Transcribed from Biographical history of Barton County, Kansas. ; Illustrated. Published by Great Bend Tribune, Great Bend, KS : 1912. 318 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, July 2006.

1912 Biographical History of Barton County, Kansas


and then it would be up to the Stafford county chairman to quickly announce a change of vote from Findlay to Walters. Had the Stafford county folks had any idea of this intention they could easily have brought about the nomination of Walters.

One of the most prominent men in the early history of Hoisington was A. S. Cooke, who was the cashier of the first bank established in the town. Mr. Cooke was not one of the first men in the town but was one of the pushers when he did come. It was through him that the writer was first induced to locate in Hoisington in February, 1889. Mr. Cooke took an active part in all things of a public nature and was a very social fellow. After retiring from the bank he became interested in the lumber business with the late Henry Wildgen. Soon after the hard years in the nineties he sold out his interests and went to Plttsburg to take charge of the Pennsylvania business of a Chicago electrical supply business. I am informed that he has prospered greatly in his new home and now has his country home, two automobiles and his city residence. While in this county he was active in Masonic circles but has since renounced all allegiance to secret orders and is now a devout and active worker in the Catholic church, his oldest daughter having taken the veil in that church.


W. W. Winstead

THERE are few men who had more to do with the early history of Barton County, and especially that part of it that has to do with the City of Great Bend. He was the second sheriff of Barton County and filled the office of city marshal of Great Bend at a time when it required a man of strong nerve and a determined nature to deal with the vicious element that made up a part of the town's population. He was born in the little town of Dukedom, Tenn., in 1844, and came to Barton County in 1873. He married Miss Georgia Stone, a daughter of T. L. Stone for whom Stone street was named. She, with her sister, were the first young ladies to arrive in Great Bend. Mr. and Mrs. Winstead were the parents of three children as follows: Wirt W., who died when he was 24 years of age; George M., who for some time was in the jewelry business in Great Bend, but about a year ago moved to Hutchinson and established one of the largest and most complete stocked jewelry stores in this part of the country; Thomas E., who is proprietor of the Duncan Bottling Works in Great Bend. Mrs. Winstead's father ran the old Southern hotel which, when it was first built, was known as the Drovers Cottage, and was the first building on the townsite of Great Bend. At this time Mrs. Winstead was 15 years of age and her two sisters, who are now Mrs. Honnen and Mrs. Crath, were 5 and 13, respectively. Mr. Winstead was deputy marshal for some time and in all his public duties proved himself a man whose nerve enabled him to deal with delicate conditions with forethought and determination. He had to deal with some mighty tough characters during his terms as marshal and sheriff but the evil-doers learned that Mr. Winstead was a man who placed his duty above everything else. He was a kind and considerate father and his death, which occurred a few years ago, caused a great deal of sorrow among his relatives and friends who knew him for a man in every sense of the word.


THE improvements just completed at "Wheat Valley Farm," the home of John Evers, 12 miles west of Great Bend has made such a change in its appearance that one hardly recognizes it as the same place, although the land is just as rich and the same care has been given to the cultivation of the crops. A large two story frame, containing ten rooms and a kitchen, has taken the place of the former residence, and it will stand as a monument to the skill of Mr. Evers as a carpenter for many long years, as


he has been both its architect and builder. That it is swell built, and that the lumber of its construction is first class is an admitted fact, because Mr. Evers served an apprenticeship at the builders' trade in the Old Country before coming to America, and then worked as a journeyman carpenter for a number of years. Since coming to Kansas he has worked at his trade while farming, and has kept in touch with the improved methods in vogue in this country. He therefore felt that he was competent for this task and the building stands to prove that he made a just estimate of his ability. The barn, sheds and other outbuildings are in keeping with the home and care for the grain and stock of the farm. There is an abundance of shade and the whole presents a beautiful appearance.

John Evers was born in the Province ot Hanover, Germany, on May 11th, 1857. He worked on the farm and at his trade until March 5th, 1882, when he came to America and first settled in Nebraska City, Nebraska. There he again farmed and worked at his trade, but in May, 1893, came to Barton County, Kansas, and purchased the one hundred and sixty acres where he resides. He also owns a half section in Pawnee County which is farmed by his son John Herman Evers. He was married in June, 1884, to Miss Johanna Ekhoff, of Germany, and thirteen children have blessed them; all of whom remain at home and assist the parents except John Herman, who is married and lives on the farm in Pawnee County.


