A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


The German element in our American citizenship has been an important factor in the development of the new world and in the promotion of its material progress. The sons of the fatherland are found in all parts of the United States and the great majority of them are not only law-abiding but also industrious and public-spirited citizens, whose labors are of value to the community with which they are connected. Mr. Holzer, who is now a retired butcher, residing on section 5, Crawford township, Crawford county, was born in Baden, Germany, on the 2d of May, 1844, and is a son of Benedict and Wilhelmina (Viesir) Holzer. The father was a file-maker by trade and followed that pursuit throughout his entire business career. He died in Germany at the age of fifty-one years, while his wife, long surviving him, passed away in 1903 at the advanced age of ninety-two years.

Henry Holzer, whose name introduces this record, pursued his early education in the public schools of his native country and afterward attended night schools of New York city. He remained a resident of Germany until twenty years of age, when he bade adieu to home and friends and sailed for the new world in 1864. He had heard favorable reports concerning the business opportunities afforded by America, and he hoped that he might benefit his financial conditions in this country. Landing at New York he secured a position in a meat market there and also worked at file-making to some extent. After four years he purchased a meat market in New York city and conducted it with success until 1892, when he disposed of his business in the east and came to Kansas. Here he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 5, Crawford township, Crawford county, where he now lives. He has erected thereon a good residence and made modern substantial improvements. In the fall of 1903 his barn was destroyed in a cyclone. He had completed a new one, forty by fifty feet, and this burned also, and his creamery in Girard likewise burned—a heavy loss. The trees of his orchard were also destroyed in the cyclone. Mr. Holzer does not engage actively in farming himself, but rents his land, merely giving his supervision to his property interests. In addition to his home place he owns the opera house in Girard. This property is the visible evidence of his life of thrift and enterprise, wherein his unfaltering diligence and strong determination have been the factors that have won for him creditable success.

In 1867 occurred the marriage of Mr. Holzer and Miss Regina Wick, a native of Germany, and to them have been born two children: Charles, who is now conducting a meat market in New York city; and Henry M., who is a well known business man of Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Holzer is a member of the Masonic lodge of Girard, and he is filling the office of justice of the peace of Crawford township. His home is located about two miles north and a mile and a half east of Girard, and he has two nice dwellings upon his farm. He deserves great credit for what he has accomplished, for he came to America with a five-dollar gold piece, and all that he now possesses and enjoys has been acquired through his own enterprising labors. The hope that led him to America has been more than realized, for he found in this country the opportunities he sought—which, by the way, are always open to ambitious young men,—and through the utilization of surrounding opportunities and by his consecutive effort and well directed energy he has gained for himself a position among the substantial residents of his adopted county and now is enabled to rest from the more arduous duties of business life, the rental from his property being sufficient to supply him with all the necessities and comforts and many of the luxuries of life.