The History of Eudora, Kansas
The History of Eudora, Kansas
Above, from left: Charles Achning, Katherine Altenbernd, Louie and Hazel Brecheisen, Sarah and Asher Cohn, and Marie Dolisi
Planning to settle in California, the J. M. Abels family, originally from Alsace-Lorraine and Bremen in Germany, instead came to Eudora in 1859. Son Henry Abels said when his family traveled to Eudora by boat from New Orleans, the stern wheeler boat stopped in St. Louis, and Caroline Schneider boarded on her trip to Eudora to meet her fiancé, Charles Lothholz. At Booneville, Missouri, August Gabriel also got on the boat to come to Douglas County. Lothholz met the boat at Kansas City to bring his soon-to-be bride by stagecoach to Eudora. The Kansas River was in flood stage with a swift current and driftwood, causing the captain to tie up at Shawnee. Camping Indians, Abels said, yelled wildly and the coyotes howled, frightening the boat passengers. When the Abels family arrived June 4 and left the boat at the mouth of the Wakarusa River, most of the town met them, including Charles Lothholz and his bride, Charles Achning, Fred Pilla, Charles Durr, A. Summerfield, Anton Getker, a Schuricht, Peter Hartig, Prang Vogel, a Meyer, a Deichmann, and others. Henry married Louisa Fieldler on March 4, 1868, and was a Eudora postmaster for 16 years. Their children were Will, Benjamin, Lydia, Ollie, Mrs. George Seybold, Mrs. Homer White, and Mrs. Carl Lundberg. Henry Abels’ brother, Ernst Jakob Heinrich “Ernest,” born in New Orleans, was age six when the family came to homestead on the first quarter section in Johnson County along what is now old Highway 10. Ernest married his neighbor, Rosena Eisele. Their first child, Alfred, died at age one when his high chair turned over and his head hit the ground. Their other children were Karl, Ester, Ludwig Arthur, Edwin Friedrich, and Johannes Heinrich. Edwin, born September 15, 1891, married Marie Robinson, daughter of W.H. Robinson; became editor of the Lawrence Outlook (originally called Douglas County Republican); and served four terms (House, 1937; Senate, 1939-1947) in the Kansas Legislature. Source: Ernest Abels’ obituary (1917), Henry Abels’ obituary (1918), and “Biographical Sketches,” prepared by Lauretta Trabant in Eudora Community Heritage (1977); "House Resolution 6136," Journal of the House of Representatives, Kansas Legislature; and Eisele Family and Hornberger Family (March 1, 1977) by Clifford Eisele
A farmer in Section 30 with 120 acres, J. R. Allen Jr. was born in Monmouth, New Jersey, on December 14, 1832, and was the son of Joseph R. Allen and Anna (Richardson). He grew up in Monmouth, and, in 1852, moved to Iowa. In 1856, he came to Kansas, an active Free-State supporter, and settled in Kaw Valley before buying a Belleview farm in 1865, according to his 1917 obituary. He married Emma, daughter of Thomas Pearson and Rhoda (Rogers) in Newton, Iowa, on May 28, 1857. They had five children: Jennie S. (born July 22, 1858); James T. (born December 16, 1863); Elmer F. (born August 20, 1866); Edwin C. (born January 26, 1871); and Bertha G. (born November 12, 1874). Emma was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Source: History of the State of Kansas (1883) by William Cutler
Conrad Altenbernd was born in Lippedetwald, Germany, on January 8, 1837 and died November 17, 1919 in Eudora at 82 years of age. He married Wilhelmina Katharine “Katy” Siggs in 1860. Katy, born in Prussia, died October 9, 1921. Their first child, Heinrich Wilhelm, was born in Eudora in 1861. Other children were Wilhelm, Minnie (who died at age 6 and was buried in the Eudora Cemetery), and Conrad Samuel. Conrad bought enough land from local Indians for two adjoining farms, which he shared with his brother, William, who married Katherine, born in Hessen Darmstadt, Germany, on February 2, 1839, and came to Port Washington, Wisconsin, at age 11. Their children were Fred, Louis, Carl, Will, Louisa, Mrs. Ed Schaake, Mrs. Frank, and Mrs. Emil Hoelzel. Source: Alternbernd Family Tree (1999) by Sheila Altenbernd, Peoria, Arizona; Eudora News(October 2, 1997); Katherine Altenbernd’s obituary (1913); Lorene Cox; Erik D. Mueller-Harder family history.
Born in Nairnshire, Scotland, March 14, 1832, John Anderson was the son of John Anderson and Isabella (Henderson). He immigrated to Canada in 1856 and stayed there 12 years before he settled in Section 26 southwest of Eudora on his 160 acres. He married Justina D., daughter of John McIntosh and Margaret (Simpson) in Auldearn, Scotland, on December 23, 1859. They had five children: Margaret (born March 2, 1861); Isabella (born October 23, 1863); Lizzie (born March 23, 1865); Justina (born December 23, 1867); and Mariann (born June 7, 1869). Source: History of the State of Kansas (1883) by William Cutler
The Baeckers came from the border area between Germany and France to Chicago in 1869, then two months later moved to the Captain’s Creek area, 10 miles southeast of Eudora. Source: 1911 obituary
William Bartz lived two miles south of Eudora. His family included seven sons and three daughters. Some of them were Ed, Will, Mary (Muzzy), and Amelia (Barley). Bartz was born around 1843. The Bartz name does not appear on the 1880 census, so they presumably came to the Eudora area after that time. A Bartz was noted in an 1893 newspaper harvesting ice from the river. Source: William Bartz’s obituary (1911)
Henry Basemann was born August 7, 1812, Senderslobe, Saxony and emigrated to New York City in 1842. The 1851 Canadian Business Directory for Kingston Ontario 1851 contains an ad for his cabinetmaking. He joined the 12th Kansas Infantry Company E and served in the Civil War for three years. He married his wife, Frances, around 1844 in New York City. She was born November 5, 1819, in Germany. Their children were Henry Jr., born January 13, 1845 in New York City and died May 16, 1862 or 72 or ? in Fort Scott; Louisa, born 1850 in Ontario, Canada, who married George John Stadler and died May 10, 1927 in Eudora; Carrie, born June 1, 1854 in Canada and died July 22, 1875 of burns received while making a fire with coal oil in Fort Scott; and William. Henry Sr., Henry Jr., Carrie, and Frances are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Scott. Louisa is buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Eudora.
