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.

Jacob Achenbach

JACOB ACHENBACH, who well deserves all the fame associated with his work as founder of the Town of Hardtner in Barber County, is still a resident of the community which he has done so much to serve, though he now spends much of his time in California.

He was born in Eppelsheim, Germany, March 20, 1848, and was a boy of five years when his parents came to America and settled in Greene County, Illinois. His father was John Achenbach and his mother was Phillipenie Stinacker. Both the parents died in Christian County, Illinois, the father in 1898 and the mother in 1906. Their children were six sons, Peter, Jacob, John, Philip, Henry and Fred, Philip and John having passed away.

Jacob Achenbach followed farming and stock raising in Christian County, Illinois, and in 1881 moved to Harper, Kansas, and took a claim in Kingman County. In 1884 he moved to Barber County, and he and J. B. Blackstock formed the townsite company of Hardtner. They were the men chiefly instrumental in building the town, but probably the largest share of the credit belongs to Mr. Achenbach. The firm built the railroad from Kiowa to Hardtner, and still owns that road known as the Kiowa-Hardtner-Pacific Railway, of which Jacob Achenbach is vice president. He is also president of the Beaver, Meade & Englewood Railroad, which runs from Forgan to Beaver City, Oklahoma. He is a director in the Hardtner State Bank, was one of its founders, and is a director and stockholder in the Southwestern Elevator Company. He owns the leading store building of the town, and also the postoffice building and several other business houses. He owns a good farm adjoining Hardtner on the west, and at times has owned as much as 5,000 acres of Kansas land and has bought and sold land on a large scale. His home is the best residence in the town. Jacob Achenbach purchased 6,300 acres of the John Hardtner holdings when he settled in Barber County, and he raised the first wheat harvested west of the Medicine River. He became a large and successful wheat grower and an extensive cattle raiser. In 1887 he was a chief factor in the establishment of the postoffice of Hardtner and was appointed its first postmaster. He entered merchandising at once here, and his store gained a popularity immediately and furnished the spirit for the commercial success of the village. The rapid development of this section is due to the work of Mr. Achenbach in building his railroad and securing transportation for the settlers. He is a democrat and a member of the Lutheran Church.

Jacob Achenbach married May 2, 1867, Elizabeth Rathgaber, who was born in Germany March 4, 1848. They have two sons: August E. and Adolph. The latter is a farmer three miles west of Hardtner. He married Anna Heis and has a son, Leonhard, their only surviving child.

August E. Achenbach was born in Illinois in 1868 and since the age of twenty-one has been a farmer and business man in the Hardtner community. He owns 900 acres of land devoted to grain and stock farming and much local property in Hardtner. He married, in 1893, Miss Flora Wilhite, daughter of William Wilhite, who came to Barber County in 1892. Mrs. August E. Achenbach died in California April 18, 1918, the mother of three children: Alma, wife of Elmer Ohlson, Oletha and Esther.

Pages 2435-2436.