Biography of John H. Linn

John H. Linn. In the upbuilding and progress of Halstead as a business and civic community, the Linn family had contributed as much as any other one name or group of persons. The late Jacob Linn was one of the pioneers of the town, and many of its most substantial interests centered around his personality, while his son John H. had in every way pursued a similar course, creditable alike to himself and to his honored father.

The late Jacob Linn was born in Germany in 1840, and when about three years of age his parents came to the United States and settled in Southern Illinois in a typically German community a few miles east of St. Louis. He grew up there and was trained as a merchant in Trenton, Illinois. In 1877 he joined the pioneers of Halstead, Kansas, and established a general merchandise store, which he conducted until larger interests absorbed his time and attention. Jacob Linn was one of the charter members organizing the Halstead Bank, and served as its president for many years: He possessed the ability not only of making money but using it profitably and to the advantage of himself and others. During the many years he lived in Harvey County he bought and sold perhaps as much land as any other resident. At the time of his death, which occurred at Halstead in December, 1907, he owned about thirty-five hundred acres, but that was only a small part of what he had handled in the course of many years. In politics he was a republican voter and a member of the Presbyterian Church. Jacob Linn married Mary Risser, who was born in Ashland County, Ohio, in 1843 and died at Halstead. Kansas, in 1903. They had four children: John H.; Jacob, who owned the largest commercial establishment at Halstead, a complete department store; Amelia A., wife of R. C. Ferguson, a grocery merchant at Halstead; and Emma E., also living at Halstead.

John H. Linn was born at the home of his parents in Trenton, Illinois. October 17, 1865, and had lived at Halstead since early boyhood. He completed his education in the local public schools, and when about twenty years of age he entered business with his father as a merchant. They were associated for about five years. Mr. Linn went from the store into the Halstead Bank, and learned banking from the ground up. He was successively promoted to assistant cashier, cashier and vice president. While he no longer keeps an executive place in the bank it is the center of his extended business operations and his offices are in the bank. Mr. Linn now handles a large volume of business as a loan and mortgage dealer, and is personally possessed of valuable property in Kansas, including a farm of 400 acres in Harvey County, one of 200 acres in McPherson County, and 320 acres in Washita and Kiowa counties, Oklahoma. Mr. Linn is secretary and treasurer and one of the principal stockholders in the Halstead Mill and Elevator Company and is a director and a large stockholder in the Blackwell Milling Company at Blackwell, Oklahoma, the Geary Milling Company at Geary, Oklahoma, and the Kansas State Bank at Newton, Kansas.

The most modern and beautiful home in Halstead is owned by Mr. Linn, who built it in 1916 at the corner of Fifth and Main Street. He owned another dwelling near this residence. He is a republican and a member of the Presbyterian Church. In 1891, at Lancaster, New York, he married Miss Louise Leininger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Leininger, both now deceased. Her father was a farmer and merchant at Lancaster. Mr. and Mrs. Linn have two children: Flora L., who graduated from the College of Emporia in 1916; and Edna I., a senior in the Halstead High School.



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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