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.

George R. Rider

GEORGE R. RIDER. Grant County was organized in 1888, and its history as the home of white men covers hardly more than thirty-five years. One of the citizens who has been a participant in making this history and in developing the county from pioneer times to the present is George R. Rider, a ranchman whose home is ten miles northwest of New Ulysses. He was one of the three first permanent settlers of the county. He came here in 1882 in company with his brothers Fred G. and Columbus. They drove a large quantity of livestock from Barber County, Kansas, where they had been ranching on Mule Creek, near Kiowa, for some eight or ten years.

George R. Rider is all but a native of Kansas. He was an infant when the family came from Whiteside County, Illinois, where he was born March 17, 1860. His childhood was spent on a farm in Chase county, Kansas, where his parents located during the Civil war, and his education was confined to the advantages of the country schools there. Chase County was then well out on the frontier, and as a result of his early experience Mr. Rider is one of the men who can completely appreciate the remarkable transformation that has been effected on the Kansas prairies in the last half century.

When about nineteen years of age he and his younger brother were furnished a bunch of cattle by their father, and they took them out to Barber County and grazed them on the range. Settlers began coming into Barber County, crowded out the cattle men, and as a result the Riders moved on to Grant County, where they have ever since been big factors in the agricultural and stock raising activities for which this county is chiefly noted in a productive way.

Mr. Rider continued cattle raising in Grant County until 1917, when he sold that class of stock and is now giving his time to the raising of horses and mules. In earlier years he was an extensive shipper of cattle, and furnished a medium for local market to the growers and ranchers in this vicinity.

Soon after coming to Grant County Mr. Rider entered land, both a homestead and pre-emption, proved up and secured his titles, and still owns this half section. At the present time his ownership covers six quarter sections, and 140 acres are under cultivation. It is not one of the largest ranches, but represents a commendable achievement in the career of one man. Mr. Rider has not participated in political or public affairs beyond assisting in organizing school district No. 36 and giving many years of service on its board. The first school of the district was taught in the Gall residence and it is believed that the first teacher was Ida Baker. Mr. Rider was reared under republican influence and began voting that ticket on reaching manhood. His family are members of the Church of Christ.

In Stanton County, Kansas, September 4, 1887, Mr. Rider married Miss Ada Smethers. Her parents were Henry and Jane (Nicholson) Smethers. Her father came to Kansas from the vicinity of Fordville, Indiana, about 1880. He was a Union soldier and saw three years of active service in the Civil war. On coming to Kansas Mr. Smethers first settled in Greenwood County, and from there moved to Stanton County in 1885 and in 1890 located in Chase County, where he is still living. He was born in Indiana July 31, 1837. Mr. and Mrs. Smethers had the following children: Edward and Mrs. Amy Lunsford, both deceased; William, of Kirkland, Indiana; Fred, of Chase County, Kansas; Mrs. Rider and Mrs. Zella Rider, twins, born June 1, 1871; Walter and Oscar, both deceased; and Minnie, wife of William Kline, of Elmdale, Kansas.

While living on their ranch farm in Grant County, a number of children have grown up around Mr. and Mrs. Rider and most of them are still members of the family circle. The oldest, Ruby, married Ross Mosher and their children are Pearl, Iva, Esther and Melvin A., the last two being twins. The other children of Mr. And Mrs. Rider are Columbus D., Flossie J., Dove Juanita, Thelma Lover and George Ralph.