Location: Germany

Biography of Antony H. Blue

Antony H. Blue. The poet who said, “Sweet are the uses of adversity,” had a true understanding of life’s meaning, since it is true that those are happiest who have lived most and have had experiences in which the sweet and the bitter have been mingled. It is the prosperity and contentment won by years of faithful toil, self-sacrifice and economy that Mr. and Mrs. Antony H. Blue enjoy in their beautiful home south of Thomasboro. Mr. and Mrs. Blue have lived in Champaign County since 1870. Years have brought their honest endeavors a full reward and besides their material possessions they present the picture of a true companionship, whole-souled personalities and hospitality and kindliness and generosity are everywhere in evidence. Both of them are natives of Germany. Antony H. Blue was born in North Germany in 1845, a son of Henry A. and Alma Blue. His father was a sailor and in 1863 lost his life in a shipwreck on the North Sea. The ship went down and all hands aboard perished. The country where Antony H. Blue lived as a boy bordered on the North Sea and nearly all the inhabitants were either sailors or fishermen. In those occupations Antony H. Blue had a complete apprenticeship and grew up strong, sturdy and self-reliant, always ready to face the dangers and difficulties unafraid. In October, 1869, he was...

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Biography of George Schoon

George Schoon, whose fine farm establishment is in section 32 of Kerr Township, has been a resident of Champaign County almost continuously since he was four years of age. He is a native of Germany, and inherits many of the substantial qualities which have made that people famous under every clime of the world. Mr. Schoon’s parents were Christian and Mary Schoon, and he was one of their two children, John and George. The parents, seeking better opportunities for themselves and for their children, immigrated to America when George was four years of age. Coming to Champaign County, they located near Penfield, and both the boys attended school here and grew up to industrious manhood. Mr. George Schoon married Miss Mattie Booher. She was born at Blue Grass in Vermilion County, Illinois, a daughter of Benjamin and Frances (Harper) Booher. Her parents were both born at Darlington, Indiana, and settled near Sugar Grove in Champaign County on March 5, 1865. There were thirteen children in the Booher family, Mrs. Schoon being about sixth or seventh in order of birth. With her brothers and sisters she secured her education in the Armstrong school. Mr. and Mrs. Schoon were married Christmas Day, December 25, 1902. Mr. Booher was a kind and indulgent father, and it was one of his expressed wishes that all his daughters should marry from his home. Thus...

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Biographical Sketch of Peter Becker

Peter Becker was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1841. His father, George Becker, was born in Prussia and came to the United States about 1846, locating at Mansfield, Ohio, where he was a merchant. He had served his term in the regular army of Germany. Peter Becker was five years of age when brought to the United States, and he grew up at Mansfield, Ohio. From that point he enlisted and served as a Union soldier, and after his period of gallant and faithful service he returned to Mansfield, was married there, and in 1868 brought his family to Atchison, Kansas. Here he became a pioneer merchaut and for many years conducted a successful grocery business. He built his residence and store on Main Street just outside the limits of Atchison, and became a very extensive property holder. His death occurred in Atchison in November, 1914. Mr. Peter Becker was a democrat and at one time served as treasurer of Shannon Township of Atchison County. He was affiliated with Friendship Lodge No. 5, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, with Unity Camp No. 356, Modern Woodmen of America, and was associated with his old army comrades in A. S. Everest Post No. 493, Grand Army of the Republic. In Mansfield Peter Becker married Louisa Gribling, who was born in Coblenz, Prussia, in 1842, and died at Atchison in August, 1901. They...

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Biography of Frederick Proebstel

FREDERICK PROEBSTEL. – This pioneer of the Wallowa valley was born in Germany in 1829, and with his parents emigrated to America in 1842 and located in Missouri. In 1852 he made the crossing of the plains to Lewis County, Washington Territory, locating on Fourth Plain. Mr. Proebstel, belonging to the family of this name, a number of whose biographies are found in this volume, shared many experiences in common with others, and was one of the Indian fighters of 1855-56, and wishes to bear special testimony to the liberality of the Hudson’s Bay Company during the hard winter of 1852, when many must have suffered without their assistance. Of the many stories which he tells with feeling and humor in regard to the early settlement of the Wallowa valley, the following are specimens. His niece, returning home from the log schoolhouse one evening met face to face by a panther. Being near home, she called out to her father, and meantime struck the animal with one of her school books. The stroke and the scream caused the panther to slink away; and the father, coming quickly with his gun, secured a fine skin. In 1879 Mr. Proebstel drove his herds to the Imnaha, a portion of the Wallowa country, in order to obtain open range. There he stayed for four years, and while there was much annoyed by...

