Pages 849-850, 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.




The concensus of public opinion places Mr. Leedy among the popular citizens as well as enterprising and prosperous farmers of Woodson county. He is so well known in this portion of Kansas that he needs no introduction to the readers of this volume, most of whom are well acquainted with his useful and upright career. He was born in Richland county, Ohio, March 22, 1847, and is a representative of one of the pioneer families of that state, his paternal grandfather having located there in 1811, only a few years after the admission of the state into the Union. Samuel Leedy, the father of our subject, was also a native of the Buckeye state, and there married Margaret Whitnah, who was born in New York, of Scotch parentage. He lived and died in Ohio, passing away in 1853, when he had reached the thirty-sixth milestone on life's journey. His wife still survives him and at the age of eighty-two years is yet living in Ohio. This worthy couple were the parents of six children, five of whom are yet living; namely: Mrs. Elizabeth Robinson, who is living in Ohio; Mrs. Virginia Hays, a resident of Kansas City, Kansas; Robert B.; John W., who was at one time governor of Kansas and is now living in Seattle, Washington; and H. C., who is a resident of Burlington, Kansas.

Robert B. Leedy was reared in Ohio, working upon the farm in summer and doing chores for his board while he attended school in winter, until 1864, when at the early age of seventeen years he enlisted in his


country's service as a member of company D, One Hundred and Sixty-third Ohio infantry, which became a part of General Butler's command. He was at City Point when that place was besieged by the rebels. He remained at the front until the term of his enlistment had expired when he returned to his Ohio home and became a student at the Bellville high school, thus fitting himself for a business career, after which he secured a position in the employ of the firm of J. J. Cover & Company of Johnsville. For two years he engaged in clerking, and in 1868 he went to Indiana, where he stayed one year and moved then to Illinois, following farming through the summer months, while in the winter season he engaged in teaching school, soon demonstrating his ability to impart with clearness and readiness to others the knowledge he had acquired. He saved much of his earnings and was thus enabled at a later date to purchase a farm.

In the year 1884 Mr. Leedy came to Kansas, arriving in Neosho Falls on the 10th of December. He purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres two miles west and a half mile north of the town, and has since made his home upon this place. He has a tract of rich bottom land, raises fine crops of corn, wheat and potatoes, and also keeps some stock. A pleasant residence and good barn stand near the Neosho river and no accessory of the model farm of the present day is lacking.

While in Illinois, on the 7th of September, 1876, Mr. Leedy was joined in wedlock to Miss Juliet Newport, a native of Montgomery county, that state, and their marriage has been blessed with six children, all of whom are yet living, namely: Mary Virginia, at home: Margaret Juliet, who is teaching in the home district; Oliver O., who is in school; Robert Franklin, Edna and Eugene Newport, who are still under the parental roof. The members of the household occupy an enviable position in the social circles in which they move and their friends are many. Socially Mr. Leedy is connected with Woodson lodge No. 78. K. P., at Neosho Falls, and with B. F. Goss Post, G. A. R., of the same place. He cast his first presidential vote in 1868 for U. S. Grant, when in Indiana and for some time advocated the principles of the republican party, but is now a populist. He has been quite prominent in public affairs, and in 1891 he was elected on the populist ticket to represent Woodson county in the state legislature, where he proved a capable member, giving an earnest support to all measures which in his judgment seemed calculated to serve the ends of public good and advancement.

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