PETER B. KIMPLER. While the business connection by which he is most widely known over Central Kansas is as president of the Ellinwood Mill and Elevator Company, Peter B. Kimpler has lived so long in that community that many items of the experience of his family are properly subjects of historical record.
He is a son of the pioneer Peter Kimpler, who was born near the City of Cologne, Germany, in 1823. When about twenty-one years of age the senior Kimpler left Germany and traveled alone on an old fashioned sailing vessel and after about seven weeks on the sea landed at New York. In 1844 he went to Illinois, first locating at Peru. For several years he was a Mississippi River boatman, and largely from that work accumulated the money which he put into his first farm. He bought his land in Lee County, Illinois, and became a prosperous farmer and grain raiser, and continued to live in that state until he came to Kansas in 1875.
In 1873 he had prospected over Central Kansas and bought land in Ellinwood, and he arrived with his family at Ellinwood on September 15, 1875. He and F. A. Steckel were the first Germans to settle in that locality. Peter Kimpler bought a couple of sections of Santa Fe Railroad land and in the spring of 1875 he and a son began breaking the land for wheat. His land purchase was effected through J. D. Ronstadt, then the land agent of the Santa Fe. Mr. Ronstadt was succeeded by Mr. Steckel, and he and Mr. Kimpler were associated in the distribution of the railroad lands.
Peter Kimpler, unlike many of the first settlers, came to Kansas to stay and showed his faith in the community by shipping in car loads of lumber, with which he built the first big barn in the county and also a large country home. Both of those are still standing, and even in this day of prosperity are considered conspicuous improvements. Mr. Kimpler pinned his faith to wheat as the crops best adapted to this region, and in his day became one of the largest growers of that cereal in the county. He often shipped wheat to the Chicago market. In 1876 he sent ten carloads from the Ellinwood locality, a conspicuous shipment then. His farm in Barton County was his home the rest of his life, and he died at the age of seventy years. He was never a leader in politics and made his most conspicuous contribution to his community through the improvement of his lands and his business enterprise. He approved of a liberal education and contributed large amounts of taxes to the support of schools.
While a resident of Illinois Peter Kimpler married Theresa Enenbach, and all their children became residents of Kansas. Jacob, who died in Barton County, married Susan V. Ely and left one son. Theresa, living at Ellinwood, is the widow of V. S. Musil, and has two sons and two daughters; Mary married Mathias Dick of Ellinwood; the next in age is Peter B.; Henry, a farmer near Ellinwood, married Lena Hermis, and their family consists of three sons and five daughters; Lizzie is the wife of John Luntz, of Belpre, Kansas; Joseph, of Ellinwood, married Mary Ely and has two sons and a daughter; Christina, the youngest of the family, is the wife of John Weber, of Ellinwood, and the mother of three sons and one daughter.
Peter B. Kimpler, who was seventeen years old when be came with his parents to Kansas, was born in Lee County, Illinois, April 3, 1858. In Barton County he continued to attend school in the winter time, and bore a useful hand on the home farm until he was almost twenty-two years old. He then spent several months clerking in V. S. Musil's implement store at Ellinwood, and also clerked in a grocery house there. In the spring of 1880 he became identified with Mr. Musil's business as a road implement salesman, and continued that work six months. Leaving the county he became an employe of the Santa Fe Railway Company in the freight office at Rincon, New Mexico, and was there until the spring of 1882. On his return to Ellinwood he engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, and for almost a quarter of a century that absorbed most of his time and personal attention. He also bought an interest in the local elevator in partnership with Mr. Musil, thus entered the grain business.
In 1900 the Ellinwood Mill and Elevator was built by Kimpler and Kauzer. In 1905 Mr. Kimpler sold his furniture and undertaking business in order to give his full time to the mill. In 1908 he bought his partner's interest in the mill and continued the enterprise alone until 1915. Then the mill plant was reorganized as the Ellinwood Mill and Elevator Company, of which Mr. Kimpler is president and the controlling stockholder. The company has a modern equipped plant with a daily capacity of 400 barrels. The mill grinds Kansas wheat, but its products are shipped over most of the states of the Union and has contributed not a small share of the food which won the war. Besides Mr. Kimpler as president, Louis Hagen is vice president of the company, and Edward L. Smith secretary and treasurer.
In Barton County September 27, 1887, Mr. Kimpler married Miss Lizzie Bockemohle. She was born at Cleveland, Ohio, April 29, 1864, daughter of H. W. Bockemohle, who came from Bremen, Germany. Mrs. Kimpler is the younger of two daughters, her sister being Mrs. August Schrepel of Ellinwood. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Kimpler are P. William, Albert M., Esther, Frank, Emma, Marie and Christina. The oldest son, William, is associated with his father in the mill, and by his marriage to Alice Thomas has two children, Uneda and Vivian. The son Albert is a member of the Seventy-Seventh Engineers with the Expeditionary Forces in France. Frank died while a member of the Students Army Training Corps at the Kansas University.
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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