Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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CLARENCE E. NICHOLS.

Among the men who have located in Cottage Hill township, Marshall
county, and have met with a large degree of success as general farmers
and stock raisers is Clarence E. Nichols, who was born in the state of
Illinois on September 26, 1867, and is the son of John L. and Sarah (Mil-
mine) Nichols, natives of Massachusetts and Canada, respectively.

John L. Nichols was born in the city of Boston on January 20, 1833,
being the son of John Nichols, who was born in 1797, where he lived until
1836, when he and his family came to Illinois and was one of the early
settlers in that state. There he homesteaded forty acres of land and there
he reared his family. It was in the locality of the family's first home in
that state that the son, John L., grew to manhood and received his educa-
tion in the local schools. At the outbreak of the Civil War, John L. Nich-
ols was one of the first to give his services to his country in defense of the
Union. For four years he served as a sergeant in Company B, Second Illi-
nois Cavalry, and rendered excellent services in some of the hardest cam-
paigns of the war. At Forts Henry and Donelson he was shot in the body
and in the leg, and never fully recovered from the effects of these wounds.
At the close of the war he returned to Illinois, where he lived until 1871,
when he with his family came to Kansas. In the year before Mr. Nichols
came to Marshall county, where he purchased land at five dollars per acre
and later had a most difficult time in keeping up the payments. The mar-
kets were far distant and the prices were low, and where there was grain
or produce to sell, it brotight but very little. When the family came to the



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS, 8/7

state from Illinois, John L. and his son, Clarence E., made the trip in a box
car, having made the journey with the horses and the household goods. The
farm the family settled on was undeveloped and unimproved and required
much hard work and close economy to bring to the high state of excellence
in which Mr. Nichols had placed it some years later. He engaged in gen-
eral farming and stock raising until the time of his death on February lo,
1902. He was an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and
he and his wife were prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal
church.

Sarah Nichols was born in her Canadian home on April 12, 1837,
and there she received her education in the local schools and grew to
womanhood. In 1853, she came with her parents to Illinois, where the
family home was established and she was later united in marriage to Mr.
Nichols. Her parents, Alpheus and Hannah (Kennedy) Milmine were
of Scotch-Erench descent and were prominent members of the local com-
munity. Mrs. Nichols died at her home near Waterville on March 25,
191 5. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols were the parents of two children, Clarence
E. and Laura M. Butler, who with her family live in Enid, Oklahoma.

Clarence E. Nichols received his education in the common schools
and at the Chaddock College, Quincy, Illinois. At Quincy he was united
in marriage, by the Rev. M. P. Lackland, on June 11, 1890, to Clara A.
Bryner, who was born on November 14, 1862, at Andersonberg, Penn-
sylvania, and is the daughter of John H. and Margaret Ann (Rice)
Bryner. Mr. and Mrs. Bryner were of German descent and the families
were old ones in the state. The mother of Mrs. Nichols died in 1863 and
her father in 1874 and she was reared by her grandfather. Benjamin Rice,
a native of Pennsylvania, and there she spent her young life and was
educated in the academy. After completing her education, she came West
with the intention of teaching, but instead she was married. To Mr. and
Mrs. Nichols three children have been born: Laura M., born June 10,
1 89 1, a teacher; Alma B., who was born on April 18, 1893, and is now a
teacher at Baker University, and S. Geneve, born on July 3, 1896, and
is one of the teachers in the Cottage Hill schools. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols
are prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church, Mr. Nichols
being assistant superintendent and district steward.

Mr. Nichols has a splendid farm of one hundred and sixty acres
on which he has lived for forty-five years, having come here with his
father in 1870. He has done much in the way of development and improve-
ment, having remodeled and added to the house and beautified the place



8/8 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

l)v the planting of trees and shrubs, and today has one of the ideal country
homes of the township. He is one of the progressive men of the town-
ship and county, and his farm is an index of the careful attention that is
given it. The well-cultivated fields and the well-kept buildings are an evi-
dence of the high standard of living to which Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have
accustomed themselves. He keeps a fine lot of stock, and is recognized as
one of the substantial and successful farmers and stockmen in the district.
Politically, Mr. Nichols is identified wnth the Prohibition w'ing of the
Republican party and has represented the party as a member of the central
committee. He is president of the Farmers Union and a director of the
County Fair Association. As president of the Farmers Elevator Company
at Waterville, he has managed the affairs of that organization with marked
success, and has won the confidence and respect of the entire body of
stockholders. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and
is one of the active workers of that organization. He has taken an active
interest in the affairs of the township, and his best efforts have always been
for the betterment and growth of the district. He is a firm believer in the
best schools and substantial public improvements, and while he has never
been an office seeker, his advice is often sought on matters pertaining to the
civic life of the county.



