Pages 360-361, 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.




JESSE P. DECKER, of Elsmore, Allen county, editor, merchant and politician, has, through these and other channels of public intercourse, acquired a promince[sic] and a leadership in eastern Allen county which bespeak for him the confidence of his fellow townsmen. This confidence and regard he has merited and drawn to himself in the brief period of eight years, for he has been a resident of Allen county only since 1892. Being born so close to the county line and being a son of one of Allen county's pioneers Mr. Decker is almost entitled to be regarded as one of our old citizens. He was born in Xenia, Bourbon county, September 10, 1865. He is a son of ex-County Treasurer M. L. Decker, of Iola, and at the age of six years was taken into Leavenworth county, Kansas, and there resided during his youth and was there educated in the common schools. On coming of age he returned to his birthplace and engaged as a clerk in the store of his uncle, John Decker. For two years he was so employed and then opened a store on his own account. In April 1888, he was appointed postmaster at Xenia, but resigned after some months' service to better look after other business. In 1892 he disposed of his stock and business


and, after some prospecting, located in Elsmore where he opened a general store in June of that year. In February, 1897, he sold his business and engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business. This year he was appointed post-master at Elsmore which position he still occupies. In 1900 he re-engaged in the mercantile business and his is one of the conspicuous and popular enterprises in Elsmore.

In February, 1899, Mr. Decker purchased the "Elsmore Enterprise," a weekly newspaper devoted to the interests of Elsmore and Allen county and a publication with a strong declaration of Republican principles. With the active management of this journal, with the supervision of the mail matters of Elsmore and with the conduct of his general store Mr. Decker manages to keep fairly busy.

Mr. Decker's interest in the development of Allen county is a matter of public notoriety. When there is anything proposed for the good of the town if he is not at the head he is always in. If some important move is on foot touching the welfare of his community and requiring tact and ability to execute Jesse Decker is one to help do the work. In any part of our county when a bit of information is wanted at Elsmore or some important work to be done it is usually Jesse Decker who is asked to do it.

A Republican convention finds Mr. Decker always with his working clothes on. He is rarely absent from any meeting of his party committee or convention and the delegation from "North Elsmore" honors him with its chairmanship on every occasion that he will accept it. For a number of years he has represented his precinct on the County Committee and in 1900 was one of the assistants to the secretary of the committee.

Mr. Decker was married November 14, 1889, to Miss Nellie Stevenson and May 18, 1890, Mrs. Decker died. June 17, 1891, Mr. Decker married Miss Sadie Cutter, of Allen county. Their children are: Nellie, Ruth, Martin and Jesse Decker.

Mr. Decker is a Mason, belonging to the Blue Lodge at Savonburg and to the Scottish Rite bodies at Fort Scott, a member of some of the popular insurance societies and holds advanced and progressive opinions on all public questions.

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