William L. Bartels, a Kansas pioneer, who has spent over half a century of his life in the Sunflower State, is a native of Ohio. He was born near Zanesville, May 11, 1842. He is a son of Christian and Sarah (Prior) Bartels, the former a native of Hanover, Germany, and the latter of Pennsylvania. Christian Bartels was born in 1806, and learned the tailor trade in his native land, and in 1833 immigrated to America and, after working at his trade for a time in Baltimore, Md., he removed to Ohio and engaged in the tailoring business at Zanesville. In 1851 he removed to Illinois with his family, and settled on government land in Bureau county. That was an early day in the settlement of that section of Illinois. The nearest settlement to the Bartels homestead was nine miles distant. They remained there until 1860, when they came to Kansas, driving the entire distance with an ox team. They settled on government land in Allen county, and during their first year crops were an entire failure on account of dry weather. Many settlers received outside aid during that year, but the Bartels family were not eligible to receive any assistance, because they owned two yokes of oxen. However, during that winter Mr. Bartels managed to exist and made use of his oxen by hauling supplies from the Atchison supply station to the settlers in Allen county, for which he received $2.00 per hundred. During his early day experience in Kansas, Mr. Bartels was associated with, and knew well, many of the prominent men of the times. Numbered among his friends were Jim Lane, Senator Pomeroy, John A. Martin, Governor Glick, Senator Ingalls, and many others. He had many experiences during the pioneer days, and during exciting times of the border war. On August 10, 1861, when Humboldt was sacked, he enlisted in a company under Jim Lane. They saw much service along the border and in January, 1862, they were mustered into the United States service as Company G, Ninth Kansas Cavalry. Later they served on the plains, guarding the Santa Fe Trail, and for a time were stationed at Fort Lion, Colo., and were in the campaign against the Ute Indians. Mr. Bartels was in the service three years, and was discharged January 16, 1865. He then returned to his old home in Allen county and engaged in farming four or five years, when he decided that he was not "cut out" for a farmer. He had learned the harness maker's trade in early life and now returned to his trade and worked as a journeyman at Humboldt until 1874, when he engaged in the harness business for himself at Iola. He started in business in a small way and prospered, and soon had one of the largest harness manufacturing establishments in Southeastern Kansas. He employed a large force of men, and conducted this business until 1886, when he disposed of it. He was appointed a deputy revenue collector in 1885, for a district comprising fourteen counties in the eastern and central part of Kansas, with headquarters at Iola. He held that office five years, resigning when Harrison was elected president. After spending a few months in Colorado, he returned to Iola and engaged in the hardware business. Shortly after that, gas was discovered in Allen county, and Iola grew rapidly, and his business developed with the town. His son, W. Z., was associated with him and they had one of the most extensive hardware establishments in that section of the State. In 1900, on account of failing health due to close confinement, Mr. Bartels disposed of his interest in the hardware business and since that time has devoted himself to speculating in real estate, and now owns some of the best business and residence property in the city of Iola. April 21, 1914, he was appointed Police Judge of Iola, and now holds that position. Judge Bartels was married March 22, 1863, to Miss Sidney, daughter of John and Amy (Wood) Tibbetts, of Carthage, Mo. The Tibbetts family left Missouri about the time the Civil war broke out and came to Kansas, locating at Humboldt. John Tibbetts was a native of Massachusetts and settled in Missouri at an early day. He was a Democrat, but a strong union man, and three of his sons served in the Ninth Kansas Regiment. Mrs. Bartels was born at Lebanon, Ind., in 1843, and was a child when her parents moved to Missouri. To Mr. and Mrs. Bartels have been born seven children: Ida H., married B. A. Wharton, Montrose, Colo., and they have four children, Dolcie, Bessie, Claude and Leo; Josephine, married B. C. Potter, Iola, and they have five children, Nina, married Josiah Langford, of Iola, Fay, Ruth, Burton and Cyrus; William Z., married Jessie Webb, of Humboldt, Kans., and they have two children, Glenice and Bernice; Rosie, married Ed. Langford, of Iola, and they have one child, Dora; Ollie, resides at home; Maud, married Joseph Dogget, of Cherokee, Okla, and Jessie, resides at home with her parents. Judge Bartels has been a life long Democrat and has taken an active interest in local politics. His harness store was known as the "Democratic Headquarters" for years. He is a Knight Templar Mason, and Mrs. Bartels is a member of the Eastern Star. Judge Bartels has been president of the Old Settlers' Association since its organization.Pages 176-178 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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