Frank Zoellner, the president and manager of the Zoellner Mercantile Company, of Tonganoxie, Kan., was born in Leavenworth county, on a farm about eight miles west of Leavenworth, on Nov. 8, 1860, a son of John and Barbara (Mueller) Zoellner. His father was born in the Province of Bavaria, Germany, in 1816, and his mother was born in that province in 1832. Hearing of the many opportunities open to young and ambitious men in the new world, they emigrated from the Fatherland and located in Wisconsin, at Fond du Lac, but came to Kansas in 1859, with so many of those brave pioneers who played such a prominent part in having Kansas admitted to the Union free from slavery. There were few railroads in the West at that early day, and the family drove from Wisconsin to Kansas with a team of oxen, a long and tedious journey. For twelve years Mr. Zoellner lived on a rented farm near Leavenworth, then lived in the city of Leavenworth for a year, and in 1872 bought a fine farm near Jarbalo, Leavenworth county, where he lived until his death, in 1888. Mrs. Zoellner now resides at Jarbalo. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Zoellner: Andrew W., who lives at Golden, Ore.; Valentine, deceased; Lizzie, the wife of John Rieger, of Garber, Okla.; Mary, the wife of Attison Cox, of Jarbalo; and Annie, the wife of Milton Laferty, who lives at Marshall, Okla.
Frank Zoellner was reared on his father's farm and led the healthy normal life of a country boy. His education was acquired in the public schools and when only twenty-three years of age he engaged in the mercantile business with I. M. Smiley, at Jarbalo, under the firm name of Smiley & Zoellner. The Smiley and Zoellner families were the founders of that town, having owned the land and laid out the ground in lots. After being in partnership a year the firm was dissolved, in 1884, and Mr. Zoellner bought the stock and carried on the general mercantile business alone for twelve years. In 1893 he went to Oklahoma, when the Cherokee Strip was opened to homesteaders, and secured 160 acres of land. He remained there a year, but returned to Kansas in 1895 and started a general mercantile establishment at Tonganoxie, which he ran alone until 1900. On March 6, of that year, the firm was incorporated under its present name, and Mr. Zoellner became the principal stockholder, also president and general manager. When the company was organized the clerks in the store took stock, and most of the ten people employed are stockholders. A $40,000 stock of goods is carried and the annual business runs from $85,000 to $95,000 a year. The building in which the business is carried on has a frontage of 140 feet, on the corner of Fourth and Barry streets, and is one of the finest business houses in the county. There are four departments, each run separately: Groceries, drygoods, hardware and implements. Everything in the general mercantile line is carried, but drugs. Mr. Zoellner is one of the leading business men of Leavenworth county and the house he heads is the largest in the county. He has been remarkably successful in his chosen vocation, and is held in high esteem by his business associates. On June 24, 1888, Mr. Zoellner married Clara B. Winslow, of Tonganozie. Five children have been born to this union: Leslie R., a student in the Kansas State University at Lawrence; Maude E., also at school at the university; Grace B., in high school; Walter F., in high school, and Fred W., in the graded school. Mr. Zoellner is a member of the Fraternal Aid, and of the Modern Brotherhood of America.Pages 890-891 from volume III, part 2 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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