Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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near Marysville. They remained on the farm for some five years W'hen they
sold the place and retired to Marysville. The money from the sale of the
farm was invested in a cattle ranch in South Dakota, wdiich was managed
by the son, Asher, for some years. It was at his home in Marysville that
Andrew Jackson Reed died on November 15, 1906, and his untimely death
was mourned by the entire community, for he had ever taken the keenest
interest in all things that would tend to the pleasure and the happiness of the
people of his home district. For many years he w-as superintendent of the
Sunday school of the Methodist Episcopal church, and whi^le serving in that
capacity he not only won the friendship and love of the older people of
the church and Sunday school, but the children and young people
were his most enthusiastic admirers. His kind and pleasing disposition made
for him many friends in all the walks of life, and his greatest pleasure was
in doing a kind deed for some friend and in giving happiness and comfort
to the members of his family. His home life w^as a happy one, and few men
-enjoyed more tlie pri\-acy of the honie and the companionship of his family,




than did Air. Reed. To be with his family and his friends was one of the
greatest pleasures that he could enjoy.

Andrew Jackson Reed was the son of Hugh and Catherine (Gordon)
Reed, both of whom were natives of Chester county, Pennsylvania. There
they were educated in the public schools, grew up and were married. They
lived. their lives in the county of their birth and were among the prominent
people of the community in which they lived. Hugh Reed was for many
years identified with the Republican party and took much interest in all local
affairs, and served the people of his township as trustee as well as in many
of the other offices of the district. Mary A. (Miller). Reed was born in Ches-
ter county, Pennsylvania, on February 27, 1829, and was reared on the home
farm and educated in the local schools. She was the daughter of Jacob W.
and Ann G. (Bolton) Miller, both of whom were natives of the state of
Pennsylvania. Her father w'as a shoemaker by trade and carried on a retail
trade for many years. His birth occurred on November 13, 1803, and he died
on May 22. 1862. The mother, Ann G. Miller, was born on August 5,
1808. and died on November 22. 1856. She was a woman of considerable
ability and took much interest in the services of the Methodist Episcopal
church, of which she was a member.

To Andrew Jackson and Mary A. Reed were born nine children as
follow : Fannie, Charles, Laura, Frank, Anna M., Harry T., Edwin A.,
Ella R. and Asher F., deceased. This family of children are now all deceased
with the exception of Laura M. O'Neil, who is a resident of Indianapolis,
Indiana, where Mr. O'Neil is employed by one of the railroads, and Ella
K. Snyder, also a resident of the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, where her
husband is a well-known contractor and builder.

Asher F. Reed w^as reared on the home farm and received his education
in the local schools and attended high school. As a lad and young man
he assisted his father with the work on the farm, and at the age of twenty-
three years he started farming for himself. He rented his father's farm in
Marysville township and here he was engaged in general farming and stock
raising for five years. For the next two years he rented a farm in the same
vicinity, after which he operated his father-in-law's place for two years. He
then purchased forty acres of his own in Marysville township, which .he
developed and improved. This farm he enlarged, until the time of his death
on November i. 1908, he was the owner of two hundred and eight acres of
splendid land, all of which was well developed and nicely improved. He and
his wife were regular attendants of the Methodist Episcopal church and
were prominent in the social and the religious life of the community.


On November 25, 1893, Ashcr F. Reed was united in marriage to Julia
Kuoni. the daughter ofMathias and Ursula (Bohner) Kuoni. Mr. and
]\rrs. Kuoni were natives of Switzerland and there received their education
in the public schools, grew up and later came to the United States. They
were both born in the year 1835 and the father died on May 11, 1905, and
the mother on September 19, 1891. They came to the United States in
1869, and for two years were residents of Peru, Illinois, after which they
came to Kansas and located on a farm in Marshall county. Mr. Kuoni
purchased a farm in Marysville township and here he spent the remainder
of his life. He at first purchased railroad land and then homesteaded one
hundred and sixty acres. He paid se\'en dollars per acre for the land he
purchased ; the whole tract today is worth one hundred dollars per acre.
This farm he developed and improved and here he engaged in general farm-
ing and stock raising with success. In connection with his farm work he
dug many wells in all parts of the county and became known in all parts of the
district. ^Ir. and Mrs. Kuoni were identified with the Lutheran church and
were long prominent in the social and religious life of the township. Mr.
Kuoni believed in the principles of the Democratic party and took much
interest in all local affairs, and for a number of years served as road over-
seer. He was a strong advocate of the best roads and during his term of office,
the roads of the district were placed in the best condition possible.

