Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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Fred Germer, the subject of this sketch, received his education in the
schools of Marshall county, and attended the Western Business College
at Wichita, Kansas. When not in school he assisted his father with the
work on the home farm until he was twenty-one years of age. He then
rented the farm for four years, after which he purchased the place and
here he engaged successfully in general farming and stock raising until
1908, when he retired to Bremen, where he has a substantial home. During
his active life he took much interest in the affairs of the township and had
much to do with its growth and development. He has long been identified
with the Republican party, and is recognized as a man of influence, not
only in the party but in the affairs of the township. For the past two years
he has served as justice of the peace.

On November 21, 1890, Fred Germer was united in marriage to Ger-
trude Lemke, the daughter of Theodore and Louisa (Stoks) Lemke, both
of whom were born in Germany, the father in 1842 and the mother in
1844. After their marriage they continued to reside in their native land
until i860, when they came to the United States, locating in Herkimer
township, Marshall county, where Mr. Lemke homesteaded one hundred
and sixty acres of land, which he developed and improved, engaging in
general farming and stock raising until 191 1, when he retired and moved
to Bremen, where he now resides, the wife and mother having died in
1877. They were the parents of four children as follow : Gertrude, Mary,
Augusta and Emil. Mary Crome resides in Marshall county, where her
husband is a successful farmer; Augusta Feil is the wife of a well-to-do



farmer in Oklahoma, where her brother, Emil, also resides. Gertrude
was born in Marshall county on January 25, 1870, and was educated in
the common schools and grew to womanhood on the home farm, where
she resided until her marriage.

Fred and Gertrude Germer are the parents of the following children :
Gertrude, Martin, Carrie, Louisa, Frieda, Fred, Theodore, and Anna.
Gertrude died at the age of two years; Martin was born on January 29,
1896; Carrie, April 20, 1898; Louisa, September 7, 1900; Frieda, July 18,
1903; Fred, November 16, 1905; Theodore, May 9, 1909, and Erna on
October 30, 1912.


William S. Boyd, one of the well-known and prominent retired farmers
and old-time freighters of Irving, Marshall county, was born in Bath county,
Kentucky, on September 8, 1840, the son of Samuel G. and Roxlina (Mark-
well) Boyd. The parents were natives of Virginia and were early settlers
in Kentucky, where tlie mother died in 1862.

William S. Boyd received his education in the schools of his native state,
where he grew to manhood. He and his father's family experienced many
of the hardships of the Civil War, but their sympathies were with the Union.
In 1863 William S. Boyd enlisted in Company A, Seventh Kentucky Cavalry
and gave nineteen months of active service to the cause of the Union. Much
of his service was rendered in scout duty, and when near Springfield, Tenn-
essee, he was captured and served a time in Libby prison. After receiving
an honorable discharge, he returned to his home in Kentucky, where he
remained until February, 1865, when he came to Kansas. He made the trip
by way of Ouincy, Illinois, and was accompanied by his sister and her hus-
1)and, William Fenwick, both of whom are now deceased. They came to
Marshall county, where Mr. Boyd worked at grubbing for John Wells for
six weeks. He then engaged as a freighter and made seven trips across the
plains, his last trip being to Cheyenne, Ft. Mitchell and Julesburg, and he
acted as a collector, in which he was most successful. He went as a hand
under Bob Smith and '\Villiam Wells, and on his first trip he acted as one
of the bull whackers. He drove five yoke of good oxen, and was backed
in the enterprise by John Wells. After several trips, Mr. Wells had over
ten thousand pounds of freight, which brought him twenty-two dollars per
one hundred weight for transporting to Ft. Laramie. In June, 1866, with


George Martin and Ed Stenniff, Mr. Boyd started for Ft. Laramie with a
train of freight, and were forty-seven days on the road. The freight bill
realized two thousand dollars, less the expense. The life proved a hard one
and was accompanied with many dangers.

