Charles H. Herrman

CHARLES H. HERRMAN. Among the many worthy farmers of Republic County whose agricultural and personal careers have reflected lasting credit upon the communities in which their lives have been spent is Charles H. Herrman, for nearly half a century a prominent and much respected citizen of Scandia Township. Mr. Herrman's career is an exemplification of the fact that industry and fidelity, if backed by good management and earnest purpose, will win substantial rewards, no matter how modest the start, for he came to Kansas as a poor young man, without means or influential friends, the only prospect before him that of a great new country, undeveloped and practically unexplored, and today is one of his community's most substantial men.

Mr. Herrman was born in Sweden, October 19, 1841, and immigrated to the United States in 1867. In his native land he had secured a good public school education and had thoroughly learned the trade of blacksmith, but had decided that his opportunities for success there were slight and that in the land across the waters he could find the chance to establish a home and accumulate a fortune. In the year following his arrival Mr. Herrman became a member of the Scandinavian Agricultural Society, comprised of fifty members, all mechanics, who left Chicago in 1868 to settle on and subdue the western prairies of Kansas. Mr. Herrman, as has been noted, was a skilled blacksmith, while others followed the various trades. The colony covered several thousand acres, and its members were compelled to remain in close touch each with the other because of the hostile attitude of the Indians. In November of the year of their arrival several Indians were killed, one white boy was scalped and two oxen were shot in an engagement between the white and red men. This did not end the Indian trouble by any means. In another clash with the redskins Mr. Herrman's brother-in-law was shot while defending the horses from theft by marauding Indians, but following this the Government armed the colonists so that they could defend themselves and it was a common sight to see the farmers working in their fields with a revolver at their hip and a rifle within easy reach. After 1871 the Indian depredations ceased, as the Government had sent regular troops to the relief of the pioneers.

During the early days the meats in use on the colonists' tables were jerked buffalo meat and other wild game of the section, the principal table drink being "prairie tea" and coffee from the same plantation. Of the original fifty settlers comparatively few made good their claims, lack of funds and Indian troubles being the main contributing reasons for their leaving. Mr. Herrman, however, persistently held to his land, even in times of the greatest hardship and danger. His thrift, economy and ambition to reach the top overcame everything else and acted as stimulants in his rise to his present satisfying position. He has been a leader in many things in his community, evidencing his progress by threshing the first wheat in his part of the colony, and being elected to the first office in the community. As a builder he has contributed to the growth of Scandia Township by the erection of one of the best, if not the finest, residences in his part of the state, built out of native dressed stone, a residence of fourteen rooms, with a basement under all and the most modern equipment and conveniences. His persistent and well-directed labor has culminated in the accumulation of 1,100 acres of fine land, which is well tilled and scientifically handled, and as well as being a producer of the finest of corn, wheat and alfalfa, Mr. Herrman raises a superior grade of stock, which brings the best prices in the market. He has been a generous contributor to the movements which have been inaugurated from time to time in the line of county betterment as to roads and schools, and no worthy enterprise lacks his support. Fraternally Mr. Herrman is affiliated with the Scandia Lodge of Masons and Concordia Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

In 1872 Mr. Herrman married Miss Hilda Granstedt, who had immigrated in that year from her native Sweden, where she was born in 1854.


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
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