Pages 331-333, 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.


Salathiel M. Irwin


SALATHIEL M. IRWIN.—If "biography is the home aspect of history," as Willmott has expressed it, it is entirely within the province of true history to commemorate and perpetuate the lives and character, the achievements and honor of the illustrious sons of the nation; and if any stimulus is needed in this behalf, it may be found in the caustic words of Burke, that "those only deserve to be remembered who treasure up a history of their ancestors." Each state presents with pride her sons and her jewels. She has nursed among her children those who have become illustrious in religion, in law, in oratory and in statesmanship, and whose exalted character and national reputation have shed more honor and glory upon the history of their native state than any beside. One of the most widely known and honored citizens of southeastern Kansas is Rev. S. M. Irwin. Thirty-three years have been added to the cycle of the centuries since he established his home in Geneva to minister to the spiritual wants of the congregation of the Presbyterian church.

He was born at South Salem, Ross county, Ohio, on the 23rd of November, 1836, and is a son of William S. Irwin, whose birth occurred in 1812. When he (the father) had arrived at years of maturity he married Miss Sally McMunn, a native of Ohio. At the time of the Civil war he served as captain of Company I, of the Sixtieth Ohio Volunteers, and in the course of his services he was captured at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and sent back to Chicago where he remained until he was paroled. He then helped to organize the Second Ohio Heavy Artillery. He was commissioned major of the battery and acted as commanding officer most of the time until the war was ended and he received an honorable discharge. Resuming the pursuits of civil life he engaged in the nursery business,


dealing in fruit trees. On coming to Kansas he located in Neosho county and was elected to represent his county in the general assembly, having the distinctive honor of being the first Republican sent to the legislature from that county. He was a member of the house during the session in which Pomeroy and York had their trouble, and when John J. Ingalls was elected to the United States senate. His wife died in January, 1879, at the age of sixty-eight years, and is now survived by three of her six children, namely: Albert Irwin, a resident of Washington, D. C.; William N., who is first assistant in the pomological department at Washington; and S. M., of this review.

Rev. Irwin was reared on the home farm and the public schools and academy of his native town afforded him his early educational privileges which were supplemented by study in Hanover College and in which he was graduated in the class of 1861. He then engaged in teaching for two years, as principal of the high school of Hanover, and subsequently entered the theological seminary at Princeton, New Jersey, where he remained until, having completed the three years' course, he was graduated in 1866. The following year he was ordained to the ministry at Deepwater, being located in Vernon county, Missouri, his first charge being the Little Osage church, and there he continued for a year, coming to Geneva in 1867. Since that time he has been pastor of the Presbyterian church and he is rich in the love, confidence and respect of his people, and his influence for good in the community is immeasureable. He has also been identified with educational interests in Allen county, having for six years been a teacher in the Academy at Geneva. His sermons are instructive, forceful, logical and entertaining, and fail not to impress his hearers with his earnestness and with the truth of his utterances. He has preached in many of the churches in the surrounding country and for twenty-eight years he has had charge of Liberty church, now at Piqua.

Rev. Irwin was married in the summer of 1857 to Miss Louisa A. Hackman, of Washington, Missouri, and a daughter of J. F. W. and Juliana Hackman. They are the parents of nine children, of whom seven are now living, as follows: John M., a railroad agent at Westphalia, Kansas; William N., a resident of Geneva; Samuel J., who is a train dispatcher at Herrington, Kansas; Paul C., Julia L., Abram M. and Mary L., all at home. Mr. Irwin has a very pleasant residence and a fine orchard in Geneva. When he first came to this state he purchased two lots and a small dwelling and has kept adding to it until he has a comfortable home. He has bought the first forty blocks (save one lot) within the corporation limits of the town and afterward purchased tracts of forty-five acres on the east and forty acres on the west and at another time a tract of eighty acres in Woodson county, Kansas, so that his realty possessions are now quite extensive. No man has ever been more respected in Geneva and the surrounding country, or enjoyed more fully the confidence of the people, or better deserves such respect and confidence than Mr. Irwin. The residents of southeastern Kansas recognize his merit and hold in the highest regard his services. He believes in a church true to the Master and aims to


preach the whole truth whether men will hear or forbear. Many have reason to bless him for his influence in leading them to take cognizance of the soul's needs and to place their treasure in that country "where moth and rust do not corrupt and thieves do not break through and steal."

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