Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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years. He at once proceeded to develop and improve his farm, which was
at that time raw prairie. He had but twenty dollars when he was mar-
ried. He worked as a farm hand and in that way bought himself a yoke
of oxen, and he worked for twenty-live days for John Tulle and Newton



886 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

Cook, in return for which they broke five acres of his land. .\s he began
to prosper he built a log house, and in this the family lived until the
present frame house was built forty-two years ago. Those first few years
were trying ones to the young man and woman, who had attempted to
establish a home for themselves on the w^ld and unbroken prairie of Kansas.
They had the determination to win, and by hard work and close economy,
they did in time become successful and influential people in the district.
The territory was at that time sparsely settled, and their nearest trad-
ing point was at Marysville, w^here they were compelled to go for the few
necessities of life that they could get. There w^ere no roads, and the trips
to market were as few as possible.

On July 15, 1865, Hiram Lillibridge was united in marriage to Mar-
garet M. Cook, who was born in Hamilton county, Indiana, on January 29,
1847, ^"d is the daughter of Joseph and Rachel (Willis) Cook. Mr. and
Mrs. Cook were both natives of the.Hoosier state, the former having been
born in 181 1 and died in 1877, at the age of seevnty-seven years; the
latter was born in Rush county and died on June 3, 1884, at the age of
seventy-one years. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Cook established
their home on a farm in Hamilton county, where they lived until 1865,
when they decided to seek a home on the plains of Kansas, and that year
they homesteaded eighty acres in section 19, Waterville township, Marshall
county. Their early life on the prairie was fraught w'ith many hardships,
for the country was but thinly settled and was for the most; part unde-
veloped. They shared the hardships w'ith other pioneers, and a bond of
friendship and hospitality was developed that would be hard to find in a
more advanced district. Their lot was a common one and each shared
the hardships and the few pleasures with the others. They had three sons
who took an active part in the Civil War, one of whom was killed in battle
and another died a few weeks after coming home.

To Hiram and Margaret M. Lillibridge were born the following chil-
dren: Ollie, Matthew, William, Mary, Isabelle, John, Lulu, Daniel L.,
Daisy and Hiram, Jr. Ollie was the wdfe of L. Park and to them ten
children were born, four of whom with the mother are now deceased;
Matthew is a farmer and stockman of Washington county, Kansas ; Mary
J. is the wife of Al Arganbright, a resident of Waterville township, and
to them have been born nine children, all of whom are now living; Isabelle
is the wife of Bert Arganbright, of Waterville township and to them have
been born five children, one having died some years ago ; John P. is a land-
owner and farmer of Waterville towaiship; Hiram, J., resides in Nebraska;



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 88/

Lulu, now deceased, was the wife of A. Mapes and to her three children
were born; Daniel L. was killed when but two years of age; Daisy is
the wife of J. Brooks of Frankfort, and to them no children have been
born. Mr. and Mrs. Lillibridge have twelve great-grandchildren and forty-
five grandchildren, and one of their greatest pleasures is experienced on
home-coming days. Mrs. Lillibridge is an active member of the Methodist
Episcopal church, and Mr. Lillibridge is a regular attendant and a liberal
subscriber to its support. They are estimable people and are held in the
highest regard by all who know them. Their lives have been active ones
and they have accomplished much that is worthy the emulation of all. Their
early married life was started under the most trying circumstances, but as
the years came and went,- they advanced on the ladder of success and in
the affection of the people with whom they associated.

Mr. Lillibridge has always taken an active interest in the affairs of
the township and county. Although he has never been a seeker after office,
he has felt it to be his duty to assist in the selection of the best men to
administer the affairs of county and state. He is a stockholder of the
Farmers Elevator at Waterville, and a man of much force and influence.
He has his farm rented, yet there are few days in the year that he is not
busy looking after his extensive interests.



JAMES W. STEWART.



James W. Stewart, a substantial and influential farmer of Waterville,
township, Marshall county, was born in the state of Illinois on December
14, 1857, being the son of Samuel and Sarah (Leach) Stewart, natives of
the state of New York and Pennsylvania, respectively. The parents were
married in Pennsylvania and soon thereafter established their home in Illi-
nois, where the mother died in 1873 at the age of fifty-seven years. Two
years after the death of his wife, Samuel Stewart moved to Iowa, locating
in Wappelo county, where he died in December, 1889, at the age of seventy-
nine years.

