Wednesday, August 1, 2012

M. A. Palmer.

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M. A. Palmer, Civil war veteran and one of the earliest settlers in Butler county, bears the distinction of having been one of the founders of the town of Leon. Mr. Palmer was born in Washington county, Ohio, July 8, 1837, and is the only Hying child of a family of five. He was educated in the public schools of his native State, and when the Civil war broke out he was in Kansas, where he enlisted in the Fifth Kansas regiment at Topeka, and participated in many important battles and skirmishes throughout Missouri and Arkansas. He was at the battle of Morristown where the colonel of his regiment, Hampton P. Johnson, was killed. He was also in the engagement at Helena, Little Rock and Pine Bluff, and altogether was under fire seventeen times.

In 1867, Mr. Palmer came to Butler county, and preempted a claim in Little Walnut township, where he was engaged in general farming and stock raising until 1884, meeting with uniform success in his undertaking. He then removed to Leon, and has lived. there practically all of the time since. He assisted in laying out the town of Leon, and opened the first drug store there which he conducted for a number of years. He and two other men organized the Leon Bank and he became the first cashier of that institution and later sold his interest in the bank to J. Benninghof. For eighteen months, he was superintendent of the Leon Creamery, and has been active in the commercial life of the town since it was founded.

Mr. Palmer has always taken a prominent part in local politics and has been an active and influential factor in Butler county, in a political way. He served one term as county commissioner of Butler county by appointment, and was elected to two other terms, and has held various township offices of trust and responsibility. In 1876, he was elected a member of the State legislature, and served in that session with satisfaction to his constituents and credit to himself. In 1892, he was elected register of deeds of Butler county, serving one term. Since boyhood, he has been a Republican and has been a close adherent to the policies and principles of that party, and is not inclined to be led along political
byways by false prophets.

Mr. Palmer was united in marriage January 22, 1865, with Miss Susan C. Berry, of Topeka, Kans., a daughter of G. W. and Nancy (Stewart) Berry. The Berry family came to Kansas from Missouri in 1854, during the territorial days, and settled at Topeka, which was then a small hamlet on the frontier. Mrs. Palmer has two brothers and one sister living, as follows: James Berry, Burlingame, Kans. ; G. W. Berry, Topeka; and Mrs. M. A. Fleak, Atchison, Kans. To Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have been born the following children : Mrs. Mary F. Hogue, resides on the old homestead ; Mrs. Susan May Sandford, Rock, Kans. ; Charles F., Leon; Mrs. Abigail Carroll, El Dorado, Kans; Mrs. Leola  Pearl Rigg, Leon, Kans.

Many changes have taken place since Mr. Palmer first came to Butler county. In the early days, his nearest trading points were Emporia and Topeka. and the nearest grist mill was at Cottonwood Falls.
He was one .of the few early settlers who out-generaled the grasshoppers when they marched across Kansas in 1874. He was at Leon at the time, and hurrying home, cut and shocked his corn and thus saved it from the devastation of the greedy hoppers. Mr. Palmer is a member of the Masonic Lodge, Grand Army of the Republic and the Christian church

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