LEE WILSON KRIEGER, who died in April, 1911, was one of the sturdy pioneers of Pawnee County, where he located in 1874. In the years that followed he had practically every experience and hardship that falls to the lot of the pioneer, and his life was not without substantial benefit and influence upon the community around him. It is to such men as Lee Wilson Krieger that Western Kansas owes much of its present prosperity.
He was born in Lee County, Iowa, December 1, 1849, a son of John Krieger, who was a native of Germany. John Krieger spent many years of his life as a farmer in Lee County, Iowa, where he died. His children were Alexander, Lawrence, Lee W., Lyde, George, Harvey. Lyde married J. L. Talbott, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The only members of the family to come to Kansas were Lee W. and Harvey.
Lee W. Krieger had a farm environment when a boy and received a country school education. The death of his father at a comparatively early age forced Lee to become dependent upon his own exertions and he also contributed to the support of his mother and the household. One of his brothers entered the Union army and served throughout the war. Lee Wilson was too young to become a soldier. When he came to Kansas in 1874 he accompanied Lee Miller, making the trip by rail. He arrived in Pawnee County with about $7 in cash, and his fortunes thereafter had to depend upon his individual toil and enterprise. In the fall of 1874 he cut wood in Kansas City as a means of earning a living. In Pawnee County he homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 26, township 20, range 17. His first home was a one-room shanty, which sheltered him for a number of years. He came to Kansas when still a single man. In the early days farming included the raising of wheat, corn and broom corn. Without detailing the maneuvers to which he resorted to get his first team and first cow, it is sufficient to say that he saw all the lean years and suffered all the hardships that were common to the other settlers. As years passed he devoted much of his land to the raising of wheat, and also became a cattle man on a small scale. Before his death he had accumulated a section of land and had improved it to the condition it now represents. He was also clerk of School District No. 11, was treasurer of Ash Valley Township, was a republican in politics and a member in good standing of the Odd Follows Lodge. He belonged to no church.
Lee W. Krieger was married in Pawnee County September 8, 1878, to Miss Ruth Scott. Her father, John Scott, was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1832 and was the only member of his family to come to America. His early circumstances were such that he was never able to attend school and learned to read and write entirely by his own initiative. He was married in England to Sarah Bontoft, and after the birth of one child they came to America and landed at Quebec, Canada, and from there went to Hancock County, Illinois. Later they removed to Iowa, and in Lee County, where he followed tenant farming, Mrs. Krieger was born. In 1874 John Scott brought his family from Lee County, Iowa, to Pawnee County, Kansas. He brought with him several cows, four teams and other equipment. He homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 2, township 21, range 16. As his pioneer home he built a frame structure a story and a half, containing five rooms. He proved up his homestead and lived on it twenty years. In 1874 he endured the scourge of grasshoppers which destroyed all the corn in this section, and the following years the hoppers were almost as numerous, but the Scott family raised a good wheat crop, as they did in the three successive years. There was a total failure in 1879 over this entire region of Kansas. The Scott family weathered the misfortune as well as the fortunes, and in the course of years acquired a substantial foothold in the county. John Scott helped organize and was a member of the first school board of District No. 7. He was afterwards honored with election as county treasurer, but seeing his inability to handle the office because of lack of education he resigned. The fact that he succeeded well in life without an education did not blind him to the need of such culture and he saw to it that his children were liberally provided with school advantages. He was a republican, and while a member of no church he supported such causes. He finally retired from his farm and moved to Larned, where he died in 1905, his wife passing away in 1909, at the age of seventy-six. The children of Mr. and Mrs. John Scott were: Luke, of Eugene, Oregon; Naomi, wife of Henry Bower, of the same place; Esther, who married R. E. Cummins and died in St. Louis; Ruth, Mrs. Krieger; Abraham L., of Larned Township; John, of Los Angeles, California; and Sarah, wife of D. Crane, of Larned.
The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Lee W. Krieger were: Bert, of Fort Collins, Colorado; Harvey L.; Fay, of Larned, and John.
Harvey L. Krieger is a native of Pawnee County, having been born February 25, 1888, on the tree claim of his father. He grew up in this locality, attended country schools, and with the exception of six years in Larned has always lived on his farm. As a farmer his enterprise has been largely directed to the growing of wheat. His best yield of that cereal was twenty-six bushels to the acre in 1914, in which year he harvested the yield from 400 acres.
He has also been a factor in local affairs, being now clerk of School District No. 11 and clerk of Ash Valley Township, his father before him having likewise filled these offices. Mr. Krieger cast his first presidential vote for Mr. Taft in 1912. In Masonry he is affiliated with Larned Lodge No. 167 and also belongs to the Royal Arch Chapter and the Knights Templar Commandery.
On June 1, 1913, he married Miss Etelka Reed. Mrs. Kreiger was born August 13, 1885, and the other two children of her parents are Vern, Mrs. Ed Frizzell and Marvin. Her parents were Eugene and Nora (Day) Reed, who a few years ago came from Taylorville, Illinois, to Pawnee County, Mr. Reed being a harnessmaker. Mr. and Mrs. Krieger have one son, Jack.
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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