Pages 105-106, 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 H. GARDNER, of Humboldt, whose connection with the interests of that city date back to 1870 when he came to it from Washington, D. C., was born in Ann Arundel county, Maryland, July 4, 1840. His parents, John and Anna Hall (Watson) Gardner, were natives of the


same state, his father being born in Ann Arundel county. His grandparents were also native Maryland people. John and Anna H. Gardner were the parents of seven children, viz: Wm. L., who died in Maryland in 1897; Elizabeth C., wife of James Crogen, of Washington, D. C.; Charles T., of Allen county, Kansas; Anna E., wife of Thos. J. Webster, died in Los Angeles, California; J. H.; Richard and Abner, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John Gardner's first wife died in 1849 and by a second wife he reared seven children all of whom reside in Maryland.

J. H. Gardner left the old Maryland home during the war and went to Washington, D. C., where he was in the employ of the Adams Express Company during a period of the Civil war. Succeeding this he engaged in the fruit and provision business in that city and was so connected in a business way till 1870 when he decided to come west. On the 6th of May of the last named year he came to Humboldt, Kansas. It was his intention to return to the Capital City but, seeing a good opening for carpenters:—and having learned that trade in his youth and early manhood—he decided to remain and found work at once. He formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, Webster, to engage in contracting and the firm had in their employ the first two years a half score of men. In 1872 he engaged in the meat business and for twenty-five years was the leading butcher and meat man in the city. He not only killed and cut up meat on the block but killed and cured and did a considerable business as a packer, as well. He was amply rewarded for every effort put forth in the line of his business but as soon as he stepped aside to aid his friends, by endorsements or by a lift on some enterprise with a doubtful future, he got into the mire. The harder he tried to extricate himself from these burdens the deeper their own weight carried him into the bog. In time he was forced to yield up his business and much of his accumulations to satisfy his creditors.

Harry Gardner has not alone been prominent as a business man. He brought strong Republican proclivities with him from Maryland and as Allen was a strong Republican county he found use for his politics and real sympathy for his faith. He has been a formidable candidate for a county office on more than one occasion before Republican conventions and was nominated for county treasurer in 1887 but was defeated by a combination of circumstances for which his reputation was in no wise to blame.

Mr. Gardner was married in Humboldt in 1878 to Alice J. Smith, a daughter of Thos. D. and Julia A. (Maxwell) Smith who came into Allen county with her family from Illinois in 1869. Mr. and Mrs. Gardner's children are: Charles R., J. Thomas, Hazel, Mildred and Morris.

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