W.C. Berneking, the subject of this sketch, is a self-made man, earning his living since he was ten years old, being thrown on the world homeless and penniless at that and doing whatever he could find to do to gain a livelihood for several years.
He was born in Germany in 1856, and came to America with his parents when an infant, settling on a farm in Monroe county, Illinois. His father was Henry Berneking and died when his son, W.C., was ten years old. His mother was Christina (Bower) Berneking and died while the family were enroute to America, and was buried at sea. Henry Berneking was a shoemaker in Germany but followed farming principally in America. He married the second time, and by this marriage several children were born, all of whom died, one daughter dying at the age of sixteen years.
Mr. Berneking had a brother, Fred, who went as a substitute in the army for their father who was drafted, and died of smallpox at Memphis, Tennessee. He had been discharged at the close of the war and had started home when he was taken ill at Memphis.
W.C. Berneking was married In the autumn of 1883, to Caroline Margaret Pape, a daughter of Henry and Wilhelmena (Moenkhoff) Pape, natives of Germany. Her father died in 1877 and her mother the last day of the year 1885. Her father was twice married. There were five children by the first marriage and eight by the second, four of whom are living, three daughters and one son, a sister, Mrs. Sparwasser, living in Cloud county, near Glasco, another Erstina Gerber, of Monroe county, Illinois, and a brother, Herman Pape, also of the latter place.
Mr. Berneking has prospered in Kansas. He came to the state with six hundred dollars and lived upon rented land seven years. In 1891 he bought the Al Edwards homestead near Simpson, which is one of the many good farms in that part of the county. He has now in course of erection a ten room, two-story frame residence, 44 by 34 feet in dimensions. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of land and raises cattle and hogs. He has a barn 48 by 60 feet in dimensions, and the Solomon river runs through his place.
To Mr. and Mrs. Berneking have been born seven children, six of whom are living, the eldest having died in infancy. Louisa, sixteen years of age, Lydia, Henry, Mary, George and Catherine. The family are members of the Lutheran church of Glasco. Mr. Berneking is a Republican in politics, and socially is a member of the order of Maccabees at Simpson, Lodge No. 67.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project