From A Biographical History of Central
Kansas, Vol. I, p. 371
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
George A. Appel
George A Appel is one of the leading and representative citizens of Rice county. His record as a business man and as a soldier has been so honorable that he has gained the confidence and good will of all with whom he has been brought in contact. For twenty-four years has Rice county been his home, years largely devoted to the best interests of his adopted county.
Mr. Appel claims Illinois as the state of his nativity, his birth having occurred in Madison county, near Alton, in 1842. His father, John Appel, was born in the great empire of Germany, and was there reared and educated. When a young man he bade farewell to his native land and sailed for the United States, locating at once in Madison county, Illinois. In that county George A, the subject of this review, was reared to manhood. At the outbreak of the Civil war he became one of the boys in blue, enlisting in the ninety-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served as a loyal and patriotic soldier for three years and three months. He took part in many battles and skirmishes, enduring all those hardships and privations which were known only to the brave soldiers of the Civil war, and during his army experience his health was greatly injured. After the close of hostilities he received an honorable discharge, and with a creditable military record returned to his home and family.
Mr. Appel was united in marriage with Elizabeth Bloenker, who has proved to him a true and loving helpmate. The lady is a native of the far off country of Germany. Soon after their marriage our subject and wife located in Christian county, Illinois, where they resided until 1877, when they came to Rice county, Kansas. Their first tract of land consisted of one hundred and sixty acres of raw prairie, on which they erected a sod house, and in that little pioneer home they began the battle of life on the western frontier. The Appel farm now comprises six hundred and forty acres of the best farming land to be found in central Kansas. The place is adorned with a beautiful residence, and three large barns furnish shelter for the stock and grain upon the place. He also owns a large elevator, which has a capacity of seven thousand bushels of grain, and which was erected at a cost of one thousand dollars. On the lawn are found beautiful shade trees, flowers and shrubs, and one of the attractive features of the place is a fish pond, one hundred and fifteen by one hundred and fifteen feet. In addition to his extensive agricultural interests Mr. Appel was one of the promoters of the Bushton Bank.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Appel has been blessed with seven children, namely: John H, who owns one hundred and sixty acres of land adjoining the old homestead; William E, Amelia M, George O, Charles J, Orville and Albert, all at home. The second son, William E, is the proprietor of a large implement business in Bushton, where he carries a complete stock of wagons, carriages, farm machinery and everything to be found in a first-class establishment of that kind. His business amounts to twenty-five thousand dollars annually, and his fair and honorable dealing have won him the confidence and good will of his fellow citizens. The father and sons give their political support to the Republican party, and the former is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Methodist Episcopal church. He co-operates in all movement and measures intended for the betterment of humanity, and to-day he is as true to his country and its best interests as when he followed the stars and stripes on the battlefield of the south.