Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 795
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
The life history of him whose name begins this review most happily illustrates what may be attained by faithful and continued effort in carrying out an honest purpose. It is the story of a life whose success is measured by its usefulness, and it furnishes an example of a man who has risen by his own efforts to a position of prominence in the occupation which he has chosen as a life work.
Mr Flora was born in Monroe county, Indiana, December 26, 1858, a son of George and Mary (Butcher) Flora, natives respectively of Kentucky and Tennessee. The paternal grandfather, Matthew Flora, was a native of Kentucky and a farmer by occupation, and his father came to the new world from Germany, becoming a pioneer settler of Kentucky. Matthew Flora removed to Indiana in 1824, where he entered land from the government. His land was a heavy timbered tract, but he cut away the trees and as time passed placed his fields under a fine state of cultivation, there spending his remaining days, his death occurring in 1862, at the ripe old age of eighty years. His children were: George, the father of our subject; William, who died in Indiana; Minda, who became Mrs Smith; and Nancy, deceased. The parents were consistent and worthy members of the Baptist church.
George Flora removed with his parents to Indiana when twelve years of age, in 1824, where he grew to manhood and assisted his father in improving the homestead. He remained at home until twenty-one years of age, when he was married and began farming for himself. He also worked at the carpenter’s trade. He was of a roving disposition and many times went from Missouri to Iowa and also returned to Indiana. His constant change of residence deprived his children of receiving a good education, but he was an industrious and enterprising man and was able to provide a good living for his family. While in Missouri his sons became old enough to take charge of his business affairs and secured a small farm of one hundred and two acres in the river valley, but a succession of floods continually destroyed their crops, and in 1878 they decided to come to Kansas. They accordingly sold their property in Missouri and located in Rice county, and on their arrival here their entire capital consisted of a team and wagon. During their first winter here they endured many privations and hardships, but in the following spring our subject and his brother Levi rented a farm and thus were able to make a fresh start. They cared for their parents during the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1887 and the mother in 1886. Of the Baptist church he was a loyal and zealous member, and his wife held membership in the United Brethern church. They were the parents of fifteen children: Catherine, who was born November 22, 1837, and is the wife of William Marr; Lydia, born April 15, 1839, and is the wife of E Thacker; Matilda A, who was born November 11, 1840, is the wife of J Hayes; Susan, who was born December 28, 1841, and died when sixteen years of age; Mary E, who was born March 19, 1843, and is the wife of G Fivecoats; Daniel, born January 9, 1845, served through the Civil war, was with Sherman on his memorable march to the sea, and his death occurred in Iowa; Conna Ellen, who was born March 10, 1848, and is the wife of A Murphy; Sarah J, who was born December 11, 1849, and became Mrs A Linebaugh; John, who was born August 28, 1851, and died in 1877, leaving a wife and one child; Levi, who was born June 17, 1853, and is a prominent farmer of Rice county; Lucinda Etta and Martha E, twins, born December 12, 1854, and the former is the wife of J Mainard, and the latter is the wife of S Day; Paulina H, who was born November 6, 1856, and is now Mrs W Drake; and Asbury and Martisia, twins, the latter now Mrs Ellsworth. All of these grew to years of maturity and nine of the number are still living.
Asbury Flora, the subject of this review, accompanied his parents on their various removals, and after coming to Kansas, in company with his brother Levi, he purchased a squatter’s claim, on which he made a few improvements and later sold his share of the property to his brother, who still resides there. Our subject then went to Jefferson county, Kansas, where he was employed as a farm hand for two years, and then removed to Nodaway county, Missouri. In that county, in company with another gentleman, he rented a large farm, which they operated together for two years, but during that time Mr Flora succeeded in spending his money as fast as he made it. On the expiration of that period he returned to Rice county and rented a farm, continuing the operation of rented land until 1887, when he was married and purchased eighty acres of raw prairie. He improved that property and made his home thereon until 1898, when he purchased the quarter section of land on which he now resides, known as the Handy farm. As time has passed he has added to his property until he now has two hundred and forty acres, all in one body. His fields are under a high state of cultivation and in his pastures are found a good grade of stock. For ten years Mr Flora operated a thresher, but he now gives his entire attention to his farming operations, in which he is meeting with a high and well merited degree of success.
For a companion and helpmate on the journey of life he chose Miss Emma Strohmeyer, the wedding being celebrated in 1887. She was born in Meigs county, Ohio, January 6, 1868, a daughter of Gottlieb and Sophia (Dohlmer) Strohmeyer, both natives of the Fatherland, but their marriage occurred in Ohio. The father is a son of Fred Strohmeyer, who was born in Germany and was a member of a prominent family of that country. On coming to the new world he located in Meigs county, Ohio, where he followed agricultural pursuits. In 1876 he came to the Sunflower state, where he located and improved a farm, but later sold his property and made his home with a son during the remainder of his life, dying in the faith of the Methodist church, in which he held membership. His children were Fred, Mary, Gottlieb, Sophia and Henry. Gottlieb Strohmeyer remained in Ohio until 1880, when he came to Kansas, securing a squatter’s claim in Pioneer township, and he yet resides on that property. His efforts have been crowned with a high degree of success and now enjoys all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. His union with Sophia Dohlmer was blessed with four children, namely: Lizzie, the wife of E Dexter; John, a resident of Oklahoma; Emma, the wife of Mr Flora; and Charles, also of Oklahoma. The wife and mother was called to the home beyond in Ohio, in 1864, having long been a valued member of the Methodist church. The father was again married, his second union being with a Miss Aumiller, and they had six children: Cornelia, now Mrs Doc Arnold; Ella, the wife of John Hare; George, who married Miss M Holor, of Kansas, and now resides in Oklahoma; and Clarence, Ben and Lulu, who are yet at home. The mother of these children also passed away, and for his third wife Mr Strohmeyer wedded a Miss Elam, the marriage being celebrated in Kansas. The union of our subject and his wife has been brightened by the presence of a daughter, Ada, who was born February 28, 1896. Mr Flora has given his political support to the Democratic party, but has never been an aspirant for office, preferring to give his time and attention to his business affairs. His career should serve as a lesson to the young. He began life under the most adverse circumstances. He was competent to make his own way in the world, and his success in life illustrates most forcibly the power of patient and persistent effort.