Page 454-455, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


A. Whitecotton, now living retired at Benton, Kans., is a Kansas pioneer, who has spent forty-six years of his life in this State, and is typical of that class of men of whom it may be said that they were especially qualified for the great work of opening up the West to civilization. This noble band of pioneers who went forth in the early days to conquer the wilderness and subdue the plains, knew not fear, and to overcome obstacles seemed to be their specialty. They had a mission to perform in the eternal fitness of things, and it can be said of them that they did their duty.

Mr. Whitecotton is a native of Indiana and was born June 28, 1840, a son of George and Angeline Whitecotton of that State, where the


father was a successful farmer in the early days. They were the parents of the following children: Mrs. Lydia Jones, Lapell, Ind.; Oliver W., Lapell, Ind.; Sidney, Mt. Comfort, Ind.; George W., Terre Haute, Ind.; Mrs. Mary Cotton, Indianapolis, Ind.; Benton, Indianapolis, and A., the subject of this sketch.

Mr. Whitecotton was married in 1864 to Miss S. M. Stouder, a daughter of William and Rebecca Stouder, natives of Indiana. Mrs. Whitecotton is one of a family of three children, as follows: Davis, Madison, Kans.; William, Nocona, Texas, and Mrs. Whitecotton. To Mr. and Mrs. Whitecotton have been born two children: Mrs. Eva Gordon, Augusta, Kans., and Howard W., Benton; Kans.

Mr. and Mrs. Whitecotton came to Kansas in 1870 and homesteaded 160 acres of land in the eastern part of Sedgwick county and immediately began to improve their home and follow farming in a small way. Money was scarce and the Whitecotton family like the other early pioneers had limited means, and Mr. Whitecotton resorted to every honorable method to earn a dollar. He worked on the streets of Wichita for $1.50 per day and slept in his wagon at night, while Mrs. Whitecotton remained at home on the claim. They felt that they were just getting a start when in 1874 the grasshoppers swept down and destroyed everything that they had, in the way of crops, and left them with nothing with which to subsist during the coming winter. Mr. Whitecotton then took his team and found employment hauling buffalo bones from the Ninescah valley to Wichita. He found these bones in great quantities along the Ninescah river and after hauling them to Wichita found a ready market at $6 per ton. After this he engaged in freighting which he followed until the spring of 1875 when he proved up on his claim and after securing the title was able to borrow $200 for which he paid sixteen per cent. The same year he borrowed seed wheat and gave one-third of the crop to the man who furnished the seed. From that time on he met with success in farming and stockraising and accumulated a competence. A few years ago he sold his farm and bought a place in the town of Benton. He has one acre of land and a very comfortable home where he and his wife are spending their declining years in peace and comfort, after an active and successful career of enterprise and industry.

Mr. Whitecotton is a veteran of the Civil war. He enlisted at the first call of President Lincoln in Company K, Eighth regiment Indiana infantry and served until the close of the war, four years and two months. He served under Fremont in Missouri, and from this to the siege of Vicksburg, and after the fall of Vicksburg, he went to New Orleans, and was then transferred to the Army of the Potomac and served under Sheridan in the Shenandoah valley; later to Savannah, and did garrison duty. Later they went to Augusta and guarded Jeff Davis on his trip to Savannah. From there went to Hawkinville on detached duty. He was discharged at Darian, Ga., in August, 1865, and returned to Indiana.

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