CHARLES RIEKE. - At this junction in a volume devoted to the careers of representative citizens of Wyandotte county, Kansas, it is a pleasure to insert a brief history of the life of Charles Rieke, who has ever been on the alert to forward all measures and enterprises projected for the good of the general welfare. The major portion of his time and attention is devoted to diversified agriculture and the raising of high grade stock, his fine estate of forty acres in Shawnee township being elegibly[sic] located two and one-half miles distant from Merriam.
Charles Rieke was born on the farm on which he now resides in Wyandotte county, Kansas, the date of his nativity being the 14th of March, 1875. He is a son of Charles and Elizabeth (Binda) Rieke, the former of whom died on the 7th of March, 1909, and the latter of whom passed away on the 5th of December, 1888, both being buried in Shawnee cemetery. The father was born in Prussia on the 5th of December, 1844, and he was reared and educated in his native land. While serving his term of enlistment in the German army his right foot was injured by a cannon running over his instep. He came to America in 1871, and after stopping for a short time in Missouri he came to Wyandotte county, where he purchased a tract of forty acres of wild land, the same being located in Shawnee township, near Merriam. Mr. Rieke erected a rude log hut on his land and resided therein until he had cleared a goodly portion of his farm. The present attractive residence of six rooms was built in 1895, and after setting out twenty-five acres of his land to fruits of all kinds he erected his modern barns and other buildings. Prior to his death he owned one of the most up-to-date fruit farms in Wyandotte county. In early life he was a member of the Lutheran church but at the time of his demise he was a devout communicant of the Catholic church. Mr. and Mrs. Rieke became the parents of the following children: Amelia (deceased), Otto, Charles, Henry, Lizzie, Louis (deceased), Louis (named after deceased brother), Anna, Frances and Albin.
On the old homestead farm Charles Rieke, the immediate subject of this review, was reared to maturity, his early educational training consisting of such advantages as were offered in the Catholic parochial schools of Shawnee township. After the death of his parents he bought up the various shares of his brothers and sisters in the home estate and is now sole owner of the old farm. In addition to fruit raising he give's his attention to general farming and the raising of thoroughbred stock. He has been marvelously successful as a farmer and his finely improved estate is one of the show places of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Rieke are now adding an addition of two rooms to their home, which they are converting into an up-to-date modern residence, the same heated by a hot air furnace and has its own acetylene gas plant and water system. This modern home also contains the only washing outfit in the west, rendering this usually burdensome employment easy and enjoyable, their gasoline engine doing practically all the work, pumps the water and turns the washer and also the wringer. While he has never manifested aught of ambition for political preferment of any description, Mr. Rieke is ever on the qui vive to advance all measures and enterprises projected for progress and improvement. In a fraternal way he is affiliated with a number of representative organizations of a local nature and in his religious faith he is a consistent Catholic, as is also his wife.
On the 25th of October, 1899, Mr. Rieke was united in marriage to Miss Antonia Hauser, who was born in Kansas City on the 26th of February, 1879, and who is a daughter of Anton and Teresa (Seitner) Hauser. Mr. and Mrs. Hauser were born and reared in Austria, where was solemnized their marriage and whence they immigrated to America. They are now living near Merriam, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Rieke are the parents of six children, whose names are here entered in respective order of birth: Teresa Elizabeth, Charles Anthony, Leo Otto, Anthony Aloysius, Ernest John and Walter.
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