Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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In 1868, at the age of twenty-four years, A. B. Saathoff left his home
in Hanover and came to the United States. On his arrival in this country,
he located at Livingston county, Illinois, where he engaged as a- farm hand.
There in 1870 he was united in marriage to Folcke Flessner, who was born
in Hanover, Germany, in 1849. She grew to womanhood in her native



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 6/9

country and in 1868 came to Illinois. After his marriage, Mr. Saathoff
rented land in Illinois and engaged in agricultural work until 1883, when he
came to Marshall county, where he purchased one hundred and twenty acres
of land in Oketo township. He had but little money to pay for the tract
and was given time to make his other payments. He had two good teams
of mules and at once engaged in the task of developing and improving his
farm. He and his wife worked with diligence, practicing the strictest
economy, and they soon had their farm paid for. They continued to buy
more land and became the owners of eight hundred acres, seven hundred and
twenty-eight acres being in Oketo township and eighty acres in the state of
Nebraska.

At the time i\Ir. and Mrs. Saathoff came to their farm they had a house
with but three rooms, the house being but fourteen by eighteen feet. The
house was the only building on the place and there was no building to shelter
the stock. The house stood on the northwest corner of the place, and Mrs.
Saathoff remembers well when the family would have breakfast in Kansas,
dinner in Nebraska and return to Kansas for supper. Those days, while
hard ones to the new settlers, were made happy with anticipations of a better
home in the near future. They worked with a determination to accomplish
their desired goal, and today \lr. Saathoff is recognized as one of the sub-
stantial and successful farmers and large stock raisers of the county.

Mr. and Mrs. Saathoff are the parents of the following children: Ben,
who lives two miles northwest of the home farm, where he is a farmer and
stockman; Margaret Gerdes lives one mile east of her father's home and
there ]\Ir. Gerdes is situated on a farm ; Elsie is the wife of Wilke Tjaden,
a farmer of Oketo township ; Henry is farming in the township, being
located on a part of his father's farm; John is at home; Fannie Ubben is a
resident of Oketo township, where her husband is engaged in general farm-
ing; Annie Saathoff resides on a farm one-half mile north, but in the state
of Nebraska ; and Gertrude is at home with her parents. Mr. and Mrs.
Saathoff are active members of the Lutheran church and have always taken
much interest in all church work. Mr. Saathoff having served for many
years as a deacon and trustee of the local congregation. They have devoted
their lives to the interests of their children and the good that they might do
in the moral and educational development of the township.

Mr. Saathoff is identified with the Republican party. While he has not
been an office seeker, he has been interested in the civic life of his home
county and state. He is a firm believer in substantial public improvements



68o MARSHALL COUNTY^ KANSAS.

and the election of the best men to a(hninister ])ubhc affairs. Being a man
of sound judgment and having met with a marked degree of success in his
own affairs, he is often consulted relative to the public affairs of his own
community.



WILLIAM RIEKENBERG.

William Riekenberg, a successful farmer and stockman of Logan
township, Marshall county, was born on the farm where he now lives on
July i6, 1878, the son of Frederick and Mary (Pralle) Riekenberg, who
were natives of Germany, the father having been born in 1843 and the
mother in 1845. They were reared on a farm and received their education
in the schools of the land of their birth.

In 1864, Frederick Riekenberg, on reaching the age of twenty-one
years, left the scenes of his childhood and early life and came to America.
On landing in this country he proceeded at once to Illinois, where he worked
for six months as a farm hand, when he came to Kansas, being among the
early pioneers of this part of the state. He took a homestead of one hun-
dred and sixty acres in section 8, Logan township, Marshall county. The
land was undeveloped and unimproved and the neighbors were few and
far apart. He at once began the task of developing and improving his new
farm, and it was here that he lived for twenty-three years, meeting with
much success in general farming and stock raising. He then moved to a
farm of two hundred and forty acres in Washington county, that belonged
to his wife. Here he continued his agricultural work and interest in stock-
raising until 1910, when he retired from the more active duties of life and
moved to Lanhan, Kansas, w^here he died in 1912. Mrs. Riekenberg died
in 1887. Mr. Riekenberg was a man who took keen interest in local affairs
and had much to do with the substantial development of the county. He
served for some years as road boss, and was a member of the school board,
two important positions in the early life of any community. Mr. and ]\Irs.
Riekenberg were active members of the German Lutheran church and took
much interest in the social life of the community in which they lived and
where they were held in the highest regard. They were the parents of seven
children as follow : Twins that died in infancy ; Fred, a farmer of Wash- '
ington county ; Sophia Helberg, whose husband is a farmer in Oklahoma ;
William; Henry, a successful farmer of Herkimer township, Marshall
county, and ]\Iary, who died at the age of one year.



