My Genealogy Hound

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.

* * * *

Col. Thomas N. Stinson, deceased, one of the pioneers of Shawnee County, was at one time owner of 800 acres of valuable land in this county, of which the farm now owned by Mrs. Stinson in section 1, township , range 5 in Tecumseh township, formed a part. He was born at Dayton, Ohio, April 14, 1818, his father being a school teacher by occupation.

Of the children born to the parents of our subject, Jane married Major Davis, who was Indian agent to the Pottawatomie tribe; and James became prominent as a surveyor in Illinois, laying off the Illinois and Michigan Canal in that State.

At the age of 21 years, his parents having died, Thomas N. Stinson left his brother in Ohio and came West to Westport, as Kansas City, Missouri, was originally known. He worked in the clerk’s office at Independence, Missouri, for a time, then for the clerk of the court. He worked for the firm of Simpson & Hunter, large merchants of Westport for a time without pay in order to learn the business, and later was employed by them to go into Kansas to trade with the Delaware and Kaw Indians. He later established a store among the Pottawatomies and conducted it until about one year after his marriage. Then upon the throwing open for settlement of a large tract of land in Kansas, through the treaty between the Shawnees and the United States, he came to what is now Shawnee County and acquired 800 acres of land. He erected a small log house in which he lived with his family until 1856, when he erected the stone house which has since served as the residence of his family. He conducted a store at Tecumseh for a short time, but in the meantime oversaw the work on his farm, on which he continued to live until his death in 1882. When the first election in Kansas Territory was held, the votes of his district were cast at his house. Governor Reeder was then in office, and as slavery was the paramount issue before the people who were seeking admission to the Union as a new State, his life was a very strenuous one. Upon one occasion, the Governor and Colonel Stinson were engaged in a game of chess, when an attempt was made to mob the former, who coolly requested our subject not to disturb the game and they would complete the game later. This game was completed four years later and required two days to determine supremacy, Colonel Stinson finally winning with a case of champagne as a reward. He was the first school treasurer in this district, and served as a colonel in the Kansas militia. He was a Presbyterian in religious belief, as were his parents.

In 1850 Colonel Stinson was united in marriage with Julia A. Beauchmie, who was born in Kansas City, Kansas, March 26, 1834, and is a daughter of Mackinac Beauchmie, who was named after the Straits of Mackinac. He was of French descent, and was a trapper with the Choteaus for the American Fur Company. He was married in Missouri to an Indian squaw, Betsy Rogers, mother of Mrs. Stinson, who was a daughter of Louis Rogers. Her father was a white of pure blood, who in childhood had been captured by the Shawnees in reparation for the loss in battle of the only son of Chief Black Fist. Louis Rogers was given a home and was loved by the tribe and its chief, the latter making him his heir. He married a cousin of old Tecumseh, after whom the town and township of Tecumseh are named. Because of her descent from a chief, Mrs. Stinson received a large allotment of land from the government and remained in Kansas, preferring to remain where her children would have the proper educational advantages than to go to the Indian Territory. She and her husband had the following children: Thomas, who went to the Philippines in the American Army; Julia, who married C. B. Hamilton and died in the city of Mexico; Mary, wife of Charles Smith, who has extensive coal interests in Pittsburg and lives in Kansas City; Hattie, deceased wife of Walter Logan, of Arizona; and Thornton, a farmer of Tecumseh township. Mrs. Stinson is a woman of refinement and character, and is a pleasant and interesting conversationalist.

* * * *

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

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.