Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

History of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions online

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ville, this county, and Susan, also of Marysville, the widow of H. Ashwiler.
Peter J. Schumacher was about five years of age when' his parents
came to this county and he was reared on the pioneer homestead farm in
Herkimer township, receiving his early schooling in a sod shanty, the first
school house in that township, and his first school teacher was Mrs. A. J.
Travelute, a biographical sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this
volume. He remained at home, a valuable assistant to his father in the
labors of developing the home place, and after awhile bought a cjuarter
section of his own in Herkimer township, on which, after his marriage in
1888, he established his home. There he lived until 1894, wdien he sold
the place and moved to Marysville. where he engaged in the agricultural-
implement business and was thus engaged until 1897, wdien he sold his
store and took a position with the McCormick Harvester Company as a
traveling salesman. The next year lie was appointed superintendent of the
^Marshall county "poor farm." and was thus occupied for five years, or until
1903. when he bought from Mr. Bittell the Alarysville granite and marble
works and has ever since been engaged in operating the same and has made
quite a success of his business. Mr. Schumacher started in business wrth
a stock of about three thousand dollars and has gradually extended his plant
and enlarged his stock until he is now carrying a stock valued at fifteen
thousand dollars and has a considerable force of marble-cutters at work.
The business is carried on under the firm name of Schumacher & Son, Mr.
Schum'acher's son, Andrew O. Schumacher, ha\-ing been admitted to part-
nership with his father some time ago. The firm has a flourishing business
and covers a wide scope of country in its operations. Mr. Schumacher is a
Democrat and during his residence in Herkimer township was for three
years township trustee. He also has served as a member of the Marysville
city council for two terms and has e\'er taken an earnest interest in local
civic afi^airs.


On No^'ember iq, 1888, Peter J. Schumacher was united in marriage
to Pauhna Huber, who was born at Peru, IlHnois, March 28, 1867, and to
this union three children have been born, namely: Andrew O., junior part-
ner in the firm of Schumacher & Son, who married Catherine Reem and
has one child, a daughter, Audra : Verna ]., who was graduated from Man-
hattan College and is at home, and Helena, also at home. The Schumachers
have a very pleasant home at Alarysville and take a proper interest in the
sreneral social activities of their home town. Mr. Schumacher is a member
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of the Modern \\'oodmen of
America and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and takes a warm
interest in the affairs of these several popular organizations.


Edgar Ross Fulton was born on a farm in Clearfield county, Pennsyl-
vania, February 10, 1856. He moved to Falls City, Nebraska, in 1873, ^"^
for several years was a clerk in his brother's law office. He studied law and
attended the State University of Iowa, and was graduated from the law
department of that institution in June, 1877.

In 1878 Mr. Fulton moved to western Kansas and located in Hodgeman
county and served as county attorney in that county for two years. In 1882
he came to MarysA'ille and was elected cashier of the First National Bank,
which position he held until January, 191 5, when he was elected president
of the bank, which position he still holds. He was elected state senator from
this county in igoo and re-elected in 1904, serving eight years. He has been
a member of the board of education of Maiysville, continuously since 1899.

Mr. Fulton was married on May 20. 1885. to Miss Jennie A. Schmidt,
eldest daughter of Hon. Frank Schmidt, of Alarysville. Three children
were born to them : Edgar Ross, who died when four years old ; Ludowiene,
now ^Irs. Charles U. Barrett, and Jennie S., who married Lynn R. Brodrick,
and who died on January 13. 1917. Mrs. Fulton died on June 17, 1891.
On Deceniber 6, 1910. Air. Fulton married Miss Ludowiene Schmidt, a sister
iif his former wife.

Mr. Fulton is a member of the Masonic fraternity and in 1907 held the
position of grand commander of the Grand Commandery, Knights Templar,
of Kansas. He is a Republican in politics and an active member of the
Presbvterian church.



Many of the best citizens of Kansas claim her as their adopted state, and
vie with her native citizens in their failh in. and fidehty to, the one and only
one beloved Kansas. John G. Ellenbecker is one of these many adopted citi-
zens of whom the Sunflower state may well be proud.

