Samuel H. Barons
The subject of this sketch is the late Samuel H. Barons, who was a
native of Devonshire, England, born in 1829. Mr. Barons was one of nine
children, seven boys and two girls, viz: William, Mary, George, Henry,
John, Thomas, Samuel, Jennie and James, all of whom were born in England
except the youngest, James. When "Uncle Sam"' (as he was universally
known) was five years of age, his parents came with their family of
children to America, and after living a short time at Rochester, New York,
located in the town of Irondequoit, five miles distant and bought a large
tract of land, which was covered with forests of pine. This they cleared
and put under a high state of cultivation, and which within a brief time
became very valuable, and is now a suburb of Rochester. "Uncle Sam" became
owner of a large portion of this homestead, which he sold for one-hundred
and fifty dollars per acre. A brother, John Barons, still retains a part
of the land, which is now very valuable. "Uncle Sam" attended the common
schools, and when twenty years of age he realized the need of a higher
education, and entered a commercial college in the city of New York,
remaining four years. During the early part of his life and that of his
brothers, they worked on the farm, making it a very successful and
In 1859 he was married to Miss Frank E. James, of Greece, Monroe county,
New York, nine miles distant from the city of Rochester. Her father owned
and operated a nursery there, and there she was reared and grew to
womanhood. Mrs. Barons is a cultured, refined woman, a graduate of Avon
Seminary, and taught school successfully for eighteen seasons. She is one
of six children, four daughters and two sons, two of whom are living:
Calista, widow of George Bristol, who makes her home with Mrs. Barons, and
Miss Lucy, who came west with Mr. and Mrs. Barons, and has ever since been
a member of the family.
||After their marriage Mr. and Mrs.
Barons lived on the farm twelve years, when "Uncle Sam" became
associated with E. M. Upton at Charlotte, New York, in the
forwarding commission business and was appointed agent for the New
York Central Railroad at that point, where he continued for a period
of ten years. He was mayor of the city and prominently identified in
business and social circles. The firm owned their own docks,
elevators, warehouse and cold storage, and did an extensive
business. They furnished ties to the New York Central Railroad
shipped from Canada, dealt heavily in fruit and grain and were a
In 1876 they sold to the New York Central
Railroad for ninety-five thousand dollars. His health had become
impaired and he decided to visit the west, whose wonderful
possibilities at that time were being heralded broadcast over the
He took a trip to Denver, Colorado, in June, when this country was
redolent with fields of wheat and corn and great herds of cattle and hogs.
Enroute home he stopped to visit Kansas and was delighted with the
beautiful prairies and the great opportunity for stock raising. He
returned to his home in New York with the "western fever." full of
enthusiasm over the alluring prospects of the great future of Kansas, and
the many avenues of business waiting to be developed. His faith was
unbounded and led to his investing thousands of dollars in this vicinity.
Mrs. Barons opposed taking up a residence in the west, so "Uncle Sam"
returned alone, gathered a crew of men together and drove overland into
Texas, where he bought eight hundred head of three-year-old Texas steers,
drove them through to Manhattan, Kansas, where he fixed up winter quarters
for them and returned to New York, spending the winter months with his
family, returning to Kansas again in the spring time. "Uncle Sam" was then
in prime of his vigorous manhood, and here many years elapsed was a
typical westerner. Those who had only known him in his recent years of ill
health, together with the changes wrought by "Father Time," the bent
figure of the once stalwart, broad shouldered man, full of cherished
ambitions-the lack-lustre of his once magnetic keen eye, dark as
night-cannot conceive of a character so active in business life, driving
herds of cattle and hogs over the prairies and figuring as one of the
largest stock dealers in this part of the state. On account of the
prevailing high taxes, he kept moving his cattle westward until he reached
Clyde, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land adjacent to
that town, including the hotel property, which he remodeled, repaired and
named "The Pomeroy," in honor, of an old friend by that name in Rochester,
New York (and not for Senator Pomeroy, as many suppose). The land he laid
out in lots, streets and avenues, and employed a family to manage the
hotel, which was a leading hostelry in this part of the country at that
time. Shortly afterward he sold the hotel to J. Huntington, who failed to
meet the obligations and the property fell back into "Uncle Sam's" hands.
