LEGENDS OF KANSAS

 

History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs

 

Historic People of Kansas - "R"

Index 
 

Charles Rath (1836-1902) - Merchant, buffalo hunter, and freighter, Rath was one of the original organizers of Ford County County, Kansas. See full article HERE.

 

Andrew Horatio Reeder (1807-1864) - Free-State leader and the first governor of Kansas Territory. See full article HERE.

Charles Reynolds (1817-1885) - Writer and minister, Reynolds was born on December 19, 1817 in Newcutt, Gloucestershire, England, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Freyer) Reynolds. He immigrated to New York at the age of fourteen and taught school in Putman County in 1835 and 1836. He returned to New York City in 1837 and entered Trinity School before transferring to Columbia and graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1843. Continuing on to the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary of New York City, he received his master's degree in 1846. He married Mary E. Braille and was ordained into the ministry in 1847. He became a pastor of Christ's Church of North Brooklyn; took charge of Trinity Church in Columbus, Ohio, in 1855; and came to Lawrence, Kansas in 1858 as pastor of Trinity Church. When the Civil War began, he became a chaplain of the Second Kansas in 1862. He was ordered to Fort Scott, Kansas as Post Chaplain in 1863, where he had charge of providing for thousands of refugee contrabands from the south. Upon being mustered out in December, 1864, he became the chaplain at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Dr. Reynolds was also, for a time, regent of the Kansas Agricultural College, was a regular contributor to the Kansas Magazine and for various Kansas publications. He authored a book entitled Literature of the Farm. He married for a second time in 1884 to Florence Clarke of Wakefield, Kansas, but died the following year at Junction City, December 30, 1885.

Milton W. ReynoldsMilton W. Reynolds (1823-1890) - Writer, politician and newspaper publisher, Reynolds was born in Elmira, New York on May 23, 1823 to Alexander and Rebecca Reynolds. In 1827, he moved with his parents to Coldwater, Michigan, where he attended a public school and worked on a farm until he was 16. He then taught school, attended Albion Seminary, entered the University of Michigan in 1853 and graduated with the highest honors in 1856. He was editor of the Coldwater Sentinel in 1856-57, when he moved to Nebraska City, Nebraska and was editor of the Nebraska City News until 1861. In 1858, he married Sarah Galloway of Livingston, Michigan and the same year was elected to the Nebraska Legislature on the Democratic ticket; was re-elected in 1861 on the Union War ticket, and after a protracted struggle, was defeated for Speaker of the House by a fusion of the Democrats and straight Republicans. He was editor of the Detroit Free Press at Detroit, Michigan in 1862 before moving to Kansas in 1865.

 

Settling at Lawrence he became of the vice-president of the Kansas Editorial Association and president of its sixth annual convention in 1871. In 1871, he was also one of the incorporators of the Kansas Magazine Company. He was also one of the founders of the Parsons Sun and receiver of the Humboldt Land Office. In 1876 he was elected to the legislature and was also made a regent of the University of Kansas, in which institution he was very much interested. The next year he resumed the publication of the Parsons Sun and in 1883, his retirement from the Leavenworth Press ended his activity as a publisher, although he still corresponded for a number of papers, particularly the Kansas City Journal and the Kansas City Times, under the name of "Kicking Bird," a nom de plume he appropriated from the Indian chief of that name. Reynolds was one of the promoters of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, and it was through his efforts that most of the Osage ceded lands were settled. He died at Edmund, Oklahoma on August 9, 1890.

Sara Tappan Doolittle RobinsonSara Tappan Doolittle Robinson (1827-1911) - An author, she was born at Belchertown, Massachusetts on July 12, 1827 to Myron and Clarissa (Dwight) Lawrence. She received an excellent education in the classical school of Belchertown and at Salem Academy. She was married on October 30, 1851 to Dr. Charles Robinson, who afterward became the first governor of the State ofKansas, to which state she came with her husband in 1854. Like her husband, she ardently supported the cause of freedom, and bore a prominent and helpful part in the struggle to make Kansas a free state. In her book, Kansas, Its Interior and Exterior Life, published in 1856, she described the scenes, people and events of the conflict between the friends and foes of slavery in Kansas. The book was written at a time when the scenes and incidents described were fresh in her mind, and her graphic pen pictures give the reader such a presentation of the actual condition of affairs as is not to be found anywhere else in print. The book was not written with a desire to establish a theory or to defend a partisan measure, but aimed to tell just what happened in the territory. It had a wide circulation and great influence and was regarded as one of the best works on the early history of Kansas. Mrs. Robinson also contributed extensively to periodical literature. She passed at her beautiful rural estate, "Oakridge," a few miles from Lawrence, Kansas on November 15, 1911.

