Pages 556-557, 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.




WILLIAM H. LING, of Iola township, who resided in Kansas since 1881 and in Allen county since 1883, was born on Canadian soil but of British parents. January 12, 1841, he was born near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Islands, and died near Iola, Kansas, February 19, 1901. His father, George R. Ling, was a grain merchant who carried on his business in St. Thomas, Ontario, to which point he migrated with his family in 1848. He was born in England in 1852 and came to Prince Edward Island at eleven years of age. He died near St. Thomas, Canada, in 1857.

Our subject's mother was Mary Taylor, now a resident of Ingham county, Michigan. She was born in 1819 and is the mother of William H. Ling, deceased; Mary A. Young, wife of William Young; Mary A. and her next sister, Martha, are both deceased; Maria, who married William Jacobs, resides in Lincoln, Nebraska; George R. Ling, of Ingham county, Michigan; Eliza, deceased, married a Mr. Young; Robert A. Ling, of Los Angeles, California; Frank Ling, a methodist minister, in Ingham county, Michigan; Adaline and Josephine, twins, reside in Ingham county, Michigan.

W. H. Ling reached manhood as a farm hand. He continued in this vocation till his entry into the lumber woods soon after reaching his majority. At twenty-three years of age he came to the United States and was married the next year at Howell, Michigan, to Mary J. Buckwell. The couple started life in charge of a large farm in Livingston county, Michigan. Two years of his married life were passed as farm superintendent and concluding his service he went into north Michigan, bought a farm and began its operation and improvement. He seized an opportunity to engage in merchandising at Weberville, Michigan, and, in 1873, lost his all by fire. While casting about for some profitable employment, and at the same time something to his liking, he did a little farming. He soon succeeded in making a contract for furnishing large quantities of charcoal wood and at this he recovered his losses rapidly. He came to Kansas and invested in sheep and cattle in Montgomery county, and between Texas fever and scab he lost much of his stock. In prospecting about for a new location he was pleased with Allen county and located in Iola. He turned


his attention to the hotel business and ran the old New York house about nine months. He next purchased the Joslyn delivery business and conducted it and carried the express for a year. The following five years he was engaged in the ice and coal business. He then established the "Star Lunch Room," the predecessor of the "Our Way," and for many years found it a profitable enterprise. Upon disposing of it to the Wilhites he exchanged his home in Iola for one of the best eighties of land in Allen county and took possession of it soon after.

Mr. Ling's first wife died in Michigan, Ingham county, in 1872, leaving him two sons, Albert A. Ling, of Iola, and Edward E. Ling. In 1882 Mr. Ling was married in Montgomery county, Kansas, to Nora McGuire, who was reared by A. K. Miller, of Coffeyville, Kansas. She was born in Marshall county, Indiana, in 1862 and is the mother of ten children, viz: Lena, deceased; Lulu, Howard, Walter, Edna, Irvin, Aldo, William, Helen and Jennie.

Mr. Ling cast his first presidential ballot for U. S. Grant in 1868. He found it to his interest to remain a Republican and it was his disposition to assert himself upon public questions whenever he was challenged. He served in the Second ward of Iola three terms in the City Council and made an active member. He took sides with the proposition for city ownership of the gas plant and supported it with all the energy he possessed. He was also a member of the school board in his district and was in thorough accord with advanced notions of education.

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