Page 658, 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.




HENRY E. OLD is a prosperous business man of Liberty township, Woodson county, now engaged in merchandising at Burt, a little village about nine miles northwest of Yates Center. For a number of years he was connected with the educational interests of the county and thus became widely known. He was born in Miami county, Indiana, August 8, 1869, a son of James H. and Phoebe A. (Kerschner) Old, also natives of the Hoosier state. The father has devoted the greater part of his life to agricultural pursuits. He came to Woodson county, Kansas, in 1882, and is now living in Eureka, this state, at the age of fifty-eight years. His wife passed away in 1889, when forty-one years of age. They were the parents of nine children and are yet living with the exception of the eldest who was killed by the accidental discharge of a gun, near Burlington, Kans.

Henry Old, the eldest of the living children, came with his parents to Kansas in 1882 and attended the common school until qualified for teaching, when he became a representative of that profession which he followed for nine years in Woodson county. He always attended the county institutes and thus kept in touch with the progress continually being made in that line of work. He also served for two years on the examining board of the county. It was at one time his intention to enter the medical fraternity, and with this end in view he studied medicine for three years under the direction of Dr. Kellenberger, of Yates Center, but this work did not prove as congenial as he had anticipated and accordingly he abandoned it and turned his attention to merchandising.

With the money which he had saved from his wages as a teacher he purchased a stock of goods and as a member of the firm of Randall & Old he became connected with mercantile pursuits, opening a store in Burt in 1899. Their store is the only one in that locality and they draw a trade from miles around. They carry a well selected general stock valued at two thousand dollars and their annual sales amount to ten thousand dollars. Their success has exceeded their expectations and is an indication of their courteous treatment of their patrons, their straightforward dealing and their earnest desire to please.

On the 23d of May, 1900, Mr. Old led to the marriage altar Miss Ellen B. Randall, who was born in Cowley county, Kansas. The young couple have many warm friends in the community and are held in high esteem by all who know them. His force of character, strong individuality and steadfastness of purpose have already won for Mr. Old a desirable position in commercial circles and will undoubtedly bring him still greater success.

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