Page 735-736, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Leonard Harsh, one of the large land owners of Butler county, has been one of the most extensive cattlemen in this section of Kansas for years. He was born in Carroll county, Ohio, in 1845 and is a son of Philip and Sarah Ann (Beucher) Harsh, natives of Pennsylvania and early settlers in Ohio. The mother died in 1855, and the father was married twice after this.

Leonard Harsh is one of the early settlers of Butler county. He came to Kansas in 1871, and located in Sycamore township in 1873, when he bought a quarter section of land upon which is located the famous Sycamore Springs. He immediately engaged in farming, giving special attention to stock raising. Even in the early days, he raised and shipped large numbers of hogs and cattle. In addition to those that he himself raised, he became an extensive dealer, and bought cattle, not only in Butler county, but from other counties of Kansas, and even from Colorado and Texas. He has had his ups and downs in the cattle business, but in the main has made money, and is prosperous, and is today, one of the substantial men of affairs of Butler county. He has bought more land from time to time, as his business developed, and now owns 4,000 acres of land and is one of the largest stock raisers and dealers of Butler county. Many of his early day experiences in the cattle business are still fresh in his mind. On October 28, 1872, as he was driving a bunch of cattle, which he had bought in Marion county, a sleet storm came up, accompanied by a blizzard wind, and ten of his cattle were frozen to death. In 1871, his feed gave out during the winter, and over half his cattle died from starvation.

The old California trail passed through his farm and in the early days the old stage coach passed there regularly and great trains of government supplies were hauled over this trail to Fort Sill and other frontier posts. Mr. Harsh recalls, among the early settlers when he came to Sycamore township, G. W. Snively, Hewin, Alpers, Sloper, McCable, Sylvester Myers, Uncle John Teter, J. K. Skinner and John Cameron. Notwithstanding the grief and many hardships of the early days the


early settlers had lots of enjoyment at their dances and other social gatherings, frequently driving as far as fifteen miles to these affairs.

Mr. Harsh was married in 1884 to Miss Mame Bowman, a daughter of Valentine and Martha (Patterson) Bowman. Five children have been born to this union, as follows: Carl, Ross and Dwight, all living in Sycamore township; and Margery and Fern at home. The Harsh family is prominent in Butler county, and Mr. Harsh is one of our most successful citizens.

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