Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.

Peter Dresia

PETER DRESIA. During the month of August, 1857, there came to America, in the stream of emigration from Germany, the gentleman whose name is at the head of this review, who lives on the southwest quarter of section 16, township 32, range 23, in Ross township. He was born in Germany on January 17, 1825, and is a son of Francis and Agnes (Wimmer) Dresia. His father was a farmer all his life, which was spent with his wife in Germany. Peter Dresia is one of seven children as follows: William, Mathias, Peter, Anton, Henry, Cathrena, and Petronella. Of all this family, Peter is the only survivor.

Mr. Dresia was reared in the "Fatherland" and attended the schools of Germany, France, and Italy. He worked on the farm while yet a young man. He served for three years as an officer in the Prussian Army, and was in the war of 1848, where he received two wounds. He is the proud possessor of a medal of honor, for faithfulness in the service under King Frederick Wilhelm IV. He was in several battles, among them being those of Frankfort, West Baden and Mogerstorm. In 1852 he left the army and went to Rome. He was there nearly four years, studying for the Catholic priesthood, and at the same time studied medicine. He had to abandon his studies because of ill health, and went to he mountains for three months.

As before stated, the subject of this sketch came to America in 1857. He did not come directly to Kansas, however, but stayed in Cleveland, Ohio, for three months, and then went to the country for his health, as his lungs were weak. A little later his father was taken sick, and sent for him to come back to the old country. He stayed there for four weeks and then returned to the United States. He again went to Ohio and farmed for two years. Thence he went to Lenawee County, Michigan, where he stayed for three years and farmed. From there he went to Nashville, Tennessee, and operated a truck garden. Mr. Dresia then turned his face Westward, and 1871 found him in Cherokee County, Kansas, where he was the first settler in his section. This section was wild land at that time. Mr. Dresia put up a small house and at once began to improve his farm. The people of the present day can hardly imagine that where his farm stands, with its first-rate farm house and buildings, and well tilled fields, was a bare prairie 30 odd years ago.

Mr. Dresia was married in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1859 to Christine Pickol, of Germany. To their marriage have been born eight children, as follows: Wilhelmina, wife of George Eades, of the Indian Territory; William, a farmer of Ross township; Herman, of this county; Frank, a miner of Ross township; Christina, of Ross township; Elizabeth, deceased, who was the wife of Joseph Gordan, and two infants, a son and daughter, deceased.

Besides his farm, which he now rents, the subject of this sketch formerly had 80 acres more, but sold that much of his estate. He also has town lots in Jacksonville, Florida, and in Miami, Indian Territory, and is interested in a lumber yard in Columbus.

Mr. Dresia has been a school officer and road overseer. He is a member of the Republican party, and belongs to the A. H. T. A. The Catholic Church has always found him a ready supporter, financially and otherwise. He always keeps a stock of medicines on hand, and doctors his own family.

These pages will serve to acquaint the reader with the main facts in the history of Mr. Dresia, but any of his close friends and neighbors will tell of many little acts of kindness, for which the whole community respects and esteems him. A picture of Mr. and Mrs. Dresia, taken with two of their children, accompanies this sketch.

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