HENRY WESTERMAN. Forty years ago when Henry Westerman first identified himself with Smith County he was known among a limited number of people as a good worker and a man of considerable farming experience, but it has been as a result of his activities largely in this section of Kansas that his progress has brought him his position as a prominent banker, grain merchant, elevator owner and one of the extensive land holders of Northern and Western Kansas. He is now president of the First National Bank of Kensington.
Mr. Westerman was born at Buffalo, New York, March 21, 1853. His father, Henry Westerman, Sr., was born in Germany, in 1829, was reared and educated there, but at the age of eighteen, in order to avoid military service, left his native land and coming to the United States lived at Buffalo, New York, for several years. While there he worked at the trade of barber. In 1860 he moved to Lee County, Iowa, where the rest of his life was spent as a farmer. He died in that county in 1908, when nearly eighty years of age. He was a republican, an Odd Fellow and a member of the Lutheran Church.
Henry Westerman, Sr., married Ricka Lindauer, who also died in Lee County, Iowa. Henry was their oldest child, the others being noted as follows: George, a farmer north of Kensington, Kansas; Carrie, who is now in South Africa; Maggie, wife of Michael Trump, a farmer near Kensington; Minnie, who is unmarried and lives on the old farm in Lee County, Iowa; John, who died at the age of twenty-four in Lee County; Fred, who was in business in Las Vegas, New Mexico, when he died, in 1915; and William, who is on the old home farm in Lee County with his sister Minnie.
Henry Westerman was seven years of age when his parents moved out to Iowa, and he secured his educational advantages in Lee County. He lived on his father's farm until 1878, and in that year came to Smith County, Kansas, and for nearly ten years farmed in this vicinity. In 1887 he removed to Franklin, Nebraska, and was in the milling business there for four or five years. On returning to Smith County in 1892 he resumed farming, but since 1900 his interests have been chiefly in the grain business though many other affairs have required his time and ability. Only recently he sold five of his chain of elevators in different parts of Kansas and Nebraska and he still owns elevators at Kensington and Selden, Kansas. During the last fifteen or twenty years he has been the medium through which hundreds of carloads of grain raised in Northern Kansas have reached market.
As a land owner Mr. Westerman has 8,000 acres in Sheridan, Decatur, Rawlins, Greeley and Norton counties, besides tracts in Sherman and Smith counties and 560 acres in Phillips County. He is not only a large grain buyer but raises grain on a large scale himself.
For the past ten years Mr. Westerman has had an active part in the affairs of the First National Bank of Kensington as a director on its board and in 1916 he was elected president of the bank. This bank was established under a state charter in 1887, but, for many years has been a national bank. The officers are Henry Westerman, president, and Harvey Rice, vice president. The bank has a capital of $25.000 and surplus of $15,000.
Mr. Westerman is a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Kensington, is affiliated with Kensington Lodge No. 409, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his bank is a member of the American Bankers' Association.
In 1886, in Smith County, Mr. Westerman married Miss Stella Burns, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Burns, both now deceased. Mr. Burns was a Scotchman and a farmer and his wife was Miss Jestow Ann Osborn. Mr. and Mrs. Westerman had three children: John, who was a practical farmer, married Maud Smith. He was also a grain dealer and he died in 1916 at Selden, Kansas, at the age of thirty-two. William, a graduate of the Kensington High School, is in the grain business at Rexford, Kansas. He married Mabel Morley. Bertha is the wife of E. C. Wolfe, who is a farmer and is in the grain and elevator business at Kensington.
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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