Biography of Mahlon F. Stout

Mahlon F. Stout. Many of the finest citizens of Kansas were never heard of outside of their home state. Their names in fact have not been generally known outside of their home communities and counties. They led quiet, unostentatious lives. They did the duties which lay nearest them, they were honest, straightforward, beloved and idolized in their home, upheld all the moral virtues and practically everything which their lives touched was benefited thereby.

Such a citizen was the late Mahlon F. Stout of Williamsport Township in Shawnee County. He did not live to a great age, but he filled his brief life with a multitude of kindly and benignant activities. He was born in Clinton County. Ohio, June 30, 1850, one of fourteen children. Of the thirteen that grew to maturity only three are now living. Their parents were Seneca and Rachel (Clevenger) Stout. Seneca Stout was an Ohio farmer, a Methodist and a republican. In 1857 the family removed to Illinois, first locating in Logan County and afterwards in Tazewell County, where both parents died.

The youthful years of Mahlon F. Stout were largely spent in Tazewell County, Illinois. His home was a farm and his environment the wholesome country district. A distrlct school gave him an education, but he was able to attend it only during the winter months. Two of his older brothers entered the Union army during the Civil war, and both gave their lives as sacrificcs to the perpetuation of the institutions of America.

When he was about fifteen or sixteen years of age Mahlon F. Stout considered that he was one too many in a rather crowded household, and determined that he would relieve his parents of the additional responsibility of providing for him any furthor. Thus placing himself upon his own responsibility, he worked for several years as a farm hand.

About that time he read Albert D. Richardson’s book “Beyond the Mississippi.” It served to stimulate his imagination and to fire his desire to make Kansas his future home. The opportunity to visit the wonderful Sunflower State came in the fall of 1869. He rode a horse and drove a herd of cattle belonging to Jeptha D. Vawter and B. F. Vawter, father and son, who at that time lived at Waveland, a postoffice and formerly on the old stage route located in the southern part of Shawnee County in Williamsport Township. Arriving in Kansas Mahlon F. Stout spent ten months here. He then returned to Illinois and lived there about fifteen months.

When he came again it was to make Kansas his permanent home. At first he repted land from R. U. Farnsworth near Waveland, but in April, 1875, moved to a tract of land belonging to his wife. It was in that community that practically all the rest of his days were spent. In 1913 Mr. Stont moved to a small place adjoining Wakarusa, and died there October 20, 1913, at the age of sixty-three.

On October 7, 1873, just a few days over thirty years before his death, he married Sabrina C. Vawter. They became the parents of five children. Two of them died in infancy. Effie M. is the wife of Lewis G. Stahl of Wakaruss. The only son is Herlert O. The daughter Laura Mabel is Mrs. James F. Dickson.

The late Mr. Stout was a man who stood deservedly high in the esteem of his fellow men. A member of no church, he had at the same time a deep revcrence for true religion of any denomination. He loved children and in his own home was the ideal husband and father. Strictly temperate in his habits, frugal, industrious and thrifty, considerate towards all humanity, honent in his relations to his fellowmen, it is no wonder that he enjoyed the confidence of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. At one time his name was put on the ballot for justice of the peace without his knowledge and he received every vote east but one. Even so he declined to qualify for the office. Many hundreds of Shawnee County people knew and esteemed him and he is still remembered and spoken of in the highest terms. The life and character of such a man deserve to be perpetuated by his descendants through all future generations.


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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