1912 Biographical History of Barton County, Kansas


OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS 81

ALBERT NICHOLAS MERTEN

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Home of Albert N. Merten

ALBERT NICHOLAS MERTEN was born in Keokuk County, Iowa, May 4, 1864, and came to Barton County with his parents when he was twelve years of age. He is a son of Robert Merten, one of the early settlers in this part of the State of Kansas. The family came to this county in 1876 and since that time have had much to do with the development of the county's resources and the upbuilding of the towns and cities contained within its borders. Mr. Merten was married to Miss Ida A. Coss, October 30, 1895 and they are the parents of four children: Bessie, 16 years; Elsie, 14 years; Maisie, 12 years; Grace, 3 years. Mr. Merten farms three quarter sections in Clarence township and in addition owns another half section in the same township and a quarter in Rush county all of which is being worked by renters. The home place is nicely located, the residence and other buildings being surrounded by shade trees and other foliage which makes it one of the most attractive farm homes in that part of the county. The residence contains ten rooms in addition to the bath, closets and pantries. The barn is well built and contains room for a number of head of live stock. Mr. Merten maintains a good grade of live stock and is an enterprising and progressive farmer. He is one of the many Barton County farmers who took up the work where their parents left off in the developing of the soil and maintaining this county's prestige as one of the most important agricultural sections of the country. Mr. Merten in addition to his private interests has found time to take an active part in the public affairs of his community and has served in the capacity of school board director and has held township offices. He has been actively engaged in farming in this county twenty-seven years and is one of the best known men in this part of the state.


JACOB B. and PETER C. BRACK

ANOTHER prosperous farmer who was born in this county and has seen it grow from a most undesirable place in which to live to one of the best counties in this State of Kansas, is Jacob B. Brack. He was born March 6, 1883 and attended the schools of the county until he began farming for himself. He is the son of Henry U. Brack one of the really old timers of the county. His father was born in Russia and came to Barton County in 1876. He located a homestead which he worked and developed a number of years and is now living in Rush County where he is also engaged in farming. His sons, Jacob and Peter, are among the best known residents of the northwest part of Barton County and are up-to-date and progressive farmers. Jacob was married to Miss Sophia Schiegel of Otis and they are the parents of two children, Arthur, aged 7 years and Harrison, aged one year. He farms over 400 acres of land in Grant township. His home is located ten miles north of Albert. The home contains four rooms and is located in pretty surroundings.

82 BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY

Mr. Brack has been a member of the school board and has also held township offices.

PETER C. BRACK—Another member of the Brack family who is well known in this section of the state is Peter C. Brack. He was married to Lizzie Schiegel of Otis and they are the parents of four children: Floyd, 12 years of age, Hannah, 11 years of age; Edwin, 9 years of age, and Edison, a year and a half old. He occupies a nice home of four rooms north of Albert and is a brother of Jacob Brack and a son of Henry U. Brack, one of the first settlers of that section of the county. He was born April 15, 1879 in this county and is one of the best known young farmers in Barton County. He farms about 400 acres of land, 330 acres of it being his own and the remainder being rented. Both the Brack boys understand farming thoroughly as they were both raised in the business and since they were old enough to take an active part in the affairs of their community they have had a great deal to do with the development of the resources of the county and are enterprising and progressive citizens.


ALFRED L. POWELL

ALFRED L. POWELL was born January 22, 1859, in Peoria County, Illinois, and came to Kansas in 1880. He first located in Jefferson County where he lived for a number of years. Most of the time he was in the threshing business and made his first trip to Barton County in 1900. He did not locate in this county until 1903 and since that time he has done a large part of the threshing work in this part of the state. He was married in 1880 to Miss Lou M. Cahill in Stark County, Illinois and they are the parents of three children: Gertrude, 30 years of age, is now Mrs. E. H. Rulison of Eskridge, Kansas; Frank B., 26 years of age is a resident of the city of Great Bend and is a carpenter by trade; Pearl, 21 years of age, is living at home. Mr. Powell and family occupy a residence at 700 Stone. Mr. Powell's threshing outfits consist of the very best of machinery and his services are in great demand during the harvest season in this and adjoining counties. It was during Mr. Powell's first trip to this county that he decided to make this his future home and he at once made arrangements for the transfer of his machinery, etc., from Jefferson County. Since that time he has been closely identified with the farming interests of Barton County and he has always been an enterprising citizen.