Frederick Bernitz came to the United States from Prussia in the early 1800s. He and his wife, Mary, moved from Tipton, Indiana, in 1861 with their children, Frank, Theodore, Mary, and Emma, to the Eudora area. They first lived in a small house just north of the old Pilla Department Store, 701 Main Street. Their daughter Alice (“Allie”) was born there. Frederick Bernitz purchased land along Captain’s Creek from an Indian named Rodgers in 1863 and had to go to Wyandotte to get the deed. Frederick farmed the land, built a home, and planted a large apple orchard west of the house. Frank got a job to build fires with coke for the Santa Fe Railroad in Topeka. He asked Dan Reber to show him how to build such fires because Reber had experience building fires with coke at the Eudora Mills. After Frederick died, Allie took over the farming and lived with her mother, Mary, and son, Arthur, 3, after her husband died. Arthur attended Oberlin District 80. When his teacher died, he walked to Weaver and attended school there. Emma married Carl Pfleger. Theodore worked for the Santa Fe Railroad and was fatally injured when he was crushed trying to couple two cars together. Arthur married Pearl Strobel in 1929. Pearl’s siblings were Anna, Alvina, Helen, Joe, Dan, and Woodrow. After their marriage, Arthur and Pearl lived at the home place for 46 more years. They had two children, Wanda and Myron. Arthur recalled taking wagon loads of apples to the cider mill in DeSoto. The family also dried apples. One favorite family dish was schnitz and knepp, made with dried apples, sugar, a bit of ham, and dumplings. Arthur and Pearl moved to Eudora in 1975, because a highway was built that cut through their farm and required their house to be razed. Source: “Biographical Sketches,” prepared by Lauretta Trabant in Eudora Community Heritage(1977)
F. Xavier Blechl (also spelled Blochl), a weaver born in Bischofsreut, Niederbayern, Germany, his wife, Katharina (Nigl), born in the same location, and children came to New York from Liverpool May 8, 1872 on the S.S. Canada. Their children were Anna, Johann Baptist (lived only a few days in 1853), Therese (lived less than a month in 1854), Ludwig (lived two months in 1855), Therese (2) (married Charles Neustifter), Karolina married Joseph Furthmeyer), and Franziska (married John Greiner), (married John Blechl). Another Bechl, Franz, had come to Eudora in 1861 in a group traveling by ox teams and horse-pulled prairie schooners from Illinois and Missouri. With his wife and children, Franz built a sandstone house, which the family lived in for several years, before moving to a farm two and one-half miles southeast of town. Of their eight children, six were alive at their 50th anniversary: Theresa (Rothberger), Lizzie (Greiner), Katherine (Winter), Joseph, and Agnes. Son Frank, married Anna Sommer. Source: American Online Family Group Record for F. Xavier Blochl and Eudora Weekly News(April 30, 1936)
The fourth child of Christian and Karoline Bohnsack, August Bohnsack was born close to Gordenville, Missouri, in 1848. Several members of his family are buried in the German Methodist Church cemetery there. August married Henrietta Nothdurft who died two years later. That same year, he married Carolina Neumeyer. The dampness in the area made him ill, so he moved his family to Great Bend, Kansas, in 1878. In 1889, he bought a farm by Captain’s Creek south of Eudora. Later he moved to the 240 acres he bought in the Belleview area and lived in a white sand rock house. At age 59, August died and was buried in the Eudora Cemetery. The children of August and Carolina were Wilhelm, August, Johan, Emma, Daniel, Edwin, and twin boys who died at birth. Most of the children moved to Topeka. August Jr. married Ella Schellack and farmed her parents’ farm before he built a Standard Oil Service Station in Eudora. Emma, who died at age 34, married Frank Madl, then Henry Kennedy, both of Eudora. Another, Herman, son of Christian and Karoline, also moved to Eudora. He worked at the Schubert Funeral Home in Lawrence, joined the army, and was a telegrapher for the Santa Fe Railroad in Eudora. Known as “Beanie,” he delivered mail in Eudora and married Ethel May Vitt in 1920. Herman, who had a large garden at his 730 Church Street home, had a twin brother, his father was a twin, two of Herman’s daughters were twins, and one of those daughters had twins. Source: The Descendants of Christ Bohnsack, by Delta (Bohnsack) Raley, Lawrence, Kansas
James and Mary “Clementine” Brazil came to Eudora around 1865 and had a farm eight miles southeast of the city. They attended the German Methodist church. Their nine children included Ella (Musick), Eliza (Ward); Amelia; Denny; and Mrs. Charles Gottstein. Source: Mary Brazil’s obituary (1911)
Peter Brecheisen (1823-1875), a stonecutter and mason of Linienhausen, Alsace, and Wilhelmina Vitt of Wiel Baden, Germany, (1826-1903) had their first child, William, before they came to America. Peter arrived first about 1845, and Wilhelmina two years later. They married in Chicago, and Leo Vitt, Wilhilmina’s brother, brought young William to them in 1851. Four times, Peter tried to set up a farm in the Eudora area. The Clearfield farm he ultimately settled at in 1858 was the former property of Polly Chewe, a Shawnee who sold 200 acres to him. He built a sandstone house (razed in 1971) marked with his trademark “P. B.” in 1867. Inhaled dust from his trade, many thought, caused Peter to die young. Wilhelmina, 49, with five children under age 21, married Bernhardt Kramer, a neighbor, in 1879. He died the next year, and she ultimately settled in Osage County in 1884. The children of Peter and Wilhelmina were William (married Amelia Schendel); Peter (married Caroline Neis); Sophia Mary (married Henry Schendel); John (married Ursula Maier); George (married Anna Weil); Sarah Elizabeth (died at age 16); Charles (married Elizabeth Brown, then Minnie Jones); Edward Emil (married Anna Ulrich); and a daughter who died at or near birth and was buried at their Clearfield farm. Source: Family History of Peter Brecheisen I (1979) by LaVerne Brecheisen, Charles Brecheisen Sr., and Mary Brecheisen Rodewald
Georg Frederick Breithaupt, born May 6, 1832, in the village of Mundinpen, County Emmendingen, Baden, Germany, came to the United States by sailboat in 1850 as a stowaway to avoid army service, according to a family Bible. The trip took 81 days to New York. He was one of five children born to shoemaker Geog Friedrich Breithaupt and Anna Catherinea (Hornecker). In 1854, Georg moved to Davis, Illinois, and married Salome (Weber) (born June 6, 1836) who came from Alsace, Germany, by sailboat. Roy Breithaupt told Ezra Breithaupt that their grandmother [Salome Breithaupt] told him her complexion was such a reddish-dark color because she was French Moroccan and had some Indian blood. When the Boer War started, she told how she and another young lady escaped from French Morocco on a sailboat and went to Spain, and then Alsace. She made her way to Paris and went in the open door of a butcher shop asking for help. She lived in that shop for two years and never went out. When the war was over, she came to America. Georg and Salome homesteaded in Davis, Illinois, and migrated to Douglas County in 1856. They came by oxen team in a covered wagon and homesteaded 120 acres two miles east of Clearfield. Frederick joined the Union Army April 13, 1862. He served with a detachment in Benton Barracks, Missouri Company D2, Battalion Cavalry and was discharged September 4, 1863. Salome kept the farm going that they had bought from M. Coffey, a Shawnee Indian. Their 11 children were Lydia (who married Johann Schubert), George (who married Mary Redding and farmed two miles east of Clearfield), and John (who married Eva Easdale and later Ida Neiger), while Indians made frequent visits. Additional children born were Mary (Fleer) Gideon (who married Pauline Kramer and operated a grocery store and post office in Clearfield), Kathryn (Westerhouse), Charles (who married Mary Schmidli and farmed in central Kansas and Kerman, California), Sarah (Schmidli), Emma (Schmidli), Samuel (who married Ida Baecher and became an Evangelical minister), and Martin (who married Chloa Kretsenger and farmed with his father). Frederickattended Evangelical Association Church at Clearfield(now United Methodist) and farmed till his death November 13, 1898 of pneumonia. Minnie (Edelbrock), Martin’s daughter, used to go with Salome by horse and buggy to Edgerton to pick up a Civil War pension check. Salome later moved to Eudora and lived with daughter Lydia until Salome died September 1917. The Breithaupts are buried in Clearfield Cemetery. Martin retired from farming in 1945. Chloa sold the farm in 1955. Minnie and Chloa organized the first Breithaupt reunion in 1943. It was held each year on the second Sunday in June for several decades. Source: Minnie Edelbrock in Douglas County, Kansas, Family Histories 1991-1992, Vol. 1 by Carol Buhler Francis; Eudora Enterprise(June 19, 1968); and family genealogy letters of Henrietta Schubert Fuller. [Note: Douglas Breithaupt, Toronto, Canada, had “The Chronicles of the Breithaupts, No. 1” translated into English. It traced the family to 1446.]
John Brender was born October 2, 1830, in the town of Giengen, Oberabt Heidenheim, on the River Branz in Wurtemberg, Germany. There he learned the blacksmith trade at the age of 14. He left his native country for New York City in 1851. The following year, he went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1854, he went to live in Chicago. After three years, he left Chicago to be a member of the town company that settled Eudora. On July 26, 1858, he married Cornelia Morse (1842-1864 or 1866). They had three children, Frederic, Ella Almira, and a child who died young. The family lived on a farm one and one-half miles southwest of Eudora. During the Civil War, John was a member of the state militia. On December 25, 1867, he married Nancy Ellen Shirley, born in Ohio, and a native of Missouri. They had four children: Ida, Maria, John, and George. Ella Almira married George Edd Miller and lived on a farm one and one-half miles southeast of Eudora. Their children were: William, Harry, Raymond, and Luella (Lothholz). Source: History of the State of Kansas (1883) by William Cutler; 1880 U.S. Census; and obituary of Ella Almira (Brender) Miller (October 31, 1924)
Born February 21, 1873, in Minonk, Illinois, George Broers moved to Eudora area in 1898 from Wichita and that same year married Anna Spitzli who was born in St. Charles, Iowa, on October 5, 1876. They farmed with horses till 1925 and had Roy, Pearl, Floyd, Clarence, Fern, Oscar, Kermit, Ezral, and Homer, in the order listed. All nine children spent their eight grade school years in Weaver’s one-teacher, one-room school and graduated from there. Source: Oscar Broers in Weaver by Margaret Spitzli Gabriel
John Henry Brune, born near Halle, Germany, came to American and was an ordained minister in the German Methodist Episcopal Church. He married Wilhelmina Bromelsick, who had come from Germany to live in Hermann, Missouri. They had Edward and George, before Brune died at age 33. Wilhelmina came to Eudora in 1879 and lived on a 40-acre farm with her second husband and children. Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Leavenworth, Douglas and Franklin Counties, Kansas: Containing Portraits, Biographies and Genealogies of Well Known Citizens of the Past and Present. Chapman Publishing Company, 1899.
