John P. Severin has been actively identified with varied business interests in and around Bendena in Doniphan County for a number of years, and now owned and conducts a farm and stock raising business near that village.
Mr. Severin was born at St. Clara, West Virginia, August 8, 1869, and is of Holland Dutch lineage. His father, Frederick Severin, was born in Holland in 1811 and came to the United States when a young man. He chose as the stage of his active endeavors a heavily wooded wilderness section of West Virginia near St. Clara in Doddridge County. He lived there when it was an isolated country, cleared up a farm from the woods and in time had provided for his family and acquired a competence sufficient for his needs. His death occurred at St. Clara in 1880. Politically he was a democrat, and he and all his family were members of the Catholic Church. The maiden name of his wife was Julia Reirlch, who was born at Cumberland, Maryland, in 1838 and died at St. Clara, West Virginia, in 1874. John P. Severin was the sixth in their family of eight children, Mary married for her first husband William Wanstreet, and is now the wife of George Van Verth, and they live on their farm at Axtell, Kansas. Henry is a farmer at St. Clara, West Virginis. John B. was a merchant and grain dealer and died at Bendena, Kansas, at the age of forty-three. Mrs. Margaret MeMurrer is a widow living in Chicago. Joseph is a farmer at Axtoll, Kansas. Frank is a farmer at Brenner, Kansas. Frederick had a farm at Artell.
John P. Severin received his early education in the public schools of St. Clara, West Virginia, and lived on his father’s farm until he was twenty-five years of age. In the spring of 1895 he arrived in Doniphan County and for a couple of years worked on a farm near Bendena. He then bought a place of his own, consisting of 160 acres, but after a year he sold his land and for the next two years was cmployed in his brother’s business at Bendena. Mr. Severin then bought the local grain elevator and also installed a stock of general merchandise, and conducted his store and elevator for fourteen years. In 1914 he sold out to advantage and then invested in a farm just outside the town limits on the west. His place consists of eighty acres and he is handling it in a way that stamps him as one of the most progressive and successful farmers and stockmen in Doniphan County. Mr. Severin also had another farm of 160 acres 2 1/2 miles east and one mile south of Bendena, near Brenner. In the Town of Bendena he owned in addition to his residence on Main Street a business building and another dwelling house. Politically he is a democrat, is a member with his family of the Catholic Church, belongs to Severance Council No. 675, Knights of Columbus, and is a charter member of Bendena Council No. 1762 of the Knights and Ladies of Security, of which order his wife is also an active member.
In 1898, at St. Clara, West Virginia, Mr. Severin married Miss Mary Wanstreet, a daughter of John and Lucy (Kreyenbeuhl) Wanstrect. Her father was born in Holland in 1824, and was brought to this conntry at the age of eight years by his parents, who located near Cumberland, Maryland. He grew up there, was married at Tunneltown, West Virginis, and then went into a new and unbroken section of West Virginia at Leopold, where he engaged in farming. He was a man of considerable influence in his community, held various township offices, and was justice of the peace thirty years. He was a democrat and a member of the Catholic Church. During the Civil war he served as a soldier, most of the time along the border. He was three times married. The maiden name of his second wife was Mary Abel For his third wife he married Lucy Kreyenbeuhl, who was born, reared and educated near Lucerne, Switzerland, and is still living at Leopold, West Virginia. She was born in 1849. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Wanstreet were: Joseph, who was a locomotive engineer and died at Murfreesboro, Illinois; Henry, who died at Leopold, West Virginia, in 1895: Mrs. Severin; Edward, who died at the age of seventeen; Frank, who died at Leopold aged seventeen; James, who was working as a clerk at St. Joseph, Missouri, when he died at the age of twenty-one; Silas, an oil gauger with home at New Milton, West Virginia; Fonce, a Iocomotive fireman living at St. Louis, Illinois; Peter, a farmer at Leopold, West Virginia; and Frances, wife of Jacob Mertz, a painter and decorator living at Omaha, Nehraska.
Mrs. Severin was educated in the public schools of Leopold, West Virginia. To their marriage have been born four children. Myrtle, born July 13, 1899, is now a senior in the music course at Mount St. Scholastica Academy at Atchison, Kansas; Helen, born September 13, 1900, was graduated in the eommercial course at Mount St. Scholastica Academy in 1916 and is now in the third academic department; Clarence, born October 12, 1902, is in the second commercial class of the Ohristian Brothers College at St. Joseph, Missouri; Mary Alice, the youngest, was born September 18, 1907, and is a student in the Bendena public schools.