James Lorton was born in Roodhouse, Illinois, February 3, 1860; his sister was born in 1861; and his brother, William, was born May 18, 1862.
Their father, James Lorton, died in April 1862. The widow married Henry Kincade in 1864 and they had three children.
The family came from Roodhouse, Illinois, in 1873 to Portland, Sumner County, Kansas. The family then consisted of the parents and five children.
In 1876, James came to Winfield to attend high school. In order to do that, he had to make his own way. He found work in the home of J. C. McMullen, a partner in the Winfield Bank, first bank organized in Cowley County, and later worked in his bank.
In spite of many hindrances he remained in school, completing his course with the first class to graduate from the Winfield High School. This class was graduated in 1880 with two members. Upon completion of his high school course he went to St. Louis where he entered a business college to take a course in banking. He returned to Winfield in the early spring of 1881 and entered the Winfield Bank as bookkeeper.
Winfield Courier, June 22, 1882.
Mr. James Lorton, bookkeeper in the Winfield Bank, met with quite a serious accident while returning from Arkansas City Saturday night. He was riding a pony that had been purchased in the city and leading one of Col. McMullens fine black horses, which he had ridden down. Three miles this side of Arkansas City, he left the main road and took a nearer route. The road he followed had been recently closed by a barbed wire fence and, it being very dark, James did not discover this until he ran against it. The horses were going on a fast walk, and the pony was immediately checked, but the other became frightened and sprang through. The wire being very severe, the horse was lacerated in a horrible manner, a large piece of flesh was torn from his breast, and the muscle of one of his front limbs nearly severed, besides numerous other cuts. James managed to get the animal home, but it is in a critical condition. "Clyde," as he was called by the family, is a very fine horse and was valued at $300. The misfortune will break one of the best matched and prettiest spans of horses in the town. Barbed wire is being made so severe that it is a dangerous thing, and when put across a recently traveled road, it certainly should have brush or something of that kind laid upon it, that a person could tell at night what they were running into.
On January 1, 1911, James Lorton and H. E. Kibbe, who also was associated with the bank, purchased the stock of W. E. Otis, who was retiring as President. Mr. Lorton was elected president and Mr. Kibbe cashier. Mr. Lorton remained president for 32 years.
On September 9, 1911, James Lorton was married to Miss Estelle Fuller, daughter of J. C. Fuller, first president of the early-day Winfield bank, and pioneer builder of Winfield. They had no children. James Lorton died, after a lingering illness, in December 23, 1942, with his wife surviving him.
Will Lorton followed his brother, in 1878, to Winfield to continue his education. He also lived in the J. C. McMullen home until he married Alice Carson (sister of Tommy Carson) in December 1883.
Winfield Courier, December 20, 1883.
MARRIED. Married at the residence of H. E. Silliman, in Winfield, December 12th, 1883, by Rev. J. Cairns, Mr. Wm. R. Lorton and Miss Alice M. Carson, both of this city. Will surprised his friends by this matrimonial move, but the surprise was not sufficient to interfere with well wishes. We hope Will and his excellent bride may enjoy uninterruptedly the long and happy life indicated by their dispositions and surroundings. They have taken up their residence on Wills farm, near Wilmot, this county.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Wm. R. Lorton lived on a farm near Wilmot until returning to Winfield the fall of 1895. In 1896 he opened a real estate and insurance agency. Mrs. Lorton died June 6, 1935, and in September 1936 he was married to Mrs May Wright, who died in December 1945. He was a member of the First Baptist Church since 1896. They had three children, two daughters, Winifred of Washington, D. C., and Mrs Alan Watrous of Wichita, and one son, Hugh Lorton, of Winfield.