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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Augustus L. Entsminger, proprietor of the “Silver Lake Fruit Farm,” was born December 25, 1834, in Seneca County, Ohio, and has been a resident of Silver Lake township, Shawnee County, since December, 1873. He is a son of Joseph L. and Abigail (Randall) Entsminger. The father of Mr. Entsminger was born in Pennsylvania and the mother in Connecticut.

The father was an agriculturist and went from his native State first to Virginia and then to Sandusky County, Ohio, where he died in 1858. The mother survived until 1866 and both are interred near their old home. Of their six children, our subject was the only one to come to Kansas. The family record is as follows: Stephen, who served in the Third Regiment, Ohio Vol. Cav., in the Civil War as a private until he suffered the loss of three fingers, deceased in December, 1902, aged 71 years; Augustus L., of this sketch; William, who served as a private in the Third Regiment, Ohio Vol. Cav., deceased in 1897; Alice (Mrs. Peter Plantz), deceased in 1893; Sarah (Mrs. Stanton Huffman), who resides in Sandusky County, Ohio, and has five children; and Martha (Mrs. John Timmons), who resides at Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has six children.

Augustus L. Entsminger obtained his education in the Sandusky County schools and spent three years learning the carriage-maker’s trade. Then with the intention of fitting himself completely as a machinist, he went into the blacksmithing department. Here he found that the work was affecting his eyes, but he continued, with many interruptions, to follow one or the other trade until 1879. In 1860 he visited Kansas and bought a preempted claim of 120 acres on Mission Creek. After living on it for two weeks he went back to Ohio and in 1861 enlisted in Company E, 49th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf. On account of his training as a machinist, he was soon transferred to the car department of the Army of the Cumberland, with headquarters at Nashville, Tennessee, where he remained three years and was there mustered out on August 1, 1864. It was then his desire to return at once to Kansas, but as affairs were still in a disturbed condition he was not given transportation and therefore went to Ohio instead.

In the following spring Mr. Entsminger settled down on his farm on Mission Creek, spent one summer there and then removed to Topeka, where he entered the employ of William Boyd as a machinist, receiving wages of $5 a day. From the fall of 1865 until the fall of 1866 he was a partner with Mr. Boyd, when he returned to farming, locating on what was known as the Dick Clark place, where he remained from May until December. In May he paid the sum of $442 for this land and in December he sold the same for $1,500. He then bought another quarter section from a man named Petapher. From this place, in December, 1874, he removed to his present farm, where he purchased 83 acres. He has since devoted his attention to raising cattle and to fruit culture, growing every choice kind that the climate permits. His early output is sold at Topeka, but the bulk goes to the West.

Mr. Entsminger has been wonderfully successful in his projects and owns a very valuable property. It has a historic interest also. Here might be seen until recently the remains of a double log house built in 1847, in which M. B. Bobein, a Pottawatomie half-breed Indian, kept tavern in the very early days. It was on the stage line and in its day sheltered many distinguished guests. At one time Mark Twain made it his resting place for a time, and it was within its picturesque old kitchen that Horace Greeley wrote one of his New York Tribune letters, in praise of Kansas. It remained standing until last year and many an interesting tale its walls could have told had speech been given them.

Mr. Entsminger was married, first, August 11, 1859, to Caroline Warkley, in Seneca County, Ohio, who was a daughter of Peter Warkley. She died August 28, 1870, and was buried in Silver Lake Cemetery. The two children of this union were: Ambrose H., who is supposed to have been lost in the great flood at Galveston, Texas; and Arthur D., of Silver Lake, who married Clara Hansford, daughter of Eri Hansford, and has two children,—May and Carl. Our subject was married, second, on June 13, 1871, to Mary A. Mills, daughter of William Mills. She died June 28, 1875, leaving a daughter, Mary Maud. The latter became Mrs. Wilcox and has one son, Augustus, who lives with his grandfather and is a bright, manly lad of eight years. Mr. Entsminger was married, third, on June 23, 1881, to Clara E. Munn, daughter of John and Phoebe (Homan) Munn.

Mr. Entsminger is the only raiser in Shawnee county, of Red Polled cattle, of which he has a herd of 48 head. There are many registered, full-blooded animals and present a magnificent appearance.

Politically, until the last presidential election, Mr. Entsminger was a Democrat. He is a justice of the peace and has long been a member of the School Board. He has been a member in good standing so long in the Odd Fellows that the time has almost arrived for him to be presented with the veteran’s jewel. He is a member of the Baptist Church.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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