John G. Ellenbecker was born at Hancock, Michigan, January 29, 1867,
and is the son of Joseph and Mary Ann (Schumacher) Ellenbecker, two of
Marshall county's pioneers. Joseph Ellenbecker was born in the village of
Colbach in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, June 26, 1836. He resided there
during part of his youth and attended the public schools, which were conducted
in French. When he was about twelve (in 1848), he with his parents and
their other nine children — six boys and four girls — emigrated to America and
settled on a farm in Ozaukee county, near Belgium, Wisconsin. The names
of his parents were John and Margaret (Welter) Ellenbecker. They resided
on their Wisconsin farm until their death and are buried in Lake church
cemetery near Belgium. At the time of their advent to Wisconsin the part
where they settled, near Lake Michigan, was covered by a dense hardwood
forest, and a space had to be cleared to build a log house and barn, to say
nothing about a field for cultivating a little rye, corn and vegetables.

That opportunity knocks even at the door of poor people, is seen in this
incident : When Grandpa Ellenbecker with his family passed through Chicago,
then a village, he was offered for five hundred dollars the forty acres upon
which the Union depot is now situated, but he had heard the call of the wilds
through a friend up North, where he could get one hundred and sixty acres
of fine timber land for a song, and thither he journeyed. In those days there
were no railroads west of the Mississippi river, and the journey from New
York to Wisconsin had to be made mostly by canal boats and river boats
and required many months. The trip across the ocean consumed over seventy
days. The Wisconsin forests abounded in wild deer and turkey, and those
supplied the early settlers with fresh meat, although the other food was
generally very plain and sometimes painfully scarce. The plow, cradle, axe
and scythe embraced the agricultural implements, and the first sowings of rye
and wheat were worked into the ground between the stumps by hand har-
rows made out of deer horns. For many years there were no threshing
machines; the grain was tramped out of the straw by oxen or horses and
winnowed in the wind. Some of the wood was broken up into handmade
shingles and slabs for building, but most of it, though valuable, was burnt
on the ground to clear the land.












At the age of eighteen Joseph. Ellenbecker went to Fulton, IlHnois, in
search of employment, and there worked on a farm for two years at ten
dollars a month. Subsequently, he worked on a Mississippi river steamboat
during the summer, and in the winter he cut cordwood near St. Louis at fifty
cents a cord. Returning to Wisconsin in i860, he was united in marriage on
January 22, 1862, to Mary Ann Schumacher. After residing on a small farm
near Belgium for one year, they moved to Hancock, Michigan, where Mr.
Ellenbecker found employment for five years in the Heckly copper mines.
In 1868, with their three children, of whom John was then eighteen months
old, they came to Kansas, and settled one and one-half miles northwest of
Marysville in section 30, on a slightly improved farm of one hundred and
forty acres, which they had purchased for twelve hundred dollars, paying cash.
The old California and Oregon Trail crossed this farm in its course from
St. Joseph to the West; and over this road it was a common sight to see in
those days trains of twenty-five or thirty covered wagons, three ox-teams to
each, slowly winding toward the setting sun.

Mary Ann Schumacher, the youngest of nine children (five boys and
four girls), was born in the village of Erhelding in the same country in which
her husband was born. The names of her parents were Mathias and Catherine
(Herbert) Schumacher; both were l)orn and reared in the Grand Duchy of
Luxemburg. When Mary Ann Schumacher was in her thirteenth year, in
1855, she came with her parents to America. They also settled on a farm in
the forests of Ozaukee county, near Belgium, Wisconsin. Here with her
parents she resided until she grew to womanhood, and shared with them the
life of toil and poverty. Her parents continued to reside on this farm until
their deaths, and are buried in the Lake church cemetery nearby. They, like
the Ellenbecker family, who came o\'er a few years earlier, experienced the
inconvenience of slow travel, being sixty-six days on the ocean and several
months on their inland journey.

Grandpas John Ellenbecker and Mathias Schumacher were both soldiers
under Napoleon Bonaparte, the former serving in the bodyguard of the
great dictator.

