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 C. Cornell

JOHN C. CORNELL, manager of the Chicago Lumber and Coal Company at Grinnell, is an old timer of Northwestern Kansas, having homesteaded a claim in Smith County more than forty years ago. For over thirty years he has been a factor in the lumber business, and has managed yards for the Chicago Lumber Company in many of the thriving towns in that section of the state. He is a very capable business man, and has at various times enjoyed the honors and responsibilities of public office.

Mr. Cornell was born in Knox County, Ohio, January 16, 1857. His ancestors came out of Ireland and were early settlers in Ohio. His father, Samuel Cornell, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, in 1832. He grew up in that locality and when a young man went to Knox County. He had a long career as a teacher. In the early days he taught at wages as low as $7 a month. The families of his pupils also contributed to his pay by boarding him alternately. In 1858 he went to Kosciusko County, Indiana, taught school there, being principal of the Pierston School, and in 1868 moved out to Iowa County, Iowa, where for several years he was principal of schools. In 1878 he came as a pioneer to Smith County, Kansas, followed farming until he retired, and spent his last days at Phillipsburg, where he died in 1915. He was a stanch republican and a sustaining member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The maiden name of his wife was Normanda Black. She was born in Knox County, Ohio, in 1842, and died in Smith County, Kansas, in 1884. They had five children, John C. being the oldest; Solora is the wife of Charles Lane, a farmer in Phillips County, Kansas; William Asher, a contractor and builder, died at Kensington, Kansas, in 1911; Edgebert Albertus is assistant secretary of state at Topeka; and Mary Alma is unmarried and lives at Long Beach, California.

John C. Cornell acquired his early education in the public schools at Pierston, Indiana. He was eleven years of age when his father went to Iowa, and at the age of eighteen left school to become a farmer in that locality. In 1875 he sought a new home in Smith County, Kansas, and took up a homestead claim of 160 acres, which he farmed until 1882. That farm representing many improvements and a great increase in value, he finally sold in 1916.

Mr. Cornell first entered the services of the Chicago Lumber and Coal Company in 1882 at Kirwin, Kansas, where he was employed as yard man until 1884. He was then the company's manager at Woodston, Kansas, two years, was manager at Kirwin two years, was manager at Edmond from January, 1888, until 1890, and the following eight years he was manager of the yards at Norton, Kansas. In 1898 Mr. Cornell was elected county clerk of Norton County, and filled that office to the satisfaction of all concerned for five years. On leaving office he was again manager of the lumber company at Edmond, Kansas, from 1903 to 1908. He then took charge of the yards at Monument, Kansas, until 1915, and the following three years were spent at Emporia. On October 10, 1918, Mr. Cornell assumed his present duties as manager of the Chicago Lumber and Coal Company at Grinnell.

In politics he has one and only one allegiance, the republican party, its principles and policies. He is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. In 1886, in Sigourney, Iowa, Mr. Cornell married Miss Charity E. McKensie, daughter of J. B. and Elizabeth (Hibbets) McKensie, both now deceased. Her father was a farmer. They have one child, Elva Joyce, who is now a sophomore in Emporia College.

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