Biography of Orlen McCormick

Orlen McCormick. One of the substantial citizens and enterprising and successful farmers and stockraisers of Zeandale Township, Riley County, is Orlen McCormick, who resides on his fine farm of 160 acres situated near the old McCormick homestead where he was born November 27, 1869. He is the second son of Armstead and Anna (Allen) McCormick.

In recalling the early pioneers of this section of Kansas, the name of the late Armstead Thompson McCormick comes quickly to mind. He belonged to that band that may be called the pathfinders in Riley County, coming to this section years before the Civil war, accepting hardships, showing courage and resourcefulness, founding homes and improving conditions, and in passing out of life leaving honorable names and substantial records of having lived.

Armstead Thompson McCormick was born near Huntington, West Virginia, August 18, 1832. His parents were Levi and Phebe (Stuart) McCormick, of Scotch-Irish lineage but natives of Virginia. After their marriage they removed to what is now Wayne County, West Virginia, and there passed the rest of their lives. Their family contained eleven children and ten of these reached mature years. From this family came a pioneer of 1854 to Kansas, John McCormick, who made a permanent settlement in Zeandale Township, Riley County, in 1855, and in the fall of the same year he was followed by his brother, Armstead T. McCormick. In the spring of 1856 the latter purchased 160 acres of land in Zeandale Township and on that land lived during the rest of his life, with the exception of three years spent as a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war. He enlisted in Company K, Eleventh Kansas Infantry and proved his valor on many a battlefield. On returning from the cares and dangers of army life he resumed civil duties as a farmer. He had come to Kansas a young man of twenty-three years, in search of future independence, and found it here through industry and reasonable prudence. From the raw prairie he developed one of the best farms in the county and prospered in every branch of agriculture. His life was exemplary. He was a devoted husband and father, a good neighbor and popular as such, and a citizen above reproach. Although never very active in politics he possessed force of character and for many years was a strong factor in the republican party.

Armstead T. McCormick was married November 27, 1865, to Anna Allen, who was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, November 11, 1842, and still survives. Her parents, Benjamin and Phebe Allen, came to Riley County during the period of the Civil war. Four children were born to this marriage, two sons and two daughters, all of whom have domestic circles and homes of their own, worthy representatives of the old stock. They are: Bion M. and Orlen, of Zeandale Township; Phebe, now Mrs. R. V. Allison, of Salina, Kansas; and Sadie, now Mrs. Frank Short, of Topeka, Kansas.

Orlen McCormick was reared on the home farm and attended the township schools in boyhood. He was well trained in all farm industries and he has been able to make them very profitable. His farm, like that of his brother, is well supplied with modern farm machinery, and the farm improvements are substantial and practical. He has altogether 320 acres.

In 1893 Orlen McCormick was married to Miss Olive Foltz, who is a native of Kansas and a daughter of Cyrus Foltz, an early settler of Riley County, who is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. McCormick have two children, Lenore and Helen. Mr. McCormick is a Master Mason and also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In politics he is a republican, and he and family belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church.



Riley County KS,

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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