Biography of August Bauman
August Bauman. Because of their variety and importance, the interests which have engrossed the attention and abilities of August Bauman have brought him to the very forefront among the business men of Neodesha, with which city he had been most prominently identified for about thirty years. For the most part he is now directing his energies toward the advancement of his huge grain business, but various other interests also have the benefit of his sound advice and judgment. Mr. Bauman’s extensive connections have necessarily made him a very busy man, yet he had never found himself too actively employed in his own affairs to neglect the interests of his city. A review of his career will show that it had been one marked by constant advancement, well-directed effort and a sharply-defined appreciation of the duties of citizenship.
Mr. Bauman was born in New York City, New York, January 15, 1859, and is a son of Wendelin and Ursula (Kohler) Bauman. His father was born in 1812, in Kippenheim, a suburb of Freiburg, Baden, Germany. America owes to the struggle for more liberal government in central Europe, which culminated, in 1848, in the suppression of the patriots and in the self-expatriation of many of their brilliant leaders, some of her best citizens. The reader will readily recall the names of Gen. Franz Sigel and Carl Schurz as shining examples of these patriots. Wendelin Bauman, a tailor by trade, stood high in the councils of the patriots, was one of the organizers of the revolution, and, as a trusted secret emissary, traveled all through Austria, Prussia, France and Switzerland, making addresses in behalf of the cause and speaking in several languages. When the revolt against the Bavarian government was suppressed through the intervention of Prussia, the patriot forces to which he belonged took refuge in France. When it became evident that the cause in which they had struggled was hopeless, Mr. Bauman, then a man of forty-two years, sought a permanent asylum from political persecution in America. Locating first in New York City, he found employment at his trade as a merchant tailor and remained in that city until 1868, when he removed with his family to Ohio, in which state he resided for three years. In 1871 he came to Neodesha, Kansas, retired because of ill health, and lived here quietly until his death, in January, 1876. He was a republican and a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Bauman was married in his native place to Ursula Kohler, who was born in May, 1820, at Jungingen, Prussia, Germany, and died December 26, 1907, at Neodesha, Kansas. Their children were four in number, as follows: Franciska, who is the widow of J. G. Winter, a dry goods merchant of Neodesha, and lives at this place; Adolph, of whom more later; August, of this notice; and Caroline, who is the widow of W. C. Spangler, who was vice chancellor of Kansas University, and now makes her home at Lawrence, Kansas.
August Bauman was educated in the public schools of New York City and Ohio, and when but thirteen years of age began to clerk in a store at Neodesha. He thus continued for fifteen years, at the end of which time he and his brother, Adolph, opened a grocery store, which they conducted with success until 1900. Following this, for three years Mr. Bauman engaged in farming, and in 1904 founded the Bauman Grain Company, of which he is now the sole proprietor. He is the owner of the elevator, situated beside the tracks of the Frisco Railroad, on the corner of Wisconsin and South Tenth Streets, as well as the offices of the company, his own residence at the corner of Fourth and Ohio Streets, other realties at Neodesha, and a farm of 131½ acres, three miles north of Neodesha. A republican in his political views, he served as a member of the city council for three years, as city commissioner of utilities for a like period, and as city commissioner of finance for two years, and his entire public service was characterized by a conscientious performance of duty and great efficiency in handling the affairs of his offices. Mr. Bauman had a reputation for integrity that is based upon many years of honorable transactions, both in business and public life, and few men of Neodesha have in greater degree the confidence of their associates. Mr. Bauman is a member of Harmony Lodge No. 94, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Anti-Horse Thief Association, and the Neodesha Commercial Club, and in the line of his business belongs to the Kansas Grain Dealers’ Association. He is treasurer and a director of the Neodesha Building and Loan Association and a member of the committee on securities in that organization, and is also a stockholder in the First National Bank of Neodesha.
In 1885 Mr. Bauman was married to Miss Mary E. Nichols, daughter of J. H. and Eliza (Luce) Nichols, both of whom are deceased, Mr. Nichols having been a machinist by vocation. On both the paternal and maternal sides she comes of Colonial stock, several of the Nichols having participated in the Revolutionary war, and from her maternal ancestors she is descended from forebears who came to this country on the Mayflower, later members also fighting with the patriot army in the winning of American independence. The Luces’ first settlement was in Martha’s Vineyard. J. H. Nichols was born in Massachusetts and came to Neodesha in 1876, establishing a machine shop and foundry, which he conducted here until his death. Mrs. Bauman was born in 1862, at Florence, Massachusetts, and received her education at Canton, Ohio, and in the Neodesha schools. She and Mr. Bauman have one daughter, Helen, who is the wife of Frederick Wilhelm, secretary of the Prairie Pipe Line Company, of Independence, Kansas. Both Mrs. Bauman and Mrs. Wilhelm are members of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Adolph Bauman, the elder son of Wendelin Bauman, was born in Baden, Germany, November 18, 1850, and was four years old when he was brought to this country by his parents. He was educated in a private German school and the public schools of New York City, and when fourteen years of age entered the office of a large New York fire insurance company, where he was employed from January, 1864, until October, 1868. In the latter year he came to Kansas, and, at Humboldt, engaged in the general grain and mercantile business, and not long thereafter became interested in business at Neodesha, where in 1871 he established a branch of his mercantile enterprise. In the year 1881 he took up his residence in this city, where his grain interests were principally centered, and, in addition to doing some farming, carried on a mercantile business here until 1900, in company with his brother, August. From that time on he devoted himself to the handling of grain until 1910, when he became interested in oil producing, investments, and farming, and at this time had oil productions two miles northwest of Neodesha, and owned farm land of 180 acres in Wilson County. He also owned his home at No. 806 Wisconsin Street, which he built for his mother in 1871, and which had really been his home since that time, although he did not come here permanently to reside until ten years later. One of Mr. Bauman’s fine achievements, of which there have been many, was the founding and organization of the Neodesha Building and Loan Association, one of the most flourishing institutions of its kind in the United States, in comparison with the size of the city where it is located. This company was organized in 1887 by Mr. Bauman, who had directed its affairs from the presidency for a number of years. He is also a stockholder in the First National Bank of Neodesha. The various enterprises with which Mr. Bauman had been connected, and in all of which he had made a success, testify to his versatility as a business man, while his high standing in business circles is proof of the honorable manner in which his operations have been conducted.
In politics Mr. Bauman is a republican, and had long been one of the leaders of his party in Wilson County. He was city treasurer here for fifteen years, during which time he succeeded in organizing and getting municipal ownership of city gas and water, and naturally electric lights followed in the same direction. He is now a member of the Republican County Central Committee. He was chairman of the last county convention for the nominating of county officers previous to the adoption of the primary law. Mr. Bauman is identified fraternally with Harmony Lodge No. 94, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; and Orient Chapter No. 72, Royal Arch Masons, and is an active member of the Neodesha Commercial Club. He and Mrs. Bauman belong to the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Bauman was married in 1887 to Miss Elizabeth L. Cramer, daughter of the late Henry and Catherine E. (Handman) Cramer, both of whom are deceased. Mr. Cramer was a pioneer to Kansas in 1869, coming from Cincinnati, Ohio, and settling in Wilson County, near Neodesha, where he engaged in farming and was one of the first men in the state to put in large crops of wheat. Mr. and Mrs. Bauman have no children.