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.

Jesse Deckert

JESSE DECKERT, now living retired at Larned, has spent over thirty years in Western Kansas, and the sum total of his labors and experiences have contributed not a little to the development of this section. He is honored as an old soldier as well as an old settler of Western Kansas, and his life has been a varied and fruitful one.

He is of Pennsylvania German stock and was born in Snyder County, Pennsylvania, November 3, 1844. His grandfather, Peter Deckert, came from Germany. His father, William Deckert, spent all his life in Snyder County, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1911, at the age of eighty-six. William Deckert married Anna Weis, also of German descent. Her father was Solomon Weis.

Jesse Deckert acquired a meager country school education in Pennsylvania. He was about sixteen years of age when the war broke out and the war closed before he reached his majority. Nevertheless he had two enlistments for service in the course of the struggle. He first enlisted in the One Hundred and Seventy-Second Pennsylvania Infantry, under Captain Smith and Colonel Gloeckner. His enlistment was for nine months and his chief work was guard duty at Fort Yorktown. For his second enlistment he went into Company B, One Hundred and Eighty-Fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, under Captain Brown and Colonel Stover. Though he enlisted for one year he served throughout the rest of the war, and much of the time was in the trenches around Petersburg. His regiment was in the First Brigade, Second Corps, Second Division, Army of the Potomac. Though he was exposed to much danger and hardship he was neither wounded nor captured. He was mustered out at Washington, D. C., June 3, 1865, and was discharged at Munson Hill, near there.

In 1868, a few years after the war, Mr. Deckert removed to St. Joseph County, Michigan, and began life there as a young married man on a farm. That was his home until he came out to Kansas nearly twenty years later. He arrived in Kansas with a carload of horses, farm implements and household furniture. As a home he bought the northwest quarter of section 26, township 21, range 15, in Pawnee County, and had that thoroughly improved before he bought the southwest quarter of the same section and was then content with the ownership of this half section of land in his efforts as a farmer. He devoted his land to wheat and corn raising and his success enabled him to retire into Larned in 1906. He now resides at 720 East Eighth Street in that city. Mr. Deckert is a stockholder in the First State Bank in Pawnee Rock. He is a democrat, and his only fraternal affiliation is with the Grand Army of the Republic. He was born and reared in the United Brethren Church but in Larned has become a Methodist, as the city has no United Brethren Society. Both he and his wife take an active part in church affairs.

Mr. Deckert was first married February 15, 1866, to Miss Julia Klein, daughter of John and Lydia (Stombaugh) Klein, of Snyder County, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Deckert died in Pawnee County in 1889, at the age of forty-eight. She was the mother of seven children. George, the oldest, died unmarried at the age of forty-eight. Susan is the wife of Trin DeMoss, of Kansas City, Missouri, an employe of the Frisco Railway, and their children are: Eva, who married Clarence Hines, and has children named Lester and Trin; Edna, wife of Bernard Mapes; Jesse; Ethel; Harold and Hazel. Lydia, the third child of Mr. Deckert, married Lewis Height, lives near Oklahoma City, and their children are Virgil, Cleo, Pythella, Ramona and Ioline. Of these last children Ramona married Fred Smith and has a son, Lewis. John W. Deckert, the fourth child, lives on the old homestead in River Township and his career is referred to elsewhere. Mary is the wife of Jesse Kay, of Kiowa County, Kansas, and they have three children, Cecil, Wayne and Russell. Oliver Deckert lives at Kansas City, Missouri, and married Letha Edwards. Elsie is the wife of Walter Rhynearson, of Syracuse, Kansas, and their children are Chester, Margaret and Leora.

In December, 1901, Jesse Deckert married Miss Lucy Heron. Her father, Robert D. Heron, was a native of Canada and subsequently moved to Woodson County, Kansas, locating near the old Town of Geneva. Mr. Heron died at the home of Mrs. Deckert in Larned in 1908, aged seventy-nine. He was a son of David Heron, who was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, and came when a young man to Canada, where he died at the age of forty-eight in 1830. David was a younger son of a Scotch nobleman, was liberally educated, and was a tutor to "gentleman's sons." Mrs. Deckert's mother was Mary Risley. She was born in Jefferson County, New York, near Clayton. Her father, Edwin Risley, was a mechanic and of Scotch descent. Mary Risley's grandfather on the maternal side was a MacClure of the Scotch Highlands. Mrs. Deckert has three brothers and a sister: J. E. Heron, a merchant at Warland, Wyoming; H. M. Heron, of Hoquiam, Washington, a millwright; R. R. Heron, a former receiver of the Government Land Office at Lander, Wyoming; and Alice, wife of O. Brown, a farmer of Syracuse, Kansas.

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