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Early Settlers

Harman Althouse was the son of Conrad Althouse, a Hessian, who served as a Captain under Napoleon during all his campaigns from Piedmont to Waterloo.  After Napoleon’s downfall, Capt. Althouse sought refuge in the United States.  He married Susanna Workman in Somerset County, Pa.  The family came West to Savanna, Mo., in 1857, two years later moving to Rock Creek where the father died in 1860.  His eldest son, Harman, was born in 1834 in Somerset County, Pa., and married Susanna Howard, daughter of Abram Howard, who was one of the original settlers of the “Platte Purchase”.  Mr. Althouse settled on his farm in 1860 and made good improvements, beginning with raw prairie.

John L. Graham, one of the original settlers of Albany was born in Richford, N.Y.  He was married on April 7, 1853 in Maine, Broome Co., N.Y. to Nancy J. Slosson.  Mr. Graham settled at Albany in 1857, pre-empting a quarter section of land.  He assisted in raising Company D, Eighth Kansas Infantry, September, 1861.  He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and served in that capacity until the summer of 1863 when he was promoted to First Lieutenant.   He held at the time of his death a commission as Captain.  Captain Graham was killed in action at the battle of Chickamauga, September 19, 1863.  He left two sons, Charles D. and Fred E.  His widow later married E.F. Bouton.  Graham County Kansas was named by the Kansas State Legislature in honor of Captain John L. Graham.

H.C. Haines was born in 1844 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.  He enlisted in 1862 in the Eighty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was taken prisoner at Harper’s Ferry and later paroled.  He worked as a bookkeeper for a time for J.B. Lea & Co., in Philadelphia.  In 1864, Mr. Haines enlisted in the Eleventh Maryland Volunteer Infantry, serving 100 days and fighting at Monocacy, Md., when 6,000 Federals were finally driven back by 25,000 Rebels.  At the end of 100 days, he enlisted in the Fifty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry and was sent into Texas with his regiment, serving until November, 1865.  After his discharge he settled in St. Joseph, Mo., and clerked three years for May, Weil & Co.  He was then a partner for four or five years of Capt. Williams, at Bigelow, Mo., where he remained until he located in Sabetha.  He began business in Sabetha for himself in 1878.  In 1880 he built a 26 by 80 store and developed a large steadily increasing business.  The first floor was devoted to a full line of staple and fancy groceries and a partial line of dry goods and gents’ clothing.  Carpetings, trunks and books occupied the second floor.  A stock of from $20,000 to $30,000 was carried and four and five clerks were employed.  In Sabetha, he erected a spacious and elegantly furnished home for his wife, Jessie, and large family of eight children.

J. Hesseltine was born in 1830 in Clinton County, N.Y., and raised in Medina County, Ohio where his parents, Eli and Betsey Hesseltine, settled in 1833.  In the spring of 1858 he came from Marion Co., Ohio to Kansas and to his farm of 160 acres.  His first night on his claim was spent by himself and family in their wagon.  A shanty was built of “sheeting”.   A bed was made by driving two stakes and placing sticks from them to the walls.   His only neighbors were Z. Archer and A. Moorehead, not a house being in sight.   In 1879 he built a large farmhouse and by 1883 he had 720 acres in a well fenced and improved farm.  He married Caroline Waits of Richland County, Ohio.  They had seven children all except the eldest, born in Rock Creek Township.  Mr. Hesseltine was a large feeder and breeder of cattle.

W.H. Hook, proprietor of Hook’s House was the son of Capt. William Hook, who followed the sea for twenty years.  In 1820 while on a voyage with his family he touched at the Island of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where W.H. Hook was born.  He grew up in Bangor and Portland, Maine and moved to Carlisle, Indiana;  then in 1846 to the lead mines of Wisconsin;  then to Kansas in 1870.  During that year he built Hook’s Railway House, which burned down in February 1873.  On the site, he at once built another hotel.  Mr. Hook married Rebecca Arnett in Carlisle, Indiana.  They had ten children, the eldest born in Carlisle and others in Wisconsin.  Mr. Hook was a grandson of two Revolutionary officers who settled on large tracts of lands in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, where W.H. Hook’s parents were born and reared as neighbors of Daniel Webster.