To ]\Iathias and Ursula Bohner Kuoni were born the following chil-
dren : John H., a retired farmer of Marysville; Michael, a farmer of Idaho;
Christina Bigham, a resident of Idaho, where her hu.sband'is a successful
farmer; George, a resident of Arizona, and is now a retired farmer; Julia,
the widow of Asher F. Reed and one that died in infancy.

Julia (Kuoni) Reed was Ijorn in Marshall county, on November 25,
1873, ^^^^ ^^'^s reared on the home farm and educated in the local schools.
She remained at home until after her marriage to Mr. Reed. She now
owns the farm in Marysville township, but lives across the road in Franklin,
and during her residence in this section, she has made for herself many
friends, who hold her in the highest regard and esteem. She takes much
interest in the social and the moral development of the community, and in
the work of the Alethodist Episcopal church. She and Mr. Reed were the
parents of the following children : Clarence, who was born on June 11, 1897;
Selmar on October 16, 1898, and LesHe A., on January 2/, 1903. Selmar
Reed was the first one of Marshall county's young men to answer his coun-
try's call in the war crisis. He has enlisted in the navy.



Robert W. Smith, one of the real pioneers of Marshall county, now
living comfortably retired at his pleasant home in Frankfort, has been a
witness to the development of things in this part of Kansas from the days
of the very beo'innino- of a social order hereabout and there are few men
in the northern part of the state who have a more vivid recollection of the
days of the plainsmen and of the old Overland trail than has he. Coming
to Kansas in 1858 he was a participant in affairs here during the stirring
days of the Ci\il \A'ar period and as a freighter on the old Overland trail
was a witness to many a stirring scene that marked the traffic along that
historic highway in the days before the railroad brought a new order and
robbed the plains of the picturesque quality that has so entertainingly been
embodied in story and song by the observers of a generation now past.
Beginning his career in Marshall county as a merchant at the stage and
milling station of Barrett, Mr. Smith has remained all the years since pretty
closely identified with the affairs of that part of the county, in which he
early became an extensive landowner and cattleman, and now, in the pleas-
ant ''evening time" of his life, with his affairs well ordered, he is in a posi-
tion, while still preserving in a remarkable degree his vigor and zest in living,
to take things easily and to enjoy the ample rewards of a long and busy life.

Robert W. Smith was born in Indiana county, Pennsylvania, Decem-
ber 30, 1838, second in order of liirth of the children born to his parents,
Robert and Sarah (Ray) Smith, also natives of the Keystone state, his
paternal grandfather of Irish birth and his maternal grandfather of Scotch-
Irish stock. The elder Robert Smith was a substantial farmer and the
owner of a store at Elders Ridge. In the academy at Elders Ridge Robert
W. Smith completed his schooling and as a young man engaged in the
mercantile business there on his own account, but after being thus engaged
for about six months came to the conclusion that wider opportunities
awaited him out on the plains of Kansas, and in 1858, he then being hardly
twenty years of age, he came out here, bringing w'ith him a stock of goods,
Vvhich he transported by steamer down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and
thence up the Missouri to Atchison and then by wagon on over into Mar-
.shall county, his point of destination being the stage station and saw-mill
settlement at Barrett, on the old Overland trail. There Mr. Smith estab-
lished his store, but in i86t, finding that the outlook for a merchant there
w^as not as promising as it had seemed, sold his store and engaged on his
own account in general freighting, his route being from Kansas City to


Leavenworth. Atehison and Omaha and iwnu Barrett to Denver and the
Ivockv mountains, keeping- from five to fifteen teams going. In the mean-
time he l)egan investing in huid and in the spring of 1865 located on a farm
he had hought in Clear Fork township, this county, and after his marriage
in 1866 estahlisiiecl his home there, soon becoming recognized as one of the
leading farmers and .stockmen in that part of the county. From the very
beeinnine of his residence in this county. Mr. Smith took an active and
thoughtful interest in local civic affairs. The first school district in Mar-
shall county was tliat organized in the Barrett neighborhood, old district
No. 1, and Mr. Smitli for years ^vas the director in the district. That was
in tlie days when the money for the maintenance of the schools had to be
raised bv popular sub.scription, there being no law to raise money by taxes
for schools at that time, and the teacher was paid but forty dollars for a
term of five months, in i860.