To Joseph and Mary Ellenbecker were born nine children, as follow :
Maggie (Mrs. Frank Meier); Anna (Mrs. John Bernadt) ; John G. ^ Katie;
Mary (Mrs. Michael Jacobs) ; Mathias (died at the age of five) : Frank A.:
Louis A. and Joseph S.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ellenbecker, coming to Kansas in the frontier
days, suffered all the privations of the early settlers — droughts, sickness, pov-
erty, hard times, and grasshoppers. They lived for thirteen years in a one-



story Cottonwood board shanty, fourteen by fourteen feet, when in 1881 they
built a commodious new house. They farmed foi- \ears with such backward
equipment as oxen, double-shovel plows, and old-fashioned grain cradles.
iMoney being too scarce to hire help, Airs. Ellenbecker assisted her husband
with their harvest besides doing the housework for many years. All the
grain had to be bound with straw bands by hand, and no other vehicle was
seen upon the farms or roads than the heavy farm wagon. There were no
barns ; the sheds for horses and cattle were made out of poles, brush and
straw. The rail- fence was the only kind seen, and was as common as rail
corn-cribs and log granaries. The washboard, dash-churn and spinning-
wheel indicated the housewife's lot in those days. Mr. and Mrs. Ellenbecker
put up with those things and conditions for many years without wavering
or complaining, but they were made of that material that never gave up; and
aside from the splendid family they reared, they acquired fully a section of
fine farm land, well improved in every particular, and lived to experience the
well-merited reward — ease, comfort, and an abundance of this world's happi-
ness and goods.

When Joseph Ellenbecker and his wife came to Kansas they could come
by railroad only to Frankfort, a railroad not being Intilt to Marysville until
four years later. All that they raised, therefore, was cheap, and what they
bought was high. They paid as high as one dollar and thirtv cents per
bushel for corn for feed and seed, and in 1869 sold wheat as low as thirty-
five cents per bushel, and then hauled it to Waterville, fourteen miles distant.
All the firewood had to be hauled from a little timber lot they owned on
Horseshoe creek, eight miles distant. Every cent they made was made by
hard work and honest dealing. In business matters Joseph Ellenbecker was
guided greatly by a keen judgment; he knew when to buy land, how to handle
cattle, and when to market grain. His ventures sometimes seemed daring,
but the outcome proved how carefully they had been planned. Joseph Ellen-
becker never sought any public office, although holding several, and was for
fifteen years treasurer of the Marshall County Farmers IMutual Insurance
Company. They continued to reside upon their farm near Marysville until
their deaths. They were both faithful members of the Catholic church, were
good parents, kind neighbors, and excellent citizens. They possessed prac-
tically every trait of good character: honesty, industry, virtue, frugality, wis-
dom, and kindness. They were splendid models for the sons and daughters
whom they so carefully reared, and in this regard the parental teachings and
wishes were amply rewarded. Perhaps few parents were held in as high
esteem by their children as they were.


Mr. Joseph Ellenbecker died on August 27, 1901, at the age of sixty-five
years, and was buried in the CathoHc cemetery near Marysville, Kansas.
Mrs. Joseph Ellenbecker died on June 13, 1910, at the age of sixty-eight
years, and was laid to rest by the side of her husband.

On account of a liberal endowment to the University of Luxemburg by
an uncle of Joseph Ellenbecker, of the same name, three perpetual scholar-
ships were created in that school and to which anyone bearing that family
name is eligible.

Joseph Ellenbecker had two brothers, Nicholas and Frank, who served
in Wisconsin regiments in the Civil War. Frank, at the time a captain, was
killed at the battle of Lookout Mountain, and lies buried in that battlefield in

John G. Ellenbecker, coming to Kansas with his parents when a mere
child, has spent practically all of his life in this state. His youth was spent
working on the parental farm and attending the Pleasant Ridge rural school.
From a mere lad he was bent on securing an education, and it was a con-
tinual contest between farm and school as to which would get the most of
his time. Although the farm won at first by big odds, the school at last
came in for its share of his time, even though much delayed. He was
graduated from the Marysville high school, June 15, 1888, at the age of
twenty-one. He then taught in district schools for two years — one term in
the Deer creek district, both in Marshall county, driving five miles each day to
school and working on the home farm during vacation. In this way he
saved enough money to further pursue his education. While he was in the
high school, on account of good work, he won a f(3ur-year scholarship in
Adrian College, Michigan, but he did not avail himself of this educational
opportunity for lack of funds. In the autumn of 1890 he became a student in
the Kansas Normal College at Ft. Scott, Kansas, which was then one of the
best colleges in the state. This school was then in charge of Prof. D. E.
Sanders, whom John Ellenbecker and hundreds of other people kindly
remember for valuable educational advantages received. Here he completed
three courses : commercial, scientific and classical, and obtained his diplomas
and degrees. Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts.

