Page 551-552, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


O. E. Torrey, manager of "East View" dairy farm, near Towanda, Kan., is one of the progressive and uptodate dairy men of Butler county. Mr. Torrey is a native of this county and was born in 1892. He is a son of Albert and Susie (Varner) Torrey, the former a native of Wisconsin and the latter of Iowa. They were the parents of four children, as follows: Mrs. Effie Fresh, Potwin, Kans.; Mrs. Mamie Whiteside, Towanda, Kans.; Mrs. Vesta Larlie, Whitewater, Kans., and O. E., the subject of this sketch.

O. E. Torrey received his preliminary education in the public schools of Butler county and then attended Friend's University at Wichita, and Owensboro College at Owensboro, Ky. He then took a course in the Mills Business College at Wichita, Kans., after which he was engaged in general farming for two years. In 1914, he engaged in the dairy business on an extensive scale on the "East View" dairy farm. which is located one-half mile north of Towanda. This is, no doubt, the most modern dairy farm in Butler county, and it can be truthfully stated that the place is equipped with the most modern methods for handling this important branch of industry. Mr. Torrey has installed a milking machine, which is, perhaps the first apparatus of the kind to be successfully operated in Butler county. The device is capable of milking three cows at a time and is operated by a gasoline engine, and all other fixtures and conveniences about the place for the purposes of conducting


a modern sanitary dairy farm are in thorough keeping with the plan of this marvelous milking machine. "East View" dairy farm consists of 400 acres, and Mr. Torrey entered the dairy business there with twenty-five head of high-grade Holstein cows and shortly afterward increased the number to forty. Besides his extensive dairy business, he deals in dairy cows, and usually has on hand about 125 head. He is gradually raising the standard of his stock and eventually expects to have only pure bred stock. He ships the product of his dairy to the Wichita market, where he receives the highest price, as he has already established a standard of excellence for his products on the market.

Mr. Torrey was married July 17, 1914, to Miss Eleanor Gillespie, of Towanda, Kans. She was born in Towanda township and is a daughter of F. P. and Kate L. (Clancy) Gillespie. By a former marriage to Mrs. Sarah Fouch, Mr. Gillespie had three children, as follows: Mrs. Martha Ramsey, of Chelsea; W. E. Gillespie, Kansas City, Mo.; and Mrs. Grace G. Lemon, Denver, Col. F. P. Gillespie and Miss Kate L. Clancy were married at El Dorado, Kans., in 1893, and to this union, one child was born, Eleanor, the wife of O. E. Torrey.

F. P. Gillespie was a native of Newcastle, Pa., born in 1842. He came to Kansas in 1883 and died on his farm in Towanda township in 1907. During his lifetime F. P. Gillespie was a prominent factor in the business and political life of Butler county. At one time he owned that section of the city of El Dorado, known as Walnut Hill, which he platted into town lots and sold at a good profit. He was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of El Dorado and was its first cashier, the first president being John Fouch. They erected the building on the southeast corner of Main and Central, where the Citizens National Bank is now located. In 1893 he purchased the farm in Towanda township which is now the East View dairy farm. He took a prominent part in political affairs and served two terms in the Kansas legislature, the sessions of 1896 and 1898, and was prominent in the legislation of those sessions. He introduced the guarantee banking law and ably assisted in placing that act on the statute books of Kansas. He was a Presbyterian, and was a dominant factor in giving that denomination a substantial and permanent organization in El Dorado. Prior to her marriage to Mr. Gillespie, Miss Kate L. Clancy was cashier of the Bank of El Dorado and a prominent figure in the banking life of Butler county.

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