Pages 130-131, 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.


John W. Edwards and wife



JOHN W. EDWARDS, the well known farmer and speculator of LaHarpe, Allen County, came into Allen County, permanently April 23, 1879. His native place is Kendall County, Illinois, where his birth occurred March 2, 1845. Thomas Edward,[sic] his father, was a Welchman, born near Liverpool in 1812, and received what was then termed a liberal


education. He spent several years in the mercantile business in Liverpool and came to the United States in 1842 in search of a patch of ground that he could call his own. Passing through Chicago when it was scarcely a village and not being satisfied with the wet low land where that city now stands, he wandered forty miles farther west and selected 160 acres of land near Oswego, Kendall County, Illinois, paying $1.25 per acre. He was married to Susan Miller in 1842 and they lived on the Oswego farm forty-four years, until the death of Mrs. Edwards in 1886, when he moved to Allen County, Kansas. Here he resided with his son, J. W. Edwards, until his death, which occurred August 12, 1891. Their children are: Sarah, wife of Er Park, of Allen County, Kansas; John W., Mary J., who married James Andrews, of Plainfield, Illinois; Evan T., deceased; Melissa, wife of R. L. Manley, of Iola, and Melinda, wife of Riley Beach, of Big Springs, Colorado.

Our subject grew up on the Illinois homestead and was schooled in a country school located on his father's farm. Afterward at Clark Seminary, Aurora, Illinois, and in Bryant & Stratton's Business College, Chicago.

He started in business as a bookkeeper in a plumbing establishment in Chicago, and later became a clerk in Smith Bros. wholesale house in that city. He returned to his father's farm some time later and remained a farmer in the vicinity some five years. He went into the butcher business in Oswego, Illinois and followed it with reasonable success six years. In the spring of 1879 he moved with his family to Allen County, Kansas and settled on and improved his present farm east of LaHarpe. His success as a farmer and stock dealer in Allen County has netted him a neat profit. His farm acreage has materially increased and his investments in other lines have shown him to be a man of good business judgment. In 1898 he became interested in Iola real estate and has owned and platted three additions and is interested in the fourth, east of town on the Jeffries tract.

Mr. Edwards was married at Sandwich, Illinois, June 29, 1870, to Alice, a daughter of John Pearce, an Ohio settler. The children of this marriage are: Arthur W., who married Sarah Lawler; Luther P., who married Nellie Walton; Clarence O., who married Jennie Walton, now deceased, and Roy C., who is single and still at home. Mr. and Mrs. Edwards are raising their grandson Vernon Edwards. Mr. Edwards has been trustee and recording steward since the organization of the M. E. church at LaHarpe.

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