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Charles Lothholz was one of the pioneers of the German nationality in Kansas. He came to Kansas when it was still a territory in 1858 and identified himself with the German community at Eudora in Douglas County. He lived there more than fifty years. Those years were turned to account in a remarkable business prosperity and in a live and vital influence which flowed from him to most of the public enterprises for the welfare of the community. He was one of the upstanding men around whose name might well be written a complete and accurate account of the history of Kansas during the last half century.
He was born at Buttstadt, Saxe-Weimar, Germany, February 3, 1835, and at the time of his death on March 21, 1909, was in his seventy-fifth year. He grew to manhood in his native locality, acquired the usual German common school education, and learned the carpenter’s trade. In 1854 at the age of nineteen he crossed the ocean in a sailing vessel to America. When he landed, he took stock of his condition, and found himself poor indeed in worldly possessions, but on the other hand possessed of an excellent constitution and sound health. But even more important was his resolution to make his home in a new country and build for himself and posterity an honored name.
For a time Mr. Lothholz worked at his trade in Chicago. It was while living in that city that he learned of the settlement of a colony of Germans at Eudora in Kansas Territory. The presence of his countrymen there was no doubt the chief incentive to bring him to Kansas. After coming to Eudora he engaged in merchandising and was subsequently appointed postmaster. He became a member of the state militia when the militia had some active duties to perform in the troublous era of Kansas. In 1868 he established a lumber business and that was one of his chief enterprises the rest of his life.
Charles Lothholz possessed keen business sagacity and it was only natural that having come to Kansas when all was new and opportunities were on every hand that he should become a wealthy man. Among other business activities he bought a tract of about 500 acres and converted it into a model farm. In October, 1899, he founded the Kaw Valley State Bank of Eudora, and continued as its president for nearly ten years until his connection with the institution was terminated by death. He was also one of the organizers of the Watkins National Bank at Lawrence and for many years was one of its directors.
Charles Lothholz was a large man, physically, mentally and morally. He became a dominant figure in the progress and development of the community. It was almost wholly through his efforts that the first and second bridges over the Kaw River at Eudora were built. From these bridges the city derived much of its material prosperity. No measure advanced for the good of the locality was deemed properly launched until the name of Mr. Lothholz headed the list of sponsors. He served as mayor of the city a number of terms, and the progressive measures advocated and put into effect by him were invariably of a beneficial character. He was not merely a man of business. To those less fortunate than himself his purse was open. In religion he was a member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Politically he was a republican and for many years was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Charles Lothholz was intensely a man of action. Ideas and visions meant nothing to him unless translated into concrete results. Both for what he did and for what he was he was loved and respected by every one and his death, even at a mature age, seemed an irreparable loss to the community.
On June 7, 1859, the year following his advent to Kansas Charles Lothholz married Caroline Schneider. She was born in Germany and had come to America a young girl. Her death occurred at Eudora in April, 1910, a little more than a year after her husband. They were the parents of eight children: William; Anna; Minnie, Mrs. Charles J. Achning; Herman, deceased; George H.; Charles and Carrie, twins, both deceased; and one that died in infancy unnamed.
George H. Lothholz had for many years had a share in the large business responsibilities formerly carried by his father and had done much on his own account to justify the honored name he bears.
He was born at Eudora October 23, 1868. Besides the course of the common schools he attended the Lawrence Business College and with this training he secured business experience as an associate of his father in various enterprises. From the time of the organization of the Kaw Valley State Bank until 1916 he was its cashier. Since then he had succeeded to the lumber business founded by his father nearly half a century ago. Mr. Lothholz is a vigorous republican and had always made it a point to serve to the best of his ability the community in which he had spent his life. He had served as township treasurer and as city treasurer. He is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. On October 18, 1899, he married Miss Nellie E. Townsend.