Page 644-645, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


John F. Betz, a prosperous farmer and stockman of Fairview township, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1861, a son of Jacob and Mary (Roule) Betz, natives of Germany, the former of Baden, and the latter of Alsace. They came to the United States when young, and they were married in Cincinnati, January 4, 1851, and resided there until 1864, when they removed to Lima, Ohio. In 1872, they came to Kansas and located at El Dorado, reaching here March 22, 1872. Here the father engaged in the hotel business, conducting the Ohio House, which stood on North Main street where the Long-Bell lumber yard is now located. Owing to depression in business, and extended credit, Mr.


Betz failed, and was practically penniless. He had bought a relinquishment from Tom Young, a stage driver, who had homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 25, and in the spring of 1873, the Betz family moved to this place, where the parents spent the balance of their lives. The father died June 27, 1902, and the mother departed this life March 11, 1909.

John F. Betz was one of a family of five children, and was about eleven years of age when he came to Kansas with his parents. He was always industrious and ambitious, and even when his father kept the Ohio House, he established himself in the shoe shining business, and in that way, saved considerable money for a boy of his age. The Betz family were poor when they settled on their claim, and it required the greatest industry and closest economy to get a start. Finally, by the co-operation of John, with his parents, they succeeded in acquiring a yoke of cattle and some farming implements, and proceeded to break their prairie. John F. Betz has herded cattle for $3.50 per month in the early days, but he was of the type of young men who work for anything they can get, when unable to get their price. He was bound to do something. After the death of his parents, John purchased the interest of the other heirs in the estate, and later bought 320 acres of land and now owns 480 acres, which is one of the best farms in Butler county, and he is well-to-do, and one of the substantial men of Fairview township.

Mr. Betz was married in 1913 to Mrs. Myrtle Beach Kappes. She is a daughter of N. J. and Gertrude (Pierce) Beach, and is a native daughter of Butler county. Her father was a native of La Grange county, Indiana, and came to Kansas in the seventies. Her mother was a daughter of Martin Pierce, and came to Kansas from Illinois with her parents, and her father homesteaded a claim in Fairview township. Mr. Betz belongs to that determined type of pioneers who started life under difficult circumstances, and, by force of industry and business ability, has succeeded. He is a staunch supporter of the policies and principles of the Republican party, and takes a keen interest in local affairs. He has served on the school board and held the office of constable. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at El Dorado.

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