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Joseph G. Wolverton, the pioneer merchant of the thriving town of Effingham, Atchison county, Kansas, possesses the enterprise and business energy of his industrious ancestors, and much of the progress of this place may be justly attributed to the patriotic spirit he maintains toward the spot with which his fortunes are identified. In war and peace alike he has proved himself worthy of his birthright as a citizen of this grand republic and in all life's varied relations he has been faithful to the high principles which were inculcated in him in childhood.

The paternal grandfather of our subject, Job Wolverton, a native of England. came to the United States at an early day and located in Pennsylvania, where he dwelt until his death. His son, Thomas, the father of Joseph G. Wolverton, was born in the Keystone state and married a Philadelphia lady, Catherine Scout. Subsequently the young couple resided in the Quaker city for some years and in 1836 they became farmers of Crawford county, Ohio. Later they removed to Lee county, Illinois, where the devoted wife and mother was summoned to her reward. She was sixty-four years of age at the time of her death and was survived by her husband and father, who lived to attain the three-quarter-century mark. His demise occurred in Washington county, Kansas. In his early manhood he was engaged in teaching for some years, and throughout life he kept abreast of the times by reading and study. For years he held the office of justice of the peace and in politics he favored the Democratic party. Religiously he was a member of the Society of Friends, but his wife was connected with the Methodist church. Nine children blessed their union, those besides our subject being Lovinah and Mary Ann, deceased; Jesse, who was a private in Company C, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, during the civil war and now resides in Washington county, Kansas; Crispin, who died in infancy; E. K., who, like his elder brother, Jesse, was a hero of Company C, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, during the war of the Rebellion and now owns a fine fruit farm of two hundred acres in Washington county; Hiram, of Mitchell county, this state; Thomas J., of Marshall county, this state; and William S., a farmer of South Dakota.

Joseph G. Wolverton was born in Hunterdon county, New Jersey, September 14, 1826. He was about ten years of age when the family removed to the west, where, surrounded by the somewhat primitive conditions of frontier life, he grew to hardy manhood. The deficiencies of his education were more than compensated by the splendid home influences which he enjoyed and the experience of later years has given him more than an ordinary fund of useful knowledge.

In November, 1851, Mr. Wolverton was married, in Wyandot county, Ohio, to Sarah M. Leslie, a native of that state and a daughter of Alexander and Sarah (Zarn) Leslie. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent, while the mother was of German extraction. Six children were born to our subject and wife, but four of the number are deceased. Lillie May died at the age of two years and J. F. D. in infancy. Celia R. first married Joseph Mesigh and had two sons -- Francis L. and George W.; and later she became the wife of W. D. Whetsell and afterward died. Emma Alwilda, who was the wife of S. H. Stoner, died and left one child, Claude. Orilla first married D. R. Jewel and by him had a daughter, Edna May; she afterward became the wife of T. H. Johns, of Effingham. Myron T., the only surviving son of our subject, is a farmer in South Dakota and has seven children, namely: James B., Lillie May, Sarah M., Joseph G., Eva, Lotta and Walter Leslie.

During the progress of the civil war Mr. Wolverton enlisted in the defense of his country, becoming a member of Company C, Seventh Illinois Cavalry. He served from March, 1865, until November 4, of the same year, under the command of Captain D. S. Porter and Colonel Graham. Most of this period was spent in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. After being honorably discharged at Camp Butler he returned to his home in Lee county and was there engaged in farming for several years. In 1881 he came to Effingham, arriving here on the 2d of November, since which time he has been actively occupied in all kinds of local enterprises. He erected the substantial store building which he uses now for his stock of merchandise, and year by year has increased the volume of his business by fair treatment of his customers and strict attention to their needs and wishes.

Politically he is a Republican and neglects no opportunity of advancing the interests of that party, to whose guidance of the ship of state he believes the prosperity of this country may be justly attributed. Socially he is a member of Effingham Post, No. 276, G. A. R. Both he and his estimable wife are devoted members of the Christian church, giving liberally of their means to the spread of the gospel.