|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||171|
On December 26, 1866, at the age of twenty-two she married Paul Francis Schneck, at Florence, Michigan. She is the mother of nine children, six of whom are living: Mrs. James McDonald, six miles south of Stafford; Mrs. Lizzie Ruble, Great Bend; Mrs. Rosa Belle Land, Great Bend; Frank Schneck, farmer of near Larned; Bertie Lougee Schneck, farmer on home place and Miss Emma J. Schneck.
Early in 1867 Mr. and Mrs. Schneck left Michigan for Quincy, Illinois, where they made their home for five years, or until August, 1871 when they came to the newly located town of Great Bend. They came overland in a wagon drawn by mules, and were accompanied by their three children, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis P. Frey and Thompson Frey. The homestead located by them is four miles northwest of the court house, is a part of their present well tilled farm, and is very fertile.
The Home of Peter J. Deckert
THE life story of Peter J. Deckert of "Silver Medal Farm," three miles north of Pawnee Rock if told in any other state or county would read like fiction. He was born April 8, 1872, in Russian Poland, and his father died shortly afterwards. In the spring of 1874 his mother was married to Peter H. Dirks now living in Liberty township and with them he came to the United States and Barton County, Kansas, in the spring of 1875. They at first were members of the Mennonite Colony which settled near Dundee, but in 1877 the step-father purchased a home near the western border of the county and it was there that young Peter grew to manhood on the farm, and received his education in the schools of that district. At an early age he learned the value of money and how to save it by passing through the hard times that followed, or really only began in 1893 when he had reached the age of twenty-one. There had been hard periods previous to that time but for four years there were almost complete crop failures and when in 1897 the good crops came Mr. Deckert had learned the lesson that was necessary to make him the practical farmer and prudent business man that he is today. Two good crops enabled him to marry and purchase a quarter section of land and from that date he began to accumulate and lay the foundation for his present prosperity. Today he owns four hundred acres of the finest agricultural land in Pawnee Rock township and he has it in the beet possible state of cultivation. His home is a three story frame with thirteen large airy rooms. It is well and modernly furnished, beautifully painted and surrounded by a grass plot in which there are set numerous trees, shrubs and plants. The barn is 30 by 46 and has a large hay loft and stall for all stock in use on the farm. There is a good granary, machinery shed and the other necessary outbuildings, and three good windmills. There is also another two story, eight room tenant house with a good barn 40 by 60 with machine sheds and other buildings and this is occupied by his farm help. In the front is a blue grass plot and a number of evergreens. Peter T. Deckert and Miss Susan Ratzlaff of Pawnee Rock township were married November 9, 1898, and they have been blessed with the following childrcn: Lyndon, 12; Erben, 9; Otto, 7; Arbin, 4; Louise, 2, and Ivan, an infant of two months, at this writing.
Palatial Home of William Varnum Adams
WILLIAM VARNUM ADAMS was born in Armstrong County, Pa., July 22, 1866He resided in his native state until 1904, at which time he came to Barton County, Kansas. He located on land south of the river which was purchased by his father, Captain James Adams, from D. N. Heizer, in 1884, in South Bend township, four miles south of the city of Great Bend and began the building of a home. How well he has succeeded is evidenced by the fine improvements to be found there. This land which consists of 200 acres, is located in section 21, township 20, range 13. His residence which has recently been finished consists of two stories with eleven rooms, exclusive of the garret and basement. It is built according to plans made by Mr. Adams and is one of the best arranged homes to be found in Burton County. The front and half of the south and north sides of the building are enclosed by a cement floored porch with a roof like the roof on the building proper and known as a sweep design. The interior of the building is finished in stucco ceilings and walls, with the wood work stained a light oak shade. The parlor and dining room open one into the other with a wide passage way on either side of which are heavy pillars. The kitchen and other rooms are well supplied with closets and pantries. On the upper floor are found the bed rooms, bath room and billiard room all of them being finished in keeping with the lower floor. The lower rooms are furnished with leather upholstered furniture of modern design and altogether Mr. Adams has a home of which he should be proud. The barn which is 32 by 40 with a loft capable of containing a great amount of hay is equipped with automotic lifts, has a cement floor and stall room for all the animals that Mr. Adams needs in his business. There are two large granaries and all the other outbuildings needed to make a thoroughly equipped farm. The place is equipped with an individual electric lighting plant, pressure water system and the live stock maintained by Mr. Adams while not of the thoroughbred or fancy kind is ample for all needs. Mr. Adams was married in 1891 in Kittaning, Armstrong County, Pa., to Mia Allie Phillips. They are the parents of five children: Frank, 20 years of age; George, 19 years of age; Willis, 17 years of age; John, 15 years of age; Hazel, 12 years. All the children are at home and are being educated in the schools of Barton County. Mr. Adams has been a most successful farmer as he farms according to modern methods and to this fact and that he has taken the good years with the bad and made an average of them, without being discouraged he owes his success.
