George Henry Nichols

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Biographical History of Central Kansas

Lewis Publishing Company | 1902 | Volume 1, pg. 532

For many years, in fact from the early days of development in Rice county, farming has been the leading occupation of the people, and for almost a quarter of a century Mr. Nichols has been a representative of this branch of industry in central Kansas. He located here in 1878 and has performed the arduous task of transforming wild prairie into richly cultivated fields. He comes from the far-off state of New Jersey, his birth having there occurred in the town of Sparta, on the 20th of July, 1855.

His father, Ziba Nichols, was a well-known citizen of Wilson township, Rice county, for a number of years, becoming a pioneer settler here. He was born in New Jersey and was of Scottish lineage. His childhood days were spent in the state of his nativity and his education was acquired in the public schools. He married Matilda Smith, also a native of that state, reared and educated there. In 1858, he removed with his family to Henry county, Illinois, locating near Kewanee, where he resided until 1881, the year of his arrival in Rice county, Kansas. Here he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in Wilson township, in August, 1887, when he was sixty-five years of age. His wife died in February, 1888, at the age of sixty-seven.

In politics, he was a Republican, and in religious faith Mrs. Nichols was identified with the Presbyterian church. They had ten children, namely: Wesley, who was a soldier of Company H, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, and served for four years, veteranizing during the Rebellion, now resides at the Solders’ Home at Leavenworth, Kansas, where he expects to spend the remainder of his life; Mrs. Maggie Sutton is deceased; Mrs. Ellen Ayres resides in Galesburg, Illinois; Mrs. Louisa Benedict is living in Blue Rapids, Kansas; Mrs. Delia McCullough is a resident of Omaha, Nebraska; Winfield makes his home in Rice county; George H. is the next of the family; Charles is a resident of Kansas City, being employed as a traveling salesman, Fred is located at Joplin, Missouri and Eddy is deceased.

George H. Nichols was a little lad when he accompanied his parents in their removal to Henry county, Illinois, in which locality he was reared to farm life, early becoming familiar with the work of the fields. He attended the public schools and supplemented the knowledge there gained by broad practical experience. In 1878 he arrived in Rice County, Kansas, and for three years made his home near Raymond. He afterward lived in the vicinity of Chase for two years, and in 1883, eighteen years ago, he came to his present farm in Wilson township, where he has since lived, devoting his energies to the improvement and cultivation of one hundred and sixth acres of arable land. His farm is now a very desirable property. There are good buildings upon the place, a bearing orchard and shade trees, and in the pastures are found good grades of stock. He cultivates the crops best adapted to the climate and soil, and his labors are annually bringing to him a good profit.

Mr. Nichols was married in Rice county, on the 2d of March, 1882, to Miss Nattie Bradley, who has been to her husband a true companion upon the journey of life. She was born near Lancaster, in Schuyler county, Missouri, August 18, 1861 and is a daughter of James and Catherine (Ow) Bradley, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Pennsylvania. In 1878 her parents came to Kansas, settling near Raymond, and the father followed agricultural pursuits until his life’s labors were ended in death, when he was sixty-eight years of age. He had served his country as a Union soldier during the Civil war and had given his political support to the Republican party. He had served his country as a Union soldier during the Civil war and had given his political support to the Republican party. A man of firm convictions, he loyally adhered to every cause which he believed to be right. His widow is still living and makes her home at Alden, Kansas, Rice county. They had eight children, namely: Samuel G., a resident of Reno county, Kansas; William R., who is living in Rice county; Mrs. Nattie Nichols; Mrs. Maggie Ward, now deceased; Mrs. Mary Ross; Mrs. Bertha Ingall; Webster, who died at the age of eighteen months; and Charles, who died at the age of four years. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Nichols has been blessed with eight children, as follows: Avis L., Edith, Ina, Clem, Roy, Wesley and Virgie. Ansil L., the first born, died at the age of fourteen months.

In his political affiliations Mr. Nichols was long a Republican, but in recent years he has voted independently. His wife is a member of the Congregational church and both are people of genuine worth. He is a warm friend of the cause of education and of various interests calculated to promote the welfare of the community, being a public-spirited and progressive citizen. In manner he is cordial and genial, and those who know him are glad to win his friendship.

(contributed by Debbie Bleger)