Herman Bartels

HERMAN BARTELS, the pioneer lumber merchant and president of the Bank of Inman, has been identified with McPherson County for over forty years. He is a veteran German soldier and fought with the armies of the empire in the Franco-Prussian war. He had a thorough technical and professional training in German schools, and was educated as an architect, but after coming to Kansas he applied his energies first to farming and later to constructive business affairs in Inman, and has been the chief business man of that town for many years.

Mr. Bartels was born October 24, 1846, in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, a son of Ferdinand and Caroline (Sandvoff) Bartels, also natives of Germany. Mr. Bartels finished the regular common-school course in Germany, and at the age of eighteen completed a course at architecture at a Polytechnical College. His trade or profession he subsequently followed through journeyman's experience in Germany, Switzerland and France until 1867.

He was enrolled as a private in the Prussian army and gave three years of service. He was assigned to duty as a member of the Pioneer Corps, and his active military experience came during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, in which he was a petty officer. He was present during the sieges of Metz and Paris, and though all that experience as a soldier came more than forty-five years ago Mr. Bartels retains a very interesting and accurate knowledge of places and conditions in Germany and France, where the great war of the present is being waged. Throughout his experience as a soldier he was never sick or wounded.

At the close of the war he worked as a carpenter in the City of Hamburg. In December, 1871, he immigrated to America, and his first location was in Chicago, which only a few months before had been devastated by the great fire. There was much demand for carpenters and builders, and he set up in business as a carpenter and contractor.

In 1874 Mr. Bartels sought the free and open prairies of Kansas and located on a tract of government land in McPherson County. He followed farming with vigor and success until 1887, when he moved Dillon, Montana. Paul Everett lives on the home farm and three times was winner of the boys' corn contest for Kansas. The younger childern are: Eva R., Myron, Ivan and Martha, the last being deceased.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Ashley Metcalf, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, May 10, 1999.

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