Page 602-603, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


L. J. Neal, a prominent hardware merchant of Whitewater, Kans., was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, June 1, 1848, and is a son of John and Johnanna (Stillwaggon) Neal. The Neals are of Scotch descent and Johanna Stillwaggon traces her lineage through a long line of honorable English ancestors who were of Norman descent, and came to Briton with William the Conqueror. Johanna Stillwaggon was a daughter of John and Sarah (Fitz Randolph) Stillwaggon. Sarah Fitz Randolph was born in South Amboy, N. J., in 1780, and was a daughter of John and Elizabeth Fitz Randolph. John Fitz Randolph was born on August 4, 1749, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He was a son of Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, who was born at Princeton, N. J., on November 11, 1703. Nathaniel as the son of Benjamin, who was also born at Princeton, N. J., on April 24, 1693, and Benjamin was the younger son of Edward Fitz Randolph, the founder of the Fitz Randolph family in America and emigrated to this country from England in 1630.

Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, above mentioned, was the promoter of Princeton College. In 1759 he proposed the circulation of a subscription for the establishment of a college at Princeton, N. J., and succeeded in obtaining about $2,500 and obtained a charter. Afterwards a second charter was issued by Governor Belcher and $8,500 was obtained for the college. Nathaniel Fitz Randolph gave four and one-half acres of land for the college grounds and also $100 in money, besides devoting much time to the project. The deed of the four and one-half acres of land was executed January 25, 1753, and the property was transferred to the trustees of Princeton College and the excavation for the building was begun in 1754 and the cornerstone was laid September 17, 1754.

L. J. Neal's parents removed from their Pennsylvania home to Sheboygan, Wis., when he was a child. John Neal followed farming in Wisconsin, where he spent the balance of his life. His wife also


died in that State. L. J. Neal, whose name introduces this sketch, received a limited education in a log school house near Sheybogan, Wis., and remained on his father's farm until 1867, when he enlisted in the regular army and served three years, and during that time was stationed in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. After receiving an honorable discharge from the army at the expiration of his term of enlistment, he returned to Wisconsin, where he spent about four years, when he went to McHenry county, Illinois, and was employed as a farm laborer about three years. He then came to Kansas and was located for a short time at Peabody, when he went to Leadville, Colo.

He was engaged in silver and gold mining in that section about twenty-two years, and while there served as a member of the Leadville fire department for three years, and held the position of lieutenant in that organization. On March 17, 1904, he came to Whitewater, Kans., and entered into partnership with his brother, G. W. Neal, who was engaged in the hardware business there. G. W. Neal died January 1, 1905, and at the death of his brother, L. J. Neal bought the entire interest of the heirs and has conducted the business alone since that time. In 1909 he erected a new store building, which is now occupied by the business. He carries a full line of hardware, and is one of the extensive dealers of Butler county. Mr. Neal is a Republican and belongs to the Masonic lodge.

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