Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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year, during which period he was ably assisted by his wife, who had rejoined
him at Baltimore.

In 1867, a year or two after the completion of his military service.
Doctor Sheldon and his wife returned to Kansas and located at Seneca, where
the Doctor opened an office for the practice of his profession. His health
presentlv failing, he gave up his office at Seneca and came over into ^Marshall
county and bought a farm in Guittard township, believing that the life on
the open prairie would prove beneficial. He continued his practice, however,
and was soon widely known among the pioneers of this section of the state.
AMien the railroad came Doctor Sheldon established his office and home at
the new railway station not far from his farm and thus became known as
"the father of Beattie," his efforts in behalf of the new station undoubtedly
having done very much to promote the growth and the interests of that vil-
lage in its early days. He engaged in the lumber business upon the estab-
lishment of the village and presently also started a bank there, the first bank
in Beattie, now the First X'ational Bank of that city, and in other ways did
all in his power to promote the new town. Some time later Doctor Sheldon's
health again failed and he spent a year at Hot Springs, Arkansas. He con-
tinued his practice, intermittently, until his death, there being some of his
old patients who would not permit him to find the retirement he sought.
Doctor Sheldon was a Republican and ever took an earnest part in local
political affairs, having been coroner of ^Marshall county at the time of his
death. He attended the Methodist Episcopal church and, fraternally, was
a very ardent Mason, in the affairs of which organization he took a prominent
part. He was the first master of the Seneca lodge. The members of the
lodge at that place and other friends he had gained during his residence
there, chartered a special train after his death in order to make the trip to
Beattie to attend his funeral.


In 1S54 Dr. Julius |. Slieklon was united in marriage to Mary Sheldon,
who was l5orn in Lorain cciunty, Ohio, November 22, 1833, daughter of
Elam and Aznl)a (Robinson) Sheldon, natives of New York state and repre-
sentatives of old colonial families, the Robinsons tracing their descent to the
Robinson who came to this country on the companion ship of the "Mayflower."
To Doctor and Mrs. Sheldon one child was born, a daughter, Mina, wdio
married W. \'>. I lawk, who was born in Mis.souri and who is a well-known
druggist at Beattie. Mr. and Mrs. Hawk have one child, a daughter, Mrs.
Rubv Wooster, of tlie \-illage of Home. ]\Irs. Sheldon has a very pleasant
h.ome at Beattie and retains a lively interest in local affairs. Despite the fact
that she is no\\ well past four score years of age, she continues physically
and mentallv ^'igorous, is able to read without the aid of glasses and finds
much pleasure in the making of fancy work for her friends. Mrs. Sheldon
retains the most vi\id recollections of pioneer days in this county and is a
veritable mine of information on matters relating to the early history of the
county and of the events leading up to its present high state of development.


Peter H. DeLair, deceased, who was one of the early pioneer farmers
f Alarshall county, was born in Canada on February 4, 1837, and died in
the year 1904. He received his education in the schools of his native
country and there he grew to manhood and engaged in general farming.
In 1863 he was united in marriage to Susan A. Dickhout, who w-as also
born in Canada on February 28, 1840, the daughter of Henry and Sarah
Dickhout, natives of that country, but of German and English parents,

Mr. and Mrs. DeLair were married in their native country and there
they resided until 1867, when they came to the United States, where they
might have a better opportunity to obtain a home for themselves. On their
arrival in this country they at once came to Kansas and homesteaded one
hundred and sixty acres of land in Herkimer township, Marshall county.
During the early years on their new tract of land, they lived in the style of
house common to that section in those early days, but some years later they
built a substantial residence, one of the best in the district. The farm was
developed and improved and Mr. DeLair became one of the successful and
progressive men of the county. He and his wife had one thousand dollars




when they ventured into the new land and amid new conditions, but by
hard work and strict economy they saw their early savings grow into larger
proportions. They continued to live on the homestead farm until 1903,
when they retired from the more active duties of life and moved to Oketo,
where Mr. DeLair died the next year. He was a man of pronounced con-
victions and was held in the highest regard by all. He was an excellent
farmer and a worthy citizen. He with his wife and two children suffered
many of the hardships common to the early settlers in a new country, yet
they had plenty of plain food and their lives were made happy with the
anticipation of a better home in the near future, and with their children they
enjoyed many pleasant days. Both Mr. and Mrs. DeLair took the greatest
interest in township and county affairs and their every effort was to ad-
vance the best interests of all. Thev had much to do with the moral, social
and educational progress as well as the physical development of the home
district. They always lived noble and active lives and at the death of Mr.
DeLair the community knew that they had lost an excellent citizen and a
kind neighbor. Both were members of the Baptist church and took much
interest in all religious work. They were members of the Good Templars
and the Grange.

