John Harvy Staatz

JOHN HARVEY STAATZ, M. D. The community of Bushton in Rice County has known and appreciated the services of Dr. Staatz as a capable physician and surgeon for the past seventeen years. Doctor Staatz is a man of real attainments in his profession, was unusually well qualified before beginning practice, and has kept in close touch with the leaders in medical science ever since.

He represents the pioneer element of Kansas, his father having come to the state when Kansas was still a territory. Doctor Staatz was born at Enterprise in Dickinson County December 6, 1874. His father, John Frederick Staatz, was a German, born at Stettin, Germany, in 1838. When about seventeen years of age he came to America and located in a typical German community in Southern Wisconsin at Watertown. For a time he worked there as engineer in a sawmill. In the fall of 1856 he joined a party of Wisconsin Germans who started west to settle in Dickinson County, Kansas. Another member of the same colony was Caroline Biggert, who was born in Germany and who later married John F. Staatz. They made the journey from Wisconsin to Kansas with wagons and ox teams, and starting in the fall they arrived at Omaha, Nebraska, where on account of extremely cold weather and the sore feet of the oxen they spent the winter. Thus it was the early spring of 1857 that this colony arrived in Dickinson County. John F. Staatz homesteaded 160 acres of land there, and later district school No. 1 of Dickinson County was established on a part of his farm. In 1873 he went into business as a pioneer merchant at Enterprise and continued a resident of that town until his death, though the end came while he was at El Dorado Springs, Missouri, in 1898. He was a man of much importance in Dickinson County, and served as county commissioner and as tax collector. In the early days he collected taxes by riding about the county on horseback. Politically he was a republican and was a member of the German Methodist Church. In the troubled days of early Kansas he served with the rank of lieutenant in the Kansas militia and was in several fights with the Indians, one time being a member of the troops which drove the Indians west to Fort Hays. The first wife of John F. Staatz, Caroline Biggert, died in Dickinson County on the old homestead in 1870. They had four children: William H., who is in the wholesale creamery business at Tacoma, Washington; Sophia, wife of J. F. Buhrer, a hardware merchant, land owner and vice-president of the Dickinson County Bank at Enterprise, Kansas, where he resides; Luella, wife of G. Blanke, a retired land owner at Enterprise; and J. E., a traveling salesman for the Letts Packer Grocery Company, living at Enterprise.

For his second wife John F. Staatz married Miss Maria Gantenbein. She was born at St. Gall in Canton Berne, Switzerland, in 1847, and is still living at Enterprise. She came to this country at the age of twenty-one, and her parents were pioneer farmers in Dickinson County, Kansas. She was also the mother of four children: Anna W. is assistant[sic] cashier of the Dickinson County Bank at Enterprise and is one of the few women bankers in the state; the second in age is Doctor Staatz; Adelaide is the widow of J. H. Griffith, who was sales manager for the Studebaker Automobile and Carriage Company at Kansas City, Missouri; Olivia married C. D. Reinmold, in the bank brokerage and loan business at Wichita.

John Harvey Staatz grew up in his native town of Enterprise and graduated from the local high school in the spring of 1892. In the following year he completed a course in the Gem City Business College at Quincy, Illinois. Following that came two years of work in his father's store, and in 1896, having definitely determined upon his future vocation, he entered the Northwestern Medical School at Chicago. He was in that school through the full course and received his M. D. degree in 1900. He returned for post-graduate work in Northwestern University in 1903 and 1907 and in 1913 gave up his active practice for another course in the Chicago Post-Graduate school. By these extra courses he specialized largely in obstetrics. Dr. Staatz chose Bushton as his first location for practice in 1900, and his reputation and attainments have brought him success in his profession and a large degree of material prosperity. His offices are in the Drug Store Building on Main Street. Besides his home in Bushton he owns a farm of 320 acres six miles southeast of town, and another farm of 480 acres there miles north of Geneseo, Kansas.

Doctor Staatz is a member in good standing of the various medical societies and has served Bushton as city health officer. He is a republican, is affiliated with Holyrood Lodge No. 343, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Plum Creek Camp No. 5113, Modern Woodmen of America, at Bushton; Bushton Lodge of Ancient Order of United Workmen, and Bushton Lodge No. 540 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is working member and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1908, in Barton County, Kansas, Doctor Staatz married Miss Lenora May Grizzell. Her mother, Mrs. Addie Grizzell, died in the hospital at Great Bend, Kansas, in April, 1916. Doctor and Mrs. Staatz have no children.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Shelly Marie Bowman and Jessica Price, students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, January 26, 2000.

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