CHARLES F. GEHRING, the competent and well informed scale inspector of the entire Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, has been a resident of Parsons, Labette county, Kansas, since October, 1891, and is one of the leading citizens of that flourishing city. Mr. Gehring, as his name indicates, is of German descent. He is a son of John and Rosanna (Loechner) Gehring, both of whom were born in Germany.
John Gehring followed the occupation of a carpenter for many years, and was a fine mechanic. He accompanied relatives to America when about nine years old, the lady that became his wife having crossed the ocean when about the same age. Their marriage took place in the state of Ohio. The beloved mother has been deceased for many years, but the father still survives and at the present time is a resident of Elkhart county, Indiana. Nine children were born to this worthy couple, two of whom, both daughters, died in infancy. The others are, William, deceased, who during his life was a prosperous farmer in Indiana; George M. a mechanic, now residing at Bartlesville, Indian Territory; Charles F., who is a twin brother of Emma (Pearman), of Niles, Michigan; Paulina (Lenocker), of Dexter, Iowa; Ida (Huffman), who resides on a farm in Elkhart county, Indiana; and Frank, a mechanic, of Millersburg, Indiana.
Charles F. Gehring was born in Holmes county, Ohio, in 1852, but was reared principally in Indiana, where he attended the common schools until he attained the age of fifteen years. At that early age he began to make his own way in the world, working first on a farm in Indiana. When about twenty years old he began carpenter and scale work, in the employ of J. B. Voris, an agricultural implement dealer at Monroe, Jasper county, Iowa.
In 1878 Mr. Gehring went to Sherman, Texas, and worked in the construction department of a railroad there, under A. B. Goodrich, station agent at that place. Later he traveled with that gentleman for about two years, building and setting up the Fairbank Company's scales. He subsequently served on the police force at Sherman, Texas, for some time, and later was a brakeman for eighteen months, on the Texas & Pacific Railway. For several years thereafter he was engaged in rail-roading, and worked in the capacity of foreman of a bridge gang on the same system. This occupied his attention until he entered the employ of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company, at Parsons, in 1891.
In 1895 Mr. Gehring succeeded his father-in-law, Cyrus Mehring, as scale inspector. He has charge of inspecting, testing, and repairing all scales over the entire Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway system, which necessitates much travel. His position is one of much importance, but, as he has learned the business from the very beginning, he has no difficulty in attending to his various duties. The task has become a "profession" to him, as he is quite an expert in his line, and gives all work his personal attention.
In 1882 Mr. Gehring was united in marriage with Kate Mehring, an accomplished daughter of Cyrus and Susan (Hilderbrand) Mehring. Mrs. Gehring was born in Pennsylvania, in 1862, and is the eldest of a family of six children, two of whom died in infancy. One sister, Lizzie, is also deceased. Two sisters are still living; they are: Annie (Scott), wife of a railroad employee at Parsons; and Etta (Parker), of the same city. Mrs. Gehring remained in her native state until she was about nine years old, when her parents removed to Marion county, Illinois, where she attended school until she was seventeen years old, the family removing at that time to Slierman, Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. Gehring have a family of eight bright, healthy children, all of whom are still around the home fireside. The eldest one works in the mill. With the exception of the youngest, the others are students. Their names are Frank, Claude, Ira, Carrie, Fred, Edith and Ethel, twins, and Ruth. Mrs. Gehring and her eldest son are devout members of the Christian church, which the others also attend. They reside in a comfortable residence at No. 2511 Belmont avenue, the lot having a frontage of 75 feet.
In his political preferences, our subject uses all his influence toward furthering the interests of the Democratic party, and votes a straight ticket each and every time. His religious views are liberal, and he has not allied himself with any denomination. He is a valued member of Lodge No. 1, A. 0. U. W., of Parsons. He is known as a good citizen, is thoroughly progressive and wide awake, and can be depended upon to keep abreast of the times. In his successful life we have an example of what may be accomplished by steady and persistent effort, coupled with a determination to succeed.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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