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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J. H. Terwilleger

J. H. TERWILLEGER, one of the pioneer settlers of Labette county, Kansas, is at present living in section 36, township 32, range 17, in Mound Valley township. He is a native of Hamilton county, Ohio, and was born in 1820.

Matthias Terwilleger, his father, was a native of Pennsylvania. He located in Hamilton county, Ohio, very early in life, and during the War of 1812 served as a drum-major, under Gen. William Henry Harrison, participating in all his battles except the one at Tippecanoe. Mr. Terwilleger worked on the river, built his own boats, and made nine trips on a flatboat to New Orleans. This was before steamboats were used. He was a judge of the court, for twelve years, during his residence in Indiana, and was reelected the year of his death. He died in that state, October 9, 1843, at the age of fifty-two years. He married Letitia Shanklin, who died when the subject hereof was an infant.

J. H. Terwilleger, the subject of this sketch, was reared by his grandmother, after his mother's death. He had one sister, - Martha Jane, - who died in Marion county, Indiana, in 1886. In 1848 the subject hereof moved to Warren county, Iowa, where he ran a steam grist-mill at Hartford. In the spring of 1856 he moved to Marion county, Iowa, where he farmed until 1869. Previous to that, in 1857, Mr. Terwilleger had made a trip to Kansas, where he had voted for the Free State constitution. In 1869 he located in the northwest quarter of section 9, township 33, range 18, southwest of Mound Valley. He lived there until 1878. There were but two other families near, the Roberts and Wells. In 1878 Mr. Terwilleger bought his present home in Mound Valley township. His son and stepdaughter own 160 acres of this farm. Mr. Terwilleger made all of the improvements on the property. When he located there, there was but a shell of a house, a shed stable and a hedge. Parker, Oswego and Parsons were the first towns of the county, and Parker was considered the best. There were many Indians about at that time. Mr. Terwilleger paid 30 cents per pound for meat, and from 50 to 60 cents a bushel for turnips. Beets were $1.00 per bushel, while butter brought 40 cents per pound. Mr. Terwilleger has a large gourd, which holds three pecks. The seeds of this gourd were sold for 10 cents apiece. He has one of the best improved farms in the county, and is highly spoken of as a farmer of much ability and knowledge.

In September, 1845, Mr. Terwilleger was married, in Indiana, to Mary Griffin. She died in 1856, leaving three children, - Margaret C. (Shields); Mary E. (Steele), who lives near the state line, on a farm; and Harvey, who lives across the road, east of his father's farm. Mr. Terwilleger married, secondly, Mrs. Lavina Smith (nee Haigler). She was born in Pendleton county, West Virginia, in 1843, and is a daughter of John and Phoebe (Skidmore) Haigler. She was reared in Virginia, and there married Mr. Smith, who died in 1871; they had one daughter, - Phoebe, - now the wife of Mr. Terwilleger's son, Harvey. Harvey Terwilleger and his wife are the parents of five children: Charles M.; Leora B.; John H.; Leota Marie; and James Morl. Mr. Terwilleger's wife came to Labette county in 1873, and resided with her sister, Mrs. Kile, until her marriage with Mr. Terwilleger. They had one daughter, - Anna Rebecca, who died, October 20, 1895, at the age of fifteen years.

Politically, Mr. Terwilleger is a Republican. He has served as school treasurer, and his son, Harvey, has been treasurer of School District No. 68 for twelve years. Mr. Terwilleger belongs to the German Brethren church, although he and his wife were raised in the Dunkard faith.