Pages 482-484, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




D. WEBSTER BOSTWICK, of Iola, has been one of the conspicuous characters in the settlement and development of Allen county. To him is due in a great measure the credit for the actual work done in the location of a large per cent of the country population of the county and to his ingenuity as an immigration promoter is due the credit for the settlement of much of our eastern domain in Allen county. His name went from tongue to tongue through the east and his fame followed closely in its wake. No man who makes real estate his business in Allen county is as widely known as Web Bostwick and, in the olden time, no combination of dealers in the county possessed a wider or more universal confidence of the homeseeker from the east than Bowlus & Bostwick.


Web Bostwick came to Allen county November 11, 1866, and the following year located upon his brother's, H. C. Bostwick's, farm on Deer creek. Some three years later William Davis came along from Colorado and offered him his price for the place and he moved down to the Anderson and Finley ranch (that now is). What is now the Allendale Stock Farm was then an unbroken prairie and Web went onto it, broke a portion of it out, as any farmer would have done, began its improvement and in seven years sold it. This concluded his career as a farmer. He moved into Iola at once and entered the real estate business with Bowlus & Richards. The railroad lands of the county were just coming onto the market then and this agency handled almost the entire holdings adjacent to Iola. For eight years this firm remained intact and undisturbed in its enjoyment of a mammoth and lucrative business. Investors poured into the county from all directions and speculators and settlers vied with each other in the acquirement of tracts suitable for farms, for ranches and for investment. Retiring from this noted firm Mr. Bostwick joined D. B. D. Smeltzer in a loan and real estate business for some years and later was a partner with Judge H. W. Talcott in the same business. In 1895 he joined the well known townsman, Nels Acers, with whom he is yet a leader in the matter of handling city and country property.

The selling of real estate in Allen county was, in itself, an easy and pleasant business but to do so in defiance of an element of our citizens whose edict had gone out against it and whose threats were upon the lips of all was an undertaking involving munch hazard, with possible loss of life. From 1875 to 1885 the settlers on the disputed lands in the east part of our county determined not to have any more of the land sold by the agents of the railroad companies, desiring to have it entered as public domain and by persons whose interests would, from the start, be identical with their own. They even provided a penalty, or rather, suggested as a penalty for any agent violating this ukase, a bit of inch rope. It is stated that the rope was bought with which to square accounts with our subject but he never abandoned a trip nor lost a meal on account of it.

D. W. Bostwick was born in Portage county, Ohio, October 21, 1840. His father, Daniel Bostwick, was a millwright, foundryman and manufacturer of woolen goods. The latter was born in New York went into Ohio early and settled in Portage county. From this latter place he located in Park county, Indiana, and was in business there during, and for some time, after the war. He married Sophia Fondersmith, originally DeFondersmith, a Pennsylvania German lady. Late in life this venerable couple came to Allen county and passed their remaining years here. Mr. Bostwick died in 1876 at the age of seventy-six years, and his wife died in 1881 aged seventy-nine years. Their children were: Clarentine, deceased, who married Lewis Hine; Dr. Henry C. Bostwick, of Tacoma, Washington, surgeon of Ninth Kansas and now a Representative to the Washington Legislature; Leveues E. was killed in the Civil war as Captain of Company A, One Hundred and Fourteenth Indiana Volunteers, while in his seventeenth engagement; D. Webster; Maria, deceased, wife of An-


drew Jackson Clark, of Tacoma, Washington; and Amfield S., deceased, who married Samuel Doren.

D. W. Bostwick grew up at Rockville, Indiana. He enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Thirty-third Infantry and served in the western department. He took part in the Chickamauga and Nashville campaigns and, at the close of his service, was in the Independent sharpshooters.

Mr. Bostwick was married in Allen county in Iola, 1869, to Clementine C., a daughter of Dr. M. DeMoss, who was born and educated in Oxford, Ohio, and was one of the characters of Iola for many years. His wife was Miss Margaret C. Kennedy who was born and principally raised in the city of Washington. Their children were ten in number.

Mr. and Mrs. Bostwick's children are: Hattie B., a stenographer and type-writer in Tacoma, Washington; Misses Grace F. and Ella M.. teachers in the Iola city schools; Leveues H., a printer of Iola, and Pearl M., wife of R. E. Donaldson, of Seattle, Washington.

The early Bostwicks were Whigs and their posterity dropped naturally into the Republican party, following the issues of the war.

Previous | Home | Next