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 68l

William Riekenberg received his education in the schools of Logan
township and grew to manhood on the home farm, and early in life became
impressed with the independent life of the farmer. At the age of twenty-
two years he rented the home farm of his father, three months later his
father-in-law purchased the place and gave it to him and his wife, and here
they have continued to make their home. Mr. Riekenberg has met with
success in general farming and stock raising. He is interested in the breed-
ing and the raising of high-grade Hereford cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs,
of each of which he raises many head. In 1905 Mr. and Mrs: Riekenberg
built a substantial two-story, eight-room house, modern in all respects. The
farm has also been improved with a fine large barn and other good build-
ings that have added to the value of the place.

In 1 90 1, William Riekenberg was united in marriage to Sophia Licht,
the daughter of William and Mary (Krueger) Licht, natives of German}^
Mr. Licht was born in [834 and his future wife was born seven years later.
They received their education in the schools of that country and were reared
on a farm. In 1867 they came to the United States. While living in Ger-
many, Mr. Licht engaged in general farming, and on coming to this country,
he located on a farm in Illinois, where he remained for two years, after which
he came to Kansas, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of
land in Washington county. This farm he developed and improved and
here he engaged in farming and stock raising until the time of his death in
1906, and here the widow now resides. Mr. Licht was for many years
recognized as one of the prominent and influential men of Washington coun.ty,
where he took much interest in all local affairs. He was progressive in all
things, belie^•ed in substantial public improvements, and was a strong advo-
cate of good roads and the best schools. He and his wife having been edu-
cated in the best schools of their native land, they realized and appreciated
their value in the growth and development of any district. Mr. Licht was
identified with the Republican party, but was not partisan and used his
influence toward the advancement of those principles that tended toward the
better development of his county and state. He and Mrs. Licht were tlie
parents of seven children as follow: Mary Wallenberg, of Washington
county, where her husband is a successful farmer; William, on the b.ome
place; Henry and Dora, twins, who died in infancy; Elizabeth died at the
age of fwo years; Sophia, the wife of William Riekenberg, and Anna Holle,
whose husband is a well-known farmer of Logan township.

Sophia (Licht) Riekenberg was born in Washington county, Kansas,
on October 26, 1879. She was educated in the local schools and reared on



682 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

ihc home farm, wliere slie resided until Iicr marria^i^e. She and W'ilham
Jviekeiiberg are the parents of three children as follow: Alphons, born on
March 8. 1903: Herbert, December 4. 1906, and Ralph, April 21, 1909.
Thev are active members of the Lutheran church and prominent in the ::<.icial
life of the to\vnshi|). Air. Riekenbersj^ is independent in jjolitics and has
served for a number of years as a menil)er of the school board.



WILLIAM BOMMER.



Among the successful and prominent farmers and stockmen of Oketo
township, Marshall county, is W^illiam Bommer, who was born in Freeport,
Illinois, March 10, i860, the son of Henry and Christena Bommer, natives of
Germany.

Henry and Christena Bommer were born in the years 1823 and 1828,
respectively. They receiA'ed their education in the schools of their native
land and there they grew up and were later married. After their marriage
they established their home in Germany, where they continued to live for
some years. They later decided to come to America, and on their arrival
in this country they first located in the state of Illinois, where they remained
for a time and then removed to Iowa, and later to Kansas. In 1879 they
settled four miles north of Marysville. Marshall county, and later moved to
Oketo township, where they purchased the farm now owned by J. W. Gib-
son. This place they developed and improved and here they lived for a
number of years.

