Pages 467-468, 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 D. HILDEBRANT—Among the farmers of Allen county who have responded to the spirit of development and shared in the improvement and settlement of Iola township is George D. Hildebrant. He came west before Horace Greeley promulgated his famous advice to young men and the year 1857 found him in Linn county, Kansas. He roamed about over the western prairies and mingled with the Red Man and the pioneers and familiarized himself with the customs and practices of the frontier.

Mr. Hildebrant was born in Morris county, New Jersey, November 13, 1835. He was a son of Jacob Hildebrant, born in Hunterdon county, that State, in 1802 and who died at Paw Paw Grove, Illinois, in 1887. He was one of a large family of children of Jacob Hildebrant, an old German settler of East Jersey. The latter married Anna Slack.

The mother of our subject was Clarissa Emmons. She died in 1849 and is buried at Mendham, New Jersey. In 1850 our subjects father left New Jersey and brought his family westward into DeKalb county, Illinois. His sons and daughters were: Jerome, who died and left a family in New Jersey; Elizabeth, deceased, was the wife of Valentine Wirick; Henry, of Paw Paw Grove, Illinois; Emeline, who married William Griffith, of Ottawa, Illinois, and Jacob, of Aurora, Illinois.

George D. Hildebrant was reared and received a fair education about the town of Paw Paw Grove, Illinois. There was a Seminary at that point then and he attended it as a climax to his career as a school-boy. He learned the trade of a carpenter by working with others, and until he became deeply absorbed in farming, he made this his vocation. His final entry into Kansas was made in 1871 when he stopped in Linn county. In 1874 he came over into Allen and invested his scant means in a quarter section of railroad land, in section 35, town 24, range 17. His improvement of it was at first exceedingly slow for he had no means save what his trade and a rented farm would furnish him. In 1876 he was enabled to move to his farm and to begin the cultivation of a small patch which he had fenced. With the lapse of years he has discharged all his early and


burdensome obligations, has added to his acreage largely and has reared a large family and surrounded himself with the comforts of a well-ordered home.

In 1860 Mr. Hildebrant was married in Illinois to Mariettta[sic] Firkins, a daughter of Asahel and Harriet Firkins. The children of this union are: James A. Hildebrant, who married Eliz Kidney; Ella, deceased, married H. E. Billbee and left a family of six children; William Hildebrant, with the Santa Fe Railway Company at Independence, is married to Sadie Kidney; Jacob A. Hildebrant, with the Santa Fe Company at El Paso, Texas, is married to Minnie Reed; Charles Hildebrant, a Santa Fe man at Independence, Kansas; Clyde Hildebrant, with the Lanyon Zinc Company at Iola, is married to Myrtle Pinneger, Barney E., Garfield, Jesse and Clarissa Hildebrant, residing on the homestead.

In political action Mr. Hildebrant and his sons are Republicans. In the way of establishing his claim to such political brotherhood he cites the casting of his first ballot for the party's first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont. He had just returned to Illinois from his first Kansas trip in 1860 when the quadrangular campaign of that year was being fought and he voted for Lincoln. In all he has cast a dozen ballots for Republican candidates for President and has lost only three of the twelve. In religious matters Mr. Hildebrant is allied with the Methodists. He holds his membership with the congregation in Piqua and renders it his conscientious support.

Previous | Home | Next