Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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entered the service as a soldier. The latter order was always to him the
greatest of fraternal bodies. To them he always felt that he owed his life,
for W'hile a prisoner of war, his condition was such that he developed scurvy,
and was about to die from starvation, when he gave the sign of distress and
help came to him at once.

To James C. and Mary Dickey were born three children, William Louis,
Ray and Daisy. William Louis w^as born on- September 30, 1866, and grew
to manhood and w^as educated in Marshall county. His death occurred on
March 9, 1897, the result of a surgical operation; Ray, who was born on Sep-
tember 2^, 1869, is the electrician for the light plant at Blue Rapids. He is
married to Hallie Thompson and they are the parents of two children. Don-
ald, in a bank at Topeka, and Creta, at home. Daisy was born on' February
3, 1876, and is now^ the wife of Frank Keefover; they reside at Tacoma,
Washington. Before coming to Waterville, Mr. Dickey was a member of
the Lutheran church, and for many years after locating in Marshall county.



he attended the Methodist Episcopal church, of which his wife was an active

Mr. and Mrs. Dickey were always active and prominent in the social
and the religious life of the community in which they lived and where they
were held in the hghest regard. To them has been due much of the credit
for the high moral and social standing of the little city of Waterville. Mrs.
Dickey takes much interest in her church work, and has long been active in
the Woman's Relief Corps and the Order of the Eastern Star and is also a
niem])er of the Rebekah lodge and of a fraternal insurance society.


George Peterson, one of the substantial and highly respected retired res-
idents of Waterville, Marshall, county, was born on March 17, 1849, in Den-
mark, and is the son of Peter and Martha Peterson, both of whom were
natives of that country and there spent their lives. George Peterson received
his education in the schools of his native land and there lived until he was
twenty-four years of age. He then came to the United States and arrived
in this country without funds and among strangers and amid strange condi-
tions. He at once came to Kansas and located in Doniphan county, where he
worked for twenty dollars per month as a farm hand, the greater part of
his time being employee* in the cutting of hazel brush. After a time he
located on a jiiece of land of his own and engaged in general farming with
success. After having lived for eleven years in Doniphan countv he sold his
farm and came to Waterville, and in 1883 he purchased one hundred and
sixty acres of land in Walnut township. The tract at that time was all wild
land, and had to be broken and improved by Mr. Peterson. In time the place
became one of the ideal farms in the township, and here he engaged in general
farming and stock raising- until October, 1908, when he moved to Water-
ville, where he has a splendid home. His house is situated on a beautiful
tract in the corporation and is one of the pretty places of the little city.

In 1885 George Peterson was married to Elsie M. Nelson, who was born
in Denmark on September 23, 1858, and died at her home in Waterville,
Kansas, on February 8, 19 16. Mrs. Peterson came to the United States in
1884 at the time when Mr. Peterson returned to this country after a visit to
his native land. It was on this trip that they became acquainted and two years
later thev were married at Hiawatha, Kansas. Mrs. Peterson was an excel-


lent woman, and always took much interest in licr husl)ancrs affairs, assisting
him during their many years of happy marric<l life. During her residence in
W'aterville and in the township, she made many friends by her kindly dispo-
sition and her readiness to assist in sickness and trouble. Her life was well
spent and at her death, she was mourned by a large circle of friends, who
knew that a good woman had gone to her reward. Mr. Peterson has always
taken much inteerst in the affars of the district and has had much to do with
the development of one of the finest sections of Marshall county. Coming
to this countr}' without funds, he has by his own efforts risen to a position
of influence and is recognized as one of the substantial men of the county.

To 'Sir. and Airs. F^eterson were born two children. Margaret Sophia and
Anna Dorotha. ^^largaret Sophia is the wife of George Downard. a pro-
gressive young farmer of the county, who is now operating the farm for Mr.
Peterson. Mr. and Airs. Downard are the parents of two children, Harold
Edward and Elsie Geraldine, both of whom are at home with their parents.
Anna Dorothy received her primary education in the district schools of the
township and of Waterville ; she is now at home with her father.