Edwin Knowles, banker, was a native of Maine and was a son of Alfred Knowles of Galesburg, Illinois and himself a stockholder in five different banks.  Mr. Knowles came to Seneca in 1871 with the flouring mill belonging to himself and his father, and engaged in milling and banking until 1877 when he moved to Sabetha where he built a gracious home and became a prominent citizen.  He was made a Director of the St. Joseph & Western Railroad in 1873, but was best known in Kansas as a banker, being President of the Washington State Bank and the State Bank of Seneca, Cashier of the Sabetha State Bank and a Director of the Centralia State Bank.   Mr. Knowles and his wife were active members of the First Congregational Church of Sabetha and in 1877 was made President of the State Board of Charities.

W.B. Lawrence, farmer, was born in Steuben County, N.Y. in 1836, and came in 1858 to Albany.  In early days he was active with W.B. Slosson and others in helping slaves across the Missouri River into Iowa.  In 1860 he went to Colorado and enlisted in the Second Colorado Volunteer Cavalry and served through the war of the rebellion with is regiment.  He returned to Albany after the war, married Emily Stewart of his native county.  They had two children, Guy and May, both born in Albany.

T.K. Masheter, merchant, was born September 16, 1843, in Zanesville, Ohio, and raised and educated near Albanen, in Meigs Co., Ohio.  He moved to Sabetha in April, 1870, and opened a nursery, raising fruit trees of all kinds of small fruits, and shade and ornamental trees and shrubs.  He owned twenty acres on the townsite, and followed the nursery business about eight years and during this time owned the first drug store in the city.  Closing out both of his former businesses, he embarked in the general merchandise trade in 1881.  He married, in 1871, Eliza W. Williams, daughter of Capt. A.W. Williams.  Mr. and Mrs. Masheter were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  They had five children.  IN 1882, Mr. Masheter laid out an addition of ninety-eight lots to the city of Sabetha, on the southwest, comprising the finest resident lots in the city.

Jacob J. Miller, farmer, came to Kansas in 1859, making the claim on which he lived.  During the first two years, he worked in a Missouri saw mill, and in 1861 enlisted for six months in the Missouri State Militia.   Returning to his farm, he put in and harvested the crop of 1862 and in August enlisted in the Kansas Thirteenth for three years.  He fought at Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, Van Buren, and in other battles with the Missouri and Arkansas rebels.  For two years after the war he worked by the month for Archibald Moorehead.  He built his house in 1867, and in 1868 married Mary Moorhead.  In 1883 he had 320 acres of land, all fenced and under improvement, good buildings and a five acre orchard.  Mr. and Mrs. Miller had four children, Annabel, Lillie, Bennie and Nellie, all born in Rock Creek.

W.T. Miller, jeweler and dealer in watches, clocks, silverware, jewelry and musical instruments, was born on January 23, 1845 in Knox County Kentucky.  His parents settled near Falls City, Nebraska, in 1854.     Here he grew up and established himself in business, coming to Sabetha in 1882.  He married in Falls City, Annie E. Powell, who died in 1879, leaving four children.  The father of W.T. Miller, John C. Miller, died in 1862, and the widowed mother, related that in early times the famous General Jim Lane in disguise, with 150 followers, called at the Miller farmhouse and were treated to a substantial breakfast.

