Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm. Scanned from a copy held by the State Library of Kansas.
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The subject of this sketch, C.N. Baldwin, is a pioneer of Ness county, Kansas. He settled in that part of the state in 1873, and for two years made a business of hunting buffalo for their hides; not only for the the profit gained, but he was a single man and enjoyed that nomadic sort of life. When Mr. Baldwin located in Ness county, there were but two white settlers between him and the Rockies; he was thoroughly on the frontier and Indians were numerous. There were only about one-half dozen settlers in the entire county, and but two white women. The nearest postoffice was forty miles distant. Mr. Baldwin was one of thirty bachelors in the county, and Miss Emma Clason was one of the two young women, and she captured the "Yankee." Their nuptials were celebrated in the centennial year, 1876. Mr. Baldwin took up government land and made a home there, experiencing all the incidences of frontier life. The settlers were in constant fear of the Indians, and would gather together in the only large stone barn in the country to fortify themselves, momentarily expecting an onslaught of the savages. Rooster feathers were scarce, but the Indians would gather them for decorating purposes and beg for everything in sight. Sometimes asking for salt, saying: "Pony died, eat him." Notwithstanding the many drawbacks, Mr. Baldwin prospered there in cattle, sheep, and horse raising. Upon several occasions he hauled corn from Salina (one hundred and fifty miles), to fatten hogs. Becoming restless, he sold his interests in Ness county, in 1880, and after spending three years in Arkansas, came to Cloud county. His family was visited by sickness and they lost their eldest son while in that state, which caused them to long for Kansas, their former happy home, and after trading their Arkansas farm for a stock of goods and a patent right, he sold the former and by the aid of a map selected "Fanny," as their destination; was attracted by the name and Mr. Baldwin replied - "I'll go to Fanny." They came to Jamestown and Concordia and on through to Jewell county. One year later they drifted back into Cloud county and bought one hundred and sixty acres of Normal School land. Not for several years did the family know they had located very near the first point of their destination which had lost its identity. The name of "Fanny" was mentioned and upon inquiry found it had been a postoffice very near the present site of Prairie Gem school house.

Manufacturing Sorghum
While traveling over the country, Mr. Baldwin's capital was reduced to a span of ponies, and he necessarily underwent many discouragements, but could not go elsewhere; his means were exhausted. He conceived the idea of making molasses, and he not only owed for his land, but went in debt for a sorghum mill. There was much cane raised at that time, and he manufactured hundreds of gallons of molasses that year. The investment proved a good one, and in the year 1898 they made eight thousand gallons and raised one hundred acres of cane. He made a wholesale business of it, raising his own cane instead of grinding for the farmers, and increased the capacity of his mill to four hundred gallons daily, grinding and cooking by steam. The latest equipment of machinery cost him two thousand dollars, The whole country being in wheat, as soon as the crop was gathered the chinch bugs would come in from every side, and cover the cane, until Mr. Baldwin was compelled to discontinue this enterprise. However, he thinks he may try it again in the near future. On September 1, 1896, a most painful accident occurred in the engine room of the mill. Their little two-year-old daughter, Lois, was so badly scalded by the escaping steam of a bursted boiler that she did not survive the accident but a few moments and was unconscious from the first. The engineer, Chris Hoel, in trying to save the little one was badly burned. While wading through the hot water that had flooded the room, to turn off the steam, Mr. Baldwin had his feet severely scalded. Another and older daughter, who was with the unfortunate little victim, was also badly burned. The parents, brother and sisters were wild with anguish, but the accident was one of those unavoidable things that bring death and destruction without a moment's warning.

Mr. Baldwin is a native of Connecticut, born on a farm in Litchfield county, in 1846. He is a son of Junius and Mehitabel (Beldin) Baldwin. His paternal grandfather and two brothers came to America in colonial days; one settled in the state of New York, one in Massachusetts, and the other in Connecticut. When Mr. Baldwin was nine years of age his mother died. His father was married three times. He subsequently removed east of Hartford, where he died in 1875. By the first union there were two sons; by the second two sons and a daughter; by the third one daughter.

