This is a collection of short biographical sketches submitted by individuals with a link to the Researcher. You are invited to send appropriate sketches of early Atchison County residents for inclusion on this page


Atchison County Kansas Bio Sketches 


Joseph N. Arthur, automobile salesman and garage proprietor, of Effingham, KS, is one of the progressive and enterprising businessmen of the second city of Atchison Co. signal success has attended his efforts during the years he has been a resident of Atchison Co. He embarked in the automobile business and established a garage in Effingham, despite the fact that predictions were made that the venture would not be a success and Mr. Arthur as a result is the recognized pioneer automobile man of his part of the county. Since taking the agency for the Ford cars in 1912, he has sold over half the total of Ford cars sold in the county and vicinity. Mr. Arthur first started in business in 1910 and established a small garage in the rear of his real estate office. His business grew to such an extent that larger quarters became necessary, and in 1913 he erected a large concrete building, forty by eighty feet in extent, in which is incorporated his office, display and repair rooms. He employs a skilled mechanic, assistant and driver. Mr. Arthur handles the Dodge Brothers, the Maxwell and Ford Automobiles.

J. N. Arthur was born June 3, 1869, near Corning, Adams Co., IA and is a son of John and Martha Arthur, natives of OH. Both parents were reared in the old Buckeye State and were early pioneer settlers in Iowa, coming from Bucyrus, OH in 1855 and driving overland via the ox team route, with all their movable possessions loaded on wagons en route from St. Joseph, MO to their destination in Adams Co., IA. John Arthur homesteaded government land in Adams Co. and preempted along the river where timber and water were plentiful. He prospered as the years went on and the country became more and more settled and he became the owner of over 800 acres of excellent Iowa farm lands. He resided in Adams Co., IA until his demise in 1907.

John Arthur settled on the banks of a river for the purpose of having timber, fuel and water, three essentials in keeping alive in the then sparsely settled country in the southwestern part of Iowa. He built a log cabin of logs hewn from trees chopped down with his own hands and chinked the cracks and crevices with mud; When he preempted his first tract of land in Iowa he had a yoke of oxen, $10 in money and a favorite bulldog, things which he was fond of telling about as he grew older and more prosperous. During his fifty-two years of residence in Iowa he accumulated 800 acres of land and had money loaned out to the amount of $10,000. He was the father of eleven children, nine of whom grew to maturity, each of whom as he married was assisted by the father to settle on a farm of his own and all have prospered - an enviable record for a pioneer family to make.

Joseph N., with whom this review is directly concerned, was reared on the Iowa farm and knew something about the hardships of the pioneer days in his boyhood. He attended the district school in his neighborhood and followed farming until he engaged in the implement business in his home county for some years with a fair degree of success. He left his native state in 1904 and came to Effingham, KS, purchasing 120 acres of land about one and one-half miles distant from Effingham in Atchison Co. One year later he embarked in the real estate business, in partnership with R. F. SNYDER. This partnership lasted for two years and then Mr. Arthur engaged in the business for himself. He also began to write insurance and was reasonably successful in both the real estate and insurance business. He erected a brick building for his office quarters and when automobile owners multiplied in Effingham and vicinity he foresaw the need of a repair shop and established one in the rear of his real estate office. He soon afterward rented an abandoned garage and hired a mechanic to do the repair work. It was not long until larger quarters became necessary and he built as told in a preceding chapter. In July of 1915 Mr. Arthur disposed of his insurance business and has since devoted his energies entirely to the automobile business.

He was married in 1892 to Lillie M. RAMSEY, daughter of Newton Ramsey, a pioneer settler of Adams Co. IA and a Union veteran of the Civil War. Four children have blessed this union: Pearl, aged twenty-one years; Jennie, aged eighteen years and a teached of music and an accomplished musician; Le Roy, nine years of age; Charles, three years old. Three children are deceased: Chester A. died at the age of eight years; Milton died at the age of eighteen months; Blanche died at the age of nine months.

Mr. Arthur is a Republican in politics and has identified himself more or less with the civic life of his adopted community and is considered as one of Effingham's best boosters and live wires. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, contributes to the support of the same and is affiliated with the Odd Fellows Lodge and the Knights and Ladies of Security.

Taken from:

History of Atchison County, Kansas

by Sheffield Ingalls - 1916

Submitted by:

Clemi Higley Blackburn, July 2001

Return to Atchison County Page

Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
The USGenWeb Logo was designed by Linda Cole.

Last updated 7/18/2001

mirror sites