Samuel and Sarah Stewart were the parents of nine children : Hezekiah,
Calvin, Julia, Irene, Sarah, Helen, Melvin, Clark, and James W. Hezekiah
is a resident of Boone county. Iowa ; Calvin resides in Grundy county, Iowa ;
JuHa Bowen is a resident of Illinois; Irene Heath is a widow and resides
with her daughter in South Dakota; Helen Smith lives in Minneapolis;



888 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

Melvin lives in Grundy county, Iowa; Clark M. is a resident of Marysville,
this county, and James W.. in ^^'aterville township. Samuel Stewart was
a member of the Fifty-fifth regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and the
son Hezekiah was in the Seventy-fifth regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry,
both seeing much active service during the Civil War.

James W. Stewart received his education in the public schools of Illinois
and remained a resident of his native state until he was eighteen years of age;
he then moved to Iowa, where he remained for two years, when he came to
Kansas in 1878. Here he located on the old Indian reservation and three
months later sold his claim and purchased eighty acres in Herkimer town-
ship at five dollars per acre, on ten-year time. The times were hard and
]\Ir. Stewart had many difficulties to encounter for a few^ years in meeting
his payments, but in the end he succeeded and at the same time developed
and improved the place. He sold the farm in 1888 and located three miles
northwest of Waterville, where he obtained eighty acres of excellent land.
This he also improved and engaged in farming until 1906, w-hen he sold out
and purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres at the edge
of Waterville and forty acres further north. This is a splendid farm, highly
developed and nicely improved, with a beautiful modern house and other
farm buildings. W^ith the excellent and substantial buildings, surrounded
with trees and shrubbery, the place is one of the ideal country homes of Mar-
shall county, and as a general farmer and stockman, Mr. Stewart is meeting
with much success.

On August I, 1879, James W. Stewart was married to Eugenie Hill Yale,
who was born in the state of New York and is the daughter of Samuel and
Margaret Hill, both of whom were also natives of that state. Mrs. Stewart
received her education in her native state and there she grew to womanhood
and was united in marriage to Tracy Yale. They came to Kansas where
Mr. Yale died some time afterward. To James W. and Eugenie Stewart
the following children have been born : Edward, who is deputy county
trea.surer at Tologo, Oklahoma; Gladys is the wife of Louis Eddy, of Marys-
ville ; Fred is engaged in farming in Cottage Hill township ; Frank resides
in Iowa ; Walt is at home ; W'alter is a clerk at Toluca, Oklahoma ; and
Fletcher is at home. The children received their education in the common
and high schools of the county, and are well prepared for life's battles.
Mrs. Stewart and the children are members of the Lutheran church and the
family is prominent in the social activities of their home community.

Mr. Stewart is identified with the Republican party and has held the
office of township treasurer.- He is a member of the Ancient Free and



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 889

Accepted Masons and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is vice-
president of the County Fair Association and one of the active members
of the board of management.



ORTWIN F. W^OHLER.



Ortwin F. ^^'ohler, one of the substantial and progressive farmers and
stockmen of Cottage Hill township, Marshall county, where he has a splendid
farm home and an excellent farm of one hundred and sixty acres of land,
was born on the home farm in the county on December 24, 1885, being the
son of Theo and Sophia (Elstroth) Wohler.

Theo Wohler was born in Lueppedelmold, German}-, on October 25,
1861, and died at his home in Marshall county, on January 10, 191 3. When
he was but four years of age, he came with his parents, Fred and Louisa
Wohler, to the United States. The family established their home on the
farm in Cottage Hill township, Marshall county, where the father and
mother spent the remaining days of their lives. Fred Wohler died in 1909
at the age of ninety-two years and Louisa Wohler died in 1879 at the age
of seventy-six years. Fred Wohler and his family came to this country
without any money, yet with the determination to make a home in the new
land. Mr. Wohler at once homesteaded a tract of land in Cottage Hill
township and built a log cabin in which the family lived for number of
years. He broke his first land with one horse and planted his crops. It
was in this manner that he laid the foundation for a successful life as a
farmer and stockman. He met with much success and at the time of his
death he was the owner of one of the splendid farms of the county. Fred
and Louisa Wohler were the parents of four children : Henry, August,
Gotha and Theo. Henry and August are residents of Riley county, Kansas,
and Gotha is the wife of William Klocke, of Missouri.