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Biography of Paul F. Mohr

PAUL F. MOHR. – Perhaps to no man is Spokane Falls under so deep a debt of gratitude for the early completion of the diverging lines of railroad, tapping the richest parts of the surrounding territory, as she is to Mr. Paul F. Mohr. To this gentleman’s persistent efforts, coupled with a thorough knowledge of his undertaking, is directly attributable the completion, in the year 1886, of the Spokane & Palouse and the Spokane & Idaho Railways, both of which roads will exert a powerful influence on the future of the city. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 28, 1849, Mr. Mohr is now in all the prime and vigor of manhood. After receiving a classical and scientific education in this country, at nineteen years of age he went to Germany to take the course of civil engineering at the renowned Polytechnic Institute of Stuttgart, and afterwards went to Hanover, Germany, and to Heidelberg, to perfect himself in special branches of his profession. After three years of study and travel, Mr. Mohr returned to the United States and entered the service of the Pennsylvania Company, in the P., C. & St. L. Railway, as assistant engineer. In 1872 and 1873 he made the survey for the Texas Pacific Railway Company through New Mexico and Arizona, returning to Cincinnati when the latter road was stopped by reason of the memorable panic...

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Biography of Jacob Swick

Jacob Swick. A resident of Champaign County during a period of sixty-five years and still interested in the pursuit of agriculture here, Jacob Swick is one of the best known among the citizens of Broadlands and the vicinity. During his long career it has been his fortune to have gained many of the rewards of industry and integrity, and in addition to material remuneration to have attained a position of substantial prominence in his community and a place in the respect and confidence of those among whom his long life has been spent. Mr. Swick was born in Germany, June 27, 1837, a son of Jacob and Christine (Oberly) Swick, both born in that country. The family came to the United States in 1852, first settling in Pennsylvania, from which state they moved to Ohio, and there the parents passed the remaining years of their lives engaged in farming. They were honest, industrious, God-fearing people who reared their children to lives of usefulness and honor and gave them all the advantages that they could afford. The children were as follows: Jacob, of this notice; Christina, who is the wife of John Vedder and a resident of Urbana; Christopher, who also resides at that place; and Mary, the wife of Joseph Marsh, of North Dakota. Jacob Swick was about fifteen years of age when he accompanied his parents to the...

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Biography of Adam Kroner

Adam Kroner. In making productive the vast prairies of the Middle West no one class of people has borne a more steady and effective part than the German element, and particularly to those who came as colonists after the German revolutionary troubles of the ’40s. Representing the second generation of this element is Mr. Adam Kroner, concerning whose work and standing as a Champaign County agriculturist only the highest words of praise may be spoken. Mr. and Mrs. Kroner occupy a fine home in Newcomb Township. Mrs. Kroner is also of a prominent German family of the county, and at all times has proved herself a valuable helpmate and counsel to Mr. Kroner in the establishment and building up of their beautiful rural home. Mr. Kroner was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, July 29, 1865. He was the fourth in a family of six children, five sons and one daughter, whose parents were Frederick and Marie Kroner. Four of these children are still living: Emma, wife of Charles Zimmerman, a farmer at Wiseburg in Dearborn County, Indiana; Adam; Christ, who is unmarried and has a farm at Yorkville in eastern Indiana; and Martin, who is married and owns a good farm home in Dearborn County. Frederick Kroner was a Bavarian German and was born in the old country in 1825. His death occurred in 1901. He served an apprenticeship...

