Page 765-767, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


W. H. Cain.—It is almost impossible for even the student of history to conceive of the great work that has been accomplished in the last half century by the pioneers who opened up and developed the West, much less for the casual observer to have any understanding of this great work of founding, building and bettering a new country. It is possible that these pioneers of the plains "builded better than they knew." At any rate, it is hoped that a review of the careers of some of them, whose experiences were similar to the career of W. H. Cain—men and women who paid the "Price of the Prairie," and who were factors in the "Winning of the West"—will not only give the present and future generations much valuable information, but furnish an inspiration for better citizenship.

W. H. Cain, a Civil war veteran and a Butler county pioneer, was born in Elmira, Chemung county, New York, February 10, 1839, a son of William and Lucinda (Valleau) Cain, the former a native of Herkimer county, New York, and the latter of Chemung county. Lucinda Valleau was a daughter of Theodore and Elizabeth (Linderman) Valleau. The Linderman family is of German descent and the Valleaus came from France, and the orginal[sic] spelling of the name was De Valleau.

When W. H. Cain was a small boy his father died at the age of thirty-five, leaving a widow and four children. The mother and the children lived in Elmira, N. Y. When W. H. was growing up he was something of a turbulent youth, and was much given to running the streets, and it was a problem for his mother to know what to do with him. A relative in northern Illinois offered him a home if he would come there and stay. He willingly accepted and when he was nine years of age he was shipped West and remained there for four years, when he returned to New York, and after remaining three years, went to Rockford, Ill. He was nearly seventeen by this time and obtained employment in a reaper factory at Rockford. In the meantime his mother had also moved there, in 1856.

At the outbreak of the Civil war. Mr. Cain was one of the first to offer his services in response to President Lincoln's call for volunteers. However, Mr. Cain received an injury which prevented him from entering the service at that time, but in the fall of 1862, he enlisted in


Company K, Seventy-fourth regiment, Illinois infantry, under Captain Ward and Colonel March. Mr. Cain's regiment was attached to the Army of the Cumberland, under General Thomas, and participated in the battles of Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, Perryville, Stone River and the campaign against Atlanta, and Mr. Cain was under fire with his regiment for a hundred days during the Atlanta campaign. On June 10, 1865, he was mustered out of service and honorably discharged, after having obtained the rank of second lieutenant.

At the close of the war Mr. Cain returned to his home at Rockford, Ill., and on February 1, 1866, was married to Miss Lucy Marsh, a native of Winnebago county, Illinois. Mrs. Cain is a daughter of Russell and Mary Ann (Hayes) Marsh, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Canada, of Vermont parentage. Mr. and Mrs. Cain lived near Rockford, Ill., after their marriage until 1869, when they went to Iowa, locating near Fort Dodge, where they farmed rented land for fifteen years. In 1884 they removed to western Nebraska, and the same year came to Butler county, Kansas, settling in Lincoln township, were[sic] they bought the northwestern quarter of section 5. Mr. Cain borrowed $200 to make his first payment. The place was unimproved, and Mr. Cain built a stable, 14x32 feet, which they used as a residence during the first summer and in the fall built a home and turned the stable over to the horses. When the Cain family settled in Lincoln township it was a wild, unbroken country, covered by a luxuriant growth of blue stem. Mr. Cain says that people told him that he would starve to death out there on the plains, and he also adds that there were times in the early days when it looked as though the guess would come true. He engaged in general farming and stock raising, making the stock business the principal feature, and has prospered and made money. He bought additional land, adding three quarter sections to his first purchase, and now owns 640 acres and is one of Butler county's well-to-do citizens, and is, perhaps, one of the best known men in the county. He says he always managed to get along pretty well, even from the start, although during the first few years dollars were not as numerous as the "leaves of the forest." He has an ideal stock farm, well watered, fenced and improved, with two good windmills.

To Mr. and Mrs. Cain have been born the following children: H. E., Lincoln township; Mary L., married E. S. Rogers, Pueblo, Colo.; W. R., on the homestead; Carrie E., married E. D. Stalnaker, Peabody, Kans.; Dora V., resides at home; Lula J., married Preston L. Beard, and they are both deceased; Nina E. married G. V. Beard, Douglass, Kans.; Charles R. Lincoln township, and George M., resides at home with his parents.

Mr. and Mrs. Cain are representative pioneers of Butler county, and they have a broad acquaintance and many friends. Their golden wedding anniversary was celebrated February 1, 1916, and their many friends and relatives joined to make of this an eventful occasion. Among


the many presents which they received was a set of spoons from Mrs. Carolina P. Brazee, of Rockland, Ill., from whom Mr. Cain purchased 480 acres of his Lincoln township farm.

Mr. Cain is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, J. Y. Smith Post, No. 377, Potwin, Kans., and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a stanch Republican and bears the distinction of having cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States.

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