IGNATZ PISHNY.



Ingatz Pishny, one of the successful farmers and stockmen of Cottage
Hill township, and the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land,
was born on October i6, 1866, in Bohemia and is the son of Ignatz and
Antonia Pishny, both of whom were natives of that -country, where they
lived until 1878, when they came to the United States. On their arrival
in this country they came direct to Kansas, where they located in Blue
Rapids township, Marshall county. Here the father purchased one hundred
and sixty acres of land, which he developed and improved, and here he
farmed for three years, when he purchased eighty acres in section 36, Cot-
tage Hill township, where he and his wife now live, he at the age of eighty-
two years, and she at the age of seventy-three years. To them were born
seven children, as follow: Antonia, who is now the wife of F. Sedivy, of
Flm Creek township, where he is one of the prominent residents; Ignatz,
the subject of this sketch; Francis, who is now deceased; Frank, who is a
resident of Cottage Hill township and the owner of one hundred and sixtv



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 8/9

acres of land; Ladislav ]., a well-known blacksmith of Cottage Hill town-
ship; Joseph, who conducts a bakery and restaurant at Waterville, and
Ernst, the owner of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Cottage Hill
township, where he is a farmer and stockman.

Ignatz Pishny was but ^ight years of age when he came to the United
States with his parents, and located in Cottage Hill township, where he
received his education in the public schools and grew up on the home farm.
After reaching manhood he was employed on a farm until he was thirty-
five years of age. During much of this time he was a foreman of the farm
and ranch of Fred A. Stocks near Blue Rapids, Kansas. In 1901 he pur-
chased one hundred and sixty acres of land in section 30, Cottage Hill town-
ship, to which he added more acres and then sold the place and bought his
present farm in 19 10. This farm he has developed and improved to a great
extent, having placed many substantial buildings, including a garage, barn
and other buildings. He is a shareholder in the Fair Association and the
Farmers' Elevator Company of Waterville.

On November 24, 1891, J\Ir. Pishny was united in marriage to Ann
Krasny, who was born in Bohemia on November 15, 1869, and is the daugh-
ter of Frick and Frances (Novak) Krasny. The parents of Mrs. Pishny
were also natives of Bohemia and there they grew to maturity and were
married. The father lived his life in the land of his nativity and there he
died some years ago. In 1889 the mother with her children, Emil, Joseph,
Gabriel and Mary came to the United States and located in Omaha and
there the mother died in 1892.

To Ignatz and Anna Pishny have been born the following children :
Frederick, Vladimir, George, Benjamin, Ignatz, Jr., and Beatrice. Fred-
erick is a resident of Cottage Hill township and is engaged as a farm hand,
and the other children are at home. Air. and Mrs. Pishny are active in the
social life of the community, and have long taken an active interest in those
enterprises that tend to the betterment and the growth of the township and
the county. Mr. Pishny is identified with the Democratic party and is now
serving as one of the members of the school board. His interest in the
success of the schools has always been intense, and to him, perhaps, more
than to any other man is due the high-grade schools and the splendid
school house of the district. The new building is one of the finest in the
county and the schools are up to the highest standard.

Mr. Pishny is one of the most progressive men and substantial farm-
ers and stockmen of the district, and his influence has been demonstrated
in the advanced condition of the schools as well as the other civic condi-



88o MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

tions of the township. He gives his best attention not only to his affairs,
but to the good of the community as well, and he is held in the highest
regard by all.



JOHN SEEMATTER.



Among the substantial farmers and stockmen of Center township, Mar-
shall county, is John Seematter, who is a native of Switzerland, his birth
having occurred there on February 6. 1863. He is a son of Henry and Anna
(Begert) Seematter, both natives of Switzerland.

