HERMAN THEDEN. - Some of the most progressive and prosperous citizens of Kansas were born across the sea, and prominent among this number is Herman Theden of Bonner Springs, one of the foremost agriculturists of Wyandotte county, his success as a grower of vegetables, small fruits and cereals, and as a dairyman being well known in this part of the state. A son of Henry Theden, he was born in 1868, in Sweden, and spent his childhood days on the home farm.
Henry Theden was born in 1838 in Holstein, Germany. Migrating to Sweden in early life, he embarked in agricultural pursuits, and for a time had charge of one of the largest dairy farms in the country. He married Mary Tiechman, who was born in Holstein, Germany, in 1838. She died in Sweden in 1875, leaving five children, namely: Herman, the special subject of this sketch; Fred T., who married Anna Anderson; Emma, who died in 1892; George E. a farmer in Johnson county, Kansas; and Otto C., also engaged in farming in Johnson county. In 1885, ten years after the death of his wife, Henry Theden came with his son Herman to the United States, locating in Wisconsin, where for three years he worked on a railroad. In 1888, accompanied by his son Herman, he came to Kansas, and having bought land in Johnson county, began the improvement of a farm, and when well established sent for his other children, who are mentioned above.
At the age of sixteen years, having had but limited educational advantages in his native land, Herman Theden came with his father to America, and for three years worked on a Wisconsin farm. In 1888 he came with his father to Kansas, and very soon after arriving in this state located in Wyandotte county, where he learned the nursery business, for seven years being in the employ of a horticulturist. Emmbarking then on his own account, Mr. Theden purchased eighty-seven acres of land adjoining Bonner Springs and thirty-two acres in another tract, and immediately turned his attention to the growing of fine potatoes, an industry in which he was successfully employed for fifteen years. In the meantime he began to raise small fruits, making a specialty of strawberries, to which he devoted from five to nine acres. Laboring earnestly for the best possible results in his farming, Mr. Theden has found his labors crowned with success, and at the state fair, has always been a prize winner. At the Kansas State Fair in 1910 the Wyandotte county exhibit, put on by Mr. Theden and Mr. John Kern, took the first premium, while these gentlemen in addition won first prize on their exhibit of potatoes, containing ten varieties, the first on grain and forage plants in bundles; first on carrots; and second on cabbage. At Kansas City they were equally successful, receiving fifth premium on county exhibits and first on individual displays; first on collection of vegetables; first on ornamental grasses; and second on Kaffir corn, onions and turnips, winning in each case over many competitors. At the present time Mr. Theden is engaged in dairying, keeping fifteen cows and furnishing a high grade of pure milk and cream to the residents of Bonner Springs and shipping some to Kansas City.
Mr. Theden married, in 1895 in Kansas City, Missouri, Anna Anderson, who was born in Sweden and came to this country in 1887. Five children have been born of their union, namely: Robert T., who died in infancy, Emma E., who lived but two years; Carl A., who died when three years old; Frank E., a bright boy of nine years; and Vernie C., an attractive little miss of seven years. Politically Mr. Theden, true to the faith in which he was reared, is a Republican. Religiously he and his family are Methodists, and fraternally he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to the Fraternal Aid Association and to the Central Protective Association. In the spring of 1911 Mr. Theden was elected by acclamation as a member or treasurer of the Bonner Springs High School. He is a man who thoroughly believes in educating the children to make of them men and women of practicable ability, and as is well known by all his friends, he stands for principles of right and the elevation of town and community.
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