A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


R. W. Branson

Russel W. Branson, ex-postmaster at Cherokee, Kansas, which office he filled with eminent satisfaction to all concerned for six years, has spent most of his life in this section of the Sunflower state, and has had a very successful business career. Political and public matters have always appealed to his nature, and for a number of years he has been prominent in this direction in Crawford county. His genial and whole-souled character and positive personality and individual worth have enabled him to wield considerable influence among his fellow citizens, among whom he has been both popular and useful.

Mr. Branson was born at Georgetown, Ohio, in 1866, his parents being William W. and Amanda (Sargent) Branson, the latter of whom was born in West Virginia and died in Ohio in 1874. William W. Branson was born in Ohio, and has been a farmer all his life. He brought his family to Kansas in 1878, locating first at Cherokee, but later moved to a farm west of town, where he lived for thirteen years; he then took up his abode on a farm in Cherokee county, seven miles southwest of Cherokee town, and still resides there.

Mr. Russel W. Branson was reared on a farm and made it his home until he was past twenty-one years old. He was a student, after his common school days, in the state normal at Fort Scott, where he studied with the idea of becoming a teacher. Later, however, he prepared for a business career by taking a course in the commercial department of Presbyterian College at Holton, Kansas. He then entered the railroad service, and for seven years was an operator, station agent and express agent at different points on the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railroad, a larger part of this period being spent at Marion, Kansas. He was later made assistant agent at Cherokee, and it was while discharging the duties of that position that he was appointed postmaster, on February 7, 1898. Since he took charge of this office the business has doubled, and he made its administration a matter of pride to the city. Mr. Branson, in December, 1904, entered into partnership with J. R. Davis in the control of the Crawford County Times, a twelve-page quarto-weekly with a circulation of eight hundred copies. The plant is equipped with a Gordon hand press. Mr. Branson is also special agent of Kansas for the New York Life Insurance Company. In one month he wrote $55,000 for his company.

Mr. Branson is prominent in the rank and file of the Republican party, and for several years has served by election as a delegate to the state conventions. Fraternally he affiliates with the Masons, and Independent Order of Red Men, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Fraternal Aid and the Anti-Horse Thief Association. Mr. Branson was married at Cherokee in 1893 to Miss Edith Glover, and three childeren have blessed their home: Florence, Ralph and Claire.