Frederich Laepple, pictured with family below, bought land in Eudora through the settlement society before 1883 when he was working for his father-in-law, Christian Heinrich Brauning, a baker in Stuttgart, Germany. With his wife, Christine Sophia, who could speak English, the non-English speaking Frederich came to the United States in 1883. Christine regretted leaving her father, who died a few years later when he fell asleep smoking his pipe, which fell and caused a fire that consumed the house. Her brother, William Brauning, his wife, Rosa, who was Frederich Laepple’s sister; and their children (Henry, Rosa, Wilhelmina, and William Jr.) had emigrated before 1880 to Eudora. Her sisters, Pauline and Heinricka, worked as dress designers and seamstresses in New York City. Because of a disease outbreak, the Laepples could not land at Ellis Island where Christine was to meet her sisters. Instead, the ship went to Baltimore, and she did not reunite with her sisters until 1911. Another Laepple was Christian who could not speak English and came to Eudora with his wife, Minnie, in the 1880s to live on a 10-acre farm by the Henry Ziesenis family. Minnie died of childbirth at age 31. Their only surviving child, Freda, died at age 12 in 1895 from diphtheria. Christian died in 1906 in Oklahoma City at age 68 of food poisoning from a German sausage. The Brauning family lived outside of Eudora for several years. Their son, Henry, 18, who had been ice skating with friends, was instantly killed by a train. He and his friends hopped on the train, and he apparently lost his hold and fell. His family insisted he was pushed by a railroad employee who mistook Henry for another man, disliked by employee. Source: Tom Laepple May 30, 1982 interview with Scott Jenkins, Harold and Elaine Laepple, Lucille Roehr, and Evelyn Borah; census reports; obituary of Frederick Laepple (December 18, 1929, Oklahoma City Times)
Mary, known as Polly, was born in Palmyra, New York. After her family moved to Athens County, Ohio. She married Phillip W. Lampson on December 26, 1832. The Lampson lived on a farm between Utley and Braodwell in Ohio. During the Civil War, they moved near Eudora where several of their children had moved. They are buried in Hesper Friends Church Cemetery. Source: Findagrave .
August Lawrenz, born in Barko Res, Schlavol, Germany, married Wilhelmina (Grinkle), and they came to Clearfield in 1887 and had 10 children. Source: In Douglas County, Kansas, Family Histories 1991-1992, Vol. 1 by Carol Buhler Francis
Carl August Reinhold “Charles” Lothholz came to Eudora in 1858. He was born at Buttstadt, Saxe-Weimar, Germany, on February 3, 1835, to Friedrich Adolph August Lottholz, a physician and surgeon, and Roseine Christiane Juliane (Linsenbarth). Both his parents died of typhus. A family document, “Die Lodholz,” traces the family to the Black Forest Region of Wurttemberg in the village Halzbronn where the family lived for two generations before branching into the village of Calw for three generations. Then the family moved to Buttstadt, near Weimar, in the state of Thuringia. Charles, who learned the carpenter's trade, came to Chicago in 1854, at 19 and worked there as a carpenter. When he learned of a German settlement in the Kansas Territory, he came to Eudora as a merchant and served in the state militia member during the Civil War. In 1868, he established a lumber business and later bought 500 acres east of Eudora as a ranching sideline. In October 1899, he founded the Kaw Valley State Bank of Eudora and continued as its president for nearly 19 years. He also was one of the organizers and directors of the Watkins National Bank at Lawrence. Mayor for several terms, Lothholz campaigned for and succeeded in having the first and second bridges over the Kansas River at Eudora built, too. A Republican, he was a member of St. Paul 's Evangelical Lutheran Church and Independent Order of Odd Fellows. About him, the newspaper wrote: “To mention Eudora or anything connected with the business interest, nothing can be written or said in which the name of Charles Lothholz does not appear, for in all matters that were for the upbuilding of the city and community, he always took a very prominent part. In fact, his life was so interwoven with all the principle events and incidents