Mr. and Mrs. Peterson were members of the Lutheran church. Airs.
Peterson was a regular attendant and took considerable interest in all church
services, and was one of the active workers in the local society. Mr. Peter-
son is still a member of the church at A\'aterville and, when able, attends the
services. The daughters were reared in the faith of that church and have
remained active members. The family is held in high regard in the com-
munity and are prominent in the social life of the town.

Mr. Peterson has a pleasing personality ; he is a hospitable and pleasing
entertainer. Pie can tell many interesting tales of his early life in his native
land, as well as his experiences when first he came to the United States.


James Washington Denton, deceased, formerly one of the prominent
and successful residents of Biglow township, Marshall county, was born
in Bath county, Kentucky, on April 22, 1843, ^^^^^ ^""'^^ the son of Abraham
and Elizabeth Denton, who were Southern people and lived their lives in
the South.

James Washington Denton was united in marriage on December i,
1866, to Caroline Jackson, also a native of Kentucky. They established


ff^K H ' 4¬Ľal



their home in the state of their nativity and there they resided until 1871,
when they decided to locate in the state of Kansas, where they might
better have an opportunity to obtain a home for themselves and those de-
pendent upon them. They left their home at Owensville by stage and pro-
ceeded to ]\Iaysville, Kentucky. From there they proceeded by boat to
Cincinnati, Ohio, and from there to Barrett, Kansas, by railroad. From
Barrett they journeyed to Springside, Kansas, with horses and wagon, and
there they established their first home in the new state. Mr. Denton home-
steaded one hundred and sixty acres of land in Marshall county, but con-
tinued to maintain his home in Pottawatomie. He engaged in the cattle
business, and bought and shipped many head. He proved up on a claim
he had made in Pottawatomie county, and there he lived for nineteen years.
In 1894 he sold the farm and purchased, the farm of W. J. Williams, in
Bigelow township. Marshall county. This farm, of fourteen hundred acres,
was located near Irving, and here he engaged extensively in general farm-
ing and stock raising until 1906, when he moved to Irving, where he lived
until the time of his death on May 19, 191 5. During his active life on the
farm he kept many cattle and for many years delivered to the markets some
five hundred head. His aim was to keep only the best stock, to W'hich he
gave the most careful care and attention, and when placing them on the
market he received the highest prices. As a farmer and stockman he was
recognized as one of the most successful in the county. Few^ men in this
section of the state attempted either farming or the handling of stock on
so large a scale. He was a man of great ability and was able to master
large business interests. He was most systematic and conservative, and
was possessed of keen business acumen.

He was a member of the Republican party and while taking the great-
est interest in the civic life of the district, he was not a seeker after office.
Being a man of pronounced convictions and possessed of a wnde range of
information, his advice was often sought in matters that pertained to the
welfare of the community, as well as for individual advice relative to finan-
cial matters. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church
and was a liberal supporter of the local society. He was a member of the
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and of the Order of the Eastern Star.

James Washington and Caroline Denton were the parents of four
children as follow: George H., Elizabeth. Ida M. and Roscoe. George is
a well-known and successful farmer and stockman, living six miles north
of Frankfort, Kansas. He married Gertrude Dexter and they are the par-
ents of two children, Kenneth and George W. Elizabeth is the wife of


P. C. ^IcCall, of Marshall county, and llicy live on the dIcI home place. They
are the parents of three children, Denton, Lnccil and Elizabeth. Ida AI.
Hughes is a resident of F"ulton. [Missouri, and Ruscue is a successful farmer
and stockman. He is married to Alena Boyd and they are the parents of
two children, Hazel and Kale Everett.

Few people of the county have ever been held in higher regard than
have \lr. and Airs. Denton. They were a most estimable people and they
had many friends throughout the county and were most active in all that
tended to make, better and greater the county wherein they resided. In the
social, educational, religious and the general activities of the district, they
were always active and influential. Airs. Denton is also a member of the
Order of the Eastern Star and holds the office of Alartha in that organiza-
tion. While their early lives in the state were fraught with hardships,
they ever remembered their duty to society.


