Page 743-744, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Sidney Blakeman, of Leon, a prominent Butler county farmer and stockman, is a native of Illinois. He was born in Cook county in 1857. When he was a child his parents both died, and he was reared by W. H. Riggs of McLean county, Illinois. With the exception of an uncle who resides in Chicago, Mr. Blakeman has no known relatives who bear his name. When he was eighteen years old, he came to Kansas and located on 160 acres of government land in Elk county and three years later, or in 1878, he went to Wichita to the government land office and proved up on his claim, receiving his title. He immediately began pasturing cattle for numerous parties for which he charged a dollar per head for the season. In 1879, he pastured about 1,100 head of cattle. When he first located in Elk county he had many real pioneer experiences. His nearest neighbor was four miles away and he was fifteen miles from Howard City, which was his postoffice and trading point. His capital was limited and his supplies for the season were bought on credit, to be paid for when he collected from his pasture patrons. The first $10 which he received from his enterprise was from Aaron Clumb who sold ten head of steers and paid a dollar per head for their pasturage. Mr. Blakeman says he thought more of that $10 than of any money he ever saw, and that he put it in the family bible and occasionally would take a peep at it to see if it was still there. On October 10, 1879, he broke up the herd, the men for whom he was pasturing cattle came on that day and all paid for their pasturing, and at the close of the day Mr. Blakeman had $1,090. He invested this in 500 head of sheep. This proved a profitable investment, and he was very successful in his sheep venture, with the exception that he lost a great many from the ravages of wolves, and in 1883, he came to Butler county and the following year sold his sheep and engaged again in the cattle business. He has, perhaps, pastured more cattle than any other man in Butler county since that time. In contrast to the early days it might be stated that instead of receiving $1 per head for the season he now receives $8, and has pastured as many as 1,900 head in one season. He owns 920 acres of land and operates several hundred acres which he rents. He has pastured cattle from Texas, Colorado and Utah. He and his son, on one occasion, went to Utah and loaded


1,400 head of cattle and shipped them to Pontiac and pastured them that season for $6 per head. This was in 1910, and in 1911 he pastured 940 head of cattle from Old Mexico.

Mr. Blakeman was married in 1878 to Miss Clara S. Peabody, a native of Illinois and three children were born to this union, as follows: Mrs. Olive Cline, Danville, Ill.; Guy, Leon, Kans.; and Roy, Danville, Ill. The mother of these children died May 3, 1915.

Mr. Blakeman made two trips to Kansas in the early days. The first time he rode on horseback from Saybrooke, Ill., and the second time, he drove a team of mules to a sleigh. He is one of the pioneers who has seen much development since coming here, and through industry and good business management, has succeeded to a remarkable degree, and is one of Butler county's substantial men of affairs.

Previous | Main Page | Biography Index | Next

Pages 743-744,