pertaining to the progress of Eudora that they form a part of it.” Will Stadler, the editor of the newspaper, also said Lothholz always made the comment that if a person wanted something bad enough the person “should take the bull by the horns.” On June 7, 1859, Charles married Karoline (also spelled "Caroline") (Schneider), daughter of John Theobold Schneider and Elizabetha (Kalkbrenner) who was born in Glan Muenchwiler, Germany, July 18, 1836, and is pictured here. She died in April 1910, a little more than a year after her husband. They were the parents of eight children: William, Anna (who never married), Minnie (who married Charles Achning ), Herman, George H., Charles and Carrie (twins), and one who died in infancy, unnamed. Only Minnie, William, George, and Anna, the family historian, survived to adulthood. William (1860-1932), who managed the lumber company and bank for many years, married Rose Bartusch (1860-1950), daughter of Mary and Robert Bartusch. Their children were Carl and Oscar (who married Luella Miller with whom he had William Robert. George Lothholz (1868-1857) attended the Lawrence Business College, worked as a book-keeper and stenographer for the Western Sash and Door Company in Kansas City as a young man, and was the Kaw Valley State Bank cashier for many years. Married twice, he had no children. Brigitte (Lohholz) Pringle, the only child of William Robert “Bob”) Lothholz, lives with husband, Tim, and children, William (“Jared”) and Valerie, in the house built by the first Lothholz in Eudora). Source: A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans ; Brigitte (Lothholz) Pringle (2003 interview); and John Bennet Bodie’s (1964) Historical Southern Families, Volume 8, (see chapter “The Lodholz, or Lothholz, Family Originating in the Black Forest Region of Wurttemberg, Germany, and Kansas by Estellyn Allday Achning,” pgs. 198-242)
Adolph Lotz (see photograph on left), his wife, Elizabeth (Pilla) (born October 18, 1839), and children Julius, Adolph Jr. (who married Clara Bartusch as shown in photograph on right), Carl, Fred, and Lena (Hammer), came to Eudora from Zweibruecken, Pfalz, Germany. The family lived first in Armourdale, Kansas, and a little later moved to Eudora in 1885. Julius, born April 25, 1868, a painter and wall paper hanger, married Louise (Hammer). They had one son, Otto. Source: Eudora News (April 24, 1900), Elizabeth Lotz’s obituary (1927) and Julius Lotz’s obituary (1929)
Mary Miller, the daughter of Daniel and Margaret Miller, was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, on February 2, 1822, and married William McCabria, who was born in 1821, also in Armstrong County. They moved to the Kaw Valley area in 1868 and later moved to Linwood for 12 years, and, ultimately, to a farm one and one-half miles north of Eudora. They had 10 children, four survived. About Daniel, at the time of his death in January 19, 1903, it was written he was “a kind old gentleman, courteous, kind-hearted, generous to a fault.” Source: Mary McCabria’s obituary and Daniel MCabria’s obituary (1903)
John Aloysius Madl, born November 2, 1829, came from Grainet, Germany, to the United States at age 33. His wife was Antony (or “Antoni”) Kellerman. They took a three-month steam trip to the United States and landed in New York City, before proceeding to the Eudora area in 1868. Some of Clearfield’s earlier settlers, they had 11 children, some of them born near the city of Munich in Bavaria, including Mary (Koerner), Teresa (Staib), Tillie (Schoenhofer), Joe, and John Jr. who married Teresa “Molly” Schoenhofer. The children of John Jr. and Teresa Madl were Frank, Emma (Kasberger), Elizabeth (Bohnsack), John Peter, William, Clara (Miller), Herbert, George, Ernest, Henry, and Louis. The Madl family attended the Catholic church. Source: John Madl’s obituary (1906), John A. Madl Family Record by Roland Evilsizor, and Antoni Madl’s obituary (1913)
