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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John L. Humphrey

JOHN L. HUMPHREY, who was one of the earliest settlers of Labette county, Kansas, is one of the most highly respected citizens of Mound Valley township. He is an influential member of the community, and has always been foremost in advancing the interests of the county. He was born in Harrison county, Ohio, in 1845, and is a son of William and Jane (Law) Humphrey.

The ancestry of the Humphrey family is traceable back to Cromwell. William Humphrey was born in Ireland, came to America when a boy and located in Harrison county, Ohio, in 1820. He was a Free-Soiler and a strong anti-slavery man. He died in 1884. His wife was of Scotch-Irish parentage and died in Ohio in 1896. They reared nine children, as follows: Elizabeth; Thomas, a prosperous farmer, who died in Saline county, Missouri, in 1886; Margaret (Patterson), deceased, whose husband is one of the Rea Patterson Milling Company of Coffeyville, Kansas; Mary, wife of William Patterson, a feeder and stock dealer, now residing in Fairmont Park, Kansas City, Missouri; Catherine, wife of Dr. William Foster, a very successful physician, of Superior, Nebraska; John L., who was named after his grandfather, a descendant of the great financier, John Law; Martha (Spiker), who resides near the old homestead in Ohio; Ellen, wife of A. C. Birney, who lives south of Mound Valley; and Annie (Haverfield), whose husband owns a planing mill and lumber yard at Jewett, Ohio.

John L. Humphrey was reared in Ohio and attended the State Normal School. He had decided when a boy to go west, to Kansas, and this decision was carried into execution, in 1869. He arrived in Labette county, Kansas, early in 1870, looked over the county, and then went to Missouri and taught school for a time. He permanently located in this county in October, 1870, settling in Mound Valley township, in the southwest quarter of section 26, township 32, range 18, which he preempted. He came alone, but in the fall of 1871 returned to Ohio, and was married. He resided upon his preemption until 1885, and then came to his present location, the northeast quarter of section 35, township 32, range 18, in Mound Valley township. He built his fine home of 12 rooms, and two stories high. It is complete in all its details, finely arranged, and equipped with bath room and many modern conveniences. He purchased this quarter section of Charles Herstrom, a blacksmith, now deceased. At one time Mr. Humphrey owned five quarter sections and an 80-acre tract, and did an extensive stock raising and feeding business. He has disposed of part of this land, and now owns three quarter-sections, and carries on general farming and stock raising. His place is well stocked with hogs, cattle and horses.

In 1871, Mr. Humphrey was united in marriage with Virginia S. Spiker, a daughter of William and Eliza (Fincal) Spiker. She was the youngest of six children, four of whom arrived at maturity, namely: Sarah Ann (Bargar), of Ohio, whose husband died in 1900; Emma (Birney), who died at Washington, Iowa; Marion, who lives in Ohio; and Virginia S., who was born in 1849. Mrs. Humphrey's great-great-grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War and her grandfather took part in the war of 1812. Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey became the parents of the following children: William, who is in the hardware business at Mound Valley, married Victoria Wallis, and has two children, - Harry and Shirley; Marion, who died young; Sunshine; and Thomas Paul who is attending school. Politically, Mr. Humphrey is a supporter of the People's party, but prior to 1890 he was a Republican. He was township treasurer one term, and in 1892 was elected to the state legislature, and served one term. Fraternally, he is a member of the A. 0. U. W., of Mound Valley. His wife is a member of the M. E. church.