Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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J. Christian Appich

J. CHRISTIAN APPICH, owner and proprietor of the largest and best meat market in Parsons, Kansas, has also the distinction of being the oldest butcher in that place. He is a German by birth having been born at Rottenburg, Germany, in 1844. His parents, J. C. and Anna Appich, both of whom are deceased, never left the fatherland. They were the parents of the following nine children: Christopher, J. Christian, Jacob, John, Andrew, William, Frank, Fredericka, and Caroline. Andrew was killed during the Franco-Prussian War. Jacob is a retired butcher of Washington, District Columbia, where John is still a prosperous baker. The others are married and live in their native land.

In 1864, Mr. Appich came to America, in company with his brother Jacob. He had received a practical education in Germany, where he had also learned the butcher's trade. After landing in the United States, the brothers proceeded to Washington, District Columbia, where a butcher shop was established by them, in which the subject hereof worked for some time. He subsequently went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained a couple of years, and afterward proceeded to Fort Scott, Kansas, on a prospecting tour. Having saved a few hundred dollars, it was his desire to go to New Orleans, but he abandoned the idea on account of the prevalence of yellow fever in that city, and finally decided to locate permanently in Kansas.

In 1869, before the city of Parsons was founded, he located in Labette county, at a little village then called Ladore, formerly known as Fort Roach. He followed his chosen calling for a couple of years in the employ of Conrad Hingle, now a retired butcher of Parsons. In 1871, Mr. Appich assisted his employer in moving the butcher shop from Ladore to its present site of Parsons. It was shanty placed there, and was located the thitd door west from the corner of Johnson and Central avenues. Mr. Appich continued to do business there as a journeyman, for about one year, and afterward worked in a similar capacity for Dent & Coon. In the fall of 1873, he decided to embark in business for himself, and accordingly opened a butcher shop on Central avenue, leasing the plot of ground and erecting his own building thereon. He did a prosperous business for four years. He then sold his business, at a very fair profit, to Mr. Flickery, for whom he bought and butchered stock for more than two years. Subsequently, he worked for Mr. Ratliff, an Englishman, at similar work, and afterward, for J. L. Harvey, there being four butcher shops then in the fast growing town of Parsons.

By this time (1883), Mr. Appich had saved a considerable sum of money, with which he purchased a lot and erecting a building, again engaged in business for himself on the west side of the railroad track. In 1892, he had the misfortune to lose his shop by fire, but still owns the lot. Undaunted, he found a more desirable location, directly across the street from his present shop, where he rented a building and again engaged in business; at the same time, he began the erection of the building he now occupies, which was completed in 1893. This building is a large and imposing structure, located at 1920 Johnson avenue. It is 75 by 25 feet, in dimensions, and contains two stories and a basement. The upper story is rented out for office rooms. The remainder is occupied by Mr. Appich, who has the entire basement fitted with meat choppers, sausage grinders, etc., all operated by steam. He employs five workmen, has the largest and best equipped meat market in the city, and handles all kinds of fresh meat, poultry, fine sausages, bacon, fish, etc., and also the "Armour" bacon and hams.

Mr. Appich owns a fine residence at 1521 Washington avenue. He was united in marriage with Lizzie Merchant, of Parsons, a daughter of Francis Merchant, a Frenchman, who was a baker by trade, and kept a restaurant. Mr. Merchant was a finished linguist and spoke seven different languages with fluency. The mother of Mrs. Appich was of German birth, while Mrs. Appich, herself, was a native of Booneville, Missouri, where she was born in 1854.

Five children bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. Appich. They are: Annie, Frank, J. Christian, Jr., Harry, and Irene. The eldest is now the wife of Mr. Hart, a stationary engineer, of Parsons, and has one son, Frank. Fraternally, Mr. Appich is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America; his wife is a member of the auxiliary lodge, and has held one chair. They are both members of the Knights & Ladies of Security. Mr. Appich carries a beneficial policy in the A. 0. U. W., and was one of the first to join that lodge in Parsons, although not a charter member. He was formerly a Democrat, in politics, but has experienced a change of opinion, and now votes the Republican ticket. The family attends the different churches, giving the preference, however, to the Christian church. Aside from his own business ventures, Mr. Appich has devoted energy, good judgment, and money to the furtherance of the city's interests, and the promotion of all worthy enterprises connected therewith. He deserves great credit for his untiring efforts in this direction. We are pleased to be able to present on a foregoing page a portrait of Mr. Appich, engraved from a recent photograph.