AMOS JOHNSON

ONE of the really old timers of Barton County and one who had a great deal to do with the upbuiiding of Great Bend and the development of the county is the subject of this sketch, Amos Johnson. He was born in Champagne County, Ohio, November 12, 1838. He resided in his native state until 1859 when he went to Texas. He stayed there a year. Then he went to Illinois. He came to Barton County in the month of November, 1875. He purchased a quarter of railroad ,land and took up a homestead in Lakin township. He was actively engaged in the farming business until 1898 when he retired and came to the county seat to live. He has, however, given his personal attention to superintending the work on all his farm land which is now operated by renters. He was married in Clinton, Illinois, in 1860, to Miss Emma Nagley and they are the parents of ten children, nine of whom are living: Charles, 51 years, is farming in Oklahoma; Clearchus, 49 years, is at home; Clarence, 46, resides in Hutchinson; Clay, 44 years, is farming in Gray County; Clyde, 42 years, is farming near Conway Springs; Clara, 40 years, is at home, Clinton, 38, is in the banking business at Ellinwood; Eason, 31 years, is farming on his father's land; Pearl, 29, is living at home, and (Emma who died when she was ten years of age.) Mr. Johnson was a member of the Forty-first Illinois regiment and belonged to Company F. He served three years and twenty days, from August 7, 1861 to August 27, 1864. He took part in the battles of Fort Donaldson, Shiloh and was at Jackson and the Siege of Vicksburg. He is a member of the Pap Thomas Post G. A. R., and was commander of the Post in 1911. Mr. Johnson now owns three quarters in Lakin township and a quarter in Great Bend township all of which is under cultivation. He also owns nine lots in Great Bend and five dwelling houses in addition to his residence which is located at 1814 Broadway. The residence is thoroughly modern and contains ten rooms in addition to bath, closets, pantries, etc. Mr. Johnson spent five years in the mining business in Chaffee County, Colorado and still retains some interests in that state. With all his private business he has found time to take an active part in the affairs of the community in which he lives and has held township offices and served on the school board. He is one of those men who made Barton County from an almost barren wilderness and by development work has made of it one of the best in the State of Kansas. It is to such men as Mr. Johnson who came here in the early days and withstood all the adverse conditions with which the old timers had to contend that this county owes its high place among the best agricultural sections of the entire country.

OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS 83

GUSTAVTUS A. WOODBURN

GUSTAVUS A. WOODBURN was born February 23, 1847, in La Porte, County, Indiana. He arrived in Barton County April 20, 1886. Soon after his arrival he took up the occupation of farming and is one of those men who came here at a time when the county was in need of enterprising men, and men who could take the good years with the bad and continue to develop the soil to its present high state of productiveness. He was married August 13, 1867 to Miss Emma J. Harriott of La Porte County, Indiana. They are the parents of four children, three of whom are living. (George, 25 years of age died in 1893;) Jessie, 40 years of age, is now Mrs. Fred Wells of Comanche County; Ida, 39 years of age is now Mrs. G. W. Durand of Eureka township, this county, and Joseph C., 37 years of age, superintends the work on the home place. The home place consists of the northwest quarter of section 29, and the north half of the southwest quarter of 29 in South Homestead township. The elder Mr. Woodburn retired in 1909 and now resides in Hoisington. He spends part of the time on the home place which contains a good set of improvements. The residence contains five rooms, closets, etc., while the barn is 32 by 36. The buildings are surrounded by shade and fruit trees and it is a most desirable country home. Joseph C. was married in March, 1897 to Miss Gertrude King and they are the parents of seven children: Gustavus, 14; Mildred, 13; Bailey, 11, Ruth, 10; Daisy, 9; Cecil, 6 and Delbert 3 years of age. All the children are at home and are being educated in the schools of the county. Mr. Woodhurn is an engineer on the Missouri Pacific Railroad but spends all the spare time on the home place. The Woodburn family is well known in all parts of the county and Joseph C. and his father have had a great deal to do with the development of the county's resources and have helped to make it one of the best in the State of Kansas.


JOSEPH SCHNEIDER

ONE of the best known men in Barton County, and one of the men who have had so much to do with the development of the northwestern part of the county is Joseph Schneider, who landed in this county with his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. John Schneider, in a blizzard, April 20, 1875. He was born in Austria March 19, 1865, but left his native country when he was ten years of age. The family consisted of the parents and five children besides Joseph. On their arrival in Barton County his father took up a homestead two and one-half miles north and east of Albert. Joseph Schneider has always been a progressive and enterprising citizen and now owns 2,280 acres of land in the county. He farms three quarters of land himself and the remainder is rented. He is president of the Farmers State Bank of Albert and is well known in the financial life of the county. He was married in 1889 to Miss Theresa Kober of this county and they are the parents of seven children as follows: Joseph, 22 years of age; Bernard, 20 years of age; Mary, 18 years of age; Leonard, 16 years of age; Francis, 14 years of age; Irwin, 12 years of age and Lottie, 6 years of age. All the children are at home and are being educated in the schools of the county. Mr. Schneider's home place is one of the best developed and most modernly improved to be found in that part of the county.

