Pages 240-241, 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.




GEORGE MEREDITH.—Among the loyal and patriotic Anglo-American citizens of Elm township, Allen county, whose enviable reputation abounds throughout his township and county and whose substantiality has been acquired there is George Meredith, retired farmer, of LaHarpe. He came to Allen county in March 1870 and permitted George A. Bowlus to sell him a piece of grass land on the east side of Elm township. He was a young man then and possessed the courage and determination equal to overcoming the task of changing this grassy waste into a productive farm and an attactive[sic] home. He began the work of cultivation and improvement at once and, during the twenty-eight years which he occupied it, reached a point of financial independence worthy to be sought by our American youth. The loss of his wife in 1896 left him without companionable surroundings and two years later he took up his residence in LaHarpe to be near friends and associates.

George Meredith was born in Herefordshire, England, April 3, 1830. He was a son of a small farmer, James Meredith, whose ancestors had resided in the same shire for many generations. His mother was Maria Porter, and George was the seventh and last son of their family. He and his sister, Mrs. Mary Prosser, of Wilmington, Loraine county, Ohio, are the only members of the family on the west side of the Atlantic. He grew up on the little home farm in England and educated himself in Ohio, after he had reached the age of maturity. He left Liverpool March 25, 1849, aboard the "Caleb Grimshaw," a sailing vessel, and reached New York after five weeks of tossing and wallowing in the sea. He was destined for Oberlin, Ohio, where he had some acquaintance, and where he remained for five years. He worked about from place to place at the wages of ten dollars per month and, in 1854, came west to Davenport, Iowa. There he was employed as teamster or a miller and was engaged in milling either as employe or as an interested partner, in that city for many years. When the Civil war was in progress and the nation seemed so much in need of troops he determined to drop his business and enlist. He had notified his employer of this fact and the latter, desiring to retain his valuable helper, reported to the examining surgeon that Meredith was not an able-bodied man and that he was not competent for military dirty and that, if he reported himself for enlistment, to so inform him. The scheme worked well and our subject was thus deprived of serving his adopted country in time of war.

When George Meredith came to Kansas he brought less than three


hundred dollars with him. The land he purchased, on contract, was found to be in the "disputed belt" and he joined the League to aid in reclaiming the government title through the courts. He entered the quarter as a claim and supported the contest till it was seen that the railroad would win when he again bought the tract—this time at a higher price—and the controversy was then and there ended.

Mr. Meredith was married in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1854 to Esther Ravenhill who came to the United States in 1851 from England. She was born in 1826 and died without issue.

The first presidential vote of our subject was cast for General Scott, and when the Republicans put up their first candidate he supported him. The great Lincoln he also pinned his faith to, and the administration from 1897 to 1901 has no parallel, in his judgment, in important national achievements and in assuaging the anguish and discontent of our citizens as a result of a preceding administration.

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