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


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


JUDGE G. G. HALL, was born in 1803, in Herkimer County, N. Y., and for many years was engaged in mercantile pursuits on his own behalf in Eatonville and also in the city of Utica, N. Y. In 1851 he married Miss Helen A. Wadsworth, of Canandaigua, N. Y., but the failing health of his wife, in 1858, and a desire to aid in making Kansas a free State decided him to move to the far West, which he did, and settled in Wabaunsee, Wabaunsee County, Kan., where he soon became interested in a grist and saw-mill, which, however, he soon abandoned and engaged in farming. They have two adopted daughters. The Judge has always been a Free-State man, and was appointed Probate judge in 1862 by Gov. Robinson, and held that position for eighteen years, and he has held various township offices, as well as that of postmaster, for nine years. A few years ago he lost heavily by fire, and feeling far too advanced in life to think of rebuilding, he sold out and moved to his present residence in Alma, the county-seat, to spend the remainder of his busy life in the retirement and comfort he has so justly earned.

J. M. HUBBARD, Esq., farmer, Township 31, Range 20, P. O. Alma, was born in Middleton, Conn., June 16, 1837, of an old New England family. Educated until twelve years of age in district schools and in private academy until sixteen years of age, being the descendant of a race of farmers, he followed the ancestral occupation. In the spring of 1856 he joined a party of immigrants known as the Beecher Rifle Company and settled in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, pre-empting the southeast quarter of Section 31, Township 10, Range 19, which he still owns. Subsequently, he bought the east half of Section 7, Township 14, Range 10, Wabaunsee County, as also the northwest quarter of Section 20, Township 10, Range 9, in Riley County, all of which he still owns. Mr. Hubbard was elected President of the first town company, and subsequently Supervisor. Upon the organization of the county, he was elected Probate Judge, which office he resigned to enter the army, on September 8, 1862, as a private in the Eleventh Kansas, and subsequently was elected Lieutenant of Company K, and as such served in all the engagements of the regiment and was on active duty during the Price raid, being present at the battles of Big Blue, Little Blue, and Mine Creek. Previous to his enlistment Mr. Hubbard served two terms in the State Legislature, representing what are now the counties of Wabaunsee, Davis and Dickinson. Mr. Hubbard, while in the army, was married July 6, 1863, to Miss H. E. Fairchild, of Middleton, Conn., who died December 8, 1867, leaving one child, now a school-boy of fifteen years. Has been member of the Town Board of Selectmen and also of School Visitors; is now one of the Trustees of the Storrs Agricultural School, and has for six years been a member of the State Board of Agriculture.

JOHN T. KEAGY, Judge of Probate Court, was born in 1840 in Bedford County, Pa., his father being a descendant of the early Swiss settlers of the Quaker State. He came to Kansas in April, 1870, locating in Alma, where he resumed the practice of law, having graduated six years previously in his native State. In 1871 he was appointed County Attorney, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of N. H. Whitmore, and elected to the same office in the following year and again in 1874. In the fall of 1880 he was elected Probate judge. In 1861 he enlisted, on October 9, in Company D, One Hundred and First Pennsylvania Volunteers, and remained with his regiment until mustered out after the battle of Fair Oaks, on account of wounds therein received, for which he now receives a pension. He is a member of Alma Post No. 29, G. A. R., as also of Alma Lodge A. F. & A. M. The judge intends to devote his attention to stock-raising at no distant date.

