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.

Robert Binford Christy

ROBERT BINFORD CHRISTY. The name Christy is associated not with one interest but with a multitude of them in Scott County and elsewhere. One of the greatest cattle ranches in Western Kansas is owned by the Christys. Members of the family have been bankers at Scott City, and have carried forward many lines of agricultural improvement and development in this section.

The late Ambrose S. Christy was the prominent head of the family when it came to Scott County in 1900. He was a native of Kentucky, but prior to the Civil war he moved to Linn County, Missouri. From that county he entered the Civil war as a Union soldier. He had been reared on a farm and had the usual advantages given country boys in the way of schooling. He became a private in the Sixty-Second Missouri Infantry, going to the front when still under age, and serving about three years. He went through his service without wounds or capture. As was frequently the case, the Christy family were divided in their allegiance between the North and the South. Two of Ambrose's brothers were Southern soldiers, and he also had a brother who fought in the Federal army. Always after the war Ambrose Christy took a deep interest in Grand Army affairs, and part of the last two years of hs life he spent in the Old Soldiers' Sanitarium at Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Following the war he became a farmer in Linn County, Missouri. He developed large and extensive interests there, and when he came to Kansas he possessed ample capital for his various operations in this state. For about three years he made his home at Maple City in Cowley County, Kansas, and operated a large ranch in that vicinity. Having sold out his property there he moved to a less settled district and in 1899 bought a 6,000-acre ranch on Beaver Creek in the northern part of Scott County. After that his home was in Scott City. With the assistance of his son Robert Binford he developed his ranch property and for many years it has produced some of the finest horses and cattle sent out of this section of Kansas. It is a splendid proposition as a live stock ranch, and is known as the "Battle Canyon Ranch." The ranch is still operated by Robert Binford Christy. The name of the property comes from the fact that it covers the site of the last Indian battle fought in Kansas. That was in the year 1878. In that battle Colonel Lewis received the wound from which he died. While the original purchase of Ambrose Christy was of 6,000 acres, the area of this ranch has been considerably added to and it now contains about 10,000 acres. Besides stock, it grows immense quantities of alfalfa and wheat, and a large acreage is under intensive cultivation.

In 1902 Ambrose Christy succeeded to the Christenson interests in the First State Bank of Scott City. That bank was subsequently converted into the First National Bank. Ambrose Christy was its president, and filled that office until his death in March, 1913. While he was president, his son Robert B. was cashier, and the latter succeeded his father in the presidency.

Ambrose Christy married Mary E. Lambert. Her father, Barclay Lambert, came from Ohio to Missouri, was a miller and farmer in Linn County and died there. Mrs. Christy is still living at Scott City at the age of sixty-four. Their children were: Ida E., wife of R. J. Brantner, of Sullivan County, Missouri; Eva A., now deceased, was the wife of J. P. Robison, of Tonkawa, Oklahoma; Barclay P. lives in Linn County, Missouri; Anna E. is the wife of James Gilliland, of Kiowa County, Colorado; Robert B. is next in age; Mrs. T. J. Faires lives in Colorado; Nova A. has his home in Scott City; Estes lives at Scott City; and Ethel L. C. is the wife of W. A. Wright, of Winfield, Kansas.

Robert Binford Christy, who has successfully handled many of the large interests acquired by his father and many others on his own account, was born in Linn County, Missouri, and grew up on a farm near North Salem. His boyhood was spent in that section of Missouri which long enjoyed an unenviable distinction because of the frequent operations of the James and Younger outlaw bands. More than once his father, Ambrose Christy, had occasion in the interest of peace and order to attempt the capture of the various followers of Jesse James. Rewards were almost constantly outstanding for then Linn County was also the home of other noted criminals of Missouri. Many people not yet old will recall the tragedy enacted by Bill and George Taylor, who murdered the entire Meeks family with the exception of a daughter, and hid their bodies in a straw stack. It was a ghastly crime whose details became familiar through nation wide publication in the press. The Taylors were prominent men, bankers at Browning, Missouri. The special reason for mentioning them here is that Binford Christy acquired his first real experience in banking in the Taylor institution.

Mr. Christy's varied interests in business affairs have made his life a strenuous one. He owns large tracts of land in Colorado, has the active supervision of the Battle Canyon Ranch in Scott County, and looks after the details of development of a score of individual farms in this county. All these call heavily upon his mental and physical vigor, but apparently only stimulate and strengthen his powers.

He acquired his early education in the common schools of Missouri and later attended high school at Maple City, Kansas, the Southwestern College at Winfield, and took a course in the Gem City Business College of Quincy, Illinois, where he was given the degree Master of Accounts. He finished his course at Quincy at the age of twenty-two, and soon afterward catered upon his duties as cashier of the First National Bank at Scott City. At the time he was the youngest bank cashier in the state. Among other interests he is president of the Peoples State Bank of Towner, Colorado, and is owner of stock and a director of the First State Bank of Leoti, Kansas. Mr. Christy has participated in politics merely as a voter and was reared under republican influence. His first presidential ballot was given to President McKinley in 1900.

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