William H. F. Gabe

WILLIAM H. F. GABE. The local history of the city of Belied will always find it necessary to make reference to Mr. William H. F. Gabe, who was one of the pioneers in that section of Mitchell County and his early experiences and the work with which he has been connected have been a part of the development and upbuilding of the state.

It was in 1870 that he brought his bride to Mitchell County. Both he and his wife were born in Germany, he in 1837 and she in 1844. They came to the United States in 1868 and in the following year were happily married in Richland County, Illinois

On coming to Kansas in 1870 Mr. Gabe took up a homestead in Mitchell County. Some of that land is now included in the City of Beloit. The first year of the family residence in Mitchell County Mr. Gabe excavated a dugout which served as the family habitation for a year. In the second year he built a substantial stone house. The first town meeting was held in Mr. Gabe's home. He and his wife also boarded the hands who operated the first sawmill in that section. Mr. Gabe recalls the fact that during 1870 the settlers were much alarmed by the different Indian hunting parties, though there was no real danger. However, only a year or two before two of the Bell children had been captured and taken away by the Indians, and that incident was sufficient to make the early settlers very cautious in their dealings with the Red Men for several years.

In 1871 Mr. Gabe and wife moved on to their homestead. That made it necessary for Mrs. Gabe to give up the boarding of the mill hands, but as she was the only woman in the settlement the men persuaded her to do their washing. This she did more for the sake of accommodating them than out of necessity.

In 1886 Mr. Gabe sold forty acres of his homestead as part of the townsite of Belied and the remainder of his land he sold to the Belied Land and Improvement Company. After selling his original homestead he and his wife moved to the land where they now live. There were some good improvements on the quarter section when he took possession, but since then year by year he has been adding others, and now has one of the fine estates of Mitchell County.

Mr. and Mrs. Gabe are the parents of five children: Nancy, Elvina, Condry, Ludorph and Clara. The family are members of the Lutheran Church and in politics Mr. Gabe is independent.

A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS


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