Page 782-783, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


James H. Church was an early settler in Butler county, and is now a prominent farmer and stockman, and has contributed his share to the stock business which has made Butler county famous. Mr. Church was born in Champaign county, Ohio, in 1848, a son of R. W. and Mary (Reece) Church, natives of New York. There were seven children in the Church family, only one of whom, besides James H., is now living, Mrs. Nancy Long.

James H. Church was only three years old when the family removed to Iowa. This was in 1851. He grew to manhood in that State and was educated in the public schools. In 1870, he came to Kansas and settled in Bloomington township, Butler county. He was engaged in farming and stock raising here about eighteen years, when he returned to Iowa, and after remaining here ten years he came back to Butler county in 1899. This time he settled in Walnut township, where he bought a quarter section of land, five miles southeast of Augusta, and has since been successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising and is one of Butler county's most substantial citizens. Although still undeveloped, Mr. Church's land lies in the rich oil and gas field in the vicinity of Augusta, and the mineral value of his property, at the present time, baffles the knowledge of the most skilled expert, as there are some large producing gas wells in the immediate vicinity or adjoining Mr. Church's place.

Mr. Church was married in 1877, to Miss Mary E. Sherwood, a resident of Bloomington township. She is a daughter of Martin Van Buren Sherwood, who now resides in Noble county, Indiana. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Church, only one of whom is living: Alva Reuben, born in Iowa, and now lives on the home place with his parents.

Mr. Church is familiar with pioneer methods and the real pioneer days of Butler county. When he came to this county he came by railroad to Junction City, Kans. He drove from Junction City, Kans., bringing with him three ox teams, and one team of horses. After settling in this county, he took an active part in the political organization of the county, and the promotion of its institutions. He took part in the or-


ganization of Bloomington township, and also of the Webster school district in that township, and assisted in building the first school house, which was constructed of native timber. This building was blown down by the storm in 1876, and another was built in its place, which has since been discarded and replaced by still another building. He was here when the grasshoppers came in 1874, but says that the grasshoppers did very little damage to his crops as they were grasshopper proof that year, having been already burned up by the prolonged drouth. Mr. Church has a distinct recollection of how the hungry hopper horde swept over the plains and devoured every green vestige of vegetation, and says that the approach of the millions of these insects sounded like the coming of a great storm, and at first he thought that it was a storm.

Mr. Church is a member of the Fraternal Union, at Augusta, and is one of the substantial citizens of the community, who by his industry and thrift has accumulated a sufficiency of this world's goods.

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