Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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One of the well-known of the younger men of Marshall county, who
has met with much success as a general farmer and stockman in St. Bridget
township, is Venzel Kabriel, who was born in Nemaha county, Kansas, on
February 3, 1878, being the son of Joseph and Frances (Holan) Kabriel,
who were natives of Austria.

Joseph Kabriel spent his early life in the land of his nativity and there
received his education in the schools of that country. In 1866, at the age of
seventeen years, he came to the United States. On his arrival in this coun-
try, he located at Pittsburgh, where he was later married to Frances Holan,
who was born in 1847. After their marriage they continued to live in Pitts-
burgh and in October, 1877, ^^ey emigrated to Kansas and here they estab-
lished their home in Nemaha county. After some years of successful farm
life in that county, the family moved to Marshall county, where the father
lived until 1895, when he moved to his present home at Mina.

To Joseph and Frances Kabriel have been born the following children :
Frank, Anna, Emma, Mary, Edward, Venzel, Joseph and William. Frank
is a successful farmer living one and one-half miles west of Mina; Anna
Ness lives in the county, her husband being a well-known farmer; Emma
Harkins is a resident of Colorado; Mary Burton is a resident of Marshall
county; Edward lives at Valley Falls, and Joseph is now deceased.



792 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

Venzel Kabriel received his education in the district schools of Nemaha
county and at Mina, Marshall county, and grew to manhood on the home
farm, where as a lad he assisted his father with the farm work. At the age
of twenty-one years he began to work for himself and for two years worked
for his father by the month. He then rented land in Marshall county and
there engaged in general farming for two years, when he then rented a
farm in Morris county, Kansas, where he remained for two years. He then
purchased eighty acres of land in St. Bridget township, which he later sold
to his brother. At that time he bought his present farm of one hundred and
sixty acres. The railroad goes through the place and eighty acres of the
farm is in section 28 and eighty acres in section 33, of St. Bridget town-
ship. This place he has developed and improved with most substantial build-
ings, and in 1916 completed his modern barn, thirty-eight by thirty-eight
feet. Here he is engaged in general farming and stock raising and is meet-
ing with much success.

On January 7, 1903, Venzel Kabriel was united in marriage to Rosa
Brolyer, who was born on June 27, 1878, and is the daughter of Henry and
Jennie Brolyer. To this union the following children have been born :
Vance, whose birth occurred on March 21, 1904; Joseph, November 6, 1905;
Gladys, October 19, 1908, and Rosalee, August 2, 19 10.



JOHN W. STROMER.



John W. Stromer, a well-known and prominent retired farmer of Home
City, Marshall county, was born in Adams county, Nebraska, on February
15, 1876, being the son of Dirk and Johanna (Williams) Stromer.

Dirk and Johanna (Williams) Stromer were born in Germany and there
received their education in the public schools and grew to maturity. The
father was born on October 13, 1845, and the mother on April 25, 1846.
Dirk Stromer resided in the fatherland until he was nineteen years of age,
when he decided that he would seek a home in free America. After his
arrival in the United States he proceeded to Illinois, where he located at
Minonk, Woodford county, Illinois, where he worked in a coal mine for two
years. He then left the state of Illinois and located in Nebraska, where he
purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Adams county. This he
developed and improved and,here he engaged in general farming and stock
raising, with much success until 1909, when he retired from the active duties



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MARSHALL COUNTY^ KANSAS. 793

of farm life and moved to Hastings, Nebraska, where he died on October 24,
1914. He accumulated enough to give his eight children each one hundred
and sixty acres of land.

In Illinois, Dirk Stromer was united in marriage to Johanna Williams,
who with her sisters and brothers left their home in Germany and located in
the northern part of that state. For some years after their marriage, Mr.
and Mrs. Stromer lived in Illinois, when they removed to Nebraska and there
established themselves on a farm. ]\Irs. Stromer is now living -at Hastings,
where she has a beautiful home and is the owner of five hundred and twenty
acres of splendid land. Mr. and Mrs. Stromer were from early childhood
members of the Lutheran church, and ]Mrs. Stromer was one of the promin-
ent communicants in the church of her younger life. She died on October 4,
1916.

