Biography of Pius B. Humphrey, Prof.

Prof. Pius B. Humphrey. The claim of Prof. Pius B. Humphrey upon the esteem and confidence of the people of Caney, Kansas, is based upon five years of faithful and efficient service in the office of superintendent of city schools. When he came to this city, in 1911, he was admirably fitted to take charge of the institutions in which the mind of youth is molded and developed, and since that time he has through steady and constant endeavor built up a school system which may be said to be second to none of a city this size in the state. His entire career has been devoted to work of an educational character, and in whatever community he has centered his activities he has always gained the good will and respect of his fellow-citizens.

Professor Humphrey was born in Scotland County, Northeastern Missouri, April 7, 1872, and is a son of Thomas P. and Sarah Jane (Stough) Humphrey. The family originated in England and the original American progenitors came to this country long before the Revolutionary war, being early settlers of Kentucky. From that state the family branched out to other parts of the country, one going to West Virginia, in which state was born in 1803, William Humphrey, the grandfather of Pius B. In 1838 William Humphrey came to the West, locating in Lewis County, Missouri, and twenty years later went to Scotland County. After a long and successful career passed as a farmer and stockraiser, he retired from active pursuits and moved to Knox County, Missouri, where his death occurred in 1885. He was a man of industry and progressiveness, honorable and trustworthy with his business asseciates, and a man who wielded a distinct influence in his community because of his general information and good judgment. He married Eliza Pettit, who was born in 1801, in West Virginia, and died in Scotland County, Missouri, in 1887, and among their children were the following: Ann, who married David Stice, a retired farmer, and resides at Downing, Missouri; Marten, who is a retired farmer of Hurdland, Missouri; and Thomas P.

Thomas P. Humphrey was born in March, 1832, in Kentucky, and was six years of age when taken by his parents to Lewis County, Missouri, where he was reared and educated. He was brought up to farming pursuits, and on attaining his majority followed in the footsteps of his father and adopted agriculture and stockraising as his life vocations, pursuits in which he was engaged throughout his career, with the exception of several years passed in merchandising. Through good management and industry and operations carried on along well-directed lines, he accumulated a good property and was in fairly comfortable circumstances at the time of his death, which occurred in Scotland County, September 4, 1911. He bad been a resident of that county from 1858. Mr. Humphrey was a citizen who always supported measures for the benefit of his community, but did not engage in politics, save to cast his vote in favor of the candidates nearest his ideal. His religious connection was with the Baptist Church.

Mr. Humphrey married Miss Sarah Jane Stough, who was born July 30, 1842, in Ohio, and who died on the home farm in Scotland County, Missouri, May 18, 1916, and they became the parents of the following children: Melissa, who became the wife of Jesse E. Epperson, a farmer and stockraiser of Adair County, Missouri; Bettie Elizabeth, who is the wife of L. H. Ashby, a farmer and stockraiser of Knox County, Missouri, and the rural mail carrier of his community; Marten, who taught school for twenty years before becoming the owner of a large and valuable ranch in Garfield Courty, Washington, on which he died in 1895; William, the owner of a ranch and a stockraiser in Knox County, Missouri, who has also taught school for many years in his community; Thomas, who is engaged in operations on the old home farm in Scotland County; J. H., who is a resident of Denver, Colorado; Alice, who is the widow of Thomas Cashman, and resides at Keokuk, Iowa; Nora, who is the wife of J. E. Burns, a dairyman of Hannibal, Missouri; Pius B., of this review; Pearl, who is the wife of F. M. Long, engaged in merchandising at La Platte, Missouri; May, who is the wife of Virgil Donoehew, a farmer of Scotland County, Missouri; A. A., who is a farmer and stockman of Adair County, Missouri; Zoe, who died in 1903, in Scotland County, Missouri, as the wife of Ed Donoehew, a brother of Virgil, who now resides in Kansas and is a farmer and stockraiser; Mina, who died young; and P. C., who is unmarried and resides on the home farm in Scotland County.

Pius B. Humphrey received his early education in the public schools of Scotland County, Missouri, following which he took a course at a preparatory college at Hurdland. He began his career as an educator in 1893, in the State of Washington, and remained there during that and the following year, when he returned to Missouri and for seven years taught in the public schools. During that time, in 1902, he entered the Missouri State Normal School, at Kirksville, from which he received a life teacher’s certificate in 1906. In 1908 he was given the degree of M. P. from that institution, and three years later the same school conferred upon him the degree of B. S. Mr. Humphrey resumed teaching in 1906 and for two years was principal of the schools at Bolckow, Missouri, then going to Centralia, Missouri, as superintendent of schools, an office which he held for three years. After one year in a like capacity at Lebanon, Missouri, he was brought to Caney, Kansas, in 1911, and here has since held the position of superintendent of city schools. Under Mr. Humphrey’s supervision are four schools, thirty-five teachers, and approximately 1,300 scholars. He has done much to improve the system and to elevate the educational standard here, and during his administration several new schools have been erected and a great many improvements installed. Professor Humphrey is a member of the Kansas State, Montgomery County and Southeastern Teachers’ associations. He is a democrat in politics, a member of the Presbyterian Church, and fraternally is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Centralia, Missouri.

Professor Humphrey was married in Adair County, Missouri, in 1893, to Miss Lula Bankin, daughter of David and Mollie Rankin, the former of whom died in 1892, while the latter still survives and makes her home at Kirksville, Missouri. Mr. Rankin was a successful farmer and stockraiser. Two children have been born to Professor and Mrs. Humphrey, namely: Cleo, who died in infancy; and Jewell, born November 27, 1898, who is now a member of the junior class at the Caney 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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