FRED HUMBURG. The Town of Bison in Rush County has no more vigorous and enterprising business man and citizen than Fred Humburg. While not among the pioneers, he has lived in Rush County and in Kansas since 1890, had all the experiences of the homesteader, and since October, 1897, has been active in commercial affairs in Bison.
Mr. Humburg is a native of Missouri and is of German ancestry. He was born in Eastern Missouri, in Gasconade County, October 7, 1866. He is the son of Conrad Humburg, who since 1901 has also been a resident of Rush County. Conrad was born in Hesse Cassel, Germany, and came to Missouri about 1854. He spent his vigorous life as a farmer in Missouri, and has been retired since coming to Kansas. During the Civil war he was a member of the Missouri Home Guards. He was a Union man, as were most of the German settlers, has always been a republican, and at one time served as county judge of Gasconade County. He is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Conrad Humburg married for his first wife Margaret Phillip. She was born near Berne, Switzerland, and died in 1872. She was the mother of Jacob, a blacksmith at Mount Angel, Oregon; of Fred; Andrew P., who has become prominent as interstate commerce attorney for the Illinois Central Railway, with home and headquarters at Chicago; and Minnie, wife of Herman Ficken, of Fruitland, Idaho. For his second wife Conrad Humburg married Pauline Schuetz. The children of this union are: Mrs. George Timken, of Kinsley, Kansas; Mrs. F. L. Keuster, of St. Louis, Missouri; Mrs. William Romeiser, of Timken, Kansas; Mrs. William Ficken, of Bison, Kansas; Mrs. Arthur Olson, of Harfield, Kansas; Mrs. Clifford Rothweiler, of Bison; and Adolph, also of Bison.
The community in which Fred Humburg grew up as a boy was one of the somewhat backward counties of Southern Missouri, and his education came from a rather poor country school. He left school at the age of thirteen, but practical experience in the world convinced him of the need of better educational opportunities, and by correspondence work, continued over several years, he completed the junior course of the Bryant & Stratton Business College. However, that educational work was not completed until some years after he had been in Kansas.
Mr. Humburg was a young man of twenty-four when he came out to Kansas in 1890. Up to that time his total business experience had been limited by a farm. Some years previously his father had acquired lands in Rush County, and the son took up the work of improving and cultivating those lands. His first experience as a farmer in Kansas was seven miles north of Bison. Mr. Humburg lived there five years and did both grain and stock raising. In the meantime he bought a half section of his own adjoining his father's land, and long after he left the farm and entered business at Bison he continued to own and give more or less direct supervision to his interests in that vicinity. While living on the farm he served as trustee of Illinois Township.
When he came to Bison in 1897 Mr. Humburg entered the lumber and grain business as successor to W. W. George, who was the pioneer lumberman at Bison. The grain business had also been established previously. Since then a new elevator has been erected and the firm is now known as the Humburg Lumber Company. It is the principal concern in a large rural district, supplying lumber, hardware, farm implements and other supplies and dealing in grain.
Mr. Humburg is also president of the Bison State Bank. He was one of the organizers of the Farmers & Merchants State Bank of LaCrosse and is a director of the Timken State Bank and the Bazine State Bank. Mr. Humburg is now in his prime, takes thorough enjoyment in his business achievements, and his name is mentioned among those who "do things" in Bison. Personally he is of quiet mien, soft spoken, cool and considerate, and a safe and judicious citizen.
Republicanism has always represented his political preferences. He cast his first vote in Gasconade County, Missouri, voted for Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and a few years after coming to Kansas was elected in 1893 as register of deeds of Rush County. He succeeded F. C. Brooks in that office, and was himself re-elected in 1895. When he retired from that office he also gave up politics, since his business affairs required all his time and attention.
Since coming to Kansas Mr. Humburg has maintained a home and has partly reared a family. On September 19, 1894, he married Miss Emma Bernreuder. Her father, Doctor Bernreuder, of Nashville, Illinois, came out of Bavaria, Germany, when a boy and his first occupation was as a Methodist preacher in Wisconsin. Subsequently he studied medicine and spent his active professional life in Illinois. Mrs. Humburg died at Bison, being survived by one child, Harold. For his second wife Mr. Humburg married Miss Matilda Sehnert. Her father, Jacob Sehnert, was born in Hesse, Germany, was for a number of years a general merchant at Bible Grove, Illinois, and for the past eight years has lived retired in Rush County, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Humburg have three children: Merrill, Glen and Selma.
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.
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