Alany men and women of Ohio have come to the state of Kansas, where
they have played an important part in the development of the state. These
representatives of the eastern state have entered into the business life and
agricultural pursuits, attaining much success. Among the number who have
come to Kansas from Ohio is Thomas Dever, now a retired farmer and one
of the prominent men of Alarshall county. He was born on December 4,
1846, in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, the son of Andrew and Elizabeth (Wise)

Andrew' Dever was born in Ireland in 181 3, and remained a resident of
his native land until he was eight years of age. At that time his parents
decided to come to America and seek a home. The parents had received their
education in the schools of their native land and were familiar with the condi-
tions of that country. There was little in life for them in their native land,
and being of a progressive nature, they were anxious to have a home of
their own. On their arrival in the United States in 1867, they established
their home in Ohio, where they lived for a time and later moved to Hancock
county, Illinois, where the father died in 1882. Airs. Dever,- the wife of
Andrew Dever, was born in Ohio in 18 17 and died in 1891, her parents being
natives of the state of Pennsylvania.

To Andrew and Elizabeth (Wise) Dever were born the following chil-


dren : Richard, Thomas, Mary, Augustus, AHce, Mattie, John and one that
died in infancy. Richard is now a retired farmer and is one of the well-
respected residents of his home community; Mary C. Wise is a resident of
Keokuk, Iowa ; Augustus lives near St. Louis, Missouri ; Alice is now deceased ;
Mattie died some years ago, and John lives at Adrian, Missouri. Mr.
and Mrs. Dever were prominent people in their home district, where they were
held in the highest regard. They took much interest in the development of
the county and were particularly interested in the schools and the moral
development of the community.

Thomas Dever received his education in the common schools of Ohio
and was reared on the home farm. He remained at home until he was
twenty-seven years of age, when he rented land and worked for himself
in the state of Illinois. He later purchased eighty acres of land in that state,
which he farmed for three years; he then sold the tract and in 1884 came
to Kansas, and purchased one hundred and twenty-six acres of land in section
14, Oketo township, Marshall county. At the time he made the purchase there
were no improvements on the place, with the exceptions of a house and a
well. Soon after estahlishing himself on the farm, he began the task of making
improvements, and soon had one of the well-developed farms in the town-
ship. He spent over three thousand dollars on the farm, in order to make it
one of the ideal places in the county. As he prospered in his work as a general
farmer and stockman, he purchased more land and is now the owner of two
hundred and thirty acres and one hundred and sixty acres in Howard county,
Texas, and is todav known as one of the substantial and successful men of
the district.

Mr. Dever was one of a family of eight children, he being the second
born, and during his early life had much to do with the improvement of the old
home place. There he learned the principles of farming and stock-raising, in
which he later engaged, and at which he remained until 1908, when he
retired to Oketo, where he now lives, but looks after his large land interests.
In addition to his farming interests he is interested as a shareholder of the
Farmers Co-operative Store at Oketo.

Thomas Dever has been twice married. He was first united in mar-
riage in 1876 to Mary A. Esterbrook, the daughter of Alonzo and Polly
(Rucker) Esterbrook. Polly (Esterbrook) Dever was born in Hancock
county, Illinois, in 1859 and died in 1896. To this union seven children were
born: Bina, Clarence. Earl, Pearl, Guy E., Ray E. and Edith. Bina, Clarence,
Earl, Guy E. and Edith are now deceased. Pearl is the wife of Frank Costello,
a resident of Florence, Colorado; Ray is a resident of Imperial, Nebraska.


After the death of Mary A. Dever, Tliomas Dever married to Mrs. Lydia
(Van Vacter) Esterbrook, in 1900. Mrs. Dever was born in 1871 in Prince-
ton, Missouri, and died in 1904. To this union two chikh-en were born, Eleta
B. and Lydia G., l:)Oth of whom are at home, with their father.

Mr. Dever and his family have long- been members of the Methodist
church and have taken much interest in all church work and the moral develoi>
ment of the county. For many years, Mr. Dever has served as a trustee of the
local church and has had much to do with its growth and development. He
has always taken a great interest in local affairs and has served as a member
of the school board, as road overseer and mayor of the city of Oketo, and
during his two terms as mayor, many improvements were made, and the
little citv now ranks with the best in the countv.


