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.

Peter De Boer

PETER DE BOER, the present sheriff of Trego County, has been a business man and capable citizen of Western Kansas all his adult life, and has been identified with the fortunes of Wakeeney for a number of years.

He was born in Lucas County, Iowa, December 23, 1871, and, as his name indicates, he is of Holland ancestry. His father, John De Boer, was born in Holland in 1837. John De Boer grew up there and in 1856, at the age of nineteen, came to America and settled among his countrymen in Michigan. He was there only a few years when he responded to the call for men to put down the rebellion in the southern states, enlisting in 1861 in the Eighth Michigan Infantry. He was all through the war, participating in twenty-one major engagements, including the first and second battles of Bull Run, Shiloh and Gettysburg. At Gettysburg he was shot in the hip and was taken prisoner, but escaped. After that wound he was incapacitated for four months. He was one of the brave men of foreign birth but of true American instincts who earned the gratitude of this nation for their part in winning the Civil war.

After the war Mr. De Boer went back to Holland and married Catherine Rush. She was born in that country in 1843 and is still living at Ellis, Kansas. John De Boer brought his bride to America, first locating in Michigan, then moving to Iowa, and in the fall of 1877 becoming a pioneer in Gove County, Kansas. He was a farmer and stock raiser in that vicinity until 1892, when he retired to Ellis, where his death occurred in February, 1916. He was a republican in politics and he and his wife had four children: Harry, an engineer with the Union Pacific Railway Company living at Junction City, Kansas; Peter, Trego County's sheriff; Lizzie, wife of James Carter, a butcher and merchant at Ellis; and William, a traveling fireman with the Union Pacific Railway at Ellis.

Peter De Boer was six years old when his parents came to Gove County, and here he grew up in the country, had a farm training and was educated in the public schools of Grinnell. At the age of twenty-one he went to work in the railroad shops at Ellis, remaining there four years, after which he was one of the successful farmers of Gove County until 1908. In that year he moved to Wakeeney, for two years was in the real estate business, and in 1910 located twelve miles north of Denver, Colorado, where he farmed two years. Returning to Wakeeney in 1912, he established an ice plant there and has made it a highly successful and important industry. He still owns it, his son Guy being its manager.

Mr. De Boer was elected sheriff of Trego County in the fall of 1916, and in 1918 he had no opposition for re-election. He is a capable peace officer, thoroughly acquainted with the people and affairs of Trego County, and a man in whom there is unbounded confidence. He is a republican, and is affiliated with Wakeeney Lodge of Masons, the Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

In 1891, at Grinnell, he married Miss Joy Eaton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Eaton, both now deceased. Her father was a soldier of the Civil war and for many years was a stockman of Grinnell. Mr. and Mrs. De Boer have four children: Guy, born in May, 1893, a graduate of the Trego County High School and now manager of his father's ice business; Hattie, born October 21, 1894, a graduate of the Trego County High School and a teacher in that county; Thelma, born November 25, 1898, a graduate of the county high school, now the wife of Fritz Staatz of Wakeeney, and Hazel, born July 9, 1904, now attending school at Wakeeney.