The residence is well built and substantial, and contains nine rooms in addition to the bath, closets, pantries, etc. The barn is 46 by 56 feet in dimensions and it like all the many buildings on the place is built especially for the purposes for which they are used. Mr. Schneider has always maintained on his farm a good grade of live stock, both horses and cattle. With all his private interests he has found time to take an active part in the affairs of his township and has been on the school board, has been township clerk and trustee and is known as a good citizen. Mr. Schneider has taken a large part in the work of developing his part of Barton County and he came here at a time when it required men of experience and enterprise to develop this county into one of the best in the State of Kansas.


SAMUEL GIBSON YEO

SAMUEL GIBSON YEO was born July 19, 1848, in Guernsey County, Ohio. He was born and raised on a farm and has followed this occupation all of his life. He remained in his home state twenty-five years after which he went to Iowa where he resided for one year. Then he went to Wisconsin and spent eight years and from that state came to Kansas in 1888. He first located a claim in Sheridan County and stayed there for six years and then came to Barton County where he rented a farm near Claflin, later buying land which now comprises his home place in Liberty township where he owns one-half of section 12. All of this land is under cultivaticn and is being farmed by Mr. Yeo. He was married in 1886 to Miss Katie Dew at Fairfield, Iowa. They are the parents of four children: Maud, 32 years of age, is now Mrs. A. J. O'Blenness of Kinsley, Kansas; Clyde, 30 years of age, is married and lives near his parents and is engaged in the farming busi-

84 BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY

ness; Earnest, 26 years of age who resides at home and George, 25 years old, is farming in Stafford County near Seward. Mr. Yeo's home place is well equipped with buildings and all the necessary machinery and live stock for successful farming. He makes a specialty of raising and breeding short horn cattle and maintains a flock of fancy Buff Cochin chickens. The residence on the home place consists of seven rooms in addition to the pantries, closets, etc. The barn is ample for all the needs of the farm being 45 by 60 feet in dimensions. Mr. Yeo is a practical farmer having been engaged in this line of work all of his life. Mr. Yeo farms according to modern methods and is one of the successful farmers who have done so much to develop that part of the county lying south of the river from the city of Great Bend.


JOHN EDWARD COSS

JOHN EDWARD Coss was born in Lucas County, Iowa, in 1866. He came to Barton County with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Coss. He is one of four children born to this pioneer family, the others being Molly, Clarke B. and Blanche J. Miss Molly married D. E. Freyburger, a well known resident of this county who died in November, 1901. She is now Mrs. Walter Speck of Chicago; Clarke B. is president of the Heizer State Bank and one of the prominent business men of the county; Blanche J. is now Mrs. F. A. Garrett and they reside on the family homestead in Clarence township it being the northeast quarter of cection[sic] 12. The estate also owns another half section in this township. John was married to Miss Clara Bell in this county in 1899 and they are the parents of two children; Lester, aged 9 and Ruth, aged 7 years. John Edward Coss is one of the best known business men in that part of Barton County he having been engaged in the mercantile business in Heizer at different times during the past thirteen years. He bought his present business last July and he and his partner, J. E. Turner, now have one of the best stocks of general merchandise to be found in any small town in this part of the state. The Coss family came to Barton County in June, '74, and the elder Coss who died April 28, 1911, had a great deal to do with the early history of the county and was one of its best known citizens. He with the other pioneers began the work that the present generation is continuing and his name will always be remembered by the old timers and read with reverence by younger people in years to come. They will read of him with other men to whom Barton County owes its high standing among the best counties of the state of Kansas and among the leading agricultural sections of the world.


JOHN FRANK BALES

JOHN FRANK BALES, or Colonel John Bales as he is better known, was born in Green County, Tennessee, April 18, 1876, and went with his parents to Missouri when he was four years of age. He remained there until 1900 when he came to Barton County, Kansas, where he has since resided and taken an active part in the development of the county's resources. He owns 320 acres of land in section 6, Great Bend township and farms a section and a half in that part of the county, and for the past several years has made a specialty of buying and selling cattle. It is doubtful if there are a dozen farmers in Barton County who do not know John Bales personally because whenever there has been a public sale of any nature during the past four years, almost invariably his name will be found on the sale bills. In this profession Mr. Bales has earned more than an ordinary reputation. His keen business sense, his knowledge of values on all goods he is called upon to sell, and his belief in a square deal have all contributed to his success in this line of work. As an auctioneer there is no man who is better or more favorably known in this section of the state than Mr. Bales. His home place has a good set of improvements including a five room residence, a barn 72 by 42 feet in dimensions and all other necessary outbuildings. Mr. Bales was married in 1905 to Miss Dora Kay of Coffeyville, Kansas, and they have one bright little girl, Ruth, three years of age, and another, Helen, who at this writing is eight months old. Mrs. Bales is a native of this county, having been born south of the river. Mr. Bales has always been among the most active residents of the county in its development and making of it one of the best in the State of Kansas and placing it among the most productive in the entire county.