ED. A. KILIAN, now of Alma, Kan., was born in Hesse-Nassau, Germany, September 1, 1828. He was educated in the Polytechnic School at Darmstadt and at the Normal School at Friedberg. Becoming a participant in the Revolution in 1848, he emigrated from his native country and came to America in September, 1849, first locating in Rochester, N. Y., where he remained six months. From Rochester he went to Buffalo, N. Y., and stayed until the spring of 1853; from thence to New Orleans, and remained until 1856; from thence to Chicago, where he was the local editor of the Staats Zeitung until the spring of 1857; thence to Hermann, Mo., where he remained until the spring of 1861, principally engaged in teaching. On May 10, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, First Missouri Volunteer Infantry, as a private. He was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Wilson's Creek, August 10, and remained in Springfield, Mo., in charge of the rebels, until November of the same year, being released when General Fremont took possession of the city, and discharged on account of disability. He again enlisted in November, 1862, in Company A, Seventeenth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and served as a private until September, 1863, when he was promoted to sergeant of the regiment. On December 20 he was promoted to first lieutenant and adjutant of the regiment, and was mustered out on September 24, 1864, at the expiration of the term of service of his regiment. He participated in the engagements at the siege of Vicksburg, Jackson (Miss.), Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the Atlantic Campaign. He was commissioned as Captain of Company G, Eightieth Missouri Enrolled Militia, and participated in the Price raid, in October, 1864, and the same month accepted the position of first assistant in the public schools of Edwardsville, Madison County, Ill., which he occupied until 1869. He then became principal of the public school in Marine, Ill., holding the position until 1874. In the fall of that year, he took charge of the German paper at Joliet, The Herald, which he conducted until the spring of 1875. From that time until July, 1878, he was in Buffalo, N. Y., as custodian of The Museum of Natural Sciences, when he returned to Edwardsville, Ill., and resumed his old position in the school, which he held until he came to Kansas, August 22, 1879, and located in Alma, Kan., and was the principal of the public schools of that place, being also engaged in farming at the same place. Mr. Kilian was married in Buffalo, N. Y., June 24, 1865, to Carrie Bloecher, a native of Tonowanda, N. Y.; they have five children -- Irmgerd, Edward, Hedwig, Carrie and Edith. Mr. Kilian is a contributor to several educational and scientific journals, and has, perhaps, the finest conchological collection in the State, and also has a large archeological collection.

HENRY G. LICHT, Clerk of the District Court, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 16, 1843, and in time learned the trade of painter. In the fall of 1865 he arrived in New York City, and worked at ship painting for four years, removing to Topeka in the spring of 1869, remaining there as a house painter until 1871, when he removed to and located in Alma. He was elected Constable of this township in 1875, and Clerk of the District Court in 1876, which office he still retains, and has been City Clerk since 1879. Is a charter member and Secretary of Alma Lodge No. 17 (sic), I. O. O. F.; charter member and Secretary of Alma Lodge No. 161, A. F. & A. M., dimited from Fortitude Lodge, No. 19, of Brooklyn, N. Y. Has been in the real estate business since 1879.

WILLIAM T. MAHAN, County Surveyor, was born on what afterwards became the sanguinary battlefield of Antietam, Washington County, Md. While but a boy in years, he came to Kansas, and for several years kept a store or trading post in this county, near the Indian Reserve, which Reserve he assisted the Government to survey in 1862. In August of the same year, he enlisted in Company E. Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, participating in all the engagements of his regiment, and in 1865 was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth. He was subsequently appointed United States Surveyor, and was engaged in subdividing and sectionizing from the sixty-fifth to the hundredth meridian until the spring of 1870, when he returned to Alma, where he has since remained. He was under-sheriff of the county, 1871- 72; appointed Deputy United States Marshal, which position he held under Col. Houston until 1876, when he was elected County Surveyor, which office he still retains. During the time he kept the trading post, and afterwards, while on the plains, Mr. Mahan had many opportunities of studying Indian character. During a fight which took place in 1859, about five miles north of Alma, between the Pawnees and the Pottawatomies, the former of whom had come up to run off the latter's horses, Mr. Mahan lent his gun to a Pottawatomie, who upon returning it afterwards, tricked out in feathers and ribbons, declared it was "mighty good gun; kill two Pawnee;" and insisted upon Mr. Mahan accompanying him to the camp of the victors, where the hearts and right hands of their victims were roasted and eaten to "make Injun brave." Mr. Mahan is officer of the day of Lyon Post, No. 29, G. A. R.; Warden of Alma Lodge, No. 170, I. O. O. F., and charter member of Lodge 76, A. O. U. W. He owns a residence and four lots in town, is engaged in the real estate business, and he has always taken a lively interest in the welfare of his adopted state.

