This venerable pioneer of Center township, Doniphan county, Kansas, dates his identity with this place from a time when Kansas was a territory and before the organization of the county and township in which he lives. He has been an eye witness to the growth and development of this part of the country during the past forty-five years, and more than that he has as a public-spirited and worthy citizen contributed his share toward bringing about the transformation which has been wrought here.
William McHamner was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, September 4, 1818. a son of William and Rebecca (Day) McHamner, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. Mr. McHamner's parents were married in Kentucky, and in 1820 moved with their family to Bartholomew county, Indiana, and settled on a farm, where they died a few years later, the mother's death occurring first and the father's soon afterward.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was Henry Hamner. He was a son of a German emigrant to this country; was born in Virginia, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, giving seven years of his life to his country's service. After the war he came went to Kentucky, where he passed the rest of his life and reared a large family. His wife was before marriage Miss Sarah Deckard and she, too, was a Virginian. The maternal grandfather of our subject was John Day. He was a native of Hardin county, Kentucky.
William McHamner was two years old when taken by his parents to Indiana and was nine years old when his father died, his mother, as already stated, having died before his father. After this young McHamner went back to Kentucky and until he was sixteen made his home at his grandfather McHamner's. Then he entered upon an apprenticeship to the trade of shoemaker, which he completed in due time but which he did not follow long on account of its not agreeing with his health.
In 1841 Mr. McHamner sought a home further west than the one in which his grandfather had pioneered, and accordingly took up his abode in Buchanan county, Missouri, where he bought a farm of eighty acres and where he lived for twelve years. In the fall of 1854 he came to the territory of Kansas and located in what is now Center township, Doniphan county, here pre-empting one hundred and sixty acres of land. His first work on the claim was to build a log house, 14x16 feet, covered with clapboards, its location being on Mosquito creek. Here he kept "bachelor's hall" for a number of years, doing his own cooking and house work and entertaining in as gracious a manner as possible the friends and strangers who came to his cabin. As the years passed by and prosperity attended his efforts his farm assumed a different aspect. The cabin gave place to a better home and a fine orchard of his own planting came into bearing. To-day his farm is one of the most desirable ones in this locality. Among its attractions is a fine walnut grove on the creek bottom. His fields are well cultivated, and among his stock is a fine herd of Jersey cattle.
Mr. McHamner was married, in 1872, to Miss Lurinda Stone, of Doniphan county, Kansas. She is a daughter of Jesse and Polly (Parker) Cox, pioneers of this county, who came here from Missouri in 1854. Mrs. McHammer was born in Indiana in 1833. By her first husband she has one son, Frank E. Stone. She has no children by her second marriage. When Troy was platted she did the cooking for the men who did the work. In forty-seven years she has changed residence but once, and that was from an adjoining farm to her present place.
Politically, Mr. McHamner has always given his support to the Democratic party. He is a member of Troy Lodge, No. 55, F. & A. M. Both he and his wife have many pleasant reminiscences connected with their early life here and are familiar with every phase of pioneering in this county.
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