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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William G. Hoover

WILLIAM G. HOOVER, one of the most prominent citizens of Richland township, Labette county, Kansas, whose portrait appears on the opposite page, resides in section 3, one mile from the town of Chetopa. He is president of the Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Chetopa, and is an extensive dealer in cattle and lands. He was born in Logan county, Ohio, December 10, 1836, and is a son of George W. and Pamelia (Rosier) Hoover.

George W. Hoover was born in Greenbrier county, Virginia (now West Virginia), of German extraction, and went to Ohio, when fourteen years old, with his father, Jacob, whom he well remembers. George W. Hoover bcame[sic] a prosperous sheep raiser in Ohio. In 1852 he went to Texas, and located about 15 miles northwest of Fort Worth, where he was engaged quite extensively in farming. He next moved to Labette county, Kansas, and settled two miles southeast of Chetopa, where he took a claim in the spring of 1867, and ranked among the pioneers of the county. He afterward moved to the town of Chetopa, where he resided until his death, January 19, 1878, at the age of sixty-eight years. He married Pamelia Rosier, by whom he had five children, as follows: William G.; Esther Jane, deceased; Martin V., a wealthy cattle man, whose farm adjoins that of the subject hereof, with whom he was in partnership until recent years; and Susan R. (Bell) and Matilda (Croft), of Texas. Mrs. Hoover died at an early age, and Mr. Hoover afterward married Mary Swallow, now Mrs. Caveness, of Oregon. A nephew of her husband had charge of the Advance office at Chetopa.

William G. Hoover availed himself of good advantages for mental training in the common schools of Ohio. He remained at home and assisted his father until the spring of 1858, when, on his own account, he began dealing in stock in Texas. This has been his life work from boyhood, and he has achieved a marked success. He commenced raising and keeping cattle on his father's place, and did all the riding and herding for many years. In 1868,he followed his father to Labette county, and brought with him to Chetopa some Texas cattle. After living there about four years,he moved, in 1873, to his present home, one mile south of town, where he has a fine place of 80 acres. This he has improved, and cultivates it for his own use, - employing one or two men most of the time. He has mainly raised tame grass, having had excellent success with timothy and clover. One meadow he has mowed for eight successive seasons, and raises the best quality of hay. He still handles from 150 to 200 head of cattle yearly, and also some horses and hogs. He has very little choice between Durham and Hereford, and keeps high grade stock. From 1868 to 1880 he and his brother, Martin V., were in partnership, and handled from 1,000 to 1,500 head of cattle per year, which grazed mainly in the "Nation." Until recent years, when their families have become mature, Mr. Hoover and his brother had a unique way of applying the partnership funds, - each using what he needed out of the common money and supplies. Harmony prevailed and no bookkeeping was necessary. Since 1880 Mr. Hoover has handled from 100 to 300 head of native cattle, and devoted his attention to money lending. Aside from his banking interests, the firm of W. G. Hoover & Brother still exists and does a large land and stock business. They have 20 farms, approximating 3,000 acres of land, in Labette and Cherokee counties. Both are self made men, and never received any assistance from their father. Owing to his increasing business, and other circumstances, on March 17, 1898, the subject hereof organized the Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Chetopa. He holds a controlling interest in the capital stock of $15,000 and serves as its president.- E. W. Bedell is vice-president; H. W. Bedell, cashier; and George M. Hoover, bookkeeper. The first banking house established in Chetopa was the Spaulding Bank, which collapsed in 1869, one year after its inception. The second was the private bank of Mr. Ketcham, organized in the spring of 1870. It was conducted a short time, or until the First National Bank of Chetopa was organized, - Mr. Hoover being a director and Mr. Ketcham president. This bank continued in operation until 1875, and then voluntarily liquidated, owing to its excessive capital stock of $50,000, which its business did not warrant. The next was the Ketcham private bank, under the title of Ketcham & Company, which was operated for some time, R. W. Officer finally becoming its president. It then became the private bank of Clark & Sturgis, then Clark & Bates, and was finally merged into the Citizens State Bank, which is now liquidating. Mr. Hoover has turned over to the Farmers & Merchants State Bank most of his loan business, thus relieving him of much care and labor.

William G. Hoover was united in marriage, in Cherokee county, Kansas, with Sophia Donaldson, who died in 1886, leaving four children: Cora (Carpenter), of Cherokee county, Kansas; Flora E., who is at home; Maud S. (Marley), of Kansas City, Kansas; and George M., who married Inez Hardy, and has a son, William H. George M. is bookkeeper in the Farmers & Merchants State Bank. The subject of this sketch formed a second marital union by wedding Clara Smith, of Labette county. In politics, he is a stanch Republican, and was county commissioner from 1880 to 1883. He was on the school board for twenty-five years, and has been township trustee two or three terms; he has also served as assessor. Fraternally, he has been a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, since 1875. In religious attachments, he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is also a trustee of Baker University. He is a man of great influence in the community, and has many friends of long years standing, who hold him in the highest esteem.