In the autumn of 1892 Mr. Ellenbecker opened a private school at
Marysville, Kansas, known as the Alodern Normal College, which, with an
able corps of teachers, he conducted for eleven years. The financial support
of this school came from a small tuition charged the students attending, but
no worthy boy or girl was refused enrollment because he or she did not have
the money. The school was moderately successful, and no less than twelve


hundred young people received part or all of their education in its class-
rooms. On account of close application to these schocjl duties, Mr. EUen-
becker's health became so impaired that a change of work was advisable,
so he reluctantly decided to give up the school which had 1)cen entered as his
life's work. He then purchased a stock farm of two hundred acres, one mile
west of Marysville, to which he and his family moved in the spring of 1904,-
and upon which they still reside.

John G. Ellenbecker was united in marriage to Lillie Katherine Koppes,
July 6. 1898. at Alarysville, Kansas. Lillie K. Koppes was born September
30, 187 1, on the homestead six miles northw^est of Marysville and has ever
since resided in her native state. She grew to w^omanhood in the parental
home, attended the Deer creek district school, and later the Modern Normal
College for several years, in which she later became an instructor. She was
affectionately attached to her father and mother and served them most faith-
fully. The names of her parents w^ere Peter and Susan (Schmidler) Koppes,
also two of Marshall county's hardy pioneers.

Peter Koppes, the youngest of eight children (four boys and four girls),
was born Octol^er 14, 1836, in the village of Erisingen, in the Grand Duchy
of Luxemburg. He was educated and grew to manhood in the country of
his birth, and at the age of twenty, in 1856, came to America, and for a time
lived near Dacada, Wisconsin. In 1859 he came to Marysville, Kansas,
W'here he found employment for one year at the sawnnill of R. Y. Shibley.
He then moved onto a homestead in the northwest corner of Marysville
township, which he had selected in the year of his coming West, and which
land became the pleasant abode and seat of his family home for forty-seven

As soon as times and agricultural tools permitted, Mr. Koppes engaged
in general farming and stock-raising, and was highly successful. He ahvays
cared for his stock, Ijeing among the first to erect a large barn, and always
tilled his acres after the exact and thorough methods employed in the land
of his birth. His large vineyard and fine orchard showed his great skill and
interest in horticulture. Even though the first tw'O years Peter Koppes lived
in Kansas comprised the memorable drought (from June, 1859, to Novem-
ber, i860), he did not lose faith in the territory. During i860 no crops were
raised, live stock starved, and over half the people had to live on wdiat was
brought in from the East. He maintained this vigor and interest in farm
activities until he w^as seventy, when advancing age made it advisable for him
to move from the scenes that might tempt him to toil. In 1906 Mr. Koppes


purchased a house in Alarysville, to which he and his faithful wife retired
to spend at ease their dechning years.

The names of Peter Koppes' parents were Michael Koppes and Mary
(Ries) Koppes. Both were born and reared and died in the native land
of their son.

Susan (Schmidlerj Koppes was born on July 31, 1841, in the village
of Kayl, in the native land of her husband. In 1848, at the age of seven,
she with her parents, Jacob and Susanna (Bessinger) Schmidler, emigrated
to the New World and took up their home on a farm near Dacada, Wis-
consin. She had three brothers and four sisters, all coming to America.
At this place her parents resided until their deaths, and are buried in the
cemetery at Dacada. They also lived the trying lives of the Wisconsin pio-

Susan Schmidler grew to womanhood in the parental home, and on
January 19, 1864. was united in marriage to Peter Koppes at Dacada, and
at once came with him to Marysville, Kansas, where he had already estab-
lished an abiding place on his homestead.

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Koppes came to Kansas in the early days, and
experienced all the ups and downs of pioneer times. Prairie fires destroyed
their crops, and when the grasshoppers did not eat up their corn, oft the
ague left them too weak to culti\atc the fields. Their agricultural tools were
the hoe, cradle, harrow, and walking plow drawn by oxen. Ofttimes Mrs.
Koppes stayed for many days in the little log house on the homestead, while
her husband went to Atchison with an ox-team, taking a load of cured meats
or corn to exchange for provisions and farming tools.

