Pages 319-320, 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 N. OHLFEST—Among the residents of Kansas who are of foreign birth is numbered John N. Ohlfest, who is a native of Holstein, Germany. The days of his boyhood and youth were passed in that land, and his education was acquired in its public schools. In accordance with its laws he served in the German army, was in the Schleswig-Holstein war between Denmark and Germany and was three years in Denmark as a soldier. In 1855 he came out of the army. Hearing of the advantages offered young men in America and thinking to better his financial condition on this side of the Atlantic he crossed the briny deep in 1857 and took up his residence in Valparaiso, Indiana, where resided his brother Carl, who had come to America the year previous and who sought a home in Kansas in 1870. He is now a neighbor of our subject. The latter engaged in the butchering business in Valparaiso, Indiana, and was married there in 1861, to Anna Dora Urbahus, who was also born in Holstein, Germany, and came to the United States in 1858. The year 1870 witnessed the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Ohlfest in Kansas, and since that time he has devoted his energies to the development of his farm, which, at the time of his purchase was a piece of raw prairie land, entirely destitute of improvements. Not a furrow had been turned, but he at once began the work of plowing and planting, and in the intervening years he has developed a valuable property, complete with all the accessories and conveniencies of a model farm.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Ohlfest has been blessed with six children, namely: Mrs. Mary Davis, who is living in LaHarpe; Otto, a railroad employe located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was a soldier in the Spanish-American war, Company I, 157th Indiana Volunteers; Minnie, who is at home; Emma, wife of Dr. Hooper, of LaHarpe, and Albert Frederick, who is also under the parental roof. John died in 1877 at the age of eight years. The family have many warm friends in the community and their


circle of acquaintances is an extensive one. Mr. Ohlfest has always given his political support to the Republican party, and keeping well informed on the issues of the day is able to support his position by intelligent argument. In religious belief he is a Lutheran. He left the little German home across the sea to become identified with American interests and in the new world he has found the opportunity he sought for advancing in life to a position among the substantial citizens of the community in which his lot has been cast.

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