Page 749-751, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Capt. Mike Guinty.—The story of Captain Guinty, is the story of a boy who was left an orphan among strangers in a strange land at a tender age, and by his industry and personality, made his own way in the world from that time, and has always been a citizen of real worth and has reached a position of wealth and affluence. His record as a soldier is also characteristic of the man. Enlisting as a private in the ranks, his ability was soon recognized and he gradually rose, step by step, until he became captain of his company.

Captain Guinty was born in Ireland March 19, 1842, and is a son of Patrick and Mary (Hendley) Guinty, natives of Ireland. They left their native land and immigrated to America when the subject of this sketch was a child. The family remained in Vermont for a time, when they removed to La Salle, Ill., where the parents both died, within a few months, from cholera which swept over that section of the country in the early forties. Mike Guinty remained in the vicinity of La Salle until he was eleven years old when he went to Chicago. His first job was a driver on the canal, and while thus engaged he became acquainted with a man named Jerry Dean, of Chicago, who owned and operated a number of


canal boats Mr. Dean became attached to the boy and took him to his home, and young Guinty attended school for two or three years in Chicago, making his home with Mr. Dean. At about the age of fourteen he left the Dean home and became a driver on the canal again at $15 per month. He says driving on the canal was not a bad place for a boy who was compelled to earn his own living. He next went to Rock Island, Ill. Times were very hard in that section then and work was scarce at even 75 cents per day.

Young Guinty remained in Rock Island and that vicinity until the Civil war broke out, and on July 15, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Twelfth regiment, Illinois infantry. His regiment was under command of Col. John McCarther, of Chicago, at first. They were immediately sent to Paducah, Ky., under Gen. C. F. Smith, and joined Grant at Fort Donelson, remaining under his command until Grant was transferred to the Army of the Potomac and made commander-in-chief. Captain Guinty was with Sherman on the Atlanta campaign and the march to the sea, and immediately after the fall of Atlanta he was made second lieutenant. About that time, the sixteenth army corps, to which he belonged, was consolidated with the fifteenth and placed under the command of General Logan. September 7. 1863 Mr. Guinty was commissioned first lieutenant, and the following summer was commissioned captain, and took command of his company in that capacity before he was twenty-one years old. After participating in the grand review at Washington, he was mustered out of service and returned to Illinois.

A few years after the war he went to Iowa and was engaged in farming there until 1871, when he came to Kansas and settled on a claim in Butler county, locating on the northwest quarter of section 14, Fairmount township. He had saved quite a little money and came to Kansas with considerably more capital than the average settler had in those days. When he came he was accompanied by a man named Henry Robison. They came as far as Emporia by rail and they and another man drove southwest from Emporia to look the country over, with a view of locating, and on the entire trip from Peabody to where Wichita now stands they saw only one human habitation and that was a dugout. Wichita at that time had not attained the dignity of being called a town. It was a rough little frontier settlement of about 150 people, and this population was mostly made up of gamblers and a few wandering cowboys and frontiersmen. After locating his claim in Butler county, Captain Guinty returned to Iowa, and shortly afterwards came back to Butler county, which has since been his home. He started in the cattle business in a small way, first buying a herd of cows and engaged in the dairy business, and raised calves for a few years. He then engaged in the stock raising business and abandoned the dairy and fed for the market, usually handling from 200 to 500 a year. He bought land as opportunities presented, and now owns 960 acres of some of the best land in Butler county.

Captain Guinty was married in January, 1866, to Miss Sophia S.


Wood, a daughter of W. A. and Sophia (Smith) Wood, natives of Cortland county, New York, who settled in Illinois at a very early date, the father removing to that State with his parents in 1835, when he was three years old. To Mr. and Mrs. Guinty have been born the following children: H. A.; Bessie E., married John Speir, Marion county; W. H.; Grace, married J. V. Leydig; Charles S.; Lena B, deceased; Hattie E., married Elmer D. Lambert, all of whom are prosperous and reside in Butler county, except Bessie E., who resides in Marion.

Captain Guinty has always taken an active interest in political affairs and has served as county commissioner of Butler county, and in the exercise of the duties of that office, the business of the county was given the same careful attention and efficient management that Captain Guinty gives his private business. Captain Guinty has many friends throughout Butler and adjoining counties, friends who hold him in the highest esteem.

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