William S. Mulbery

This biographical portrait is found in the "Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington, Clay, and Riley Counties, Kansas"; Chicago; Chapman Bros; 1890, pg. 166.; located in the KANSAS Room at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library. The Kansas Collection Librarian is Georgia Slaughter at gslaug@kckpl.lib.ks.us . The Inter-Library Loan librarian is Joan Gandert at gandert@kckpl.lib.ks.us

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William S. Mulbery, of Grant Township, Washington County, is a striking illustration of what may be accomplished by a man beginning poor in life, and pursuing a course of industry and perseverance. He is a native of SWEDEN, and when about twenty-four years old, emigrated to the United States, and thereafter employed himself at whatever he could find to do, working on a gravel train and elsewhere until able to secure a piece of land. We now find him the owner of one of the most valuable farms in his township, comprising 320 well-tilled acres, with large numbers of live-stock and the machinery necessary for the successful prosecution of agriculture. There is now little need for Mr. Mulbery to vex himself with hard labor, and he gives employment to two men usually the year round. To such men as he, is Washington County indebted for her rapid growth and development, and no man is more highly respected in his community.

Soon after emigrating to America, Mr. Mulbery settled in Hannibal, Missouri, but a year later, in 1874, came to Washington County, Kansas, curing the grasshopper raid, and purchased a part of his present farm, paying therefor the sum of $225 with a lot of furniture thrown in. A dugout stood upon the place, and seventy acres of the land had been broken. Mr. Mulbery proceeded with the improvement and cultivation of his land, and in 1874, completed a substantial stone dwelling, 24x30 feet in dimensions, and one and one-half stories in height. His barn and other outbuildings are substantial and convenient. A spring of living water adds to the fertility of the fields, and there are other springs and wells on the place. There is an apple orchard of 160 trees, twenty-five cherry trees, besides apricot and peach trees which bear fruit amply sufficient for the family use. Mr. Mulbery in due time added 160 acres to his landed possessions, and has now 100 acres broken, following the plow over sixty acres of this himself. The whole is enclosed with good fencing, and the latter piece of land, as well as his first purchase, is very well supplied with fruit.

Mr. Mulbery brought with him from Sweden, Scandinavian currency, which, in America amounted to about $60. He determined not to part with this excepting in a case of the greatest emergency, and accordingly preserved it in its original form for a number of years. His farm operations include stock-raising to a considerable extent, he having in 1880 about eighty heads of cattle, the same number of swine, and twelve good horses. His swine, perhaps have yielded him the most profitable returns, as each year he has sold from $1,200 to $1,400 worth.

On the 20th of March, 1879, William Mulbery was united in marriage with Miss Mary Weaver, daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Fitch) Weaver. The mother of Mrs. Mulbery was the daughter of Joseph Fitch of Pennsylvania, where Mrs. Weaver was born about March 11, 1834. The Weaver family left the Keystone State, and settled in Washington County, Kansas, during the pioneer days. The parents of Mrs. Mulbery are living in Haddam, and own a farm. Four children were born to our subject and his estimable wife: Willie, Walter, Jacob, and the namesake of his paternal grandfather, and Charles, an infant. Mr. Mulbery has nothing to do with politics, whatever, and is not connected with any church organization.

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