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Biography of Peter G. Kroeker
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As treasurer and manager of the Cheney Mill and Flour Company, Peter G. Kroeker is one of the important men in business circles in Sedgwick County.
He represents a class of people which have been a very valuable contribution to Kansan eitizenship. Mr. Kroeker was born at Cherson City in Southern Russia March 15, 1866. He was twelve years of age when in 1878 his parents came to America and located in McPherson County, Kansas, buying a half section of school land there. His father is Gerhard Kroeker who married Justina Kruger. They are still living on the farm which they bought in 1878 in McPherson County, Gerhard being eighty-three and his wife eighty-two years of age. Of their six children, four are still living.
It was on the McPherson County farm that Peter G. Kroeker spent his years going on to manhood and there gained his primary knowledge of American life and customs. At the age of twenty, his education having been completed in the local school, he left home and learned the watchmaker’s trade. He later followed that as a business at Inman in McPherson County. In 1897 Mr. Kroeker was appointed postmaster of Inman by President McKinley, and filled that office with great credit to himself for eight years. At the same time he carried on his watchmaking business, but at the end of his term as postmaster sold out.
In the spring of 1905 he came to Wichita and soon afterwards incorporated the Cheney Mill and Power Company. This company is capitalised at $30,000. It is the principal local industry at Cheney. Besides doing a large business in the handling of grain and feed it operates a power plant that furnishes electric light and power to the Village of Cheney.
Fratornally Mr. Kroeker is a thirty-second degree Mason, being a member of Wichita Consistory.
In 1890 he married Mies Katie Remple of Reno County, Kansas. They are the parents of four children: Gusta, wife of Otto Sanders of Wichita; Mary, who graduated from the State Normal School, taking a special course in primary work; Louise, who is a teacher near Cheney; and Velma.
John Remple, father of Mrs. Kroeker, was one of three delegates who came to America in 1872 representing the Mennonite Church of Southeast Russia. They came for the purpose of selecting a location for a Mennonite colony. After some investigation they chose land at the corners of Harvey, McPherson and Reno counties in Kansas. Having returned to their native country and made their report, there followed in 1874 the first ship load of Mennonites from that section of Russia, and this was the beginning of a Mennonite eolony in Kansas which flourished and which had brought good in manifold ways.
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