LOUIS PALENSKE, photographer, was born in Alma in 1858, his father having emigrated here from Pomerania, Germany, in 1855, and owning at the time of his death 260 acres in Alma Township. After leaving school here, Mr. Palenske acquired a thorough knowledge of photography, and opened a studio in his native town; in addition to which he conducts a newsroom and stationery store. He is a member of Alma Lodge, No. 170, I. O. O. F., and, although but a young man, has already established an excellent reputation in both social and business circles.

LORENZO PAULY, farmer, P. O. Alma, was born January 6, 1827, in the town of Adedan, District of Coblentz, Prussia. In early life he learned the trade of confectioner and baker, and in 1849 entered the Twenty-ninth Regiment of Infantry, in which he remained two years, seeing active service during the Austro-Prussian War of 1850. In March, 1852, he married Miss Wilhelmina Ruth, a native of Curhessen, Germany, by whom he has seven children. Mr. Pauly came to America in 1856, remaining for a time in the East, and coming to Kansas in 1857. He located first in Quindaro, four miles from Wyandotte, where he started a bakery; but in 1861 he removed to Topeka, where he again established himself in the bread and confectionery trade, remaining there fourteen years, and, finally removing to his present location, in this township, in 1875. Mr. Pauly is the proprietor of the "Mill Creek" flour mills, which contain four runs of stone, one run being for corn grinding, and has a capacity of 250 bushels of grain per day. The motive power is the Leffel, Ohio, turbine wheel, 40 horse-power. Besides the mill property and his residence, Mr. Pauly owns upwards of 800 acres of land in the township, Sections 14 and 15, and this year raised over 6,000 bushels of corn, averaging 63 bushels per acre. He also deals extensively in stock, buying and shipping largely. During the Price excitement, Mr. Pauly's being the only bakery in Topeka, he was kept constantly busy, working day and night, and, almost unassisted, turned out 2,160 loaves of bread every twenty-four hours, with which to satisfy the militia and others then stationed in the town. He was elected County Commissioner in 1877, serving as such until 1882; and from 1877 to the present time he has been treasurer of the school board. Although a member of the Roman Catholic Church, he has contributed liberally to all the other churches in town, without regard to denominational lines, and has always taken a deep interest in the county's welfare and progress. He now represents Wabaunsee County in the Legislature of the State.

H. A. PIERCE, attorney, is a native of Orleans County, Vt. He received his education in the Newberry Collegiate Institute; at the age of twenty years removed to California, where he engaged in mining, farming and the study of the law, being admitted to the bar in Sacramento in 1860, and to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1866, in Washington, D. C., where he had removed in 1864. From 1864 until the close of the war was employed by the Government on special service from City Point to Washington City. Resuming the practice of his profession in the National Capital, he remained there until 1869, when he removed to Yankton, D. T., where he remained for two years as Commissioner of Emigration and Adjutant General of the Territory. In the fall of 1879 we find him in Arkansas, conducting the Jefferson Republican, at Pine Bluff, and the Patriot, at Fort Smith. He was also Superintendent of Public Instruction, at a salary of $3,000, and Brigadier-General of the Militia. In the Spring of 1879 he moved to Kansas, locating at Alma, and resumed the practice of his profession. He now owns 400 acres on Section 9, Township 12, Range 11, Newbury Township, and intends in the near future to devote his attention principally to stock-raising.

HENRY J. PIPPERT, Sheriff, was born in Cassel, Germany, in June, 1850. His father and family emigrated to America in 1855, locating for a time in Muscatine, Iowa, and in 1867 removing to Willow Springs, Kan., where the elder Mr. Pippert now resides. The subject of this sketch located at Lawrence, where he worked at his trade of harness-making, until 1871, when he came to Alma, and opened a large saddlery and harness-making establishment, upon Missouri street. Mr. Pippert carries several thousand dollars worth of stock and has several competent workmen constantly employed in the manufacture of harness. Besides his store and residence, Mr. Pippert owns other real estate (chiefly building lots) in town. November 12, 1874, he married Caroline, eldest daughter of John P. Gleich, Esq., of Alma, by whom he has had four children, only one of whom, Helen Mary, born December 4, 1880, now remains to him. Mr. Pippert has been Councilman for several years, was elected Mayor of Alma in April, 1880, and in 1881 was elected Sheriff of Wabaunsee County, in which position he has made a very efficient officer, proving quite a "terror" to evil-doers.

