Pages 336-338, 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.




CHARLES L. KNOWLTON was born in Clark County, Indiana, on the 23rd of June, 1849. His father, James H. Knowlton, was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, in 1810, and in 1836 became a resident of Hanover, Indiana, where he began the study of medicine. He was graduated in the Cincinnati Medical College and entered the professional ranks where he soon won prominence, his skill and ability gaining him marked prestige. In 1838 he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Dickey, a native of Kentucky, who was born in 1814 and was a daughter of John and Margaret Dickey. Mr. and Mrs. Knowlton became the parents of six children, of whom three sons are now living: John D., Charles L. and


Howard N. Two sisters, Olive and Emma, married George Tatham, the latter becoming his wife after the death of her sister, and she, too, has passed away.

Dr. Knowlton continued to practice medicine in Indiana until the inauguration of the Civil war. When rebellion threatened the destruction of the Union, from every walk of life there came men of loyal purpose and undaunted spirit who offered their services to the government, and among the Union troops of Indiana Dr. Knowlton was numbered, joining the Fifty-second Indiana Infantry, of which he was appointed assistant surgeon. He rendered great aid to the sick and wounded men of his regiment and served in that capacity until his own health failed, when he resigned and returned to his home. He afterward removed to Illinois where he engaged in practice several years and in 1866 he came to Kansas, locating in Geneva where he followed his profession through his remaining days, his death occurring in 1882. Seven years later his wife passed away, being then seventy-five years of age. Like many other energetic young men starting out in life Dr. Knowlton had to depend entirely on his own efforts, and engaged in teaching school in order to obtain the money necessary to pursue his medical course. After locating in Allen County he became one of the leading practitioners and also one of the prominent citizens in other walks of life. He was a man of strong mentality, of marked force of character and keen discernment, and his fitness for leadership led to his selection for high official honors. He was once chosen to serve in the legislature and Allen County has never been better represented than by Dr. James H. Knowlton. He left the impress of his individuality upon the legislature of that period and upon many of the interests of Allen County, and by those who knew him he is remembered as a man who was fearless in conduct and of untarnished reputation.

The first twelve years of Charles L. Knowlton's life were spent in town. He then accompanied his parents on their removal to a farm. They had become residents of Illinois during his early boyhood and in the schools of that State he acquired his education, becoming familiar with all the branches of English learning that constituted the curriculum of public instruction. In 1867, when about eighteen years of age, he came with his parents to Kansas, locating in Geneva where he has since continued to make his home. For many years he was identified with the work of the farm. In 1872 he married Miss Emily Denney, a naitve[sic] of Ohio, who in 1859 came to Kansas with her parents, William and Emily Denney. On putting aside the plow Mr. Knowlton became identified with commercial pursuits, establishing a general store in Geneva where he carries everything that is usually found in a first class establishment of the kind. This includes a stock of drugs. About the same time he began the practice of medicine. His father being a physician, he became familiar with the principles of the medical profession from association with him. As the years have passed he has continued his studies and is now well informed along that line. He controls quite an extensive practice in connection with his


mercantile affairs and is the most active and enterprising business man in the little town of Geneva.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Knowlton have been born four children: Olive, who is a teacher in Allen County; Maggie and Daisy, who are successfully teaching in the schools of Allen County, and Frank, who is still under the parental roof. The family is one of prominence in the community, enjoying the high regard of a large circle of friends and the hospitality of the best homes in this locality. Mr. Knowlton has always taken a deep and abiding interest in political affairs and keeps well informed on the issues of the day, thereby being enabled to support his position by intelligent argument. He always attends the County and State conventions and his opinions carry weight in party councils, yet he has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. He could undoubtedly win political honors did he desire, but his business makes heavy demands upon his attention and he prefers to give his time in an undivided manner to the control of his mercantile and professional interests. His labors have contributed largely to the upbuilding of Geneva, and its commercial enterprise is due in no small measure to him. In business circles he enjoys an unassailable reputation for he follows correct methods and honorable principles and at all times he is possessed of that progressive spirit which seeks not alone his own good, but is alive to the advancement of city, county and State, and his place in Geneva would be difficult to fill.

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