OF the men who came to Barton County in the early days, at a time when Indians and buffaloes disputed the encroachment of the white man, on what they considered their sole territory, none is better or more favorably known than J. W. Soderstrom. He was born in Altoona, Knox County, Illinois, in 1859, and came to Kansas with his par-
|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||173|
J. W. Soderstrom
entsJohn Olaf, and Mrs. Louisa Soderstrom, in 1878, when he was eighteen years of age. The elder Soderstrom purchased land in Osage County, just west of the Osage Indian reservation and J. W. remained there for ten years, spending part of the time on the farm and the remainder of the time he was following his trade of carpenter in different parts of that section of the state. He came to Barton County in 1887, and bought land one and a half miles north of Hoisington. He remained on this farm for eight years and then moved to the town of Hoislngton and in the fall of 1902 was elected to the office of county treasurer. He came to Great Bend in 1903 to assume the duties of this office and has remained here since that time. He served this term and gave way to Frank Millard who served two terms and he in turn retired in in 1908 in favor of Mr. Soderstrom who was again elected in 1907. He was re-elected in 1910 and is now finishing his second successive term. Mr. Soderstrom has always taken an active part in public affairs and in addition to the office he now holds he has been a member of the school board at district No. 97, a member of the council in Hoisington and in 1908 was deputy assessor in Great Bend. Mr. Soderstrom is the father of three children: Frank A., twenty-six years old, assistant cashier of the Peoples State Bank of Hoisington; Elma B, who graduated from the State University in 1905 and is now teaching in the schools of Hoisington; Winnie, fifteen years of age, a pupil in the Great Bend High school. Mr. Soderstorm is a member of the Great Bend lodge of Elks, the A. O. U. W. and wears a "25" year emblem of the Odd Fellows, having been a member of this order for twenty-seven years. In all his work for the public Mr. Soderstrom has always given his best efforts from the time he was township clerk and trustee, to his present position as one of the most important officers of the county. His recollections of the early days would make a volume inasmuch as he was here at a time when the development of the county was just beginning and he has seen it grow from almost a barren waste to its present high state of cultivation and standing among the counties of the state. During all this time he has always been found with the progressive and public spirited element and has been a sound, substantial citizen.
GEORGE LEWIS BESSLER was born in Germany in 1876 and with his parents came to America in 1882. His parents located at Toledo, Ohio, where George went to school. In 1898 when the war with Spain was declared he enlisted in the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and he was with his company in Cuba. He served thirteen months in the army and upon his discharge returned to Toledo where he remained a short time before going to New York where he accepted a position as steward on one of the big ocean liners. He followed this business for three years after which he again returned to his home town, Toledo, and from there came to Barton County in 1904 during the harvest season. He accepted a position with the E. R. Moses Mercantile Co. and was connected with this firm utnil 1908. He then took up the occupation of farming which he followed for two years at the end of which time he again entered the mercantile business and at the time of this writing is preparing to open a modern second hand store where he will also carry a good stock of new furniture. His business is located in the Cook Building on the east side of the public square. Mr. Bessler is an enterprising and progressive citizen and finds time to take a deep interest in the public affairs of the community in which he lives and in all public matters is found with the progressive element.
