William John Krehbiel, editor and publisher of the "McPherson Republican," one of the leading party organs of the state, was born in Denmark, Lee county, Iowa, Dec. 11, 1870, a son of John Jacob and Anna (Leisy) Krehbiel, and is descended from fine old German stock, a race recognized for its sturdiness, integrity, and love of country. His grandfather, Rev. John Krehbiel, was born in Lohmuchle, Germany, and was a preacher of the Mennonite church who came to America, in 1832, and became one of the pioneer settlers of Lee county, Iowa, in 1839. There he purchased government land and spent the greater part of his life, preaching the faith of his church and farming with such primitive implements as were afforded at that early day in the West. Subsequently, he became a lumber merchant and one of the prosperous citizens of the county, passing away at West Point, Iowa, in 1887. His son, John Jacob, was born in Butler county, Ohio, in 1838, and was a small child when his father moved west of the Mississippi river. He was reared and educated on the frontier, receiving such advantages as the early settlers could afford for their children, and upon the death of his father succeeded him in the manufacture of lumber. He was a manufacturer of wagons, in a small way, at Denmark, Iowa, from 1867 to 1879, when he removed to Newton, Kan., and established the J. J. Krehbiel wagon factory, a flourishing manufacturing institution, which he conducted until 1908, when he sold out to his eldest son, Edgar A., who has since had charge. William J. Krehbiel received his early education in the public schools of Iowa and Kansas and graduated in the high school at Newton, Kan., in 1888. Subsequently he took a special course in the state university at Lawrence, with emphasis upon the studies that would fit him for journalism. He left the university, in 1894, and the following winter attended Bethel College, at Newton, for a special course in German. He began his newspaper work immediately after leaving the high school by working in the office of the "Newton Republican," where he learned the business end of a printing establishment. From 1891 to 1895 he was employed in mercantile life, but returned to journalism and entered the employ of the "North Topeka Mail." Three months later he was offered and accepted the position of telegraph editor of the "Topeka Capital." During the years he worked on these papers his desire grew to own and operate a journal of his own and, in 1897, he purchased the "Newton Republican," on the staff of which he had begun his career as a journalist. He conducted this paper with marked success, but two years later sold it to purchase the "McPherson Republican," which was founded, in 1872, by the late George W. McClintock, and conducted, until purchased by Mr. Krehbiel, by S. G. Mead. When first organized the paper was called the "McPherson Independent," but in 1879 the name was changed to "Republican," and a daily edition was first issued, in 1885, it being one of the first dailies in the smaller towns of Kansas. Since Mr. Krehbiel purchased the paper its success has been most gratifying, due to his good management, energy, and ability. The weekly edition has a circulation of 3,000, making it an influential party organ. The "Republican" is the leading paper of McPherson county and one of the best managed properties in the state. Modern presses have been installed by Mr. Krehbiel and the plant is equipped to handle all kinds of printing. For years Mr. Krehbiel has been an active factor in local affairs and politics, both editorially and personally. In 1903 he was elected mayor of McPherson and was reëlected in 1905. During his incumbency of this office he was instrumental in securing a sewer system for the city, involving an outlay of $32,000, a task of some magnitude when one considers the great number of retired farmers who live in the town and who usually oppose expenditures of any kind. He has also been actively interested in the work of the Commercial Club, and at the present time is president of that organization.
On April 25, 1900, Mr. Krehbiel married Augusta Ruth, daughter of Jacob E. Ruth, a well known merchant and miller of Kingfisher, Okla., and two children have been born of this unionKenneth, born July 24, 1903, and Marion, born June 17, 1910.Pages 339-340 from volume III, part 1 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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