JAMES MONROE EYLAR
The American progenitor of the family of Eylars, of which James Monroe and Aaron Randolph Eylar, of Eden, Doniphan county, Kansas, are worthy representatives, was one of the name who, with his brother John, emigrated from Germany to Maryland, where the grandfather of James M. and Aaron R. Eylar married a woman of the Rosemiller family, of Revolutionary note. John Eylar and his wife he buried side by side at Fincastle, Ohio. Their son, Joseph Eylar, father of the two prominent residents of Doniphan county above mentioned, was born near Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1786, and died in Adams county, Ohio, in 1851. He served the United States in the army in the war of 1812, moved to Ohio in 1808, established a tannery at Winchester and built up a large and profitable business. He was a prominent Democrat and was elected to the office of associate justice of the district in which he lived.
Joseph Eylar was twice married. His first wife was Elizabeth Fenton, a native of Kentucky and granddaughter of Jerry Fenton, who was a pioneer in Ohio about the time it became a state and died there soon afterward on his new farm. The children of Joseph and Elizabeth (Fenton) Eylar were: Samuel, who lives near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; James M., of Union township, Doniphan county, Kansas; Elizabeth, wife of F. T. Liggett, of Ripley, Ohio; Emeline, who married Alburtus McMeekin, of Columbus, Ohio; Aaron Randolph, of Union township, Doniphan county, Kansas; and Charles, of Oklahoma. For his second wife Joseph Eylar married Elizabeth Fenton, a relative of his first wife. Of their nine children not one survives. Those who left families were: Ruth, who married Colonel J. R. Cockrell; Mary, who married Richard Moore; and Mrs. Sallie Ann McNown.
James Monroe Eylar, born in Adams county, Ohio, June 3, 1838, spent his boyhood and youth at Winchester, Ohio, and acquired a good English education in the village schools. He went to Kansas in 1854 and settled on a claim near Doniphan to secure it for his uncle, Mr. Fenton, who lived near Rushville, Missouri. He made the journey from Cincinnati to St. Louis on the steamer Castle Garden and from St. Louis to Atchison on the steamer Honduras. he disembarked at George William's landing, on the Missouri river, opposite Atchison, in September of the year mentioned, and corroborates the usual statement that at that time things about there had a blank and forbidding appearance and that many of the men he encountered there and elsewhere on the way from Ohio to Kansas were characteristically "wild and woolly." He went to his destination on what is now the Langdon farm and during the succeeding three years "played farmer" to some practical purpose. Of his few neighbors in that early period only William Lancaster remains to tell the story of the border days in that part of Doniphan county.
In 1857 Mr. Eylar went back to his native county in Ohio and made his home there during the. succeeding eight years, which comprised the period of the civil war. He entered the service of the United States government, in 1863, as a teamster in the quartermaster's department, and the command to which he was attached traversed the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, and it was the fortune of Mr. Eylar to be present at the siege of Knoxville. After two years service, which ended with the cessation of hostilities, he was discharged, and he then located in Buchanan county, Missouri, where he farmed successfully until 1880, where he a second time went to Doniphan county, Kansas, this time to better his own fortunes.
Immediately after his arrival in the county, in 1880, Mr. Eylar bought his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he has since improved greatly in every way and brought to a high state of productiveness. It ranks with the best stock farms in the county and Mr. Eylar is recognized as a progressive farmer who knows how to produce good crops and dispose of them to advantage. He devotes himself to general farming and has made a marked success of raising hogs.
Politically Mr. Eylar is a Democrat. His forefathers were devoted to Democratic principles and he has never seen reason why he should falter in his allegiance to them. He is not an office seeker or an active politician but takes a patriotic interest in all public questions. Mr. Eylar was married, near Jacksonville, Ohio, March 5, 1862, to Louisa, daughter of Matthew and Elizabeth (Guilford) Sample. Mr. and Mrs. Eylar's children are: Virginia, wife of Christian Swartz, of Brown county, Kansas; James A., who married Etta McGregor and is employed by the Smith-Premier Typewriter Company, at St. Louis, Missouri; Matthew S., who married Alice Archer and is manager of the office of the Hatch Book Typewriter Company in New York city; and Joseph, Edward and Fenton, all members of their parents household.
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