WILSON M. ZIEBER was born November 14, 1859 at Philadelphia, Pa. He remained in the Quaker State until he was twenty years of age, and received his early education there. He entered what is now known as the North Indiana University where he was a student for two years. He came to Harvey County, Kansas, in 1882, and taught in the
Home and Farm of Wilson M. Zieber
schools of that county for two years. From there he moved to Barton County in 1884 and engaged in the nursery business, traveling all over this section of the country supplying the farmers with nursery products. Realizing the necessity for a first class nursery in the county, he purchased the business of William Bester located a short distance east of Pawne Rock. He immediately made a number of improvements and as his business grew in volume it became necessary for him to have more land. In 1891 he bought eighty acres one mile and a half northeast of Pawnee Rock, and in 1893 added another eighty acres adjoining. This nursery is now recognized as the leader in this line of business in this section of the country and its products are shipped to all parts of the Great Southwest. Mr. Zieber carries a fine line of trees and shrubs as well as flowers and plants and makes a specialty of Maple and Elm trees. In addition to the land mentioned above Mr. Zieber owns three quarter sections of land in Barton County and 160 acres in Ness County. He was married in November, 1890, to Miss Armeta Miller and they are the parents of eight children: Lester, 20 years; Gertrure E., 18 years; George A., 17 years; Warren M., 16 years; Eva A., 14; Mary L., 12 years; Katheryn J., 6 years; Florence V., 4 years. All of these are living at home; Lester being at home when he is not attending the Agricultural College at Manhattan where he is now a student. Mr. Zieber has had a great deal of experience in the nursery business and the products from his establishment are known in all parts of this and surrounding states where the best in trees, flowers and shrubbery are appreciated. His home place is located a short distance east of Pawnee Rock.
THE "J. R. Ewing Thoroughbred Stock and Alfalfa Farm," which is located eleven miles west of Great Bend, covers four hundred acres of the choicest of Barton County's tillable land and is all that its name implies. Its owner, James R. Ewing, is a fancier of thoroughbreds, and his specialties are Black and Gray Percheron horses, Shorthorn Cattle, Big Boned English Berkshire hogs and Rhode Island Red chickens. The house is a two story frame with eleven rooms; the barn 40x64; the poultry house large and modern, and there is an autcmobile garage, windmills and numerous outbuildings. The farm is set in corn, wheat and forage crops, and a goodly portion in alfalfa and native grasses. In fact it has been planned for a breeding farm and has the necessary appurtenances. On it at this time is "Kansas King," a thoroughbred registered Black Percheron stallion and eleven registered brood mares of the same breed. Two of these mares are said to be worth above $1,000 each, and the value of "Kansas King" has not been fixed as he is not yet two years old and is said to be one of the largest colts ever bred in the county. "Deering Archer," a thoroughbred Shorthorn bull, and six Shorthorn cowsall from imported stock. A herd of Big Boned English Berkshire hogs and a flock of Rhode Island Red
|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||175|
Home of James R. Ewing
chickens. These animals have been bred for sale from sires imported at great cost, with a view to bettering the stock of the county, and are the result of many years of effort, and Mr. Ewing deserves much credit for being the pioneer in his line.
James R. Ewing was born February 10th, 1840, in Crawford County, Pa., but in 1857 moved to Webster County, Iowa, where he engaged in farming. On July 14th, 1861, he was married to Miss Hannah Elizabeth Cline, of that county, and they have four children: David A., Fred H. and Harve Ewing, all farming in Barton County, and Mrs. Blanche Nairn of Pawnee County. On August 22nd, 1862, he entered the United States army as a private in Co. I, 32nd Iowa Volunteers and served during the remainder of the civil war. He was in eight general engagements, many skirmishes, and was at one time for thirty-one days under fire; but escaped with a scratch across the forehead, a grazed arm, and a hat shot from his head. He faced Price, Marmaduke, Bee and Dwight at the battles of Ft. DeRusa, Pleasant Hill, Mansfield, Old Oaks, Lake Checot, Mineral Point, Big Blue and Nashville, and was at the taking of Ft. Blakeny, Ala., on the 14th day of April, 1865. After the close of the war he returned to his home in Iowa and took up farming again until coming to Barton County on November 13th, 1885, when be bought a section of land where he now resides. Although about seventy-two he is well preserved and actively engaged every working day, and drives his automobile as recklessly as the younger generation. Mrs. Ewing is also a well preserved lady, and has been a true helpmate for her energetic husband. She can yet attend to her household work and assist out of doors, and is very proud to do so.
