Pages 665-666, 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. WALTERS, who has been actively identified with the development of the west and who is familiar with all the experiences of the pioneer on the plains, was born in the Province of Luebeck, Kingdom of Hanover, Germany in 1849 and with his parents came to America in 1853, settling in Cincinnati, O. He is a son of John H. and Elizabeth Wilmering Woltermann. They were the parents of five children, of whom our subject was the fourth in order of birth, he remained with his parents until thirteen years of age and then left home to make his own way in the world. He has since been dependent entirely upon his own resources and certainly deserves great credit for what he has accomplished.

Mr. Walters remained in Cincinnati where he worked at anything that he could get to do until he had an opportunity of learing[sic] a trade. When the chance came he began learning the business of manufacturing trunks and followed that pursuit until the latter part of the Civil war. In 1864, although only fifteen years of age he became connected with the army, joining the Fourth United States Cavalry as a clerk for the sutler of that regiment with whom he remained until the close of the war. He then hired as a messenger to the quartermaster at Nashville, Tenn., acting in that capacity until affairs were all adjusted in that locality. During the Wilson raid he took the place of soldier, carrying a musket and saw some arduous service. On the road between Earlton and Montgomery he was captured and held for days, on the expiration of which time he succeeded in making his escape, working his way back to the regiment.

When the war was over Mr. Walters returned to Ohio and four months later he accompanied some land dealers to Missouri where he engaged with Owen, Fisher & Company, proprietors of the stage line, working as a utility man, performing any service required by the company. He was frequently sent from place to place on various kinds of business. After working for a year for the stage company he went to Leavenworth, Kas., and herded the town cattle. In the fall of 1869 he volunteered to go West to fight the Indians under General Carr, as a teamster for the Seventh United States Cavalry. He drove the mess wagon for Company S. and remained on that expedition for six months, after which he returned to Leavenworth and again engaged in herding cattle through the summer. In 1870 he went to the southern state line and secured a claim in the new strip of land opened at that time for settlement. After eleven months,


however, he sold that property and came to Woodson County, where he purchased a claim upon which he resided for seventeen years with the exception of two years at Fort Scott, making good improvements upon the place. In 1890 he disposed of that property and purchased his present farm, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of good land. The farm is situated a mile and three quarters northwest of Vernon, and he has a very pleasant home, surrounded with a nice grove of maples. All the modern equipments and conveniences are found upon the place, and the neat and thrifty appearance indicates the careful supervision of a progressive owner. He keeps on hand about thirty head of cattle and raises good crops, feeding most of his corn to his stock.

On the 14th of October, 1877, Mr. Walters was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Jane Withers, a native of Illinois, a daughter of William and Eliza (Rich) Withers, the former a native of Illinois and the latter of Ohio. They came to Kansas in 1871, when Mrs. Walters was thirteen years of age, and the father died in 1894, at the age of sixty-three years while the mother is still living in Yates Center, at the age of sixty-one. Of their children six sons and six daughters yet survive. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Walters have been born ten children, nine of whom are living: Frank, Fred, Ralph, Arthur, John, Jennie, Edward, Ellen and Stanley. In his political views Mr. Walters is a Republican and has filled the office of justice of the peace in Everett township, but has never been an aspirant for the honors and emoluments of public office, preferring to devote his time to his agricultural interests for the benefit of his family. Starting out in life a penniless boy at the age of thirteen he now stands among the substantial agriculturists of Woodson County, the possessor of a comfortable competence and rich in the possession of the warm regard of many friends.

Previous | Home | Next