To Henry and Christena Bommer were born the following children :
William; Frank, who died in October, 1905, and Harry. Mr. and Airs.
Bommer were prominent in the social life of the community in wdiich they
lived and where they were held in the highest regard. They always took
great interest in the affairs of the district and were active until the time of
their deaths, the former having died in February, 1889, and the latter in
August, 1914. Mr. Bommer, while he was not in any way an ofihce seeker,
took considerable interest in local affairs and was recognized as one of the
prominent and influential men of the district. He was a man of exceptional
ability and excellent judgment. He was a firm believer in the building of
the best roads and the establishment and maintenance of the highest grade
of schools, and he and his Avife were ever influential in furthering the inter-
ests of the township and the county. Mr. and Mrs. Bommer were active



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 683

members of the Lutheran church and always took much interest in the services
of the church. Thev devoted their Hves to the interests of their familv and
the good that they might do in the home community and they made many
friends throughout the county.

\^^i^iam Bommer received his education in the common schools of Illi-
nois and Iowa and came with his parents to Marshall county in 1879. Here
he worked as a farm hand at twelve dollars per month for several years.
At the death of his father he received from the estate forty acres of excel-
lent land, to which he later added eighty acres. The tract that he bought
had been for a number of years a part of the county farm. It had no improve-
ments, and Mr. Bommer at once erected a splendid house and outbuildings
and planted many beautiful trees on the place. His home is one of the
ideal country places in the county. He is engaged in general farming and
stock raising, meeting with much success. His farm is under the highest
state of cultivation and he keeps the best stock. In addition to his large
interest on the farm, he is the owner of stock in the Marietta Elevator
Company.

William Bommer was united in marriage in 1884 to Mary Helms, who
was born in Marshall county, in 1861 and died in 1890. She was the daugh-
ter of \\"illiam and Nancy (Hall) Helms, both of whom were natives of
Nebraska. To this union two children were born, Clara and Charlotte.
Clara is the wife of F. A. Craik, a resident of Washington county, Kansas,
and they are the parents of five children ; Charlotte, now deceased, was the
wife of \\\ Wood. In 1905 William Bommer married Theresa Schmidler,
a native of Marshall county, where she was born on February 9, 1871. Her
parents were John and Catherine (Steinmetz) Schmidler. The father was
born in Luxemburg, Germany, in 1837 and when two years of age calne
with his parents to the United States. They established their home in \Ms-
consin, where they lived for a number of years. It was there that the son,
John, was born, educated, grew to manhood and was married to Catherine
Steinmetz, who was born in Wisconsin in 1847, i^^ai" Port Washington.
The family continued to reside in that state until 1869, when they came to
Kansas. The father had come to Marshall county in 1866, when he and
Peter Scharman cut out the tunnel water course for the Hutchison mill.
After the family came to the county they established their home on the old
Marshall farm, which at that time was owned by Jacob Schmidler, the grand-
father of Mrs. Bommer. On this farm the family resided for a number
of vears and engaged in general farming and stock raising. In 1876 tlie



684 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

parents spent the winter in California, after which tliey returned to Kansas,
and in 1881 renio\ed to Oketo township, where they now reside.

To John and Catherine Schniidler have been born the following children :
J. G.. Theresa. Anna. Sophia, Lulu, Elsie, Agatha, John H. and Henry W.
Theresa is tlie wife of William Bommer and resides in Oketo township; J.
G. is the cashier of the State Bank of Marietta; Anna died in the year 1915;
Sophia is the wife of I. J. Adams, of Cleveland, Ohio; Lulu is the wife of
A. R. Young, who is the city engineer of Topeka, Kansas; Elsie is a teacher
in the schools of Blue Rapids, Kansas; Agatha is at home; John H. is a
farmer, and resides two miles south of Oketo, and Henry H. is also a farmer
of the township. Mr and Mrs. Schmidler have long been held in the greatest
esteem by the people of their home community. For ten years before her
marriage Mrs. Bommer taught school in Marshall county. She is a w^oman
of excellent education and possessed of culture and refinement.

jVIr. Bommer has ahvays taken much interest in the civic life of the
township. In 1887 he was elected township trustee and served in that
capacity for eight years, giving general satisfaction. Fraternally, he is a
member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.



JEROME M. BRYCHTA.

Jerome AI. Brychta, a well-knowai and successful farmer of Logan town-
ship, Marshall county, was born in this county on February 24, 1874, the son
of John and Mary (Marak) Brychta.