TWENTY-EIGHT years ago this spring Henry Essmiller was employed by Fritz Hagleman as a farm hand to labor on the farm which he now owns and inhabits is his home at the meager wage of $150 per annum. Ten years later, in 1893he purchased the farm, and today is the owner of thirteen hundred and forty acres, located as follows: The home place, seven and one-half miles west of Great Bend, contains three hundred and eighty acres; one hundred and sixty in a nearby section; an eighty acre tract, and a two hundred and forty acre tract near Heizer, and four hundred and eighty acres near Rozel in Pawnee County. These various tracts are all well improved and in a high state of cultivation. The soil is rich and these are choice farms, selected for their productiveness from the best body of lands in the entire State of Kansas. Besides this Mr. Essmiller has other investments of considerable magnitude and some money drawing a good rate of interest.
When the family home, barns and various other buildings were erected, we imagine that Mr. Essmiller was not as well fixed financially as he is today, although everything is comfortable and of a substantial nature. What we mean is that there has been no attempt at display in fashioning his surroundings, but every care has been taken that his family, help
and live stock should have all that is necessary for their comfort at the present, in order that greater and better buildings may take their place at a future date. Every dollar invested has been made to represent one hundred cents in betterment and has played its part in earning another dollar to buy more land. During harvest time and the threshing season these farms present a busy scene with their army of laborers garnering the golden grain, while other men work at plowing corn, mowing alfalfa breaking the fields for seeding time. Then again at morning, noon and night, when they gather around the board to partake of the bounteous fare, and go singing about the barns and lots "doing their chores," which include the milking of fifteen to eighteen cows, and caring for other cattle, hogs, horses and mules which are bred and worked on a farm like this.
Henry Essmiller was born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, on January 30th, 1862, and emigrated to America when eighteen years of age. He made his home in LaCrosse County, Wisconsin, for three years, and in 1883 came to Barton County. He was married to Miss Delia Sandman of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, on February 28th, 1889, and they have two children: Zelphia, wife of Henry Otte and William D. Essmiller, who assists his father on the farm when not in school.
THE home of Harry Hoard and Violet Louise Sowards Holmes, "Riverside Stock Farm," distant three and one-half miles southwest from Great Bend, lies between the Santa Fe tracks and the Arkansas river. The residence and surroundings are very pleasing to the eye. The house, located on a mound, is approached through an avenue of towering locusts, the boughs meeting overhead. Forest trees of other kinds tower in the background protecting the grass plot which is kept green and plentifully sprinkled with flowering plants and shrubs. The house is a two story white frame, with nine large airy rooms, sits high on its foundation, the ceilings are high, and the many gables and porches add to its attractiveness. The furnishings are both modern and elegant, and it is piped for lights and water. The main barn is 24x32, with a fifteen foot shed on three sides. Then comes the garage, cattle barn, granaries, chicken and hog houses, etc., and there are two cottages for tenants on other parts of the farm. The place covers five hundred acres of the most fertile of the famous Arkansas Valley and is in a high state of cultivation; but it more properly classes with the stock farms of the county, and is stocked with thoroughbred Shorthorn cattle and Duroc Jersey hogs that have taken many prizes at the Nebraska State Fair, Hutchinson, Kansas City and St. Louis. Fifty-five or sixty Shorthorns browse the meadow lands, and the head herder is "Royal Ramnsden," who has never been defeated for a prize as a calf, yearling, senior yearling, or a two year old at the Nebraska State Fair. Then there are two or three females that have never been defeated in their class, having
Farm and Home of Henry Essmiller
|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||177|
Home of Harry Hoard Holmes
taken first at Hutchlnson in 1910, and a high prize at the American Royal Stock Show at Kansas City. His hogs are the best bred in the state and are Duroc Jerseys; being sired by "Helen's Wonder" and by "Mayboy," grand champlcn at the World's fair, St. Louis.