Marmaduke Coate, (1738-1822), born in New Berry, South Carolina, married Mary Coppock, and they rode in a fine carriage with a coat of arms on it. His great-grandson, William Coate, the son of David who was the son of William, was born in Park County, Indiana, on April 11, 1835. He and wife, Eunice, raised six children and had twin sons who died in infancy. William was a shoemaker in Bloomington, Indiana, and had a large shoe and harness shop with his two brothers, Hiram and Jim, both of whom had physical handicaps as did William who was club-footed. All nine men who worked at the shop except one were physically disabled in some way. William and Eunice Coate with their five children came to Kansas in 1878 and stopped near Hesper when they ran out of money. With two teams of horses and only 20 cents, they moved in with friend Luke Woodard and planted 20 acres of corn. In a stable one-half mile east of Hesper, William got enough work to make a living. Three years later, he bought a farm where son Omer was born. Because of family ill health, he sold the farm and moved to Eudora where Eunice died in 1893. In 1903, he married Mattie Allen and ultimately lived with his oldest daughter, Minerva Conger in Lawrence until his death in 1917. Source: Records prepared by Elizabeth Ann Coate Pickering, dated April 27, 1937, and revised by Janette Coate Stallings, Oct. 6, 1961.
A farmer in Section 13, Thomas Connor was born in Dumfrieshire, Scotland, December 26, 1834 to John Conner and Mary (Robinson). He came to the United States in 1853, and settled in Kane County, Illinois, where he remained three years, and then came to Willow Springs, Kansas. In 1872, he purchased a quarter section in Eudora Township. He married Mary, daughter of Robert McClellen and Agnes (McWhitter) in Willow Springs on March 15, 1860. They had three children: Mary A. (born November 10, 1861 who married T. H. Cole); Charles A. (born March 7, 1864) and Addison M. (born December 3, 1866). Connor was a member of the English Methodist Church and Eudora Lodge, No. 42, I. O. O. F. Source: History of the State of Kansas (1883) by William Cutler
Jacob Felker Copp, born near Mount Joy, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, came to Eudora in May 1866. He and wife, Mary, had the following children: Frank, Clarence, Mrs. Ben Bartz, Mrs. Frank Newman, Mrs. William Allan, and Mrs. Dorrance Browa. Jacob was the son of Henry Copp, born in Sweden, and Eliza, born in Pennsylvania. In the 1880 census, Henry (as was Jacob) was listed as a butcher. Younger children than Jacob were Frederic (19), Kate (18), and Lovina (17). Douglas County marriage records show that Levina Copp married Leslie Brown, of Osage County, on November 3, 1886. Sources: Besides those mentioned, Jacob Copp’s obituary (May 24, 1928)
George Daugherty, born August 16, 1828 of Scotch-Irish ancestry, near Fredericktown, New Brunswick, married Lucy (Longfellow) in 1854. They came to Kansas in 1857. Their sons were Charles, Bert, and Ellis. Source: George Daughtery’s obituary (1907)
Samuel H. Davis, the oldest son of Bartlet and Adele Hunt Davis, was born in Randolph County, North Carolina, on March 20, 1848. His father died in 1858. In 1861, his mother moved to Indiana, and the following year settled in Douglas County. He and siblings Martha, James, Roxana, Margaret, and Della attended Hesper grade school. Davis graduated from the State Normal School at Emporia in 1872. While pursuing his studies, he also taught school in 1870 in both Wyandotte County and also in Grant Township. Then he became principal of the Eudora school and operated his farm 80 acres devoted to grain and stock in Section 28. He married Emma (Stubbs) in Hesper in 1877. They built a two-story, seven-room home one-fourth mile west of Hesper Corner. On the south side, they put up a screened porch and well with a pump. South of the house was a smoke house that was converted to a milk station in 1917 to meet government requirements to sell milk. Besides the barn, outside toilet, corn crib, cattle sheds, and pig pens, they had a large apple and peach orchard. Their children were Lena, Anna, Homer, Virgil, Della Alma, Mildred, Ruth, and James. Davis was member of the Society of Friends and a member of Doric Lodge, No. 83, A., F. & A. M. Source: History of the State of Kansas (1883) by William Cutler and Samuel Hunt Davis and Emma Stubbs Davis Married December 24, 1877: Their Home, Children, and Grandchildren by Mildred Davis Watson (their daughter) December 1977
George Ruben Deay (born April 15, 1798 in Virginia) married Catherine (Mock), age 16, daughter of Andrew Mock and Margaret Rush) in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on September 20, 1825. George died December 7, 1879, in Eudora and is buried in Deay Cemetery. They appear to have lived in Indiana and then Monroe County, Iowa, before coming to Kansas in a caravan with other families in prairie schooners. Their children were Margaret Elizabeth (June 21, 1826-July 6, 1826), Sarah Ann (1827-1910), Margaret (1831-1907), James Thomas (1833-1913), Francis (1836-1894), George Russell (1839-1844), Mary Elizabeth "Sis” (born 1841), Lewis Morgan (1844-1907), and Amanda Louisa (1847-1902). They also had John Ruben (born August 30, 1829) who married Louisa Elgin or Elam and had several children who lived in Eudora or close by. Another son William A. (born December 3, 1834) first married Margaret Belvail with whom he had seven children. After her death in 1881, William married Dove Anne (Camac) (Hashman) Keller in 1891 and had one child, Mollie, born February 2, 1894. Francis donated land for the Deay Cemetery, which was on his farm, and Katherine, his mother, was the first to be buried there. Their third burial was that of Catharine Deay, the 10-month-old daughter of Francis and Lucy Deay. Francis’ other children were: James Arlander, Lewis, Carrie (Greenier), Retta (Daugherty), Florenie (Milburn), and Ida (Sanders). Source: My Deay and Mock Ancestors (George Ruben Deay, William A. Deay, Cora Deay, Bird Elam) and Complete Tombstone Census of Douglas County Kansas Volume II (1989) by the Douglas County Genealogical Society.
Jacob Dolisi and Marie Catherine (Deprez), born in 1815, came to the United States from France and settled in Mascoutah, St. Clair County, Illinois, by 1850. They were living in Eudora by 1870 and were Catholics. Two of their children were Jacob Jr. and Nicholas, who never married. Living in Eudora during the same time period were Prussians Jacob and Mary Dolisi with their children as well as John and Elizabeth Dolisi and their children. Source: 1880 U.S. census and Marie Dolisi’s obituary
The proprietor of Eudora Mills, Charles Durr was born in Colbert, Prussia, Germany on July 10, 1821. At 13, he was apprenticed to the trade of cabinet-making, carpentering, and millwrighting. He came to New York City in the spring of 1852. He worked as a carpenter there and also when he moved to Chicago in 1854. In 1857, he came to Eudora to buy land for a town site. Said his son, Waldo, in a newspaper article, “My father, Charles Durr, and another man named Pfief were the first two to come from the Association in Chicago that had organized for a town.” Durr set up a sawmill with a $4,200 saw and also had a corn cracker operation with equipment bought in St. Louis, Missouri, and powered by 16 oxen. He continued to transact business for the settlement company and was mayor for eight terms. His great-granddaughter Judith (Dürr) Hoglander, recalled how Charles Dürr would come into the school building during a regular workday at the mill. Covered in flour, he walked up and down the aisles to check on the students’ progress. Durr went to Germany and married Henrietta Sophia (Zinnecke), born in Colbert, Prussia, on his birthday in 1868. In Eudora, they had seven children: Alfred, Carl, Berthold, Thekla, Alma, Waldo, and another daughter. Henrietta had a well dug at the Eudora Cemetery to water the flowers on the grave of Charles, who died of pneumonia. When she died, her estate showed that she owned 162 ½ acres in Douglas County, and more than 90 lots in 19 Eudora blocks. Her estate was estimated at $25,000 in 1900. Source: Douglas County, General Indices of Deeds 1-5; Judith Dürr Hoglander, Worcester, MA, interview with Stefan Klinke (July 13, 2002); Probate Court of Douglas County Docket E-347, NO. 702; and History of the State of Kansas (1883) by William Cutler; Dodge City Times (Jan. 31, 1889); and Lawrence Journal World (June 7, 1957) in an interview with Waldo Durr, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Photograph above, from left, Ernest and Sophia Gerstenberger, Gilmores, Hadls, Hagenbuchs
Born in 1859 to John Edelbrock and Mary (Wiser), John Edelbrock married Katherina “Kate” Hoover in Illinois. They moved to Strawn, Kansas, and had 10 children: Nelson, Elmer, Mary (Thoren/Cook), Edith Efffie (Reusch), Grant, Cleva, John, Bill, Peter, and Tabitha (who died in childhood). In 1904, the family moved northeast of Eudora in Johnson County. Later, they bought a small farm one-half mile south of Eudora and finally moved into the city of Eudora. Peter married Minnie (Breithaupt), the daughter of Chloa and Martin, in Clearfield on October 21, 1924. They farmed near Eudora, and Minnie was a substitute teacher for 25 years. Source: Linda Reusch Broers in Douglas County, Kansas, Family Histories 1991-1992, Vol. 1 by Carol Buhler Francis and Echoes, 14, Number 2, (February 1991), published by the Eudora Nursing Center.