John W. Stromer received his education in the common schools of
Nebraska and there grew to manhood on the home farm, where as a lad and
young man he assisted with the farm work soon becoming impressed with
the independent life of the tiller of the soil. He remained at home until
1897, when he decided to come to Kansas, where he located in Marshall
county and for a time worked as a farm hand for his future father-in-law,
William Arnast. He later rented land and engaged in general farming and
stock raising for himself. On his marriage on May 6, 1897, to Emma M.
Arnast, who was born in Franklin township, Marshall county, on March
20, 1877, and the daughter of William and Wilhelmena (Messall) Arnast,
he and his wife became the heirs of two hundred and forty acres of splendid
land.

William Arnast was twice married. His first wife was Elizabeth
IMateba, and to this union two children were born, William and Albert. By
his second wife, Wilhelmena (Messall) Arnast four children were born as
follow : Mrs. Endrulat, a widow of Marysville, Kansas ; Louis and Lucy,
twins, are now deceased, and Emma M., the wife of John W. Stromer. Mr.
Arnast was born in Germany on February 28, 1837, and was there educated
in the public schools and there he resided until he was twenty-eight years of
age, when he came to the United States. As a young man in his native
country he served in the "army and saw some active service. On his arrival
in the United States he at once came to Kansas and located in Marshall
countv. In 1868 he purchased land in section 28, Franklin township, and at
once built a cabin, in which all his children were born. This farm he devel-
oped and improved and he engaged in general farming and stock raising with
success, until the time of his death in 1907. His wife, Wilhelmena (Messall)'



794 MARSHALL COUNTY^ KANSAS.

Arnast was born in Germany on March 25. 1850, and there received her edu-
cation in the pubHc schools and resided until she was seventeen years of age,
when she came to the United States and settled in Wisconsin, where she was
later married. Her death occurred on March 4, 1916. Mr. and Mrs.
Arnast were active members of the German Lutheran church and were among
the organizers of the church in the township in which they lived.

William Arnast was a man of much ability and met with much success
in his chosen work. At the time of his death he was the owner of six hun-
dred and eighty acres of the best land, all of which was under the highest
state of cultivation and well improved. When he first located on his pioneer
farm, which was at that time a wild prairie, he broke the tough sod and pre-
pared the soil for planting with a yoke of oxen. The nearest place where
he could get groceries for the family use was at Atchison, and he had to go
to Beatrice, Nebraska, to do his milling. On the road home with his
groceries and flour he was often met by a band of Indians, with whom he
had to share his provisions. During his early life on the plains, he and his
family experienced many of the hardships of pioneer life. The breaking of
the soil, the life in the rude cabin and the destruction of the crops by the
grasshoppers were among the many tribulations that they had to encounter.

To John and Emma M. Stromer have been born two children, Minnie,
whose birth occurred on January 26, 1903, and Edna, who was born on
August 4, 1906. They are active members of the German Lutheran church
and have long been identified with the moral and social development of the
township in which they have lived for so many years, and where they are
held in the highest regard. Mr. and Mrs. Stromer have spent active lives
and they have accomplished much that is worthy of emulation. They retired
from the more active duties of life in 19 14, but still maintain their residence
on the home farm.



RICHARD H. HAWKINS.

Richard H. Hawkins, a substantial farmer of Center township, this
county, was born on the farm he now owns and on which he is living and
has lived there all his life. He was born on April 22. 1877. son of Thomas
and Jane (Jackson) Hawkins, both natives of Ireland, who came to Kansas
after their marriage in New York state and became pioneers of Marshall
county, being among the very first settlers of Center township.

