Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Kansas Connections

My husband has several relatives with connections to Kansas, including the surnames Cowden, Lee, Dawson, Kirkendall, and Klingensmith. Using the Kansas Historical Society's name search, I found this item of interest about Orville A. Lee, the husband of 3rd great-aunt Martha Jane Pollock:
"O. A. LEE, city weighmaster, is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Erie County, December 22, 1817. His father, Stephen C., was a pioneer in Erie County; he had been Captain in the army during the war of 1812. The paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. O. A. received the advantages of what was considered a liberal education in the common schools. He adopted and pursued for several years the vocation of school teaching, in Alleghany [sic] County. He eventually embarked in the coal trade and was identified with that branch of industry for fifteen years, doing business in Pittsburgh and McKeesport. In 1858 came west, went to Pike's Peak, was at what is now Denver City before there was a house built; was engaged in mining and speculating until the spring of 1862; came to Kansas, locating temporarily in Jefferson County; came to Atchison County in January, 1863, engaging in farming four miles south of Atchison; for a number of years was closely identified with the agricultural development of the county. A few years ago removed to Atchison, and was the first to open a coal yard in the city which he did in connection with a feed store which he still operates. Mr. Lee is a well-informed gentleman, thoroughly conversant with the important issues of the day. He is one of the most public spirited citizens in the city - one who aims to keep pace with the progress of time. He was married in 1843 to Miss Martha J. Pollock, of Elizabeth township, Alleghany [sic] County, Pa. They have by this union three daughters - Mary A., now Mrs. Hanson; Lizzie and Ella. The last mentioned ladies are favorably known in Atchison as educators, being teachers in the city schools for the past ten years. Mr. Lee, wife and family are members of the Presbyterian Church." (Source: William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas)

There seems to be some good information on the site so, if you have Kansas ancestors, you should definitely take a look.

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