Henry J. Meierkord, vice president and cashier of the Exchange State Bank of Linn, and officially identified with other banking and business enterprises in this part of Kansas, came to this country a comparatively poor boy many years ago, and by hard work and strength of will had won a commendable station in business affairs and is one of the most highly esteemed citizens of Washington County.
Mr. Meierkord was born near Bremen, Germany, June 29, 1871, and is the only member of his family in America. His father, Fred Meierkord, was born in the same locality in 1841, spent his life there as a farmer, and died in 1913. He was a devout member of the Lutheran Church. The maiden name of his wife was Sophia Raven, who was born near Bremen in 1842 and died there in 1914. Henry J. was the oldest of their four children. His brother William is a farmer near Bremen, but at last accounts was in the German army on the eastern front against Russis. Herman is also a farmer living near Bremen and when last heard from was serving with the army in Belgium. The only daughter, Sophia, is the wife of Diedrich Wohrtman, a Bremen farmer and a musician in the army, being now engaged in recruiting service.
Henry J. Meierkord was accorded the usual education of the public schools at his birthplace, and he grew up on his father’s farm. He was about sixteen when he broke the ties which bound him to the Fatherland and to his family, and in 1887 came to the United States. For several years he was known as an industrious and hard working farmer in the vicinity of Linn, Kansas, where be spent five years farming during the summer and atteuded school in the winter. That was only a preparation for his real business career.
In 1892, at the age of twenty-one, he entered the Exchange State Bank at Linn as bookkeeper. He had the thoroughness characteristic of the German mind and the alert enterprise acquired by active association with American business affairs, and after six months in the bank he was made assistant cashier, and in January, 1894, promoted to the post of cashier. He had steadily looked after the duties of that office for twenty-three years and is now vice president also. The Exchange Bank of Linn was established in 1886, under a state charter, by C. W. Snyder and M. F. Southwick. Mr. Southwick, who lives at Topeka, is president, with Mr. Meierkord, vice president and cashier, and H. P. Schroeder, assistant cashier. The bank, whose home is on Main Street, had a capital of $25,000, surplus of $5,000, and had made an enviable record of service and of safety.
Mr. Meierkord is vice president of the Bank of Palmer and the Greenleaf State Bank, is secretary and treasurer of the Linn Store Company, secretary and treasurer of the Linn Rural Telephone Company and had acquired a large amount of real estate and other property. His home on Second Street in Linn is a modern residence which he built in 1900. Among his farm properties he had a place of eighty acres a mile east of Linn and another of eighty acres two miles south and one mile west.
In matters of politics Mr. Meierkord is strictly independent, giving his support where he thinks it will do the most good in the cause of good government. For many years he had been a member of the school board, and had also served on the city council of Linn. For years he was master of Fraternal Lodge No. 170, Aneient Free and Accepted Masons, and is past noble grand of Linn Lodge No. 548, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also belongs to the Rebekahs.
Mr. Meierkord married at Linn in 1898 Miss Sophis A. Raven, daugher of John and Mary (Meyers) Raven. Her mother is living at Linn and her father, now deceased, was a pioneer farmer in Washington County, where he located in the ’60s.