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 Sullivan

WILLIAM SULLIVAN, a representative citizen and prominent business man of Parsons, Kansas, is the proprietor of a fine drug store in that city, located at No. 2128 Johnson avenue. He keeps at all times a fine line of pure drugs, makes a specialty of filling prescriptions, and maintains a complete stock of apothecaries' supplies.

Mr. Sullivan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in July, 1856, and was the eldest of two sons born to James and Anna Sullivan. James Sullivan was also a native of Pennsylvania, and followed civil engineering for many years. During the Civil War, he entered the Union service as a member of the Mulligan brigade, and never came back, - thus breaking the thread of the family history. The widowed mother, who was then living in Chicago, Illinois, was left with two small children, William, and his brother James, whom she was unable to support. They were placed with the Sisters of Mercy, in Chicago, and after a time homes were obtained for them. James was the first to leave the asylum, and William was ignorant of his brother's whereabouts far a number of years.

William Sullivan was taken to the home of Leonard Hagan, then of Illinois, where he was reared as a son. His primary education was obtained in the district schools. In 1870, he accompanied Mr. Hagan to Osage Mission, Kansas, which then formed the nucleus of immigration in this portion of the state. There he attended for some time the Indian school under the direction of the Jesuits, and was later sent to St. Louis, where he served an apprenticeship with a drug firm. When eighteen years old, he was placed in St. Mary's College near Topeka, Kansas, where he took a complete course in chemistry and botany, and also studied Latin and German. Returning to Osage Mission he was employed as a clerk in a drug store for two years. In the fall of 1879, he located in Parsons, Labette county, where he worked in a similar capacity for Silas Cary for a brief period. Mr. Sullivan then opened a drug stare of his own, under the Eclipse office, where he carried on business for two years. He removed his drug store, from time to time, to different parts of the city, and enjoyed a very fair patronage. In 1892, he was enabled to erect a double building, 70 feet by 40 feet, in dimensions, and one story high, at No. 2128 Johnson avenue. For the past two years, Mr. Sullivan's drug store has been located in a part of this building, and is a model of neatness.

While at Osage Mission (now St. Paul), Kansas, Mr. Sullivan formed the acquaintance of a Jesuit missionary, Father Colleton, who in his travels had previously visited Baxter Springs. At that place, he stopped with the family of Capt. Highland, with whom a boy was living, whose personal appearance greatly resembled that of William Sullivan. Father Colleton spoke of the remarkable likeness between the two boys, and an investigation revealed the fact that they were brothers. Guided by Father Colleton, William Sullivan went to see his brother, and finally induced James to locate in Parsons, Kansas, where he also engaged in the drug business. James Sullivan died in Parsons about 1897, leaving a son, Frank, who still resides in Parsons with his mother, and is employed in the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway yards.

William Sullivan was joined in marriage with Miss M. J. Mills, an accomplished daughter of Lafayette Mills, who, like himself, was a pioneer resident of St. Paul, Neosho county, Kansas. Eight children were born of this union, namely: Gertrude, William L., Leo, Fay, Louis, Irene, Clarence, and Joseph. Fay and Irene are deceased. The eldest child, and living daughter, is attending the high school, the younger boys are also students. William L., who is fifteen years of age, is his father's able assistant in the drug store.

Mr. Sullivan is a man of decided views, but is temperate and gentlemanly in his expression of them. Although a Catholic, he entertains liberal ideas on religious subjects. In politics, he votes a straight Democratic ticket. Fraternally, he is a member of the A. 0. U. W., and carries insurance in that order. He casts the weight of his influence in behalf of the welfare of his community, and is earnestly interested in local matters. He enjoys the reputation of being a model citizen of Parsons, where he was among the first to establish a prosperous drug business.