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.

John Wesley Kissell

JOHN WESLEY KISSELL, now engaged in the real estate, loan and investment business at Norton, was for many years a public official and banker in Smith County, where he grew up from early boyhood. The Kissell family has been in Kansas forty years, and in remote generations they came from Germany and were pioneer settlers in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Kissell's father, Jacob B. Kissell, was born in Pennsylvania in 1821. He grew up and married in his native state and spent practically all his life as a farmer. In 1865 he moved to Livingston County, Illinois. In 1878 he came on to Smith County, Kansas, and homesteaded a quarter section, being occupied with its cultivation and management until his death July 16, 1890. He was a democrat as to politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Jacob Kissell married Mary Margaret Yarrick. She was born in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, in 1828, and died in Norton County, Kansas, May 15, 1916. Of her five children John W. was the youngest. G. W. the oldest, is a Smith County farmer; L. H. Kissell is also a farmer in that county; James L. was a farmer and died in Smith County at the age of forty; and Priscilla J. died in Smith County at the age of forty-four, unmarried.

John Wesley Kissell was born while his parents lived in Livingston County, Illinois, September 24, 1867. He was therefore eleven years of age when the family came to Kansas. Here he continued his education in the country schools and also attended Harlan Academy at Harlan, Kansas. His home was with his father to the age of thirty-four, and during that time he taught school in Smith County twelve years.

In 1902 Mr. Kissell came into public affairs by his election as register of deeds of Smith County. He filled that office four years, and his next four years were spent as deputy county treasurer. This official experience gave him a thorough knowledge of abstracts of titles and other technical details which he has centralized in his present business. After his official term he served a year and a half as cashier of the Smith County State Bank and remained with the bank under its new officers until January, 1912. At that date Mr. Kissell bought the abstract business of Edna Sperry at Norton and has since continued the leading set of abstracts in the county, and also does a large loan and investment business. His offices are on Washington Street. He is also serving as justice of the peace and police judge of Norton.

Mr. Kissell is a republican and is chairman of the Republican County Central Committee. He is a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a member of the Norton Lodge of Odd Fellows.

April 18, 1900, in Smith County he married Miss Mattie E. Green, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Green, deceased. Mr. Green was a native of England and a Kansas pioneer, settling in Brown County in 1861, and removing to Smith County in 1878. He married in Illinois Rebecca Cheever, and both are dead. Mr. and Mrs. Kissell have one child, Jean Wesley, born September 18, 1906.