Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 884
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
The list of the leading agriculturists of Rice county contains the name of Robert Springer, who is extensively and successfully engaged in farming on section 35, Farmer township. His record as a soldier and as a business man has indeed been honorable and has gained for him the confidence and good will of all with whom he has been brought in contact. He was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1833, a son of Gottlieb and Anna (Volkman) Springer, natives also of that province. In 1849 the family left their little home across the sea and sailed for the United States, landing at New Orleans after a voyage of six weeks. They went up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to Evansville, Indiana, where they remained until 1870, and in that year located in Wabaunsee county, Kansas. The father was called to his final rest at the age of seventy-two years, and the mother survived until seventy-five years of age, both dying in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which they were active and worthy members. The father was a miller by trade, and also followed farming. This worthy couple were the parents of ten children, of whom five are now living, namely: William, Charles, Robert, Paulina and Mena Holscher, of this township.
Robert Springer, the subject of this review, was reared on a little German farm, and was early taught the lessons of industry, honesty and economy. He was fourteen years of age when his parents came to the United States and located at Evansville, Indiana, and there he continued his labors on the farm. When the trouble arose between the north and the south his patriotic spirit was aroused and he valiantly offered his services to his adopted country, becoming a member of the First Indiana Battery. He participated in many of the noted battles of that memorable struggle, including the battle of Pea Ridge, the siege of Vicksburg and many others on the Mississippi river and in the vicinity of New Orleans. He took part in the Red river expedition with General Banks, and was there wounded. When the country no longer needed his services he returned to his home in Indiana, where he remained until 1870, and in that year accompanied his parents on their removal to Wabaunsee county, Kansas. At that time the Indians were still numerous in that locality, and everything was new and wild. People of the present day can scarcely realize the struggles and dangers which attended the early settlers, the hardships endured, the difficulties overcome, for, far removed from the privileges and conveniences of city or town, the struggle for existence was a stern and hard one. Their first residence was a little log cabin, fourteen by sixteen feet, but in this primitive dwelling hospitality reigned supreme and the latch string was always out. In 1881 Mr Springer came to Rice county, locating on his present farm of six hundred and forty acres, on which he has erected a fine dwelling, at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars, and there he is engaged in general farming and stock-raising. His fields are under a fine state of cultivation, and everything about the place indicates the supervision of a neat and progressive owner. He also has real estate in Denver, Colorado.
In 1867, in Indiana, Mr Springer was united in marriage with Frederika Allinger, a native of Germany. She was only five years of age when she was brought by her parents, Henry and Catherine (Shaaf) Allinger, to the United States, the family locating in Spencer county, Indiana, where she was reared to womanhood and received her education. Her parents were also natives of the fatherland, and their emigration to the new world occurred in the year 1853. They had a large family of fourteen children, of whom ten are now living, as follows: Lewis, who was a soldier in the Civil war and now resides in West Virginia; Henry, Catherine, Frederika, Godfrey, Fred, Charles, Mena, Ed and Rosa. Christina died at the age of thirty years and a son, Charles, died in infancy. The union of Mr and Mrs Springer has been blessed with ten children, but a son, Clarence, died in his eighteenth year. Those living are: Albert, Louis, Lydia, Ida, Clara, Louisa, George, Otto and Edna. Louisa is now an excellent musician, having studied at Warrington, Missouri, and at Lindsburg, Kansas. Mr and Mrs Springer are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is serving as class leader. The family have a delightful home in this beautiful and fertile section, and they are held in highest esteem throughout the community.