In the memorial annals of Marshall county there are few^ names entitled
to more prominent mention than that of the late Dr. William Strayer, one
of the pioneer physicians of this part of the state, who died at his home in
Axtell in 19 16. Doctor Strayer was a native of Ohio, but had been a resi-
dent of Marshall countv since 1882 and had thus been a witness to and a
participant in the development of this county since pioneer days and an
active mover in all causes having to do with the advancement of the com-
mon welfare in this part of Kansas. He was born at Royalton, in Fairfield
county, Ohio, January 8, 1852, son of Abraham W. and Ellen M. (Cross)
Strayer, the former of whom was a native of Pennsylvania, of German
ancestry, and the latter of whom was born in Virginia, a daughter of John
Cross and wife, of English ancestry. Abraham W. Strayer died at Royal-
ton in 1866, in the fifty-second year of his age. John Cross was born March
2, 1761, and died April 22, 1847. H^ ^'^''^s a soldier in the Revolutionary
War, serving as a private in a company of light horsemen under Col. William
Washington. Mrs. Strayer, just previous to her death, was one of four
real Daughters of the Revolution.

Reared at Royalton, William Strayer received his elementary education
in the schools of that place, and at the age of seventeen years Ijegan teaching
school. He later took a course in the Northern Normal University at
Lebanon, Ohio, and then, having determined to engage in the practice of
medicine as a life's profession, entered the medical college at Columbus,


Ohio, and was graduated from that institution on February 25, 1878. After
receiving his diploma he opened an office at Royalton, where he continued
in practice until his removal to Kansas in 1882. Upon coming to this state.
Doctor Strayer located at Beattie and was there engaged in practice until
in February, 1887, when he moved to Axtel, where he continued in active
practice until failing health compelled his retirement during the later years
of his life and where he spent his last days, his death occurring on Febru-
ary II, 1916. Doctor Strayer suffered a stroke of paralysis in March, 1910,
and was an invalid during the remaining six years of his life.

During the long period covered by Doctor Strayer's active practice in
Marshall county, there were few figures in the county, and particularly in the
eastern part of the county, more familiar than his, his travels in behalf of
suffering humanity taking him over a wide stretcji of country. For more
than a score of years he occupied the same suite of offices at Axtell and there
was no one in the town who gave more unselfishly of himself for the bet-
terment of the community than he. Doctor Strayer did not slavishly tie
himself down to his practice, but at intervals in his long professional career
found relaxation and recreation in travel, he having, at one time and anothc,
visited nearly every state in the Union. He was president of the Missouri
Valley Medical Association and ever took an active interest in the same, as
well as in the affairs of the Marshall County Medical Association, the Kansas
State Medical Association and of the National Medical Association, of all
of which organizations he was an active member. Doctor Strayer was a
constant student of his profession and ever kept abreast of the wonderful
advancement made in medical and surgical science, to the day of his death
keeping in touch with the amazing developments being made along these
lines. Although physically weak, his mind retained its strength right up to
the last and the Doctor maintained an unceasing interest in current affairs.

Doctor Strayer was a Republican and for many years was looked upon
as one of the leaders of his party in Marshall county, though in the memorable
campaign of 19 12 his sympathies were with the progressive wing of the
party. He was not an aspirant for public office and the only such office he
held was that of county health officer, in which capacity he served with
much value to the community at large for a period of six years, or three terms
of two years' duration each. Doctor Strayer was a Presbyterian from the
days of his boyhood, and for years was an elder in the Presbyterian church
at Axtell, retaining that connection until the day of his death. He was a
member of the Masonic order, being a Knight Templar, and had entered the
temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.


He was also a member of the Tndependent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the
Modern \\'oodmen of America, and in the affairs of all these organizations
took a warm interest. Doctor Strayer's body was taken back to his old home
in Ohio for interment, and was laid awa}' in the Watson family lot, that of
his wife's family in Forest Rose cemetery at Lancaster.

