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


Hermon John Tholen, Jr.

HERMON JOHN THOLEN, JR. Prominent among the business men of the younger generation who have won success and prominence in commercial affairs of Iola, Kansas, is Hermon John Tholen, Jr., treasurer of the Iola Wholesale Grocer Company. Mr. Tholen has been connected throughout his business career with this concern, which was founded by his father, and which occupies a place of leadership among the enterprises of its kind in this thriving Kansas City.

Mr. Tholen was born June 26, 1885, at Humboldt, Kansas, and is a son of Hermon John and Ella (Koppers) Tholen. His father was born in 1854, in the Province of Hanover, Germany, and was a young man when he came to the United States, settling at Humboldt, Kansas, in 1878. There he was married to Miss Ella Koppers, who was born in 1856, in Prussia, Germany, and was brought to the United States by her parents when fourteen years of age. Mr. Tholen's first business venture in this country was a dealer in ice, subsequently he embarked in the retail grocery trade, and finally broadened out into wholesale groceries and remained in the latter line at Humboldt until 1900. In that year he changed his location to Iola, where he became the founder of the Iola Wholesale Grocer Company, of which he continued to be present until his death, February 11, 1911. Mr. Tholen was one of the substantial business men of Iola, shrewd, far-seeing and accurate in his judgments, and a man of the strictest integrity and probity. A democrat in politics, he took a wholesome and intelligent interest in public affairs, and for several years served in the capacity of mayor of Humboldt. He was a faithful member of the Roman Catholic Church. Mrs. Tholen, who survives her husband and resides at Iola, has been the mother of the following children: Anna, who died in infancy; May, who makes her home with her mother; Anna (2), who died at the age of twenty-one years, unmarried; Hermon John; and Helene, who is the wife of S. A. Bixby, engaged in the wholesale fruit business at Iola.

Hermon John Tholen, Jr., received his education in the graded and high schools of Humboldt, Kansas, following which he entered Christian Brothers College, at St. Louis, Missouri, an institution which he attended for one year while taking the commercial course. In 1903 he came to Iola, where he at once became connected with the Iola Wholesale Grocer Company, of which concern he has since acted in the capacity of treasurer. He is a young man of much ability, possessed of modern ideas and progressive spirit, and has the full confidence of his associates who have learned to consult his judgment in matters of importance. The plant of the concern is located at 414 West Madison Avenue, Iola, while a branch department is maintained at Fredonia, and the present officials of the company are: B. H. Achter, president; W. H. Cook, vice president; H. J. Tholen, Jr., treasurer; and William H. Achter, secretary. Mr. Tholen is a democrat, and a member of the Roman Catholic Church. He resides in his country home, which is a beautiful property lying 1 1/2 miles north of Iola.

In 1909 Mr. Tholen was united in marriage with Miss Carrie L. Doggett, of Iola, daughter of R. A. and Sarah Doggett, residents of this city, although Mr. Doggett is connected with a business at Collinsville. Mr. and Mrs. Tholen have no children.


Transcribed from volume 4, page 2126 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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