Peter H. and Susan A. DeLair were the parents of the following
children: John E., Ethelbert D., \\'illiam E., Edmund W., Clement AL,
and Cynthia A. John E. was born on December 29, 1865, ^"^^ is now a
general merchant at Oketo. He married Ida Blackburn, of Alpena, Mich-
igan, and they are the parents of four children as follow : Blanche, George.
Norma and Raymond. Ethelbert D. was born in 1867 and is now a resident
of Junction City, Kansas; William E., who was born on May 22, 1870. is
now the head miller at the Hutchinson mills at Marysville; Edmund W.
was born in January, 1873. and is engaged in general farming and stock
raising on the home place; Clement M. was born on December 12, 1875,
and is a successful hardware merchant at Oketo; Cynthia A., who is a
twin of Clement M., is the wife of N. Brubaker, of Oketo, and is the
mother of two children, Myrle and Edna.

Mrs. DeLair is still living at her home in Oketo at the age of seventy-
seven vears and is a most remarkable woman for one of her years. She
is a most interesting person to meet and her many interesting stories of the
early days on the plains of Kansas are instructive and are impressive of
the great work done in those da}'s by the men and women, who by
their determination and hard work have transformed Marshall county into
one of the finest sections of Kansas. Mrs. DeLair makes her own dresses



and those of her daughter and granddaughter, and it is one of her greatest
pleasures to assist others in the duties of the home. She still takes much
interest in her church work and when her health permits she is a regular
attendant at the church services.


The Hon. Mathias M. Schmidt, representative from the fortieth district
in the Kansas Legislature, a former educator and banker, who is now actively
engaged in the insurance business in the village of Home, is a native of the
state of Wisconsin, l)ut lias Vieen a resident of Marshall countv since he
was three years of age. He was born at Port Washington, Wisconsin, July
8, 1876, son of Michael and Mary (Molitor) Schmidt, natives of Europe,
both born in the grand duchy of Luxemburg, the former of whom, an hon-
ored veteran of the Civil War, spent his last days in this county and the lat-
ter of whom is still living, now making her home at Marysville, an honored
pioneer of this county. Michael Schmidt was twice married. By his first
marriage he was the father of three children and by his second marriage was
the father of ten children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the first-
born and all of whom are living.

Michael Schmidt was born in Luxemburg on December 25, 1837, and
was but twelve years of age when he came to this country with his parents,
the family settling in Wisconsin, where Michael was reared on a farm. Upon
attaining his majority he went to Illinois, where he began working for George
B. Reynolds, who. upon the breaking out of the Civil War, organized the
Sixty-fourth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was made the colonel
of the same. Michael Schmidt enlisted in that command and served from
1861 until 1863, when he received his discharge on account of deafness con-
tracted in service. This command was attached to the Army of the West
and Mr. Schmidt saw service at the engagement of Island No. 10, at the
battle of Shiloh, at Ft. Donelson, at Pittsburg Landing and at Ft. Henry.
Upon the completion of his military service he returned to Wisconsin, mar-
ried there and located at Sheboygan, where he was engaged in buying grain
until 1879, when he came to Kansas with his family and settled in Herkimer
township, this county, where he homesteaded a tract of one hundred and
sixty acres of raw prairie land and established his home. There he lived for
seven or eight years, at the end of which time he moved farther east in that


same township and there spent tlie rest of his life, his death occurring on
June 8, 1913. His widow, who was born in Luxemburg on August 2, 1850,
and who was but nine months of age when her parents came to this country,
the family settling in Wisconsin, still survives and is now making her home
at Marysville.

