Fletcher, Zachariah T.(born: June 12, 1846 - died: February 14, 1927)
This entry was suggested by Nubia Lateefa.
Zachariah T. Fletcher, a businessman, was a prominent leader in Nicodemus, KS, where his home is still standing. Much has been written about Zachariah T. Fletcher with conflicting information. Fletcher was born in McCracken County, KY. He was 18 years-old when he enlisted in the Union Army in Paducah, KY, on June 25, 1864. He served with the 8th Regiment of the U.S. Heavy Artillery during the U.S. Civil War.
After leaving Kentucky, Z. T. Fletcher and his wife and children had lived in Junction City, KS, before they arrived in Nicodemus in 1877. Fletcher and his wife, who was also from Kentucky, would remain in Nicodemus for the rest of their lives. Z. T. Fletcher is said to have developed the community's first school and his wife Jenny was the schoolteacher. Z. T. Fletcher also built the St. Francis Hotel in Nicodemus, and he established the first post office and served as the postmaster starting in 1877. These were only a few of the many roles that Z. T. Fletcher served in the Township of Nicodemus.
Some sources credit Jenny Smith Fletcher with the founding of the Nicodemus School. She was also a founding member of the AME Church. She served as president of the Daughters of Zion and Sons of Unions, a benevolent organization. Jenny's father was W. H. Smith who was president of the Nicodemus Company that founded the community of Nicodemus.
Z. T. Fletcher's wife's name is given as Francis in the 1880 U.S. Census, while other sources name her Jenny. The family was enumerated in 1880 with their two sons, 8-year-old Thomas who was born in Illinois, and 6-year-old Joseph who was born in Kentucky. Fletcher's brother-in-law, William Smith, also lived with the family in Nicodemus. It was mentioned in the January 1897 newspaper when Fletcher's wife died of consumption. His son Joseph Fletcher also died of the disease in 1895.
Zachariah T. Fletcher died in Nicodemus, Kansas in 1927. He is buried in the Nicodemus Cemetery.
Sources: see Zachariah Fletcher's record in the U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles in Ancestry; see Zachariah T. Fletcher at the National Park Service webpage; see Jenny Smith Fletcher and Z. T. Fletcher at the Colored Conventions Project webpage; see "Postal changes," The Commonwealth [Topeka], 09/20/1877, front page; see Z. T. Fletcher on p.3 of the Junction City Tribune, 09/20/1877; additional information about the early development of Nicodemus can be found in the article "County of Graham" Graham County Lever, 02/18/1881, pp.2-3; "The Wife of Z. T. Fletcher of Nicodemus ...," The People's Reveille, 01/14/1897, front page; see Zachariah T. Fletcher at Find A Grave.