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Biography of John C. Kruse

John C. Kruse is one of Champaign’s oldest business men in point of continuous service, having lived in that city for almost half a century. He has been an independent merchant for over forty-five years, and he has wisely looked after and directed the business training of his sons and assisted each one to get established in business. Mr. Kruse is a native of Germany, where he was born July 23, 1840, son of John O. and Minnie (Martens) Kruse. His parents spent all their lives in Germany. John C. Kruse had that substantial training afforded by the public school system of Germany. His father intended that he should go to a seminary and qualify for the profession of teacher. His father was a cabinetmaker, and before the plan had been carried out with respect to the son’s education he became so deaf that his son had to leave school and take charge of the business. Thus when Mr. Kruse came to the United States in 1867 he had mastered a trade and had considerable business experience. He first located in Cleveland, Ohio, but after a year there moved to Champaign, Illinois. Being an expert workman, he found employment in the furniture factory of Walker Brothers, with whom he remained four years. Out of his modest savings he then engaged in a business for himself and has been one...

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Biography of Samuel R. Dillinger, Jr.

Samuel R. Dillinger, Jr. At all times the grain trade is one of vital importance in every country, and at the present time, when the eyes of a large portion of the earth are turned expectantly to the mighty grain yields of the United States, does the conservation of this food and its proper handling as a commercial factor take on added importance. To buy grain carefully, knowingly and economically requires something more than the trading instinet, it necessitates the possession of special talents and certain knowledge that can only come through actual experience. Samuel R. Dillinger, who is manager of the Co-operative Grain Association at Green, Kansas, was brought up in the business and is one of the best judges of grain in Kansas. Samuel R. Dillinger was born in Hamilton County, Nebraska, September 23, 1880. His parents are Samuel R. and Melissa Belle (Galientine) Dillinger, residents of Bennington, Kansas. They were born in Iowa and for some years resided in Clay and Hamilton counties, Nebraska. The father had always been more or less identified with farm and grain interests and at present is manager of an elevator at Bennington. Politically he is a Democrat and for nine years had been a member of the school board at Bennington. He belongs to and liberally supports the Methodist Episcopal Church and is a eitizen who is held in universal...

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Biography of Jesse B. Horn

Jesse B. Horn is now superintendent of the city schools of Oneida in Nemaha County. He is a native of Kansas, and had spent most of his years since he attained his majority in school work either as a teacher or as an administrator of schools. His ancestry, the Horns, originated in Germany and from there came to Pennsylvania, later removing to Ohio. His grandfather, George Horn, was born in Ohio in 1824, was a blacksmith by trade, and after living for a number of years in Indiana moved in 1869 to Kansas and was a pioneer in Labette County in the southeastern part of the state. From there he removed to Douglas County and finally retired to Seneca, Missouri, where he died in 1898. Besides working at his trade he also owned farm lands in Kansas. E. R. Horn, father of Jesse B., was born in Indiana September 19, 1857, and was about eleven years old when the family came to Kansas. He grew up and received his early schooling in his native state and on coming to Kansas lived at Mound Valley. He was married in Johnson County and since his marriage had lived on his farm four miles northeast of Gardner in that county and is still cultivating his flelds and looking after his crops and land. He is a republican and is affiliated with the...

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Biography of George Storch, Hon.

Hon. George Storch was one of the notable and influential figures during the first and second decades of the history of Atchison County. The life of such a man deserves the memory of succeeding generations because it exemplified the dignity of honest labor and was fruitful in all those resources which contribute to the substantial character of a community. He came to Kansas when the state was in its infancy of development and was a pioneer merchant of old Kennekuk, becoming in time a merchant, banker, etatesman and altogether one of the most useful citizens Atchison County ever had. He was not only a pioneer but a pioneer with a vision which enabled him to see far ahead into the future. This vision, coupled with a faith in the eventual prosperity of Kansas, led him to invest heavily in farm lands and those investments gave him position among the wealthy citizens of Kansas long before his death. For nearly half a century Mr. Storch was closely identified with the financial and civic life of Atchison County and twies represented the county in the halls of the State Legislature, each time acquitting himself with credit and honor. His birth occurred near Poppenhausen, Bavaria, Germany, February 22, 1835. His parents were Thomas and Margaret (Breitung) Storch. His father, a farmer and linen dealer, was according to the standards of the time...

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Biography of Samuel S. Gross, M. D.

