Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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W. H. Eakins

W. H. EAKINS has been an influential farmer of Mound Valley township, Labette county, Kansas, for a number of years, and is at present living in section 6, township 33, range 18. He was born in Adams county, Ohio, January 4, 1838. He is a son of John and Mary (Cree) Eakins.

John Eakins was, a native of Adams county, Ohio, where he died, in 1845, at the early age of thirty-three years. His wife was also a native of that county, and her death took place in 1841. They had but two children, - W. H., the subject of this sketch; and Wesley, who died when an infant.

W. H. Eakins was left alone in the world when his mother died. An uncle took him to raise, and he lived with him until he reached the age of fourteen years. Since that time, he has earned his own way, and has been a self made man in the truest sense of the word. He was engaged in the mercantile business in Manchester, Ohio, for a number of months, and since that time his life-work has been the tilling of the soil. He was a member of the state militia, and took part in much of the border troubles. Toward the end of the war, he went to St. Louis, where he enlisted in the Army of the West, and served for one year. He returned to Ohio, in 1865, where he purchased a small farm in Highland county. He removed to Neosho county, Kansas, in 1878, coming by rail to Thayer, Kansas. He brought with him his wife and family, and had $100 in his possession. Not being greatly pleased with the prospects which Neosho county afforded, he located in Labette county, in 1879, and soon after bought his present home farm, which was settled by Manly J. Kinney. A portion of this land was ceded by the Osage Indians. A stone wall had been started preparatory to building a house. This had fallen down, and there was no stable of any kind. Mr. Eakins built on the original site, which is one of the finest in the county. The house was erected on a mound, which affords splendid view of the surrounding country for miles around. But one-fourth of an acre of land had been broken, and no trees had been set out. Mr. Eakins now has a fine orchard and a number of large shade trees. His house is of stone and the outbuildings are large and comfortable. His early crops were flax and millet; he also raised some sorghum, which quickly subdued the sod. Mr. Eakins first secured 80 acres of land in the southwest quarter, and in 1898 bought another 80 acres in the southeast quarter. He bought his first full blooded Hereford ten years ago, and his thoroughbreds now number 75. He recently bought a calf for $50. He has 50 or 60 head of the best grade of Poland-China hogs. Corn, wheat and oats are his staple crops. Mr. Eakins has a drilled well, 66 feet deep, on the farm, and is reasonably sure that gas could easily be obtained. The farm is well supplied with water from a spring and wells. Mr. Eakins is a very successful man, and his business principles are sound and honest.

Mr. Eakins was married in Ohio to Matilda Collins. She was born in that state sixty-two years ago. Eight children were the result of this union, namely: James Edward, deceased; Anna B. (Wheatley), who lives three miles southeast of Mound Valley; Emma (Kyle), who lives one mile north of her father; Charles; Johnson J.; Rosa; Maggie; and Ida.

In politics, Mr. Eakins is a strong Republican, and although he has not aspired to office he takes an active interest in political affairs. He was formerly a member of the A. 0. U. W. He assisted in the erection of the Methodist church and parsonage, at Mound Valley. He well remembers the first sermon he heard in Labette county. It was preached by Rev. Mr. Slinker, at a little schoolhouse in the southeast part of Mound Valley township, and the text was: "Jonah was glad of the gourd." Mr. Eakins is a prominent worker in this church.