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


J. A. Curry, of Cherokee, commander of Shiloh Post No. 56, G. A. R., has lived in this part of Kansas since 1877, thus being one of the old settlers. He is well known and highly esteemed in Crawford county, and he has made a fine record, not only as a man of affairs and a successful business man, but as an honored soldier in the country's greatest war.

He was a young man living in the state of Illinois at the time the Civil war broke out, and he enlisted at Chambersburg, Pike county, November 1, 1861, in Company M, Tenth Illinois Cavalry, under Captain Moore, Colonel J. Barret (Lincoln's brother-in-law), and Lieutenant Colonel Wickersham. The regiment was organized for western frontier service, but was sent south instead, and made a long and gallant record in the Mississippi valley. From the camp at Springfield, Illinois; the regiment was sent into Missouri and did rough rider service in that state and Arkansas against General Price. In 1863 they campaigned among the Iron mountains, thence went to Helena and Little Rock, and in the spring of 1864 went south by boat to New Orleans. They were employed in operations about Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama, and then took part in the Red River expedition of General Banks. At the close of the war they escorted General Sheridan across Texas to San Antonio. Mr. Curry received his honorable discharge and returned home with the consciousness of having performed long and faithful service in behalf of his country.

Mr. Curry was born in Mercer county, Kentucky, near Cornishville, March 11, 1836. One of his uncles served in the Mexican war. His parents, William and Nellie (Cunningham) Curry, were both born in Kentucky, and moved to Illinois in 1842, locating in Brown county, where the father, who was a farmer, a Jackson Democrat and a member of the Christian church, died at the age of forty-eight, and the mother at forty-seven. They left seven children, two sons and five daughters.

Mr. Curry was reared on the Illinois farm, and after his school days were over he gave himself to learning the carpenter's trade, which he followed successfully while living in Illinois. In 1877 he came to Crawford county and bought a farm near Cherokee, but during the past thirteen years has resided in Cherokee and followed his trade. He has been a successful manager, and is held in high esteem wherever he is known.

He was married in Brown county, Illinois, in November, 1866, to Miss Elizabeth Byrns, who was born in Portage county, Ohio, and was reared and educated there and in Carroll county. She went to Illinois when she was sixteen years old. Her parents were James and Margaret (Gonvales) Byrns, both natives of Ohio, and the latter died in Ohio at the age of fifty-two. Her father, who died in Illinois at sixty-six, was a farmer, a Democrat in politics, and in religion a Quaker. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Curry, four of whom are living, as follows: Frank, of Kansas City; Myrtle, of this county; Olin, at home; and Adna Bumcrot, of Cherokee. The son William died in Illinois, Herbert died in childhood, and Mrs. Mary A. Tharp died, leaving a son, Marion F. Tharp, who is now five years old and living with his grandparents.

Mr. Curry is independent in politics. He served as township trustee for three terms, and was on the school board of Cherokee county for twelve years. Fraternally he affiliates with the United Workmen, and he is a member of the Christian and she of the Methodist church.