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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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Among the early settlers in Kansas who became men of means and prominence was Daniel Duck, who died while on a visit to his old home in Illinois, on November 30, 1896. He was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, August 23, 1826, and grew up on his brother’s farm, his father having died when our subject was nine years of age, and was educated in the district schools.

In 1846 he enlisted for service in the Mexican War, entering Company E, Third Ohio Regiment, and was honorably discharged in 1847 on account of disability. He moved to Stephenson County, Illinois, and after his marriage and the birth of one child came to Kansas in 1857. He settled in Clinton township, Douglas County, too poor at that time to enter a claim. He soon found work as a carpenter and then secured a tract of wild land on which there was a log cabin, in which the family lived for a long time. He was a man of great energy and industry as well as business judgment. The time came when he owned 700 acres of fine land. About 1892 he moved to Richland and built a fine home and lived retired from active farming for about four years before his death. In the Civil War he took part in the famous battle of the Blue, when the Kansas Home Guards checked Price’s invasion of the State.

Mr. Duck was married in Stephenson County, Illinois, October 24, 1850, to Polina E. Wells, who was born May 22, 1827, in Ohio, and accompanied her parents to Illinois when eight years of age. She is a daughter of Warner and Mary (Rimy) Wells, natives of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Duck had three daughters, namely: Mary Angeline, who died aged 17 months; the eldest daughter, who died unmarried; and Ellen S., who married Curtis Lamb and died in Richland in 1895, aged 40 years, leaving six children,— Polina E., wife of Joseph Daily, of Richland; Daniel C., of Douglas County; William C., of Oklahoma; Eva S., wife of Anthony Coyne of Douglas County; Myrtle E., who lives with her grandmother; and Frederick O. There are 12 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Duck was a Republican in his early voting days but in the latter part of his life was a Populist. He was a member of the Farmers’ Alliance. He was a devoted husband, a kind and loving father, a true friend as many can testify and an upright, honest man. He became possessed of worldly goods in large amount but gained them through years of hard work. He left a large circle of friends by whom he was much respected as is also his widow who continues to live in the comfortable home at Richland. With her husband she saw many early hardships but has lived to enjoy rest and ease in her declining years.

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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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