He then sent for his wife and brother James to take charge of the hotel
that it might not interfere with his stock and grain interests. He had in
the meantime erected an elevator, and was largely interested in the grain
In February, 1888, he came to Concordia and bought the hotel property of
Randall & Crill for a consideration of fifteen thousand dollars, and as
soon as the frost was out of the ground the following spring, he began to
build and improve, which he continued to do for five consecutive summers,
until he had invested from seventy-five thousand to eighty thousand
dollars, raised the mansard roof and added another story, building an
addition with thirty rooms and another for servants' quarters with
spacious kitchen and pantry underneath, and a basement under the building
which includes splendid sample rooms, a handsomely, equipped barber shop
with hand-carved wood work, a laundry which did a paying business for
several years and upward of a dozen other rooms. A gas plant was added
that cost three thousand five hundred dollars, the house piped throughout,
a handsome balcony with iron columns and railing that cost two thousand
five hundred dollars, hot and cold water on each floor, electric bells,
and, later, incandescent lights. In connection is a livery stable with
frontage on Fifth street and rear extending to Fourth street. The building
is a large stone structure with mansard roof erected at a cost of ten
thousand dollars. In the hotel are eighty guest chambers aside from the
handsome parlors, large dining room, office, etc. The house is well
furnished and substantially built with beautiful hard wood finishings.
"Uncle Sam" retained the Clyde hotel and ran both for about five years.
"Uncle Sam had two brothers who survive him, both his seniors: John and
Thomas. The former is a very wealthy and prominent man of Rochester, New
York, The latter is proprietor of a large "racket" store in the same city.
James Barons died after a brief illness in 1893. He had been with "Uncle
Sam" since he came to assist in the hotel at Clyde, and filled the
position of steward. He was a hotel man of natural ability and had many
friends among its patrons and the traveling public. Since "Uncle Jimmie"
(as he was known) died, Mrs. Barons has practically managed the hotel, for
from his death dated the beginning of "Uncle Sam's" decline. The strong
ties between the two brothers, coupled with the effects of the boom
brought about complications which undermined his physical strength. He was
a large taxpayer and suffered more than people without property.
"Uncle Sam" left a wife whose patient, unselfish devotion, as she
administered so faithfully to his least expression or desire, was
beautiful in the extreme, and a son to whom he was deeply attached. Samuel
H. Barons was born on the farm near Rochester, September 2, 1868, and came
with his parents to Clyde when tern years of age. When fifteen years old
he entered the College of Notre Dame, Indiana, remaining two years and
later finished a course in the Lawrence University. In 1889 "Uncle Sam"
deeded to him a half section of land in Rooks county, Kansas, and he has
added other lands until he now owns six hundred and, forty acres, with
four hundred acres under cultivation, two hundred and forty acres of
pasture land, and raises cattle, horses, hogs and mules. His ranch is
twelve miles from Plainfield and five miles distant from Natoma, the
nearest shipping point. This is a well watered ranch with good buildings,
cattle sheds, windmill, etc. In 1890 S. H. Barons was married to Miss
Lizzie Dumas, who died in April, 1901, after an illness of two years.
|"Uncle Sam" was a broad minded, well informed
man, just, generous, temperate in all his habits and affable in
manner. His motto through life was: "If you cannot speak well of a
man, say nothing." He was a friend of every little child and never
passed them without a kind word or smile, and of every unfortunate
person, bestowing charity wherever needed. He was widely and
favorably known to all tile commercial travelers, many of whom had
patronized him for years. He died June 21, 1901. His remains were
taken to Rochester, New York, his old home, and all that is mortal
of "Uncle Sam" rests in Mount Hope by the side of his father,
mother and brother James.
Mount Hope, with its walks and driveways, bordered with flowers,
which skilled hands have made a triumph of art, with its silent tombs
and stately monuments, is one of the loveliest spots in existence-a
veritable "city of the dead."
In June, 1902, Mrs. Barons sold the "Barons Hotel" to C. H. Martin and
under his supervision it will remain the same popular headquarters for
the traveling public. The hotel is widely known for its superior
comforts and accommodations and is the central resort of many commercial
men and the permanent residences of their families.
After the sale of the hotel property Mrs. Barons removed to Lyons,
Kansas, where she is conducting a smaller hotel very successfully.
Source: Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas:
biographies of representative citizens; published 1903, 915 pgs.
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