After a brief residence on his fir.st farm in Clear Fork tow^n.ship, Robert
\\\ Smith determined that a better location would be over on another bit
of land he had bought in section 16 of wdiat is now^ Bigelow' township and
there he definitely settled, making that place his home until his retirement
in 1 91 5 and removal to Frankfort, where he and his wife are now li\ing.
Tn addition to his fine and well-improved farm of four hundred acres in
Bigelo\\' township. Mr. Smith is the owner of considerable land elsewhere,
including land in Oklahoma, on which, in the .summer of 1916, just to show
the boys that, despite his years, he still could make a hand, Mr. Smith took
part in the wdieat harvest. His home farm that season produced more than
four thousand bushels of corn. Mr. Smith is a Republican and has ever
taken a good citizen's part in local politics. In addition to the school office
above mentioned, he has held other local offices and was also postmaster
of Barrett, in i860, but he has never been a seeker after public office, pre-
ferring to give his .undivided attention to the development of his farming

On Septem])er 20. 1866, Robert W. Smith was united in marriage to
Henrietta Edgar, who was born in Knox county, Illinois, in 1841. and who
came with her parents. Thomas and Martha Edgar, to Kansas in March,
i860, the family settling in Marshall county. Thomas Edgar and his wife
both w^ere born in Kentucky, but became residents of Illinois, from which
latter state they came as pioneers to this county, locating on a farm in
Clear Fork township, where they spent the rest of their lives, the former
dying in 1885. Flis widow survived him for some years, her death occur-
ring about 1900. They were the parents of seven children and the familv


became one of the well-established families of Marshall countv. To Mr.
and Mrs. Smith six children have been born, namely: Harry T., now living
at Bristol, Oklahoma; William F., of Wetmore, this state; Sarah, wife of
Edward Blainey, of Marshall, Oklahoma ; James, who is living on a farm
adjoining Frankfort on the south; Edgar M., who died in 1910, and Robert
E., who is living on the old home farm in Bigelow township.


. George T. Mohrbacher, junior member of the firm operating the well-
known August Hohn & Sons department store at Marysville, and one of
the most progressive and influential business men in this part of the state,
■is a native son of Marshall county and has lived here all his life. He was
born on a pioneer farm in Franklin township, this county, February 22,
1876, son of Christian and Caroline (Koch) Mohrbacher, pioneers of Mar-
shall county, the former of whom died at Marysville in 1902 and the latter
of whom is still living in that city.

Christian Mohrbacher was born in the kingdom of Bavaria, Germany,
October 31, 1838, and was but a child when his parents, Jacob Mohrbacher
and wife, come to this country. He learned the cooper's trade in Wisconsin
and in the winter of 1859-60 came to Kansas, driving through to Marshall
county from St. Joseph, Missouri, then the terminus of the railway, and
with his parents settled on a homestead two and one-half miles south of
Marysville; later he purchased a small farm west of the homestead which
he later sold and bought a four-hundred-acre farm in section i6 of Franklin
township, north of Home City, where he established his home and soon
became recognized as one of the leading farmers and cattlemen in that part
of the county. He was an extensive breeder of Durham cattle and developed
an extensive cattle business. He made his home on that pioneer farm until
he retired from the active labors of the farm and moved to Home City,
where he resided until 1901, when he moved to Marysville, where his death
occurred on January i, 1902.

