“A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans”,written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918.”WILLIAM Q. ELLIOTT, who joined the pioneers of Rice County in the early ’70s, has been one of the conspicuous men in that section of the state for many years. His sturdy energy as a farmer brought him liberal rewards, and he has used his means and influence to do good in many directions. He sent a large family of children into the honorable walks of life, has stanchly upheld the forces of religion and morality in his home community and state, and at the age of fourscore his usefulness still continues, especially manifesting itself in his official work with the Friends University at Wichita.He comes of substantial American ancestry and the family for generations have been stanch Quakers. Mr. Elliott was born in a stronghold of the Quaker Church in Wayne County, Indiana, February 19, 1837. Wayne County, Indiana, was largely settled in early days by Quakers from the Carolinas. His grandfather, Exum Elliott, came out of North Carolina in 1815 and was one of the pioneers whose physical strength cleared away the forests and established civilization in that then wilderness section of Eastern Indiana. The wife of Exum Elliott was Catherine Lamb, of Guilford County, North Carolina. They had eight children, six sons and two daughters, all of whom reached mature years, married and with the exception of one daughter had children of their own. Exum Elliott died at the age of eighty-six and was laid to rest in the Friends Cemetery at West Grove, Indiana.
Mark Elliott, father of William Q., was born in North Carolina December 28, 1813, and was two years of age when his parents came north. On August 27, 1835, in Union County, Indiana, he married Mary Haworth. Both were members of the Society of Friends and they were married by the Quaker ceremony. Her birthplace was her father’s farm of 200 acres, comprising an island in the Holsten River in the State of Tennessee. Her father, Joel Haworth, moved from Tennessee to Union County, Indiana, and bought a large tract of government land at $1.25 per acre in gold. His daughter, Mary, was the oldest in a large family of children. Mark Elliott lived on a farm in Wayne County, Indiana, where he died in 1858 and was laid to rest in the same cemetery where his father’s and mother’s remains repose. He left his widow with seven children, four sons and three daughters. Mrs. Mark (Mary Haworth) Elliott afterwards came to Kansas and died at Sterling February 23, 1902, at the age of eighty-eight years, two months and twenty-one days.
William Q. Elliott spent his boyhood in Wayne County, Indiana, during the ’40s and ’50s. That was a period when public schools had not yet come into established vogue in Indiana, but be received a good training in the Friends Monthly Meeting School at West Grove, where his teacher for seven years was Jeremiah Griffin. Besides his experience on the farm he taught school five winters, the first term before he was seventeen years of age. While his father was a large muscular man six feet two inches high, he suffered during his last years with sciatica, and William during that period remained at home and looked after the farm and in other ways cared for his invalid parent.
February 4, 1858, Mr. Elliott married Rebecca Jane Jackson. She was born in Wayne County in January, 1838. Her father, Joseph W. Jackson, was rated as the wealthiest farmer of that community, and when he died at the age of sixty his estate was valued at $250,000, acquired through his extensive operations as a farmer and pork packer. Her mother died in Wayne County six years before her father. Rebecca Jackson was the oldest of thirteen children, eight sons and five daughters. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Elliott went to Vermilion County, Illinois, where they rented a farm. They lived there for seven years, and then returned to the old homestead, Mr. Elliott taking charge as manager after the death of his father. In the meantime his attention had been attracted to the free and new lands of Kansas, and in the fall of 1873 he came to the state and filed a homestead claim on eighty acres in what was then Reno but is now Rice County. That original homestead is now owned by his son, Sylvester J. In March, 1874, Mr. Elliott and his family located at what was then known as the Village of Peace, now Sterling, and they remained there until July 1, 1875, when they went out to the homestead and occupied the house and barn which had been erected preparatory to this removal. (Wm Q. Elliott, wife Rebecca & children Joseph, Salena & Wm. Q., Jr transferred membership to Toledo Monthly Meeting, Lyons Co., Kansas on September 26, 1874.)
