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.

A. W. Hershberger

A. W. HERSHBERGER, a resident of Kiowa County for thirty years, has distinguished his residence there by a great diversity of labors and interests, and is widely known not only in his home locality but over various sections of the state. Mr. Hershherger conducts the largest abstract business in Kiowa County, is a former representative in the State Legislature, and has long been prominent in fraternal matters.

He was born near Adamstown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, December 7, 1867. His paternal ancestors came from Germany to Pennsylvania in colonial days, and the first of the name received a grant of land in Lancaster County from William Penn. Jacob E. Hershberger, father of the Greensburg citizen, was born in Lancaster County in 1818, spent many years of his life there as a farmer, and in 1880 moved to a farm in the rich and populous district of Wayne County, Ohio, where he lived until his death in October, 1887. He was a republican and a member of the Evangelical Church. Jacob Hershberger married Sarah A. Dennis, who was born in Lancaster County September 3, 1824, and died in Wayne County, Ohio, in April, 1887. She was a daughter of Irish-English parents. Mr. Dennis married Miss Breckenridge. The first two children of Mr. and Mrs. Hershberger were twins who died in infancy, and Kate, Samuel and Susan have since died. John is connected with an implement house at Wooster, Ohio; D. D. is in the elevator and grain business at Broadway, Ohio; M. L. is deceased; and S. C. is a farmer in Wayne County, Ohio.

A. W. Hershberger, the tenth and youngest of the family, received his education in the rural and graded schools of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and Wayne County, Ohio. He was only eleven years of age when he earned his first regular salary by working in a hat factory at Adamstown, Pennsylvania. He put in about three years at that occupation. After 1882 he worked on farms while attending school in Wayne County, Ohio. In 1889 he taught a term of school in Ashland County, Ohio, and in October of the same year sought bigger and better opportunities in the West and was among the early settlers of Kiowa County, Kansas. Here he worked on farms and also taught school. There was a growing appreciation of his abilities and experience as an educator, and from 1895 to 1899 he served as county superintendent of schools. After that he again taught in Kiowa County one year and for another year was principal of schools at Greensburg. An experience during the years 1891-92 gave Mr. Hershberger a practical knowledge of the abstract business, and in September, 1900, he capitalized his experience by establishing his present offices at Greensburg, where he has developed the largest abstract concern in Kiowa County. His offices are in the Hershberger Building on Main Street. It is characteristic of his energetic disposition that, though a very busy man, he has found time to participate in public and fraternal life. He served as mayor of Greensburg, and gave that city a splendid administration of its affairs during 1905-07 and again from 1911 to 1915. He was elected to represent Kiowa County in the State Legislature in 1914 and re-elected in 1916. During the session of 1915 he was chairman of the committee on cities of second class. During both terms he was on the committee of education, and in the session of 1917 was on the ways and means committee, chairman of the committee on public indebtedness, and a member of the fees and salaries committee.

Mr. Hershberger served three times as worshipful master of Greensburg Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, is a member of Kinsley Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Hutchinson Council, Royal and Select Masters, Dodge City Commandery, Knights Templar, Wichita Consistory No. 2 of the Scottish Rite, and Greensburg Chapter of the Eastern Star, of which he is a past patron. He is perhaps most widely known as an Odd Fellow. He is past grand of Greensburg Lodge, past grand master of the Grand Lodge of Kansas, and represented that body in the national gathering at Seattle, Washington, in 1909 and at Atlanta, Georgia, in 1910. He is also a member of the Odd Fellows Encampment and the Canton, and Greensburg Lodge of Rebekahs. Other fraternal affiliations are with Greensburg Lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is a member of the Topeka Booster Club. In politics Mr. Hershberger is a democrat.

During his residence in Kansas he has acquired some valuable property, including a farm of 320 acres in Seward County, and also a farm of similar extent in Texas County, Oklahoma. In 1911 he built one of the best homes in Greensburg.

In 1896, at Greensburg, Mr. Hershberger married Essie A. Parcel, daughter of Albert and Emma O. (Bolton) Parcel, both now deceased. Her father was a carpenter. Mr. and Mrs. Hershberger have three children. Arthur W. graduated from the University of Kansas Law Department in June, 1918, and is now building up a law practice at Greensburg. Crystal is a senior in the Kiowa County High School, and Helen is in the junior class of the same school.

Pages 2425-2426.