Pages 741-743, 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.




THOMAS WAMSLEY is engaged in farming on section seven, Belmont township, Woodson County, where he has made his home for thirty-one years, and his residence in the county covers a period of thirty-four years. Great have been the changes which have occurred in this


time, the indications and evidences of pioneer life being replaced by all the improvements, industries and accessories of civilization known to the older east. Mr. Wamsley may well be proud to have been identified with the county through all this era of transformation, and Southeastern Kansas on the other hand may be glad to number him among her citizens for he has ever been true to her interests. He came from Douglas County, Illinois, making the journey by rail to Kansas City and by stage from there to Humboldt in the year 1887. He first located on section thirty-one, township twenty-six, range fifteen, Woodson County, but after three years came to his present home, where for thirty years he has carried on agricultural pursuits.

Mr. Wamsley was born in Decatur County, Indiana, January 29, 1843, and is a son of William Wamsley, a native of Germany, who resided for a time in the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio and then moved to Indiana about 1823. His death occurred in Tuscola, Illinois, when he was seventy-nine years of age. He made the journey to America with his parents, but both the father and mother died during the voyage, leaving four children, all of whom married and left families in Ohio save Mrs. Colwell, whose children reside in Warwick County, Indiana. William Wamsley was united in marriage to Anna Conklen, who died leaving eleven children who reached years of maturity. Those now living are: James, of Evansville, Indiana; Thomas; Sarah, wife of Myron Hunt, of Wellington, Kansas, and Clementine, wife of John Sain, of San Francisco, California.

Amid rural scenes Thomas Wamsley was reared, spending his youth upon the home farm. The first important step which he took in life was in the line of military service, for with patriotic spirit aroused he offered his services to the government in 1861 and became a member of Company D, Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was engaged in the campaign against Price in Southwestern Missouri until after the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, when the regiment was sent to Tennessee to reinforce Buell at Shiloh. After the battle the troops followed Bragg to Louisville, Kentucky, and participated in the engagements at Stone river and Chickamauga. At the latter Mr. Wamsley was captured, September 20, 1863, and with four thousand others was taken to Richmond, Virginia. He was sent thence to Danville and afterward to Andersonville and finally to Charleston, South Carolina, where he remained during the seige. From that point the prisoners were sent to Florence, South Carolina, where our subject was held until parolled and returned to Annapolis. He was in prison nearly fifteen months, and experienced the usual hardships and sufferings borne by the boys in blue in Southern prison pens. He was a loyal and faithful soldier, always found at his post of duty, whether on the picket line or the firing line.

Upon returning to the North, Mr. Wamsley was connected with farming interests in Douglas County, Illinois, until coming to Kansas.


He was not married until after his arrival here, and in Humboldt, December 12, 1869 he led to the marriage altar Miss Emma Wilson, who died in 1882, leaving four children: Anna, wife of Carl Strand, of Woodson County; James; Walter, of Woodson County; and Milton. In October, 1883 Mr. Wamsley was again married, Elizabeth, daughter of Christman Leibert becoming his wife. Her father died in Germany. By this marriage there is one daughter, Eva, wife of Elmer Gilger, of Gordon, Nebraska. Mr. Wamsley gives his political support to the Republican party and believes firmly in its principles but has never been a campaign worker, nor has he sought office, but as a private citizen quietly and loyally performs his duty, commanding uniform respect by reason of his genuine worth.

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