WILLIAM A. PEFFER.
United States Senator.
[Item below taken from Volume II, KANSAS, A Cyclopedia of State History, by Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph.D., published by Standard Publishing Company in 1912, Page 458.]
Peffer, William A., United States senator, was born on a farm in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, September 10, 1831, of Dutch parents. From his tenth to fifteenth year he attended the public schools seven months each winter, and then began to teach a small district school. He followed that profession until he caught the gold fever in 1850, when he went to California, and there made considerable money, returning to Pennsylvania in 1852. There he married Sarah Jane Barber and soon after removed to Indiana. He engaged in farming near Crawsfordsville until he met with reverses, when he determined to go farther west, and soon after opened a farm in Morgan county, Missouri. In February, 1862, he went to Illinois to get away from guerilla warfare, and the following August he enlisted as a private in the Eighty-third Illinois infantry. He was promoted to second lieutenant in March, 1863. During the three years of his service, he was engaged principally in the performance of detached duty as quartermaster, adjutant, and judge-advocate of a military commission, as depot quartermaster in the engineering department at Nashville, Tennessee. He was mustered out on June 26, 1865. Having studied law as opportunity afforded, he settled at Clarksville, Tennessee, at the close of the war and began the practice of that profession. In 1870 he came to Kansas and took up a claim in Wilson county. Two years later he removed to Fredonia and established the Fredonia Journal, a weekly newspaper, at the same time continuing his law practice. He next went to Coffeyville, and established the Coffeyville Journal. In 1874 he was elected to the state senate as a Republican and served one term. He was delegate to the Republican national convention in 1880, and that year he removed to Topeka, where he assumed control of the Kansas Farmer, which he purchased later. In 1890 he joined the Farmers’ Alliance movement, and the following year the People’s party elected him to the United States senate, where he served one term. Mr. Peffer is a member of the Episcopal church, a Master Mason, and belongs to the Knights of Labor.
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Courier, July 10, 1874.
SALT SPRINGS. Judge Peffer, Col. J. C. McMullen, E. P. Kinne, Mr. Loomis, and several ladies, also the “Special Contributor,” visited the salt works on the 6th. We found Judge McIntire superintendent of the works. Our July sun is doing the handsome thing for these just now, giving a product of a ton per week.
There are also springs containing, apparently, glauber’s salts and other minerals in solution. We concluded the “warm spring” to be caused by the action of the solar heat.