Thomas Hawkins was born in Ireland on January 6, 1846, son of Rich-



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 795

ard Francis Hawkins and wife, farming jjeople. both natives of the Emerald
Isle, who spent all their lives there, the former dying in 1850 at the age of
fifty vears. When twenty-one years of age, in 1867, Thomas Hawkins came
to the United States, stopping in New York and later taking a trip to Canada.
He then returned to Xe\\ York, where, in the spring of 1870, he married and
he and his bride straightway came out to Kansas and settled in Marshall
county. Upon his arrival here Mr. Hawkins homesteaded a tract of eighty
acres in section 8 of Center township, and there established- his home. He
put up a small frame house, sixteen by twenty-tw^o feet, and dug the first
well put down in that township. He broke up his land with oxen and pres-
ently had his farm under cultivation. As he prospered he added adjoining
land and became the owner of a well-kept farm of one hundred and sixty
acres. He set out a grove of cottonwood trees, transplanting slips he gath-
ered along the banks of the Blue river, and in due time had a good looking
farm. In common with other early settlers he suffered discouraging losses
during the time of the grasshopper visitation, but "stuck it out" and in time
succeeded, becoming accounted one of the substantial pioneers of that sec-
tion of the countv. Both Mr. Hawkins and his wife had been reared in the
faith of the Episcopal church and helped to organize a church of that denom-
ination in Center township and Mr. Hawkins set in place the first stone that
went into the foundation of the church. His early wheat crops were hauled
to the Hutchinson mill at Marysville, where he received twenty-five cents a
bushel for the same. He hauled his fuel from Blue Rapids, paying from one
dollar to one dollar and fifty cents a cord for the same.

On April 18, 1870, in New York State, Thomas Hawkins was united
in marriage to Jane Jackson, who also was born in Ireland, September 13,
T835, daughter of Henry and Amelia (Hawkins) Jackson, natives of Ire-
land. Mrs. Hawkins left her native land in 1859, going to Canada and later
to New York, where she was married. To that union four children were
born, those besides the subject of this sketch being as follow: Amelia, who
married George Brown, a farmer, of Franklin township, this county, and has
four children; IMary E., who married W. D. Miller, of Marysville, and has
five children, and Rebecca F., who married Edward Hawkins, of Franklin
township, to which union three children were born, one of whom is now dead.

Richard H. Hawkins grew to manhood on the pioneer farm on which
he was born and has lived there all his life. In his boyhood and young man-
hood he was an able assistant to his father in the labors of developing and
improving the home place and is now farming the same, a well-developed



796 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

tract of three lunulred and twenty acres on which he is doing very well. Mr.
Hawkins is independent in his political views. He is a memher of the
Episcopal church and takes a proper interest in church work. Fraternally,
he is affiliated with the local lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen
and takes a warm interest in the affairs of the same.



WILLIAM E. SMITH.



\\'illiam E. Smith, one of the progressive and well-known farmers and
stockmen of Balderson tow^nship, Marshall county, was born in Creston,
Ogle county. Illinois, on June 22, 1863, being the son of Thomson and Rebecca
(Rowe) Smith.

Thomson Smith was a native of London, Canada, where he was 1x)rn
on November 29, 1836, and was the son of Thomas Smith, who was born
in Yorkshire, England. Rebecca (Rowe) Smith was born on November
7, 1836, in Devonshire, England, being the daughter of John H. Row^e
and wife, who w-ere also natives of that country. Mr. and Mrs. Rowe
received their education in the best English schools and continued to live
in that country for some years after their marriage, when they decided to
come to America. On their arrival in this country, they remained for a time
in the state of New York and later emigrated to Illinois, where they established
their home on a farm, where they lived and engaged in general farming
for many years. They w^ere ever loyal to their adopted country, and took
much interest in the general social and physical development of the district
in which they lived, and wdiere they w^ere held in high regard.

Thomson Smith received his education in the schools of Canada and
there grew to manhood, having spent his early life on a farm in that country.
As a young man he came to Illinois. His father became a well-known farmer
In this state and a successful breeder of Shorthorn cattle. While a resident
of Ogle county, Illinois, Thomson Smith was united in marriage on January
3, i860, to Rebecca Rowe. After their marriage they continued to reside in
the state until 1876, when they moved to Cedar county, low^a. There he con-
tinued his work as a farmer and a breeder of stock, in which he had met
wath much success in Illinois. The family remained in Iowa for five years
and in 1881 they came to Kansas, locating in section 21, Balderson township,
Marshall county. Here he obtained a fine farm, on which he erected a
beautiful house and some good and substantial barns and other outbuildings.



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 797

He continued his work as a farmer and breeder of Shorthorn cattle until
his death on May ii, 1916. He was a well-known member of the Masonic
order, and a man who took the deepest interest in all local afifairs and did
much for the development of the district in which he lived. William E.
Smith lives east of Oketo, on his farm and is one of the men who have had
much to do with the introduction of the Shorthorn cattle into Marshall
county, and has shipped many of these fine animals out of the state of
Kansas.

