FERDINAND A. SHINOGLE. It will be recalled that Meade County was formally organized in November, 1885, and it was in the same year that the first towns came into existence, including West Plains, now called simply Plains, Meade, the county seat, which was established in May, 1885, and Fowler, which formerly went under the name Gilbert.
These facts are mentioned to indicate the standing Ferdinand A. Shinogle, now of Plains, Kansas, has as an early settler and pioneer. It was on September 22, 1884, that he filed on a tree claim and a homestead in the west half of section 24, township 33, range 30. That one parcel of land has constituted his home place and the center of his laborious activities ever since.
Mr. Shinogle was not the first settler here, though there are a few others to share the honor with him. Among these who had already begun to accommodate themselves to the country when he came were R. R. Singley, Thomas Novinger, B. F. Bisbee and A. V. Angell, all of whom are still residents here. Mr. Shinogle helped organize Meade County and also the school district in his locality and was one of the first members of the school board. He was also a member of West Plains Township Board as treasurer.
One of the distinctive facts about Mr. Shinogle's career in Western Kansas is that though he was face to face with all the hardships and difficulties of existence here in the early days he never was obliged to mortgage his land, and he has never yet given a note as an obligation demanding future payment. It has been his steady resolution throughout to keep clear of debt, and in that laudable ambition he has succeeded beyond most men who have been identified with Kansas soil and affairs during the past thirty years.
Mr. Shinogle has been a resident of America since early youth. He was born near Danzig, Germany, May 1, 1853, a son of Fred and Flora (Kirschnik) Shinogle, and his parents on coming to America first located in Detroit, Michigan, where Ferdinand spent some years and from there moved to Livingston County, Missouri, and in that somewhat backwoods district Ferdinand Shinogle came to man's estate. He had a public school education and much of his earlier years were spent on a farm. Both his parents died in Livingston County, Missouri. Their children were: Ferdinand A.; Gus, of Centerville, Iowa; Tressie, wife of Abe Wilson, of Kansas City; Emma and Annie, both of whom died in childhood.
Ferdinand Shinogle was thirty-one years old when he came to Kansas, was unmarried, and a farmer of considerable experience. He shipped a carload of goods from Livingston County, Missouri, to Cimarron, Kansas, bringing with him a team, wagon, plow and a few other implements and $75 in cash. By the time he had his first humble shelter constructed he had practically used up all the surplus and he supported himself for a time by breaking sod on tree claims. The first year he raised a good crop of corn and cane, and repeated the process the following year. Since then he has never failed to raise feed enough for his stock through the winter. He was also one of the early men to try wheat and for the first few years his crops were profitable. Gradually the country and the climate seemed to get drier, with more failures, and finally he abandoned wheat growing altogether and took up cattle instead.
Mr. Shinogle made his start in the cattle business with a single cow, bought on time. When he married his wife owned a cow, and these two were the opening wedge of his experience as a cattle man. He followed the policy of exchanging his steer calves for heifers, and thus his herd rapidly increased until at one time he had 175 grazing over the free range. When the settlers began returning to this country the free range was cut off and that caused him to curtail his stock and he now confines his pasturage to three quarter sections of land under his ownership. In addition to his tree claim and homestead he bought another quarter section about eight years after he came to Kansas. Of his land he has 140 acres under cultivation.
His pioneer home was merely a board box 12 by 12 feet. He lived in it one year without a floor. As already stated, he ran out of money before completing the home and it had nothing but a plain board roof. At the end of six years he was able to build an addition and still later moved it all away and a comfortable six room cottage now occupies the site and accommodates his family. His first barn was of sod covered with cane stalks. This he used for seven years and then made the beginning on the present commodious barn for horses and stock occupying ground dimensions 68 by 40 feet, with room for fifteen tons of hay and outside quarters for 1,500 bushels of grain.
It will be interesting to note Mr. Shinogle's efforts at tree growing. A number of years ago he set out some peach and cherry trees and almost every year he has some of those fruits for home use. He also tried apples, but apple trees apparently have not the stamina for this climate and are too much a prey for the borers. The only business interests he has away from his farm are as a stockholder in the Equity Elevator at Plains. Mr. Shinogle is a republican voter and is a member of no church.
In Meade County January 2, 1890, he married Miss Lizzie Schonlau, daughter of Frank Schonlau. Her father, a native of Germany, married after coming to this country, lived a time in Iowa, and from there came to Sedgwick County, Kansas, and afterwards pioneered in Meade County. He died in Beaver County, Oklahoma. The Schonlau children were: John, Mrs. Shinogle, Henry, Philip, Tony, Christ, Charles and Barbara, who married Joseph Beeler. Mrs. Shinogle was born in Iowa August 18, 1863. The three children of Mr. and Mrs. Shinogle are Annie, Emma and Gus. Annie is the wife of John Ballard, of Meade County and has a daughter, Irene and a son, Woodrow.
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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