Source: HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, KANSAS, Published 1903
At Pg 458
JAMES A. FLENER (FLEENER) — A veteran of twenty battles and having the distinction of being the youngest soldier to enlist in 1861, James A. Flener, of Caney township, has a secure place in the affections of the old soldier element of Montgomery county, and the high character for integrity and honesty of purpose he has maintained, since his becoming a citizen here, has also added many friends among other classes.
Mr. Flener's birth occurred in Ohio countv, Kentucky, on the 13th of February, 1846. Harrison Flener, his father, was a native of the same county, as was also his mother, Mary A. Smith. They were respected and well-to-do farmers, during a long lifetime there, and reared a large family of children, of whom ten are yet living. The father was a man of intense devotion to country, and, though past the legal age, served his country as best he could, in the militia. He died, in 1881, at the age of ninety years; the wife at eighty-three. The names of the children follow: George W., Eliza Martha Hodges, Angeline Cardwell Franklin, James A., Parydine Turner, Antha Edwards, William, Louisa Leach, Mary Stewart and John W. All of these children live in the "Blue Grass State" but the subject of this review.
A common school education was interrupted, in the case of Mr. Flener, by the great tragedy of the Civil war. He did not wait for the call of troops, but became a member of the militia at the first sign of the coming struggle, together with his father and brothers. When the call was made, he enrolled, as a member of Company "H," Seventeenth Kentucky Infantry. He was but fifteen years old, but of good size, and was, therefore, able to pass muster. He served from August, 1861, to February, 1865, and, though participating in twenty of the hard-fought battles of the war, together with numberless skirmishes, he came out with a whole skin. His twenty battles were: Bare's Ferry, Morgantown Hill, Ft. Henry, Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, Perryville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Dalton, Resaea, Altoona, Kennesaw Mt., Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Lovejoy Station, Columbus, Franklin and Nashville.
Receiving his discharge at Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Flener returned to the home roof, not a man in years, but of great stature in the eyes of a grateful country. He remained on the farm until his marriage, in October of 1868, to Margaret, daughter of Mosby and Betsy James. After a short period in the home neighborhood, he and his wife came to Rutland township, Montgomery county — the year being 1870 — and took up a claim, which they improved, investing the sum of $800, which they had saved. January 6, 1875, Mr. Flener had the misfortune to lose his wife. Her two children were: Albena, now the wife of Mont. Honeycut, of Lyon county, and Anna, who married James Flannery and lives in Kansas City, Missouri. In April of 1877, Mr. Flener secured a mother for his two small children, in the person of the lady who now so fitly presides over his home. Her name was Maggie Scott, born in Hancock county, Illinois, on the 15th of August, 1852. Mrs. Flener is the daughter of David and Nancy Scott, natives of Virginia and Pennsylvania, respectively. The father died young and the mother married John Croft. They came to Montgomery county in 1871, where he died, in 1876, at the age of seventy-three, the wife still being an honored resident of the county. She bore her first husband three children: Joseph, William and Maggie. To her second husband: Mary, Emma. Charles M.. John B., Clara C, Lady A. and Harry E. To Mr. and Mrs. Flener have been born: Aubry Enza and Katy, parents and children comprising a congenial family.
Mr. Flener continued to cultivate his original claim until the year 1883, when he sold it and purchased the farm of one hundred and twenty acres where he now resides, one mile north of the town of Caney, on Cheyenne creek. This farm is all fine bottom land and, under the skillful hand of our subject, has been brought up to a high state of cultivation Mr. Flener's home is a commodious two-story residence, which stands amid the timber, eighty rods back from the road, at the end of a beautiful driveway, bordered by rows of walnut trees, these being trimmed down to the consistency of a hedge, save every two rods, when one is allowed to tower above his fellows in fancied preeminence, the effect being unique and striking. The success of Mr. Flener, in Kansas, is a tribute to honest toil and frugal living. To know what to do and just the right time to do it, seems to be the faculty most prominent in his make-up. He has ever held himself ready to assume the duties of citizenship, keeps posted on the events of the day, and believes in prosperity and progress. He is a member of the A. H. T. A. and of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in politics, believes in the principles of the immortal Jefferson.