Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 657-658 transcribed by Lyndona Anderson, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on December 1, 2000.

Gottlieb Frederick Espenlaub

GOTTLIEB FREDERICK ESPENLAUB. An able representative of the horticultural interests of Wyandotte county, Gottlieb Frederick Espenlaub, living on the Shawnee road, in Shawnee township, is one of the most extensive and successful fruit growers in this part of the state, having some fine bearing orchards. A native of Germany, he was born, August 19, 1837, in Wurtemberg, coming from a highly respected family.

His father, William Espenlaub, spent his entire life in the fatherland, dying in Wurtemberg at the age of forty-two years, in 1841. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Meyer, was born in Germany in 1802. About twelve years after the death of her husband she immigrated to the United States, bringing five of her six children with her, and joined her other child in Evansville, Indiana, where he had previously settled. She lived but two years after coming to this country, her death occurring in Indiana in 1855.

Gottlieb F. Espenlaub was but four years old when his father died, and but sixteen when he came with his mother and her little family to America. He remained in Indiana until accustomed to the ways and manners of his new home, when, about 1861, he came to Kansas in search of a favorable place in which to locate, and for six years resided in Doniphan county. Subsequently spending a year in Jackson county, Missouri, Mr. Espenlaub came, in 1868, to Wyandotte county, leased a piece of land on the Shawnee road, Kansas City, and started a nursery, making a specialty of fruit growing. In 1871 he bought twenty acres of his present property, and subsequently purchased forty acres more. He has since sold twenty acres to his son, and now has title to forty acres, all of which is highly improved and under culture, the entire place being devoted to the raising of fruits, of which he has every variety that will thrive in this climate. When he first assumed possession of his land it was in its original wildness, and his first improvement was the building of a two room frame house for himself and family. In 1882 Mr. Espenlaub erected a mansion-like brick structure just in front of his old home and cemented it to the small frame building, making a commodious dwelling, which, with the spacious grounds ornamented with native grown trees, makes one of the most charming and attractive homes in this part of the county.

Mr. Espenlaub takes an active interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of town and county, and for upwards of a quarter of a century was a member of the school board. He was for seven years a member of the township board, and from January, 1904, until January, 1908, was county commissioner.

Mr. Espenlaub married, December 20, 1863, in Doniphan county, Kansas, Elvira Gromer, a daughter of William Gromer, who was employed during the Civil war as a teamster between Leavenworth and New Mexico. Mr. Gromer married Elizabeth C. Raney, whose mother was a Cannon, and a near relative of ex-Speaker Joseph G. Cannon, of Illinois. The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Espenlaub, namely: Elizabeth, who married J. E. Hughes, of Kansas City, Missouri, and passed to the higher life in January, 1911; William, of Kansas City, Kansas; Albert, living at home, and having practically the care of the place; Bertha, at home; David, living on a portion of the home farm; Helen, wife of George Morrison, lives at home with her parents; and Grace, wife of Clyde Leavengood, a druggist in Rosedale.

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