From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 902
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   Charles Cain is descended from a worthy New England family and is now known as one of the leading and progressive farmers and stock dealers of Rice county.  He was born in Wyoming county, New York, July 31, 1857.  His grandfather, Yost Cain, was a native of Vermont and was a farmer by occupation.  On leaving the Green Mountain state he went to New York, where he spent his remaining days.  His religious belief was indicated by his membership in the Methodist Church.  He had children, as follows:  Justice, Charles, John, Lewis, Yost, Clark, Fannie, Dorcas and Cynthia.

   Of this number John Cain, the father of our subject, was born and reared in the Empire state and there married Miss Mary Buck, a daughter of Edmund Buck, a farmer who removed to New York, becoming a successful farmer there.  Politically he was a Republican and filled some local offices, including many township positions and also that of county supervisor.  He was widely and favorably known and was accounted one of the leading and influential citizens of his community.  His death also occurred in the Empire state.  He had five children, - Ransom, Marcus, Rollin, Mary B and Mrs Carrie Carpenter.  Mr and Mrs Cain remained in New York until 1880, when they came to Kansas, joining their son Charles.  He has followed farming in New York, and on coming to the Sunflower state he and his son jointly carried on general farming and stock-raising.  They made a good start in business and were prospering when the father was called to his final rest in 1883.  He was a hard working man, full of energy and hope and possessed many sterling characteristics.  His wife survived him fifteen years and died in 1898.  They were the parents of four children:  Charles; Anne, who became Mrs Hatfield, of Rice county and died September 19, 1901; Cynthia; and Charles, of Dakota.  The parents held membership in the Baptist church.

   Charles Cain, whose name forms the caption of this article, was reared in New York and after attaining his majority was joined in wedlock to Miss Sarah Heath, a native of New York and a daughter of Lorenzo Heath, also of that state, whence he removed to Missouri.  Mrs Cain died September 15, 1878, at the age of twenty-five years.  In 1880 he was again married, his second union being with Miss Maggie R McMurtrey, who was born in Missouri, December 15, 1859, a daughter of William and Jennie (Collins) McMurtrey, the former a Baptist minister, who during the days of the Civil war resided in Missouri and thence came to Rice county.  He afterward removed to Barber county, Kansas, where his death occurred, but his wife spent her last days in Rice county.  He was widely and favorably known and devoted the greater part of his life to the uplifting of mankind.  He also carried on farming.  His children were:  Thomas, a physician; Wesley, of Oklahoma; Maggie, now Mrs Cain; Mollie, who was the wife of E Hunter but is now dead; Marvin, of Oklahoma; Bernice, the wife of C Bissell; and Frank and Harry, who are living in Oklahoma.  The marriage of Mr and Mrs Cain has been blessed with five children:  John, born in 1883; Sarah, in 1884; Charles, in 1886; Wentz, in 1888; and Mark, in 1893.

   It was in the year 1879 that Charles Cain came to Kansas, locating in Rice county, where he purchased some raw prairie land from the railroad.  He thus became owner of two hundred and forty acres and here began life in earnest, living in a small frame house.  He at once began to improve and cultivate his farm, and his capable management, conservative methods and reliable business practices have enabled him to advance steadily on the highway to success.  Like most of the pioneers who settled here he had but limited capital at the time of arrival, yet his untiring energy and diligence enabled him to acquire a handsome competence.  Today he is rated among the most successful agriculturists of his community.  He owns several well improved farms, having about one thousand acres under a high state of cultivation.  He cultivates diversified crops and in addition raises stock and feeds cattle for the market.  He raises but the best grades of stock, and thus places splendid animals upon sale.  He has ever been progressive in his methods, and he brought the first steam power thresher to the county, continuing its operation for a number of years.  Farming is one of the most important industries of Kansas and the man of strong purpose who is not afraid to work can always win success here in this line of business.  His home is about six miles east of Lyons, where he has a good residence, and the many other improvements upon his place stand as monuments to his thrift and ability.  There is also an orchard and grove upon the farm, and the farm is one of the most beautiful, attractive and desirable places of the community.

   In politics Mr Cain was formerly a Republican but afterward united with the Reform party and now uses his aid and influence in its support.  He has filled the office of township treasurer and other local positions, but political honors have little attraction for him, as he desires to give his attention to his business affairs, in which he has met with creditable success.  He and his wife are devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Mitchell and are people of the highest respectability, enjoying in an unqualified measure the confidence and friendship of their fellow men.  Mr Cainís example is certainly worthy of emulation, and his life history proves conclusively that success will reward earnest effort.