Theo Wohler was reared on the home farm in Cottage Hill township
and received his education in the local schools. He assisted his father with
the work on the farm, and at the age of twenty-one years he assumed the
management of the place, and in 1882 he purchased the home farm of one
hundred and sixty acres. To this farm he added until at the time of his
death he was the owner of four hundred and eighty acres of splendid land,
all of which was under a high state of cultivation and well improved. In
1892 he built a large horse barn and a few years later he erected the cattle



890 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

barn, which is twenty-eight l)y one hundred and fifty feet. In 1906 he
built the splendid modern house at a cost of two thousand five hundred dol-
lars; Mr. Wohler was a great home man and took the greatest pleasure
with his family. He was a great admirer of good horses and kept a fine
lot of draft animals. He was a breeder and raiser of grade hogs and Aber-
deen Angus cattle. He was both a feeder and shipper, and each year he
placed a carload of good cattle on the market.

On March 24, 1882, Theo Wohler was married to Sophia, the daughter
of Henry and Marie (Elstroth) Elstroth, both of wdiom were natives of
Germany, and in that country Mrs. Wohler was born on May 11, 1857, and
there she was educated in the public schools and grew to womanhood.
In 1881 she left her home in the fatherland and came to some of her
friends in Marshall county, and the next year was married. She now resides
on her fine farm, and since the death of her husband the son, Frank,
operates the farm. Besides Frank, Mr. and Mrs. Wohler were the parents
of two other children. Ortwin. the eldest and a successful farmer of the
towaiship, and Lillie, the w-ife of Ed. Kaump, a resident of Riley county,
Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Wohler were active members of the Evangelical
church and always took much interest in all church work.

Ortwin F. Wohler received his education in the local schools and grew
to manhood on the home place. When but a lad he decided that he would
be a farmer and always took much interest in all farm work and the care
of stock. After reaching manhood, he soon obtained a farm for himself,
and is today one of the progressive and successful young farmers of Mar-
shall county. He pays much attention to the breeding and raising of cattle
and has a fine lot of Aberdeen Angus cattle on the place.

On April 13, 1910, Mr. Wohler was united in marriage to Emma Sand,
a native of Riley county and the daughter of G. and Eliza Sand, both of
whom were natives of Germany and early settlers in Marshall and Riley
counties. To Mr. and Mrs. Wohler one child has been born, Mable, w^hose
birth occurred on July 18, 191 2. Mr. and Mrs. Wohler are active members
of the Evangelical church and are prominent in the social life of the town-
ship, w^here they are held in the highest regard and esteem. They have
one of the neat and desirable farm homes of the county, and take the great-
est pleasure in the entertainment of their neighbors and friends.

Mr. Wohler is identified with the Democratic party and has always
taken a keen interest in the afifairs of the township and county. In the selec-
tion of men to administer the affairs of the district, he looks rather to the



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 89 1

man than to any party affiliation. He is one of the progressive men of
the community, and is a firm behever in the building of good roads and
the support of the best schools.



MICHAEL FREDERICK FOCKS.

Michael Frederick Focks, now deceased, and who was lopg a resident
of Marshall county, was born at Barth, Germany, on January 5, 1850, and
died on May 2^, 191 5. He was the son of J. F. and Margaret (Brumzagsn)
Focks, the former of whom was born in 181 1 and the latter in 1821. The
parents received their education in the schools of Germany and there grew
to manhood and womanhood and were there married. The father was a
ship carpenter and for many years worked at his trade in the land of his
nativity. In 1871 he and his wife decided to leave the fatherland and seek
a home in America. After their arrival in the United States they at once
proceeded to Chicago, where they lived until the next year when they came
to Kansas. The father obtained a farm in Waterville township, Marshall
county, and engaged in general farming and stock raising until the time
of his death in 1885 and here the widow died in 1899. They were the
parents of two children, Lena, who died in 1888, and Michael Frederick.
Mr. and Mrs. Focks were highly respected and were active members of
the Lutheran church and took great interest in all church work. During
his residence in the county, Mr. Focks was active in local affairs, and soon
became interested in the new order of things. He was a man of much
ability and possessed of excellent judgment.