The Eder family originally came from Bavaria. A Caroline Eder, born in Germany, married Peter Vohs in 1871 in Eudora. In the 1880 census, Michael and Ann (Oberleitner) Oeder [Eder] were listed as farmers with their six children: Mary, Joseph, Burka, Anna, Kate, and infant son. Ann’s father, Mathew, age 65, lived with them. Waltburga (Oberleitner), born in Breitenberg, Oberbeiren, Germany, came to the United States in 1880, the same year she married Louis Eder on April 15. They lived two and one-half miles southeast of Eudora. Louis Eder’s later home was at the northeast corner of Church Street and Ninth Street. Source: Waltburga Eder’s obituary (1907), census, and news accounts
Melchior Eisele (1741-1810) was born in Essingen, Germany, and died in Oberbobingen. A weaver, at age 31, he married Maria Schurr (1745-1812) and also was in charge of the grain storage of nobleman von Woellwart. One of their sons, Michael, also a weaver, married Catharina (Streicher), daughter of carpenter Johannes and Ursula (Huber), and had five children: Johannes, Maria, Gottlieb, Barbara, and Ursula. Gottlieb “Melchoir” (born December 20, 1829 in Aalen, Wurtemberg) at age, 26, was said to have impregnated Wilhelmine “Minnie” Strobel who was about 12, and her widowed mother, Auguste Wilhelmine Strobel, 37, persuaded Melchoir to marry her instead in 1855, and her daughter, Minnie, to marry Melchoir’s close friend, Jacob Schurle. This story is according to family lore but that doesn’t make sense in date examination. Melchior, Auguste, and their only child, Rosine, left Germany and arrived in New Orleans in 1875. They came to Eudora in September 1875. At their new home north of Eudora and later close the Johnson County line, Melchoir planted a vineyard and orchard. He made his own wine and beer. Rosine (“Rosa”) married Ernst Abels on March 2, 1880. In 1881, Auguste died, and Gottlieb married Christiana Kaiser, 17, about five feet tall, who had been helping Auguste. Their children, who attended Oberlin District No. 80 school, were Alfred, Wilhelm, Henry, and Arthur. Source: Eisele Family and Hornberger Family (March 1, 1977) by Clifford Eisele
From Carter County, Kentucky, Leander Erwin and Mary (Laynee) moved to Jefferson County, Kansas, then Eudora. Leander set up a general store in the north part of town. Their children were Effie (Green), Samuel, Bertha (who died in childhood), Sarah (Williams), Richard, Cora, Benjamin (who married Myrtle Bryant and was the only one who left descendants in Eudora), John, and Rosa (Williams) who died in 1974. John “Peggy” Williams married Sarah Erwin in 1908 and they lived in a “big, two-story stone building” between the railroad tracks and the Wakarusa River. It was originally a store on the first floor with living quarters in the rear and upstairs and later used as a saloon. “Peggy” often fished with Dug Harris, who lived next door, and had a boat that he used to recover the body of child who drowned in Lawrence. He scooped up the child’s body in his gunny sack and used the $100 reward money to buy five lots on the north side of the railroad tracks between the mill and elevator from Charles Pilla. Source: Mary Jane Knisely in Douglas County, Kansas, Family Histories 1991-1992, Vol. 1 by Carol Buhler Francis and Knisely’s Families Everley (Eberle), Williams, Erwin.
Porfiro Estrada came to the United States to work on migrant farms and for the Santa Fe Railroad but never gave up his Mexican citizenship. His daughter, born 1927 in Eudora when he was employed by the railroad, said he liked the atmosphere of small towns better than that of larger towns, which is why he liked Eudora. His children included Frank, Irene (Alvarez), and Jesse (Vargas). Source: Anita (Alvarez) Abel, interview (2003)
Joseph Eberle, born 1817 in Wurtemberg, was an investing member of the Chicago company that organized Eudora even though he wasn’t one of the first ones here. In 1857, he married Mary Ann Ehrenberg from a small village by Berlinnamed Strausburg; the 1880 Census says she was born in Bavaria, which she have been and later moved. Mary Ann, born January 7, 1828, came to the United States with her brothers, Mike, John, and Ira. In Truesdale, by Warrenton, Missouri, Mary Ann and Joseph bought 40 acres. Joseph enlisted at Warrenton, Missouri, January 31, 1862. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall and said he was a miller. He served in the Union’s Company C Missouri Cavalry then switched to Company H Calvary in May 1862. His horse and gear were captured in at Pilot Knob, Missouri, in September 1864 and he had to pay the government for the loss of his haversack. He and Mary Ann filed a quit claim deed to their Truesdale property and came to Eudora in 1865. Their house had a front room (where the parents slept in a big bed); kitchen; and small, narrow room on the east for storage in which the coal oil stove malfunctioned causing a ruinous house fire in 1918. Joseph hauled freight through Lawrence, Leavenworth, and Eudora with four “beautiful white horses.” On one snowy trip between Eudora and Lawrence, he stopped to drink whiskey, fell asleep, and woke up with pneumonia and died a few days later. He was buried in the Catholic Cemetery and has a headstone provided for him from the Pentagon. His wife was buried in the Eudora Cemetery; she “abjured” Catholicism. Her step-children were listed as Lizzie Vogler and George O’Brion. Mary Ann said she was 101 when she died, but her obituary says 100. She also said her father lived till 101 and her mother to 98. Although the 1870 census shows Mary Ann and Joseph from Saxony, the 1880 census shows Anna Eberly, 42, from Bavaria, as head of a household including Carrie (Clara Katherine), 19; Mary, 14; George, 12; and John, 8. A school teacher suggested the family change its name to “Everley,” and they did. Clara Katherine married John Calvin Williams, from Glasgow, Scotland, and they lived with children John, Francis, George, and Arthur by the Everley home. She died soon after Arthur died of yellow jaundice. Mary married Louis Day and lived south of Lawrence. George Everley married Maggie Marley on August 29, 1894; they had one child, Charles Floyd Everley. George, a section foreman for the Santa Fe Railway later married Nora Orender. Besides George Elmer (always known as “Elmer”), George and Nora had son Marion Wilson Everley, born December 29, 1912 in Eudora and died March 29, 1998, in Lawrence, Kansas. They also had, according to a July 21, 1927 Eudora News Weekly article, one of the rarest and most beautiful antique living room suites in Douglas County” of solid walnut with hand carving. It consisted of a settee, four straight chairs, a rocking chair, and an odd chair upholstered in red mohair. Their son, Marion, married Louise Margaret Jarboe, and their children were Robert “Steve,” Barbara (born 1940), and Phillip (born August 27, 1943). Phillip Everley owner of Diamond Everley Roofing, launched “Everley Addition” south of Eudora, the first housing development south of K-10 Highway. The children of he and second wife, Helen, were Mark, Patrick, and Steven, each of whom graduated first in their grade at Eudora High School. The youngest child of Joseph and Mary Ann was John Charles Everley, born August 3, 1871. He married Melvina Christina Wilson on April 16, 1895 and was known as “Vinie.” She was born February 27, 1875, and died October 10, 1963.They lived between the railroad tracks and Wakarusa Riveron Main Street. Their children were Clarence John (born 1896), Myrtle Fay (born 1898), Ira Andrew (born 1900), Bonnie Jane (born 1903), Flossie Carrie (born 1904), Olive Eugene (born 1906), Rita Lillian (born 1909), Doris Christina (born 1912), Margaret Ann (born 1916), and Juanita Elizabeth (born 1922). Sources: 1880 U.S. Census, Douglas County, Kansas, Marriages 1894, and Descendants of Henry Lee Jarboe Jr. and Pearl Anna Haight by Mrs. Lewis Scott Knisely, of Tampa, Florida, also wrote about the Everley family in Everley-Williams-Erwin Families of Eudora, Kansas, a copy of which is at the Eudora Public Library.