Amend Bros., Sanitary Dentists

IN writing the different articles for the history of Barton County and Great Bend, there is none that is more a story of success and enterprise than this one, which recounts the building up an establishment of which the people of Great Bend and Barton County, as well as those of surrounding counties, are justly proud. This establishment is known as the Amend Brothers Dental Parlors which are located over 1417 1-2 Main street. Those who visit the parlors for the first time, after having become accustomed to the ordinary dentists' office, are compelled to exclaim, "Wonderful!" And it is wonderful when it is taken into consideration that without any attempt at flattery, or stretching the imagination it can be truthfully said that nowhere in the state of Kansas nor in Kansas City or St. Louis, can there be found a dental parlor that will excel the Amend Brothers establishment when it comes to completeness of equipment., sanitary methods or general beauty and convenience. The firm of Amend Brothers consists of Walter A., Eldon R., and Leslie L. These young men are sons of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Amend, who were early settlers in the eastern part of Kansas, having come to this state from the state of Missouri.

Mrs. Amend was left a widow twenty-two years ago and it is largely due to her guidance and pride in her boys that they have made a success in their work.

Walter was born in Brown County, Kansas, in 1884, and when he arrived in Great Bend in 1901, he accepted a position in the dental office of A. D. Raffington. In 1905 he graduated from the Western Dental College of Kansas City, Mo., and shortly after he had received his diploma he opened the business that has since grown to its present importance. In 1907 Eldon R. Amend received his diploma from the same college and joined his brother, Walter, in the parlors in this city. Eldon was born in Iowa, in 1877. Leslie L. became a member of the firm in the spring of 1912. He graduated from the same college where the


other members of the firm studied and mastered their profession. Leslie was born in Missouri, in 1882, and received his diploma from the above mentioned college in 1906, and before coming to Great Bend practiced at Sterling, Kansas. Associated with the Amend Brothers in their business are: Dr. Fred C. Pressl and Dr. Roy R. Johnson, both of whom are well fitted to maintain the reputation of the parlors. In addition to enjoying an extensive local practice representatives of this firm make frequent and regular trips to towns surrounding Great Bend and Barton County where the Amend Brothers' quality of dental work is well known and appreciated. These towns are locaied on the Santa Fe railroad as far west as Garden City and as far east as Geneseo on the Missouri Pacific and to Ness City on the latter road, and as far south as Pratt. Within this radius there are forty towns which are regularly visited and where this firm's practice is steadily growing as a result of modern methods and painstaking, careful attention. The Amend Brothers Dental Parlors in Great Bend are furnished with everything known to the modern practice of dentistry. The furniture is of mahogany, while the walls are finished in pure white with green trimmings. Three operating booths are equipped with the finest instruments which are kept clean and sanitary by the most advanced methods. The instruments used at the parlors are of the modern kind, many of them being operated by electricity and they are the kind that reduces pain to a minimum and makes operations that were formerly painful almost devoid of any unpleasant sensation. Every appliance that will in any way add to the up-to-dateness of the parlors have been supplied by the firm regardless of expense and time. It is indeed fortunate for the people of this section of Kansas to have an establishment of this kind in Great Bend, because when they seek treatment at this modern institution they can do so with the knowledge that no matter how far one may travel or to whatever city they might go better treatment cannot be found nor can one have higher class work done at more reasonable prices.

Amend Bro's Sanitary Dental Parlors. Photos by Dirks.


THERE are very few old timers of this county who do not know the Mecklem family, as it is one of the families that arrived here in 1870. The subject of this sketch, L. G. Mecklem, is a son of G. F. Mecklem, who it will be remembered was killed in a cyclone in 1900. He with his family came to this county in the fall of 1870 and he located on the northeast quarter of section 3, Buffalo township, while L. G. later homesteaded the northwest quarter of the same section. L. G. now owns 400 acres of land all in Buffalo township, except 80 acres, which is in Eureka township. He was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and came to this county with his parents. He was married to Miss Rheta Wilkins and to this union there were born two children, Ira, 32 years of age, and Jennie, 30 years of age. The former is a wheat buyer located at Heizer and Jennie is now Mrs. Henry Boyle, and resides on Blood creek, in this county. Mr. Mecklem survived his first wife and in 1886 was married to Miss Clara Baldwin in this county. They are the parents of three children as follows: Mollie, 21 years of age, is now Mrs. Walter Wallerstedt of Lynsburg, Kansas; Marie, 17 years, and Bess, 14 years of age, are residing at home. The home place is beautifully located on the south bank of Walnut creek. The residence which contatins[sic] eight rooms, in addition to closets, pantries, etc., is surrounded by shade trees and shrubbery. The barn is 32 feet square and the other outbuildings are well built and commodious. Altogether Mr. Mecklem has one of the best improved and