In 1868 Mr. Boyd retired from the work and settled on a farm in Wells
township, Marshall county. In 1870 he homesteaded eighty acres in Wells
township in section 3. Here he built a frame house, sixteen by sixteen feet,
which at that time was considered a splendid home. He developed his farm
and engaged in general farming and stock raising with much success. Hfe
added to his farm and is now the owner of five hundred and fifty-six acres
of excellent land, after selling one hundred and sixty acres that he at one
time owned in Riley county. He continued the active life of a farmer until
1910, when he moved to Irving, where he now resides and where he has a
splendid home, with all the conveniences to which his active life has entitled
liim. During his active life on the farm, in addition to his general farm
work, he liandled some eighty head of cattle and many hogs, each year, which
he placed on the market at the best prices.

In May, 1874, Mr. Boyd was married to Laura B. Pollitt, a native of
Kentucky, where she was born on March 21, 1855. She was the daughter
of Thomas Alexander and Eliza (Deatley) Pollitt, who were natives of Vir-
ginia and later located in the Blue Grass state. Mrs. Boyd was reared in her
native state and there received her education in the local schools. Mr. Boyd
had located in Marshall county and he returned to the old Kentucky home to
claim his bride. To Mr. and Mrs. Boyd have been born the following chil-
dren: Lillie Belle, John A., George L., Omer S., Charles A., Ella May,
Lena, Frank, Emma, Lawrence j. and Thomas A. Lillie Belle Stoneman is
a resident of Blue Rapids township, where her husband is a farmer; John A.
is the owner of eighty acres of land in Wells township, and is now engaged
as rural mail carrier out of Irving; George L. is on the old home place in
Wells township, and is engaged in general farming and stock raising; Omer
S. is the proprietor of a meat market at Irving; Charles A. is engaged in
farming in Bigelow township ; Ella Alay Abrant resides in Colorado, where
she and her husband have homesteaded at Ordway; Lena is the wife of
Roscoe C. Denton of Irving; Frank is also a resident of Irving; Emma Big-
low lives in Bigelow township, where her husband is a farmer; Lawrence J.
resides in Colorado, and Thomas A. lives at Irving. Mr. and Mrs. Boyd
are active members of the Methodist Episcopal church and have long been
prominent in the social and the religious life of the township, where they
have a beautiful home. Their lives have been most active, and there are few


residents of the county wlio are entitled to more [)raise and honor for their
good work-. Cominj;- to the county, much of it then an undeveloped prairie,
thev had tlicir sliare in the work of making Marshall county one of the great
farming and stock counties of the state. During their lives, they have seen
much of the territory developed from the home of wild animals to well culti-
vated fields. Journeys are now made on steel trains or in the automobile,
over splendid roads. How different now is the transportation of the com-
modities of life across the plains, to the days of Mr. Boyd and his ox team.
Mr. Boyd came to Kansas in 1865, one of the first settlers.

Politically, Mr. Boyd is identified w^ith the Democratic party and has
always taken a keen interest in civic life of the township and county. He
was the first treasurer of Wells township and had much to do with the organ-
ization of the district. He and his wife always took the deepest interest in
the educational development of the community and had much to do with the
moral standard of the territory in those early days. Their lives have been
spent in useful work, and now they are enjoying the evening of their lives in
peace and contentment, honored and loved by all wdio know them.


Robert J. Lewis, a well-known and prominent grain dealer of Home
City, Marshall county, was born in Yorkshire, England, on December 12,
1864, the son of William and Maria (Brewitt) Lewis. When the son, Rob-
ert J., was five and a half years old the parents left their home in England
and came to the United States. They had up to that time lived in England
and were there educated in the public schools and grew to maturity. On their
arrival in this country they came to Kansas and established their home on a
farm in Franklin township, Marshall county. Here Robert J. Lewis engaged
in general farming and stock raising, in which he met with much success.
In 1903 he left the farm and moved to Home City, wdiere he took charge
of the farmers elevator. He conducted the business for the company until
1906, when he purchased it and enlarged the elevator to a capacity of fourteen
thousand bushels of grain. He also established a jewelry shop, which he
conducted with success.

As a boy and young man Robert J. Lewis spent his life on the home
farm two miles northeast of Home City. In addition to his many duties con-
nected with the farm work, he was rec[uired to herd cattle on the plains, where


for miles there was naught but the unbroken prairie, where the animals native
to that section roamed. As late as 1875 he saw a herd of nine wild deer
feeding on the plains where he was wont to herd his cattle. He also assisted
in the breaking of the prairie land and many a day he trailed behind the plow,
drawn through the tough sod by a yoke of oxen. Thus, in early life, he
experienced many of the hardships and privations of the early settler in
Marshall county. His father was a man of much ability and a thorough
farmer and in him the son had an excellent teacher. The father was well
and favorably known throughout the entire county, and was held in the high-
est regard by all.

