Biography of Peter H. Weeks of KS

Thank you to my wonderful mother-in-law for sending a copy of this biography on my husband’s great-great grandfather, Peter Henry Weeks. The biography comes from the book entitled “Portrait and Biographical Record of Leavenworth Douglas and Franklin Counties Kansas” Chapman Publishing Company, Chicago, 1899, Pages 583-584.

I love how detailed the biography is – and all of the information it gives on Peter’s father, Samuel Weeks.  He moved around and switched jobs a lot, so it’s nice to see all of the dates and places listed out.  If only all of our relatives could have such thorough and informative biographies written about them.


Shortly after the close of the Civil War, in which he had borne arms for the government, Mr. Weeks came to Kansas and purchased the farm in Douglas County which he has since occupied. He has devoted himself assiduously to agricultural pursuits and has become known as one of the energetic, efficient farmers of Palmyra Township.  His landed possessions now aggregate two hundred and ten acres in Douglas County, one hundred and sixty in Logan County, this state, and four hundred and eighty in eastern Colorado. Of recent years he has given considerable attention to the breeding of Durham cattle, and it is his intention to use much of his land for ranching purposes. While in the army he saved $800, which, with money received by inheritance, formed the nucleus of his present property.

Mr. Weeks was born in Peekskill, N.Y., April 29, 1842. His father, Samuel, was born and reared in the same state, and in early life was clerk on a steamboat and also teacher of the officers’ children at West Point, but resigned the latter position in order to enter the ministry.  From 1848 to 1856 he was engaged as a Methodist Episcopal preacher in Indiana, after which he spent one year at Winterset, Iowa, thence went to Mount Ayr, Iowa, where he cultivated a farm and also carried on a general mercantile  store.  In the fall of 1865 he sold out there and moved to Pleasant Hill, Mo. , where he engaged  in merchandising for a year.  Next he settled in Baldwin,  Kans., where he was proprietor of a general store and also preached occasionally.  In 1875 he sold out here and returned to Jeffersonville, Ind., where he died at eighty-four years of age.  Politically he was a Republican. He was a son of Jesse Weeks, a farmer of New York, whose father, Thomas, was also a native of that state. The marriage of Samuel Weeks united him with Sarah Parks, who was born in New York and died in Baldwin, Kans., October 1, 1875, at sixty-five years of age.   She was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church.   Of her three children, Mary is a widow and Lyman is a painter residing in Salida, Colo. The eldest of the family, our subject, was educated in public schools. In April, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Fifth Missouri Cavalry, and was mustered in at St. Joe for three years. For a time he was stationed on the border and took part in skirmishes with the bushwhackers and with Quantrell’s men. He was mustered out at the end of fourteen months. August 22, 1863, he enlisted a second time, becoming a member of Company D, Eighth Iowa Cavalry, at Davenport. With his regiment he marched to Nashville, Tenn., and spent the winter in that city, going from there to Cleveland, the same state, and thence to the Atlanta campaign. During his service he had several narrow escapes but was never wounded nor taken prisoner. He was mustered out at Macon, Ga.,  in August 1865.

Returning home our subject remained there for a short time, then came to Kansas and settled in Douglas County, with the subsequent development of which he has been identified. He is a member of Seth Kelley Post No. 410, G.A.R. , at Vinland, also belongs to Palmyra Lodge No. 23 A.F. & A.M. , of Baldwin. His family are connected with the Methodist Church, and he is in sympathy with and contributes to, its maintenance, but is not identified with the congregation. By his marriage to Miss Julia Snyder , of Utica, Ind. , he had eight children, namely: Elizabeth, wife of H.E. Craig; Emma, who married Frank White and died at twenty-seven years; Mrs. Frances Williams; Floyd, who has charge of his father’s stock ranch in Colorado; Birdie, who died at five years; Homer, Alice, and Lyman, at home.


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