Page 531-533, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


John W. Guthrie, of Augusta, Kans., is a Kansas pioneer who has spent forty-six years of his life within the borders of Butler county, and is entitled to no small amount of credit for the part that he has played in making Butler one of the leading counties of the great State of Kansas. Mr. Guthrie is a native of Kentucky, born in 1848, a son of R. H. and Elizabeth (Stewart) Guthrie, both natives of Kentucky. The fathre[sic] died in his native State at the age of ninety and his wife died in that State in December, 1915, at the age of ninety-four. They were the parents of eleven children, as follows: William H., deceased; George S., de-


ceased; John W., the subject of this sketch; Elizabeth, died in infancy; R. H. lives at Honey Grove, Tex.; J. T., deceased; O. W., living in Kentucky; S. L., Danville, Ky.; Mrs. Lee Carpenter, lives in Kentucky; Rollie and M. W., both living in Kentucky.

John W. Guthrie was reared to manhood in his native State and educated in the public schools. He was a boy during the Civil war and has many recollections of incidents which took place in the vicinity of his home at times when the Union and Confederate troops were foraging and fighting in that neighborhood. One event that made a lasting impression on his mind, was a skirmish that took place in the vicinity of his old school ground. The Confederate soldiers occupied the school building, and in attacking their position, the Union soldiers fired a cannon ball through the old temple of learning, which impressed young Guthrie in a way that he never forgot.

At the age of eighteen Mr. Guthrie began life for himself as a farmer near Perryville, Ky., and a year later went to Missouri, but after one year returned to Kentucky and in 1870 came to Kansas. He first settled on the Little Walnut in Bloomington township, Butler county, where he bought 160 acres of land at $10.00 per acre, and also filed on a quarter section in that locality. In 1903, he sold this property and removed to Augusta, buying sixty-four acres adjoining the town, and later bought forty acres more near Augusta.

Mr. Guthrie experienced all phases of pioneer life in Butler county, as this section was almost in its primitive state when he came here, in 1870. There was some settlement in this section, a few years prior to that time, but there were no substantial improvements, and settlers were few and far between. The land upon which he settled was unbroken and unimproved, but in a short time he made material progress, and it was not long until he had a well improved and productive farm with bearing fruit trees and substantial and well appointed dwelling and other farm buildings. His farm was well equipped with hedge fence which was the popular fence in the pioneer days, before the advent of the wire fence. Mr. Guthrie carried on farming on an extensive scale, both as a grain raiser and stockman, and met with well merited success, and is today one of Butler county's substantial citizens who has made good.

Mr. Guthrie was united in marriage in 1869 at Perryville, Ky., to Miss Nancy J. Hope, a daughter of Richard Hope of Kentucky. The Hopes belonged to a pioneer Kentucky family. To Mr. and Mrs. Guthrie have been born two children, one of whom died in infancy, and Mayme Lee, who married James B. Bourgett and is now deceased.

Few of the old settlers who were active in the development of that section of Butler county, along the Little Walnut are now living. Among the many who were identified with that section in the early seventies, Mr. Guthrie is unable to recall but two, Mr. Wirth and Mr. Snodgrass, who are still living. Many changes have taken place in the


political geography of Butler county since Mr. Guthrie first beheld the waving blue stem of the Little Walnut valley. The towns of Leon, Whitewater, Potwin were not even contemplated, and Augusta at that time was a mere trading post.

Besides his farming interests Mr. Guthrie is identified with the interests of Augusta in many ways. He is a director of the First National Bank of Augusta, and has been associated with that institution since its organization.

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Pages 531-533,