Another example of what industry and thrift can accomplish is illustrated by the progress made by George Kaad of Grant township, who came to Kansas in 1878 with a capital of one hundred and twenty-five dollars. Mr. Kaad is a native of Denmark, born in 1854, in Schleswig, now a part of Germany, but remarked with pride, "I am proud to be called an American citizen." He is one in the fullest sense of the term and is loyal to his adopted county. In 1872 he sailed for America and located in Chicago where he carried brick and mortar until after the "big fire." He then went to the state of New York, two years later to Ohio, and a short time afterward spent a year in Illinois, subsequently coming to Kansas in 1878.
One year later he was married to Anne Peterson, also of Danish birth, who came to Kansas in 1878 with her father, Peter Johnson, two sisters and a brother and settled in Jewell county, near the Cloud county line. He afterward settled in Grant township, Cloud county, where he died in 1900. Her mother died in Denmark when Mrs. Kaad was but twelve years old. To Mr. and Mrs. Kaad thirteen children have been born, ten of whom are living. George, the eldest child is twenty-two years of age and assists his father on the farm; Peter has just attained his majority and is also at home; Willie, the third son, is aged twenty, and Anna, the eldest daughter is a young woman of eighteen years; Mary and Frank died at the ages of seven and eleven years, respectively; Hans, aged thirteen, was born on the same day of the month as Peter, the second son, August 9th; Martina died at the age of two years and four months; Emma and Lucy are aged nine and eight years, respectively; Martha Julia and Martin August are twins; ten hours elapsed between their births, making their birthdays July 31st and August 1st; the baby, Oscar Frederick, is about two years of age.
When Mr. Kaad came to Kansas he bought a soldier's filing over in the hills about two miles south of his present farm and, having proved up on it about four and one-half years later, sold, and in partnership with a brother-in-law bought one hundred and sixty acres of State Normal school land, paying eight hundred dollars for the quarter which they divided, each taking his own deed. In 1900 Mr. Kaad bought his brother-in-law's eighty of another party to whom he had sold. In 1896 he bought eighty acres from Mr. Peterson which makes a total of two hundred and forty acres.
During the first year Mr. Kaad was in Kansas he lived in the Elniff family of Jewell county, owning a half interest in a yoke of cattle with Fred Elniff, using them each alternate week and in this manner broke up his land and obtained a start in farming. Mr. Kaad often recalls driving the ox team to Beloit and Concordia, cracking his whip to the tune of "Haw Buck, Gee Buck," etc.
In the early part of their married life Mr. and Mrs. Kaad lived in a dugout and experienced many adversities without a cent in their possession. Upon one occasion Mr. Kaad was especially desirous of posting a letter and not having the price of a stamp offered Mr. Ansdell, the postmaster, some produce in exchange for postage, a transaction forbidden by "Uncle Sam" but complied with in this instance.
The most serious of all their experiences was when a long siege of typhoid fever befell Mr. Kaad, leaving him In a helpless condition for many weeks. There was not only a scarcity of food but their fuel was limited to green wood and cornstalks; a physician who drove out from Concordia charged fifteen dollars a trip, a fortune to them in each call. The following year they were more fortunate and built a stone house of one room 10x12 feet in dimensions and dug a well, having been carrying water a half mile; but misfortunes still pursued them. The horses Mr. Kaad bought died, he mortgaged his farm and poor crops compelled him to continue remitting heavy interest by re-mortgaging until in the early nineties he released it, and, although crop failures came, he has since progressed.
In 1898 among the improvements to his farm a comfortable eight-room residence was built at a cost of twelve hundred dollars. The house is modern with closets in all the rooms and a good cellar. They have a well kept lawn with flowers and shade trees. In 1899 a barn, 26 by 36, was erected with a granary and shed 16 by 36 attached on the west end.
Mr. Kaad is one of the honored pioneers of Grant township and after years of toil and care he is enjoying the fruits of his labors and a pleasant home built through his own efforts and those of his frugal and industrious wife. He has transformed a wild, unbroken tract into one of the most desirable farms in the locality of Jamestown and is counted one of the financially well-to-do Danes of Grant township. Wheat growing is his principal industry. Mr. Kaad is "mixed" in politics and votes for the best man. He is public spirited and Interested in securing for his children good educational advantages. The family are members of the Jewell county Lutheran church which he helped to erect by his influence, labor and financial support.
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.
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