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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W.W. Palmer, an extensive farmer and stockman residing in Glasco, is a native of Massachusetts, born in Somerville, a suburb of Boston, in 1843. He is a son of Theodore and Lydia (Wood) Palmer. One branch of the Palmers came over in the Mayflower and settled in Massachusetts, and emigrated later to New Hampshire where Theodore Palmer was born and married. They subsequently moved to Massachusetts, where their family was reared. Mr. Palmer's mother was a native of Massachusetts and died June 5, 1863. His father came to Kansas in 1881 to live in the home of his son and died in Neosha Falls in 1883.

Mr. Palmer emigrated to LaSalle county, Illinois, in 1860 where he remained until the following June, when he enlisted in Company A, Twentieth Illinois Infantry, and served three years. before arriving at the age of twenty-one. After the siege of Vicksburg he was transferred to the signal corps. He did not miss an engagement that his company participated in and was with Grant in every battle that famous general commanded, with the exception of Fort Pillow. When the signal corps in Banks' regiment arrived at Cane river, Louisiana, and they were fired upon by the enemy, the movements of the attacking column were conducted entirely by signal. The history by J. Willard Brown says, "Private Warren W. Palmer was complimented in the records for standing at his post like a true man and soldier while staff officers ran their horses to the rear for a more secure position." His picture also appears in the work. Mr. Palmer was very young but had a brother in the service who was a good soldier and through this influence he was allowed to pass and enlist. At the time of his transference he was a corporal. He was neither wounded, sick or in prison during the service. He was in the battles of Fort Henry, Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, Britton's Lane, and with Grant's army at Fort Gibson, Utica and Champion Hill, where their regiment turned the tide of that battle; by a bold dash of General Logan's at the proper time every piece of artillery fell into their hands. The battle was a bloody one and fiercely fought. On the march from Jackson to Vicksburg they charged on Fort Hill and were repulsed, but stationed themselves a few rods away, threw up an embankment, dug trenches and tunneled through to the Fort; put in powder and blew it up making several efforts before they succeeded. One of the Rebel officers and a colored servant were killed in this affair, the darky being hurled into the air and landed in the Federal ranks. While the regiment was lying at Memphis in the autumn of 1862, there were numerous desertions. On one occasion Mr. Palmer and a comrade were strolling along Pigeon Road where the woods were full of guerrillas. The pair drifted several miles from camp in the vicinity of an old railroad track and discovered half a dozen men coming in their direction who they supposed were guerrillas. As they approached one of their number, a German, expressed a desire to be spokesman and upon being questioned as to what their intentions were, replied that they were fugitives of war and also affirmed that thousands more wanted to join them. The German invited them over to their plantation where they found card tables and other evidences of entertainment. Before taking their departure arrangements were made for Mr. Palmer and his partner to return and bring with them all who desired to desert the army with the promise of sending them anywhere on parole in the south or north on the Mississippi river. Upon returning to camp the gallant "boys in 'blue" related their novel experience and General Logan immediately sent two companies of soldiers with staff officers, guides and men to arrest the fugitives who had forsaken their post of duty. Mr. Palmer with several others repaired to the place of meeting, reported themselves ready for the promised assistance and were instructed to go to a certain rendezvous for passports, etc. A few moments later and the door was burst open, the occupants taken in charge and put under guard. The three leaders of the gang were sent to the Alton penitentiary for the remainder of the war. Upon investigation they found in the house accoutrements of war and the papers of one hundred or more soldiers who had become deserters.

After the war Mr. Palmer obtained a position with Drake & Beebee's commision[sic] house, remaining eighteen months and removed to Dongola, Union county, Illinois, where he lived two years and was appointed postwaster and express agent, which offices he had held one year prior to this date for Mr. Leavenworth, who resigned and was succeeded by Mr. Palmer. Our subject was one of eleven children, four of whom are living. He has two brothers - Homer, a resident of Idaho, and George, who was in the same company with Mr. Palmer, is an inmate of the Soldiers' Home at Quincy, Illinois. He is sixty-six years of age. A sister, Caroline Moore, is a resident of Boston, Massachusetts. A brother, William, who enlisted in a Massachusetts regiment, was killed in the battle of Spotsylvania. Lyman, another brother, who was also one of a Massachusetts regiment, was wounded and died in this state from the effects of the wound.