These incidents relate the dangers of those days : On one of these trips,
while Mr. Koppes was driving to the river markets, and was near where the
city of Hiawatha now is, a prairie fire driven by a high southwest wind over-
took him, and while he was lashing his oxen to outrun the fire, he fainted,
only to wake u)) in the care of some kind settler many miles away, to which
place the faithful brutes had carried their unconscious driver to safety.

In 1854 the Cheyenne Indians coming in from the west, massacred five
settlers on the Little Blue in Nebraska, and scaring the other settlers to come
as far east as Marysville and other towns, where this motley collection of
frightened people stayed for days, built defenses and did picket duty against
approaching Indians. Mr. Koppes, like many of the settlers west and north
of Marysville, brought his family to the little town for safety every evening
f^.r many days, helped stand guard overnight, and then returned to the home-
stead in the morning with his ox-team and family to spend the day in work


about the farm. The Httle log-caljin down l)y a creek or a dugout in the tall
prairie grass made life weird enough, to say nothing about the sight of cruel
Indians and horrifying Indian scares. Every Ijark of a dog at night or the
rattle of a batten made the heart cease beating and the blood run cold at the
thought of approaching savages. Pnit come what might they gave not up.
They stayed as if ai)pointed by fate to help tame the wilderness, so that com-
ing generations more delicate and less persevering might hnd a land in which
they could abide in safety. They stayed through it all, and won the well-
merited crown of happiness and prosperity. Their real estate holdings
increased to a well-improved farm of over three hundred acres, and a spacious
dwelling-house, built in 1880, unlimited in cheerfulness and comforts.

To Mr. and Airs. Peter Koppes were born nine children: Louise (Mrs.
Henry Amelunxen) ; Andrew^ P.; Lillie K. (Mrs. John G. Ellenbecker) ;
Hubert; Verona (Mrs. Paul X. Schmitt ) ; Otilla M. (Mrs. M. J. Schmitt) ;
John \'. ; Anna ( Sister Athanasia, O. S. B. ) ; and a boy who died in extreme
infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Koppes were always active members of the Catholic
faith, in which they reared all their children, and the splendid family that
they reared is ample proof how well they did their duty as parents and
citizens. They were ever ready to help all who were in need, and cheerful
to all whom they met, and by these and their many other admirable traits
of character won a priceless heritage from all who learned to know them,
and especially from their children.

. Air. Peter Koppes died July 29, 191 3. at the family home in Marys-
ville, at the age of seventy-six years, and was followed by his faithful wife
four years later, wdio died at their home in Marysville, January 8, 191 7, at
the age of seventy-five years. They w-ere both buried in the Catholic ceme-
tery near Alarysville, Kansas.

To Mr. and Mrs. John G. Ellenbecker were born tW'O children, Raymond
Louis, born on November i, 1900, and now a member of the second-year
class high school, and Irene Veronica, born on May 26, 1904, and now- a
pupil in the seventh grade. Both children, aside from their academic studies,
are interested in music, Raymond in violin and Irene in piano.

John G. Ellenbecker is a firm believer in intensive farming, and he with
his estimable helpmate ha\e shown in their present beautiful rural home,
"Sylvan Heights Farm," wdiat can be made out of a once much-neglected,
wornout piece of land. His motto in farming is, "Treat every -acre so that
it can do its best,'' and that his acres are doing thus is seen in a commodious
nine-room dwelling house, three big barns and other good out-buildings, vast


alfalfa and wild grass meadows, fertile fields, fine orchard, large pasture,
and among other live stock a large herd of high-grade Shorthorn cattle.

John G. Ellenbecker is a friend of trees and forests. During the twelve
years he has resided on "Sylvan Heights Farm" he has planted and growing
no less than five thousand trees, three hundred of which are pines and cedars.
He has the dream that Kansas should become a timber state, and has often
said: "If every Kansas boy would plant only ten walnuts each year, in
twenty-five years Kansas would be one vast forest of black walnut timber."

Mr. Ellenbecker is an ardent advocate of co-operative societies. He
was one of the founders of the Marshall County Farmers Co-operative Busi-
ness Association, served two years as its president, and is still one of its
directors. Recently he has helped to organize the Marshall County Co-opera-
tive Oil and Gas Association, is one of its directors and believes that oil and

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 48 of 104)