Michael Frederick Focks received his education in the schools of
-Germany and there he was reared and continued to live until he was
eighteen years of age, when he decided to come to America. He landed
in the United States in the years 1868, and at once continued his journey
to the city of Milwaukee, where he lived for two years. His life in the
Fatherland had been spent as a seaman and a fisherman and at Milwaukee
he sought a position on the Lakes. In 1870 he went to Holly Springs,
Mississippi, and did much traveling through the south. In 1872 he came
to Kansas, where he homesteaded the present home farm of the family,
in Waterville township, Marshall county. He built a log cabin of two
rooms, and at once started the task of developing his farm. The tract was
a good one, of rich bottom land, and in 1878 he purchased another eighty



892 MARSHALL COUNTY. KANSAS.

acres, making the farm one hundred and sixty acres. This tract he thor-
oughly developed and improved, and in time his farm was known as one
of the best in the township, and Mr. Focks was recognized as one of the
successful and substantial men of the county. He took the greatest inter-
est in his general farming and stock raising, in both of which he was
successful.

j\Ir. Focks was a man of unusual attainments and of splendid educa-
tion. He was always a great reader and kept well posted on all current
events. He was broadminded and possessed of excellent judgment, and
his advice was often sought in matters that pertained to the welfare of
the township or county. Having been educated in the excellent schools
of his native land, he well knew the value of an education, and was in a
position to advise in all matters pertaining to schools and school work.
For twenty years he was a member of the school board of his tow^iship
and served as clerk of the organization. He took the greatest interest in
his family, and was a great home man, giving his family the best that he
had to give. He and his wife were members of the Lutheran church and
always took much interest in all church work, and were prominent in the
social, educational and the religious life of the community.

On December 28, 1876, Michael Frederick Focks was united in mar-
riage to Mary Schroeder, who was born at Bloomington, Illinois, on Janu-
ary 20, 1857, and is the daughter of Anthony and Sophia ( Siebert)
Schroeder. Her parents were natives of Mecklenburg, Germany, where
they were educated in the public schools and were later married. They
established their home in their native land, where they continued to live
until 1854, when they came to the United States and located on a farm
near Bloomington, Illinois, where they died, the former in 1863 and the
latter in 1903. They were the parents of two children, Mary and Minnie,
the latter, now deceased, was the wife of John Henning, of Minneapolis.
Some years after the death of her husband, Mrs. Schroeder married Gott-
lieb Liepold and to this union two children were born, Bertha, now^ deceased,
and Albert, of Bloomington, lUinois.

Michael Frederick and Mary (Schroeder) Focks were the parents of
the following children : Amelia, Minnie, Frederick, Hulda, Henry, Louis,
Rudolph, Bertha and Albert. Amelia is the wife of Will Hall and lives
at Red Rock, Oklahoma; Minnie Mills, of Kansas City, Missouri; Frederick
A. is a railroad man and lives at Crane City, Missouri; Hulda Dwyer,
of Kansas City, Missouri; Louis died in 1892; Rudolph resides in South
Dakota ; Bertha Talbot resides at Marysville, and Henry and Albert are



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 893

at home. Henry was born on January i6, 1884, and Albert on January
7, 1894. The family have long been among the prominent people of the
county and have had much to do with the social activities of their home
communities.

Michael Frederick Focks was a man who accomplished much during
his active and useful life. Coming to America as a lad, and without funds
and without friends, he had his own way to make, and in this he was
most successful. He always had a high regard for morality and correct
living, and during his rambling life of the first few years he was always
careful of his associates, and to his family he brought a clean and manly
life. ' ■



ANDREW JOHNSON.