Thomson and Rebecca Smith were the parents of the following children :
Ezra, William E., Ella J.. Walter J., Minnie and Nellie. Ezra is a success-
ful farmer in section 16, Balderson township; Ella J. is the wife of Clarence
White and they are residents of Marysville; Walter J. is a resident of
Esbon, Kansas; Minnie R. is at home and NelHe Potter is a resident of
Balderson township, where her husband was engaged as a successful farmer
and stockman. He died in 1916.

William E. Smith received his education in the public schools of Illi-
nois, Iowa and Kansas. He was Init a lad when he came to Kansas and
here he spent the first few years of his life on the home farm. For five
years after his marriage he lived in section 21 Balderson township, Marshall
county, and was there engaged in general farming and stock raising until
1894, when he moved to his present location.

On December 19, 1888, William E. Smith was united in marriage to
Effie M. Delair, who was born on November 29, 1869, in Oketo township,
Marshall county. She was the daughter of Edmund and Dilena (King)
Delair, the former born on April 11, 1829, and died on July 13, 1893, '^"^
the latter was born in 1830 and died on June 6, 1886. As a young man
Edmund Delair enlisted in Company K, Ninety-second Regiment, Illinois
Volunteer Infantry and served his country in the Civil War in a most accept-
able way. He saw much active service and demonstrated his ability as a
soldier of force and ability. Both Mr. and Mrs. Delair were active in the
moral and social life of the community in which they lived and where they
were held in the highest regard and esteem by all who knew them. Edmund
Delair was born in Canada and Mrs. Delair was a native of the state of New
York. They received their education in the schools of their respective locali-
ties and later located in the state of Illinois, where they were married and
where they lived until 1868, when they came to Kansas. Here they estab-
lished their home on a farm in section 13 Oketo township, Marshall county,
which thev later developed and improved. Mr. and Mrs. Delair were actively
engaged in general farming and stock raising until the time of their deaths.



79^ MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

During- their residence in the county they were active in all the enterprises
that would tend to the better growth and development of the district. As a
general farmer and stockman, Mr. Delair was recognized as one of the
successful ones of the township. He took much interest in local affairs and
became well known throughout the county. Mr. and Mrs. Delair were
the parents of the following children: Oscar, a resident of Oketo; Ida Smith,
a resident of Idaho where her husband is a farmer; Dora Patterson and
her husband are living in the state of Washington; Etta Tatman and her .
husband are residents of Kansas, and Effie M. is the wife of William E.
Smith.

To William and Effie Smith have been born the following children :
Myrtle D. Taylor, who lives one mile south and three miles east of Home
City, where they are living on a farm ; Howard J. and Ellwood Earl are at
home and Marvel M. died on November 5, 191 1. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have
always taken an active interest in all the affairs of the township that would
tend to the uplift of the community in which they live, and where they are
held in the highest regard and esteem. They are the owners of one of the
best farms in the township, located in section 16, Balderson township. The
house, a most substantial structure, is located on a hillside and presents a
pleasing view from the road. The barn, thirty by forty feet, with its sheds,
one of which is nineteen by forty feet and the other fourteen by forty feet,
is among the substantial farm structures in the township. Mr. Smith is
one of the most successful general farmers and stockmen in the community,
and is particularly interested in the breeding and raising of Shorthorn cattle
and Poland China hogs.

Politically, Mr. Smith is identified with the Republican party and has
always taken much interest in local affairs. After having served two terms
as trustee of his township, he was again elected against his wishes in Novem-
ber, 19 1 6, for another term. He is a member of the Masonic order and he
and his wife are active members of the Christian church. In addition to his
membership in the Masonic order and the church, Mr. Smith is also a mem-
ber of the Modern Woodmen of America and of the Knights and Ladies of
Security, in all of which he takes a most active interest and in which he is
one of the prominent workers.