Jesse Franklin Marley was born July 9, 1866, in North Carolina. His mother, Sylvania, died when he was four years old. His father brought their children to Kansas and settled near DeSoto and married a Miss Adair from Lawrence. After the marriage, Jesse and his brothers became “bond boys” and worked for David and Penelope Davis in Hesper. The Davis’ foster child, Halsey (or Halcie) Moore (born 1873 in Eagleton, Indiana), married Jesse Marley at the Davis farm on New Year’s Eve in 1890 or 1892. The next spring, Jesse and Halsey left with six of their children and Rogers Grantan, a 16-year-old orphan, to find a home on the Sac and Fox reservation in Oklahoma . Jesse bought a 160-acre homestead for $150 from an old cowboy named John Pritchard who made the run on horseback. Pritchard helped Jesse build a sod and log cabin with a board floor instead of earth and wainscotting as high as the wall was dug. The walls were covered with sheets and magazine pictures pinned to the sheets. The new home was 60 miles from Guthrie. Neighboring Indians were friendly. Jesse worked for 50 cents a day for neighbors. Their main food was navy beans with dumplings and salt pork. Once Jesse had a “felon” on his finger and walked to Guthrie to get medical help. He fainted at a camp ground, and when he regained consciousness, he found the man caring for him was his former mail carrier in Kansas, a Mr. Swearingin. After spending two years at their homestead, they were asked by “Grandpa” David Davis to come back to Eudora and care for his 300 acres. They sold the cow, calf, and chickens, and returned to Hesper. The Marleys had six daughters and four sons, including Howard, Elbert, Joseph, Mrs. M. L. Pearson, Mrs. W. C. Wilcox, Lesley (Reber), and Mrs. Ernest Biery, who attended the Hesper Academy. In 1919, Jesse Marley bought 23 acres called the old Slifer place in Eudora and built with the help of his sons a home at 2202 N. 1420 Road, later occupied by the Alf Oleson family, east of Eudora on Seventh Street. Jesse cleared part of the land (“Marley’s Grove”) for the use of picnics, reunions, and ball games. Source: Lesley (Marley) Reber in “Biographical Sketches,” prepared by Lauretta Trabant in Eudora Community Heritage (1977), “The Good Old Days” by Lesley (Marley) Reber, and Jesse Marley’s obituary (1928)
The Mertz family came to Eudora in 1868 after a short stay in Illinois. They were natives of Wipkingen, Canton, Zurich, Switzerland. Dora Mertz, born in 1833, died in 1903, 21 years after her husband, Melchion, drowned in Eudora and a few months before her son, one of three including Will and George, died of illness. Source: Dora Mertz’s obituary (1903) and land abstracts.
In 1873, Henry Meyers, a German, married Mary (Hunzicker), born July 27, 1851, in Basel, Switzerland. At age three, she had come from Switzerland with a younger brother, Daniel, and family to Fort Wayne, Indiana, through New York in 1854. The Hunzickers came to Eudora in 1865. Henry and Mary lived on the “Ray Miller” farm, moved to Anderson County, then returned to Eudora. Henry sold the farm, bought a saw mill, and cleared Weaver Bottom of timber. The family lived in the “Will Spitzli” house, then bought a lot at 1100 Church Street to build a Victorian-style house. Their children were Clarence, William, Ida (White), and Alma (Gerstenberger). After high school, Alma worked at the Eudora post office for Gus Gabriel for nine years, and then at the Kaw Valley Bank for three years. In 1923, she married George Gerstenberger who was born on the family farm south of Eudora. He had gone to Colorado near Denver to work with his brother and then went into the army. When he returned from World War I in 1919, he worked for Mutual Oil Company and stayed in the oil business until he retired, including his service station at Eighth Street and Main Street that they sold to Paul Hadl in 1948. Alma also worked as city clerk for 25 years, taught Sunday school for 50 years, and was secretary of Eastern Star for 25 years. Source: Alma Myers Gerstenberger in “Biographical Sketches,” prepared by Lauretta Trabant in Eudora Community Heritage (1977) and Mary Meyers’ obituary (January 4, 1929)
Henry Milburn, born December 4, 1848, on a Madison County, Indiana, farm, married Nancy Jane Huntzinger, the daughter of Jacob, a Methodist minister, and Mary Catherine (Anderson), on April 23, 1872. They came to Kansas in the spring of 1887 and bought a farm three miles south of Hesper. They had seven children, including Ada (Deay), Eddie, Zuella (Griffin), Jacob, James, and Isaac. One daughter died in childhood. Milburn died of “consumption” November 25, 1887, and was noted for his “frugal and industrious” nature in his obituary. He was buried six miles south and one mile east of Eudora in the “burying ground.” Source: Henry Milburn’s obituary (November 1887)
