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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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Guilford Dudley, formerly adjutant general of Kansas, and for the past half century a resident of Topeka, died at his home No. 719 Harrison street, April 14, 1905, at the age of 70 years. Mr. Dudley was born at Bath, Steuben County, New York, in 1835.

In many ways the life of the late Mr. Dudley was typical of Western energy although his rearing had been along the quiet, conservative lines of agricultural environment. From the district schools he entered Oberlin College, Ohio, and soon after graduation from that liberal institution he started Westward, seeking his fortune. In 1855 he settled for a few months at Lawrence, Kansas, but Topeka attracted him on account of more favorable business conditions and he located here in a real estate business and also opened a hotel. In those stirring days it was almost impossible for a man of spirit to avoid taking part in the momentous events that were here transpiring and Mr. Dudley found himself enrolled with James H. Lane, whose career belongs to the history of the State. Personal admiration for the courage of this leader as well as sympathy with his aims, led Mr. Dudley into serving as one of his guards.

Mr. Dudley had, in the meantime, come into such prominence that in 1862 he was appointed adjutant general of Kansas, an office for which he was eminently qualified, but which he resigned after an incumbency of 18 months. During his long and active career, Mr. Dudley accepted but two other public positions, that of clerk of the Territorial Legislature, in 1859, and that of city clerk of Topeka, in 1861.

While Mr. Dudley’s commercial prominence came largely through his extensive banking interests, he was concerned in many other lines, all of which were made to contribute to his success. Prior to starting his first banking business at Topeka, he traveled through Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Kansas, as collecting agent for the wholesale grocery firm of Carney & Stephens, of Leavenworth. In 1869 he started the bank which for more than 30 years continued one of the solid financial institutions of the city, one old and trusted like its founder.

Mr. Dudley was also a farmer and probably took more pleasure in his agricultural operations than in all the social life and political concerns of Topeka. With him the raising of fine stock was not a fad, for he made it one of the serious questions of his life, studied the subject from every point of view, read literature from every authority and during the time he was regent of the State Agricultural College gave lectures to the students of such a practical nature that they were of the greatest permanent value. Possessing the ample means which such investigations demand, Mr. Dudley experimented on food values relating to horses and cattle and invented what is now generally used by stock-raisers as a most satisfactory combination,— the “balanced ration food.” He was also one of the very first to recognize the value of alfalfa. He was a frequent contributor to agricultural journals and his suggestions were welcomed on account of their practical nature, his results having been reached through scientific research instead of through chance. Mr. Dudley did not confine his reading to works pertaining to this subject in which he was so much interested, but covered a wide range, feeding a naturally searching mind.

Mr. Dudley was a large property owner, his possessions including much real property of value on Kansas avenue, his beautiful home on Harrison street, a number of fine farms and the tract which is partly used as Association Park by the Topeka Baseball Company. He was president of the great Crosby Roller Milling Company, in which he owned a large amount of stock.

Mr. Dudley was married at Topeka, June 5, 1867, to Samantha V. Otis, who was born at Rutland, Vermont. She still survives with a son and daughter, the former bearing his father’s honored name, and the latter being the wife of Dr. William Walker, of Philadelphia. Although Mr. Dudley was a man of quiet tastes he enjoyed sociability and the companionship of congenial friends. He was a member of the Topeka Club, and was one of the 50 charter members of the Saint Ananias Club, of Topeka, and shortly before his fatal illness he had succeeded in organizing what was to be known as the Farmers’ Club, its membership to be made up of old residents who had been farmers. He was a man who made his influence felt wherever he was, not through any ostentation, but quietly and wisely.

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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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