Christian Mohrbacher was twice married. His first marriage was to
Martha Tanner and by that union he had five children, namely: Alexander,
who is now living in Denver, Colorado ; Hettie, who married J. E. McMahan
and is living at Marysville; Edwin H., who is living at Denver; Thomas,
of Marysville, and Christopher, deceased. Upon the death of the mother


of tliese children. Christian .Mohihachcr married Carohne Koeli, who was
horn in Milwaukee county. Wisconsin, October 31, 1846, and who is now
lixiui;- at Alar)-sville, and to that union four children were born, of whom
the subject of this sketch w-as the second in order of birth, the others being
as follow: Matilda, deceased; Cora E., who married Carl Lemmer and is
lixiu"- at Denver. Colorado, and Frances, who makes her home with her
mother and is cashier of the August Hohn & Sons department store at

George T. Mohrbacher w^as reared on tlie home farm in Franklin town-
shi[) and supplemented the schooling received in the district school in that
neighborhood by a course in the high school at Marysville. On October
10, 1892, he then being sixteen years of age, he began clerking in the
August Hohn department store at Marysville and has ever since been closely
identified with the affairs of that substantial concern. On January i, 1900,
he became a stockholder in the enterprise and is now the junior member of
the firm, giving his active attention to the management of the extensive
interests of the enterprise, long having been recognized as one of the lead-
ing merchants of Marysville. Mr. Mohrbacher gives his close attention
to the general business affairs of the city and is a member of the publicity
committee of the Marysville Commercial Club. He is a Republican and
takes a good citizen's interest in the civic and political affairs of his home
community. Some years ago he was appointed chief of the Marysville fire
department and has given much attention to the affairs of the department
as well as to the general subject of fire prevention, now- serving as treasurer
of the Kansas State Firemen's Association and as chairman of the legisla-
tive committee of the same ; also vice-president of the Kansas State Asso-
ciation of Fire Chiefs. Mr. Mohrbacher is an active member of several
lodges; is a member of all the Masonic bodies, a thirty-second-degree
Mason and secretary of Marysville Lodge No. 91, Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons, and Marysville Chapter No. 29, Royal Arch Masons ; a member
of the Modern Woodmen of America, of the Ancient Order of United
Workmen, of the Knights of P}lhias and of the Turnverein, and is man-
ager of Turner Hall.

On May 16. 1899. George T. Mohrbacher w^as united in marriage to
Minna A. Hohn. a graduate of the Marysville high school, who w^as born
at Marysville on August 11, 1878, daughter of August and Minna (Zim-
merman) Hohn, further mention of wdiom is made in a biographical sketch
relating to the former, the veteran merchant at Marysville, and to this
union two children have been born, Arthur, who w'as born on October 22,


1900, and Winton, June 13, 1905. The Mohrbachers have a very pleasant
home in Marysville and have ever taken a warm interest in the general
social activities of their home town, helpful in promoting all worthy move-
ments designed to advance tlie common welfare hereabout.


John L. Lewis, one of Marshall county's substantial farmers and land-
owners and former trustee and treasurer of Blue Rapids township, now
living retired from the active labors of the farm in his pleasant home in the
village of Irving, on the outskirts of which village his farm abuts, is a native
of the principality of Wales, but has been a resident of this country since he
was but a child, his parents ha\ing come to this country and settled in ^^'is-
consin wht-n he was about nine years of age. He was born on January i,
1 84 1, a son of David and Jane T Lloyd) Lewis, who came to the United
States in 1850 and settled on a farm in Waukesha county, Wisconsin, where
David Lewis died the next year, in 185 1. He was born on November 25,
181 1. His widow, who was born in that same year, survived him many
years, her death occurring in 1892. They were the parents of four children,
of whom the subject of this sketch is now the only survivor, he having had
a brother, David, and two sisters, Mary and Mrs. Sarah Evans, deceased.

John L. Lewis was about nine years of age when he came to this coun-
try with his parents and he was reared on a farm in Waukesha county,
Wisconsin. In 1866 he bought a farm in Kankakee county, Illinois, and
following his marriage the next year established his home there, remaining
there until 1877, when he went to j^.Iissouri and bought a farm in Carroll
county, that state, where he farmed for a couple of years, at the end of
which time, in 1879, he came to Kansas and for five years was engaged in
farming' on a rented farm in Osage county ; in the meantime buying a farm
in Gage county, Nebraska, on which he presently established his home, but
in 1 89 1 sold out there and moved to Nuckolls county, in that same state,
where he lived until he came to Marshall county in 1905 and settled on a
farm which he had bought here in 1888. During the years of his owner-
ship of that farm a village had been growing up alongside it and Mr.
Lewis found that he had a valuable bit of property when he finally made
his home here. He is the owner of three hundred and fifteen acres of land
in section 6 of Bigelow township and the home place in section 6 of Blue


