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


Joseph D. Sheffield, a prominent citizen of Arcadia, is a native son of Crawford county, and his family name has been a familiar one in this part of the country for over forty years. He belongs to the young and progressive element of citizenship, and has already shown himself possessed of the spirit and energy of his worthy sire and grandsires, and is giving a good account of himself in the varied relations of his busy years.

Mr. Sheffield was born in Lincoln township, Crawford county, August 17, 1877, a son of Alphes J. and Mary (Collins) Sheffield. His mother's parents, Daniel and Ellen Collins, were natives of Ireland, and the former came to America in young manhood, and during the days of gold went out to Pike's Peak and mined. He returned to Lecompton, Kansas, and in 1862 enlisted in the Union army, and gave three years and three months to the government, as a patriotic defender of his adopted land. He died in 1900 at the age of seventy-seven, and his wife had passed away in 1869.

Mr. Sheffield's paternal grandparents were Joseph and Ellen Sheffield, who were born near Rochester, New York. In 1847 Joseph came out to DeKalb county, Illinois, and was engaged in farming there until July, 1860, when he sold his place and came to Lincoln township, Crawford county, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of government land. His son, Alphes J. Sheffield, also took one hundred and sixty acres in Lincoln township, and improved it and engaged in stock-raising. He loaned money to the poor settlers, and when the Joy land troubles came up he decided that Joy was in the right, which brought a storm of abuse upon him from the settlers, who even refused him his claim. At the first term of court ever held in Crawford county he had twenty-five cases, and won every one of them. He was a prominent man in the various affairs of the county. In 1878, while the old Fort Scott and Memphis road was being constructed through his farm, the horse he was riding ran in front of a construction train, and he was killed. His wife died in 1882.

Mr. Joseph D. Sheffield was deprived of his mother's care when five years old, and he then made his home with his grandfather Collins, who sent him to the parochial school at Scammon for three years and a half, and after that he attended the high school at Arcadia and for two years was at Osage Mission. He lived with his grandfather Collins till the latter's death, and in 1900 he moved to Arcadia. He has a fine farm a mile and a half north of town, and operates this in a business-like way that gains results. He was elected assessor of his township for a two years' term, and still holds this office.

Mr. Sheffield is a Democrat in politics. He affiliates with Lodge No. 159, of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and also with the Knights of Columbus, and his church membership is with the Catholic church at Arcadia. Mr. Sheffield married, February 3, 1897, Miss Mary Crites, a daughter of John Crites, whose interesting personal history is given on other pages of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Sheffield have one child, Joseph Daniel, Jr., born December 5, 1899.