Robert J. Lewis is the owner of four hundred acres of excellent land in
Franklin township, which is in a high state of cultivation and well improved.
During his residence on the farm he was interested in breeding and raising
of Durham cattle and Poland China hogs, in wdiich he was successful. In
addition to his other extensive interests he is a director of the Citizens State
Bank at Home City. He is identified with the Democratic party and has
served his township as clerk and trustee and is now a justice of the peace.

In 1892 Robert J. Lewis was united in marriage to Amy Kniesteadt,
who was born on March 2, 1872, at Pawnee, Nebraska, where she received
much of her education in the public schools and spent her early life. Mrs.
Lewis is the daughter of Lewis D. and Sarah J. (Brenester) Kniesteadt,
both of whom were natives of Germany, where they were educated in the
public schools and grew to maturity. They came to Meadow township,
Marshall county, in 1884. where they established themselves on a farm and
were soon prominent in the social and business life of the community. They
were the parents of six children, one of whom is now deceased. The mother
died some years ago and the father is now living a retired life at Home
City. Mr. and Mrs. Kniesteadt were active members of the Methodist
Episcopal church and took much interest in all church w^ork, and were among
the highly esteemed people of the district where they lived and where they
had so much to do with the development of the community.

To Robert and Amy (Kniesteadt) Lewis have been born two children,
Walter LeRoy and Frederick G. Walter LeRoy was born on August 20,
1894, and received his education in the public schools and is a graduate of
the Atchison Business College and is now a partner with his father in the
^rain business. He was married on February 2y, 1914, to Nellie Dryer
and they are the parents of one child, Maxine. Frederick G. was born on
June 3, 1896, and received his education in the local schools and is now at


home with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis are prominent members of the
Methodist Episcopal church, of w^hich Mr. Lewis is one of the trustees. He
is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and takes nuich interest
in the work of the order.


Jacob Meybrunn, one of the old settlers of Marshall county, and now a
prominent retired farmer at Summerfield, was born in Baden, Germany, on
March i, 1831, near the town of Freiburg, and is the son of Joseph and Fran-
ces (Firschen) Meybrunn, both of whom spent their lives in Gennany, where
the father was a farmer.

Jacob Meybrunn received his education in the schools of his native land
and there grew to manhood. At the age of twenty-three, in 1854, he decided
to come to America. After a voyage of forty-two days from Havre, France,
he landed at the port of New York. He had but a few dollars, and it w-as
necessary for him to find work. He at once proceeded to western Pennsyl-
vania, where he w^orked in the coal mines and did some farming, and also
engaged in the making of charcoal from the timber in the vicinity of his
home. While living in the state of Pennsylvania he was united in marriage
in 1865 to Regina Winkler, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1845, ^^e
daughter of George and Otilia (Schlitzer) W^inkler. Her parents were also
natives of that country, where they lived until 1852, when they came to the
United States and located in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and there
the parents died some years later.

At the time of his marriage, Mr. Meybrunn was engaged in teaming in
the oil regions of Pennsylvania, but in this he was not successful, and met
with many reverses. He then engaged in farming, w^orking for an old
employer. Here he met with more success and in 1868 visited his old home
in Germany. On his return to this country after an absence of six months,
he came to Kansas, where he homesteaded eighty acres of land in Balderson
township, Marshall county. He purchased an old house in St. Bridget town-
ship, which he hauled to his farm, and in this he and his family lived for some
time. He at once began the task of developing his land and preparing it for
the planting of crops. As he began to prosper he pre-empted eighty acres
and then he purchased another eighty acres, all excellent land, but it required
much labor to bring it under cultivation. He engaged in general farming


and stock raising and was successful. After a residence of fourteen years on
the place, he built a beautiful and substantial house. His barn and other out-
buildings were in keeping with the other extensive improvements. After a
residence of thirty-five years of active life on the farm, he retired in 1903
from farm work and moved to Summerfield, where he now lives, a well-
respected citizen.

