Page 495-496, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


T. A. Fenton, a Butler county pioneer stockman and dairy farmer, now living retired at Augusta, is a native of New York. He was born at Hamburg, N. Y., in 1848, and is a son of Cephas and Juliet (Austin) Fenton, natives of New York. They were the parents of three children, of whom T. A. Fenton, the subject of this sketch, is the only one living. Mr. Fenton received his education in the public schools of Buffalo, N. Y., and Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1873 came to Kansas, locating in Bruno township, Butler county. When he settled there, that part of the country was all open range, and unbroken prairie, but within a few years afterwards settlers came in rapidly and section lines were soon established and regular highways laid out.

Mr. Fenton first bought 205 acres in 1873, and has added to his original holdings, and now owns 1100 acres of good fertile land in one body, located on Dry creek. Soon after locating in Butler county, Mr. Fenton engaged in the stock and dairy business, which he conducted for thirty-four years, and in 1907 removed to Augusta where he has since made his home. He is now taking life easy and says that he does not want to make any more money, and in fact he really does not need any more, and is one of the few men who in the wild scramble of modern day money-madness, knows when he has enough.

Mr. Fenton was one of the pioneer scientific dairy men of Butler county. He brought the first cream separator into southwestern Kansas. It was a DeLavel and came from Stockholm, Sweden. He made butter, which he delivered once a week, to special customers in Wichita. He ran his dairy in connection with the general stock business, and is a strong advocate of combining the dairy and stock business, and his successful experience in the practical application of that theory bears out his position.

On December 26, 1872 Mr. Fenton was united in marriage at Cincinnati, Ohio, with Miss Alice M. Hall, a native of Hamilton county, Ohio, and of English parentage. Five children have been born to this union, one of whom is now living, Mrs. Nellie E. Smith, who resides with her parents at Augusta. One son, Allen S., died from the result of an operation for appendicitis in 1910 and his widow, Mrs. Daisy Dwight Fenton, now lives in Augusta.

Mr. Fenton is one of the pioneers of Butler county, who came at a time when he had an opportunity to experience all the vicissitures of the early settlers on the plains. He grew up with Butler county, so to speak. Just as he was endeavoring to get a start in life, and trying to dodge dry seasons and tide over crop failures, the grasshoppers swept down upon him in 1874, and he suffered the common lot of his neighbors, and almost everything that he had in the way of growing crops was


destroyed. He relates an incident of a prairie fire in 1872 which started in the vicinity of Newton, and swept everything before it for miles and miles, and he says, that for days after the fire had passed over, the air was filled with ashes and soot, wafted about by the gentle Kansas breezes made life almost as unendurable as the fire itself. But withall, and notwithstanding grasshoppers, prairie fires, hot winds, dry seasons and wet seasons, Kansas has been good to him, and like many others, he is in a comfortable financial condition, and able to spend the remainder of his days in retirement, and is one of Butler county's honored citizens.

On the seventeenth day of April, 1916, Mr. and Mrs. Fenton started East to visit old friends. After stopping at Memphis, Tenn., Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton, Ohio, and Richmond, Ohio, where Mrs. Fenton had a stroke of paralysis which proved fatal. She died there May, 19, 1916, at the residence of her niece. Her body was brought to Augusta and buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Monday, May 22, 1916.

Previous | Main Page | Biography Index | Next

Pages 495-496,