Pages 756-758, 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.



John H. Bayer


In no other phase of life can a man better demonstrate his fealty to his country and his loyalty to its interests than in the political arena, for therein is invested the vitality of a nation's power, the mainspring of its internal machinery and the keynote to its progress and prosperity. Among the patriotic citizens of Woodson County who have been closely identified with the Republican party through many years none is better


known or more highly appreciated than the Hon. John H. Bayer, who has twice been elected to represent his district in the general assembly and has filled other official positions. He believes that it is the duty of every American citizen to give his time and attention to public interests and to assist, as far as it lies in his power to do so, in promoting those measures and movements which promote the general good, and thus he has long been an active factor in the ranks of his party in Woodson County.

Mr. Bayer, moreover, is a very successful, enterprising and progressive business man, connected with the agricultural and stock-raising interests of Woodson County. His landed possessions are quite extensive and his home farm is one of the best improved properties in this section of the state.

It is the province of the biographist to trace his career through successful phases down to the present day and therefore we note that his birthplace was in the province of Hanover, Germany, his natal day being April 14, 1836. His father, John A. Bayer, was a wagonmaker, who was born in Saxony, the family home having been near Leipsic through many generations. Becoming a resident of Hanover, he there spent this remaining days, dying at the age of sixty-four years, when our subject was a youth of only thirteen years. The mother bore the maiden name of Sophia Wiettege and died in 1847, leaving two children, John A. and John H. By a former marriage the father had a family of seven children, one of whom, Annie, is the wife of Conrad Herder, of Woodson County.

When only eight years of age John H. Bayer, of this review, began to earn his own livelihood. In the summer he worked hard and in the winter season he attended school. He secured in advance the money necessary to pay his passage to America, and in 1851 he sailed from Bremen on the Humboldt which safely reached the harbor of New York. Mr. Bayer landed in the New World with less than a half dollar in money and that was stolen from him, so that he began life in America absolutely penniless. Money, however, cannot make success altogether. It requires determination, energy and hard work and in those qualities Mr. Bayer was rich. He entered the employ of his brother-in-law in the butchering business and remained in New York until July, 1854, when he want to Charleston, South Carolina, where he clerked in a grocery store. In 1856, however, he returned to New York and sailed for England to visit his brother Godfried Bayer. For six months he remained in that country and then returned to the United States. For four years he was in the employ of Asa T. Child, a farmer at Woodstock, Connecticut, and upon leaving that position he embarked in the butcher business on his own account in New York, in 1860, successfully conducting the enterprise until 1865.

In the fall of that year Mr. Bayer arrived in Woodson County and heated on section twenty-three, township twenty-five, range sixteen. He


has become one of the leading and successful farmers and cattle raisers of the county and is now making a specialty of short horn thoroughbred cattle, having some very valuable stock. His home farm comprises five hundred and two and a half acres of land, all in one body, and in addition to this he owns other farming land in the county. His investments have been judiciously made and he is now in possession of very desirable realty which is constantly increasing in value.

Before leaving the east Mr. Bayer was married in April, 1862, to Miss Dorothea Teleke, also s native of Hanover, Germany. She died in 1876 and is survived by four of her seven children. In September, 1877, Mr. Bayer was again married, his second union being with Augusta Staub, a daughter of Frederick Steffen, who died in Prussia. In 1858 Mrs. Bayer came to Kansas and since 1877 has resided in Woodson County.

Mr. Bayer became familiar with American politics while residing in the fourth ward of New York city the methods of the Democracy there disgusted him and he allied his interests with the Republican party, casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln and since supporting its candidates. He has always taken a deep interest in political affairs in Woodson County and his loyalty to the party and his fitness for public office has won him political honors. In 1877 and again in 1880 he was elected county commissioner, and at the latter election received the unanimous vote of his township, a fact which indicates high standing where he is best known. During the second term he was chairman of the board and made a record for honesty and fairness that has never been surpassed by any incumbent in the office. In 1890 Mr. Bayer was chosen by the Republicans to represent the district in the state legislature and was elected, but was unseated by a Populist house. His fellow citizens at the next election again placed his name on the ticket and he received a pronouncd[sic] majority. He served on eight committees, was one of the working members of the assembly and succeeding in securing the passage of a bill for the establishment of a park in Neosho Falls. He is identified with two organizations indicating his interest in fine stock—the Improved Stock Breeders' Association of Kansas and the Central Short Horn Breeders' Association of the United States. His religious belief is indicated by his membership in the Lutheran church. He has led a busy, useful and honorable life, and over his public career and private record there falls no shadow of wrong.

See added notes supplied by Paula Stockebrand

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