Pioneers of Rush County - Page 2
John Hargrave - A farmer and stock-raiser,
Hargrave was born in
Inverness, Canada East on January 23, 1847. In June, 1854, he moved with his
family to Ripon,
Wisconsin and was educated in the public schools before attending Brockway College in Ripon. He then taught school in Fond du Lac and Green Lake Counties
prior to coming to Kansas
July 1874. He first settled in Pioneer Township in
Rush County, where he taught (free of charge)
at the first school
in the county. On January 14, 1875, he was elected County Superintendent of Schools,
a position he held for a year before resigning to extensively engage in the cattle business. He
also served a a member of the Kansas
House of Representatives.
He married at
La Crosse, Kansas
on October 16, 1881 to C. Retta Smith, a
native of Ohio and the couple had one child -- David Waldro.
Alexander Harvey - One of the first
Rush County, he had been a
Custer's 6th Cavalry before
taking over a trading post in Alexander in 1872 which he called "Harvey's
Born in Scotland in 1843, Harvey emigrated to Canada in 1859 where he engaged in
merchandising. He then moved to Ogdensburg, New York in 1861, where he enlisted
in Company A, Sixth U. S. Infantry. One year later, Harvey transferred to
Company A, Sixth U. S. Cavalry as a bugler. He was mustered out of the army in
1864, but reenlisted in February, 1867 in Company G of his old cavalry regiment
and was riding with General Custer
during his 1868 campaign.
He was stationed at Fort Hays in the spring of 1869, and was mustered out of the
army with the rank of first sergeant in February, 1872 at
Fort Dodge. He then
relocated in Rush County where he he took over a trading post
Fort Hays-Fort Dodge Trail and engaged in ranching for two years. In February, 1874he became the first postmaster in
He soon sold his store to pursue other interests
including working as a school teacher and farming. In
December, 1877 he married Mattie King of Decatur County,
and the couple moved to Rush Center. The would have one son -- William K.
Alexander. He was elected as the Rush County
Treasurer in the fall of 1879 and served two terms. Afterwards he engaged
full-time in ranching.
W.J. Hayes - Hayes was one of the proprietors
of the Hayes & Mullay general merchandise store in Rush Center as well as owning a 480 acre ranch where he kept about 100 head of
cattle and some 40 thoroughbred stallion horses. He came to Rush County, Kansas
in the early part of 1874, and
opened his ranch. He was born in Belfast, Ireland on December 5, 1848, and was
raised working as a linen manufacturer. He came to America in 1873, and lived in
Illinois for some time. He was married in 1877, to
M. F. Kennedy, of LaSalle County,
and the couple had one son -- Arthur William. On January 1, 1883, he opened the
Hayes & Mullay Merchandise Store in
with E.F. Mullay who had come from Larned in 1878. The fine store building
measuring 20 x 80 feet was the largest in Rush County.
Dr. F.W. Longacre - A physician and surgeon, and dealer in general line drugs and medicines in
he came to Kansas in spring of 1878,
first locating in Harvey and Ness Counties before making his way to
Rush Center. He was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania on
September 4, 1849 where he was raised. He was
educated in Norristown, Pennsylvania and received his medical education at
Jefferson College, in Philadelphia, graduating in the class of 1877. He
practiced there before relocating to Kansas.
In 1880, he married Mary L. Wise, of Pottstown,
Pennsylvania. In addition to his practice in
Rush Center, he also served as a United States Examining Surgeon for Pensions in Rush
and adjoining counties.
Allen McCann - The County Clerk of Rush County, Kansas,
he first arrived in the state in 1869, settling in Cherokee County. There, he engaged in making rails
and cutting saw-logs. Soon afterward, he went to Neosho County, where he worked
in farming and railroading before making his way to Rush County in March, 1872.