Born in Flatow, Marein Verder, West Prussia, May 23, 1827, Julius Fischer was the son of Jonah, Saxony native and brewer, who married Caroline Winkleman (died 1852) in Berlin, and built a brewery in Flatow. They had 12 children. Only a daughter and three sons survived to adulthood, including Cal Fischer (Lawrence, Kansas) and Heinrich Fischer (St. Louis). At age 14, Julius apprenticed to a cabinet maker; three years later he obtained work as a journeyman. In 1848, he enlisted in the Prussian army and served as a sharpshooter. Julius on “Oder” for six weeks arriving in New York City, August 24, 1856. After buying a ticket to Chicago, he had had 75 cents left. It took 10 days to arrive in Chicago by train. He found employment and then become a member of the “Kansas Town Company.” “In April, 21 men started for Kansas and arriving in Douglas County laid out Eudora.” He worked at the Eudora saw mill where they cut 200 acres of timber in a few years and also bought from loggers. After raising a volunteer militia for the Civil War, Julius was appointed as captain. In 1868, he built an ice house in Lawrence that he ran until he retired in 1893. The next year he bought a shoe business that his son, Otto, had started. “He is a staunch Democrat, and admirer of Bryan, a believer in the silver stance and the income tax, and an enemy to the trust and monopolies that have gained such power in our country,” stated his biographical account. Fischer married Tekla Menger, born in Rudolphstadt, Saxony, daughter of Frederick Menger, who settled in Douglas County in 1857 and had other children, including Adolph, (real estate, Lawrence, Kansas); Ottonaur, Philadelphia); A.G. (shoe business, Lawrence); and Herman (shoe business in Lawrence with A.G.). Fischer children were Otto (married Agnes Jadiecke and had Enra and Elfreda); Ede; Carl; and Anna. Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Leavenworth, Douglas and Franklin Counties, Kansas: Containing Portraits, Biographies and Genealogies of Well Known Citizens of the Past and Present. Chapman Publishing Company, 1899.
W.A. Fuller, a tinsmith, journeyed to Kansas about 1879 from Derby, Vermont, with Jim Ogden. They first came to Eudora, moved to Herington, and soon came back to Eudora. Fuller bought the hardware store owned by the Seybolds. When Fuller’s tinware, hardware, and implement business outgrew the building, he bought the Ziesenis property at 835 and 839 Main Street. He extended the building to the alley and sold farm implements, carts, buggies, and surries. When Fuller died in 1930, his wife, Agnes (McCrae), born in Bloomington, Illinois, on July 23, 1861, sold the store. Agnes had come to Eudora in June 1884 and married Fuller on Christmas of that year. She was an organizer of the Eudora Methodist Church, president of Ladies Aid, Sunday school superintendent, and life member of the Degree of Honor A.O.U.W. The Fullers had two children, Lillian and Mary. In her last two years of high school, Mary attended school in Lawrence because she was the only one in her Eudora grade. After graduating in 1907, she went to Baker University two years, one year at Kansas University, and then got her teacher’s certificate from Emporia State College. Mary taught at Hesper (5th and 6th grades), and Farmland School. She was paid $67.50 for teaching each month; the principal, Mr. Kelly, was paid $75. In the spring of 1917, she married John Moody, a farmer. They lived northeast of Beni-Israel Cemetery on N. 1300 Road. Allen Ott later bought their farm. Source: Mary Moody in “Biographical Sketches,” prepared by Lauretta Trabant in Eudora Community Heritage (1977)
After an older half-brother inherited the family home, August Gabriel, the son of a blacksmith and the oldest of seven, came to the United States from Pristram, Silesia, Germany. After several years, he sent for his brother, William, and sister, Henrietta, in 1860, also from Pristram. They entered the United States in New Orleans. William went to work at his trade of a blacksmith in Wyandotte for two years, while Henrietta washed dishes in an "eating house." August worked in Kansas City, Kansas, too, before he settled on a farm south of Eudora for which he got the deed in 1863. He dug a cave to live in until he could build a one-room house over it with lumber hauled by ox wagon from Kansas City, Kansas. The hauling trip took several days. August dug a well and planted trees near the house. After several years, when he had enough money, August sent for his other siblings: Traugott, Herman, Ernestine, and Caroline. August never married and died in 1916 of pneumonia complications. William Gabriel, born July 29, 1836, married Franziska Groh in 1867, and they moved to a farm four and one-half miles south of Eudora, a half mile west of August's. They had three sons and six daughters and attended the German Methodist Church. Source: Mrs. Floyd Deweese and Mrs. Herbert Nerhbass, Lawrence, Kansas, in “History of the William Gabriel Family of Eudora, Kansas,” Eudora News Weekly (1904)
Ernst Wilhelm Gerstenberger was born July 25, 1850 at Hennesdorf, Kreis Reichenbach, Silesia, Germany. This site is now Tuszyn, Dzierzoniow, Wroclaw, Poland. Ernest came to America in March 1864 with his parents (Ernst Wilhelm and Anna Rosina Amsel of Pfaffendorf, Silesia) and three younger siblings, Frederick, Anna (Bertschniger), and Mary. They went from Lauterback, Germany, to Bremen and waited two months to sail on the vessel “Ocean” to New York. From Westport, Missouri, they bought land four miles south and one-half mile west of Eudora. Several times Ernst and his father walked to and from Westport to visit friends. Ernst’s father of the same name died October 23, 1866, and Anna kept the farm going. Ernst met his future wife, Sophia Elizabeth Toennies, born in Hanover, Holfern, Germany, on July 4, 1854, at church. They married April 2, 1877. Her family had lived on a German farm where cattle were kept under the same roof with the family. The cattle stalls were scrubbed out every day. Sophia’s father, Christian, and her oldest brother, August, worked in Kaiser Wilhelm’s forest in Germany. When the oldest Toennies son was baptized, the Kaiser held him in accordance with the custom that the oldest son of a government worker was held by the Kaiser when he was baptized. Her family came on the steam vessel “Donau” in August 1871. They lived in St. Louis until her brother George agreed to serve at St. Paul’s Church in Eudora. Sophia; brother, Moritz; and her mother (Susanna Amelie Horenkohl) came to Eudora. Standing on the hill by the Pilla Store, Sophia said: “Where is Eudora?” and was teased about that remark in the years that followed. August Toennies worked for the Evangelical Synod publishing company and sent the family beautifully-bound German books for Christmas after they moved to Eudora. The Toennies family lived in the St. Paul’s parsonage. The 10 children of Sophia and Ernest were born on the farm and attended Belleview School. Remembered their youngest son, Herbert: “My parents always had lots of friends around Eudora and always were prompt at attending church services. On Sundays, it seemed they would be invited to dinner with someone or some family would be out at our country home for dinner and spend the day visiting. I recall one Sunday while some were at our farm, they decided to all get weighed on the farm scales. Mother was a little heavier than Dad, so Dad put some heavy bolts and nuts in hip pocket so he would weigh more than Mother. Dad was quite an entertainer as things went. I remember one time he recited a short poem that he wrote down for me to memorize. It was entitled ‘Dried Apple Pies.’
Of all the things that I dislike
Don’t give me dried apple pies.
The farmer takes his earliest fruit,
‘Tis wormey, bitter and hard to boot.
He leaves the hull to make us cough
And don’t take half the peeling off.
Then on a dirty cord they are strung
And from some chamber window hung.
And there they serve as a roost for flies
Until they are ready to be made into pies.
Give me the toothache or tell me lies,
But don’t give me dried apple pies.