John Brychta, the father of Jerome M., was the son of John and Anna
(Chelopeaka) Brychta, who w^ere natives of Bohemia and there received
their education in the public schools, grew to maturity and were married.
The father was born in 1783 and the mother in 1803. They w'ere of the
farming class and there the mother died in 1867. Seven years after the
death of his wife, John Brychta came to the United States in 1874 and made
his home with his son, John, until his death some years later. They were
the parents of two children as follow^: Dora Cejp, born in 1836 and died
at her home near Barnes, Kansas, in 191 6, and John, Jr., born in Bohemia
on January 9, 1839, and was educated in the schools of that country and
grew^ to manhood. In 1865 he came to the United States and located on a
farm in Iowa, which he rented for five years and engaged in general farm-
ing and carpentering. He then came to Kansas, where he homesteaded
eighty acres of land in Logan township, Marshall county, in section 18, and



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. . 685

here he is still living with his son, Jerome M. He has long been associated
with the Democratic party and has ever taken much interest in local affairs
and is held in the highest regard. Mary (Marak) Brychta was the daughter
of Matt and Helen (Benes) Marak, who were natives of Bohemia, where
the father was born in 1790 and the mother in 1804. They received their
education in the schools of their native land and there resided for many years
after their marriage, where Mr. Marak was engaged in farming. In
Bohemia Mr. Marak died in 1862, and three years after his death the widow
came to the United States, dying in Iowa in 1871. They were the parents
of three children, Joseph, who died in Iowa; Mary, the mother of Jerome M.
Brychta, and Helen Burns, whose husband is engaged in office work in Iowa.
Mary Marak was born in Bohemia on September 7, 1842, and was there
educated and married to John Brychta. In 1865 she and her husband decided
to come to America. They were the parents of seven children, three of
whom are now living : John, a teamster of Marysville ; Jerome, the subject
of this sketch, and Heniy, shipping clerk with M. M. Johnson, of St. Joe,
Missouri.

Jerome M. Brychta was reared on the home farm in Marshall county
and here received his education in the public schools. He remained at home
until he was eighteen years of age, when he started in business for himself.
He served as an apprentice for two years in a blacksmith shop, after which
he worked at the trade for two years when he rented his father's farm and
engaged in general farming and stock raising until 19 12. He then purchased
the farm and has since made the place his home. He has two houses on the
place, his father and mother occupying one and he and his family the other.
He and his family are members of the Catholic church and have long been
active in the social life of the community. Mr. Brychta has always taken
keen interest in local affairs and, as a Democrat, has served as township clerk
and. justice of the peace, as well as treasurer of the school board.

In 1 90 1 Jerome M. Brychta was united in marriage to Catherine
Greiveldinger, the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Pirrott) Greiveldinger,
who are prominent residents of Logan township, where Mr. Greiveldinger is
a farmer. The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Brychta were Christopher and
Lena (Cinnon) Greiveldinger, who were natives of Germany, the grand-
lather having been born in 1800 and the grandmother in 1806. They were
educated in their native land and there grew^ to maturity. The grandfather
was a man of much ability and was educated both in German and French,
as well as English, his education in the latter tongue being received after



686 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

coming to the I'liited States in 1855. On landing in the United States he
and liis family estabhshed their liome in Wisconsin on a farm, where the
grandfather died in 1863, after which the grandmother moved to Kansas
and died in Marshall county in 1888. There were thirteen children in the
family, all of whom are now deceased with the exce])tion of Henry, the
father of Mrs. IhAchta.

Henry (ireixeldinger was born in Germany and there received his pri-
mary education, completing his school work in America, where he came
with his parents in 1855. ^^ remained at home until the death of his father,
when at the age of eighteen }-cars he went to Michigan where he worked
in the pine woods and in the saw-mills of the state, until 1870, when he
came to Alarshall county and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of
land in Logan township, where he has since made his home. He was united
in marriage in 1872 to Elizabeth Pirrott, the daughter of Peter and Cath-
erine (Allair) Pirrott, who were natives of France and Germany, respect-
i\-ely. Mr. and Mrs. Pirrott came to the United States and located in Mar-
shall county in 187 1. Here Mr. Pirrott homesteaded eighty acres of land
and engaged in general farming for eight years when he sold the place to
his son and made his home with his children until the time of his death in
1895. Mr. and Mrs. Pirrott were the parents of fourteen children, three of
whom are still living as follow : Anthony, Catherine and Elizabeth, the wife
of Henry Greiveldinger.