Henry Seematter was born December 22, 1822, and died in 1892. He
was a farmer and cheese-maker in his native land, but left there in 1883,
coming to t'ne United States and settling at Marysville, Kansas, and here he
conducted a creamery for about ten years. His wife w'as born in 183 1, and
died on February 22. 1Q13. They were the parents of five children: Jacob,
a farmer of Logan township, this coimty ; Marie, the wife of A. Brauchie,
living in the western part of Oklahoma; Anna, the wife of Fred Rubin, liv-
ing in Switzerland; John, the immediate subject of this review; and Eliza,
the wife of F. Hadorn. a farmer of Rock township, this county.

John Seematter received his education in the schools of his native land,
and in 1882 came to the United States to join, his brother, Jacob, who had
come to this country two years previously. The brothers farmed together
for ten vears on the Frank Smith farm, east of Marysville. after which John
Seematter rented land in Logan township and engaged in farming and stock
raising, and has been very successful in his chosen vocation, as is now evi-
denced bv his fine farm of six hundred and forty acres. In 1908 he traded
a half section of land which he had acquired for his present farm in section
2'/. Mr. vSeematter has made many and varied improvements on his place,
installing new and modern machinery and is an up-to-date farmer and stock-
man. He has set out a fine vineyard ; has good and substantial farm build-
ings, and makes a specialty of breeding and raising Aberdeen Angus cattle
and Duroc-Jersey hogs. He also keeps a fine apiary on his estate. Besides
his farming interests Mr. Seematter is a shareholder in the Winifred Farmers
Union.

In 1889 John Seematter was married to Rosa Goetz, who is a native
of Germany, but left her native country in 1889, coming to Marysville, Kan-
sas, to join her sister, Mrs. Katherine Ungerer. She was a daughter of
Dan Augustine and Martha Goetz, both of whom were natives of Germany,



THE- NEW "'■•



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 88 1

where they hved and died. John Seematter and wife are the parents of eight
children : Henry, now hving in Montana ; Ernst, a farmer of Center town-
ship, this county; John, hving at home; Anna, the wife of H. Ring, a farmer
of Elm Creek township, this county; Rosa, a graduate of Frankfort high
school, is now a teacher at Winifred, Kansas; and Albert, Herman and Paul,
all of whom are still at home with their parents, the last named being a
student of the high school at Frankfort.

Politically, Mr. Seematter is an independent voter, preferring to vote
for men rather than for parties, and fraternally, is a member of the Modern
Woodmen of America.



H. RUXKLE.



H. Runkle, one of the well-known and successful farmers of W^ater-
ville township, Marshall coimty, was born in the state of Indiana on July
6, i860, and is the son of Emanuel and Margaret (Sawyer) Runkle, both
of whom were natives of Ohio and of Pennsylvania-German descent.

Emanuel Runkle was born in 1828 and died on November 2, 1897;
Margaret Runkle was born in 1827 and died on December 22, 1898. They
spent their early lives in their native state and later located in Indiana,
where they lived for a number of years. In 1865 they came to Kansas,
and later established their home on a farm west of Waterville, Marshall
county. They purchased a farm, which they developed and improved and
there made their home until they retired from the activities of farm life,
and moved to Waterville where they died. Mr. and Mrs. Runkle were
the parents of the following children: Philip, of Kansas City; Mrs. D. O.
Parker, now deceased; H. Runkle, the subject of this sketch; Alonso, on
the old home place, and Samuel, who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs.
Runkle were among the highly respected people of the district in which
thev lived and were held in the highest regard and esteem.

H. Runkle received his education in the log school house of the early
times, on the plains of Kansas. He seldom had the opportunity to attend
school for more than two months in the year. As a lad he went on many
a hunting trip with his brother, Philip, and brought home the slaughtered
buffalo and deer. At times his mother would hang out a red cloth to attract
the attention of the deer, when his brother, Philip, would shoot the animal.
The father would go after buffalo in the fall, and manv a wagon-load he

(56) ' ;



882 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

would bring home with liini. There were many Indians in the country at
that time and there was a large camp on the home farm. The family
made friends with the red men and the father was one of their best
friends.

