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The traveler to-day who looks upon the enterprising towns and villages and the highly cultivated farms of Doniphan county finds it difficult to realize that less than half a century ago this was a wild and barren tract, uninhabited by white settlers, but there came to northeastern Kansas a band of sturdy, determined men and women who founded homes in this wild region. Through their efforts the raw prairie was made to bloom and blossom as the rose and the work of civilization has been carried forward by them and their children until Doniphan county takes rank with any in this great commonwealth and its evidences of civilization are on a par with those of the older counties of the east.

Jordan O. Marcell is one who came to this locality when it was a frontier region. he was born in Jessamine county, Kentucky, October 30, 1840, and is of Swiss lineage. His grandfather, John Marcell, came to the United States from Switzerland in 1805 and for a time resided in Georgetown, D. C. From that point he removed with his family to Kentucky, locating in Jessamine county. He had one son and three daughters, the former being Charles Marcell, the father of our subject. He was born in Switzerland in 1802 and was therefore very young at the time of the emigration of his parents to America. With the family he went to Jessamine county, Kentucky, and after residing there for some time took up his abode in Franklin county, that state. On coming to Kansas he located at the agency of the Iowa Indians, cultivating the agency farm for one year. He then located on a farm in Wolf River township, Doniphan county, owning land upon sections 1, 3 and 19. Here he spent his remaining days. In Kentucky he had married Miss Elizabeth Utley, a daughter of Isaac Utley, who was a farmer of that state. Their children are Julia, the wife of John Burchfield, of Brown county; Nancy, who became the wife of Joseph Davis and after his death wedded Robert Davis, a resident of Hiawatha, Kansas; Jordan O.; Mary, the wife of Robert Burchfield, of Reserve, Kansas; Alvina, the wife of Douglas Hancock, of Severance; and Charles L., who is one of the progressive and prosperous farmers of Doniphan county. He was married at the age of nineteen years to Miss Margaret Burchfield and is the father of ten children.

Jordan O. Marcell spent the first eighteen years of his life in Jessamine and Franklin counties, Kentucky, and then accompanied his father to Kansas, where he assisted in the work of the home farm until about the time he attained his majority. He thus aided in the arduous task of developing the new land and experienced all the hardships and trials that fall to the lot of the frontier settler. In 1862, prompted by a spirit of patriotism, he enlisted in the Thirteenth Kansas Volunteer Regiment, under Colonel Bowen, and was mustered in at Atchison. His command became a part of the First Division of the Seventh Army Corps and went south to Arkansas, first engaging the Confederate troops at Cain Hill and later participated in the battle of Prairie Grove. After that engagement the regiment spent much time on the march in Louisiana and Arkansas and when hostilities had ended was mustered out at Little Rock. Mr. Marcell enlisted as a private and for meritorious service was promoted to the rank of corporal and after almost three years connection with the army he received an honorable discharge and returned to his home.

With the money that he had saved from his meager army salary he began the improvement of his present fine farm and as a companion and helpmeet on life's journey married Miss Margaret Jeffers, a daughter of Lewis Jeffers, who came to Kansas from Buchanan county, Missouri, but resided at Agency, Missouri, where Mrs. Marcell was born fifty-three years ago. The marriage of our subject and his wife was celebrated on the 25th of January, 1866, and has been blest with the following children: Della, the wife of John Tharp, of Doniphan county; Charles, who resides with his parents and is one of the enterprising young farmers and stock dealers of the county; Bertie, the wife of Jesse Blevins, of Doniphan county; Ella, the wife of John Lewis, a resident of the same county; and Violet, who is with her parents.

When Mr. Marcell began farming he located upon an eighty-acre tract of land and has since extended the boundaries of his place until he now owns two hundred acres, the greater part of which is under a high state of cultivation. He has successfully carried on general farming, his efforts being directed by intelligence. His methods are practical and progressive and knowing the value of the rotation of crops and understanding the underlying principles of successful farming he has won a prosperity which is well merited, He has the esteem of his fellow men and is regarded as a representative citizen of the community, manifesting the same loyalty to all duties of citizenship that he displayed upon the battle fields of the south when he aided in the defense of the old flag.