Mathias M. Schmidt was reared on the home farm in Herkimer town-
ship, receiving his early schooling in the district school in the neighborhood
of his home and supplemented the same by a course in the old Modern Nor-
mal School at Marysville, after which, in 1896, he began teaching school in
Oketo township and for five years thereafter was engaged as a teacher in the
district schools of Marshall county. He then for three years served as prin-
cipal of the schools at Herkimer, one year as principal of the Oketo schools
and two years as principal of the schools at Home. In 1902, Mr. Schmidt
took a course at the Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois. On
1907 he organized the Citizens State Bank of Home, was elected cashier of
the same and served in that capacity for seven years, at the end of which
time he resigned that position and has ever since been very successfully
engaged in the insurance business at Home. Mr. Schmidt retains his stock
in the Citizens State Bank and takes an active and influential interest in the
general business of his home town and of the county at large. He is a Demo-
crat and in 1914 was elected to represent the fortieth Kansas representative
district in the state Legislature, his services in the House being of large
benefit not only to his district, but to the state at large. Mr. Schmidt is a
member of the Kansas State Historical Society, an active member of the
National Geogra])hic Society and a member of the Kansas Academy of
Science. He has the largest and .finest library in Marshall county and for
vears has been accounted as one of the leaders in the cultural activities of
this part of the state.

On December 11, 1906, Mathias M. Schmidt was united in marriage
to Nellie Thomas, who was born in Franklin township, this county, March
9, 1882, daughter of Joshua and Margaret (Francis) Thomas, natives of
Wales, who came to this country in the seventies and settled at Madison,
Wisconsin, moving thence, in 1880, to Kansas and settling in Franklin town-
ship, this county. A few years later Joshua Thomas moved to the village
of Home, where he engaged in the mercantile business and there spent the
remainder of his life, his death occurring on January 19, 1905, he then being
about sixty years of age. His widow is now living at Marysville. Nellie
Thomas was graduated from the high school at Chillicothe, Missouri, took a
special course in music and was engaged in teaching in this county at the


time of her marriage to Mr. Schmidt. To that union three children have
been born, Victor Hugo, Carol M. and Mary M. The Schmidts have a very
pleasant home at Home and take a proper interest in the community's general
social activities, helpful in promoting all vi^orthy causes thereabout.


Frank A. Werner, editor and proprietor of the Axtcll Standard at
Axtell, this county, is a na'tiA'e of Germany, but has been a resident of this
country since he was twelve years of age. He was born in the Prussian
province of Brandenburg on June 10, 1871, son of August and Augusta
(Seidel) Werner, natives of that same province, who came to this country
more than thirty years ago and are now living pleasantly retired at Crab
Orchard, Nebraska.

August Werner was born on August 8, 1836, and his wife was born
on December 17, 1838. For twenty-three years he served as treasurer of
his district in the Fatherland, under appointment by the crown, and in 1884
came with his family to this country and settled on a farm in Fremont
county, Iowa, where he lived until 1893, in which year he moved to Crab
Orchard, Nebraska, and bought the Herald, a weekly newspaper published
at that place and wdiich he conducted until his retirement from business, his
son. Otto, now conducting the paper. August \\^erner and his wife are mem-
bers of the Methodist church and their children were reared in that faith.
There were nine of these children, four of whom are still living, those besides
the subject of this sketch being as follow: William F., who is engaged in
the monument business at Axtell, this county; Ernest F., who is a farmer in
Murray township, this county, and Otto, w^ho is the editor of the Herald at
Crab Orchard, Nebraska.

Frank A. Werner was but tweh-e years of age when he came to the
United States with his parents and he was reared on a farm in Iowa. In
1892 he entered the Conservatory of Music at Lincoln, Nebraska, and there
took a three-years course in the violin and harmony, after which, in 1895, he
went to Elm Creek, Nebraska, where he became engaged as a clerk in a gen-
eral store, acquiring there a sufficient fund of experience in the mercantile
business to embolden him to embark in business on his own account. He
bought a stock of merchandise at Crabb Orchard and conducted the same
until 1899, in which year he sold his store and engaged in business with his


