Transcribed from 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


Walter Charles Isern

WALTER CHARLES ISERN, a young and progressive business man of Kansas, is the responsible head of the chief mercantile enterprise of Alden. Mr. Isern grew up in the atmosphere of a store and has developed his talents for business by careful and painstaking work since he left school.

Mr. Isern was born at Ellinwood, Kansas, October 18, 1887. He is of German ancestry. His grandfather, Frederick Isern, came from Germany more than seventy years ago, after serving his time in the regular German army. He located at New Bremen, Ohio, where he was a farmer and carpenter until his death.

Adolph Isern, father of the Alden merchant, was born at New Bremen, Ohio, in 1845. He grew up and married there and spent his active career as a farmer. Coming to Kansas in 1878, he located at Ellinwood, where he was prosperously engaged in the management of a farm until his death in 1897. He was a democrat of the old school and an active member of the Lutheran Church. Adolph Isern married Minnie Nordman. She was born in Germany, near Bremen, in 1855 and is still living at Ellinwood. They had three children: Alvin, a farmer at Ellinwood; Alfred, also a farmer in that vicinity; and Walter C.

Walter C. Isern acquired his education chiefly at Ellinwood, leaving the high school there at the age of sixteen. After a course in the business college at Salina during 1904 he became clerk in the store at Ellinwood of the Stephan & Isern Mercantile Company. This is a large and prosperous organization, with stores both at Ellinwood and Alden. In April, 1914, Mr. Isern came to Alden as manager of the store, which is a completely stocked department business, occupying floor space seventy-five by seventy-five feet. The store is on Main Street, and the patronage comes from all the surrounding country for a radius of twelve miles. It is the largest store in Alden and the only department store. Mr. Isern is both a stockholder and director in the company besides being manager of the business at Alden.

Politically he is a democrat and has served as clerk of Valley Township in Rice County. He is an active member and a steward in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In March, 1911, at Aledo, Illinois, Mr. Isern married Phoebe Scannell, daughter of John and Mary (Durning) Scannell. Her mother is deceased and her father is a retired resident of Aledo. Mr. and Mrs. Isern have one child, Mary Gretchen, born April 5, 1916.


Transcribed from volume 4, page 2168 of 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; originally transcribed October 1997, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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