Page 833-834, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Henry Sensenbaugh of Hickory township is a pioneer stockman of Butler county and a prominent factor in that line of industry. Mr. Sensenbaugh was born in Pennsylvania, July 23, 1849, and is a son of Paul and Sarah Sensenbaugh, natives of Pennsylvania, the former born in Bedford county, September 8, 1825, and the latter born June 21, 1825. The following children of this couple are still living: Mrs. Mary E. Campbell, Morrison, Okla.; Joseph, Reno, Nev.; and Henry, the subject of this sketch.

Henry Sensenbaugh's parents left their native State in 1850, when Henry was about one year old. They came down the Ohio river on a packet boat and ascended the Mississippi as far north as Rock Island, Ill., and located on a farm in Henry county, Illinois, about forty miles east of Rock Island. Here Henry was educated in the public schools and in early life "followed the river" and when he was twenty-two years of age, he became second mate on the "Lizzie Gardner," a well known Mississippi river boat in those days.

In 1873 Mr. Sensenbaugh came to Kansas and settled in Hickory township, Butler county. He located on 160 acres of land and after getting four ponies, one of which was a spotted one, he proceeded to break his prairie land. His outfit might have seemed more appropriate in a circus parade, but he succeeded in tilling the soil and raising a crop with them. He also used oxen in the early days and frequently drove to dances with his ox team outfit. They had to start early and the method of transportation was slow, but the party no doubt enjoyed themselves as well as if they had gone in an automobile and surely for a longer time in going the same distance. When Mr. Sensenbaugh came to this coun-


ty, prairie chickens, antelope, deer and wolves were plentiful. He was hunting deer one day with a Mr. Huston, and shot at a deer which he wounded, and afterwards found that it was a pet, belonging to Mr. Huston. On one occasion, Mr. Sensenbaugh hired a pony at Wichita to drive to Whitewater in the night, where his father lived, and the pony gave out on the way, and Mr. Sensenbaugh was carrying considerable money and did not wish to he delayed. He found a mule picketed along the trail. Taking the mule and leaving his pony and a note, saying that he would return the mule the next morning at eight o'clock, he proceeded on his journey. He lived up to his written promise, and returned the mule the next morning and all was well.

Shortly after settling in this county Mr. Sensenbaugh engaged in buying hogs which usually cost him about one dollar per head. He shipped about two thousand, and he and his pardner made about $17,000 on this project. He had always raised cattle and also dealt quite extensively in them and for some years has made a specialty of raising Aberdeens. He now owns 360 acres of land which is well watered and an ideal stock farm.

Mr. Sensenbaugh was married in 1888, to Miss Ester Rose Guy. She is a daughter of B. F. Guy who came from Missouri with his family to Butler county and homesteaded 160 acres of land. The father died in 1914 and the mother now resides in Leon, Kans. They were the parents of the following children: Melvin, Leon, Kans.; Mrs. Cora Harper, Newkirk, Okla.; Edward, Sacramento, Cal.; Ester Rose, wife of Henry Sensenbaugh, the subject of this sketch; John, Bartlesville, Okla.; Frank, Leon, Kans.; Mrs. Daisy Carter, Greely, Col., and Fred, Keighley, Kans.

The Guy family were early settlers in Butler county and Mrs. Sensenbaugh relates many interesting incidents of pioneer days. She tells of one time when one of the old fashioned prairie fires was sweeping over the plains and the barn caught fire. Her mother, who was home alone, endeavored to get the horses out of the barn, but she was unable to get them out of the door. However, she succeeded in leading them out of a hole which the animals had eaten in the side of the straw barn. It will readily be seen from this that the straw barns of the early days had their advantages, as well as other features. Mr. and Mrs. Sensenbaugh have three children, as follows: Mrs. Francis Shinn, Mrs. Elizabeth B. Montgomery and Frederick P., all of whom reside in Butler county in the vicinity of Latham.

Previous | Main Page | Biography Index | Next

Pages 833-834,