SYLVESTER ROSS, County Treasurer, was one of the early settlers of Kansas, and contributed much, by his untiring energy, in promoting the welfare of the young State. A native of Vermont, he settled in Ohio in 1825, and there married Miss C. Rice. In 1835 he removed to Indiana, and in 1846 to Rock County, Wis., where he remained until 1856, when he joined a party of eight families which had assembled in Milwaukee, Wis., and were about to start for "the West." His son, E. G. Ross, was chosen commander of the party, and the long and tedious wagon journey was made still more so from the fact, that having many women and children in the party, they were compelled to give Missouri a wide berth, owing to the unsettled and dangerous condition of society there, caused by the border ruffianism of the period. Upon arriving in Kansas, he located on lot 1,313, Section 3, in Mission Creek Township, and subsequently took a prominent part in the formation of Wabaunsee County. He held the office of County Assessor for two terms, and was County Commissioner and Justice of the Peace for many years. He died in 1874 at the age of seventy-five years. During the War for the Union, four of his sons represented him in the Federal Army -- E. G., George, W. W., and Charles. E. G. Ross was United States Senator from this district from 1865 to 1870. W. W. Ross was Mayor of Topeka for several years, and, with his brother E. G., was one of the early newspaper editors of the State. Charles served with distinction during the war in Company F, Second Kansas Cavalry, and in 1872 removed from the old homestead to Alma upon being elected to the office of County Treasurer, which position he still fills. He is a member of Lyon Post, G. A. R.; charter member of Alma Lodge, No. 171, A., F. & A. M., and also of Alma Lodge, No. 170, I. O. O. F.

HENRY SCHMITZ, farmer, P. O. Alma, who now resides in a handsome stone house upon his farm of 160 acres, situated on Section 2, Town 12, Range 10, Mill Creek, came here in the spring of 1857 with a borrowed half dollar as his only cash capital. Born in the town of Sieburgin, Prussia, in 1823, he spent his early years upon his father's farm, and emigrated to America in 1852. Working for some time on railroads in Iowa and Missouri, until his final location in Kansas, he experienced all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. Ere selecting his claim upon Mill Creek, he, in the winter of 1857, accompanied by four others, left Westport upon an exploring expedition; besides the ox-team, two of the party had horses; but about night fall they were overtaken by a blinding snow storm, and were compelled to camp in a ravine near where Eskridge now stands. Upon the return of daylight he, with Mr. Joseph Thoes, who had a cabin upon Mill Creek, mounted and sallied forth to discover, if possible, some road by which to continue their journey. Nothing met the eye but immense drifts into which both horse and rider often tumbled, and after floundering around for some time they were compelled to return to the wagons. Their provisions being frozen solid a fire was necessary, so breaking up the boxes contained in the wagon, they at length got one started, and using snow for water ere long were enabled to regale themselves with hot coffee. Thus refreshed they once more set out upon their journey, finally arriving at Mr. Thoes' house; but the weather continuing bad they were compelled to abandon the object of their trip, and after a rest of some days returned to Westport. During this journey Mr. Schmitz suffered from snow blindness, and his face became so blistered that his nearest friend failed to recognize him. Some idea of the difficulty of such traveling may be had, when we state that it often took them seven hours to make three miles. Mr. Schmitz was in the militia during the border troubles; and in 1866, engaged in business as a storekeeper in Alma, but in 1875, he sold out and returned to the farm. Besides the "Homestead Farm," Mr. Schmitz has 320 acres in other sections, his average yield of wheat is 25 bushels to the acre, and of corn 60 bushels. His stock at present comprises 100 head of cattle, 9 horses, and 100 hogs. His residences and outbuildings are insured. In September, 1868, he married Miss Lena Linss, by whom he has had six children. Mr. Schmitz was Township Trustee for two years, and four years County Commissioner, and by his strict integrity and sterling character has long held the esteem and confidence of the community. To his personal efforts and generosity is Wabaunsee County greatly indebted for its prosperity.