Edward Mistele was born within a few miles of William Trefz, another who would come to Eudora from Germany, but they did not know each other at the time. Mistele came to the United States on a two-month trip on a sailboat from Germany. He settled in Kansas City, Missouri, and married Pauline (Kaiser), who came to the United States from Switzerland in 1887. They had four children: Edward, William, Hulda, and Matilda. The Mistele’s first home was just north of 931 Church Street . They rented it for $8 a month from Joshua Reber. Mistele bought the blacksmith shop in 1901 from Joshua Reber on the northwest corner of Tenth Street and Church Street. He sold the blacksmith shop six years later to Frank Roe who made it into a bicycle shop. After a while, Roe tore down the shop and built a house at 931 Church Street. Mistele bought Joe Zillner’s blacksmith shop and went into partnership with Zillner; later, Zillner became sole owner. Mistele built the house at 926 Church Street about 1904. He was a member of the Eudora City Council for a number of years and liked the free passes to traveling shows such as circuses and plays that council members received. The Misteles were active members of the Salem Evangelical Church. Ed Mistele Jr. helped Daniel Reber move houses with dollies, beams, and a steam engine. They charged $25 to move a house. When they finished one particularly heavy house, Reber said he had enough of moving houses because he couldn’t make enough money. He stacked the beams in his back yard and burned them. The Misteles, except Ed Jr., moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1912. Ed Jr. moved to a farm four miles south and three miles east of Eudora and had five children. Source: “Biographical Sketches,” prepared by Lauretta Trabant in Eudora Community Heritage (1977)
Georg Moll was born in 1695 in Baden, Germany. He married Magdalena (Reinbold) in Germany. Magdalena was born about 1699 in Urloffen, Offenburg, Baden, Germany. Joseph, one of their descendants, married Regina (Keiser), born in 1817 in Alsace. She came to the Unites States at age 13 with her parents, and married Joseph in 1835. They had 10 children, including Edwin, William, James, Samuel, Emma, Elizabeth (Dolisi), and two who stayed in the Eudora area: Mary (Dolisi) and Louis. Born in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri, on November 5, 1844, Louis, lived 87 years. Early in his life, his parents moved to Muscotah, Illinois, and when he was 15, they moved near Olathe where several Moll families lived. Louis served three months with state militia during the Civil War. In 1868, he married Frances Sauer. They had nine children, six dying before Louis did. The Moll family moved to Eudora in 1893. Fred, one of those children, married Anna (Herz), adopted daughter of Joseph Herz, in 1901. They had two children, Leo and Maria, before Anna died of tuberculosis at age 32. Fred, a blacksmith and school janitor, bought the block between Seventh Street and Eighth Street on Ash Street where he had a dairy and truck farm. He grew Dunlop strawberries that he marketed in Newton. Born July 27, 1891, in Kansas City, Missouri, Johanna Maull, Fred’s second wife, moved with her family to Eudora at age 11. The family made the move because her mother wanted to live in the country. Her father, a machinist, worked in Kansas City , and came to Eudora on weekends. Johanna took care of her future husband’s children after their mother died and married Moll, also a blacksmith, December 27, 1911. “All the Molls were blacksmiths,” Johanna said in a December 15, 1976 Eudora Enterprise article. Johanna made hot lunches for the Eudora grade school from 1921 to 1954. She cooked on a three-burner coal oil stove for 50 pupils when she started. Source: Moll history on Internet, Maria Moll “History of Fred Moll-Anna Herz” one-page sheet given to Eudora Area Historical Society in 1982, and Eudora Enterprise (December 15, 1976)
