Pages 387-389, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




WILLIAM LEWIS BARTELS, retired, of Iola, whose presence has been conspicuously recognized in the business and social world of Allen county for the past forty years, is one of the remaining pioneers of


Kansas whose business career almost spans the history of his county and whose life, filling with years, has been crowned with the reward of honest, earliest and intelligent effort. He has not simply been in the county but distinctly of the county and, while he has witnessed most of the events of importance that have happened here he has caused some of them to happen and knew that others were going to happen. He had arrived at the age of responsible citizenship when he first saw Allen county and was equipped with a fair education, a good constitution, an abundance of energy and a good name. This combination, carefully guarded, will win in the race of any life and, when its cares have been laid aside, it can not be said that "it was all in vain."

"Lew" Bartels was burn in Muskingum county, Ohio, May 11, 1842. He is a son of Christian Bartels, born in Hanover, Germany, in 1808. The latter was a miller's son and, in 1835, came to the United States. He has a brother, Lewis, who resides at Gypsum, Kansas, and another brother, Henry, who remained in Germany. Christian Bartels learned the tailor's trade in his youth and his first work in this country was done in Philadelphia. He located at Zanesville, Ohio, about 1840 and was there married to Sarah Pryor, whose parents were among the first settlers of that community. In 1831 he went to Bureau county, Illinois, and located in Sheffield. He had undertaken farming in Illinois and, feeling cramped for room and with the expectation of getting a "claim," he came to Kansas in 1860. He pre-empted a quarter section on Onion Creek, on the south line of Iola township and died there in 1878. His widow died in Iola in 1898. Their children are: Amelia, widow of Jesse VanFossen, of Humboldt; Mary, died single; W. L.; Margaret, wife of D. B. Stephens, of Iola; Sarah, who married Robert L. Travis, of Humboldt, Kansas; Thomas M., a leading merchant of Iola.

Among the first things that Lew Bartels encountered on coming to Kansas was the Civil war. It was no trial for him to meet his obligation in this matter for he was a strong believer in the union of the states and cowardice was not a part of his makeup. He enlisted August 10, 1861, in Company G, Ninth Kansas, Colonel Lynde; and the first thing that was done was to raid the Rebels and Bushwhackers who sacked Humboldt. They were overtaken at Cabin Creek and a battle ensued. The fellows who burned Humboldt also came in for a raid and the Ninth did its duty toward them. The Ninth spent the winter of 1861 on post duty at Humboldt and the next spring it was marched to Leavenworth, Kansas, and mounted. It took the Santa Fe trail for Fort Union, New Mexico, guarding the overland stage line against the Indians and Rebels. The regiment returned to Leavenworth the same fall and Company G did provost guard duty around the city till the spring of 1863. The regiment guarded the southern border of the state and chased Quantrel's band of guerrillas in Missouri the greater part of the year. General Joe Shelby's men were encountered at different times in his feints on Kansas City and north Missouri. The spring of 1864 the Ninth Kansas was ordered toward Little Rock and had many brushes with the Confederates in Arkansas. Our subject enlisted as a private and


was discharged at Duvalls Bluff, Arkansas, January 6, 1865, being a sergeant and having seen three and one-half years of service.

Mr. Bartels tilled the soil the first four years succeeding the war. He went into Degenhart's harness shop at Humboldt, learned the trade and the business and spent three years there. He came to Iola in 1874 and opened a shop and did a thriving business in the old building on his present business corner till 1885. He was then appointed Deputy Revenue Collector for fourteen eastern Kansas counties. He officiated in this capacity four and a half years and acquitted himself with credit to himself and with great satisfaction to the government. Upon the election of Harrison the Deputy force resigned in a body and, in reply to his letter of resignation his chief sent Mr. Bartels the following:

"In terminating our official relations I desire to say that I have always considered the business of the Second Division in safe hands, and to thank you for your care and fidelity in the discharge of your duties. Your selection and appointment has never caused me a regret. I hope your prosperity and happiness in future may equal your individual merits."

Retiring from the revenue service Mr. Bartels established himself in the hardware business and his house became one of the popular places of business in Allen county. He conducted its affairs most satisfactorily till April 1899 when he sold his stock and retired from active business. During the year 1898 he erected the "Bartels Block," a two story brick 22x120 feet with basement and the following year his brick residence, on East Madison avenue, was erected, and he thus becomes the owner of two of the most attractive and substantial structures in the city.

March 22, 1863, Mr. Bartels was married in Allen county to Sidney, a daughter of John B. Tibbetts, who was driven out of Missouri in 1861 by the Rebels and came over into Allen county. Mr. Tibbetts was a shoemaker and was born in Massachusetts. He married Miss Amy Wood.

Mr. and Mrs. Bartels' children are Ida H., wife of Eli Wharton, of Iola, Kansas; Josie, wife of B. C. Potter, of Iola; Rosie, wife of Edward Langford, of Iola; William Z. Bartels, who married Jessie Webb; Ollie, Maud and Jessie Bartels.

The Democracy of the Bartels' is proverbial. Their adherence to the principles of the ancient and honored faith is constant. William L. has been twice honored with election to the office of Mayor of Iola, first in 1882 when he was chiefly concerned in getting the Missouri Pacific Railway to build into Iola, and second in 1892 when he gave the city a business administration.

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