Akers, George W.
Scope and Contents
Folder 1. Card from Winfield archives: Hist. SW Kan. Conf. P. 246 WESTERN METHODIST 3/26/1896, p. 6 Minutes Southwest Kansas Conf. 1925 (2) p. 207 Photo: Southwest conf. Journal 1907 Page 331 Photocopy of biographical sketch from Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, Volume III (Chicago, Lewis Publishing Company, 1919) Akers, George W. The Story of the Akers Family (unbound volume) (contains additional reproduced photographs) Family tree provided by Claudia J. Laird Broker (great-granddaughter of G. W. Akers) Small copy of photo of G. W. Akers from the Southwest Conference Journal
- Existence: 1839-1925
- Akers, George W. (Person)
Biographical or Historical Information
George Washington Akers, born in 1839 in Putnam County, Indiana, met and married Margaret Steele in 1860 and three years later departed for Kansas with their 14-month-old son. Traveling through Missouri, they reached Weston to find the Missouri River frozen over and the ferry ice-bound. Not wanting to remain in Weston, they crossed the river by foot and arrived at what he later called “the land dedicated to Freedom.” In 1875 the family returned to Indiana where Akers attended medical school while also studying the Bible and applying to be a circuit minister. Moving again to Kansas in 1879, Rev. Akers served at the Little River-Stone Corral-Windom Methodist circuit, then the church at Burrton (1880-1881), then at the Sedgwick charge. He was ordained deacon in March 1884 and in 1886 was ordained elder. At the Sedgwick assignment, his health began to fail, and he was given a lighter duty at Douglass but was still compelled to resign.
In April 1887 Rev. Akers moved his family to Stafford, Kansas, where he hung out his physician’s shingle and treated the townspeople through a bout of typhoid fever. In that same year, Rev. Akers became part-owner (with his son Nean Akers) of the Stafford Republican newspaper; he was also appointed Postmaster in 1891, a position he held for nearly five years. With his son Arther B. Akers, he started the store Akers & Son, saying later that they did “business as partners for more than 35 years and never had a cross word.” He eventually sold his interest in the newspaper and closed his medical practice so that he could devote full attention to the store. In 1896 he began a 17-year stint as Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school in Stafford, a position he valued greatly and served faithfully. He was also one of the original directors of the Nora E. Larabee Memorial Library Association (founded 1904) and served on the book committee.
Rev. Akers continued his varied duties through the first World War and the 1918 flu epidemic, during which he “had many funerals to conduct.”
As he put it in his autobiography, Rev. Akers had “been mixed up with many things in the history of Stafford…. In all the trusts, both public and private, I have endeavored to be fair and treat all with due respect.” Six children were born to him and Margaret: Larkin Neanian Akers (called Nean) (1862-1932), an infant (died at birth, 1864), Arther Bevier Akers (1866-1955), Thomas Marion Akers (1870-1871), Lillian Demaris Akers Griffith (1873-1927), and Earl Brown Akers (1876-1935).
In 1923, Margaret (Steele) Akers died after three years of illness, during which her husband had “left the store, abandoning all business to care for her.” During the two years that followed, Rev. Akers wrote a little book for the use of his children and descendants, describing the family history up until that time. (A copy of this small volume is available in this collection.) Signing his work “Dr. Geo. W. Akers,” he recommended his readers to “live right and die happy.” Rev. Akers died on October 1, 1925, at the age of 86.
Note written by Sarah St. John
Language of Materials
This collection contains material on George W. Akens, physician and Methodist minister, who for nearly 40 years made his home in Stafford, Kansas.
The materials have been kept in their original order. The staples or other fasteners have been removed from the Akers autobiography.
Physical Access Requirements
The staples or other fasteners have been removed from the Akers autobiography. It is lacking page numbers, so in spite of its short length, care should be taken by researchers to keep the pages in their original order.
Other Descriptive Information
Information from Kansas West card file (discarded): b. March 20, 1839 in Bainbridge, IN d. October 1, 1925 in Staffod, KS Married Margaret M. Steele on March 22, 1860 Children: L. N., A. B., Earl, Lillia wife's memoir SW KS journal 1924 (p.379) his memoir SW KS journal 1925 (p.207) 1882 - on trial in the South KS Conf, Little River 1883 - Burrton 1884 - Burrton, deacon 1885 - Sedgwick 1886 - elder, Douglass 1887 - Lakin 1888 - supernumerary 1892 - superannuated
- Archon Finding Aid Title
- Jen McCollough, Sarah St. John
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