Mr. Smith has always taken an active interest in the moral and educa-
tional development of the community and has long been one of the strongest
advocates of the better country school, believing that in the common schools
of the township and the county rests the future of the district. By his efforts
in conjunction with others in the community, the standard of the schools has



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 799

been raised to their present high standard of efficiency. He is president of
the Farmers' Co-operative Store at Oketo and assisted in the organization
of Farmers Elevator Company and is a member of the Fair Association.
By his activity and interest in all these undertakings, they have met with
much success and are among the permanent organizations of the county.
Mr. Smith is recognized by the residents of the county as one of the most
progressive and influential men in the district.



JOHN GUSTAVE NELSON.

Among the many successful and well-to-do farmers and stockmen of
Cottage Hill township, it is well to mention John Gustave Nelson, who was
born in Sweden on February 14, 1863, and is the son of Nels Payson and
wife, who were highh- respected residents of their home community, where
they spent their lives, the father dying in 1914.

John Gustave Nelson received his education in the public schools of
Sweden and there he grew to manhood on the farm. On March i, 1889, he
was united in marriage to Eva Caroline Nelson, who was born on October
2'j, 1 861, and was educated in the schools of Sweden. In May, 1889, Mr.
and Mrs. Nelson left the land of their nativity and sailed for the United
States and later reached Winklers ]\Iill, Kansas, on June 12, 1889. When
they arrived at their destination, Mr. Nelson had but five dollars in cash, and
at once engaged as a farm hand, at which work he continued for three years.
He then rented the Alexander Johnson farm, which he operated for ten
years, after which he purchased his present farm in Cottage Hill township,
Marshall county, in 1902. His original farm consisted of one hundred and
sixtv acres, to which he has since added two hundred and forty acres, mak-
ing him a splendid farm of four hundred acres, all of which is under a high
state of cultivation and well improved, and is today worth at least sixty-five
dollars per acre. He has improved the place with substantial buildings, and
the house has been enlarged and modernized. His cow barn, twenty- four
by fiftv-four feet, which is mostly stone, is one of the excellent structures of
the kind in the countv. He has a fine horse barn of cement and stone, thirty-
six bv thirty- four feet; the poultry house and garage are of stone and are
substantial structures. In fact, he has on the place a small village of good
and well-built structures, the stone being (|uarried from the place. The farm
is most attractive, and the buildings as well as the dift'erent divisions of the



8oO MARSHALL COUNTY. KANSAS.

tract are all arranged in a most atlractive manner, and is recognized as one
ol the desirable farm homes in the district. Mr. Nelson is engaged in gen-
eral farming and stock raising with the greatest snccess, and he is considered
one of the most substantial men of the county.

To John Gustave and Eva Caroline Nelson have been born the follow-
ing children, Hattie, who lives in Kansas City; Hugo, of Wyoming: Harold,
William, Elmer, Alice, Rul)}-, Lillie and Carl, who are at home. Mr. and
Mrs. Nelson are active workers for the general and social development of
the communitv and are held in the highest regard and esteem. Mr. Nelson
is identified with the Republican party and has always taken much interest
in the local affairs of the township, and is considered one of the progressive
and influential men of the countv.



PATRICK W. CAIN.



Patrick W. Cain, one of the best-known, progressive and substantial
farmers and stockmen of Franklin township and the proprietor of a fine
farm of two hundred and forty acres on rural route No. i out of Beattie, is
a native son of Kansas and has lived in this state all his life, a continuous
resident of Marshall county since the days of his early childhood, and has
thus been a witness to and a participant in the development of this region
since pioneer days. He w-ell remembers many of the trying incidents of
those pioneer days and believes that the historian wall pay proper tribute to
those hardy men and women who persevered in establishing homes in Mar-
shall county and in extending the lines of civilization in those early days and
will refer to them as the Kansas "heroes of peace." Mr. Cain was born at
Atchison, this state, October 6, 1862, son of Edward and Johanna (Fitz-
Gerald ) Cain, natives of Ireland, who became pioneers of Marshall county
and here spent their last days, honored and respected residents of the com-
munity in the development of which they proved potent factors.

Edward Cain was born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1826, and there
grew to manhood. At the age of tw^enty-six years he came to the United
States and settled in Massachusetts, wdiere he remained for five years and
where he became a citizen of the United States. In 1857 he came West



Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 78 of 104)