From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 972
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


    Among the figures who stand prominently forth on the pages of western history is the gentleman whose name introduces this review.  He is one of those honored pioneers who bravely turned their faces from the east, with all the advantages of wealth and civilization, and cast their fortunes with the western frontier, in all its wildness and primitive modes of life, who, rather than enjoy the comforts of their former homes, chose to endure the hardships of a wider and freer country, and who made out of those very obstacles the stepping stones to wealth and influence.

   Mr O達rian was born in Jackson county, Ohio, October 1, 1837, and is a son of Thomas B and Mary (Frazee) O達rian, natives respectively of New York and Ohio, and in the latter state they were married.  The paternal grandfather, Jonathan O達rian, was born in the Empire state and his ancestors came to America during Colonial days, members of the family serving as valiant soldiers in the war for American independence.  Jonathan O達rian was a prominent farmer of New York, and there his death occurred.  His children were William, Chauncey, Thomas B, and John.  The latter raised a company in Ohio and joined Sam Houston in Texas, taking part in the battle of San Jacinto, where Santa Ana and his Mexican army was captured and killed.  In 1836 he also assisted in establishing the republic of Texas.  He subsequently located in the Lone Star state, remaining there during the remainder of his life.  Thomas B O達rian, the father of our subject, located in Jackson county, Ohio, at a very early day and was there married.  He entered land from the government and improved a good farm, remaining there for many years.  In 1846 he sold his property there and removed to Marion county, Missouri, where he spent three years, and on the expiration of that period he returned to Ohio, taking up his abode in Vinton county.  Her later took up his permanent abode in Jackson county, West Virginia, where he improved a good farm, and there his death occurred in 1876, at the ripe old age of seventy-one years.  In 1862 he enlisted as a private in the Federal army, in which he served until the close of the war, valiantly performing his part in maintaining this grand republic.  He followed farming as a life occupation, and in early life he upheld the principles of the Whig party and after its dissolution he became a loyal Republican.  Although he filled a number of township offices, he was never an aspirant for political preferment, preferring to give his undivided attention to his business interests.  He was a licensed exhorter of the Methodist Episcopal church, and did all in his power for the uplifting of his fellow men and the cause of Christianity.  The marriage of Mr and Mrs O達rian was blessed with four children, namely:  Andrew J; John A; Thomas A; and Alford M.  The mother of this family was called to her final rest in 1855, and the father was again married, his second union being with Mrs M Cowan, by whom he had three children, Walter, George and Sarah.

   Andrew J O達rian, the subject of this review, remained under the parental roof until twenty years of age, when, in 1857, he cast his lost with the pioneers of the Sunflower state.  He first located in the city of Leavenworth, where he was engaged in the wood and coal business, remaining there until June 1861.  In that year he joined the boys in blue and assisted in the preservation of the Union.  He became a member of the quartermaster痴 department and was ordered to Washington, DC, later was employed in the transportation department and was made wagon master, having twenty-five teams under his supervision.  He also drove a team in freighting government stores, ammunition, etc., was at all the camps on the Potomac river and during the last year of the war had charge of the shipping wharf at City Point, Virginia.  Mr O達rian remained in the government service until 1868, when he returned to Kansas and was employed in the construction of bridges for the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad.  In 1869 he secured a squatter痴 claim in Montgomery county, Kansas, on which he made some improvements, but later sold that place and came to Rice county, where he joined a party and engaged in hunting buffaloes.  The animals were captured for their hides, for which there was a great demand, and as they brought good prices this proved a very profitable source of employment.  In 1872 he became the possessor of the land on which he now resides, first erecting a sod house, which he afterward replaced with a good and commodious farm residence, also erected other buildings, planted an orchard, and in many ways beautified and improved the place.  His fields were placed under a high state of cultivation, and everything about the farm indicates the supervision of a progressive owner.  In 1887 he sold the place, but still resides there as a tenant.  The struggle for existence has been a stern and hard one, but he possesses indomitable energy and marked physical courage and has successfully fought his way to success.

   In Montgomery county, Kansas, in 1873, Mr O達rian was united in marriage with Miss Jemima Enders, who has proved to him a faithful companion on the journey of life.  She was born in the state of New York, May 9, 1848, a daughter of Jeremiah and Catherine (Becker) Enders, both natives of the Empire state, where they were married.  Jacob Becker, the grandfather, was of German descent and was a prominent farmer of his native state.  Unto him and his wife were born seven children:  William, David, Yost, Daniel, Elizabeth, now Mrs Steiner, Hannah, who became Mrs Shell, and Catherine, the mother of Mrs O達rian.  Jeremiah Becker departed this life in New York in 1863, and his widow afterward kept her family together and at an early day came with them to Kansas, locating in Montgomery county.  In 1876, accompanied by a daughter and her husband, she removed to Kentucky, where her death occurred in 1887.  Their children were:  Harriet, who died at the age of sixteen years; Mary, the wife of Ira L Zeh; John, who died in Pennsylvania; and Jemima, the wife of our subject.  The marriage of Mr and Mrs O達rian has been blessed with four children, namely:  Mary, born September 17, 1875; Thomas, born November 12, 1876; Abby, born March 8, 1878; and John, born December 3, 1881.  The children are all at home and are enjoying excellent educational privileges.  Mr O達rian was formerly a strong Republican, but since 1876 he has been identified with the Reformed party, believing most firmly in the principles set forth by its platform.  He is recognized as one of the most public-spirited men of Rice county, and is progressive and generously helpful to every measure which in his judgment tends to the general good.