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Below is a family biography included in History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott, published by Iola Register, 1901.  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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JOHN SHENCK. A veteran of the Civil war, an enterprising business man and a leading citizen of Yates Center, John Shenk certainly merits representation in this volume among the men whose labors have been of benefit to the county in the line of substantial improvement and progress. He was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1843, and is of German lineage. The ancestors of the family came from the Fatherland to America probably in colonial days. Michael Shenk, the father of our subject, was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in 1818, and spent his entire life in that state and in Illinois. Locating on the shore of Lake Erie he cleared a tract of land and developed a farm and throughout his active business career he carried on agricultural pursuits. He married Miss Sarah C. Carter, who was born near London, England, and is now a resident of Will county, Illinois, whither the family removed in 1857. Her children are: John; William and Jerome, who are living in Will county; Elizabeth, the wife of Harvey Brown, of Chicago Illinois; Delia, the wife of Napoleon Leslie, of Will county; Ida, wife of Calvin Whitson, of Pontiac Illinois, and Minnie, wife of John Jilson, also of Will county.

Mr. Shenck, whose name begins this record, was a youth of fourteen years when he accompanied his parents on their removal from Pennsylvania to Will county, Illinois, where he was reared. The education which he had acquired in the east was supplemented by study in the schools of the Prairie state and in his youth he assisted in the work of his father’s farm. He was only nineteen years of age when in 1862 he joined the boys in blue of company I, One Hundredth Illinois infantry for service in the Civil war under Colonel Bartleson. The regiment was attached to the Second Brigade of the Second Division of the Fourth Army Corps and began active service at Louisville, Kentucky, where it was equipped. Mr. Shenck participated in a number of hotly contested engagements, including the battles of Perryville, Stone river, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and the seige and capture of Atlanta. He then returned northward under the command of General Thomas and participated in the battles of Franklin and Nashville and in the second contest at Perryville. During the last of the war his regiment was stationed in the vicinity of Nashville and when hostilities were over and the country no longer needed the military aid of its soldiers the One Hundredth Illinois was mustered out at Chicago.

Mr. Shenck then returned to Will county to resume the pursuits of civil life and for four years was engaged in farming there. He afterward spent a few years in teaming in Braidwood, that county, and also dealt in coal. On discontinuing his labors along those lines of activity he became connected with the butchering business which he has since made his source of livelihood. He remained a resident of Illinois until 1884 when he came to Woodson county, settling in Yates Center and for more than sixteen years he has conducted a meat market in this place. He enjoys a large profitable trade, easily retaining an extensive patronage by reason of his moderate prices, his earnest desire to please and his fair dealing.

In 1866, in Will county, Illinois, Mr. Shenck was joined in wedlock to Miss Sarah Wright, a daughter of Cherrington Wright, a native of England, as was also his wife. They have had five children: Fred C., who is associated in business with his father; Ada and John, both deceased; Lester and Walter, at home. Since the organization of the party the Shencks have been Republicans and our subject is a stalwart advocate of the party. Socially he is connected with the Masonic fraternity and he also belongs to George D. Carpenter Post. G. A. R. He made for himself a creditable military record upon the tented fields of the south and is today as loyal to the best interests of citizenship as when he followed the Stars and Stripes through the Confederacy.

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This family biography is one of 204 biographies included in History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott, published by Iola Register, 1901, Iola, Kansas.  For the complete description, click here: Woodson County, Kansas History and Genealogy

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

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