Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Robert B. Glass

ROBERT B. GLASS. Conspicuous among the able and trustworthy men who are serving Kearny County in an official capacity is Robert B. Glass, of Lakin, who as county surveyor and engineer is devoting his time and energies to the duties of his position, which is one of great responsibility, and which he is filling with credit to himself and acceptably to the people. A son of William Morton Glass, he was born August 19, 1854, in Owen County, Kentucky, of honored colonial stock, his great-grandfather, Belfield Glass, having served as a soldier in the Revolutionary way.

Benjamin Glass, grandfather of Robert B., was born in Virginia of Scotch ancestry. A farmer by occupation, he moved from his native state to Kentucky, and there died while yet in manhood's prime. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was Delilah Wright, two children were born and reared, Belfield and William Morton.

William Morton Glass was born in 1832 in Scott County, Kentucky, and spent his life of fifty-two years in his native state, during his active career having been successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits. He married Mary Southworth, a daughter of Robert Southworth, and into the household thus established five children made their advent, as follows: Robert B., of whom we write; C. Columbus, who died in Owen County, Kentucky; Emerine died in the same county; Pascal T., of Ness County, Kansas; and James Allen, of Joliet, Illinois.

Brought up on the home farm, Robert B. Glass attended first the rural schools, later continuing his studies at the Harrisburg Academy, where he became familiar with the principles of surveying. He subsequently taught school for a time in Kentucky, and there gained a practical experience in surveying. Coming from there to Kansas in 1882, Mr. Glass was for four years there engaged in carpentering and farming. On April 28, 1886, Mr. Glass located in Kearny County, settling on a claim in the southwest quarter of section 34, township 22, range 36, where he erected a sod house and dugout, his pioneer home in this region. He spent five years on that claim, living principally from the productions of the soil and the dairy. Having proved up, he sold that place at an advance. He soon after bought land under the Amazon ditch, and began farming with irrigation. His farm was situated in the north half of the northeast quarter of section 23, township 23, range 36, and upon it he built the first ditches, and did the first work of cultivation, farming with irrigation being an entirely different proposition from that of dry farming, enabling him to do more than barely make a living.

At the end of ten years on that farm Mr. Glass again took up civil engineering, putting into practice the knowledge he had previously acquired in his Kentucky home and in his ditching and irrigating work. In this capacity for six years he was handling work on the Amazon ditch system, reconstructing ditches, building laterals and dams, having practically reconstructed the entire ditch. For seventeen years Mr. Glass has served as county surveyor of Kearny County. He has been elected county surveyor for a term of two years eight times, and at the present time is also county engineer of Hamilton County, where he is doing very similar work to that of Kearny County. During the time that Mr. Glass had charge of road and bridge building the cement bridge over the Arkansas at Lakin was erected, it being the leading bridge over the Arkansas in Western Kansas, and was the means of introducing bridges of cement all over the county.

Mr. Glass married April 27, 1876, Minnie Hunter, a daughter of William and Georgiana (Wallace) Hunter. Her father, a farmer, was born in Virginia and died in Kentucky, leaving a large family of children. The following children have been born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Glass: William, who died at the age of twenty-three years; Aurora, who married Arthur Harshe and died in January, 1917, leaving one son, Guy, now a soldier in Honolulu; Minnie; Homer; Eugene; Mabel Blanche; Hugh; Herschel; and Talmage, youngest son, a farmer in Kearny County. Mr. Glass is not identified with any fraternal organizations. Politically he has always been a democrat and loyal to the principles of his party. Religiously his family are Baptists.