best adapted to Kansas. He became known throughout the country, and was called "The Apple King." For ten years he was president of the State Horticultural Society, and was at different times engaged in many public activities. He died in 1911.

Franklin G. Adams settled on a farm in Leavenworth County in 1856. He held various positions of public service, and on the organization of the State Historical Society in 1875 he was made its.secretary, which position he held until his death n 1899. He organized and developed the work of the Society, in which work he was materially assisted by his daughter, Miss Zu Adams, who continued her work from 1880 until her death in 1911.

Mrs. Sara T. D. Robinson came to the Territory in 1854 with her husband. Dr. Charles Robinson, and took an active part in early Kansa.s affairs. She wrote Kansas —Its Interior and Exterior Life, the most notable book produced by a Kansan of that time. It had a wide circulation and a great influence. Mrs. Robinson died at her home near Lawrence in 19IL

Noble L. Prentis came to Kansas in 1869 as editor of the Topeka Record. From that time until his death in 1900 he was connected with various Kansas newspapers: the Topeka Commonwealth, the Lawrence Journal, the Junction City Union, the Atchison Champion, and the Kansas City Star. He wrote five books: A Kansan Abroad, Southern Letters, Southwestern Letters, Kansas Miscellanies, and History of Kansas.

Daniel W. Wilder, who first came to Kansas in 1857, was at different times the editor of a number of newspapers. He was one of the founders of the State Historical Society, served one term as state auditor and two terms as superintendent of insurance. It was as a newspaper man that Mr. Wilder's influence was especially felt. He was the author of the Annals of Kansas, Life of Shakespeare, and was one of the compilers of all editions of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.

Eugene F. Ware came to Kansas in 1867. He practiced law, and was for many years the editor of the Fort Scott Monitor. He served in the state legislature, and from 1902 to 1905 was United States Pension Commissioner. He died in 1911. It is as a writer that Mr. Ware is best known. His Rhymes of Ironquill is his most widely read work.

 

Source: A History of Kansas / Anna E. Arnold. pp.230-232 

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