From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1185
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   John L Hathaway, one of the pioneers of Rice county, who served as a soldier in the Civil war, and became prominently and actively identified with the settlement, growth and development of farming and stock-raising interests of the county, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, March 15, 1843, his parents being William F and Caroline (Lacock) Hathaway, the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of Pennsylvania, where they were married.  But little is known of the grandparents more than that the Lacock family came from Ireland to America and both families were tillers of the soil.  William F Hathaway, the father of our subject, came from New Jersey to Pennsylvania when a small boy, and grew up in Washington county, where he learned the carpenterís trade, which he followed for a livelihood, carrying on that business in that county until his death, which occurred in 1865.  He was a plain, honest mechanic.  In politics he was a Whig, a Know-Nothing and a Republican, but never aspired to political preferment.  He and his wife were consistent and worthy members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.  She was called to her final rest in 1865, but a few weeks before her husbandís death.  They were the parents of six children: Henry, now of Lee county, Iowa; John L, of this review; and four daughters who died in childhood.

   John L Hathaway, the subject of this record, was reared at Clarktown in his native county in Pennsylvania, was educated in the common schools, and remained under the parental roof, helping his father and working at the carpenterís trade until 1862, when he enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Fortieth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, which was consigned to the Army of the Potomac, First Brigade, First Division and Second Army Corps, with General Hancock in command.  Mr Hathaway saw hard service in long marches and skirmishing and participated in some of the most hotly contested battles, his first fight being at Chancellorsville, where the troops were repulsed, and then on to Gettysburg.  At the battle of Cold Harbor he was severely wounded, a minie ball passing through his right knee and one through the calf of the same leg.  He was taken first to the field hospital and from there to Washington, DC, and finally to the McClellan Hospital, Philadelphia, where he remained till after the close of the war, when he received an honorable discharge and returned to his home, but on account of his wounds it was two years before he was able to do any manual labor. 

   In 1867 Mr Hathaway went to Iowa and engaged in carpentering and also did some farming.  The following year he bought a small farm in Lee county, remaining there until the spring of 1878, when he sold out his interests there and moved to Kansas, Rice county, where he bought out a squatter and filed homestead papers on the land upon which he yet resides.  When he settled there most of the government land had been claimed but few improvements made.  He built a sod house and with characteristic energy and determination began the improvement of a farm.  Like most of the pioneer settlers, he had but small means and met with many discouragements, some years the crops being very poor, but as they were not a total failure he took courage and by perseverance, unflagging industry and good management his labors have been crowned with success.  His farm is situated four miles west of Chase, and he has made elaborate and substantial improvements upon the place, including a commodious and convenient farm house, large barns and granaries and other outbuildings.  He has a fine orchard and a beautiful grove of shade trees, and the farm is divided into pasture lands and fields for the cultivation of grain.  He raises large crops of fine wheat which brings a high price upon the market, and also engages in stock-raising.

   On the 14th of November, 1868, Mr Hathaway was united in marriage to Miss Mary Clark, who was born in Pennsylvania, July 19, 1846, and is a daughter of Libbins S and Pollie (Evans) Clark, both of Pennsylvania, where they were married and moved to Iowa, settling on a farm, where they spent their entire lives.  He was a well known farmer of sterling integrity and honor, whose political affiliations were with the Republican party, and he filled some minor township offices.  Both he and his wife were consistent and worthy members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, in which he was an elder for many years.  They were the parents of eight children, namely:  Joseph; Isaac; Martha, now Mrs Clark; Abner; Libbins; Mary, the wife of our subject; Jennie; and Emma, now Mrs Wolf.  Unto our subject and his wife were born the following children:  William F, born October 19, 1870, and a farmer by occupation; Newton C, born August 6, 1872, and a blacksmith by trade; Burt, born August 13, 1875; Fred, born April 5, 1882; and Frank, born December 30, 1884, the last three mentioned being still under the parental roof.

   In his political affiliations Mr Hathaway is a stanch Republican and has filled many offices, being township trustee, assessor for five terms, justice of the peace for a number of years, and has served on the school board for fifteen years.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Grand Army of the Republic.  Both he and his family are consistent members of the Congregational church, and he is widely and favorably known as one of the enterprising and substantial citizens of Rice county, honored and esteemed by all who know him for his sterling worth.