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Prominent among the agriculturists of Benton township, Atchison county, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He is a descendant of one of three brothers by the name of Culver, who, in 1740, left their home in Wales and came to America, locating in Long Island, New York. Joseph Culver, grandfather of our subject, was a soldier in the war for independence, and was with the heroic band of patriots who spent that memorable winter at Valley Forge, under the command of General Washington. His wife came from the old English family of Root and five sons were born to the worthy couple. One of them, William, father of J. W. Culver, was a native of Cayuga county, New York, where he wedded Susan Kirby, a native of Massachusetts, and a direct descendant of the White family who, as is well known, were among the passengers on the world-famous Mayflower. In 1840 William Culver, with his wife and children, removed to Ohio and ten years later they located in Knox county, Illinois. The father died at the ripe age of eighty years, at his home in Knoxville. He was a Republican, politically, and his wife was a member of the Congregational church. Their eldest child, Caroline Ross, resides in Farmington, Illinois, and Cynthia Jane Chapin makes her home in Knoxville, Illinois. Mrs. Elizabeth Miller departed this life in August, 1899, at Nortonville, Kansas. William E. Culver is a respected citizen of Wataga, Illinois.

Joseph W. Culver was born in Erie county, New York, October 23, 1834. He was six years old when his parents removed to the Buckeye state, where most of his education was obtained in the common schools near Akron. Then, for several years, he dwelt in Illinois, but returned to New York to wed the lady of his choice, and for three years subsequent to his marriage lived in the "oil regions" of Pennsylvania. In 1866 they came to Illinois, and at the close of another period of three years settled in Kansas. Here Mr. Culver purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land, all situated in Beuton township. Under his judicious management the place has constantly increased in value until it is now considered one of the most desirable homesteads in this section. For years Mr. Culver has been one of the most extensive dealers in live stock in this township and, in order to meet the requirements of that business, erected large barns and made other improvements. A substantial modern house stands upon a pleasant site and everything about the place bespeaks the constant care of the thrifty proprietor.

In January, 1863, Mr. Culver married Rebecca Sherman, in Erie county, New York. She was born in that county, a daughter of Jonathan and Mercy (Pickens) Sherman, both of whom are deceased. Mrs. Culver, who was a lady of many lovable qualities, died in August, 1880. She left three children to mourn her loss, namely: George E., who is an enterprising young farmer of this township; William, now twenty-three years of age and living at home; and Maud Babcock, adopted by O. W. Babcock, of Nortonville, Kansas. In 1883 Mr. Culver married Mrs. C. S. Burdick, of this county. She was born and reared to womanhood in Potter county, Pennsylvania, and at the time of her marriage to our subject was the widow of Elmer Burdick. Her maiden name was Reynolds.

Politically Mr. Culver is affiliated with the Republican party, and ever since depositing his first presidential vote for Lincoln has been loyal to his party. His influence and means are always confidently relied upon for the promotion of enterprises which make for morality, justice and good government, and his upright, manly course in life should be emulated by the rising generation.