Biography of Elisha H. Rollins

Elisha H. Rollins, partner of Mr. Ireland in the proprietorship of the Ireland & Rollins Planing Mills Company, and one of the progressive and energetic business men of Fort Scott, was born March 15, 1859, on Prince Edward Island, a son of John and Mary (Harker) Rollins, natives of that place, who passed their entire lives there in agricultural pursuits. The father died in 1909, at the age of seventy-five years, while the mother passed away many years before, being forty-seven years old at the time of her demise.

The fourth in a family of nine children, Elisha H. Rollins received a public school education, and in his youth learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed at his native place until 1876. In that year he came to Kansas City, Missouri, where he followed his trade for three years, and then came to Fort Scott and continued at his trade as a journeyman until he joined Mr. Ireland in the planing mill business. Like his partner, Mr. Rollins is a man of foresight and good judgment, a thorough business man, and a citizen of high character and standing. He is a republican in politics, a Presbyterian in his religious faith, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Fraternal Union.

On August 30, 1886, at Fort Scott, Mr. Rollins was married to Miss Jennie Margrave, daughter of Hon. William and Sarah (Hefton) Margrave. They have one son: William M., born October 22, 1888, a graduate of the Fort Scott High School and the Kansas State Normal School, of Pittsburg, who had taught three years in the public schools of Fort Scott and two years in the Wichita High School.

Hon. William Margrave, father of Mrs. Rollins, was born in Barton County, Missouri, January 17, 1818, studied law, was admitted to the bar in Missouri in 1851, and in 1854 came to Fort Scott. In November of that year he was appointed justice of the peace by Governor Andrew Reeder, and his subsequent service in that office had never been equalled in continuity, for had he lived but a few months longer he would have rounded out a half century in that position of honor and responsibility. His death occurred September 29, 1904, when the people of city, county and state mourned. Coming to the town of Fort Scott when it was still in its infancy, he watched its growth and development through the passing years, and did much to assist in its transformation into one of the leading cities of the West. He was the first justice of the peace in the State of Kansas, and, unlike many who came after him, had a thorough knowledge of civil and criminal law, so that he was able to dispense justice in a fair manner, as evidenced by the fact that his decisions were seldom reversed. He was a remarkably fine judge of character and human nature, and while he was stern and courageous in his handling of law-breakers, was at heart kindly disposed and a stanch and tried friend of the unfortunate. In his death Fort Scott lost one of its first and foremost citizens, a man universally respected and beloved.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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