Fred Ackarman lost no time after graduating from the high school at Sedan with the class of 1902 before finding his real and permanent vocation in life. For the past thirty-five years an old and widely patronized hardware store at Sedan had been conducted under the Ackarman name, and on leaving high school Fred Ackarman entered the store to give his father his active assistance and in 1903, when his father retired from business, the son was thoroughly competent to handle the business and maintain the prestige of the establishment over Chautauqua County.
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Born at Sedan, September 1, 1882, Fred Ackarman is a son of Mr. E. C. Ackarman, who is still living at Sedan, now retired. E. C. Ackarman was born at Rome City, Indians, August 28, 1847. The family history of the Ackarmans in America largely centers around that old Indiana town. Fred Ackarman’s great-grandfather, Andrew Ackarman, came from Germany and was one of the first settlers in the vicinity of Rome, Indiana. He followed his trade as tanner there until his death. The grandfather, whose name was also Andrew Ackarman, was born near Rome, Indiana, in 1812, and died there in 1890. His life was spent as a farmer. He was active in the Masonic fraternity and the Methodist Church. He married Ruth Carr, who was born in Kentucky, in 1820, and died on the old homestead near Rome in 1894. The record of their children is as follows: Hiram, who died on a farm near Rome, Indiana, in 1876; E. C. Ackarman; Andrew J., who was also a farmer and died near Rome in 1908; Henry, who is a doctor and resided at Evansville, Indiana; Hugh, a farmer, who died near Rome, Indiana, in 1896; Annie, deceased, whose husband, Mr. Cunningham is a traveling salesman living in New York State; Mary, who died in Kansas City, Missouri, married Flint DeWeese, a practicing attorney at Kansas City.
Mr. E. C. Ackarman was reared on the old Indiana farm, but in 1868, at the age of twenty-one, left home and moved to Butler in Bates County, Missouri, and in 1869 came across the Kansas line to Crawford County. In 1871 he located in Howard County, was a farmer there, and first engaged in the mercantile business by opening a stock of hardware at Moline. In 1876 he removed to Sedan, and in 1883 established the hardware business which is now owned and conducted by his son, Fred. This store is situated on Lot 2, Block 15, on Main Street. It is a store where everything in the hardware and general implement line may be found, and it is also a local agency for several of the best makes of automobiles. As a business that had been in successful operation over thirty years its trade is naturally widely extended, and there are regular patrons of the store who reside at least twenty-five miles away from Sedan. Mr. E. C. Ackarman had always been a stanch advocate of the republican party and principles. He had been again and again entrusted with local offices, having served as township trustee of Center Township, township treasurer of Sedan Township, was county commissioner of Chautauqua County three years, from 1886 to 1889, and was mayor of Sedan two terms. His church is the Universalist. Mr. E. C. Ackarman married Lanra Thornburg. She was born in Missouri in 1851 and died in Sedan, Kansas, in 1902. Ethel, the oldest of their children, died when three years of age. Carl, the second, is a successful lawyer at Sedan and is now county attorney of Chautauqua County. The third in age is Fred Ackarman. Paul is a worker in the oil fields and lives at Chautauqua. Ruth, the youngest, died at the age of eight years.
Fred Ackarman grew up in his native town, graduated from the high school in 1902, and immediately entered his father’s store. He is a young business man who can be counted upon to lend his aid to every public enterprise. He had served as clerk of Sedan Township, is a republican, a member of the Christian Church and a deacon in the same, and is affiliated with Camp No. 919 of the Modern Woodmen of America and Camp No. 40 of the Woodmen of the World at Sedan. He owned a comfortable home in the northwest part of town.
In 1903, at Sedan, he married Miss Inez Park, daughter of Sam and Ida (Gilman) Park. Her parents both reside at Sedan, and her father is in the produce and feed business. Two daughters have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ackarman: Beth, born March 9, 1911, and Mona, born April 30, 1915.