To Mr. and Mrs. Meybrunn were born the following children: George
Joseph, deceased; Jacob, John, Frances, Nancy, Mary, Paulina and Regina.
Jacob married Mary Wendel and since 1886 has resided at Portland, Oregon;
John lives on the old home place and is married to Maggie Steig, and to this
union three children have been born, Frank, George and Edward; Frances
is the wife of Joseph Wagner, of Idaho, and they are the parents of five chil-
dren, Jacob, Joseph, Isaac, Josephine and AbeHna; Nancy is the wife of
James Gallagher, of Holloway, Kansas, and is the mother of thirteen children,
Rosa, Katie, Andrew, Peter, Mabel, Bertha, Theodore, Fred, Regina, George,
William, Leo and Francis ; Mary married Lawrence Gallagher a railroad man
of Dubois, Idaho, and they are the parents of three children, Cecelia, Blanche
and Edmond ; Paulina Smith resides in Nebraska and she and her husband are
the parents of three children, Henry, Lawrence and Reginald, and Regina
Keck resides in Balderson township, where her husband is engaged in farming.

Mr. Meybrunn is identified with the Democratic party and has for many
years taken an active interest in local affairs. During his many years of resi-
dence in the county he has had much to do with its growth and development.
He and his wife are earnest members of the Catholic church and are promin-
nent members of the community in which they live and where they are held
in the highest regard.


Frank M. Gaylord, a native of Paola, Kansas, and one of the prominent
and well-known merchants of Axtell, Marshall county, was born on May 23,
1874, and is the son of Jasper M. and Lucy (Stafford) Gaylord.

Jasper JNI. Gaylord was born at Bridgeport, Massachusetts, in 1842. He
received his education in the schools of his native state and there grew to
manhood. As a young man he learned the dentist trade, at which he worked
for some years and was later engaged as bookkeeper and worked for Field
& Leiter at Chicago, Illinois, where he remained until 1872, when he came
to Kansas and located at Paola, where he engaged in the real-estate and insur-


ancc business until the time of his death in 1S90. iiis widow, Lucy Gaylord,
who now resides at Ontario, Oregon, at the age of sixty-seven years. She
was born at Fox Lake, Wisconsin, and grew to womanhood in her native
state and there received her education in the puljHc schools. Mr. and Mrs.
Gaylord were active in church work and were prominent in the social life of
the community in which they lived and w'here they were always held in the
highest regard.

Frank M. Gaylord received his education in the puljlic schools of Paola,
Kansas, and was reared to manhood in that locality. i\t the age of fifteen
years he spent one year of his life at herding cattle on the plains of Kansas.
He was then engaged as a clerk in a grocery store and later was employed in
a department store, where lie remained until 1899, when he came to Axtell,
Kansas, where he purchased a small stock of groceries and engaged in busi-
ness for himself. He added to his stock and established other lines of
merchandise, and today, by hard w-ork and close application to business, he
has one of the finest general stores in Marshall county, carrying about twenty
thousand dollars worth of goods.

In 1899 Mr. Gaylord was united in marriage to Anna Sheridan, who was
born in 'Marshall county, on August 14, 1874. After nine years of happy
married life, Mrs. Gaylord died at her home in Axtell in 1908. In 191 1 Mr.
Gaylord was united in marriage to Mary P. Rice, who was born in Clay
county, Missouri, on December 27, 1870. It was while a patient in the
hospital at Excelsior Springs, Missouri, that Mr. Gaylord and his second wife
met, and in a short time the hospital lost a good nurse and Mr. Gaylord won
a splendid wife. They are prominent in the social life of Axtell, where
they are so w^ell known and where they are held in the highest regard.


James A. Thompson, deceased, at one time a prominent and well-
known resident of Marshall county, was born at Chester, Pennsylvania,
November 10, 1833, and died at his home in Water ville, Marshall county,
September 2, 1885. He was the son of Andrew and Eliza* (Bur ford)
Thompson, w^ho emigrated from Ireland to America in the early days to
better the opportunities for themselves and those dependent upon them.
They located at Chester, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they con-
tinued to reside until 1852, when they moved to Grundy county, Illinois.