Ernest served on the church council 20 years, was a Belleview school board member, and was president of the Home State Bank. In 1910, Ernest and Sophia retired and built a home at Twelfth Street and Church Street where the family gathered on Sunday evenings. Sons Ernest, Louis, and Herbert moved to Colorado. Godfrey farmed the home place until 1925 then moved to Kansas City where his brother, Paul, worked. George, Christina (Schlegel), Susanna “Anna” (Schmidt), Charles, and Henrietta (Woodard, then Harris) stayed in the Eudora area. Ernst and Sophia are buried in the Eudora Cemetery as are their mothers. Ernst’s father is buried in an unmarked grave in the Delaware Cemetery even though his marker is in the Eudora Cemetery. Source: Herbert Gerstenberger and Lauretta Louise (Gerstenberger) Trabant, daughter of Charles, in “Biographical Sketches,” prepared by Lauretta Trabant in Eudora Community Heritage (1977) and The Gerstenberger Immigrants and Their Descendants in America, (1993) by Duane Francis Gerstenberger and Ruthelma Millie Vedder Gerstenberger, Bothell, Washington
Born in Livingston County, New York, November 27, 1833, John Gilmore was the son of James and Mary (Green) Gilmore. He resided there until 1857, when he came by boat to St. Louis. There he took a train to Leavenworth, then came by Overland stage to Lawrence where he had a business interest in a hardware business with Lyman Allen on Massachusetts Street. In 1862, he moved to Eudora Township on his 800 acres in Section 36. He bought the land from the Bluejacket family and the Silverhead Indian family and had several tenants. John came with his wife, Susannah, the daughter of John Widel. He married her in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, April 3, 1856. They had five children: Annie (born 1857); Mary (born 1860); Solon (born 1862); Josephine (born 1866); and Nydia (born 1867). All of them graduated from Kansas University. When Susannah talked of their early life in a newspaper interview, she told of going to Lawrence in a cart behind two oxen. It took a day to go four miles. The family’s temporary residency was a one-room shanty of boards with a dirt floor and leaky roof during the first winter. One time a horseback rider stopped to ask for shelter during a rainstorm. She invited him into the house. He looked in, got on his horse, and continued riding. The Indians were peaceful, she said, and often came to her house to sell wild berries as ask for supplies. In the garden, the family grew watermelons, corn, and garden vegetables despite the drought and grasshoppers. John and several others helped take a prairie schooner train to Denver in 1861 and saw debris of other wagons that had been attacked. At one time, John had 1,300 head of hogs on his farm after vowing to never have any. The Gilmores were among the organizers of the English Methodist Church in 1885 and gave the land for the brick Methodist Church at Seventh Street and Church Street built in 1921 and 1922. Source: In “Biographical Sketches,” prepared by Lauretta Trabant in Eudora Community Heritage(1977); History of the State of Kansas (1883) by William Cutler; and Eudora Weekly News (April 30, 1936)
John Greiner arrived from Altreichenau, Grainet, Germany, in 1872. When he and his family arrived in New York, they had small pox and were quarantined. His first wife was Maria Anna Wolf, the daughter of Johann Wolf and Juliane (Plochl). They married in 1851 in Grainet, which is in Bavaria. They had three children: Mary, John Jr., and Lena. John Sr. married Maria Mandel in 1864, and she died two years later. His third wife was Anna (Eder), born 1838 in Bavaria. She came to the United States when she was 10 years old. The trip took three weeks. Their children were Otilla (married Emil Hartig), Teckla (married Max Koch), and Herman (married an Alveiner). A headstone in the Catholic Cemetery also reads: “Hier Ruhen Die Kridor Von John & Anna [Here lies the children of John and Anna]: Ludwid, Therasia, Valentina, Valentin. A carpenter, he built his home on two southwest lots next to the church and made an altar for Holy Family Church. The children of John Jr., a Santa Fe section foreman for 33 years, and Frances were Mary (Neustifter), John, Frank, Ralph, Bertha (Hadle), Anita (Stadler), and Agnes (Calvin). Source: Eudora Weekly News (April 30, 1936); Lawrence Journal World(July 16, 1957); Anita Stadler; John Greiner Jr.’s obituary (March 8, 1928); Eudora Enterprise (1969); and Holy Family Cemetery, Eudora, Kansas, by Barbara (Reid) Seiwald
Grace Kellerman, born April 30, 1844 in Bavaria, came to the United States at age 11, and to the Eudora area in April 1864. In June of that same year, she married Anton Gufler, born in Bavaria, who came to Eudora in 1857. Their children were Albert, Otto, Kate (Thudium), Augusta, and Christine. Source: Grace Gufler’s obituary (1913) and 1880 U.S. census
Mathias (“Matt”) Grosdidier, born in Ginders, Germany, in 1861, and his wife, Clara, came from Culbertson, Nebraska, in 1898 to farm in the Belleview neighborhood. They had five sons and three daughters: Edward, Henry, Louis, George, Albert, Agatha, Marie, and Helen (Schopper). The children of Louis and wife, Alice, were Albert, Ralph, Lawrence, Francis, Mrs. Ed Nicholson, Mrs. Tom Fitzgerald, Jeane, and Sister Mary Rochelle. George married Ann Feldkamp, born 1902 on April 23, 1924. They farmed and operated a dairy south of Eudora. Their children were Norbert, Cletus, Edgar, and Rita (Westerhaus). Albert, the son of Matt and Clara, married Clara (Schehrer) March 7, 1916 at Holy Family Church. They farmed in the Kaw Valley for 11 years, then moved to the farm first owned by Clara’s parents. Their children were Magdalene (Gustin), Arlene (Krizman), Rosemary (Grosdidier), Bernard, Arthur, Herbert, and Gerald. Source: Eudora Enterprise (March 9, 1994) and Eudora News (March 9, 1994)
Above, from left, Louis Klein and Louisa Pinger Klein; Adolph Lutz and Clara Bartusch Lotz; and back, l-r, Adolph Lotz Jr.; Oscar, Carl, William Lothholz. Front, l-r, Clara, Minnie, Mary, Rose Bartusch
Three Hodl brothers emigrated to Eudora from Oberseilberg in eastern Bavariawith two of their cousins and have many descendants in Douglas County. Georg Hodl (born September 16, 1836) married Karoline Neustifter of Bischofsreut, and they came to America with two children, plus Jacob Nesutifer and family, and Lorenz Eder and family on the S.S. Westphalia. Georg and Karoline had five more children plus Karoline’s daughter, Karolina, and bought a 40-acre farm two miles east and a half mile south of Eudora by Captain’s Creek. Georg, who worked in his father’s weaving shop, became a stonemason in Germany to comply with a Bavarian law mandating that only well-earning suitors could marry. Stefan Hodl (later Stephen Hadl) was born in Kaining, Bavaria, in 1843. He married Anna Lenz (or Lance) of Frauennberg, of a nearby village, in 1870 and came to Eudora in 1871 along with Anna’s daughter, Crescentia. They lived in Eudora eight years when Stephen worked as a stonemason, then lived on a farm near DeSoto with their five other children who spelled their name “Hadle.” In 1907, Steve and Anna moved to Eudora on south Main Street to the “Schuette House.” Alois Hadl, also born in Kaining near Grainet, was forced to be in the military beyond his allotment, so he borrowed a passport, abandoned the military service, and came to the United States. He sent the passport back. A year after arriving in Eudora, Alois married Frances Schopper, another recent Bavarian emigrant. They moved to Fall Leaf for four years, then to Belleview and had five daughters: Anna, Mary, Frances, Katherine, and Theresa. After Frances died in 1882 after a short illness, Alois hired housekeeper Martha Seibold from Wisconsin who had come from his same area in Bavaria. They married in 1883 and had 14 children. Only one of Alois’ children died before reaching adulthood, and several married into the Madl family. Although he lived on a farm most of his life, Alois worked as a stonemason, according to the Hadl family history. Cousin Johan Hadl came with his wife Theresa (Fenzl) and seven children in late 1890. Most of this family branch moved to Kansas City. Johan’s brother, Josef, also of Obergrainet, came to Eudora in 1891 at age 52. This bachelor known as “Sep” married Catherine Schmidt, who emigrated from Bavaria a few years earlier, in 1893. Source: Hodl Family History, 1690-1989, by Jack Williams and Anna Hadle’s obituary (September 27, 1928 that says her maiden name was Lance and that she moved to DeSoto in 1872)
