Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 594-597 transcribed by Kayla Duree and Becca Taber, students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on 10/23/00.


John Henry Studt

JOHN HENRY STUDT. - Education is the capital which every man or woman must have in order to succeed, but education does not consist alone or even chiefly in book knowledge. John Henry Studt was a poor boy as far as material wealth was concerned and had very little schooling, but he studied to do everything faithfully that was laid to his charge. A man perfects himself much more by work than by reading and thus it has been with Mr. Studt. He has made the best possible use of his opportunities and has not always waited for opportunity to knock, but has gone out to meet it. He has become a man who is honored and admired in Wyandotte county. His friends and neighbors would say that he has achieved success entirely through his own efforts, but he gives to his mother a large share of the credit. There are many mothers who inspire their children to right thinking, to noble thinking and to tremendous efforts, but they often receive no credit for the part they play, even in the minds of their children. It is not so with Mr. Studt. He appreciates all that his mother did in assisting him in his early career.

John Henry Studt was a native of Hanover, Germany, where he was born June 1, 1834. His father, Henry Studt, was a native of Germany, where he died in 1840, having passed all his life in his native country. He had married Maria Olten, a young German girl, who died in 1868 in Cincinnati, Ohio, having come to America with John Henry Studt, her son.

When our subject was only six years old his father died, leaving to his widow the task of bringing up their son. She educated him to the best of her ability, but she had very little money and there were no public schools in Germany at that time. She made sure, however, that he learned certain things, namely honesty, decency, obedience, cleanliness in thought and speech. She told him he could have these things even if they were poor. Then she made sure that he learned as much as he could in the few years of school possible for him. She made him feel that poverty is not hopeless, but that there is a way out somewhere. She stirred him with ambition to get out, to do better than his father and mother had done. As a consequence of this influence and also by reason of his own natural enthusiastic temperament, he decided to come to America, when he was nineteen years of age, his mother of course accompanying him. They took passage in a sailing vessel, and after a weary voyage of eight weeks and four days landed at Baltimore, weary from the effects of the sea sickness and the discomfort they had endured on the ocean, but possessed of indomitable courage which meant ultimate success. John Henry had no money at all when he reached Baltimore, not having been able to scrape together more than enough to defray their passage expenses, but he was not discouraged. He found some one in Baltimore who was kind enough to lend him enough money to get to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he believed he could get work. It is true he only needed a very little money, for he and his mother did not pay the regular passenger fare, but went in cattle cars, buying as little food as would suffice to keep them alive. When night came and they were making themselves as comfortable as they could in the car, lying on the hay, the train man said "All hands off" and they were forced to alight and spend the rest of the night on the wayside. The road was not built any farther and after spending the night in sheep pens, the next day they with other emigrants, marched three miles to the next railroad, going by cattle cars again to Cincinnati, Ohio. Arrived in Cincinnati, John Henry got work as a laborer at fifty cents a day, a small enough sum in America, but to his frugal mind, it was big pay, at least it was enough to support him and his mother with a fair degree of comfort. After a year, during which time he continued to receive but fifty cents a day, he went to work in a brick yard where he earned seventy-five cents a day. He stayed in Cincinnati until 1866, when he came to Kansas and in 1869 he bought a farm from Jim Zane, paying seven thousand dollars for it, the sum that he had saved out of his earnings, having worked in a piano store during the last fourteen years of his residence in Cincinnati. He had spent practically no money on luxuries in all of this time, except an occasional extravagance for his mother. When he bought his farm only a part of it was under cultivation and on it was a small, flat roofed log cabin. His whole farm of one hundred and eighty and one-half acres is now under cultivation, being one of the finest fruit farms in the county. He has set out about four thousand fruit trees and berries of all kinds; he has about twelve acres covered with various kinds of grapes and twenty-five acres he uses for truck gardening. He has now five houses on his ground, besides other farm buildings.

He married Louisa Horstman, daughter of Christof Horstman and his wife, Mary von Baron, both natives of Germany. They came to this country with their children in 1854 and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. In a few years they came to Kansas and sometime later bought fifty acres of ground in Quindaro township near to Mr. Studt's place.

The brother of Mrs. Studt, Christian Fred Horstman, was born in Minden, Germany, May 16th, 1841. He was thirteen years of age when the family came to America. They bought their farm from Mr. Cramer, now a resident of Armourdale, who had the land nearly all under cultivation. A log house was on the farm and here Christian lived, building on to the old frame as he found necessity and means. In 1909 the old cabin burned down and he built a modern frame house, where he lives with some of his children. He married Mary Jansen, who was born in this township, a daughter of William and Mary Jansen. Mrs. Horstman died at the age of thirty-eight, February 2, 1892, and was buried in Quindaro township cemetery. She was the mother of eight children, all of whom are living at this time. Mary, now Mrs. Charles Sorter, lives in California. Ida (Mrs. Fred Sorter) lives in Wyandotte county; Louisa is at home with her father. She was named after her aunt, her father's sister who had married Mr. Studt. Catherine is at home, as are William, Henry and Alfred N. Rose is married to A. Combs. Mr. Horstman does truck and fruit farming, like his brother-in-law; about twenty acres of his land is planted with fruit trees. He is a man who has done a good deal for his county. He has held office of trustee of this township three years and ten months. He was county commissioner three years, being elected in 1886 and re-elected in 1890. He was a member of the school board for twenty-one years and was road overseer in 1881 and 1882. He is a member of the German Lutheran church, doing good in many relations of life.

Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Studt had three sons, as follows: George H., who married Amelia Studt and two sons, Elvin and George, were born to the union; they live on the farm with the father, J. H. Studt; the second son, Charles J., is also on the farm, having married Josie Terret and they have one daughter, Hazel; John H. died in Cincinnati at the age of seven years. Mrs. Studt died in 1901 at the age of sixty-seven and was buried in Quindaro Cemetery.

Mr. Studt is a member of the German Lutheran church in Kansas City, Kansas. He has served as township treasurer, having been elected twice to this office. In looking back over his life, he may well be content with what he has accomplished. Coming to this country with nothing, he is now worth thousands. Not only has Mr. Studt succeeded in making money, but he has given of himself for the good of his township and for the county. He is one of the best known men in the township and one who is universally liked and respected.



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