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.

John Percival Corner

JOHN PERCIVAL CORNER. A resident of Edwards County since March, 1879, the experiences of John P. Corner have been typical of the pioneers and he has contributed something from his own judgment and methods to the enrichment of the community. Mr. Corner is the owner of a fine farm in Garfield Township of Pawnee County, this farm lying on the boundary line between Pawnee and Edwards counties. He is a member of a well known family in this section of Kansas.

He came to Kansas a single man and brought out a carload of goods for his parents preparatory to their settlement here. The family came from Washington County, Ohio, where his forefathers settled at the earliest point of settlement west of the Ohio River.

John P. Corner was born at McConnellsville, Ohio, February 21, 1852. He grew up on the farm, had a country school education, and was twenty-seven years of age when he came to Kansas. He brought to this state a few horses and cattle, some chickens and a few household goods. His father, Henry W. Corner, entered the southwest quarter of section 32, township 23, range 17, and upon this and his tree claim he and his wife had the usual experiences of pioneers and lived there until their death.

On coming to Kansas J. P. Corner took a relinquishment, proving up the southwest quarter of section 6, township 24, range 17. Later he entered a timber claim, and this was also proved up. Of all these different quarters noted none have yet passed out of the family possessions. Henry W. Corner moved into a little frame shanty 12 by 14 feet, with his family, and that building is still standing and is used as a wash house, while the house which was subsequently added is still doing service as a shop for the present occupant of the farm.

On his own homestead J. P. Corner built a sod house of two rooms, which was shingled and floored and plastered with clay. There he lived a bachelor's life while proving up and getting his land into cultivation. This done, he resumed his place at home and was a fixture there until his parents passed away.

Farming was an uphill drive for a number of years and without the cattle which the family maintained the problem of making a living might never have been solved. The Corners brought with them a lone cow, and this started them in the cattle industry. Afterwards they bought a bunch of Southern cattle, and as stock raisers their living was assured. Every year they raised a limited number of stock, selling to local dealers, and J. P. Corner has followed the same plan and is pursuing the policy of mixed farming.

By his individual efforts Mr. J. P. Corner has acquired some of the fine land of Edwards County. When he began buying he paid $1,400 for the northwest quarter of section 6. This joined his homestead. For his final tract he paid $50 an acre. Climatic conditions have greatly changed since the Corners came to Kansas. With the change to more favorable conditions Mr. Corner has devoted his soil to wheat, which is the big money crop. He has evolved a method of planting which he has found most satisfactory. This is to list early or plow early, as soon as the previous harvest was finished. Thus he keeps his land clear of weeds. Doubtless this has been a big factor in his success, and it is interesting that the oldest field he has now produces more wheat to the acre than when it was new. Conservation of the fertility of the soil is no new thing with Mr. Corner. He has never permitted stubble or grass to be burned on his land, but has turned it under for fertilizer and the manure from his barnyard has also gone into his fields for the same purpose. Corn growing has never been a considerable part of Mr. Corner's agricultural enterprise. He has planted some every year, and with favorable seasons corn developed surprisingly and fifty bushels to the acre has occasionally been gathered. Mr. Corner one time sold some wheat as low as 50c a bushel, after hauling the grain to Larned, a distance of eighteen miles. He never sold any corn at the low prices, obtaining a quarter of a century ago, feeding it rather to his own livestock. The use of corn as fuel was against his principles and he never indulged that practice except as a test as to what kind of fuel it would make. In the early days his feed crops for cattle were millet and sorghum. One season the sorghum was cut so late that it resulted in the death of a number of cows, and after that lesson he always cut the feed in its green state.

In 1909 Mr. Corner buil[sic] his present two-story, ten-room house. Preceding that came a substantial barn 48 by 52 feet. For two years he has had a silo, and this he believes is one of the most valuable parts of equipment of a Kansas farmer. On another farm he built a full set of improvements, consisting of a residence of seven rooms and a barn 32 by 48 feet, with a granary for 6,000 bushels. Mr. Corner has always shown a good citizen's interest in elections and in county affairs and is a republican. His only official service was on the school board of District No. 37.

Mr. Corner remained at home with his parents until they died and he did not establish a home of his own until December 16, 1916, when he married Miss Allie Dodson of Morrisonville, Illinois. Mrs. Corner was born in 1876. Her father, Frank E. Dodson, was a farmer and lives in Christian County, Illinois, where his father located as a pioneer. Frank E. Dodson married Miss Tonia Vigol. Besides Mrs. Corner their children are: Mrs. Marie Curvey, Chester and Irene Dodson, all of whom live in Illinois. Chester is in training at Camp Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky.