Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Harley B. Bear

HARLEY B. BEAR has been a resident of Cheyenne County since the year the county was formally organized. His name has been associated with a number of business activities, but he is most widely known as a lumber and grain merchant, and through the organizations directed by him a large part of the surplus grain raised around St. Francis has found its way to market.

Mr. Bear was born on a farm in Daviess County, Missouri, May, 8, 1869. His father, John Bear, was born in the same Missouri county in 1846, which indicates that the Bear family was among the first pioneers of this region of Northwest Missouri along Grand River. John Bear spent his active career as a farmer and, in 1886, he homesteaded a quarter section near St. Francis, Kansas, and that homestead was his place of residence and the scene of his strenuous activities as a farmer and stock man for a quarter of a century. Later he followed the trade of carpenter in St. Francis, and died in that town an honored and respected old resident October 23, 1917. He was an old school republican in politics and served as police judge and justice of the peace at St. Francis for several years. He was very devout and regular in his performance of church duties and was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. In 1863, at the age of seventeen, he enlisted in Company D of the Fifty-First United States Regulars and saw some active campaigning until the close of the war.

John Bear married Sarah Brown, born in Daviess County, Missouri, September 21, 1850. She died at St. Francis, Kansas, in 1891. Harley B. Bear is the oldest of his parents' children. Mary, born October 9, 1873, died at Bedford, Iowa, May 5, 1909, wife of A. T. Beck, who is still living at Bedford. W. E. Bear born October 18, 1874, is now county register of deeds of Cheyenne County. Lenora, born October 19, 1876, is the wife of Tom Smith, a merchant at New Hampton, Missouri. Lucy, born April 23, 1880, married Irving Embury, who is connected with the city engineer's office at Seattle, Washington. John F., born September 4, 1882, is an engineer with the Northern Pacific Railroad at Spokane, Washington. Chloe H., born September 4, 1884, married George Miles, a farmer near Craig, Missouri. Pinkie O., born December 23, 1886, is the wife of John Nauman, a farmer near Mound City, Missouri. Ben H., born August 9, 1889, and the youngest of the family, proved himself one of the gallant soldiers with the Expeditionary Forces in France during the war.

Harley B. Bear attended the rural schools of his native county of Missouri and finished his schooling in a high school at Fairmont, Nebraska. He was about seventeen years old when his parents came to Cheyenne County, Kansas, and here he went to work on the homestead and took his share of responsibilities in putting it into cultivation. He remained there until 1889, and since then has been a resident of St. Francis. He has had considerable experience in the newspaper field. For five years he was associated with C. E. Denison on the Cheyenne County Rustler. In 1893 he became an employe of the Howard Lumber Company, and four years later, in 1897, bought the yard and office and has since been proprietor of the leading lumber business of the town. His yards are situated along the tracks of the Burlington Railway. Since 1896 he has also been local manager of the elevator of the Central Granaries Company of Lincoln, Nebraska. He is still interested in the publishing business as secretary of the Herald Publishing Company. He was formerly vice president of the St. Francis Telephone Company. He owns a 160 acre farm near Bird City, the old county seat of Cheyenne County, besides his home in St. Francis.

In politics Mr. Bear is affiliated with the republican party. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and belongs to St. Francis Lodge of Masons, Atwood Chapter of the Royal Arch, Rising Star Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a past noble grand in Odd Fellowship.

At Hebron, Nebraska, Mr. Bear married Miss Joanna Adams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Adams, the mother now deceased. Her father is a retired farmer and lives with Mr. and Mrs. Bear. The latter have two children: Howard A., born April 3, 1898, now a member of the Students Army Training Corps at Salina, Kansas; and Carrel, born March 8, 1904.