Pages 333-334, 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 J. PICKELL—We are now permitted to touch briefly upon the life history of one who has retained a personal association with the affairs of Allen County for a number of years. His life has been one of honest and earnest endeavor and due success has not been denied him. As proprietor of the elevator in Humboldt he is recognized as one of the leading business men of the community. The safe, conservative policy which he has inaugurated commends him to the judgment of all, and he has secured a patronage which makes the volume of business transacted in his office of considerable magnitude.

Mr. Pickell was born in Canada, November 30, 1857, his parents being Moses and Mary (Mark) Pickell, the former a native of Canada, and the


latter of England. During her girlhood, however, the mother accompanied her parents on their removal to the English province in the new world. By the marriage of this worthy couple they became parents of seven children, namely: Moses, who died February 26, 1901; Mrs. Elizabeth Beck, wife of A. W. Beck, of Iola; Mary J., wife of Dr. A. J. Fulton, of Iola; Mrs. Kate Thomas, of Iola; Anna, wife of L. H. Wishard, of Iola; and William J. The father was a millwright by trade and also followed blacksmithing. In 1858 he went to California, where he remained for eight years, working at his trade and operating a sawmill. In 1861 his family removed to northern Indiana and after his return from California Mr. Pickell took them to Kansas, arriving July 30, 1869, five miles east of Iola, where he purchased five hundred acres of land, owning the land joining the town of LaHarpe. His wife died in October, 1869 at the age of forty-two years. His death occurred in Allen County in 1871, when he was forty-four years of age.

William J. Pickell, whose name introduces this record, received but limited educational privileges, never attending school after he was eleven years of age. He was only fourteen years of age at the time of his father's death, and upon him devolved largely the responsibility of managing the family affairs. For twenty-two years he resided upon a farm, but coming to the conclusion that he could better his financial condition by entering commercial life he went to Iola, where he was employed for six years by A. W. Beck, a dealer in farm implements and grain. On the expiration of that period Mr. Pickell traded his farm near LaHarpe for the elevator at Humboldt, and on the 14th of October 1897, removed his family to that place. There he began business on a small scale, buying grain and grinding feed, but his trade has rapidly and steadily increased, so that he now furnishes employment to from five to eight men. He buys everything the farmers have for sale, including hogs, cattle, corn, wheat, oats, hay and flax. He is the proprietor of one of the best business enterprises in his line in the State of Kansas.

On the 22nd of March, 1879, Mr. Pickell wedded Miss Jessie Weisner, a native of Greene County, Illinois, who came to Kansas in 1878 with her parents. Unto our subject and his wife have been born seven children: James Ralph, Catharine Maud, Archie Benson, Moses F., Ray Caswell, Mark Weisner and Loren Clifford. The eldest son has completed the high school course and for two years has been a student in Baker University at Baldwin.

Mr. Pickell votes with the Republican party, but aside from casting his franchise in support of its men and measures he takes no active part in politics, preferring that his attention shall be given in an undivided manner to his business affairs. He started out in life with a very limited capital, but the years have brought him success as a reward for his efforts and prominence in commercial circles is assured and enviable.

Previous | Home | Next