From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1631
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   O S Wilkins, a banker and capitalist of Frederic (sic), has for many years been prominently connected with the business history of Kansas, and his name is an honored one in commercial and social circles.   He was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, in 1854.  His father, Ephraim Wilkins, was a native of the Keystone state, where he grew to manhood and became a farmer and cabinet-maker.  He was there married to Polly Price, a native of Pennsylvania.  The father has reached the age of seventy-four years of age, and both are members of the Christian church.  This worthy couple became the parents of ten children, seven sons and three daughters, namely:  Oliver S, Scott, William, Margaret, Simon, Anna, George, Jane, David and Marion.

   O S Wilkins, the subject of this review, spent his early life on a farm in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and there learned the cabinet-makerís trade.  At the age of twenty-one years, in Bedford county, he was united in marriage with Barbara Jane Straight, a member of a prominent and influential family and a daughter of John and Hannah Straight.  The marriage of our subject and wife has been blessed with ten children, but one daughter is now deceased.  The living are:  Albert, Lydia, the wife of B L Turner, of Victoria township, and Simon, Garfield, Gertrude, John, James, Oliver S and Virtus.

   After his marriage, in 1880, Mr Wilkins removed to Van Buren county, Iowa, locating in Pittsburg, where he conducted a general store until 1888, the year of his arrival in Rice county, Kansas.  Since that time he has been prominently connected with the banking circles in this community.  He is a man of known reliability and superior business ability, and his connection with the financial interests of Rice county has done much to give the commercial interests a stability that has caused the rapid growth and development of the city.  His bank building is a large and beautiful structure twenty-four by sixty feet and his banking room is twenty-four by thirty-two feet.  In addition to his general banking business Mr Wilkins is also prominent in trade circles, being proprietor of one of the largest furniture stores in Frederic (sic).  His storeroom is twenty-five by forty feet, and in it he carries a large and well selected stock of goods.  His reliable business methods have secured to him a large and constantly growing patronage.  In his political affiliations Mr Wilkins exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party.  He is a prominent Mason, and is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  Since coming to Kansas Mr Wilkins has had unlimited faith in its future and has in every way fostered and encouraged its advancement.  His intimate relations with its leading capitalists and his long connection, financially and otherwise, with its most prominent interests, have closely identified him with its success, and he is regarded as one of the best and most useful citizens.