Gustavas Stolpe.In the death of the late Gustavas Stolpe, of Madison, Kan., which occurred August 26, 1913, there passed into life eternal another Kansas pioneer and highly respected citizen of Greenwood county. He was born July 21, 1835, in the little hamlet of Vermland, Sweden, where he was reared and educated. Here he was married July 25, 1868, to Miss Christine Hult, also a native of Sweden, and in 1868 the young couple immigrated to America to begin life in the land of possibilities. In his youth he learned the cabinet-maker's trade and was a skilled workman. Not being able to speak the English language and being unfamiliar with the ways of the country, he did not seek employment at his trade when he landed in New York, but came directly west, first going to Omaha and a little later locating at Topeka, Kan., at that time the western terminus of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad. His first employment in Kansas was on the grading gang on the road bed of the Santa Fe railroad, and, in after life, he enjoyed telling how he had to depend on the motions of the foreman and imitate his fellow workmen in order to understand what he was required to do. With that inborn thrift so characteristic of the Swedish immigrant, he and his wife determined to possess some property in their own name. In 1869 they removed to the Verdigris valley, where, in company with Peter Tellene and John Stolpe, a brother, he bought 320 acres of school land three and one-half miles west of Madison, on the river. Mr. and Mrs. Stolpe improved the farm and built the stone house, now known as the Binks Bitler homestead, where they lived until 1880. The 320 acres of school land were divided in 1874, John Stolpe getting the Bitler homestead, and Gustavas and his wife the fertile farm that Mr. Stolpe now owns on the south branch. Times were hard for the pioneers of those days and money was scarce, and to increase the family income, Mr. Stolpe opened a wagon shop in the "old town," which he conducted while Mrs. Stolpe operated the farm. He walked to and from his work each day, until 1880, when they moved to town and opened the first hotel in the new town on the site where Sol Green's residence now stands. They later established the present Stolpe hotel, which Mrs. Stolpe now conducts, in connection with the management of the farm interests and other details of the estate. During her husband's lifetime she was his partner and business adviser as well as wife, and her former experience well fits her for the business responsibilities which have fallen to her lot. Gustavas Stolpe was a strong character with a rugged personality. He used to say: "The world is my country and to do good my religion." His motto was: "The time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here, and the way to be happy is to make others happy." Underneath his rough exterior a warm heart beat in unison for the poor and the unfortunate. There was no artificial deception or love of display in his make-up, just plain, honest, everyday Gust. Stolpe, and he was loved and respected for what he was, not for what he pretended to be. His door was always open to his less fortunate fellow man, and his time, money and advice were freely given to help them in the battle of life. He was a Mason and had been a member of that lodge for a number of years. Mr. and Mrs. Stolpe never had any children of their own, but years ago adopted and raised two children: Mrs. Tillie Thompson, of Montrose, Colo., and Clarence Stolpe, of Kansas City.Pages 536-537 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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