Page 557-558, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Mary E. Allen Hartenbower, widow of the late Andrew Hartenbower, deceased, is one of the surviving early pioneers of Butler county who deserves more than passing mention in a work of this character. Mrs. Hartenbower was born in Putnam county, in 1844. Her parents were William and Mary (Fairgreve) Allen, ,the father a native of England and the mother of Scotland, who immigrated to America and settled in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1832. They were the parents of the following children: John E. Allen, Rose, Kans.; Mrs. Mattie Thomas, Hennepen, Ill.; Mrs. Willie A. Stouffer, Hennepen, Ill.; Mrs. Mary E. Hartenbower, the subject of this sketch; James F. Allen, who enlisted in the One Hundred and Fourth regiment, Illinois infantry, in 1861, was taken prisoner at Hartsville by the Confederates and died in a hospital at Nashville, Tenn.; and Mrs. Anna Denning, deceased.

Mrs. Hartenbower was reared in Illinois, and received a good education in the public schools at Hennepen, Ill., and was a teacher for four years prior to her marriage to Andrew Hartenbower, April 2, 1868. Andrew Hartenbower was a native of Illinois, born in 1832. He received a good education, attending the public schools and also the academy at Granville, Ill. He followed farming in early life, and was also engaged in the grain and commission business. Mr. and Mrs. Hartenbower came to Kansas in 1872, and first located at Baxter Springs, Cherokee county, where they remained about six months when they came on west to Butler county and bought a claim on the Little Walnut river, consisting of 160 acres, located south of Gordon, and later added 320 acres on the Big Walnut to the original place. This land is all located on the east bank of the Walnut river. When the Hartenbowers settled here, the place was practically unimproved with the exception of the small two-roomed cabin. Mr. Hartenbower engaged in general farming and stock raising and became one of Butler county's successful and substantial citizens. In 1886 they removed to Douglass to give their children the better educational advantages afforded by the Douglass schools. Mr. Hartenbower died in 1904. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having been affiliated with that order for over fifty years. In his death, Douglass and Butler county lost not only a prominent pioneer, but one of the most valued citizens.

To Mr. and Mrs. Hartenbower were born the following children: Mrs. Willa Mina Anderson, San Antonio, Tex.; Mrs. Mary M. Best, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Allen W., Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mrs. Mattie A. La Port, Newkirk, Okla.; Jerry J., Great Bend, Kans.; Mrs. Byrda A. Stinson, Offerle, Kans.; John; William A., Anna D., and Mrs. Edith Ward, all of Douglass.

Mrs. Hartenbower has seen much of the early life of Butler county, and is capable of relating many of the early day reminiscences in a most entertaining manner. While Butler county has been victimized, mostly


by drouths, Mrs. Hartenbower has a vivid recollection of one instance when they had so much water that they had no place to put it. The Lit-the[sic] Walnut river, after long continued rains, flooded the surrounding country to such an extent that the Hartenbowers could not leave their place by going in any direction. They were patient, however, remaining at home until the flood subsided, and in a few months were fully repaid by a prolonged dry spell. Most of the old timers who lived in that vicinity, when Mrs. Hartenbower and her husband came, have long since passed to their final reward. Mrs. Hartenbower like many other noble pioneer women of the early days of Butler county, will long be remembered for her contribution to the building up of Butler county, and making of it a better place to live.

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