Archibald Moorehead, one of the first men to locate in Rock Creek Township, was a native of Ireland.  He came to the United States alone at the age of thirteen and after a year spent in New York, located in Ohio, then going to Iowa, then in the fall of 1856, came to Kansas where he bought 160 acres on Section 11 which became the family homestead.  He located on his farm in the spring of 1857, and began farming and stock raising on a large scale, at one time owning 1,000 acres of land in this county.  His home was about five miles north of Sabetha.   Here he died January 2, 1881.  He was for years a member of the County Board of Supervisors and was prominent in causing the county to take its decided course with the St. Joseph & Western Railroad Co., in 1872.  Mrs. Moorehead was Sarah McBride, of Coshocton County, Ohio.  They had nine children.  Two of their sons, A.C. of the firm of Moorehead & Collins, hardware merchants, and Richard, were joint owners of Section 16 in this county.  Two hundred acres were under cultivation.  During the border war, this family were frequently visited by raiding parties from both sides, who, however, did no harm other than obtain free meals.

Samuel Slosson, of Slosson Bros., was born in 1837 in Broome County, N.Y.  He was raised on a farm and came to Albany in 1863, associating with his brother, W.B. Slosson, who had located there earlier.  The brothers were prominent and prosperous merchants in Albany until 1870, when they came to Sabetha, building the east part of the “Red Front” block.  Samuel Slosson was the first station agent at this point serving about a year.  About this time, the brothers built the warehouse, known later as the Price elevator and continued in the mercantile and grain business.  In 1881, the “Red Front” block was nearly tripled in size.  Mr. Slosson married Emily B. Brooke, daughter of Dr. J.R. Brooke, in 1875.  Mrs. Slosson was born in Ohio, and educated in the Nebraska State Normal School, from which she graduated in 1871.  She enjoyed the honor of being the only lady physician in Nemaha County, having spend 1874-75 in the Woman’s Medical College, Philadelphia, from which institution she graduated with full honors in 1875.     She related with interest, that during the severe winter of 1880-81, “Old Doctor Irwin” and herself were the only practitioners in Sabetha, the others, because of the State Registration Law, having either quit practice or resumed study in order to secure the required diplomas.  Mr. and Mrs. Slosson had two sons, Frank S. and John Brooke, both born in Sabetha.

William B. Slosson, one of the pioneers of Albany, was born November 2, 1835, in Broome County, N.Y. and settled at Albany in April 1857.    He lived there and at Salem, Nebraska, until his final location at Sabetha in 1870 and 1871.  He married in March, 1860, in his and her native county, Achsah Louise Lilly.  They had one child, Edwin E., born June 7, 1865, in Albany.   Mr. and Mrs. Slosson were life long Congregationalists.  Mrs. Slosson, an active temperance and Sunday School worker, occupied for years in Sabetha the position of the President of the W.C.T.U. and superintendent of the Congregational Sunday School.   Mr. Slosson opened the first store in 1861 in Albany.  In 1872, he was appointed by Governor Osborn to a State office, Trustee of the Blind Asylum, and served the state in that capacity and as Trustee and secretary of the Board for all the State Charitable Institutions for four years or until 1876.  In 1882, he moved with his family to Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was connected with the Brown Medicine & Mfg. Co. as its Vice-President and Advertising Manager.

Hon. Campbell Tarr was born in 1818, in Wellsburg, West Virginia, where he spent most of his life.  He early took a decided stand against secession, and was one of the few delegates to the State convention in 1861 who voted against the ordinance of secession, for which he was compelled to leave Richmond by night to save his life.  In April 1861, with two others, he went to Washington and succeeded in getting 3,000 stand of arms with which the loyal Virginians were armed.   Undoubtedly this act helped make the State of West Virginia possible.  He was one of the leaders in the movement culminating in the erection of West Virginia as a State in 1863.  He was the first State Treasurer and a Lincoln delegate in 1864, and was re-elected State Treasurer in 1865.  In 1870, he located at Sabetha having purchased land in Kansas as early as 1856.  He was one of the original owners of Sabetha, and later platted the addition that bears his name.  At his death on December 1, 1879, he left five children.

Hammond Tarr, merchant, of the firm of Tarr & Koehler, dealers in general merchandise, was born in 1852 in Wellsburg, W. Va., and was the son of Hon. Campbell Tarr.  Mr. Tarr came with his father to Kansas in 1870, and was with him in the mercantile business until 1875.  He was largely interested in real estate in Sabetha and vicinity.  In 1881, he laid out and platted H. Tarr’s addition to Sabetha.