Harry Hoard Holmes was born February 20, 1868, in Chicago, and is the son of George Lincoln Holmes and Helen C. Kellog. The father, before coming to Great Bend on June 6, 1884, was cashier of the Chicago postoffice and connected with the Merchants National Bank of Chicago. He made his home on the ranch for twelve years and died on August 23, 1896.
George L. DeVilliars Holmes, a son, who died August 14, 1886, was a member of the family when coming to this county, as well as Mrs. Sophia Hoard Holmes, the mother and grandmother, who died June 3, 1908. Henry Hoard Holmes was sixteen years of age when he arrived here and was educated in the public schools of Chicago and Great Bend. He became infatuated with railroading and prepared himself for an engineer, and for one year held a position as engineer on the Michigan Central out of Chicago. He transferred to the Santa Fe system and for six years ran out of Chicago, Newton and Dodge City. His earnings were invested with his father in the purchase of the five hundred acres surrounding his home, and in improvements and in stocking the ranch. He is now well contented with farm life and the pleasure of breeding thoroughbred stock for the market.
Harry Hoard Holmes and Miss Viola Sowards, the only child of Marion F. and Mary Rowell Sowards, of Barton County, were united in marriage on April 13, 1890, and they have one interesting daughter, Miss Helen Hoard Holmes, as a pledge of that union.
home. The estate now includes this home farm, one hundred and sixty in Liberty township, and a half section near Dodge City. The father died on April 19th, and the mother on November 16th, 1905. The surviving children are: Carrie, wife of August Rodenberg, near Dundee; Emma, wife of Fred Windhorst, Belpre; and William F., Fred, John H., Chris. W., Henry H., Christina and Herman W., all living on the homestead.
The home farm is in a high state of cultivation and shows that the Ruhe Brothers are up-to-date farmers, and the improvements are both substantial and ample for the needs of the place. The home is a one story frame, and there is a good barn, granary and other outbuildings. These are surrounded by a grove of trees which break the winds and afford shelter for stock and fowls.
Home of Thomas Henry White
THOMAS HENRY WHITE was born in Ontonagon County, Michigan, May 28, 1861. He remained there until he was twenty-nine years of age. He learned the blacksmithing trade and came to Barton County in 1889. He is a son of Thomas White who came to this county in 1877 and located on land in Walnut township. He died in 1897 after having been among the foremost men in developing that part of Barton County. His death was a shock to all his friends of whom he had scores in all parts of the county. The younger White was married to Miss Eva Langford in Eureka township, November 26, 1891, and they are the parents of seven children as follows: Leah, 19 years; Agnes S. 17; Clarence T., 14 years; Lydia, 11 years; Leonard, 9 years; Lola 7 years and Odah who is four months of age at this writing. Mr. White farms 240 acres of land in Eureka township all of which he owns and he has one of the most attractive home places to be found in that section of the county. The residence which is nicely situated and surrounded by trees contains eight rooms in addition to closets, pantries, etc. The barn is 60 by 28 feet and will be replaced by a larger and better one in the near future. Mr. White has found time to take an active part in the affairs of his township and is a member of the school board. He is one of the men who has had a great deal to do with the developing of the resources of that part of the county and is one of the men to whom Barton County owes its high standing among the best of counties of the State of Kansas and one of the most productive agricultural sections of the entire country. Mr. White is an enterprising and progressive citizen and enjoys a large acquaintance in all parts of the county.
THE fall of 1885 saw Fred Dumkow thoroughly disgusted with life in Chicago and he determined to try his fortune in Kansas. He had come from Berlin, Germany, five years previously to ply his trade as a bricklayer, but he found that the pay of four dollars per day was not piling up the fortune he had come to America to make
|OF BARTON COUNTY, KANSAS||179|
fast enough, and he must seek other fields. He desired to be identified with the soil; get down in it and dig, and see his fat and sleek herds come home at night. Uncle Sam offered free homes to naturalized Dutchmen and this was the lure that located him in Barton County. He arrived in Great Bend November 8, 1885, and located a homestead of forty acres fifteen miles northwest. Later he purchased enough at ten dollars per acre to make out a quarter section, and is now a contented farmer reaping his crops and owing no man. He has this improved with a comfortable cottage, barns and other buildings, and his fields show the most careful tilling. He also has another farm of a half section seven miles northeast of Ness City, which is also well improved and in cultivation, so he takes life easy, and says he much prefers this life to his former existence in Chicago where the week's wage was usually spent before the next pay day.
