JAMES M. NEER -- BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH --
J. M. NEER. This gentleman, the owner of Rosalie Heights, one of the most beautiful farms in Kansas, is an influential farmer in Cowley County, Kansas. His farm is mainly contained in section 4, township 30, range 7, east, and comprises some 900 acres of land. It is kept in perfect condition and presents a thriving and attractive appearance. Mr. Neer is a native of Champaign County, Ohio, where he was born November 24, 1858, and a son of Joseph and Margaret (Monroe) Neer.
Joseph Neer, the father of J. M., was a native of Virginia, and one of the pioneer settlers of Ohio, He was of German descent. His death occurred at the age of sixty-two years, after the close of the Civil War. Margaret (Monroe) Neer was a native of Ohio, and died there, in the fall of 1880, at the age of sixty-one years. She was the mother of 12 children, namely: D. C., living at Iola, Kansas; Flora (Ellis), of Jefferson, Oklahoma; John, living on the old homestead, in Ohio; Matilda (Offenbacher), who died in Colorado; N. A., of Burbank, Los Angeles County, California; Mattie, who lived in Ohio, aged twenty seven years; Sallie (Clemons), of Los Angeles, California; Joseph, living in Ohio; Mary (McMaster), of Fairmont, California; Samuel J., of Winfield, Kansas; Lizzie, who died in infancy; and James M., the subject of this sketch.
James M. Neer attended the common schools in his native county, and remained at home until he became of age. In 1881, in company with one of his brothers, he rode by rail as far as Iola, Kansas, where he bought a pony, and completed his journey to Cowley County on horseback. In the fall of 1881, Mr. Neer purchased of Mr. Hickman, in Harvey township, the nucleus of his present farm, the original tract consisting of 160 acres in section 34, township 30, range 7, east. Later, he bought of John T. Denton 720 acres additional, bringing his holdings of real estate to almost 900 acres. About 100 acres of the property first purchased were broken, and Mr. Neer at once set about improving his farm in many ways. A part of his present six-room house was built in 1881. In 1894, he built a fine barn, the main part being 32 by 40 feet, in size, with shedding along the south side. There is a stone milk house, and another outbuilding used for washing purposes. There are two houses on the farm, as Mr. Neer employs a great deal of help, and is always assisted by two men throughout the year. Of this farm, 240 acres lie in the fertile Grouse Creek Valley, and the pasture land is very fine. Mr. Neer raises 25 acres of alfalfa in the bottom land, sowing it in the spring. The pastures are watered by Goose and Grouse Creeks, and also by springs, and there is a 48-foot
well near the house. The barn was built of timber procured on the farm. Mr. Neer raises mules for sale, and handles from 100 to 140 head of cattle. He has a fine Kentucky jack, and a stable horse, of Hambletonian and Cleveland Bay blood. He has also a fine poultry farm, divided into numerous yards and compartments to keep the different breeds separate; he sells his blooded stock for breeding purposes. He raises Wyandottes, Brahmas and Silver-Spangled Hamburgs, and has a pair of Buff-Cochin Bantams. He has ten acres of land in orchards, and by spraying the trees has avoided much damage from insects. He has had excellent luck with Missouri Pippin and Ben Davis apples.
In 1893, Mr. Neer married Ida Anna Truitt, an estimable young lady, who was born in Shelby county, Illinois, in 1866. She was a daughter of David and Rebecca (Sconce) Truitt. David was a farmer by occupation, and served in the Mexican War. He died at the age of sixty-three years. His wife died in 1896, at the age of sixty-five years. Their
children were as follows: Minerva (Herron), living in Illinois; John, of the same state; Laura, wife of John W. Tull; Alva, a physician in Nebraska; Wildie, living in Illinois; and Ida Anna, the wife of Mr. Neer.
Mrs. Neer was reared and educated in Illinois, where she taught school, until she located in Cowley county in 1891, where in Harvey township she taught the Box and Shaw schools. Mr. Neer and his wife are the parents of two bright children, Anna Monroe, and Margaret. A young girl, Pearl Shearing, has made her home with them for several years.
Mr. Neer is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the A. O. U. W., of Burden. Religiously, Mr. and Mrs. Neer are Methodists, worshiping at Mt. Vernon, and both are much interested in church and Sunday-school work.
Mr. Neer's farm was named Rosalie Heights, in memory of Rosalie Court, a street in Chicago, where he and his wife spent their honeymoon, during the World's Fair.
"Biography is the only true history"--Ralph Waldo Emerson
(This biographical sketch was taken from the 1901 BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD, published by BIOGRAPHICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY, Chicago, Illinois. The
volume contains biographical sketches of the leading citizens of Cowley County, Kansas.
Copied to Word Perfect 12 October, 1996 by Sam L. Pickens, Jr., 2123 West Skyline Road, Arkansas City, Kansas 67005-9523.)