Rajiids township, riylil on the sontlieastern edi^e of tlic thrixini;" villa.t^a' of
Irvins^. l*"or some time pa.st Mr. T.ewis lias h;ul his farm rented and he
and his wife are now makin^- their liome in lr\ing", where they are very
comfortably situated. In addition to his land holdings in this county, Mr.
Lewis is the owner of a farm of eight hundred acres in Beadle county, South
Dakota, and is regarded as (Mie of Marshall county's substantial citizens.
Mr. Lewis is a Democrat and has served the public in the capacity of treas-
urer and as trustee of Blue Rapids township.

On Christmas Dav. in the year iS()/, John L. Lewis was united in
marriage, in Waukesha county, Wisconsin, to Ellen Williams, who was
born in that county on November 26, 1846, a daughter of Hugh H. and Ellen
Williams, natives of Wales, who left their native country in 1838 and came to
this country, settling in Wisconsin, where both spent the remainder of their
lives. To Mr. and Mrs. Lewis two children have been born, Jennie, now
deceased, who was a graduate of the Crete (Nebraska) Congregational Col-
lege, and Sarah Ann, widow of John H. Jones, who has two sons, Lewis
and Edwin Lloyd Jones, and now lives at Wymore, Nebraska. Mr. and
Mrs. Lewis are members of the Episcopal church and take a proper interest
in local church work. Mr. Lewis is a member of the Lidependent Order
of Odd Fellows and for years has taken an active interest in the affairs of
that organization.


France has given to the United States some of her best and most pro-
gressive citizens. Among those who have settled in Marshall county is Frank
Thomann, one of the well-known and prominent retired farmers of Summer-
field, who was born in Alsace on March 2y, 1847, the son of Jacques and
Victoria (Bishops) Thomann.

The parents of Frank Thomann were also natives of France and there
received their education and grew up and were later married. The father
had been married before his union to Victoria Bishops and by the first wife
was the father of five children. By the second wife, the mother of Frank,
there were two children born, of whom Frank is the only one living. Jacques
Thomann as a young man learned civil engineering, at which he worked in
his native land until 1856, when he decided to seek a home for himself and
family in the United States. After a voyage of thirty-six days they landed
at Philadelphia, where the family resided for a year. The father then decided






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MB- - -71 "B^^^^^B




that he would be a farmer and in 1857 came to Kansas. The trip from St.
Joe to Marshall county was made in a wagon drawn by oxen. On their
arrival in the county, Mr. Thomann located in Richland township, where
he pre-empted one hundred and twenty acres of land in section 32, at one
dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. He at once built a log cabin in which
the family lived for some years, and with his oxen he broke the tough prairie
sod and planted his grain. The few years that he lived on his farm were
fraught with many difficulties, yet during those years his life was a most
active one. He was the first surveyor of Marshall county after Kansas
became a state. His death occurred on May 10, 1864. His widow survived
him until 1890, when her death occurred on April 16 of that year. They
were members of the Catholic church and lived consistent Christian lives, and
were held in the highest regard and respect l)y all wlio knew them.

Frank Thomann received the greater part of his education in the schools
of his native land, having attended school but two months after the family
came to America, yet he was Init nine years of age when he came with his
parents to this country. At the age of sixteen years he started in to work for
himself, and later he and his half-brother farmed the old home place. In
1884 Mr. Thomann retired from the farm and moved to Beattie, Kansas,
where he assisted A. J. Brunswig and Joseph Baer organize the Bank of
Beattie, Mr. Thomann furnishing the money. These men were also the man-
agers of an elevator known as the Brunswig Elevator Company, which did
a big business. In 1889 the Kansas City & Northwestern railroad was com-
pleted through Summerfield, and Mr. Thomann was one of the first to buy
lots in the new town. He and his brother-in-law, August Wuester, started
a drug store, which they conducted for a number of years. The members
of the banking house and August Wuester, organized the Summerfield Hard-

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 50 of 104)