Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Leonard Dwight Kibby

LEONARD DWIGHT KIBBY. Few men have a more intimate acquaintance with the old life and times of the Southwest than Leonard Dwight Kibby, of Clark County, one of the prominent ranchers and stockmen around Ashland. Mr. Kibby has always been more or less of a rancher and plainsman rather than a farmer. He was not an agricultural settler when he came into the Southwest more than thirty years ago, and for a number of years was identified with the pioneer transportation freighting, cattle driving and other occupations incidental to and characteristic of the period.

He first came into this region in 1884, as a young man of twenty-three years, arriving here from Shelby County, Iowa. He and two other young men landed at Dodge City, where Mr. Kibby arrived without a cent. For a time he worked as a quarryman in a stone quarry ten miles north of Dodge City, and another early employment was in the construction of an irrigation ditch along the Arkansas River.

Attracted by the prospects of securing work as a freighter, he went to Camp Supply in Old Indian Territory. He was given an opportunity to prove his ability as a "mule skinner and bull-whacker" over the freight trail, from Dodge City to Fort Supply, and from Old Mobeetie and Fort Elliott, Texas, to the various surrounding camps. Still later he did freighting between Kiowa and Supply. Other work that brought him interesting experience though with no special financial profit was about four months spent in what is now Beaver County, Oklahoma, in running, catching and domesticating wild horses. He was associated in that work with a professional wild horse catcher. He caught and broke twenty-six head, and sold them in that locality and in Western Kansas. His next work was as a trading contractor. He had an outfit of thirty yoke of oxen, and this was a rather profitable business. These years brought him into close touch with the old life of the plains, and Mr. Kibby has personal knowledge of many of the famous plainsmen and cattle outfits of that day. It was a hard and strenuous life, but he was never seriously in danger from hostile Indians or outlaws.

When he abandoned his work as freighting contractor Mr. Kibby entered land in Woodward County near Camp Supply, Oklahoma, and set up in the cattle business. He stocked his ranch with the best grade of White Faces he could find and at one time had about 300 head on the range. By the introduction of registered males he brought the grade of his stock to a high point and sold many of them locally for breeding purposes and for beef cattle to Kansas City. He remained in that region as a cattle man and eventually developed a ranch of six sections. All the time he raised a limited quantity of feed for his stock.

In 1905 Mr. Kibby sold his ranch in Oklahoma, and moved to Clark County, Kansas, with which he always felt that he was identified and where he really belonged. Many years prior to that and when the country was all new he had entered land on Bluff Creek in Clark County, but abandoned it without acquiring title. At his present location Mr. Kibby bought a ranch of 1,500 acres, and of this he still owns 400 acres and has made it quite well known locally as the home of some of the best White Faced cattle in the country. His herd is headed by registered males, and most of the offspring sells on the ranch at fancy figures and as fine high grade stock. Mr. Kibby is also a breeder of mules and horses, has introduced the best blood of jacks of the Mammoth strain, and Percheron horses. Mr. Kibby has invested about $5,000 in improvements on the ranch, including a large barn and sheds and a modest residence.

As already noted, Mr. Kibby came to Kansas from Iowa. He was born in Allamakee County, that state, December 15, 1862. His father, George Kibby, was born in England, and came to the United States at the age of seven years with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kibby. Joseph Kibby remained for a time near Auburn and Skaneateles, New York, and then proceeded westward, stopping for a brief time in Illinois and Wisconsin and finally settling in Allamakee County, Iowa, where Joseph Kibby and wife died. Their children comprised George, William, James and Libbie. The daughter married Mr. Elwell. George Kibby grew up in the various localities named and when the Civil war came on he tried to get accepted for military service but was rejected. For a time he was in the manufacturing business in Wisconsin, but otherwise his life was devoted to farming and he died on his farm in Harlan, Iowa, in 1882. His first wife was Mary Clark, daughter of Hubbard Clark, whose ancestors were among the early English settlers of this country. Hubbard Clark married Sarah Barnhardt, of a Pennsylvania Dutch family. George Kibby and his first wife separated, and both of them married again. She became the wife of George Wilson and died in Hughes County, Oklahoma, and had one son by her second marriage, Ed Wilson, now of Hughes County. George and Mary Kibby had three daughters and four sons: Albert, of Iowa; Leonard Dwight; George W.; and Frank, of Hughes County, Oklahoma, being the sons. George Kibby married for his second wife, Julia J. Jenks, and their children were: Vilie Melvin, of Kirkman, Iowa; Matthew, of North Dakota; Mrs. Florence Gerhardt, of Harlan, Iowa; William, of South Dakota; and Grace, wife of William Carter, of North Dakota.

Leonard Dwight Kibby never married. He is a member of the Ashland Lodge of Odd Fellows and has always taken the interest of a good citizen in politics. He is of the progressive republican faith and cast his first presidential vote for Harrison in 1888. For ten years he has served as clerk of his school district No. 68 and while in Oklahoma was a township trustee.