Here, he engaged in stock-raising and farming. He was elected County Clerk in
February, 1875, being the first officer in that capacity and was re-elected in 1876, and served one term;
re-elected November, 1881. He was born in Muskingum County, Ohio on August 19,
1840 where he was raised on a farm. He married in 1878 to
Jennie Ely of Washington County, Iowa and the pair had two children -- Samuel
Thomas H. McDowell - Clerk of the District Court of
McDowell came to
Rush Center, came to Kansas in 1878,
where he engaged in farming. He was elected as the Clerk of the District Court
in the fall of 1880 and re-elected fall of 1882. He was
born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania in 1843 where he was raised. He enlisted
in July, 1862, in Company A, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteer
Infantry and was taken prisoner during the General Lee's invasion of
Pennsylvania. After being confined to a Confederate prison for one year and
eight months, he was mustered out in 1863. He went to California in 1866, where he worked in
mining until January, 1871, when he returned to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania,
engaging in merchandising until he came to Kansas.
Daniel E. Miller - Rush County Sheriff, Miller first arrived in Kansas
on July 23, 1875 where he engaged in
farming and ranching. He was elected Sheriff of the county fall of 1877
and re-elected in the fall of 1881. He was born in Hampshire County, Virginia on
November 21, 1839, where he lived until he moved to Clinton County,
at the age of 20. There he worked at farming and married Cecelia Edmonds, of Clinton County,
in 1861. The couple would have six children -- Alexis M., Edward
R., John T., Lee P., Mary B. and Daniel M., Jr.
E. F. Mullay - One of the proprietors of the Hayes & Mullay general merchandise
Mullay originally came from Kentucky, where he was born in Fleming County in
1860. He later moved to Hernando, Mississippi in 1866 where he
lived for two years before returning Kentucky. There he began clerking in a
merchandise store and by 1877 was living in Larned, Kansas
where he clerked in the dry goods house of G. Krouch. In 1878;
however, he moved to
Rush Center, where he clerked for L. Wolfe & Co. He married Annie How of Athens County, Ohio
in 1882 and the following year, he and W.J. Hayes established theHayes & Mullay Merchandise Store in
Rush Center, the largest in Rush County
at the time.
Nelson P. Olson - A
banker, businessman and farmer, Olson was identified with Rush County most of
his life. Of Norwegian descent, Nelson was born to Andrew and Anna Thompson
Olson, in Decorah, Iowa on March 1, 1869 before moving to Bazine township of
Ness County, with his family at the age of ten. When Nelson grew up, he began to
rent land near Alexander,
working as a farmer. Frugally saving his money, he was able to buy some 480
acres of land and built a large country home and barn. He married Edna Robins
in Ness County on October 30, 1894 and the couple would eventually have five
In 1910, Olson left farming and engaged in the lumber business
at Alexander, associated with George A. Ryan, and they bought out the interests
of the Ryan Lumber Company of McCracken. The business handled coal, as well as lumber and was also
involved in buying and shipping grain. With the organization of the
Alexander, State Bank, Olson became a stockholder, and later served as
president and a director. He also served as a member of the school board of
Alexander for twenty-seven years and as a clerk of Belle Prairie Township.
Frank B. Smith - An agent for the Atchison,
Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, Smith also worked as a rancher near
Rush Center where he owned 240 acres of land and kept both horses and cattle.
He first arrived in Rush County
in March, 1873. As an agent for the railroad, he managed some 60,000 acres of
land dealing with trades and land claims. He was born near Bangor, Maine on February 23, 1841
and lived there until he moved with his family to Belmont, New York at the age
of ten. Five years later, the family moved again to Winnebago County, Wisconsin.
In November, 1861, he enlisted in Company C of the Fourteenth Wisconsin Volunteer
Infantry. He was shot through the head at Corinth, Mississippi
and was discharged on July 3, 1863. He soon afterward went to Monona County,
Iowa, where he followed agricultural pursuits until he came to Kansas. He married
Sarah A. Grow of Charlestown, Vermonth on October 26, 1867, and the pair had six children -- Bertha E., L. Guy, J. Glenn, Clyde E., Nina W. and
Ross Dene. Smith also served as Rush County Treasurer for four years.
Compiled and edited by
of Kansas, updated October 2019.