Page 452-453, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


J. W. Cannon, one of the present members of the board of county commissioners of Butler county, has won the reputation of being a capable and conscientious public official and is well and favorably known throughout Butler county.

Mr. Cannon was born in Jackson county, Tennessee, February 11, 1844, and is a son of Alexander and Frances (Hale) Cannon, the former a native of Ireland, and the latter of Tennessee. The Cannon family removed from Tennessee to northwestern Missouri and settled in Gentry county, that state, in 1856, and the parents spent their lives in that county. J. W. Cannon is one of a family of nine children. He received his education in the public schools of Gentry county, and when he was just a few months past eighteen, he enlisted, June 1, 1862, at Albany, Mo., and became a member of Company I, Third Missouri cavalry. His company operated most of the time in Missouri and Arkansas, and along the border, which was the most disagreeable and hazardous kind of warfare. They had such notorious military outlaws as Quantrill and his followers to contend with, and fought these organized guerillas on numerous occasions, and also General Price's command and other Confederate forces. In 1864, Mr. Cannon's command was sent to Rome, Ga., and an incident occurred there that is worthy of narration. Mr. Cannon's comrade was severely wounded and wrote his home address on a five dollar bill which he gave Mr. Cannon. As he wrote, the blood dripping from his wound spattered on the bill and Mr. Cannon has in his possession to this day that blood-stained five dollar bill, and he cherishes it in memory of his comrade, and as a souvenir of the stirring time when human life was held so lightly. Mr. Cannon was in Georgia only ten days when they were ordered to Little Rock, Ark., and continued the campaign in the west until the close of the war. Mr. Cannon was twice wounded. In a skirmish with Quantrill's band at Chillicothe, he was shot in the leg and at Camp Craner a ball entered his left side and lodged in his right shoulder. He was never captured but had many narrow escapes. After having served three years and seventeen days he was discharged at St. Louis, Mo., June 17, 1865.

At the close of the war Mr. Cannon returned to Gentry county, Missouri, where he was engaged in farming until 1880; he then came to Butler county, Kansas, and preempted 160 acres in Hickory township. He later bought additional land until he owned 700 acres. He sold his farm property and in 1906 removed to El Dorado where he has since resided.


Mr. Cannon has always taken an active part in political affairs and since coming to Butler county he has never missed attending a county convention of his party as a delegate and has frequently attended State conventions. In 1912 he was elected a member of the board of county commissioners and served as chairman of that body until January 1, 1916. In the discharge of his duties as county commissioner Mr. Cannon has proved himself to be a capable, conscientious and efficient county officer and has won a commendation of the tax payers of Butler county.

Mr. Cannon was married in 1864, November 5, to Miss Mary A. Lewis, of Gentry county, Missouri, and a native of Ohio. To Mr. and Mrs. Cannon have been born the following children: Frances A., married William P. Carter, Kansas City, Mo.; Elmer, died at the age of twenty; A. G., and A. D., twin brothers residing at Cato, Okla. These two boys have a remarkable and unusual resemblance to each other, and they are also very much attached to each other.

Mr. Cannon is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Masonic Lodge. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for over fifty years.

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