Mr. Palmer located in Glasco in the winter of 1878-9 and for several years followed carpentering. He assisted in building the first house that was erected in that city after it secured the railroad. He leases and operates a section of fine land about one mile from Glasco, which he has farmed since 1893. Within the eight years that he has operated this farm the land has produced thirty thousand bushels of wheat, and the present year (1901) he has two hundred and sixty acres. In 1897 his wheat averaged forty bushels and in 1891 forty-one bushels per acre. In the latter year he had twenty acres of volunteer wheat that yielded twenty-seven and one-half bushels per acre. In 1901 a field of two hundred acres yielded forty bushels per acre; much was wasted on account of dry weather and he garnered but twenty-three hundred bushels. Mr. Palmer has raised cattle and hogs successfully, shipping two car loads of the latter per year. His herd of cattle consists of ninety head. He visited Missouri in 1900 and purchased several head of the Aberdeen strain and is breeding his herd into the Aberdeen-Angus. He has been very successful in alfalfa and has sixty-five acres that yielded one hundred and twenty-five tons the present year. Mr. Palmer has also been engaged in the real estate and insurance business, and through his shrewdness and efforts many transactions in good real estate have taken place. In 1880 he became manager for the Chicago Lumber Company and was with this enterprise eight years.

Mr. Palmer was married in 1865 to Mary E. Little, a daughter of John F. Little, of Compton, New Hampshire. She is a lineal descendant of George Little, nine generations removed, who settled in Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1640. The place of his nativity was Union street, city of London, England, in the vicinity of London Bridge. Her father was born in 1810 on the old Little homestead at Compton. The house in which he was born was a well-constructed building erected in 1786; the first shingles leasting half a century.

John F. Little was a teacher in his early life and moved to Mississippi, where he met and married Sarah Ann Dennis. She was born in 1818. They emigrated to Dongola, Union county, Illinois, in 1866, where Mr. Little was a prominent citizen and became postmaster, express agent and justice of the peace, holding these positions several years. They lived to celebrate their golden wedding and were both deceased the following year. Mrs. Palmer is one of five children, viz: Alice Jane, deceased wife of Henry C. Neville; she died in 1866, leaving one son, Henry C., living in the state of Indiana. John Augustus, deceased in 1859, at the age of twelve years. James Albert, born July 4, 1853, is watchman in the Marine Hospital of Cairo, Illinois. Sarah Phoebe, deceased wife of John McNamer, died July 21, 1978. The Little ancestry served in the French and Indian war, the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil war. A cousin of Mrs. Palmer was the youngest captain of an Iowa regiment. They were prominent people, many of them being graduates of Harvard, Yale and other noted colleges. They were all upright, industrious and God-fearing men. Her grandfather, four generations back, was Colonel Moses Little, who won distinction under Washington at the battle of Bunker Hill. He led three companies across Charleston Neck under a severe fire from the British batteries, reaching the scene of action before the first charge of the enemy and was present throughout the engagement. He is spoken of in history as "behaving with much spirit." Though not wounded he had many narrow escapes, and forty of his regiment were killed and wounded. He was the officer of the day when Washington took command of the army and afterward became personally acquainted with his commanderin-chief, who held him in high esteem. Upon one occasion several officers were complaining bitterly of tie character of their provisions. Washington suggested they confer with Colonel Moses Little, who had not found time to allude to hardships of this sort. In 1777 he was compelled to return home on account of illness and two years later declined for the same reason the commission of brigadier general and the command of an expedition raised by the commonwealth of Massachusetts to dislodge the enemy from their position on the Penobscot. He afterward represented his native town in the legislature as he had done before the war. He died in 1798.

To Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have been born eight children, seven of whom are living, viz: Theodore Dudley, born in 1868, is a bookkeeper in a railroad office at Altoona, Wisconsin. Roscoe, born in 1877, occupies a position in the same office. He was a member of the Fifteenth Minnesota, Company H, and served nine months in the Cuban war. They did not encounter active service, but were encamped at Camp McKenzie, Georgia, and at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. They expected and were anxious to be sent to Cuba but the warfare ceased ere they were called on to go. John Dennis, born in 1870, is a clerk in a department store in Marshalltown, Iowa. Adah Marie is the wife of A.R. Hilsabeck, a farmer near Gilman, Iowa. Alice Emma is married and resides in Glasco. Albert and Alma were the first twins born in the city of Glasco. Albert is at present in Colorado, where he is sojourning for the benefit of his health. Alma, a prepossessing and promising young woman, was deceased January 21, 1901, at the age of twenty-one years. Harry, the youngest child, is a student of the Glasco high school.

Mr. Palmer had been a life-long Republican, but in the two last presidential elections voted the Democratic ticket. He is a Master Mason, member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Grand Army of the Republic and has been post commander several terms. He has held the office of police judge and justice of the peace for several years and bears the reputation of being the best officer Solomon township ever had; and has tried some important cases. Mr. Palmer has probably spent more time and money in Glasco than any other individual citizen. He took a prominent part in the erection of the school building and is foremost in any public enterprise of his town. He is one of the most influential men in Glasco, one of the most highly esteemed in the community and was a faithful and trustworthy soldier. Mrs. Palmer is a refined and cultured woman. She is a member and earnest worker of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer occupy one of the handsomest homes in their little city.