H. Runkle lived on the home farm and there grew to manhood. At
the age of twenty-three years, he engaged in farming for himself. He pur-
chased a farm on which he lived for a number of years. In 1909 he traded
his farm for the telephone exchange, which he operated for two years and
sold the business. He then purchased his present farm in Waterville town-
ship, where he has made many valuable and substantial improvements. His
house is one of the best modern structures in the district and his barn is a
modern and convenient structure. He has a splendid farm of one hundred
and sixty acres of high-class land, all of which is nicely improved and under
a high state of cultivation.

On June 13, 1883, Mr. Runkle was united in marriage to Emma Shirck,
who was born in Monrovia, Atchison county, Kansas, on April 22, 1864,
and is the daughter of Samuel and Mary (Young) Shirck, both of whom
were natives of the state of Pennsylvania. Samuel Shirck was born in
1839 and died in 1910; Mrs. Shirck was born in 1842 and died in 1907.
At the age of fourteen years, Mrs. Shirck came to Kansas with the Hippie
family, who were pioneers of this section. Mr. Shirck came to the state
in 1856, and here he was married and established his home, and for a
number of years taught school in Atchison county, before locating in Mar-
shall county. He later engaged in general farming and became one of the
successful men of the county. He later retired to Waterville, where he
died. His home farm, in Washington county, was one mile west of the
county line from Marshall county, and was known as one of the best
developed and improved in the district. To Mr. and Mrs. Shirck were
born the following children : Emma Runkle, Anna Allingham, a resident
of New Mexico; May Ritzel, who resides on the home farm in Washington
county and Harvey, a mail carrier on a rural free delivery route.

To Mr. and Mrs. Runkle have been born the following children : Grace.
Jessie, Elsie, Mabel and Clarence. Grace Hubbard is living at home with
her parents; Jessie is the wife of Ellis Alley, and is a resident of Cottage
Hill township; Elsie Runkle lives at Waterville and is a telephone oper-
ator; Mabel Reboul lives at Green, Kansas, and Clarence is at home.

Mr. Runkle has always been a hard-working man and has met with
much success in his work as a general farmer and stockman. His life has
been a most active one and by- hard work and close economy he has risen



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 883

to a substantial and intiuential position in the county. He is independent
in politics, and while he has never been an office seeker, he has always
taken an active interest in the affairs of the township and county, and his
advice is often asked in matters pertaining to the important affairs of the
district. He is a man of progressive ideas and is recognized as one of the
successful men of the community.

Fraternally, ]\Ir. Runkle is a member of the Modern Woodmen of
America and Mrs. Runkle is a member of the Royal Neighbors and also
one of the active members of the Lutheran church. Both Mr. and Mrs.
Runkle are among the representative people of the community in which
they live and where they are prominent in the social life of the township,
and where they are held in the highest regard and esteem.



HENRY TRAXLER.



Henry Traxler, one of the substantial men and high-class farmers and
stockmen of Cottage Hill township, Marshall county, was born in the state
of New York, on October 14, 1848, Ijeing the son of Adam and Sylvia
(Roberts) Traxler, who were natives of Pennsylvania and the state of
New York, respectively.

Adam Traxler was the son of Henry Traxler, a member of one of
the old families of Pennsylvania and was of German origin. When Adam
was a lad his father moved to the state of New York and there the boy
was educated in the public schools and grew to manhood on the home farm.
It was there that he was united in marriage to Sylvia Roberts, and some
years later they established their home on a farm in Richland county, Ohio,
and there they died, the mother in 1864 and the father in 1867. ^^^- 'i^d
Mrs. Traxler were excellent people and highly regarded in the community
in which they lived.