James A. Thompson received his education in the schools of Pennsyl-
vania, there grew to manhood and moved with his parents to Illinois. Here
he was married, October 2, 1861, to Sarah Leach, the daughter of Henry
and Sarah (Bagshaw) Leach, natives of England. The parents came to
America in 1841 and established their home in Illinois, sixty miles west
of Chicago. This territory at that time was for the most part undeveloped,
and Mr. Leach had to do his trading at old Fort Dearborn — the Chicago
of today, making the trips to that distant post with a team of oxen. Mr.
Leach was the first to plant corn in that section, of the commercial kind of
today. He was a pioneer horticulturist, experimenting with seeds, shrubs
and plants that he had sent from the old home in England. He was a man
of exceptional ability, well educated, of a literary turn of mind and con-
tributed many valuable articles to magazines and Eastern newspapers. His
life was a worthy one, and his influence in the community in which he lived
was uplifting.

James A. Thompson engaged in general farming in Grundy county,
Illinois, and later in the grain business at Morris, that state, but was- com-
pelled to retire on account of ill health. In 1868 he came to Kansas, where
he invested in land at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre; now valued
at one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre. In 1876 he established
his home in Waterville, Kansas, which was then the terminus of the Cen-
tral Branch of the Missouri Pacific railroad. Here he became interested
in the real estate and loan business, in which he was successful, and was
one of the extensive landowners in Marshall and Washington counties. He
took the greatest interest in the growth and the development of the district
in which he lived, and was known as a public-spirited citizen, who used his
best efforts for the prosperity of the county. He was a member of the
Masonic order. At the death of Mr. Thompson, his wife took charge of
his business interests, which she continues in a most successful manner,
being recognized as one of the most capable business women of the county.

James A. and Sarah Thompson were the parents of orie child, Olive A.
Thompson, who received her education in the public schools, at the Saint
Angelus Academy of Morris, Illinois, and has taken her bachelor degree
at the University of Kansas, where she graduated in 1887. She is a musi-
cian of note, studied under Prof. Frederick Boscovitz, of the Hershey
School of Musical Art, in Chicago, conducted by Clarence Eddy, the noted
pipe organist. She is also an artist of much ability, having studied under
D. F. Biglow, of Chicago, and others. Both Mrs. Thompson and her


daughter are prominent members of the Order of the Eastern Star, of the
Methodist Episcopal church, and have always been active in the advance-
ment of community interests in W.aterville and the vicinity.


Among the business men of Blue Rapids, of prominence and influence,
is Aubrey R. Dean, a miller and now mayor of the city, who was born in
Blackstone, Illinois, on November 12, 1876, and is the son of George and
Martha (Hamilton) Dean.

George and Martha (Hamilton) Dean were natives of the states of New
York and Indiana, respectively. The father was born on August 14, 1850,
and there received the greater part of his education in the public schools. He
later came to IlHnois. where he lived for some years and there married. The
family came to Kansas and, since 1880, the father has been actively engaged
in general farming and stock raising, and is now living in Blue Rapids City
township. His wife, Martha Dean, died in 1890 at the age of thirty-six
years. She was the mother of two children, Ira, of Rock Springs, Wyom-
ing, where he is manage rof the Standard Oil Company's business at that
place, and Aubrey R. Some years after the death of his wife, Mr. Dean
was married to Etta Hamilton, but no kin of the first Mrs. Dean.

Aubrey R. Dean was reared on the home farm and received his education
in the public schools of Blue Rapids and graduated from the high school with
the class of 1896. After completing his education he traveled from 1896 to
1905 in the interests of the International Harvester Company, as a member
of their sales force. During a part of that time he was off the road and
operated a hardware and implement store at Blue Rapids in 1903, and owned
several stores in various sections of the state. He was also a large land-
owner in Marshall county, and was one of the organizers of the second Ameri-
can plaster plant at Blue Rapids. In 1914 he disposed of most of his original
interest and started with the milling industry at Blue Rapids. He is the presi-
dent and one of the four men who own and operate the Flour and Elevator
Company of that city. He has met with much success and is regarded as one
of the substantial men of the town.

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 62 of 104)