Mr. Baldwin visited the old Connecticut home in the summer of 1902, and attended the reunion of old veterans at Washington, D.C. The nineteenth Infantry, the regiment Mr. Baldwin enlisted in, was one and one-half years later merged into the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery. He served two years and eleven months. About three months after entering the service he was appointed drummer boy, and he has in his possession the drum and drum sticks, with which he has beaten many a march for the martial tread of the "boys in blue." Mr. Baldwin's extreme youth saved him from severe punishment on one particular occasion. While he was returning to Lyons, their headquarters, Mr. Baldwin was attracted by a garden adjacent to a cottage. The guard spied him and called - "Halt." The drummer boy refused, and the guard started in hot pursuit. When he overtook him a scuffle ensued, in which Mr. Baldwin beat him over the head with his drum sticks. Enthused with the desire to become a soldier, Mr. Baldwin ran away from the parental roof. On the eve of his departure from the service his father found him, administered some good advice, and bade him take care of himself.

Mr. Baldwin was among the few old veterans in attendance at Washington, D.C., who participated in the first review in that city in 1865 and the last in 1902. He served his country well, and though a youth, took part in nineteen battles and skirmishes. He was with Grant, after leaving Washington, and was in the battle of the Wilderness at Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, across the James river to City Point, tearing up several railroads while enroute to the latter place. He was in battles under both Grant and Sheridan; was with the latter when he made his famous ride from Winchester. He belonged to the Sixth Army Corps, and was with them when they found General Jubal Early in sight of the capital and routed him out through the Shenandoah Valley. On the 19th day of October, near Center creek, they routed his forces, captured his wagons and heavy artillery. After this event they returned to Washington and took transports for City Point. During the winter they were called out to extend their lines and while on this expedition engaged in a battle at Hatches' Run. A snow came upon them, making their services arduous and disagreeable. The troops had retired for the night, when Grant broke the lines in the winter of 1864-5. They heard a commotion and upon looking out, discovered troops were passing; a moment later they received orders to fall in line. The enemy could be seen in the distance; the two lines passing in opposite directions; they lost but few men. When the battered corps arrived at Petersburg, to their surprise, they met President Lincoln. The troops overtook the enemy a week later, and a battle was fought a few days before the surrender of General Lee. Mr. Baldwin witnessed Custer's troops coming in with each of his staff carrying a rebel flag.

Mr. Baldwin's visit to the "Nutmeg" state, where he was born and where he lived until attaining his twenty-seventh year, was not the least of the many pleasures enjoyed on his eastern trip in 1902. The rugged mountains that were once regarded in the light of everyday things, seemed higher; the rocks more gigantic. His stepmother, who had not seen him for thirty years, did not know her son; his father had passed into the "Great Beyond," his sisters and brothers grown to manhood and womanhood, and living in homes of their own. Everything and everybody seemed changed, but he enjoyed reviewing the scenes of his boyhood days. "As fond recollections present them to view."

To Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin nine children have been born. Two of whom are deceased. Carrie, their oldest daughter, is the wife of Sherman Robinson, a farmer of Grant township. His father, W.H. Robinson, is an old resident of Cloud county. Junius, the eldest son, a namesake of his paternal grandfather, a young man of twenty-three years, has begun the battle of life for himself. Minnie, their second daughter, is a student on her second year of the Concordia high school. Wesley, a young man of seventeen years, assists his father very materially on the farm in summer and attends the home school in winter. May and Bertha are little school girls; the latter is a namesake of Miss Bertha Marlatt. John, the baby, is aged three. For several years Mr. Baldwin was not very successful from a financial standpoint: but with perseverance, coupled with the assistance of his wife, who is a woman of culture and good judgment as well, the tide of fortune changed, and they now own two hundred and forty acres of land. In 1893 he erected a dwelling; remodeled it in 1897, making a handsome residence, which is situated on one of the finest sites in the country. With the aid of a glass, Concordia, Scottsville, Kackley, and Jamestown are plainly discernible. The farm is adjacent to the salt marsh, a wild waste of land that in springtime is a field of water, which adds to the beauty of the landscape.

Mr. Baldwin is a staunch Republican arid never changes his politics. He has served on the school board of district No. 34, and proved a very efficient member. The family are members of the Jamestown Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Baldwin studied Osteopathy under Dr. Evans, a noted Osteopath of Wichita, Kansas. He has given the science considerable attention and has treated many cases. He combines magnetism with Osteopathy in cases of sensitive patients. He keeps in touch with modern thought and scientific advancement and possesses that energy and sturdy character so invaluable to attaining success.