The first Musicks came from Wales to America in 1719 when George Musick received 250 acres in Spottsylvania County, Virginia. The son of John Musick and Mary (Johnson), William Musick (born August 15, 1839) was one of nine children who lived to adulthood. Nine of his siblings died in childhood. William married Rachel Shaw (born February 10, 1846, in Liverpool, England) in Logan County, Illinois. They bought a 242-acre Clearfield farm in 1882 and moved there with their nine children. They had two more children. One was Ephraim, who married Grace (Schellack), born March 25, 1884, on a farm three miles southwest of Eudora. She was the daughter of Alvin, a physician who came to the United States from Germany, and Rose Anna, a native of Ohio, who moved to Hesper. Grace attended Belleview School and left after the elementary grades to work on the family farm. "In those days, it didn't make so much difference if you had an education or not," she said in a news interview. At age 23, she married Ephraim Musick and they farmed 240 acres eight miles south of Eudora on land Ephraim's father had homesteaded. Ephraim later was thrown from a horse that landed on top of him. He died a year and a half later from complications, leaving Grace with three young children: Edna (Schmidt), Merritt, and John. She stayed on the farm a few years before moving to her brother's farm and buying 40 acres southwest of Eudora. Later she began raising turkeys and selling bread-and-butter pickles. She also rented rooms to students and did washing and ironing. Merritt Musick married Ella Marie (Wichman) in 1931. They had 10 children and lived on a farm two miles west of Eudora. In 1964, Merritt retired and bought the Dairy Joy in DeSoto with Ella. After Ella died in 1978, Merritt married Florence Nuckolls in 1980. Source: Geraldine Musick Wilcox and John Musick Sr. in Douglas County, Kansas, Family Histories 1991-1992, Vol.1 by Carol Buhler Francis and Lawrence Journal-World (March 22, 1984)
The first Neis family members in the United States came with the Brecheisen family. Peter Neis was born in Worbach, Rheinfals , Bavaria , in 1805 and married Mary (Braun), who was born in Prussia in 1811. (Both are buried in Eudora). They had two sons. One was Frederick (born April 14, 1833 , in Germany) who married Magdalene (Brecheisen) (born 1837 in France. They ultimately ended up in California , both dying in 1917. Born February 25, 1831 in Prussia , Peter, the other son, married Elizabeth (Pfleger), also born in Prussia (December 3, 1831 in Heimkirchen). They married February 4, 1854, and had Frederick, Caroline (Brecheisen), Peter (who married Mary Guenther), Henry (who died at age four in Germany ), Maria (Bahnmaier), Wilhelm (who died at age four), and Wilhelmina (Hildebrand). When he was 28, Peter, a carpenter, brought his family to the United States on the vessel “Hansa” from Bremen. The trip took two weeks. He also brought his wife’s son, Carl Pfleger, and her sister. They stayed in Chicago one year, then settled on a farm one and one-half miles east and one-fourth mile south of Eudora. Frederick Sr., a son of Peter and Elizabeth (born July 15, 1854 in Talakinake, Bavaria) was 14 when his parents brought him to Eudora, and died October 1, 1928, in Eudora after “he had been picking blue plums and fell out of the tree and contracted pneumonia,” said his daughter, Sarah. He had married Susanna Wilhelmina “Minnie” Strobel (born in Herman, Missouri, on February 9, 1859 and died in Eudora on September 3, 1935 ). The Neis and Strobel families were neighbors and that is how Frederick and Minnie met. Frederick and Susanna first lived on a farm one mile east and three-fourths mile south in a two-room home. They later moved to the farm one mile east of Eudora and stayed on this farm until they retired and moved into the city of Eudora. Their children, all born in Eudora, attended the Oberlin county school. They were Albert (married Anna Marie Brecheisen), Samuel (married Lillie Koellar), Frederick (married Maude August Reusch), Carl (married Mattie Payne), Benjamin (married Alvena Wuensch), Gideon (married Lottie Laughlin), Daniel (married Alma Bryant Sommer), Peter (married Dora Knabe and they took over the home place), and Selma (married James Carr Kraybill). Sarah, daughter of Frederick and Minnie, met Otto Abel when he came to Eudora to cut wheat for her brother, Fred, and she had the job of carrying water to them. She gave everyone a drink except Otto because she did not know him. Her brother told her to give him water. So, she took