Page 565-566, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


W. P. Flenner, one of the oldest veterans of the Civil war, living in Butler county, is living in retirement at El Dorado. Mr. Flenner was born in Huntingdon county, Pennslyvania, March 4, 1830, and is therefore in his eighty-seventh year, and is remarkably hale and hearty, and active both in mind and body, for one of his years. He was the only son born to Daniel and Catherine (Morningstar) Flenner, bath[sic] natives of Pennsylvania. The mother had three children by a former marriage to Archie Richardson, as follows: John, Thomas, and Elizabeth.

During the Civil war, W. P. Flenner served in Company G, Seventy-Sixth regiment, Illinois infantry, enlisting in 1862, and served until after the close of the war, receiving his honorable discharge, August 6, 1865. He took part in many historic campaigns and important battles. He was at the siege of Vicksburg, and in the campaigns of that vicinity.


He was also at Jackson, Miss., and with Sherman on his march to the sea, taking part in most of the battles of that campaign, and he also participated in the last battle of the Civil war, which was fought April 9, 1865, at Ft. Blakley, Ala.

After his discharge from the army, he again engaged in the peaceful pursuits of civil life, like thousands of his comrades in arms, and began to forget about the great conflict that had raged for four long years. In May, 1873, he went to Nebraska and proved up on a claim there in 1875. In 1877, Mr. Flenner came to Butler county, Kansas, and located at El Dorado, where he worked at his trade, which was that of a plasterer, and later engaged in farming in El Dorado township, which he carried on successfully until 1908, when he returned to El Dorado, and since that time has been living practically in retirement.

Mr. Flenner was first married to Miss Susan Hofford, of Berlin, Pa., and the following children were born to that union: Ida, deceased: Mattie, deceased; Arizona, Ft. Worth, Texas; Grace, deceased; Mary, El Dorado, Kans.; Charles, deceased; Walter, Pawhuska, Okla., and John C., deceased. In 1888, Mr. Flenner married Mrs. Jennie Ruddick, who came to Kansas with her former husband, Mr. Ruddick, in 1870. They drove to this county in a covered wagon. Two children were born to Mrs. Flenner by her former marriage: Frank and Elizabeth Ruddick, both deceased. Frank died, in El Dorado in May, 1911, and Elizabeth, who for eleven years was a missionary in India, died in June, 1915.

Mrs. Flenner is a deeply religious woman, and since coming to this county, has been active in church, temperance and Sunday school work. She was a teacher of a Sunday school class for over thirty years, and is a woman of unusual mental attainments. Mr. Flenner is a Socialist, and admits without boasting that, in the matter of national politics, since 1856 he has always been on the losing side. He is the oldest Civil war veteran now living in Butler county, except Major Milks, of El Dorado. Mr. Flenner is a great reader, and has always kept himself well informed on questions of public importance, and is one of Butler county's grand old men.

Previous | Main Page | Biography Index | Next

Pages 565-566,