brother, Otto Werner, in the puljhcation of the newspaper at Crab Orchard,
and was thus engaged until 1902, when he became the manager for George
D. Dement, a fruit grower, but shortly afterward returned to the newspaper
office and was engaged there with his brother, Otto, from 1903 to 1906, in
which latter year he became foreman for the Enterprise Printing Company
at Exeter, Nebraska. Two years later, in 1908, he came to Kansas and
located at Axtell, where he bought the Axtcll Anchor and consolidated the
same with the Standard, which was then being published at Axtell by his
brother, Ernest Werner, the paper being conducted by the brothers, the name
Standard being retained, until 1912, when Frank A. Werner bought his
brother_^s interest in the paper and has since been conducting it alone, sole
editor and proprietor. Mr. Werner has a well-equipped and well-established
printing plant and has built up the circulation of the Standard from four
hundred to eight hundred, the paper having a wide popularity throughout
the region it so admirably covers. Mr. Werner is independent in his political
views and the columns of his newspaper do not reflect the theories or prin-
ciples of any political party, the chief mission of the paper being to give the
news from week to week relating to. Axtell and vicinity.

On September 17, 1897, Frank A. Werner was united in marriage to
Mary Hennek, who was born in the city of Oppeln, in Prussian Silesia, Ger-
many, November 21, 1878, daughter of Frank and Julia (Andreas) Hennek,
who came to this country in 1886 and settled at Lexington, Nebraska. Frank
Hennek is now living at Rapid City, South Dakota, a retired farmer. To
Mr. and Mrs. Werner six children have been born, Eva M., Frederick W.,
Velma G., Ralph F., Ruby R., and Irene F. The Werners are a musical
family, Mr. Werner and his four elder children often being called on to pro-
vide orchestral music for local entertainments. Frederick W. Werner is a
trap-drummer of more than ordinary accomplishment and all the children are
skilled performers on one or more musical instruments, while Mr. W^erner is
a violinist of much skill. The Werners have a very pleasant home at Axtell
and take an active part in the general social activities of the city. Mr. Wer-
ner is a Mason and is a member of the local lodges of the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows and of the Modern Woodmen of America, in the latter two
of which organizations he has been an office bearer, and in the affairs of all
of which he takes a warm interest. He is an active "booster" for Axtell and
Marshall county and the columns of his enterprising newspaper are ever
advocating measures designed to advance the common welfare not only of
his home town, but of the county at large.



Frank Dow Sheldon, now deceased, and formerly one of the highly
respected and successful men of Blue Rapids, Marshall county, was born on
September 4, 1853. i" Aurora township, Portage county, Ohio, being the son
of Albert Russell Sheldon, of Ohio, and Cornelia (Dow) Sheldon, who was
born in Brattleboro. Vermont.

Mr. Sheldon's ancestors were of an old Connecticut family, several mem-
bers of whom served in the militia and took an active part in the Revolu-
tionary War. In 1800 his great grandfather, Ebenezer Sheldon, moved to
Portage county, Ohio, taking possession of a tract of land in the Western
Reserve, granted by the state of Connecticut to those who had helped during
the war. This farm is still in possession of the Sheldon family and there
Frank Dow Sheldon grew to manhood. After completing his education in
the common schools, he entered Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio, from which
institution he was later graduated. He then taught school for four years,
after which he entered the drug business at Burton, Ohio, where he remained
for ten years. In 1888 he came to Kansas and established himself in busi-
ness at Blue Rapids, and became one of the highly respected and successful
business men of the county. Before coming to the state he had married
Mrs. Lottie (Cooley) Scott, the daughter of Festus Cooley, one of the early
pioneers of this section of the state. To this marriage one son, Festus Cooley
Sheldon, and one daughter, Cornelia Beaula Sheldon were bom.