most attractive home places to be found in that township. He maintains a small orchard and a good grade of live stock and is one of the best known farmers in that section of Barton. He has held township and school board offices and always takes an active part in any movement that he thinks is for the benefit of the community in which he lives. One thing of interest about Mr. Mecklem should be mentioned. He is the author of the famous Heizer Yacht Club notes that have been running in the Tribune for the last three or four years.


THE pioneer photographer of Great Bend is Jake Miller who still operates a studio on Broadway a few doors east of the federal building. Mr. Miller was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, June 16, 1848. He came to Great Bend in 1872 and soon after his arrival opened a photograph gallery and nearly all the well known old timers have posed before Mr. Miller's camera. Many of the illustrations of the old time scenes and people in this book are cuts made from photos furnished by Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller helped to set the type from which the first newspaper in Great Bend was printed. He was married in 1878 to Miss Carrie E. Rankin and they are the parents of two children: Leon, who is now a telepgaph operator employed by the Associated Press at St. Joseph, Mo., and Anna, who is now Mrs. David Gordon of this county. Mr. Miller was well acquainted with the old timers and pioneers of this section of the state and knows a great deal about the early history of Barton County, he is one of the men who helped to make it.

Early Picture of First Photographer, Jacob Miller


JOSEPH H. TROILLET was born December 21, 1843, at Bagnes Valais, Switzerland, of French parents. He was married in March, 1881, to Miss Anna Bobeck and they were the parents of three girls: Lillian, Elsa and Alma. Mr. Troillet arrived in Barton County in 1873 and was, therefore, among the pioneers of this section of Kansas. His first business venture was a tailor shop which he and his brother, Francis Troillet, opened. This partnership continued for some time after which Mr. Troillet opened a French restaurant which he conducted until 1887, when he established a cigar factory and confectionary story on Forest avenue, opposite the postoffice, in a building which he erected in 1876. Mr. Troillet was always known as an enterprising, progressive citizen and always took a part in any movement that had for its purpose the betterment of the community in which he lived. The confectionery store is now being run by his daughters and there are few if any of the old timers who will not remember Mr. Troillet and the part he took in the upbuildlng of Great Bend and Barton County. Mr. Troillet was one of the original organizers and directors of the Citizens National bank and was also one of the largest stockholders. Mr. Troillet's death, which occurred on February 24, 1911, was a great shock to the community and he was sincerely mourned, not only by his relatives, but by scores of friends in all parts of the state of Kansas. Mr. Troillet survived his wife who died August 10, 1908. The Troillet girls, Lillian, Alma and Elsa are well fitted to look after the different business interests left by their parents. Lillian was married in July, 1912, to Ernest Frey. The girls are among the best known in the younger society set of the county, all of them being accomplished musicians, Lillian being a singer of exceptional ability. Mr. Troillet was one of the best known pioneer business men of Great Bend and before his death had the satisfaction of seeing the town and county reach a place of importance which was made possible by the early struggles of the pioneers of whom he was one.



City Residence of W. H. Kerr.

Farm Residence of W. H. Kerr

WILLIAM HENRY KERR was born at Toulon, Illinois, January 20, 1855. He went with his parents to Missouri when he was about one year of age and it was in the latter state that he was raised and received his early education. Mr. Kerr came to Kansas from Missouri in 1876 and located in Barton County. He first took up a tree claim and pre-emption in Beaver township, the former being changed to a homestead. At this time there was but one family in that township which was not then known as Beaver but was included in another township. Mr. Kerr was married August 30, 1881, to Miss Florence P. Lindsay of Bunker Hill, Kansas, and they are the parents of eight children, six of whom are living. One of the children died in infancy and Albert was killed by lightning June 29, 1900, when he was 12 years of age.

The remainder of the children are: Mary Belle, who is now Mrs. Clarence Markel; Winifred, who is employed by the Merrit-Schwier Creamery as stenographer; Ethel Florence, who is a stenographer and is em-

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