REV. JOHN SCOTT, is a native of Waterbury, Conn., and soon after the close of the war, was sent South by the American Missionary Association of New York, then connected with the Freedman's Bureau, where he remained eight years engaged in missionary work such as distribution of clothing, food, etc., to the negroes, and organizing schools and churches. He organized the First Congregational Church in North Carolina, eight miles south of Goldsboro. Upon his return East he attended the Oberlin College and Theological Seminary of Ohio, of which he is a graduate. At the invitation of the Home Missionary Society he came to Alma to take charge of the church, there erecting a house of worship, which was dedicated August 28, 1881. He is a hard working clergyman, having done much to increase the numbers of his congregation, and has two other missions in his charge. He is as yet unmarried, and still maintaining his connections with his native State, where he has property, he annually visits it for the benefit of his health, which is not of the most robust nature, as also to keep up with the theological world in the East, in its march of progress.

JOSEPH THOES, merchant, was born in Germany, November 15, 1828; and lost his mother when he was yet a boy in years. His father with the children emigrated to Algeria, Africa, in 1845, but he and two of his children dying there, the care of the family fell to Joseph, who in October of that year accompanied by his brothers and sisters, sailed for Toulon, France, where they remained until 1851, when Mr. Thoes, after a short visit to his native lands, emigrated to America, arriving in New York, July 7, 1851, and remaining there fifteen months, from thence to Westport, Mo., finally locating in Kansas, in 1855, upon Mill Creek, this county. He built the first house (of logs) in what is now Farmer Township, where he now owns a fine farm of 300 acres, also residence and three acres in Alma. In 1862 he married Miss Augusta Dieball, of Alma, by whom he has had six children, ranging in age from six months to twenty years. During the Free-State or Border Ruffian times, Mr. Thoes was on his way to Westport with his team for the purpose of procuring provisions, and upon reaching a point a little east of Palmyra, a scene of devastation met his astonished gaze. Where formerly had stood rude, but prosperous and happy homes nothing now remained but ashes, and black and smouldering ruins; the work of the infamous Price or others of that ilk. Upon his return journey he stopped for food and rest at Indian Creek, and, when reclining by the side of his wagon, he was surprised to see a man emerge from the woods close by, approach and beg for food. Mr. Thoes at once invited him to share his repast, and when the poor fellow had satisfied his hunger, he informed Mr. Thoes that he was a native of Pennsylvania, who had with his wife and children located near Palmyra, some time previous; that he and another had been surprised and taken prisoners by a party of ruffians commanded by Milton McGee, who shot his companion dead at Cedar Creek, while he was marched towards Kansas City, but on the way was confined in a log house where he remained for two days without food or water; but on the third day during the absence of his captors he broke through the roof and escaped to the timber, where he had remained secreted, until seeing Mr. Thoes. Our friend conveyed him in the wagon to the vicinity of Palmyra, which the fugitive reached in due time only to find his home in ashes, and learn that his wife, believing him dead, had with her children returned to Pennsylvania. His companion's body was afterwards found nearly devoured by wolves. Mr. Thoes was County Commissioner for four years, and has ever taken an important and prominent part on all measures tending to the progress and improvement of the county. He now represents as manager the E. B. Purcell Elevator Company's Alma Branch.

MATTHEW THOMSON, County Superintendent, was born in Lincoln County, Tenn., in 1843. Received his education in Fayette Academy, and with his father, Mr. James L. Thomson, located in Wabaunsee County, in 1857. Besides devoting his attention to his farm of 160 acres in Wilmington Township, he was a school teacher for twelve years. He has been Township Clerk three terms, and is now County Superintendent of schools for the third term. Nor could the county make a better selection; himself an artist of no mean ability, an accomplished scholar and thorough gentleman, the cause of education finds in him a warm and able advocate, and Wabaunsee County will perhaps never fully realize the benefits derived from his wisdom and experience in educational training. In 1878, he married Miss Agnes Henderson, of Mission Creek Township, this county. Was a member of the Union Army during the war, serving for a time in the Quartermaster's Department. In 1863, took part in Sully's expedition against, and fight with, the hostile Indians; and ere twenty years of age had experienced many of the hardships, privations, and thrilling incidents which fell to the lot of the soldier on the Western plains during those exciting times. He is the possessor of several interesting Indian relics and curiosities. Mr. Thomson has also draughted several county and township maps of the State, and a very interesting and instructive chart relative to the discovery of America, and another which contains in a very brief space, yet clearly set forth, all the American and British land and naval engagements, Indian wars and massacres, etc.

