Pages 676-677, 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.




FRANK H. BERNDSEN, who for twenty years has followed farming in Owl Creek township, Woodson County, was born in Holland, September 26, 1844, and is a son of Herman H. and Elizabeth (Sherman) Berndsen, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father died in 1854, at the age of thirty-five years, and his wife passed away in 1853, when also thirty-five years of age. They were the parents of seven children, but only two are now living, the younger being Mrs. Mary Iming, of Illinois.

Frank H. Berndsen was brought to America by his parents in 1847, when only three years of age, the family locating in Illinois, where he was reared and educated. He learned to speak, read and write both the English and Germany languages, and in early life became familiar with the work of the farm. In 1865, when twenty-one years of age, he responded to the call of his adopted country for aid, enlisting as a member of Company F, One Hundred and Fiftieth Illinois Infantry with which he served until the close of the war.


After receiving an honorable discharge he returned to his home and with the money he had saved in the army he began merchandising in Damiansville, Ill., where he carried on business for ten years. That gave him his start in life and since then he has steadily advanced on the high road of prosperity. In 1881 he came to Kansas and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of raw prairie land upon which he now resides, the place being located a mile south and one mile west of Piqua, in Owl Creek township. The land is rich and productive and everything upon the farm is in good condition. In addition to the raising of grain he engaged in stock raising, making a specialty of cattle, horses and hogs, and for these he finds a ready sale on the market.

While in Illinois, Mr. Berndsen was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Stroad, a native of Germany, and after they had resided in Kansas for eight years she was called to her final rest, dying on the 5th of September, 1886, at the age of thirty-two years, leaving to the care of the husband their six children, namely: Harman H., Benjamin H., John H., Frank H., Fred J., and Anna E. On the 13th of September, 1887, Mr. Berndsen was again married, his second union being with Gesina Heidothing, a native of Germany, a widow with one daughter, Agnes Eixler. They are well known in the community where they reside and are highly esteemed by their friends. Mr. Berndsen is a Democrat in his political views and is a member of the Catholic Mutual Benefit association, in which he carries one thousand dollars insurance, while two of his sons each carry a like amount. He has found Kansas not only a pleasant place of residence but a profitable field of labor, giving a free return for unflagging industry when guided by sound business judgment.

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