Mr. Elliott was not only a good practical farmer but a thorough business man, and with unlimited confidence in the future of Kansas he invested heavily in lands, buying from the railroad companies, school lands and also developed a timber claim, until he was owner of 3,300 acres. Nearly all of this he has since sold. The development of the land for farming purposes and the beautifying of the landscape occupied his time and energies for many years. Mr. Elliott did much as a practical forester and also as a horticulturist. Beginning in 1876, he planted large numbers of black walnut, catalpa and cottonwood trees, and those grew until they constituted large groves on his farm. In 1878 he set out an apple orchard of twenty acres and in 1882 he sold a thousand dollars worth of peaches from five acres of seedling trees. When in his prime as an agriculturist he bred and raised horses, mules and hogs and was one of the leading stock ranchers. In 1880 Mr. Elliott established the Rice County Bank at Sterling and conducted it for seven years.
Mr. Elliott’s first wife died in September, 1913, and since her death he has moved to the Town of Sterling and is now living retired. He is a large stockholder in the Farmer’s State Bank of Sterling.
Mr. Elliott was the father of fifteen children, and including those living and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren he now enumerates 101 descendants, a record comparable to that of the patriarchs of old. On November 6, 1914, Mr. Elliott married, near Hoyt, Kansas, Mrs. Irene B. (Brooks) Dale, who was born back in Wayne County, Indiana. Mrs. Elliott is a sister of Mrs. Jonathan Thomas, a resident of Topeka, noted for her wealth and generosity.
Reference has already been made to Mr. Elliott’s connection with the Friends University at Wichita. He is vice president and a director of that institution, and chairman of the board. He is also chairman of the building committee that now has in charge the erection of a gymnasium to cost $40,000. He has been entrusted with the handling of a large part of the endowment fund in loaning this money on real estate. Mr. Elliott is a member of the Kansas State Historical Society, and has been a lifelong republican. He took an enthusiastic part as a boy in the first republican presidential campaign in 1856, when General Fremont was a candidate. He cast his first presidential vote in 1860 for Lincoln.”
Obituary of Wm. Q. Elliott, Sr.
Wm. Q. Elliott, Sr., 92, one of the oldest residents of this community died Tuesday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Lena Snook Smith, just east of Sterling. He had been helpless for the year past.
Mr. Elliott came to Sterling in 1873 when this town was known as Peace, locating on a homestead four miles southeast of town. This had been his home even since, for 56 years. He was born in Wayne County, Ind., of Quaker parents, and was a staunch member of the Quaker denomination all his life.
The funeral was held yesterday afternoon from the Methodist church. He is survived by nine sons and one daughter.
Mr. Elliott was Presiding Clerk for the Sterling Quarterly meeting until 1921 and also had held the duties of treasurer and statistical clerk. The news of his passing away was received by the Quarterly Meeting in August, 1929.
At the November meeting in 1919 a loving Tribute to him was read, commending and thanking him for his forty years of faithful service to the Quarterly Meeting. And is also told of the Yearly Meeting Superintendent saying he was the best Presiding clerk in the Kansas Yearly Meeting. (This Tribute was prepared by Grace Thompson-from The History of Beaver Quarterly Meeting of Friends (Kansas))
Mark Elliott (1813 – 1858)
Mary S. Haworth Elliott (1813 – 1902)
Rebecca Jane Jackson Elliott (1838 – 1913)
Irene Dale Brooks Elliott (1840 – 1921)*
Selena Marjorie Elliott/Smith Snook (____ – 1936)*
Mark Haworth Elliott (1858 – 1926)*
Lincoln Lloyd Elliott (1867 – 1927)*
Charles Sumner Elliott (1872 – 1874)*
Tabor Clarkson Elliott (1874 – 1959)*
Caleb B. Elliott (1877 – 1962)*
Permelia E Elliott Miller (1832 – 1917)**
William Quincy Elliott (1837 – 1929)
Joel Haworth Elliott (1840 – 1868)*
Lewis Cassius Elliott (1855 – 1860)**