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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


C. Otto Funk

C. OTTO FUNK is manager of the agency conducted under his name at Larned for handling the Hudson car and the Moline tractors and trucks. Mr. Funk is one of the broad-minded and enterprising business men of Larned, has made a success in life and represents a family that has been identified with Pawnee County over forty years, since 1876.

The ancestry of the family is traced back originally to Germany. Mr. Funk's grandfather was Abraham Funk, a native of Pennsylvania. He was a farmer and brought his family out to Macon County, Illinois, where he spent his last years. His children were: Amos; Henry, who spent his life near Plano, Illinois; Rufus, a resident of Goose Lake, Oregon; Noah, who lived for many years in Pawnee County, where he died leaving children; Daniel, who also lived in Pawnee County but died in Washington, D. C., leaving children; John, who spent his life in Macon County, Illinois; Susann, who married Mr. Berry and died at Larned; and Albert, now a resident of Alabama.

Amos Funk, father of C. Otto Funk, was born in Pennsylvania in 1841, but lived for many years in Macon County, Illinois. He was reared on a farm, educated in rural schools, and moved to Illinois when about twenty-one years of age. He was in active training for duty as a soldier when the Civil war came to a close. His early experiences were as a farmer, and after coming to Pawnee County in 1876 he conducted a lumber and coal yard at Larned for a year, and then went to farming. He bought deeded land in Larned Township and there erected the modest frame house which served as the family home during the trying period of Pawnee County farmers. He finally put an eight-room house on the farm and had many improvements to show for his labor and well expended capital. He built a very large and complete barn, and his farm came to be regarded as one of the best in the county.

In his early experiences as a farmer in Pawnee County Amos Funk used both oxen and horses to draw his plows and do the other heavy work. He shipped into the county the first steam threshing outfit, and he brought the first traction engine into the county. His threshing outfit he operated for many years, covering a large territory, and was one of the very few threshermen who made money out of the business. As a farmer he was not a specialist on any one crop, but grew all the staple grains and forage crops, was in the stock business, and occasionally was a feeder and shipper. The results of his efforts as a Kansas farmer brought him eventually to the ownership of three quarter sections. On leaving the farm he engaged in flour milling, which he followed for two years. He finally removed to Oklahoma and died in Oklahoma City January 23, 1916. Amos Funk was a democrat, but never filled office and was an old school Baptist. His hearing became impaired in early life, and for many years he carried an ear trumpet.

Amos Funk was married in Hocking County, Ohio, to Miss Kate Barcley, a native of that county. She died in 1881, the mother of the following children: Wilbert R., of Portland, Oregon; Annetta, of Kansas City, Missouri; C. Otto; Truman B., of Moline, Illinois; Kate, wife of George Newsham, of San Francisco. Amos Funk married for his second wife Maggie Meredith, who came to Kansas from Centerburg, Illinois. She had one daughter, Miss Edith, now living at Oklahoma City.

Mr. C. Otto Funk was born in Macon County, Illinois, near Decatur, April 6, 1873, and was a small child when his parents removed to Western Kansas. He attended school in district No. 2, and has made his success in life without a college education. Up to the age of twenty-one he stayed at home and worked for his father on the farm. He later worked in his father's flour mill, and finally became identified with the Cotton Belt Railway in the car department at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. For a few months he was a locomotive fireman, and then again became connected with the car department of the Iron Mountain and Southern Railway at Coffeyville, Kansas. On returning to Larned Mr. Funk learned the barber's trade and was in that business here for several years. He did well at the work and his thrift and economy enabled him to buy a quarter section of land. On abandoning his trade he engaged in the automobile business in 1906, and is now one of the oldest automobile agents in Western Kansas. His first work in that line was somewhat limited and in an experimental way. He began handling the Ford car. He has been agent in Pawnee County for the Hudson car since it was first made. Since 1916 Mr. Funk has done much to demonstrate the feasibility of the farm tractor and has distributed a number of these machines over Pawnee County. The machine of which he has the agency is an invention of his brother, Truman Funk. This tractor was acquired by the Moline Plow Company at Moline, Illinois, and Mr. Funk is superintendent of the factory where the tractors are produced.

Mr. Otto Funk aided in the initial effort in 1917 to prospect Pawnee County for oil and gas. He is a small stockholder in the Farmers Elevator at Larned, and besides other property owns a good home on West Fifth Street. He has always voted as a democrat in national affairs and independently in local matters.

On December 22, 1908, at Larned, Mr. Funk married Miss Clarabell Adams. Her father is Colonel W. R. Adams, the distinguished pioneer of Pawnee County. Mr. and Mrs. Funk have three children, Charles Otto, Josephine and Caroline.


Pages 2304-2305.


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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 5 - Table of Contents

Tom & Carolyn Ward
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