For about a quarter of a century Harry Jiencke traveled about over the State of Kansas as a salesman, building up a large acquaintance and business relationship, but for the past twelve years had been prominently identified with the oil and gas and various other industrial affairs of Independence, where he is one of the well known citizens.
Of an old German family of Mecklenburg, he came to America when only a youth. He was born May 27, 1858. His father, Joachim Jiencke, was born in Mecklenburg in 1806 and died there in 1869. He was a man of more than ordinary prominence. He had extensive farming and stock raising interests, was a member of the legal profession and held a judicial office, and during his service in the regular army went through the rebellion of 1848. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. His wife, Henrietta Ahrens, was born in Germany in 1818 and died there in venerable years in 1905. To their marriage were born a large family, fifteen children, and a brief record of them is as follows: William, now deceased; Gustav, a confectioner living in Chicago; Mina, who died in infancy; Louisa, still living in Mecklenburg, Germany, the widow of Henry Demin, who was a miller; Fritz, deceased; Karl, deceased; Marie, living in Mecklenburg, the widow of Otto Beutler, who was a confectioner; Panl, a confectioner in Meeklenburg; Edward, a tobacco manufacturer at Berlin, Germany; Henrietta, wife of Henry Schaffer, a retired farmer now living in Chicago; Emma, wife of Henry Vitense, who holds the office of postmaster in the City of Mecklenburg; Harry, who is the twelfth in order of birth; Francisea, deceased wife of George Glanz, a government forester at Mecklenburg; Mina, the second of the name, also deceased, besides a son who died in childhood.
Harry Jiencke acquired a substantial education in the public schools of Germany. He attended a Real Schule, which would correspond with our manual training high schools in this country. Leaving school at the age of fourteen, he soon afterward took passage on board a ship that landed him in America at Castle Garden in 1876. From New York he went direct to Chicago, where he found employment in a milling office and later took up the candy business. In 1879 Mr. Jiencke located at Kansas City, Missouri, and thereafter for twenty-five years traveled over the state selling candy and other lines of confectionery to the retail trade.
Since 1902 he had been in the brokerage, oil and general promoting business, with home and offices at Independence. Mr. Jiencke is president of the Independence Brick Company; secretary and treasurer of the Independence Manufacturing and Power Company; secretary and treasurer of the Jiencke-Philips-Collender Oil Company; and had financial interests in the Western State Cement plant, Standard Asphalt and Rubber Company and the Petroleum Products Company.
A successful and energetic business man he had acquired a very satisfactory competence. Besides his beautiful residence at 600 North Penn Avenue he owned a business building on the same avenue and other city properties, and 800 acres of oil lands in Chautauqua County.
He is a democrat, and a few years ago was a promising candidate on that ticket for the office of state senator in a republican county, and made a very strong race against Senator Overfield, the present senator. Mr. Jiencke had for the past thirty years taken a very prominent part in the Knights of Pythias organization, is past chancellor commander of Lodge No. 270, Knights of Pythias, at Independence, and is past brigade commander of the militant department of that order. The recent movement for adequate military preparedness in the United States had had no more loyal and energetic advocate than Mr. Jiencke. He had been more or less active in drilling military or quasi-military organizations for the past thirty years. He is active in the Independence Commercial Club, and is affiliated with the Elks Lodge No. 780 at Independence, and the Modern Woodmen of America at Neodesha, Kansas.
In 1886 at Neodesha Mr. Jiencke married Miss Dick Kaschner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Kaschner. Her mother is now deceased, while her father is a retired music teacher living at Neodesha.