Pages 183-185, 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.




ELLERSLIE W. TREGO—Men who change business in middle life are, as a rule, in the same predicament as the men who swapped horses while crossing a stream. Rarely do men, after their business habits are formed and their success in a given line demonstrated, change the course of their training without handicapping themselves or meeting with serious and and positive reverses. Especielly[sic] is this true where the successful farmer deserts his post and embarks in the mercantile business. Ellerslie W.


Trego was a successful farmer in Ailen[sic] County for many years. When anything was accomplished on the farm in his county he deserved credit for a part of it. His industry and tenacity overcame difficulties that would have defeated a less determined soul and as the years went by he found himself climbing steadily up the ladder of success. But he was not doing as well as he wished. He was ambitious to accomplish more and in a different line. In his case "old man well enough" was not good enough and his old quality of determination prompted him to change his business. There seemed an opening in Humboldt for a hardware business, in addition to the two already established there. Merchandising is directly opposite in business principles to that of farming and this few farmers readily realize. Mr. Trego must have discovered this for his entrance upon it was signaled with success from the start. He purchased the small stock of C. L. Rice who was doing a fair business with a new stock, and engaged in business, in December, 1898. To the surprise of his farmer friends Mr. Trego attracted business. Each quarter showed an increase over the preceding one and each year a greater volume of business than the one before. It was soon discovered that E. W. Trego was not only a successful farmer but that he was a successful merchant as well. He even surpassed, in substantial earnings, his achievements upon the farm maintaining the same good credit and the same business integrity that characterized him as a farmer.

E. W. Trego was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1861. He is a son of the late Dr. Albert Trego who came to Allen County in 1878 and settled upon a farm in Salem township. The family started to Kansas from Mercer County, Illinois, but set out for the west from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. For many years the Tregos were identified with the Keystone State, Lewis Trego, our subjecs's[sic] grandfather, being born therein.

Dr. Albert Trego was born in 1826. He was liberally educated, practiced medicine from his farm in Allen County and died June 6, 1893. He was a man of good address, with an intellect well balanced and well informed and was one of the leading men of Allen County. He was an active Republican for many years and his name was mentioned in connection with the nomination for the State Legislature. He married Mary Etta Linton, who survives him. Their six children were: Ellerslie W., Albert, of Leadville, Colorado; Anna, wife of Mahlon Trego, of Harvey County, Kansas, and Mrs. Minnie Kirk, of Bucks County, Pennsylyania,[sic] surviving. Two are deceased.

E. W. Trego was educated in the common schools. His life, until his entry into the mercantile business, was entirely rural, where he learned and practiced the principles of industry. He conducted the farm operations in Salem township twenty years and took up his residence in Humboldt to be near his business. He was married July 19, 1885, to Mary E. Yeager, daughter of Champ C. Yeager, of Allen County, whose ancestors were identified with Shelby County, Kentucky, but were originally from Madison County, Virginia. Mrs. Trego was a successful teacher in Allen County


many years and was one of a family of three surviving children. Mr. and Mrs. Trego's children are: Willis A., Edward C., Homer, Linton L. and Elma.

As a citizen of Allen County Ellerslie Trego is one of the best. He inherited a desire to be in politics and he has permitted no opportunity to pass for its gratification. Until the reform wave swept over Kansas he was a Republican, as staunch as the most unyielding, but his opinions on public questions changed in 1891 and he joined forces with the Peoples party. He was elected trustee of his township four times and was the nominee for County Clerk on the Populist ticket in 1893 and made the race against James Wakefield. He has been one of the chief advisors of his party, in county matters, during many campaigns.

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