Lottie Cooley Sheldon died in 1890. On October i, 1902, Frank Dow
Sheldon married Mrs. Carrie Van Tine Liscom, the daughter of Charles and
Harriet (Cady) Van Tine, with whom he lived until the time of his death
on October 21, 1916, after a sickness of over two years had worn him to but
a shadow of his old-time vigor and self. After the death of his wife in
1890, Mr. Sheldon returned to the old home in Ohio, his little daughter
dying there in 1897. ^^ later returned to Blue Rapids with his son to take
charge of business interests there. In 1907 he built his fine home on a
twelve-acre orchard tract on East avenue ; this he later had platted. It is now
the "Sheldon Subdivision" of Blue Rapid City and comprises a very desirable
residential section of the town. Mr. Sheldon was closely connected with the
business interests of the town for many years. A member of the Christian
church, he always took the keenest interest in religious work. He was a
member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and politically, was iden-
tified with the Republican party. He was a man who took the greatest inter-


est in the growth and development of his home community, where he was
recognized as a man of the highest integrity and purpose. He and Carrie V.
Sheldon were the parents of one daughter, Frances Dow Sheldon, whose birth
occurred on February 22, 1907.

Carrie Van Tine Sheldon was born in Atlas township, Genesee county,
Michigan, and there she received her education in the public schools. Her
parents, Charles and Harriet (Cady) Van Tine, were natives of the state of
New York, having been born in Erie county, and were among the early set-
tlers of Genesee county, Michigan, where they settled in the thirties. There
the daughter, Carrie, married in 1883, Albert H. Liscom, of Goodrich that
state. He was a well-known farmer and stockman, and engaged in that work
until the time of his death. He and his wife were the parents of one child,
Dena Van Tine Liscom, now the wife of Harold H. Wanamaker, of Blue
Rapids. Charles Van Tine was one of the Michigan men who, in 1849,
made the trip to California. He and his party made the trip on horseback,
and passed over the old trail in Marshall county. They made the return
trip by way of ocean steamer. Mrs. Sheldon's ancestry is traced back to the
time of the Dutch rule of New Amsterdam.

Mrs. Carrie V. Sheldon is a woman of pleasing qualities and is possessed
of much ability. At the time of her marriage to Mr. Sheldon, she was state
commander of the Supreme Hive of the Maccabees of the state of Kansas,
having been sent to the state by the supreme hive, with headquarters at
Topeka, where she was married. Mrs. Sheldon united with the Presby-
terian church and has been for fourteen years a director of the board of
the public library and was for six years president of the library board; also
a member of the Tuesday Afternoon Club, of Blue Rapids.


One of the chief industries of Blue Rapids, Marshall county, is the mak-
ing of cement from the gypsum mines of that section of the county. The
industry furnishes employment to a large number of people and brings a
large amount of money to the city and surrounding country. One of the
large industrial plants of the place is the American Cement Plaster Company,
a strong- and substantial business concern and one that has had much to do
with the prosperity and growth of Blue Rapids. One of the men who are
prominently connected with the business is Ed Ir^dn, the mill superintendent,


who was born at Redfield. Iowa, on l''cl)rnary 22, 1873, the son ,of Mathias
and Isaphana (Bass) Irvin.

]\Iathias Irvhi was long interested in woolen mills and the wool industry
in Iowa, w'here he lived for many years, in 1889 he moved to Nebraska,
where he engaged in general farming in Harlan county, near Alma. After a
number of years he retired and moved to McCook, Nebraska, where he later

Ed Irvin received his education in the common schools of Iowa, where he
lived until he was sixteen years of age, when he moved to Nebraska with his
father. There he engaged in general farming, until 1898, when he entered
the employ of the cement mill and learned the work thoroughly, both in the
mill and in the mines. He gave his best services to the company, and took the
greatest interest in the success of the business. He became proficient in all
the departments and his efforts were rewarded in 1904 by being made super-
intendent. He now has over fifty men in his charge and is recognized as a
capable executive. His pleasing personality has won for him the confidence
of the officers of the company and the highest respect of the men under his
supervision. During his connection with the mill he has increased the output
and has raised the standard of excellence in the work.

In 1894 Ed Irvin was united in marriage to Louisa J. Maher, a native
of Nebraska, and to this union three children have been born, John, Fay
and Roy. John is an employee of the mill, where he began work at the age
of twenty years; the other two children are now in school. Mr. and Mrs.
Irvin are among the worthy people of Blue Rapids and are held in the highest
regard. They take much interest in the social life of the town, and have long
been interested in the social, moral and educational growth of the community.

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 55 of 104)