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.

Richard P. Irvine

RICHARD P. IRVINE, the leading merchant at Beeler, has made an unusual success as a business man. He started life empty handed but with a keen natural ability as a trader, and that has stood by him as his chief asset throughout his career. He is a man of genial personality, has as many friends as he has business patrons, and though not yet an old man is in a position to retire comfortably from business and enjoy the fruits of well spent earlier years.

He has been a permanent resident of Kansas since 1886. He was born in Jasper County, Indiana, March 7, 1853, grew up on his father's farm, and gained his education by doing things and by close observation of men and affairs. His total attendance at schools did not aggregate more than five months. He lived at home until past his majority, and then started out to make his own way in the world as a trader and dealer in horses. He also farmed, and by good judgment and hard work he acquired the first capital which enabled him to start in business for himself.

His father was John Irvine, who was born in Ireland, learned the trade of weaver there, and afterwards set out for America, spending thirteen weeks on the ocean. He was married in Ohio, and during the '30s he settled in Indiana, where his children were born. He died in Jasper County, Indiana, in 1879, and his wife, Celia Boyles, died and is buried at Crawford, Kansas. Their children were: William, who died in Southern Missouri; John, who died at Edmonds, Oklahoma; Mrs. Sarah J. Long, of Texas; Thomas, of Rice County, Kansas; David, of Great Bend, Kansas; Richard P.; James, of Oklahoma; and Joseph.

In 1875 Richard P. Irvine went to Iowa and three years later to Richardson County, Nebraska. In 1880 he gained his first acquaintance with Kansas when he passed through a portion of the state, but did not settle permanently until 1886, when he came by gradual stages from Decatur County, Iowa. While in Nebraska he was proprietor of a restaurant at Shubert, and at different times he was also a farmer.

On coming to Kansas permanently he engaged in the mercantile business at Crawford in Rice County, and continued to sell goods there until a short time before he moved to Beeler in 1907. At Beeler be bought out Simon Hayes, and has since conducted a general store. His business house is the first and only stone building in Beeler, and his residence is also constructed of stone. Mr. Irvine was one of the original promoters of the Beeler State Bank, and is also a partner in the hardware firm at Beeler. He comes of a democratic family in politics. He has affiliated with no church nor with any secret fraternity.

In Decatur County, Iowa, December 25, 1876, Mr. Irvine married Miss Nancy Vice, one of the several children of George W. Vice, who was a farmer and who went to Iowa from Boone County, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Irvine have the following children: William E., who enlisted for shipbuilding for the war, and by his marriage to Dena Burnison has two children, Silvan and Earl; David A., who lives at Beeler; Mary, wife of S. J. Downing, of Stevens County, Kansas; Richard V., who is in the U. S. Army in France, in Company F, Seventh Depot Battalion, and who married Miss Jessie Mackey; and Russell J., in the U. S. Navy.

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