Samuel S. Gross, M. D. With an experience as a physician and surgeon covering over twenty years, and with increasing eapabilities for exact and thorough service, Doctor Gross had been located for the past ten years at Denton, Kansas, where he controls a large practice and had also identified himself with the business interests of the locality. His paternal ancestors several generations back came out of Germany and were early settlers in the State of Tennessee. Doctor Gross’ grandfather was a native of Tennessee and went as a pioneer to that pietureeque district of Northwest Missouri now known as Excelsior Springs in Clay County. There he prcempted a tract of land, and continued to farm it until his death. Doctor Gross himself is a native of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, where he was born October 2, 1874. His father, A. W. Gross, who was born at the present site of Excelsior Springs in 1850, had long been prominent in that city both in business affairs and in public life. He had extensive interests as a farmer and- stock raiser, and is also engaged in the banking business at Lawson, Missouri. For one term he represented Clay County in the State Legislature, having been elected as a democrat, and had served as county judge and for eight years was presiding judge of the Clay County Court. He is a deacon in...

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Biography of Herman Zabel

Herman Zabel has spent all his life in Pottawatomie County and is a son of one of the early pioneers there. His own career had been one of varied interests and activities. He still owned a big farm near the county seat and is also vice president of the Farmers State Bank of Westmoreland in that city. His father, the late Charles Zabel, was born near the city of Berlin, Germany, in 1851, and deserves a permanent record among the pioneers of Pottawatomie County. At the age of nineteen he came to the United States, worked in the pineries and around the saw mills of Wisconsin, and in 1857 joined the free state pioneers of Kansas. He homesteaded 160 acres in Mill Creek Township of Pottawatomie County, but after two years on the claim he began the operation of a flour and saw mill at Westmoreland. Subsequently he farmed, was in business as a merchant, and in his closing years was a banker at Westmoreland. He died there in 1904. He was always a staunch republican and was honored with various township offices. His church was the Lutheran, and fraternally he was identified with the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. During the Civil war he belonged to the Kansas State Militia and assisted in repelling the raid of General Price. In Wisconsin before coming to Kansas...

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Biography of Harvey L. Brammell

Harvey L. Brammell owns one of the finest farms in Jefferson County, adjoining the Village of Ozawkie, and for many years had been engaged in the ministry of the Church of the Brethren and had achieved the highest rank, the office of bishop. The locality where he now lives was also the scene of his birth. Mr. Brammell was born October 4, 1871, and his people were early settlers in Jefferson County. The Brammells came out of Germany and were early settlers in Pennsylvania. His grandfather, Reuben Henry Brammell, was born in 1815, and from Pennsylvania moved to Wabash, Indiana, where he followed farming and where he died in 1886. Henry Brammell, father of Harvey L., was born at Frankfort, Kentucky, February 9, 1842, but when a child moved with his parents to Clinton County, Indiana. He grew up and married there and soon after his marriage came to Jefferson County, Kansas, where he located in 1864, during the Civil war. He first bought a farm of forty acres west of Ozawkie, but selling that place for $700 he bought another forty acres east of town and after five years sold that property and then bought eighty-seven acres 2 1/2 miles east of Ozawkie. He was actively engaged in farming on the last-named farm for twenty-two years. He then disposed of his farm and purchased 100 acres adjoining Ozawkie on...

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Biography of Charles A. Schnabel

Thirty-seven years have passed since Charles Augusta Schnabel came to Idaho. This state, so aptly termed “the gem of the mountains,” was then a wild district, its lands unclaimed, its resources undeveloped. A few courageous frontiersmen had dared to locate within its borders, but the work of progress and improvement remained to the future, and there was little promise of early development. In the years which have since passed Mr. Schnabel has not only witnessed a most wonderful transformation, but has largely aided in the labors which have transformed the wild tract into a splendid commonwealth. Now in his declining years he is living retired, enjoying the well-earned rest which is the merited reward of a long and honorable business career. A native of Prussia, Mr. Schnabel was born in Elberfield, October 18, 1828 and for generations his ancestors had resided in the fatherland. He acquired his education in the public schools, and in Germany learned the trade of fringe and lace weaving. When a young man of twenty years he determined to try his fortune in America, landing in New York on the day that Zachariah Taylor was elected president of the United States. He then made his way to Baltimore, Maryland, where he had a brother living, and in that city worked at his trade for a year, when, hearing of the rich gold discoveries in California,...

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