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.

William E. Patton

WILLIAM E. PATTON. A representative citizen of Hamilton County and a prominent business man of Syracuse, William E. Patton is widely known as a real estate dealer and insurance agent and as a maker of abstracts. Since coming to Western Kansas he has witnessed wonderful transformations in the face of the country roundabout, and while advancing his own interests has also assisted in the establishment of various enterprises conducive to the growth and prosperity of the community in which he resided. A son of John Patton, he was born May 26, 1870, in Wapello County, Iowa, coming on the paternal side of Irish stock and on the maternal of English ancestry.

John Patton, now residing in Syracuse, Hamilton County, Kansas, was born eighty-four years ago in Kingston, Ontario. Coming across the line to the United States in 1867, he located first in Wapello County, Iowa, where he remained for twenty years. In 1887 he came with his family to Kearny County, Kansas, and entered land in the southwest corner of the county. Fortune seemingly frowned upon his every effort, but he labored diligently and courageously, proved up on his claim, and was there engaged in tilling the soil for many years. He married Sarah E. Lomas, whose parents located at Goderich, Ontario, on coming to this country from England. She is now living in Syracuse, being seventy-six years of age. Eight children were born of their marriage, as follows: Mary A., wife of Edwin H. Adams, of Redlands, California; Esther C., wife of Rev. L. A. McCaffree, of Winfield, Kansas; Matilda E., wife of Charles Steinhoff, of Johnson City, Kansas; Jennie R., who married Rufus E. Dodd, died in Syracuse, Kansas; William E., of whom we write; Eunice, widow of Edward McNair, of Wichita, Kansas; Jessie, wife of Thornhill Walker, of Dighton, Kansas; and Grace, wife of Fred D. Ford, of Syracuse, Kansas.

William E. Patton was educated in Iowa, in the Wapello County schools, and after coming with the family to Kansas in 1887 had his first and last experience as a teacher, having charge of a school in Grant County. Subsequently entering land in Kearny County, he began his career as a farmer, but changed his plans and embarked in the cattle business. Being exceedingly limited as to his financial resources, Mr. Patton abandoned his claim. Locating in Hamilton County in 1897, he bought land in section 27, buying land that cost him $200 for a quarter section. As his means increased he added to his landed possessions, obtaining title to three sections, and there handled cattle and horses until 1912. In the meantime he had labored industriously, and when he left it had it cleared, fairly well stocked, fenced, and well improved for the time and the locality. He sold that property in 1912 for $12.50 an acre, and went almost directly from the ranch to the Hamilton County Courthouse.

Mr. Patton was chosen register of deeds for the county, and served two years, succeeding A. J. Kautz. While thus employed he met in a business way with Mr. Walter, county treasurer, and when their terms of offices expired Messrs. Patton & Walter formed a copartnership, and have since carried on a large and constantly increasing real estate business.

Mr. Patton married, in Barton County, Kansas, April 2, 1904, Louise Ruggles, a daughter of Fred W. and Mary (McPherson) Ruggles, who emigrated from Nova Scotia to Boston, Massachusetts, from there coming to Kansas, locating first in Barton County, and later coming to Syracuse, Hamilton County, where they are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Ruggles reared the following named children: Bert, of Boston, Massachusetts; William B., of Kinsley, Kansas; Arthur G., of Dodge City, Kansas; Mrs. Irene Elliott, of Ingalls, Kansas; and Mrs. Patton. Mr. and Mrs. Patton have four children, Donald R., Lois, Fern and Winifred.

Politically Mr. Patton is a straightforward democrat, having learned while living in Iowa, a republican stronghold, to lean toward the under dog in a political fight. He has served as county assessor in Hamilton County, being the only one the county ever had, and having been appointed to the office by a republican board of county commissioners. He was also elected register of deeds in a republican county, with an almost overwhelming majority. He is now, in 1917, a member of the Syracuse City Council, and has previously served on the local school board, and is president and treasurer of the Syracuse School District. Fraternally Mr. Patton is past master of Syracuse Lodge No. 309, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, which he has served for many years as secretary, and has taken the Knights Templar work in the York Rite, and the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite, and is a member of the Wichita Consistory. He has also served in all the chairs of the Syracuse Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is a past noble grand, and has served as a delegate to the Grand Lodge. Mr. Patton is not affiliated with any religious organization, but has leanings towards the Methodist Church, having been reared in the faith of that denomination.