On September 12, 1894, at Montrose, Colorado, Dr. William Strayer
was married to Euphemia Watson, of Lancaster. Ohio, a daughter of James
G. and Rachel (Young) Watson, both of whom were born in Fairfield county,
Ohio, in the neie'hborhood of Lancaster, members of old families in that
county, the Watson farm there having been in the ownership of the family
for four generations, and the Young farm for the past century. Mrs.
Strayer is also descended from Revolutionary ancestors on both her father
and mother's side. She is a graduate of the Lancaster, Ohio, high school
and also of Lake Erie Seminary and holds a life certificate from the state
of Coloroda, where she taught seven years previous to her marriage. To
Doctor and yirs. Straver one child was born, a daughter, Faith, born on
Februarv 6, 1902. now in the sophomore year in the Axtell high school.


William Rabe, a successful farmer and a well-known stockman of Logan
township, Marshall county, and the president of the Bremen State Bank, was
born in Germany on May 18, 1866, the son of Peter and Catherine (Mmister-
mann ) Rabe, who were also natives of Germany, in which country they were
educated, grew up and were married.

Peter Rabe was born in 183 1 and Catherine /Rabe in 1832 and spent the
remainder of their lives in Germany, the former dying in 1905 and the latter
in 1902. Peter Rabe after completing his education engaged in farming,
owning a good-sized farm and was recognized as one of the substantial men
of the district. He and his wife were active members of the German Luth-
eran church and were prominent in the social life of the locality in which they
lived and Avhere they were held in the highest regard. They were the par-
ents of seven children as follow : Mary Kaiser, who is a widow and resides
in Germanv ; Dora Bokelmann resides in the land of her birth, where her hus-
band is a tailor; Harry, now deceased, was a mail carrier; Anna Bartls is the
wife of a German farmer ; Chris is a farmer of Washington county, Kansas ;


\\'illiam, the subject of this sketch, and Sophia Johannes, a resident of Ger-
many, where Mr. Johannes is engaged in farming and bee culture.

Wihiam Rabe was etUicated in the schools of Germany and at the age
of se\'entcen years began working for himself and was for some years engaged
as a farm hand, working l^y the month. In 1884 he came to America and
on his arrival in tlie United States he came to Marshall county, where he
worked on a farm until 1890, when he rented a farm of one hundred and
sixty acres near Bremen. After a residence of nine years on the farm he
engaged in the grain and elevator business at Bremen for ten years, after
which he sold the business and went to Colorado, where he remained for
eighteen months, \\'hen he returned to Marshall county, and located in Logan
township, where his wife owned a farm and where he has since resided and
has been successfully engaged in farming and stock raising. ITe has built
a fine, eigJit-room house on the place and has made many other valuable
improvements. In 1907 he made an extended visit to Germany and visited
many of the places of interest. That same year the Bremen State Bank \v^as
organized and Mr. Rabe was elected president of the institution and through
his management it has become one of the strong banking houses of this sec-
tion of the state. He is a thorough business man, and has the confidence of
the public. In addition to his connection with the bank he is also president
of the Bremen Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, which was organized in

In 1899 William Rabe was united in marriage to Catherine Kruse, the
daughter of George and Anna ( Jurgens) Kruse. Mr. Kruse was born in
Germany in 1832 and received his education in the public schools and there
worked as a farm hand until 1859, when he. came to the United States and
located in Illinois, where he continued to engage in farm work until 1862,
when he enlisted in an Illinois regiment and served three years in the army
during the Civil War. At the close of the war he returned to Illinois, where
he rented forty acres of land and engaged in farming for eight years. He
then went to Nebraska by wagon and there purchased one hundred and sixty
acres of land, which he later increased toi three hundred and twenty acres.
After a residence there of eight years he sold one hundred and sixty acres of
his farm and came to Marshall county and purchased three hundred and
twenty acres of land in Herkimer township, which he later increased to eight
hundred and forty acres, and here he made his home until the time of his
death in July, 19 14. He was a man of much business acumen and was recog-
nized as one of the substantial citizens of the county. Politically, he was a

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 60 of 104)