Henry and Elizabeth Greiveldinger as the parents of eight children as
fellow : Peter, a farmer of Ford county, Kansas ; Henry, a barber of Han-
over ; Catherine, the wife of Jerome M. Brychta, of Logan township; An-
thony ; John ; Elizabeth ; Maggie, and Joe. They are active members of the
Catholic church and are prominent in the social life of the township.

Catherine Greiveldinger was born in Marshall county, July 12, 1877,
and was reared on the home farm and recei^■ed her education in the local
schools, and at an early age was confirmed in the Catholic church and soon
became a member of the altar society.

Jerome M. and Catherine Brychta are the parents of the following chil-
dren : Cecelia, who was born on December 18, 1902; Sidonia, February 7,
1903; Laura, April 17, 1904; Arnold, November 4, 1906; Leonidas and
Leonilla, twins, March 30, 1909; Evaline and Elizabeth, twins, December
18, 1913, and Marie and one that died, were twins, who were born on
February 2, 1916. Mr. and Mrs. Brychta are esteemed throughout the
community in which they live.



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 687

WILLIAM H. FULWIDER.

William H. Fulwider, one of the men who has helped to make Sum-
merfield, Marshall county, one of the prominent trading points in this sec-
tion of Kansas, and is today one of the well-known merchants of the town,
was born at West Liberty, Ohio, December 28, 1869, being the son of David
A. and Elizabeth Ann (Dear) Fulwider.

David A. Fulwider was born in Champaign county, Ohio, .on June 27,
1 84 1, and there he received his education in the common schools and engaged
in the mercantile business and farming. He remained in that state until
1890, when he and his family came to Nebraska, and located in Pawnee
county in the spring of 1890. Here he went into the grocery business for
a short time. He then came to Kansas and in that same year purchased a
farm of eighty acres in section 2, St. Bridget township, Marshall county.
He engaged in farming until 1903, when he returned to Ohio, where he
engaged in farming until the time of his death in 191 1. He was the son of
David and Elizabeth (Mayse) Fulwider, both of whom were natives of
Virginia. After the marriage of David and Elizabeth (Mayse) Fulwider,
they moved to Ohio and there spent the remaining days of their lives. To
them were born ten children, David A., the father of William H., being the
fifth born. To David A. and Elizabeth Fulwider were born three children:
Vashti, now deceased, who was the wife or S. Lantz ; William H., the sub-
ject of this sketch and Birdie ^I., the wife of Luie Flanagan, of Pawnee
county, Nebraska, where they are engaged in general farming and stock
raising.

Elizabeth Ann (Dear) Fulwider was born on May 7, 1847, ^t Tremont,
Ohio, and was the daughter of Fountain and Pence (TatTy) Dear, who were
residents of the state of Ohio for many 3^ears and were the parents of five
children. Thev were ever active in the social and the moral life of the com-
munity in which thev lived and where they were held in the highest esteem.

William H. Fulwider received his education in the schools of Urbana,
Ohio, and there grew to manhood. When his father came to Nebraska, he
accompanied the family and later accompanied them to Kansas, where he
remained on the home farm until 1903. At that time he moved to Sum-
merfield and there he was engaged as a clerk in the general store of E. J.
Gano, where he remained for two years, when he became a partner in the
clothing store. This partnership continued until 19 12, when Mr. F'ulwider
purchased the entire clothing business, which he has conducted since that time.



688 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

lie carries a complete line of furnishiiis^s that invoice ten thousand dollars
and is one of the most extensive establishments of the kind in Kansas. In
addition to his store. Air. h'nlwider owns much other property in the city
of Sunimerfield. and is recognized as one of the progressive and substantial
men of the county.

In June. iQO/. William H. Fulwider was united in marriage to Hattie
E. Hutchison, the daughter of Andrew and Sarah (Brown) Hutchison, both
of whom were natives of Illinois, where they spent their early life and were
educated in the public _schools. They later came to Kansas and located in
section 12, Richland townshij), where they now have a splendid and well-



Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 66 of 104)