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 E. Hardesty

JOHN E. HARDESTY, who came to Kansas when a boy, grew up in the western part of the state and for many years has been a capable farmer and farm manager and has directed his interests in this field with such intelligence and good judgment that he has gained an enviable prosperity. For many years he has been one of the leading citizens of Pratt and Pratt County, and is president of the Citizens State Bank.

Mr. Hardesty is of Scotch ancestry and his great-great-grandfather came from Scotland to Virginia in colonial days. His father, John Hardesty, was born in Virginia in 1826. He grew up there, and as a young man moved west to Mansfield, Parke County, Indiana, where he became one of the early blacksmiths. He also owned a large amount of land and was one of the prominent settlers of his day. He died at Mansfield, Indiana, in 1882. He was a democrat and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. John Hardesty married Sarah Wilson, born in Indiana in 1838 and now living at Pratt, Kansas. Her children were: Fred, a farmer at Pratt; John E.; Della, wife of Harry Boeken, a farmer near Moran, Allen County, Kansas; and James P., who owns a farm near Pratt.

John E. Hardesty attended his first schools near Mansfield, Indiana, where he was born June 23, 1871. In February, 1884, when he was thirteen years old his mother came to Kansas and located in Sedgwick County. There he finished his education in the rural schools. In 1892 the family moved to Pratt County and he helped his mother run the farm and still owns the old homestead. Mr. Hardesty owns 1,600 acres in the county and for years has been one of the large producers of grain and livestock in this section. He also owns other improved and unimproved real estate. Since 1909 his home has been in Pratt, where he built a modern residence in that year.

In 1912 Mr. Hardesty bought the Citizens State Bank of Pratt and reorganized it and has since been its president. The bank was established under a state charter in 1907, and now has a capital of $50,000 and surplus of $10,000. The officers are: John E. Hardesty, president; E. L. Shaw, vice president; and C. L. Cramer, cashier.

Mr. Hardesty is more than a business man and is recognized as one of the most public spirited citizens of his locality. He was serving as county commissioner of Pratt County when he bought the bank, and resigned in order to give his entire attention to the business of its reorganization. His bank is a member of the Kansas and American Bankers' Association. He has always been closely identified with the Pratt Fair Association, of which he is now treasurer, and has held the office of president also. He is president of the Farm Bureau of Pratt County and organized it in 1918. It now has the largest membership of any similar body in the state. Mr. Hardesty is a democrat, is affiliated with Kilwinning Lodge of Masons, a charter member of Pratt Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and of the Commandery of the Knights Templar here, and of Wichita Consistory No. 2 of the Scottish Rite, and Wichita Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He also belongs to the local lodges of Odd Fellows and Ancient Order of United Workmen.

In 1896, at Pratt, Mr. Hardesty married Miss Alma L. Banbury, daughter of Richard and Sadie (Bailey) Banbury, now deceased. Her father was a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Hardesty have two children: Fern, born March 15, 1898, is a graduate of the Pratt County High School and now in the second year of the Christian College at Columbia, Missouri. Mildred, the second daughter, was born December 23, 1902, and is in the first year of the Pratt County High School.

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