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.

James H. Olinger

JAMES H. OLINGER, who recently retired from the office of county clerk of Kiowa County, is one of the most widely experienced county officials of that section, and has been a man of affairs there for many years. In his official capacity he had many responsibilities of war work added to his usual burdens, and was probably the busiest man in Kiowa County during 1918. Aside from his official experience he has been a business man and farmer at Greensburg.

Mr. Olinger was born in Harrison County, Missouri, November 10, 1870. His paternal ancestors a number of generations back came from Germany and were colonial settlers in Pennsylvania. His father, however, John Olinger, was born in Hendricks County, Indiana, in 1828. He knew no other occupation and sought no other business connection than farming throughout his long and active career. He was reared and married in Hendricks County, and in 1862 became a Union soldier and was in active service until the return of peace and the reunion of the states. In 1867, not long after the war, he moved to Harrison County, Missouri, and from there in 1870 moved to Butler County, Kansas, where he homesteaded a quarter section. In 1884 he became a resident of Kiowa County and here pre-empted 160 acres. He finally gave up the cares of his farm and lived retired at Greensburg, where he died in August, 1916. He was a republican in politics, and a very faithful member of the Christian Church. John Olinger first married Susan Wood, who was born and died in Hendricks County, Indiana. She was the mother of two sons: Hiram served as a soldier in the Civil war, afterward was a farmer, and died in Stafford County, Kansas. John was a farmer and later a stationary engineer at Kokomo, Indiana, in which state he died. John Olinger married for his second wife Lucinda Jones. She was born in Hendricks County, Indiana, in 1830 and died at Greensburg, Kansas, in 1896. Of her three children James H. was the youngest. Cordelia, the oldest, who died at Greensburg, was the wife of G. C. Wirth, a retired farmer now living in Butler County; and E. L., a farmer near Greensburg.

James H. Olinger was too young to remember when his parents came to Kansas. As he grew to manhood he attended the rural schools of Kiowa County, also the high school at Greensburg, and from school graduated at once into the occupation of farming, which he followed with no special interruption until 1906, in which year he was first elected county clerk, and was re-elected for a second term in 1908. Then followed an interim of several years and in 1914 he was again recalled to the duties which he had so satisfactorily performed. By re-election in 1916 Mr. Olinger completed his second four years of businesslike administration of his office, his term expiring January 13, 1919. He has been engaged to a considerable extent in the real estate business, and he gives the closest supervision to his farm of 100 acres adjoining Greensburg on the east, a small but a highly valuable farm, improved with residence, barns, silo, and all the facilities for his work.

During the war Mr. Olinger was given the duties of associate member of the District Board of the Second Kansas District, and also worked on the local board of the selective service. He is a republican, and among other offices he has been clerk of Brenham Township and served a term or two as county assessor. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1890, in Kiowa County, Mr. Olinger married Miss Carrie L. Craft, daughter of Joseph and Eliza Craft, both now deceased. Her father was a settler in Kiowa County in 1884 and was a well known farmer and stock raiser. Mr. and Mrs. Olinger are the parents of four children: Maude, wife of J. P. Pennington, in the transfer and delivery business at Greensburg; Paul, who completed the sophomore year of the local high school and is now a farmer; Mildred, a graduate of the Greensburg High School, is a teacher in District No. 17 of Kiowa County, the same district school where her father learned his first lessons; and Virgil, still a pupil in the grade schools.

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