Pages 182-183, 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.




WILLIAM BUCHANAN, among the representative citizens of Iola, is a son of Irish parents, Robert and Mary A. (Craig) Buchanan. The latter came to the United States in 1811 and chose Kentucky as their place of residence. Bourbon county became their permanent home and in that municipality he plied his trade of coverlet weaver. He went into Rush county, Indiana, and took a "claim" in the Rushville swamps. He died at Riddles Mills, Kentucky, in 1827 at about forty years of age. His wife died in Rush county, Indiana. Seven of their children grew to be men and women, viz: Mary, who died in Larned Kansas, was the wife of Joseph David; John, who died in California in 1849; James, who died at Garnett, Kansas, in 1890; William; Robert, who died, also, at Garnett, Kansas; Samuel, who died at Welda, Kansas; Jennie, wife of William W. Innis, of Rushville, Indiana.

William Buchanan was born in Fayette county, Kentucky, in 1820. He spent the first seventeen years of his life in Kentucky doing farm labor in the fields with the blacks at twelve and a half cents a day. He got as little education, in a school house, as it was possible for a boy to get and he was convinced early in life that his hands would be his capital. When


he went into the beech woods of Indiana and grubbed and chopped in the clearing he got ten dollars a month for his labor. By this means he managed to get together an ox team with which, in 1842, he crossed the prairies to the new state of Iowa. He decided to settle with the Sac and Fox Indians at Princeton, in Kishkekosh county, afterwards Albia, Monroe county. This he did finally and remained in that state thirty years. Mr. Buchanan quit farming ultimately and engaged in the dry goods and grocery business in the same town. He purchased the only flouring mill in the city of Albia and operated it twelve years. This period covered the Civil war era and many were the soldiers' widows and soldiers' wives who were the recipients of his benefactions. He disposed of his Iowa interests in 1866 and came to Allen county the next year. He located in Iola and engaged in the manufacture of furniture. His factory was located on the lot just north of the Presbyterian church and he operated it two years. He erected the first fine house in the city of Iola and was just prepared to enjoy life when financial reverses overtook him and he was left nearly penniless. He started again, with his raw steers, renting a piece of grub land on the river. He raised his first crop on supplies purchased on time,—corn one dollar a bushel. After his second marriage he located on the tract north of Iola, where he lived so long, and continued to repair his financial losses.

Mr. Buchanan was married first, in 1842, to Mary A. Stephenson. She died in 1869 and in 1872 he married Harriet M., a daughter of Stark Edwards. The Edwards were originally from Connecticut, but more recently from Cleveland, Ohio. Mrs. Buchanan was one of the early teachers of Iola and she died here in February 1897. Her only heir is Don C. Buchanan, one of Iola's young business men. He is married to Mary H. Dugan.

William Buchanaa's[sic] first children are: George, a soldier, who died in 1867; Melissa, relict of W. Morgan Hartman, of Iola; Jessie, wife of W. J. Evans, of Iola; Maggie, who married H. H. Funk and resides in Iola; John Buchanan, who married Cynthia Zinc and left a family, at death, in Bourbon county, Kansas.

Mr. Buchanan's first presidential vote was cast for Willian[sic] H. Harrison. He remained with the Whigs until it merged into the Republican party and he has since been a loyal and constant supporter of it.

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