J. S. PIPKIN, farmer, Section 28, P. O. Garden Plain, was born in Madison County, West Tenn., in 1841, his father, Lewis C. Pipkin, and his mother, Mary E. Pipkin, being natives of that State. Mr. Pipkin is descended from a race of farmers, and from his youth has followed the ancestral vocation. In 1846, he moved to Graves County, Ky., where he continued to reside until his removal to Kansas in 1876, this being his first location, purchasing his farm, which had then been slightly improved, and built his residence the same year, which was destroyed by fire the following year; but, undismayed, he at once rebuilt upon a larger scale, and now has a fine frame residence. In October, 1850, he married Miss Susan C. Dockins, of Tennessee, who has borne him five children, four of whom are now living, viz.: Henry N. (born September 3, 1852), Jonas R. (born January 7, 1855), Mary L. (December 21, 1860), Alice (January 17, 1864). In 1863, the Confederates endeavored to make him join their ranks, which he absolutely refused to do; and although being a strong Union man, was averse to becoming engaged in warfare against his friends and neighbors, and so remained neutral. His farm of 160 acres contains eighty acres under cultivation, with an average yield of wheat sixteen and corn thirty bushels per acre. He has a fine orchard of his own planting, containing 500 peach, 100 apple and a variety of other fruits. He has also 1,500 forest trees, chiefly cottonwood, box elder and mulberry. He has held the office of Treasurer of the township, having been elected in 1881; and has also been a Director of the School Board of his district; and is a member of the A., F & A. M. His farm, which is one of the best cultivated in the township, is situated upon the south side of the Medicine Lodge road, is called Fancy Farm, and by it s appearance of neatness, industry and prosperity at once strikes the eye of the traveler.
Its citizenship is made up largely of a thrifty German population, who own fine farms in its vicinity. Garden Plain, situated midway between Cheney and Goddard, on the Santa Fe, Wichita & Western branch, twenty-one miles west of Wichita, is an ideal place to live. The environments are delightful and the climate agreeable. The little city has a population of about 350, and has some of the finest store buildings in the county. It is an old town, having been in existence for over a quarter of a century. The little town has three large and well stocked general merchandise stores, one exceptionally large hardware store, one large drug store, one livery stable, one hotel, one bank, one lumber yard, two elevators, one millinery store, two meat markets, one restaurant, three churches and large and commodious school house, which is practically new. The bank has the largest deposits of any town its size in the state, and is constantly increasing them. The stockholders are all influential farmers and business men of the community and men who have lived there the
greater part of their lives. It is located in a handsome one-story brick building, erected a few years ago, and its officers and directors have been connected with it ever since its organization. The country immediately surrounding Garden Plain is well adapted to the raising of corn, oats, wheat and garden stuff. Wheat being the principal product, it finds a ready market in Wichita, for the elevator is never allowed to fill up. Before that is accomplished the grain is shipped to Eastern markets or to nearby towns. Corn also finds a ready market, and a great quantity of the grain is shipped annually.
Reaching Garden Plain upon the railroad the traveller always sees the familiar figure of Billy Taylor, who is the postmaster and who carries the mail to and from the trains. Among the active business men of Garden Plain may be named, Wulf Bros., Hahn Bros, and Martin Oebel.
Garden Plain, one of the leading towns of Sedgwick county, is located in the township of the same name and is a station on the Wichita & Pratt division of the Atchison, Topeka & Sante Fe R. R. 30 miles west of Wichita. It has a bank, a money order postdffice with one rural route, telegraph and express offices, telephone connections with the surrounding towns, general stores, hardware and implement houses, and is the shipping point for a rich agricultural district. Garden Plain was incorporated in 1902 and in 1910 reported a population of 296.