Page 797-798, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


N. W. Wilcox, of Glencoe township, belongs to that type of sturdy pioneers whose courage, foresight and industry built up the great West of today. He was born in New York in 1856, and is a son of William W. and Cordelia A. (Merritt) Wilcox. The father was a native of New York and spent his life in that State, engaged in horticultural pursuits. The Wilcox family is of English descent. The mother, Cordelia A. Merritt, was also a native of New York, and was one of a family of nineteen children, fifteen boys and four girls.

N. W. Wilcox is one of a family of five children, as follows: Eugene H., De KaIb, Ill.; Mrs. Harry A. Wilburger, De Kalb, Ill.: Benjamin, South Bend, Ind.; Norman W., the subject of this sketch, and C. A., Leon, Kans. Norman W. Wilcox and two brothers, Charles and


Eugene, came to Kansas from Illinois in 1878, driving the entire distance with a team and wagon, and N. W. pre-empted a claim in Glencoe township, Butler county. The country was new at that time, and there was not even a wagon track across this claim when he came here. Mr. Wilcox had his household goods shipped to El Dorado by rail, and after erecting a little one room shack on his claim, he went to El Dorado and got his furniture, which consisted of one old fashioned bedstead, which had been in the family for over a hundred years, and three chairs, he made the table, which he says, was a masterpiece of cabinet workmanship, and began life in his one room cottage. There was not so very much room in the house but he had the consolation of knowing that out of doors was not crowded in the least, in those days. There was plenty of room on the broad plains, in fact more room than anything else.

Mr. Wilcox was married in 1880 to Miss Nellie Weast, a daughter of William Weast, who came to Butler county, Kansas, in 1870, and prempted[sic] a claim near Quito. They were early settlers in that section and when they located there, there was but one house between Quito and El Dorado. Mr. Wilcox says, when he met his future wife that it was a case of love at first sight. They were married at the bride's home, a pioneer cabin on the plains, and are still sweethearts. To Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox have been borne the following children: F. E., Ralph C., Evaline, Mrs. Grace Hemanover, J. B. W. and Emma H., all of whom reside in Leon.

When Mr. Wilcox came to Butler county, he started with very little capital. After he had succeeded in getting a team of horses, he had the misfortune to lose one of them and had but one blind horse left. If he proposed to remain in Butler county and work his claim, he must have another horse, for he couldn't break prairie without a team. He succeeded in trading a cow, a hog and thirteen chickens for another horse, and thus was equipped to proceed with his pioneer farming, and in spite of prairie fires, droughts and hot winds of the early days, he has met with uniform success as a farmer and stock raiser, and is now one of the substantial and influential farmers of Glencoe township. He takes quite an interest in local political affairs, and has served as clerk and treasurer of his school district. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

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