During his first five years in the county he followed his trade and at first layed brick for one dollar and fifty cents per day. That was the scale paid here then and he was glad to get the work, although he had moved away from a city where there was plenty to do and the wages much better. He finally got work from the county and built several abutments for county bridges, and also laid the brick in the Walnut Creek Mill flue.
Frederick Dumkow, born in the vicinity of Berlin, Germany, May 14th, 1851, and Matilda Baruth, born January 17th, 1852, in the same county, were married September 29th, 1874. They have two married daughters living in their neighborhood: Bertie, the wife of Daniel M. Converse; and Minnie, the wife of John Oetken.
"Cottonwood Grove," as this farm is now called, occupies a place in Barton County's hlstory, as it was for a number of years a postoffice and stage stand during the pioneer days, and there the hungry were refreshed and the mail dispersed by Postmaster Wilkinson, who will be remembered by many now living. The advent of the railroad and rural routes changed this for the better years ago, but the memories of those early days still cling to this farm and are often mentioned by those who talk over "old times."
Home of Gustav Selle
ONE of the most successful of the enterprising and progressive farmers of South Bend township is Gustav Selle, whose home place is located in section 10 of that township where he owns a half section of land. Mr. Selle was born in Westphalen, Germany, February 10, 1872. He came direct to Barton County from Germany in 1884 with his parents who located north of Ellinwood. His parents are now living in Pratt County, but Gustav has resided here since his arrival all of the time with the exception of vacation trips to California and other parts of the country. He lived north of Ellinwood until 1897, when he moved to South Bend township.
Mr. Selle is an enterprising and progressive farmer as is evidenced by the high class of improvements to be found on his home place. A neatly arranged and well built residence contains six rooms in addition to pantries,
closets, etc. The barn is roomy and well built and including the automobile garage is 36 by 40 feet in dimensions. The elevator is 24 by 34 feet and has a capacity for holding 7,500 bushels of grain. Mr. Selle was married in 1902 to Miss Emma Souders and they are the parents of two children: Lorena, six years of age and Clyde, three years of age, the former having begun her education in the schools of the county while Clyde will probably begin his studies the coming school term. The surroundings on Mr. Selle's home place are pleasing, there being plenty of shade trees, and shrubbery. The buildings are neatly and conveniently arranged and altogether Mr. Selle has one of the most desirable locations in South Bend township.
Home of George W. Hart
GEORGE WASHINGTON HART was born February 22, 1843, in Erie County, Pa. He resided in his native state until he was thirty-three years of age. He came direct to Barton County from Pennsylvania in 1878 at a time when there were very few houses in Great Bend, and the county was not developed to any extent. He bought land south of the river in South Bend township. This land is now his home place and consists of 280 acres all of which is farmed under the personal supervision of Mr. Hart. The home place which is but a mile and a half from Great Bend has on it one of the most modern and substantial residences to be found in that part of the county. The building consists of 8 rooms in addition to the bath, closets, pantries, basement, etc. The house is lighted with an acetylene gas plant, heated by furnace and is modern throughout. The house is 30 by 80 feet in dimensions and has beautiful surroundings. Mr. Hart was married at Erie, Pa., in 1877, to Miss Hattie Elliott. They are the parents of three children: Jessie May who is 32 years of age and is now Mrs. E. E. Smith; Roy E. is 26 years old and is engaged in the farming business near Macksville, Kansas; Forrest, 20 years of age, is a student in the Great Bend High School. In addition to the residence the barn and other outbuildings are constructed in a substantial manner and a small orchard consisting of about one acre and a half and containing a large variety of trees is also found near the home building. The farm is stocked with a gocd grade of cattle and horses and Mr. Hart has taken no small part in the work of development of that part of the county lying south of the river and making of it one of the most desirable sections in this part of the state. Mr. Hart is familiar with the early history of the county as he is one of the really old timers and took an active part in reclaiming the land in this county and making it what it is today, one of the best counties 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
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