J. H. DICK BOSSE, who came to Barton County in 1875, has for more than forty years been one of the most prominent among the residents of the Ellinwood community. The fruit, stock and grain farm he developed there would be a highly creditable achievement if it stood out as his only work in the county. However he has also become widely known as a public official, as a former county treasurer, as a business man and banker and, altogether, a citizen whose influence has helped shape affairs in this county.
Mr. Bosse was born at Gebrde, Kingdom of Hanover, Germany. January 1, 1852. His parents were Herman and Marie (Bockemohle) Bosse. His mother died in Germany. J. H. Dick Bosse received his education in the common schools and at the age of twenty came alone to America, embarking at Bremen on board the Weser bound for New York. He secured work, later came on west to Ohio, but after a few months returned to Germany. On his second visit to the United States his brother Henry and his father came along. These two sons were the only children of their father. The father, Herman Bosse, lived for about twenty years in Barton County, was a working factor in pioneer things and became an American citizen. He was sixty-two years of age when he came to the United States, and was glad to see his family settled in a region of better opportunity. He was a Protestant in religion. He died in Great Bend, Kansas, in 1894. The brother Henry, who never married, died in 1899.
J. H. Dick Bosse was accompanied by his father and brother when he reached Barton County in 1875. All three of them bought land northwest of Ellinwood, and began building a home "at the grass roots." J. H. Dick Bosse started out with half a section, and that land still is included in the family estate, well known as the "Bosse Home." About twenty years after he located there Mr. Bosse planted an apple orchard of fifteen acres and a cherry orchard of five acres. His experience forms a notable part of the history of horticulture in Barton County. He planted the orchard purely as an experiment, and it has proved partly encouraging and partly discouraging, as the case might be, to subsequent efforts in the same direction. Irrigation was provided for the trees. The irrigation system in itself is worthy of some description. Water was pumped perhaps from one well at the beginning, but now the system waters about 120 acres of land, and the entire equipment has recently been rebuilt for the second time. The system of wells comprises five, forty feet apart, connected with a ten-inch pipe six feet below ground, the pump being located in the center. The plant has a capacity of 1,800 gallons of water a minute, thrown out on the land through an eight inch pipe. At the present time most of the land irrigated is used largely as a hog and alfalfa ranch.
The fruit trees after reaching maturity prove quite reliable in production, and almost yearly some fruit is gathered and marketed. The cherry trees were more prolific than the apple, but the difficulty of getting pickers in recent years has made the harvest an unwieldy proposition not at all encouraging to the owner. The cherry trees have proved less hardy than the apple trees, and many of them disappeared. However, enough remains of the plantation to constitute one of the larger orchards in Barton County.
On leaving the farm in 1887 Mr. Bosse became a resident of Ellinwood, where for some time he was bookkeeper in a lumber yard, and then entered the Bank of Ellinwood and for three years was cashier. Having become well known over the county and having served as trustee of his township from 1882 to 1891, Mr. Bosse was next inducted into a county office, being elected county treasurer, and he filled this office six years altogether. On returning from Great Bend to Ellinwood he engaged in the hardware and implement business, and for six years the firm of Bosse & Brodie handled most of the merchandise in that line in their section. In 1908 Mr. Bosse became identified with the organization of the Peoples State Bank, and has ever since been its president.
In politics he is a republican, having cast his first presidential vote for Rutherford B. Hayes.
In New York June 15, 1876, Mr. Bosse married Miss Katherine Lampe, a daughter of Henry Lampe. She was also born in Hanover. Mr. and Mrs. Bosse have two children, a daughter Marie and a son Milton. Marie is the wife of Elmer S. Brodie, of Wichita, Kansas, and has two children, Esther and Richard. The son Milton, who graduated A. B. from the University of Kansas, is a practical man at the head of the Bosse ranch and farm. He married Moneta Butts, of Wichita, also a graduate of Kansas University. Their son is Milton, Jr.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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