Joseph Frantz Fuest.From the beginning of American history the German element in our population has been one of its best factors. The German character stands for progress and prosperity of the most substantial kind, and Kansas is justly proud of and to be congratulated upon her citizens who were born in the Fatherland, and one of the best representatives is the man whose name heads this brief review. He is loved and respected by all, and there is no man in Seward county who occupies a more enviable position than Joseph Fuest in business and financial circles, not alone on account of his brilliant success, but on account of the reputation he has gained for straightforward dealings in business and integrity. His close application to business and excellent management has brought well earned reward and prosperity. Mr. Fuest was born at Erlinghausen, Germany, September 18, 1860, the son of Johann and Katharine Fiege Fuest. The father was also a native of Germany, where he was a successful farmer on a large scale until his death, which occurred in September, 1883. Mrs. Fuest was born and reared in the Fartherland; her father was killed in an accident at a gold mine in South America the year she was married, 1847. She became the mother of seven children before she passed from life, in 1884. The family consisted of five sons and two daughters, as follows: Maria, born in 1849, the widow of Wilhelm Gerlach, who died in December, 1879, leaving his wife and three children, who reside in Germany; Frantz, born in 1850, died in Germany in 1897, leaving four children; Theresia, born in 1852, married Joseph Klocke, a farmer in Germany, in 1877, and became the mother of seven children; Henrich, born in 1854, came to America in 1879, and now resides at Linden, N. Y., where he is engaged in farming, having married Lena Brown in 1882, who had two daughters before her death, in 1905; Johann, born in 1858, married Anna Fuest in 1890, and they had four children before his death occurred, in 1907; Wilhelm, born in 1867, came to America in 1896, locating on a farm in Wyoming county, New York, having married Anna Walmeicer, in Germany, and now has four children.
Joseph Fuest was reared and educated in the Fatherland, where he heard of the many opportunities for young men in the new world, and being ambitious he left home and country to seek fortune on the other side of the world while still a youth of twenty. Mr. Fuest landed in New York, March 20, 1880, and at once went to Wyoming county, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits seven years. He heard of the great West, and in 1887 came to Kansas, locating on government land in the southwestern part of Seward county, where he soon was climbing high on the ladder of success. This fortune was not easily gained, but is the result of hard work, thrift and business ability. As he made money Mr. Fuest invested it in land, until he was the possessor of fourteen quarters of fine land, which he operated until August 18, 1905, when he disposed of his holdings and came to Liberal. During the years he was farming Mr. Fuest raised blooded cattle on a large scale, a vocation in which he was very successful; he thoroughly understood the business, to which he devoted his entire time, and the reward was justly earned. In 1905 Mr. Fuest bought a half interest of M. H. Scandrett in a large hardware and implement business, which has since been conducted in Liberal under the firm name of Scandrett & Fuest. Business has increased with this concern in a most satisfactory manner, and today this is one of the largest and most substantial houses in southwest Kansas. Mr. Fuest has ever taken an active part in movements for the public welfare, having been elected, in 1892, county commissioner of Seward county, an office he has filled continuously since that date, being chairman of the board with the exception of a period of three months, in 1893, during the county seat contest. At different times he has been a member of the school board and is identified with all civic improvements, being a Republican in politics. Mr. Fuest visited Europe in 1912, returningt[sic] to the scenes of his childhood after an absence of thirty-two years. He is regarded as one of the representative and prosperous citizens not only of Liberal, but of Seward county, where he has many warm friends and supporters. On May 14, 1888, Mr. Fuest married Cora, the daughter of Samuel and Moryana Roberts Prentice, at Meade, Kan. Mr. Prentice was a native of Orangeville, N. Y., where his daughter was born, October 15, 1859. Mrs. Prentice was a native of Wales, who passed most of her life in America. She passed away in 1892. There are four daughters in the Fuest family: Nellie, born September 8, 1889, married William B. Taylor September 8, 1909, who was born at Rock Springs, Texas, December 10, 1884, and they now have two children, Joseph Archibald, born August 15, 1910, and Marjorie Frances, born August 25, 1912; Edna Jane, born January 31, 1891, a student in the Kansas State Agricultural College; Maud, born October 25, 1893, and Blanch, born June 17, 1897. November 5, 1912, Mr. Fuest was reëlected county commissioner of Seward county for a term of four years, and will have served a total of twenty-four years, the longest in the State.Pages 591-593 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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