R. A. WALD, under-sheriff, is a native of Berlin, Prussia, and was born in 1849, arriving in America with his parents in 1856, and receiving his education in Burlington, Racine Co., Wis., where his father had located, and where he, for many years, carried on an extensive tannery. The subject of this sketch upon attaining manhood's years acted as his father's traveling salesman, and subsequently for a Milwaukee hide and leather house. Owing to the delicate health of his wife, whom Mr. Wald was compelled to move to a milder climate, he, in 1878, located in this county, and turned his attention to insurance, representing the German Fire Insurance Company, of Freeport, Ill.; Connecticut, of Hartford; Home and Star Companies, of New York, and Union, of Philadelphia. Mr. Wald is a constable of the township, and also under-sheriff of the county.

JOHN WINKLER, was born in 1829, in the town of Renzhausen, Hanover, and received his education in the college of Hildesheim, after which he entered the army as a private but was subsequently promoted to the rank of lieutenant for bravery in the field during the Austro-Prussian War. He remained sixteen years in the army, received several wounds in action, and possesses several medals as evidence of his valor. March 6, 1860, he married Miss Lena Marten, also a Hanoverian, by whom he has six children -- Augusta and Amelia, being born in Hanover, and Robert (being mentioned elsewhere as the first white male child born in Alma), Arthur, Otto and Lena being born in this State. Mr. Winkler came to Alma, his first location in America, August 13, 1866, and built the first hotel here which he continued to "run" for two and-a-half years, when he sold out and removed to Maple Hill, where he turned his attention to farming. He was trustee of the towns of Newbury, Kaw and Maple Hill for several years, and postmaster of the latter place from 1871 to 1874, when he returned to Alma, and bought the building (to which he made considerable additions), now owned and occupied by him, and known as the "Winkler House," one of the best hotels in this part of the State. The house contains upwards of twenty rooms, a large and pleasant dining room, where the wants of the inner man are well cared for by his amiable daughter, Miss Amelia, who is an experienced and efficient caterer. Sample rooms for commercial men, and a free 'bus runs to and from all trains. Mr. Winkler has recently purchased 600 acres of land, situated about seven miles from Alma, upon which are several never failing springs of good water, and intends to engage extensively in stock-raising. A very extensive lead of excellent fire clay, suitable for brick or pottery is now being opened upon it.

GOTTLIEB ZWANZIGER, farmer, P. O. Alma, was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1822. He received his education in the Polytechnical Institute of Munich, graduating with honor in 1840. He was called to the army in 1844, and commissioned a Lieutenant of topographical engineers. Being dissatisfied with the reaction that took place after the revolution in the year 1848, he resigned in 1849. In 1850, he married Miss Theresa Von Orff, and shortly after emigrated to this country and settled in St. Louis, Mo., pursuing his profession of civil engineer. From 1852 to 1856 he was topographical engineer and inspector of masonry on the Iron Mountain Railroad, and in 1857 he located in the township of Alma, Wabaunsee County, Kansas, upon Section 10, Town 12, Range 10, where he still resides. The greater part of his farm is under cultivation, with an average yield of wheat of eighteen bushels to the acre, and corn forty bushels. Eighty acres are laid out in the town site of Alma. Coming here while the country was in its infancy Mr. Zwanziger took an active part in advancing the interests of the township. He built the first grist-mill and assisted in organizing and building the German Evangelical Church. In 1862 he entered the United States army as Captain of Engineers on Gen. Sherman's staff, retiring from the army in 1863. During the Price raid he was Major of militia on Gen. Curtis' staff and post engineer at Topeka. Mr. Zwanziger was one of the first three Commissioners appointed to organize Wabaunsee County, and remained County Commissioner from 1858 to 1862. During Col. Fremont's Presidency of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, Mr. Zwanziger was civil engineer of the road, and now acts as its land agent, He also represents several insurance companies and is passage ticket agent for no less than seven ocean steamship companies. He has been Justice of the Peace for the past twelve years, and held the office of County Surveyor for fourteen years.

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