The Haelsig family came from Clausnitz, Saxony, Germany. One Haelsig was Traugert Haelsig, born June 13, 1845, who left his homeland for Chicago. The great fire of Chicago prompted him to move again and he came to Eudora in the spring of 1872 and was a harness maker. His children with wife Rosina “Mary” Gerstenberger besides six who died young were Emma (Lotz), Arthur, Ernest, Willie, Walter, and Otto. They lived at the corner of Eighth and Main. Another Haelsig harness maker was Lebrecht, who married Maria. Source: 1880 U. S. Census, Traugert Haelsig’s obituary (1911), and The Gerstenberger Immigrants and Their Descendants in America (1993) by Duane Francis Gerstenberger and Ruthelma Millie Vedder Gerstenberger, Bothell, Washington
Born December 7, 1890, in the house one-quarter mile east of Eudora on the road to the city’s cemetery, Maggie Reber was a tomboy who didn’t like housework or school. She married Harry Hagenbuch in October 1913. He was the only son of Henry Hagenbuch, born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on May 16, 1856, who came to Eudora in 1866. Henry married Mary Louis Ludwig who had come to Douglas County with her parents from Warrensburg, Missouri, in 1866. Mary’s mother died soon after they got to Douglas County, and she was reared by the Jack Schaffer family of Eudora. Married August 7, 1884, at St. Paul’s Church, Henry and Mary lived on a farm eight miles south of Eudora before returning to operate a meat market on the corner of Eighth Street and Main Street. After Maggie’s marriage, she lived with Harry’s parents on Church Street. Henry had traded meat to Ernest Kraus for property at 831 Maple Street where the couple built the home they would live in for 62 years. Harry worked in the meat and ice business with his father. He also built a footbridge across the Wakarusa at the west end of his ice plant for people to cross over to Durr’s Grove where picnics and other gatherings were held. Source: Maggie (Reber) Hagenbuch in “Biographical Sketches,” prepared by Lauretta Trabant in Eudora Community Heritage (1977)
John Hammert, born in Mulfingen, Germany, came to the United States at age 18. He lived in New York, then came to Kansas and lived off and on in Fredonia, Lawrence, and Eudora, before settling in Eudora in 1876. He married Marie Magdalena (“Lena”) (Kraus) Marfelius, who was born September 9, 1834 at Kartbach, Germany, and went to New York City at age 16, before traveling on to Chicago and marrying a Mr. Ruppal, then Caspar Marfelius (also spelled “Kaspar” and “Marfelius” or “Mafilius”) with whom she came to Eudora as one of the original townsiters, and her brother, Dan Kraus. Lena and Caspar adopted Anne Christine Ludwig, who married B.W. Hammert. On July 25, 1889, John Hammert, who was mayor at the time and a school board member, died of a stroke. Source: John Hammert’s obituary (1889) and Marie Magdalena (Kraus) Ruppal Marfelius Hammert’s obituary (April 19, 1923)
Thomas J. Harris left Grant County, Indiana, to farm three, 40-acre tracts near Hesper. His wife, Mahala (Van Horn), born in Ohio, and their three children came to Hesper in 1865. Four children later, Mahala died in 1881. The 1880 census shows the following children at home: Noah, Lily, Irwin, Rosa, Luther, and Ernest. Source: Eudora News and 1880 U.S. Census
A native of Heimbuchenthal or Bayern, Bavaria, Peter Hartig donated the land for Holy Family Cemeteryin 1865. He was an original townsiter, and first came to New York, before moving on to Ohio, and Chicago. On the tombstone of his wife, Franzisca Streh, who died at age 75 one year before Peter, was written: “Herr gibe ihnen die ewige ruhe.” They had six children: Emil, Theresa “Tessie” (Stumpf), Barbara (McDonald), John, Lother, and Frank. Peter, who was carrying a basket of eggs, was killed by the Santa Fe California Flyer, 50 feet from the rear gate of his home, when he was crossing three tracks on his way to shop. His daughter, Theresa, called to him as she heard the whistles of the train, but Hartig’s hearing was impaired and he did not hear the approaching train, nor his daughter’s shout. Before he could cross the track, he was struck and hurled 100 feet or more. The only witness to the accident was Charles Lothholz, who watched it from the window of his lumber yard. Hartig’s obituary described him as “a most kind man, scrupulously honest, and sincere with all dealers.” It also said he was “eccentric” even “stubborn” if he thought his rights or the rights of his children were being violated. Source: Eudora News, land abstracts, and Holy Family Cemetery, Eudora, Kansas, by Barbara (Reid) Seiwald
Margarette Schmarlzer, born September 16, 1831, in Germany, came to the United States in 1842 and married George Hausmann in 1858. They moved to Clearfield in 1863. Of the Evangelical religion, they had six children, including Mary (Ott), George, Henry, and Emma (Deckwa). Alma, the daughter of Henry and his wife, Minnie, married Roy Breithaupt on April 10, 1918, and they farmed at Clearfield for 34 years. They moved to Garden City for 10 years before moving back to Eudora. Their children were Ruth (Wilson) and Eileen (Vincent). Source: Margarette Hausmann’s obituary (April 19, 1923) and Echoes, 13, Number 10 (October 1989), published by the Eudora Nursing Center.
John C. Hill, son of John and Lydia(Starbuck) Hill, was born in Randolph County, North Carolina, on June 9, 1838. After moving to Rush Country, Indiana, in 1861, he decided to live near friends in Kansas. In 1863, John C. Hill; his brother, William; and son, Robert; came to Eudora in a two-horse carriage to find a home, because they thought opportunities were better in Kansas, and they were members of the Society of Friends. John also opposed slavery. He bought 80 acres in the Hesper area four miles southeast of Eudora and returned to Indiana for his wife, Lydia, and children: Penelope, Lydia Jane, Ruth Ellen, William, and M. Chalkley. Some of the family traveled by train to St. Joseph, Missouri, and then by boat down the Missouri River to Leavenworth. Relatives met them there and drove them to their Hesper farm. Two other sons and a sister came later in a covered wagon that was used years later in a parade in Topeka when Governor Alfred Landon accepted his party’s presidential nomination in 1936. The wagon later became part of the museum collection at Friends University in Wichita. In 1864, John bought more farm land, and, in 1866, built a brownstone, two-story house, 24 feet by 35 feet, on the farm. As Hill was hauling a load of lumber to build his home, he was attacked by a highway robber and killed September of 1867. His wife died in December of 879. Their son, M. Chalkley, married Sarah Mitchell in Topeka in 1869. For the next 53 years, he was an area merchant. He helped get a bridge made across the Kansas River, was mayor, an organizer of the Watkins National Bank in Lawrence, and on the board of directors of the Friends' University of Wichita, Kansas. Source: Letter from M. Chalkey Hill and his History of Hill Farm, (November 12, 1938); Lawrence Daily Journal World, “Home of M. Chalkey Hill Was Part of Settlement of Middle West” (June 4, 1940); and A Standard History of Kansas and Kansan (1883) by William Cutler
Leslie Hobbs, son of James and Martha (Lawson), was born May 14, 1838, in Indiana. He married Elvira, the daughter of Richard and Laura Grisham, August 14, 1858, in Illinois. They came to Kansas in a covered wagon shortly after the Civil War with two of their children. Owners of a large farm in Kaw Valley, they also had a grocery in Eudora by the railroad tracks. Their children were Lillie (Dutton)(McKnight), born July 25, 1859; John Charles, born September 8, 1863 and married Annah McKnight; Laura Belle, born August 5, 1866; Martha Evelyn (Grimes), born April 8, 1870; Anna Elvira (Prosser), born January 10, 1873; May Elizabeth (Lepper), born November 1, 1874; and Goldie, born May 12, 1877, and died 10 months later.
