Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

William N. Birrer

WILLIAM N. BIRRER has had a rather wide range of business experience and has lived in Western Kansas over thirty years. He has prosecuted his business affairs effectively and has been frequently honored by his fellow citizens. He is now mayor of Atwood and also manager of the Chicago Lumber Company there.

Mr. Birrer was born at Riverside, Iowa, March 1, 1875. His grandfather, Martin Birrer, came from Germany and was a pioneer farmer in Johnson County, Iowa, where he was drowned near Riverside before his grandson William was born. George Birrer, father of William N., was born near Riverside in 1853, was married there, and in 1885 came to Western Kansas and homesteaded a quarter section at Grainfield. Later he sold this farm and moved into Grainfield, where he followed the business of carpenter and where he is still living. For many years he has served as coroner of Gove County and was re-elected for another term in 1918. He is a Catholic and a democrat in politics. George Birrer married Josephine Rummelhart. She was born near Riverside, Iowa, in 1856, and her father, F. X. Rummelhart, is still living there, a pioneer farmer now retired. He was born near Hamburg, Germany, about ninety-three years ago. George Birrer and wife have the following children: William N.; Edward, a carpenter at Grainfield, Kansas; Clara, wife of Charles Cooper, a farmer in Gove County; Robert, with his parents; Kate, wife of John J. Stubbs, a farmer near Grainfield; Frank, a carpenter at Grainfield.

William N. Birrer was ten years old when brought to Kansas. His early schooling was acquired in Iowa and he also attended the schools of Gove County. At the age of eighteen he left home, and his first important experience at earning his own living was as a teacher. He taught four terms in Gove County. For five years he was a printer and newspaper man connected with the Hoxie Sentinel. He also clerked in a store at Hoxie. In 1902 he removed to Lincoln Center and for two years was foreman in the office of the Lincoln Republican. On returning to Hoxie he entered the lumber business as assistant to the Foster Lumber Company, was there one year, and in 1905 located at Atwood, which has become his permanent home. He has since been manager of the George D. Hope Lumber Company, and when that yard was sold to the Chicago Lumber and Coal Company in August, 1905, he continued as manager, and has built up a large and successful business extending all over the surrounding county.

He was elected mayor in April, 1917, and has also served as city clerk two years. Mr. Birrer is a republican, and is affiliated with the Masonic Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter, Knight Templar Commandery, all at Atwood, and also the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America in the same town. Mr. Birrer owns a modern home built in 1916. He married at Atwood in 1907 Miss Agnes Beck. Her mother, Mrs. Mary Beck, is still living in Atwood. To their union have been born four children: Grace, born October 31, 1908; Irene, born May 9, 1911; Burrkan, who died at the age of five months; and Ivan, born March 24, 1918.

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