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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James T. Pefley

JAMES T. PEFLEY, one of Walton township's most esteemed citizens, and joint owner and head proprietor of Pefley Brothers' farm, which is among the largest and finest in Labette county, Kansas, is a native of Illinois, in which state he was born in 1853.

His father, Henry Pefley, is descended from a prominent Virginia family, and was himself, born in that state, in April, 1811. He followed carpenter work in his native state and was considered an expert in that line of work. In 1864, he moved with his family into Iowa. Several years afterward, - about 1869, - he took leave of his family and sought a better location for them farther south, where the climate was somewhat milder. He found a desirable locality in Labette county, Kansas, and removed his family in 1870. The same year, he took up a homestead claim in Walton township, - the northeast quarter of section 14. This is a part of the farm now occupied by several of his sons. In this western home, where it was difficult even to obtain building material, aside from the additional expense of hiring carpenters, the trade which the elder Pefley had followed for years now stood him in good stead, and proved very valuable to him. He was enabled to build his own residence, and in 1870, erected a large, two-story frame house, containing seven rooms. In those pioneer days a house of that size was considered almost a palace, and Henry Pefley's was, in this respect, an object of envy to not a few of his less fortunate neighbors, who were not so handy with tools.

August 22, 1890, Henry Pefley passed to his final rest. He was survived by his widow, whose maiden name was Catherine Caton, and who was a native of Muskingum county, Ohio. Seven children were born to her and her husband, namely: Mary, deceased; Rachel J., who is at home; Henry, deceased; Archibald, a farmer, whose land adjoins the farm of our subject; James T., the subject of this record; J. C.; and Abe L. The two last named are joint proprietors with James T. of the homestead farm, and they carry on agricultural pursuits in perfect unison, each one seemingly indispensable to the success of the other. These brothers have made a specialty of general farming, and have raised stock also to a limited extent. The homestead farm, to which they succeeded upon the death of their father, is their special pride. They have greatly improved and beautified this and have added to it from time to time until they now own 320 acres of as fine and productive farming land as one would wish to see. These brothers are all Republicans in politics, and although they have at all times taken an interest in the cause of good government, they have never been office-seekers, but have devoted the best of their time and energy toward making a success of their business.

James T. Pefley is a prominent member of the Anti-Horsethief Association. His success in life is not surprising to those who are familiar with his traits of character. In the extensive farming interest of the brothers he is considered the head, and it has been his executive ability as well as his active service that has made their farm what it now is, - a credit to the township, the county, and the state.