 

 

 

Franklin Albert Root (1837-1926) -Author, stage messenger and publisher, Root was born at Binghampton, New York on July 3, 1837 to Albert B. and Marinda (Boyden) Root. He was educated in the country schools of New York and Pennsylvania, and in his boyhood worked on a farm. He later became a hod-carrier and stage driver in Pennsylvania. At the age 20, he came to Kansas, where he worked first in the office of the Herald of Freedom at Lawrence, and in the late 1850s was local editor on the Quindaro Chindowan. When the Civil War broke out, he was the assistant postmaster at Atchison, and was prevented from enlisting by his resignation not being accepted. Early in 1863 he went on the overland stage line at Atchison as a messenger; then as a local agent in charge of the California mail at Latham Station, Colorado. He then worked as a traveling mail agent on the stage line, making trips across the plains between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains. On October 21, 1864, he married Emma Clark of Atchison, Kansas; was part owner of the Daily and Weekly Free-Press of that city from 1865 to 1869; part owner of the Waterville Telegraph in 1870-71, and one of the owners of the Seneca Courier 1871-72. In later years, he became the proprietor of the Holton Express; was postmaster in Holton; was publisher of the Topeka Argus in 1876; of the North Topeka Times from 1876 to 1880; was postmaster at North Topeka in the late 1870s; was one of the owners of the Review and the Review Press at Gunnison, Colorado from 1880 till 1886, and from that time until 1893 was publisher of the Topeka Mail. He also authored the book, The Overland Stage to California, published in 1901. He died in Topeka on June 20, 1926.

 

Edmund G. RossEdmund G. Ross (1826-1907) - Journalist and United States Senator, Ross was born at Ashland, Ohio on December 7, 1826. He attended public schools until he was 11 years old, when he was apprenticed to the printer's trade in the office of the Huron Commercial-Advertiser. He completed his apprenticeship at Sandusky, Ohio and then spent several years traveling as a journeyman printer. On his return to Sandusky in October, 1878, he married Fannie M. Lathrop and went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was engaged in newspaper work. The sacking of Lawrence, Kansas in May, 1856, aroused a storm of indignation throughout the northern states. A meeting was held at Milwaukee and a fund of $3,000 was raised to arm and equip a party of free-state men for Kansas. This party came overland under the leadership of Edmund Ross and upon arrival at Topeka at once took the field with the anti-slavery forces.

 

 After the invaders had been driven out, Ross entered into partnership with his brother in the publication of the Kansas Tribune at Topeka. He took an active interest in politics, was a member of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention in 1859, and at the close of the convention began the publication of the Kansas State Record at Topeka, which was devoted to the interests of the Republican Party and was influential in turning the tide of public opinion toward the adoption of the new constitution. In 1860, his paper aided in calling a Territorial Convention to plan a scheme for securing a practical railroad system for the anticipated State of Kansas. He assisted in raising the Eleventh Kansas Infantry in 1862, and at the organization of the regiment was elected captain of a company.

 

Subsequently,  Governor Carney appointed him major of the regiment, when it was changed from infantry to cavalry. He was present with his command in all the battles in which it was engaged. In 1865, Governor Crawford appointed him Aide-de-camp with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. At the close of the war, he became editor of the Kansas Tribune at Lawrence. On July 25, 1866, Governor Crawford appointed him United States Senator to fill the vacancy caused by the death of General James H. Lane, and at the following session of the legislature, he was elected for the unexpired term. He was one of the young Republican members of the Senate, and up to the time of the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson, was always in accord with his party. In that celebrated case, he incurred the lasting displeasure of some of the president's enemies by casting the deciding vote against impeachment. His action was denounced by the partisan press, his friends turned against him, he was ostracized and insulted, and it was not until years afterward, when sectional feeling had died away to some extent, that Ross was accorded justice. The Chicago Times of August 25, 1889, said: "Though the Republican Senators, who disappointed the Republican managers of their two-thirds vote and thus saved Johnson and the country, lost their place in consequence, as soon as their time expired and never since, except in the case of Ross, have had public employment. Not one of them, it is safe to say, regrets his course. It was judicious, courageous and disinterested. These men saved the country from the commission of a colossal blunder."

 

Ross was one of the Liberal Republican leaders in Kansas in 1872 who opposed the nomination of Ulysses S. Grant and favored Horace Greeley for the presidency. On his retirement from the Senate he began to publish a paper at Coffeyville, but a tornado destroyed his office and he became associated with the Spirit of Kansas and the Standard of Lawrence. In 1882 he went to New Mexico and for a time edited a paper at Albuquerque He was appointed governor of the territory by President Cleveland in 1885, which position he held for four years. Ross continued to live in Albuquerque until his death on May 9, 1907.

 

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