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.

Irvin Robert August Meckfessel

IRVIN ROBERT AUGUST MECKFESSEL. The name Meckfessel is one that has been conspicuously identified with stock raising, homesteading and farming activities of Pawnee County since pioneer days. An especially progressive representative of this honored family is Irvin B. A. Meckfessel, who claims Pawnee County as his birthplace. Mr. Meckfessel has farming interests in the vicinity of Rozel.

He is one of the successful Pawnee County farmers who have kept up with the progress of the world's inventions to lighten labor and has introduced the tractor on the prairies. Mr. Meckfessel has been a devoted advocate of the tractor as a means of doing the heavy work of the farm since he bought his first machine in 1913. In his opinion it is an unqualified success and is as economical as it is efficient. Subsequently he bought a smaller tractor in order to draw his lifters, binders and other machinery, and this too has proved a valuable proposition. He estimates that the use of the tractor saves him several dollars a day in feed expense aside from the wear and tear on animals and harness. For breaking land he estimates the expense at a total of 22 cents per acre for fuel, light and grease. When necessary, and during the rush seasons, Mr. Meckfessel has run his tractor night and day.

He is a son of the late Frank H. Meckfessel, one of the pioneers of Pawnee County, whose life's activities were chiefly in the Sanford community. He was born in Illinois in 1849, and had a good education, including a course in a business college. For a time he lived in St. Louis and worked as bookkeeper for a milling company. He arrived in Western Kansas before his brother A. F. Meckfessel of the Rozel community, and in Kansas he abandoned clerical work in favor of farming. He took up a homestead in the southwest corner of Pawnee County, and though he complied with the law as to the development of the claim he abandoned that locality after a few years. He then bought the north half of section 9, township 22, range 18, which was practically raw land. There he spent many years, brought his land under cultivation, improved it with permanent buildings, and produced one of the model farms of the section. At first he was almost exclusively a stock man, but finally took the "wheat fever" and was as successful with that crop as were his neighbors. In former years he was able to get as high as thirty-five or forty bushels to the acre, and from some of his sowings of barley he reaped as much as fifty bushels to the acre. As he prospered he bought more land, including the southwest quarter of section 3, the northwest quarter of section 16, the southwest quarter of section 17, and the west half of the southeast quarter of section 17, and a tract adjoining the town site of Larned, where he spent his last years and where the death of this honored pioneer occurred in 1911.

Frank H. Meckfessel was a quiet, industrious citizen, had no desire for public office, and yet could be depended upon for all those neighborly duties and services which bring a man esteem as a useful factor in a community. He was a member of the Congregational Church, and politically he usually acted with the democratic party.

Frank H. Meckfessel married Sitonia Staude, of German stock and a daughter of Robert Staude. They had six children: Frank, of Albert, Kansas; Irvin R. A.; Enno, a farmer near Sanford, who married Grace Davis; Eugene, of Larned, who married Ella Baughman, daughter of Perry Baughman; Harry, a farmer at Larned, who married Marie Detjen, of St. Louis; and Emma, wife of Albert Webber, of Larned.

Irvin R. A. Meckfessel was born in Pawnee County June 26, 1881. He attended the schools of district No. 12, and his early boyhood was spent on the farm which he still owns. He has farmed intensively and expensively, and has also combined with crop raising the handling of stock commensurate with the land under his control. He now has in his farm five quarter sections, and that means about all he and his hands can manage. In 1914 Mr. Meckfessel threshed over 12,000 bushels of wheat from about 500 acres of land. While in former years he sold wheat as low as 52 cents a bushel, he has also obtained $2.05 a bushel for some of his more recent crops. At the present time he is developing a herd of Hereford cattle. He also has some high grade horses and has also enjoyed profit from his swine. His hogs are the Poland China stock. Mr. Meckfessel has also invested some of his surplus capital in the farmers elevators along the Jetmore branch of the Santa Fe.

As a public spirited citizen he has served nine years as a member of the school board. He is a democrat, he and his family are Methodists, and fraternally he is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World and the Brotherhood of American Yeomen.

Mr. Meckfessel was married in Pawnee County November 5, 1906, to Miss Effie E. Spreier. She is a daughter of Paul Spreier and, a niece of G. Fred Spreier, of Pawnee Rock. Four daughters have been born to their marriage: Stella, Viola, Irene and Elma.

Pages 2372-2373.