A. C. Blume, the first settler and first postmaster, first school teacher and first county commissioner in Rawlins county, Kansas, was born in the Province of Hanover, in Germany, May 21, 1842, son of C. A. Blume, who was a judge in the court of Germany. After attending school for a short time our subject was engaged as a traveling salesman for an umbrella and parasol house, traveling all over Germany.
In August, 1865, Mr. Blume came to America, landing the 28th of that month, after two months on the ocean. He first settled at Buckeye, Iowa, where he was employed as a section hand on the railroad. Here he worked about three and a half years, and in 1869 went to Michigan and was employed as foreman of a construction gang on the Fort Wayne, Jackson & Saginaw railroad. From there he went to Detroit and secured a position as roadmaster of the Detroit, Lansing & Lake Michigan railroad. After one year with this company he was taken sick and had very poor health for two or three years, in which time he went to Angola, Ind., where he was for some time under the care of physicians, who at last advised him to come west. Accordingly, in 1873, he came to Crete, Neb., where he remained for some time under the care of physicians, and after spending all his money was at last cured by a simple remedy recommended by the neighbors. In 1875 he started for Kansas in a wagon, looking for a home, and in May of that year settled on the land where his home is now located. The Indians came through the country frightening the settlers, and for a day and a half Mr. Blume lay behind a bank of earth on his place, afraid to build a fire or to be seen. He then went to Kirwin, Kan., where he took out homestead papers, and continued on to Crete, Neb.
In the spring of 1876 Mr. Blume brought his wife to Kansas, and they lived in the dug-out which he had made when he first came to the State. As there was not very much here to do for a living, Mr. Blume left his wife in Kansas and returned to Crete, Neb., to work. After working there all summer he started to Kansas, and as his team was mortgaged, he walked all the way, taking seven days for the trip. They had but $58.00 to provide themselves with food and clothing for a year. The next spring he walked back to Crete, worked all summer and returned on foot in the fall. In the spring of 1878 he again walked to Crete and in May returned with two parties to locate land, and when this was done drove back to the same town, remaining there until the raid of 1878, when he took the train to Kearney, Neb., from which place he went by the Union Pacific to Plum Creek, walking from that place to his home. It was two weeks after the raid before he heard of it, but when the news reached him he made the trip as hurriedly as possible. On his return he found some cattlemen in his neighborhood, and worked for them at 75 cents per day, which enabled him to live.
Mr. Blume then engaged in farming and stock raising. On December 16, 1876, he was appointed postmaster of Prag, now Ludell, Kan., and the signers of the petition for postmaster were secured at Hardy, Neb. In 1881 the county of Rawlins was organized and Mr. Blume was on the first board of county commissioners. The board met in June 1881, and ordered the election for July 6 of that year to organize the county and locate the county seat. He was elected commissioner at this election and served continuously until 1889. He has been township trustee five times, having been elected for the fifth time at the last election. He also organized and taught the first school, which was a private institution, so that he was the first teacher, first settler, first postmaster and first county commissioner of his county. At the time Mr. Blume was postmaster he had to bring the mail from Cannerville, in Decatur county, making the trip on foot. The nearest railroad station was on the Kansas Pacific, sixty-six miles south. During all of the intervening years our subject has been farming and raising stock, and has added to his original homestead until he now has 520 acres of land in his farm on Beaver creek, near Ludell. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
On September 17, 1870, Mr. Blume was married, in Angola, Ind., to Miss Ella S. Miner, daughter of Milo Miner, a native of Indiana, and a descendant of early Pilgrims, to whom he can trace his ancestry. Mr. Miner was a farmer, but had retired at the time of his daughter's marriage to Mr. Blume. Mrs. Blume was born and raised in Indiana, where she attended the common schools and later graduated from college. Mr. and Mrs. Blume have had six children: William A., now located in Idaho; Ollie, married to Martin F. Akers, and living in New Mexico; Carl M., located in Oregon, a carpenter by trade; Henry died in infancy; Rexford R. and George A., now farming the homestead. Rexford attended the Grand Island Business and Normal College for one year. Mrs. Blume died August 26, 1909.Pages 85-86 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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