Andrew Johnson, mayor of the town of Vermillion, proprietor of an
extensive lumber business at that place and also connected with various
other business enterprises there and at Axtell, treasurer of Noble township,
former clerk of Murray township and a substantial landowner of Marshall
county, is a native of the kingdom of Sweden, but has been a resident of
this county since the days of his early childhood and is thus as thoroughly
identified with the affairs of this region as though "native and to the manner
born." He was born on February 10, 1867, son of Peter and Margaret
(Pearson) Johnson, also natives of Sweden, who came to this country with
their family in the spring of 1870 and proceeded on out to Kansas, locating
in the northern part of Marshall county, near the present site of the town
of Summerfield, right on the Nebraska line. There Peter Johnson home-
steaded a tract of land and proceeded to develop the same, making his home
there until 1878. when he bought a farm two miles south of Axtell in Mur-
ray township. He did well in his farming operations and eventually became
the owner of three hundred and twenty acres. He had been trained to the
trade of stone mason in his native land and followed that trade to a con-
siderable extent after coming here, building the foundations for many of
the early buildings in the northeastern part of the county, including the
foundation for the first Catholic church at Axtell. His father-in-law, Andrew
Pearson, who with his wife, accompanied the Johnsons to this country from
Sweden, was a carpenter and actively followed that trade for some years
aftier coming here. He and his wife made their home with the Johnsons.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were among the charter members of the Swedish



894 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

Lutheran church in the Swedish settlement in T.incohi township and were
influential members of that community. They lived to see their family well
established and the community into \\-hich they had come when this reg-ion
was an open range populated and prosperous, with flourishing towns and
villages and farms improved to the very last word in agricultural develop-
ment. Peter Johnson died on January 22, 19 14, and his widow survived him
a little less than two years, her death occurring on January 2, 1916. They
were the parents of ten children, of whom the subject of this sketch was
the first-born, the others being as follow : Jonas, who is now living retired
at Kackley, this state; Gustave, who is living on a farm south of Axtell;
Frank O., a banker at Courtland; William, a merchant at Axtell; Mrs.
Minnie Floberg, of Lincoln township ; Victor and Edward, who have remained
on the old home place in Murray township, and Dena and Rosa, who are
also living on the old home place.

Andrew Johnson was but three years of age when his parents came to
Marshall county and he grew to manhood as a farmer, assisting his father
until he was twenty-two years of age. As a lad he herded cattle on the
open range on land now occupied by the town of Summerfield and he has
been a witness to the development of the county from the days when the
homes of the settlers were few and far between. After his marriage in
1889, he then being twenty-two years of age, he engaged in the mercantile
business at Courtland and was thus engaged at that place for four years, at
the end of which time he sold out there and moved to Axtell, where he
engaged in the mercantile business. Two years later he sold his store and
took up the feed and mill business, continuing engaged in that line for
five vears, at the end of which time he took up the hardware business and
conducted a hardware store there for five years. He then moved to Vliets,
where he opened a lumber yard and was there engaged in the lumber busi-
ness for seven years, or until 1912, when he moved to Vermillion, purchased
an extensive lumber establishment at that place and has since been engaged
in that business there. Mr. Johnson has done well in his business engage-
ments and has made some excellent real-estate investments, being the owner
of a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Murray township, which is
being operated by his eldest son ; the east half of the southeast quarter of
section 36 of that township and a quarter of a section across the road in
the adjoining county of Xeniaha, and also owns an "eighty" a mile and a
half north of the village of Vliets. He also continues to own his old home
place in Axtell. During his residence in Axtell, Mr. Johnson was one of
the most active business men there and he is still retained as a member of



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS; 895

the board of directors of the Axtell Telephone Company and a member of
the board of directors of the Citizens Bank of Axtell. Mr. Johnson is a
Republican and has for years taken an active part in local political affairs.
For vears he was a member of the council at Axtell and also served as
clerk of Murray township during his residence there. While at Vliets he
served for seven years as a member of the school board and is now treas-
urer of Noble townhip. In 19 14 he was elected a member of the council
of Vermillion and is now mayor of the city of Vermillion.

On July II, 1889, Andrew Johnson was united in marriage to Chris-
tine Pearson, who was born in Sweden, daughter of Per Pearson and wife
and who came to this country with her parents when she was sixteen years
of age. To this union three children have been born, namely: Ernest G.,



Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 88 of 104)