JOHN BERSCHEIDT, Jr.

JOHN BERSCHEIDT, JR., was born in Aurora, Illinois, October 1, 1873, and came to Barton County with his parents when he was four years of age. The family located near Claflin in Logan township and John, Sr., at once took up the occupation of farming. He was one of the really old timers of this part of the state and had a great deal to do with the development of the soil and reclaiming this part of Kansas from the Indians

OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS 85

and buffaloes. John, Jr., attended the schools in this county and began farming for himself in 1906. He was married in Ellinwood in 1910, to Mrs. Lizzie Weisburg. At the time of their wedding Mrs. Weisburg had one child, Mamie who is now fifteen years of age and she and Mr. Berscheidt are the parents of one child, John, Jr., who is five months of age and makes the third John in the Berschetdt family. Mr. and Mrs. Berscheidt own the home place, 160 acres about 1-1/2 miles west of Ellinwood and 380 acres one mile west of there. The home place is farmed by Mr. Berscheidt while the remainder of the land is rented. The residence which is thoroughly modern and one of the neatest in that section of the county contains 9 rooms with a bath and all the necessary closets, etc. The barn, 30 by 38 feet is ample to take care of the stock used by Mr. Berscheidt in his farming operations. They have lived on this place a little more than one year and are improving it in such a way that it will be one of the most attractive places in the county in a very few years. Fine shade trees have been set out, many of them being of the fruit bearing variety. Mr. Berscheidt is experimenting with irrigation methods and has a fine pumping plant on his place and if the writer is not mistaken he will open a new era in farming methods in this county providing the water supply is ample to carry on the experiments he has in mind.


NICHOLAS WILLIAM KLEPPER

NICHOLAS WILLIAM KLEPPER was born in Germany, December 24, 1851, and came to America with his parents when he was 12 years of age. The family located at Aurora, Illinois, where they remained until 1878 when they came to Barton county and at once took up the occupation of farming. Mr. Klepper has been a most successful farmer and helped in no small way in the work of developing that section of the county that is adjacent to Ellinwood where Mr. Klepper now lives in a fine modern residence. Mr. Klepper now owns thirteen quarter sections of land in Barton County and a half section in Ford County. All the Barton County land is being farmed by renters, Mr. Klepper having retired in 1905. He was married in 1872 to Miss Mary Madenach in Aurora, Illinois, and they are the parents of seven children as follows: Lizzie, 36 years of age, is now Mrs. John Schwartz, residing in this county; Mary, 34 years is Mrs. Peter Schwartz, residing south of the river in this county; Peter, 31 years of age, is farming near Ellinwood; Anna, 29 years of age, is now Mrs. Henry Webber of Ellsworth County; John, 24 years of age, is farming in this county; Maggie, 22 years of age, is Mrs. Edward Patz of this county; and Frank, 30 years of age, is now attending Bethany College at Lindsborg, Kansas. Mr. Klepper has always found time to take an active part in the public affairs of the county although he has always been a busy man. He served his district on the board of county commissioners for six years and made a record of which he and his friends may well feel proud. He has always been a sound, substantial citizen and is one of the best known men in Barton County. Their home place in Ellinwood is thoroughly modern in every way and is one of the most beautifully surrounded residences in the town.


PAUL SCHMIDT

ONE of the best known men of Barton County and one who has had a great deal to do with developing its resources and making of it one of the most important counties of the state is the subject of this sketch, Paul Schmidt. He was born in Germany in 1864 and came to this county when he was twenty years old. He came direct to Barton County and at once took up the occupation of farming which he has followed for twenty-eight years. By using the best methods and giving his personal attention to the supervision of all work on his land he has been most successful and during the present year he decided to move to town and remain. However, Mr. Schmidt is and always has been an active man and the call of the farm was too strong for him to withstand and after a short time in town he moved back to his place which is located about six miles north of Great Bend. Mr. Schmidt was married in 1890 to Miss Anna Bloomer of Claflin. They are the parents of four children: Peter, 19 years of age, is in Salt Lake City; Katie, 18 years of age, is now Mrs. John Ehlers; James, 16 and John 14, are living at home. Mr. Schmidt's home place contains ten rooms besides bath, closets, pantries, etc. The barn is 32 by 48 feet in dimensions and it as well as all the buildings on the home place are well built and commodious. A fine orchard is found on the home place. It occupies about two acres of land and produces all varieties of fruits common to this part of the country. Mr. Schmidt is an enterprising and progressive citizen and one who has had a great deal to do with the development of Barton's resources and making of this county one of the best in the State of Kansas.

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Transcribed from Biographical history of Barton County, Kansas. ; Illustrated. Published by Great Bend Tribune, Great Bend, KS : 1912. 318 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, July 2006.


Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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