the jug of water over to him and flung it at him. With that introduction, they began dating and got married May 15, 1918. After Otto and Sarah married, they moved to Williamsburg on a farm belonging to Otto’s uncle for about a year. Unable to make a living there, they agreed to return to Eudora for a home given to them by Sarah’s father and brother, Sam. They settled on the farm that their son, George, later owned. They had seven children; five girls and two boys. All of them were born at home except Carl and Marion who were born in Lawrence. Sarah and Otto stayed on the farm until 1954, when they moved to Eudora. Otto died February 16, 1955. The youngest son of Samuel and Lillian Neis was Samuel G. Neis, known as “Junior.” He married Elizabeth Kindig, the daughter of Bruce Alvin and Hyacinth (Matney). As a girl in Barber County, Elizabeth spent many hours with her father in the basement preparing slides for classroom work. Her family went hiking in the Gyp Hills, checked on the new roads and bridges as they were being built, or visited the oil and gas fields. She was a member of Mingona Boosters 4-H Club, participated in Sunflower Girls State , and liked candy parties except for the night someone brought salt instead of sugar. On Saturdays, she worked at Mr. Overstreet's Jewelry Store, the only place in town that had sheet music. Later, she worked in the acid laboratory at Sunflower Ordnance Works. Following graduation from the University of Kansas, she married Samuel in October 1947 and their children were Carol Anne, Bruce (married Bonnie Jean Bartling), Samuel, and Russell (who married Tina Ledgerwood). She lived on the family farm southeast of Eudora and was active in Eastern Star, Rebekahs, 1900 and Now Club, EHU, and PTA, and helped with 4-H and Scouts. Her hobbies included collecting local history and genealogy. Source: Elizabeth (Kindig) Neis and Sarah Neis in Douglas County, Kansas , Family Histories 1991-1992, Vol. 1 by Carol Buhler Francis, Elizabeth (Pfleger) Neis’s obituary (1911), and Frederick Neis Sr.’s obituary (1928)
Several members of the Neustifter family came to Eudora during the 1850s and 1860s from Bavaria . Louis Neustifter and wife, Anna, both born in Bavaria, came to Eudora in 1864 by ox team from Illinois . They brought with them their son, Charles, who was born July 3, 1858, in Chicago, and also John, Lewis, George, Frank, and Anna, according to the 1880 Census. The family settled on a small farm east of town and later built a log house on the first lot north of where the English Methodist parsonage stood. Charles Neustifter (1858-1936) owned and operated the Cash Grocer and produce store on Church Street for more than 30 years. Another Neustifter was Christena "Tena" born March 28, 1893 in Engle , New Mexico. She was two when her father, a Eudora native and railroad employee, died. With her mother and three siblings, Tena returned to Eudora and "were awfully poor." Her mother, who later married Louis Eder, picked potatoes in the day and did washing on a wooden washer by night. The Mutual Telephone Office also was run from the family house, and Tena and her two sisters operated the switchboard. In 1920, Tena married Fred Ziesenis and moved to Lawrence where her husband operated a grocery and she raised their two children, Aileen and Richard. Source: Eudora Weekly News (April 30, 1936)
Katie (Peters), born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, on December 3, 1827, married Edward Oberholtzer on September 9, 1854. They arrived in Eudora on July 4, 1884. Members of the German Evangelical Church, they had 11 children. At the time of Katie’s death in 1898, four children survived her. Source: Eudora News (April 6, 1898)
Catherine Ott, born in Eich, Germany, October 25, 1836, came to the United States in 1853 to Freeport, Illinois. She married Jacob Ott in 1855. They came by steamboat to Kansas City on April 4, 1858, and settled in Franklin (southwest of Eudora). Their children were John, George, Helena, Frederic, Mary, and Ann, according to the 1880 Census. Jacob Ott died in the 1870s. Catherine died at age 72 of heart trouble. They attended the Evangelical Church. Source: Catherine Ott’s obituary (1909)
Copyright 2015. Cindy Higgins. Where the Wakarusa Meets the Kaw: A History of Eudora, Kansas. Eudora, KS: Author.