Page 734-735, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


S. S. Harsh, of Sycamore township, has been a resident of Butler county, Kansas, since 1871. He was born in Carroll county, Ohio, in 1852, and is a son of Philip and Sarah Ann (Beucher) Harsh, and is one of the following children born to them Mrs. Lavina Parsons, Cassoday, Kans.; L. Harsh, Milt Harsh and S. S. Harsh, all of Cassoday. The mother died when S. S. was about one year old, and the father married again. In 1871 the Harsh family came to Kansas and located in Sycamore township, Butler county, where the father bought 160 acres of land. Their first home in the new country was a crude two-room affair, but about as good as the average pioneer home of that time. Emporia was their nearest trading point of importance, and S. S. Harsh made the trip to that place frequently for supplies.

The Harsh family met with many disagreeable features and endured many privations and hardships in the early days. They passed through seasons of crop failures, fought prairie fires, and saw their crops devoured by grasshoppers. And, yet, with all these trials and vicissitudes of frontier life, the early settlers had many good times and much amusement. They had their parties, dances and literaries, and there was always something doing in the early days. Mr. Harsh says that he frequently drove fifteen or twenty miles to parties and took his best girl in a big farm wagon. He was the first young man in the neighborhood to own a buggy, and when he was not using it, someone else always was. It was in great demand among the young folks of the neighborhood. Mr. Harsh has made farming and stock raising his occupation and life study, and is one of the successful agriculturists of Butler county. He owns 600 acres of well improved land, and is rated among the prosperous men of Sycamore township.

Mr. Harsh was united in marriage, in 1883, to Miss Elizabeth Ann Bishop, a daughter of Elias and Nancy Jane Bishop, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Bishop were married in Indiana, and were the parents of the following children: Mrs. Harsh; Mrs. Emma Earnest, Wichita, Kans.; James Edwin, Wichita, Kans., and Mrs. Permelia Harsh, Cassoday, Kans. The Bishop family was among the early settlers in Butler county. They came here in 1867, and the father located on 160 acres of land near Chelsea, buying the relinquishment of the claim for $400. The father built a two-room log house, and began farming and was successful from the start, which was very uncommon among the early pioneers. He raised good crops of corn, which he sold for $1.50 per bushel, and their butter brought seventy-five cents per pound, and he had his farm paid for within two years after coming here. They had all the meat that they wanted, which consisted of prairie chickens, deer and


wild turkey, which included nearly all the native delicacies of the plains. The Bishop family were always well provided for, and lived as well in those pioneer days as the person of average means does today. Of course they experienced many inconveniences, and a feeling of uncertainty in a new and untried country, and were subjected to Indian scares and the like. It developed, though, that the Indian scares usually circulated by white men who, after scaring the settlers out of the community by the circulation of a false alarm, planned to rob the places of whatever was left behind of any value.

Mrs. Harsh is one of the very earliest school teachers of Butter county, and taught the first school in Sycamore township, which she conducted in J. W. Parson's house. Mr. and Mrs. Harsh have no children. They are among the pioneers of Butler county, and are deserving of more than ordinary recognition in the history of their county.

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