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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H. W. Raber

H. W. RABER, a harness-maker of Parsons, Kansas, stands well to the front among citizens and business men of prominence of that city, which has been his home for nearly a quarter of a century. Mr. Raber was born in 1845, in Stark county, Ohio, of which county his parents were also natives. His mother, whose maiden name was Catherine Kreighbaum, died in 1895, having reached the age of sixty-five years. His father, Leonard Raber, has passed his seventy-sixth milestone, and is still living at the old homestead in Stark county, Ohio; he visited H. W. in Kansas several years ago. Eight children were born to him and his wife, of whom H. W. is the eldest, and the only one of the family who lives in the West, except one brother, Oliver P., who is a prominent druggist in Indiana; the rest of the children remained in their native county. Their ancestors originally lived in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Raber attended the common schools, and early commenced light farm work. When of suitable age, he became apprenticed, learned the painter's trade, and followed that occupation for a period of fifteen years. His last work in that line was done at Parsons, Kansas. April 4, 1881, he left his native state, and settled in Labette county, Kansas, where he farmed for four years, and during the two years following was engaged in the loan business. In the summer of 1889 he purchased the interest of J. C. McGinnis, now deceased, a pioneer business man of Parsons, Kansas, who at that time was the senior member of the firm of McGinnis & Calvert, harness-makers, then doing business at No. 1827 Johnson avenue. This business was continued at the old stand, under the firm name of Calvert & Raber, until 1895. The senior member of the firm then sold his interest and removed to Topeka, and Mr. Raber continued the business alone. He carries the finest and most complete stock of harness and leather goods in the city; in addition to which he has a full line of surreys, carriages, buggies, saddles, etc. His stock is estimated to be worth $4,000, and occupies a building 20 by 100 feet in dimensions. The business established at this stand was among the first of its kind in Parsons. Mr. Raber employs two expert harness-makers, and fills all orders for any style of harness, saddles, and ordinary leather goods. his energy, probity and shrewdness have not only won for him the respect and esteem of his fellow citizens, but have caused his business to prosper, and enabled him to purchase a fine residence at No. 1500 Forest avenue.

Before leaving his native state Mr. Raber was united in marriage with Sarah A. Shanafelt, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Shanafelt, prominent Ohioans. Mr. and Mrs. Raber have one daughter, Mrs. Gertrude R. Wiley, of Joplin, Missouri. Politically, Mr. Raber is a Democrat, and as an active, enterprising citizen takes a deep interest in everything tending toward the public welfare. Both he and Mrs. Raber are prominent in fraternal circles. The former is a member of the Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen of America, while the latter affiliates with the Fraternal Aid, and is president of the Parlor Reading Circle, of Parsons. Both are members of the First Presbyterian church, and in them Rev. 0. E. Hart finds willing assistants in any worthy cause.