CHARLES ALTON LOUCKS, a resident of Lakin since 1979, when he was a small boy, is successfully engaged in the real estate, abstract and insurance business in that city.
According to the best accounts the original Loucks in America was a Hollander who settled among the Dutch of old New Amsterdam, now New York City. Branches of the family drifted westward with the tide of migration to various states. His grandfather, John R. Loucks, was a native of New York State and in the early days of the last century moved to Western Pennsylvania, going by canal boat and team and settling in Crawford County at Beaver Center. John R. Loucks was a cabinet maker and coffin maker in the old days, and he also conducted a farm, clearing up some of that region of heavy timber. He proved himself a man of usefulness in his community and died at Beaver Center. He married Miss Mallett. They had six sons, Miles, William P., George, Jay, Z., and Dayton, and among their daughters were two, named Jane and Helen.
The founder of the family in Kearny County was William P. Loucks, who was born in Schoharie County, New York, and when a small boy was taken to Crawford County, Pennsylvania. He was at Chicago, Illinois, when the Civil war broke out and had taken up some land near there. He enlisted as a private in the McClellan Dragoons. This was subsequently merged with the Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, and he saw much active service in the Army of the Potomac under General McClellan. William P. Loucks was twice captured. The first time he made his escape, but the second time suffered a long confinement in Libby prison. Just before his capture he was wounded with a saber and the lack of care given his wound added to the tortures he suffered in that old tobacco warehouse. He was also afflicted with the measles and as a result lost the sight of one eye and the other severe treatment accorded him made such inroads on his constitution that he was never afterwards a well man, though he lived many years. Late in life he was operated on for a growth on his hand as a result of the saber wound. After coming to Kansas he became a member of the Grand Army Post at Lakin and fraternized with his old comrades at state and national encampments.
William P. Loucks was one of the pioneers of Kearny County, having located in 1879. He took an active part in the organization of the county and prior to that had served as county commissioner, representing what is now Kearny County when it was attached to Finney County for judicial purposes. He was appointed the first county treasurer of Kearny County. Before coming to this state he bad been a merchant and he sold goods at Lakin on a modest scale, continuing that business until his retirement. He died in 1902, at the age of sixty-seven.
As a boy he had little opportunities to acquire an education but through much reading and observation he trained himself on many subjects, especially history and politics, in which he was abreast of any man of his time. He was one of the county's political leaders, being chairman of the party committee and frequently a delegate at district and state conventions. He was a democrat and had religious convictions of the Orthodox Protestant Church. He was also active in the Lodge of Masonry and his life was an expression of his strong convictions upon right and justice. In the early days he served as a justice of the peace in Kearny County and disputes were frequently settled before him without resort to legal means.
At Springboro, Pennsylvania, William P. Loucks married Miss Amy Sturdtevant. Her father, William Sturdtevant, was a carpenter and builder and of French ancestry. Mrs. William Loucks died at Lakin, Kansas. She had been a teacher before her marriage and she conducted a private school at Lakin, the first school held in that town. Her two children were Fay A., who died in 1886, at Lakin when a young man, and Charles A.
Mr. Charles A. Loucks was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, June 12, 1873, and was six years of age when his parents came to Lakin. He acquired his early education in the public schools of this town. Not long after the county was organized he became deputy county clerk under Mr. Browne, the first county clerk, and he continued his employment as a clerk in different county offices about eight years. That experience was valuable to him in many ways and since then he has engaged chiefly in the real estate, abstract and insurance business. He has also dealt largely in lands and for many years has been one of the stockholders of the Kearny County Bank, of which he is now president.
Like his father, he has been active in democratic politics and at times has served as both chairman and secretary and is the present chairman of the county committee. He has attended many party councils and conventions in different parts of the states, and is well known to the state leaders of the party. He has never sought nor held any political office by election. Mr. Loucks was one of the original Wilson men of 1912.
He has long been active in Masonry, especially in the York Rite. He is past master of Emerald Lodge No. 289, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, is a past high priest of Garden City Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, is past eminent commander and now grand generalissimo of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar, of Kansas. He served as district deputy grand master and is now chairman of the Grand Lodge Committee on Finance and Property. He is a member of Isis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Salina. Mr. Loucks is a member of the Lakin Presbyterian Church.
In Kearny County on March 16, 1899, Mr. Loucks married Miss Rhoda Long, a teacher and a pioneer of the county. She is a daughter of Joseph S. and Amanda (Goldsberry) Long. Her father brought his family to Kansas from Iowa, and for many years was in the livery business and practiced veterinary surgery at Lakin. Her mother is still living at Lakin. Mrs. Loucks is the only surviving child of her parents and was graduated with the first class of the Lakin High School.
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.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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