At the time of the death of his father, Henry Traxler was nineteen
years of age and was one of a family of seven children, two of whom are
now living. After the death of his father he remained in Ohio for three
years and then moved to Muscatine county, Iowa, where he farmed for
one vear. During his residence in that county he was married and in 1879
he and his wife came to Kansas, and established their home in Norton
county. They homesteaded a tract of land and for a time lived in a dug-out
or sod house. Here the little family experienced many of the hardships



884 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

of pioneer life on the plains. Tn 1882 they moved to Brown county,
where they lived for one year and in 1S83 they came to Marshall county,
and for three years lived in Logan township, southwest of Marysville.
They then took up their residence in Herkimer t(3wnship and purchased a
good farm, and there Mr. Traxler engaged in general farming until 1891,
when he purchased a farm in Waterville township, where the family lived
for ten years. He purchased his present farm in Cottage Hill township,
and is now the owner of four hundred acres of splendid land, all of which
is under a high state of cultivation and well improved. He has erected a
beautiful ten-room, modern house, with hot water heat, bath, hardwood
floors and every convenience possible. He has a splendid barn with silo, for
the housing- of his stock and his grain. He is much interested in his Red
Polled cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs. He is to a large extent replacing
his Duroc-Jerseys with Poland China hogs, and now has some fine animals.
His well-kept fields and pastures dotted here and there with the herds
of fine cattle and droves of hogs, present a pleasing sight. The buildings
are kept in a fine state of repair and the place is beautified with trees and
shrubbery and a fine young orchard.

In 1870 Henry Traxler was united in marriage to Hannah E. Moore,
who was born in Ohio in November, 1850, and is the daughter of Alex
and Mina (Corson) Moore, both of whom were natives of Ohio, and who
later settled in the state of Iowa, where they established their home on
a farm and there the father died, and after his death the mother came
to Kansas. To Henry and Hannah Traxler have been born the follow-
ing children : Edwin, who is a teacher, having graduated from the normal
school and is now working for a degree at Emporia; Herbert is at Kansas
City; one child that died in infancy; Clyde, who died at the age of five
years, and Maud, Robert, Ralph and Stanley, who are at home. Mr. and
Mrs. Traxler are active members of the Methodist Episcopal church and
have long been prominent in the social life of the community in which they
live and wdiere they are held in high esteem and regard by all. Mr. and
Mrs. Traxler are members of the Knights and Ladies of Security and
he is one of the influential men of the district.

Since coming to Marshall county, Mr. and Mrs. Traxler have bv
their own efforts and hard work, accomplished much that is w^orthy of note.
They have one of the ideal farms and beautiful homes of the county, where
they take much pleasure in the entertainment of their neighbors and their
friends. Politically, Mr. Traxler is a Republican and while he takes much
interest in local affairs, he has never been an ofliice seeker.



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 885

HIRAM LILLIBRIDGE.

Among the many well-known and substantial farmers and stockmen of
Waterville township, Marshall county, Hiram Lillibridge ranks prominently.
He is the owner of three hundred and ten acres of splendid land in section
18, and was born in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, on March 28, 1847,
being the son of Thomas and Sophia (Brooks) Lillibridge.

Thomas and Sophia Lillibridge were natives of the state, of Vermont
and there they received their education in the local schools, and later, with
their parents moved to the state of New York, where they were married.
The father was born in 1807 and died in 1865. The mother was born
in 1818 and died in 1895. After their marriage they established their
home in the state of New York, where they lived for a time and then
moved to Pennsylvania, where Mr. Lillibridge engaged in general farming.
Some years later the family moved to Crawford county, Iowa, where they
remained until the spring of i860, when they settled in Oketo township,
Marshall county. Here Mr. Lillibridge homesteaded one hundred and sixty
acres of land, where he made his home until the time of his death. The
trip from Iowa to their new home was made with oxen and a covered
wagon, and the family experienced many of the hardships of that method
of travel. They lived for a time in a dug-out on their homestead, during
w^hich time Mr. Lillibridge broke his land with his oxen and prepared the
soil for the planting of his crops. In addition to his work on the farm,
he was a well-known freighter, and made many trips from Marysville to
Atchison with his team of oxen. His death occurred in the Rocky Moun-
tains. His wife died at the home of her son, Hiram, at the age of eighty-
two years. They were the parents of nine children, two of whom are now
deceased, Hiram being the fourth eldest born. They were active memebrs
of the Baptist church and always took a keen interest in church work.

Hiram Lillibridge came to Marshall county with his parents. He
received his education in one of the pioneer schools, held in a dug-out.
He was married when he was but eighteen years of age and soon there-
after homesteaded eighty acres of his present farm in Waterville township.
Here he constructed a dug-out in which he and his wife lived for some



Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 87 of 104)