The Hunzicker family came to the United States from Basal, Orensdorf (or Arisdorf), Switzerland. Daniel Hunzicker, born in 1829 to Catharina (Yeager Sager) and Johannes Hunzicker, was a stone mason, when he married Anna, who was two years older. Their children were Daniel Jr., Henry, John, and Edward. Source: 1880 census and Daniel Hunzicker Jr.’s obituary (1899)
Johann "John" Kaegi Sr. and wife Maria "Elizabeth" Metzger were from Lichtensteig, Sankt Gallen Canton, Switzerland. In 1848, they sailed to America with their two young sons, Johann Jr. and Johann "Christoph.” They settled near St. Louis, Missouri, for a short time. Then John Sr. bought land in St. Clair County, Illinois near Mascoutah in 1854. Elizabeth and Christoph died in 1861. John Jr. married Elizabeth Katherine (Nold), born December 8, 1841 in Germany. She had moved to Bellville, Illinois, at age 12, then to Lebanon, Illinois, with her family. With his father, son Henry, and new wife, John Jr. moved to a Johnson County farm in 1864 and to the city of Eudora in 1907. To supplement the family income of farming and carpentry, the family had a large fruit orchard and strawberry patch. Of their children, John III (died age one); Henry Daniel; William Ernest; Charles Christian and Albert Phillip (twins); Edward; Katherine; Fred Christian; George W.; Lucille May; Arthur; and Herbert Thomas, all remained in Kansas except Henry Daniel Kaegi who moved to Cave-in-Rock, Illinois, and William who lived in St. Louis, Missouri. Source: http://www.bhs.fayette.k12.il.us/Html/kaegi.htm; November 12, 1924 will of Elisabeth Kaegi; and obituary of [Elisabeth] Katherine (Nold) Kaegi (October 23, 1923)
Gottlieb Kaiser (born December 3, 1839) married Christine (Klein), born October 6, 1844. They lived three miles from the city of Stuttgart in Wurtemberg, Germany, and left it for the United States in 1880 when Prussian warlords invaded their state. With 16 others, including Christine’s mother, Christiane (Strobel), they came to Eudora in September. They bought a farm four miles south and one half mile west of Eudora. Their children were Christiana, Charles, Minnie Rose (who married Henry Conrad Thoren), and Christian. Christiana married Gottleib Eisele when she was 17, and he, 53. In her later years, she made rugs and lived at the southeast corner of Tenth Street and Birch Street and could only speak German. Source: Eisele Family and Hornberger Family (March 1, 1977) by Clifford Eisele
Mary, born in Bohemia, came to the United States in 1869. She married Michael Kasberger. Their children were John, Vern, J. H. Smith, Mrs. John (Furst), Mrs. Matt (Simon), Mrs. Charles (Saile), and Mrs. Fred (Carbaugh). Source: Mary Kasberger’s obituary (1927)
Louis Paul Kellerman, born in October 1847 in Lazirk Brachediz in Bohemia Schunberg district, came to Eudora about 1865. He married Catherine Wolf on May 16, 1871. She was born about 1847 in Laugendorf, Lazirk Schiedenhofen, Bohemia, and died in 1880. Their children Frank (born October 20, 1871) and Anna Catherine (born November 26, 1873) were born in Eudora. Son Paul was born December 26, 1875, in Westphelia. Their next child, Mary Catherine, was born December 25, 1877, in Eudora and died young about the same time as her namesake mother. Louis married a Bohemian widow in 1880 from Westphelia who had a child by her first husband also named Kellerman and a relative. The children of this second union were Louis, Theresa, Anna, and Henry. These Kellermans may or may not have been related to John and Catherina Kellerman who came to Eudora about the same time. When Louis died in 1916, his death in St. Joseph, Missouri, was mentioned.
On the former Jacob Dolosi farm in Weaver, John W. Kindred farmed 90 acres. He specialized in potatoes and was general manager of the Kaw Valley Potato Growers’ and Co-operative Dealers’ Association of Weaver. Born in Madison County, Kentucky, on August 10, 1858, Kindred lived in Clay County, Missouri, and Edwardsville, Bonner Springs, Fall Leaf, and Willow Springs, before moving to Weaver in April 1899. A Populist, he married Annie Morgan on December 29, 1881. She died April 16, 1883, leaving a daughter, Edna. On April 2, 1885, he married Eliza B. Magee who was reared in Wyandotte Country and by whom he had Agnes; Nora; Frank; Grace; Lena; Seth; Bryon; Ethel; Ellis Lee; and Leslie (who remained on the farm until his death with wife, Mattie (Catlin), and children, EvaBelle, Alice Marie, and Louie Lee). Source: Genealogy and Biography: Leavenworth, Douglas, and Franklin Counties, (1899), Chicago: Chapman Publishing.
Born November 9, 1851, in Hermann, Missouri, Louis Klein was the son of Christian Klein of Wurtemberg, Germany, one of the first settlers of Hermann, and Johanna Friederika (Bebion), born in Fellbach, Wurtemberg. Her family sailed to New Orleans in 1849, and she is buried in Eudora. Louis married Mary Pinger, born July 6, 1860, in Chicago. She was the daughter of Fredrick Pinger (born May 26, 1837, in Freiburg, Germany) and Mary Petrinella (Kummer), born in Strasburg, Germany, in 1839, who sailed to the United States in a 59-day journey in which she met Frederick. Her mother, Magdalena (Stegal Kummer), married Joseph Wilhelm Vitt. After Frederick and Mary married July 6, 1857, they moved to Eudora about 1862. Besides Mary, the other children of Frederick and Mary Petrinella were Johnnie (died of brain fever at age 3); Carolina “Lena” (Hoskinson); Louisa (who married Louis Klein); Josephine (died of pneumonia at age three months); Emeline “Emma” (Loveland); George; Elizabeth (Jameson) (who died of a brain tumor at age 22); Rosa (Fitch); Francisca (Fauerbach); Cora (Vaught); and Belle (Fauerbach). Mary Pinger died June 2, 1881, during childbirth of a son who also died. They were buried in the Deay Cemetery. Louis Klein next married her sister, Louisa Pinger, born August 22, 1867. Their children were Georgie (died of scarlet fever at age 5), Frances May, Carolina (died at six weeks of age), and John. A wagon maker, Louis Klein moved his family to Paxico, and later to Oklahoma where his stepfather, Gottlob Koch, lived. Source: Genealogy of the Descendants of Christian Frederick and Johanna Friederika (Bebion) Klein of Hermann, Missouri by Margaret Haubold Bolles and Pinger-Kummer Family History.
Karl Gottfried Koehler (1801-1865) born in Drawehn, Kreis Rummelsburg, Pommern, was a farmer. He married Wilhelmina Karoline Ramelow (1824-1858) in Pollnow, Kreis Rummelsburg, Pommern. She was born July 21, 1805, in Sydow, Germany, the daughter of Jurgen Ramelova and Eva Rosine (Malinke). Their children were Karl, Wilhelm, Johanna, and Heinrich August. Heinrich was born May 12, 1835. in Jatzingen, Kreis Rummelsburg, Pommern, and farmed like his father. His wife was Johanna Wilhelmine Fredericke (Lietz), (1851-1934) born in Ploetzig, Kreis Rummelsburg, Pommern, to Wilhelm Ernst Lietz and Erdnuthe Wilhelmine (Malinke). Some of their children — Paul August Frederick, Gustave, Minna, Emma, Franz, William, John Delbert, Ralph, Dorothy, Martha, Bertha, and Friederike — lived in the Eudora and Lawrence area. Source: http://members.aol.com/kenpohl/koehler1.htm
The Koerners came from Silesia, Germany. Henry and Mary (Ziegler) Koerner lived across the road from the Delaware Indian Cemetery. With family ties drawn from the Germans and the Delawares, the couple raised seven children, including Arthur; Homer; Carl; Alice; Edmund; and Louis, the youngest, who helped restore the Delaware Cemetery. Mary (Ziegler) Koerner, born January 26, 1873, was over six feet tall who got her height from the Indian side of her family, Louis said. Mary’s father, Logan Ziegler, born in 1825, in St. Joseph, Missouri, was the son of Phillip, a German, and Betsy (Taylor), a full-blooded Delaware. Logan Ziegler married her in 1861, took over the family farm across from the cemetery, and learned the blacksmith trade in Leavenworth. The Zieglers' daughter married the son of August and Christina Koerner. Source: “Indians Buried at Delaware Cemetery, Koerner Recalls Family Ties,” Candy Ruff, Leavenworth Times (October 25, 1988)
In 1882, William Kohler bought 175 acres in Section 28, which was in the Hesper area. He raised grain on 140 acres there. Born in York County, Pennsylvania, March 31, 1831, Kohler farmed in that state and was a foreman in an iron company before coming to Douglas County in 1879. In 1881, he moved to Riley County, for a year, then sold his farm there and returned to Douglas County. He married Miss Hoffman in York County, Pennsylvania, in 1852. They had six children: Elcetta (Willett), Mary A. (Dougherty), John, Andrew, Herman, and Devaux. Source: History of the State of Kansas by William Cutler (1883)
When Louis Kurtz, 87, died the newspaper said he was “one of the most highly respected citizens and early settlers of the community. He lived three miles east of Eudora and attended St. Paul’s Church. His children were Mrs. Sam Strobel, Henry, Charles, Minnie, and Mrs. William (Buchheim). Source: Eudora Weekly News(January 8, 1914)
Frederich Laepple 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 Riverat 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 principal 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 (Schneider), daughter of John Theobold Schneider and Elizabetha (Kalkbrenner) who was born in Glan Muenchwiler, Germany, July 18, 1836. 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 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, his wife, Elizabeth (Pilla) (born October 18, 1839), and children Julius, Adolph Jr., 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)