Col. W.S. White, owner of the Oakland Stock Farm, near Sabetha.  This farm was one of those institutions that was a model for many who might well attempt to rival it.  In 1872, Col. White bought 160 acres and placed thereon thirty-two fine bred Short-horn cattle.  Gradually adding to his farm and herd, he had in 1883 a magnificent farm of 575 acres, with a detached 160 acres in Brown County.  His herd included 110 head, all eligible to register, and all registered except the younger animals.  He annually sold about forty head of these choice cattle to Kansas farmers, who fully appreciated the value of the rare breeding and exceptional care given them by the Colonel.  He exhibited stock at various county fairs, and in 1882, tested the merits of his stock in competition with the herds of the State, with the most gratifying results.  His cattle were from the best herds of Kentucky and Illinois, bred by such men as J.H. Spears & Sons, William Stevenson & Sons, C.E. Lippincott, and others equally noted as progressive, successful breeders.   Col. White himself had the only complete edition of the American Short-horn Herd Book in the State.  His home, built “four-square to every wind”, was one of the largest farmhouses in Northern Kansas.  He was a native of Menard County, Illinois, and a graduate of the Illinois College, at Jacksonville.  In early life, he often met Abraham Lincoln in familiar neighborly dealings, and had vivid and most pleasant recollections of him.

C.T. Whittenhall, son of Elihu Whittenhall, was born on January 3, 1834, in Addison, New York.  He was educated in Addison and came to Kansas with his parents, locating in Albany.  In 1862, he enlisted in the Union Army as Second Lieutenant of Company A, Fifty-fourth United States Infantry.  At the close of the war, he returned to Sabetha.  He worked with his father in the real estate business, to which he succeeded at his father’s death.   He was one of Sabetha’s foremost men socially, financially and religiously.   His wife was Frances Stevens, of Hornellsville, N.Y.  They had three children, Charles, Aralenah, and Ralph.

Elihu Whittenhall, was one of the early settlers in Albany.  As a leader in the Albany Colony of New Yorkers who laid out Albany, in the spring of 1858, he was best known.  During his twelve years there, he was a quiet, successful farmer, whose executive ability placed him at the front where public measures were discussed by the settlers.  He was among the first to understand the situation and to take advantage of the changes brought through the building of the railroad to Sabetha.  He opened a real estate office in Sabetha in 1870.  His business was begun on a large scale and immediately expanded.  Village lots were sold to actual settlers at Sabetha at almost their own terms.  At the time of his death, Mr. Whittenhall owned about one-half the townsite.  He was born in 1808 in Oxford, Chenango Co., N.Y.  He was left an orphan at the age of seven.  When twenty, he married Eliza A. Shumway, who was born in 1809 in the same town with himself.  She was a graduate of the Oxford Academy with ex-Governor Seymour and other distinguished New Yorkers, and died August 18, 1866, and was followed by her husband on December 1, 1881.

Capt. A.W. Williams was born March 21, 1818, in Rochester, N.Y.  From his fourteenth to his twenty-fourth year, he resided in Oakville, Canada.  In 1842, he moved to Marion, Iowa and worked as an architect and builder.  In the spring of 1857 he came to Kansas and in 1858 pre-empted a half-section of land, and laid out the town of Sabetha.  He was carrying on mercantile business here in 1861 when he raised 150 volunteers to fight in the Civil War.   He sold out his entire property in Sabetha to an agent of the St. Joseph & Western Railroad Co., and began the hardware business in Seneca in 1870.  After a few years, he bought a fine farm, a mile and a half south of Seneca where he lived in comparative retirement.  Capt. Williams married in Marion, Iowa, Mary A. Nordyke, of Vienna, Ohio.  They had two sons, Justus H. and Charles B., both respected citizens, and four daughters, Loretta, Eliza, Mary and Olive.