William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


[TOC] [part 7] [part 5] [Cutler's History]


The little village of Herkimer is pleasantly located on a bend of Reamer Creek, five miles northwest of Marysville, the county seat, on the St. Joseph and Western Railroad.

Settlement. -- The first settlement made in the vicinity of what is now known as Herkimer, was by the Fredericks' Brothers and H. Lenker, who settled on Horseshoe Creek in 1858. They were followed in 1859 and 1860 by H. Hibermann, the three Reamer brothers, I. and N. Holloway, James Bartlou, T. Koeneke and others. In 1874, through the efforts of O. Keller, a postoffice was established under the name Reamer Creek, F. Reamer acting as postmaster. A few weeks later the office was discontinued. Some time in 1876, the postoffice was re-established under its present appellation, and received its name from a postoffice in New York, it being the second of that name in the United States. O. Keller officiated as postmaster, V. W. Emmert being the present incumbent.

In 1878, a town site was laid off on a tract of land owned by O. Keller, who was its founder. The first business house built in the place was erected by W. Ulch -- who remained about two years. Other business enterprises followed.

Religious. -- On Horseshoe Creek, five miles northwest of Herkimer, an organization was perfected of the German Luthern persuasion, in 1869, Rev. Mr. Matheas acting as first pastor. In 1870, their present stone edifice, 35x50 feet, was erected at a cost of $3,000. The present membership includes eighty families; Rev. Mr. Bulluck present pastor.

Education. -- School district No. 63 was organized in 1870, and a stone schoolhouse built. This structure was destroyed by a severe storm in the spring of 1881. In the summer of 1882, a new building, 24x40 feet, with an addition in front 8x14, was erected at a cost of $1,200.

Herkimer has the advantage of being located in the midst of a rich agricultural community, which, by reason of its natural location, is tributary to it, and makes it one of the best shipping points in the county.


A trading point located on the Big Blue River, ten miles north of Marysville, the county-seat, on the line of the Marysville and Blue Valley Railroad. An iron bridge spans the Blue at this point, and a dam furnishes water-power for a grist-mill, owned by J. H. Chapman. Located in a fine agricultural region, it affords good facilities as a shipping point.


Located on the line of the C. B. M. P. R'y., six miles east of Irving and three miles west of Barrett, was laid off in 1881. The immediate occasion for making Bigelow a point on the railroad was due to the fine quarries of limestone opened in the vicinity.


HENRY AMELUNXEN, merchant, Herkimer, was born in Wesphalia, Prussia, February 18, 1854. Educated at the Citizen's school of Geseke, same province. Was a traveling salesman for wholesale grocer, and afterward for a drug house in Colone. In 1873 he came to America, and settled in Cook County Illinois. Was a general merchant at Evanston until he removed to Kansas, in 1879. In the early part of 1880 he opened a store at Herkimer. Has a stock of general merchandise, and does a big business. Was appointed Postmaster in July 1882. Unmarried.

J. W. CHAMBERS, M. D., Oketo, was born in Kane County, Illinois, September 30, 1850. Graduated from Medical College of the University of Michigan on the 25th day of March, 1874. Practiced at Mesilla, La Salle Co., Ill., until he removed to Marshall County, Kansas, on the 16th of March, 1882. Resides at Oketo. Was married March 4, 1875, to Miss Mary L. Denny. Have two children -- Claude Roy, born April 12, 1876, and Harry Guy, born April 1, 1877. Is a member of I. O. O. F.

J. H. CHAPMAN, Oketo, was born in La Porte County, Indiana, July 28, 1836. Moved with his parents to Waterford, Racine Co., Wis., and lived there until June 17, 1866, when he removed to Marshall County, Kansas, and settled at the point where the new town of Oketo now stands. In 1867 he built a saw-mill, and, in 1869, a flouring mill. He still owns the mill property, but does not operate them himself, having them leased. In 1880 he laid out the town of Oketo, on the left bank of the Blue River, two miles south of the Kansas and Nebraska line. Was Postmaster for many years at this office. Owns 180 acres of very fine bottom lands adjoining the town site. Was married July 4, 1856. Have six children -- Chauncey I., born July 2, 1857; Elmer G., July 29, 1860; Samuel E., August 30, 1862; Walter F., July 4, 1873; Gertrude I., February 4, 1876; Bertie, November 6, 1878.

VALENTINE W. EMMERT, Postmaster, Herkimer, was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, October 18, 1845. When a boy, six years of age, he removed to Illinois and settled in Henry County. Was educated in the high schools of Geneseo and Mendota; taught school in Henry County, and engaged in the grain and stock trade at Green River. Thence he removed to Cleveland, Rock Island Co., Ill., and engaged in coal mining and general merchandise at Happy Hollow, where he was also Postmaster. From Illinois he removed to Iowa, and began farming. Thence to St. Joe, Mo., where he engaged in buying and shipping live stock. In 1880 he came to Herkimer, Marshall County, and opened a lumber yard, and also buys and ships grain and stock, sells agricultural implements and coal. Was appointed Postmaster at Herkimer in the fall of 1880. He was married to Miss Martha J. Morrison, of Princeton, Iowa, August 25, 1870. They have four children -- Ida May, born August 1, 1871; John Philip, March 11, 1875; James Albert, May 20, 1879, and Mary Bessie, June 11, 1882. Mr Emmert belongs to the Masonic order.

LEE HOLLOWAY, farmer, P. O. Herkimer, was born in Henry County, Ohio, November 11, 1838. In 1856 he removed to Carroll County, Indiana, but in 1857 pushed on to the young State of Kansas. Settled first in Doniphan County, and lived there until 1859, when he removed to, and permanently settled in, Marshall County. Lives seven miles northwest of Marysville, on Horse Shoe Creek. Is a farmer, raising stock and grain. Was married May 27, 1865, to Mrs. Belle Whitehead, at St. Joe, Mo. Have three children, Thomas Whitehead, born January 1, 1864; William, born March 31, 1866; Hattie, born November 7, 1868. Enlisted in the Union service, Company K, Second Kansas Cavalry, November 6, 1861. Served in Texas, Mississippi, and the Department of the Cumberland. His term of service having expired, he was discharged at Little Rock, Ark., March, 1865. Is a member of the G. A. R.

JOHN HUBER, hardware dealer, Herkimer, was born in La Salle County, Illinois, June 17, 1869. Educated in common schools. In 1872 he moved to St. Joe, Mo., and learned the tinner's trade. In 1873 he came to Marshall County, and continued to work at his trade for a time in Marysville. In May, 1881, he removed to Herkimer, and began business for himself as a dealer in hardware, stoves, tinware, etc. Does a good business, and is making money. Is still unmarried.

JAMES JOHNSON, farmer, P. O. Marysville, is a native of the Kingdom of Denmark. Was born in the city of Maskov, September 27, 1846. At the age of eleven years he came to America. May 19, 1858, he settled on Spring Creek, and still resides on Section 9, Town 2, Range 8. Is a member of the Odd Fellows' organization.

[TOC] [part 7] [part 5] [Cutler's History]