Page 303, 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.




GEORGE W. HESS, well known and highly esteemed in Humboldt, and one of the recent additions to her citizenship, was born in Canton, Ohio, July 27, 1838. His father, Christian Hess, was born in Baden, Germany, and came to America with his parents when seventeen years of age. He was married to Barbara Shutt in Canton, Ohio, a lady born on the line between Germany and France. Christian Hess followed shoemaking and died in December in the year 1861, aged forty-eight years. His wife died in 1891 at the age of seventy years. Six of their children survive: Mary, wife of J. B. McBroom, resides in Defiance, Ohio; John Hess, of Defiance, Ohio; Sarah, wife of Joseph Blanchard, of Defiance; Frances, wife of W. St. Amont, of Defiance; Rosella B. Hess, of Defiance, Ohio, and G. W., of Humboldt.

For a number of years Mr. Hess was in the grocery business in Defiance, Ohio. While there he married Frances Kestler, born in Henry county, Ohio, and a daughter of Francis and Elizabeth (Fonder) Kestler, both German born. Mrs. Hess was born February 19, 1844, and was one of five children, viz: Elizabeth P. Sterns, of Belphis, Ohio; Adam Kestler of Nevada, Missouri; Margaret, wife of John Schwartz, of Defiance; Mary, wife of John Bohman, of Ludlow Grove, Ohio, and Mrs. Hess.

Mr. Hess came to Kansas in the spring of 1872 and took a claim in Butler county. At that time there were plenty of indolent and loafing Indians in the county and they made regular pilgrimages about the country begging flour (not corn meal) and meat and in this way provided largely for their physical needs. In 1884 Mr. Hess sold his Butler county farm and moved into Allen county. He purchased a small farm joining the townsite of Humboldt and has builded up one of the beautiful and attractive country homes of the township. He devotes his time to the growing of fruit and "small farming," generally and everything is kept in perfect order.

Mr. and Mrs. Hess' family of nine sons is one of the remarkable circumstances of their lives. They are Frank E., of Iola. Kansas: Joseph F., of Humboldt, Kansas; Charles A. and William A., of Humboldt, of the Hess Drag Company, (the latter is married to Maggie Heim); George J., of Telluride, Colorado; Henry J., of Iola; Frederick A., Walter I. and Lewis B. are at home.

Mr. Hess has demonstrated his business success as a citizen. He has reared his large family, educated them liberally and has amassed a competence sufficient to provide him against want in his decline. He has not preached politics nor entered into serious advocacy of the cause of any local politician but he does vote and, in national affairs, the Democratic ticket.

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