This is a collection of short biographical sketches submitted by individuals with a link to the Researcher. You are invited to send appropriate sketches of early Atchison County residents for inclusion on this page


Atchison County Kansas Bio Sketches 


William D. Kistler, prosperous farmer of Shannon Township, is descendant of good old Pennsylvania Dutch stock, and has lived in Atchison County for thirty-six years. He came to this county from his ancestral home in Pennsylvania in moderate circumstances, if not actually a poor man and during that time has accumulated a fine farm of 200 acres which ranks among the best and most productive farms of the County. The little shack in which he and his family lived when they first came to Kansas has been superseded by a handsome and comfortable residence and great shade trees have grown up around it. The modest "eighty" in which Mr. Kistler invested all of his small capital on his arrival here has grown steadily with substantial additions from time to time as he was enabled to purchase adjoining tracts. A large red barn alike shows evidence of thrift and good management on the part of the proprietor.

W. D. Kistler was born in Lehigh Co., PA, December 5, 1853, a son of Nathan J. and Catharine (DIETRICH) Kistler, both of whom were born in the adjoining county near Lehigh County. Nathan J. Kistler was born April 6, 1811, and died September 11, 1878. He was a son of Jacob S., who was a son of Samuel Kistler, whose father, John George Kistler, emigrated with his wife, Dorothia, from Germany and settled in Pennsylvania early in the eighteenth century, arriving in Philadelphia October 5, 1737. Nathan J. Kistler was a captain of state militia and died at the old home in Lehigh County. Two brothers of W. D. and a sister out of a family of nine children settled in the west. After his public school training, Mr. Kistler attended the Kutztown, Pennsylvania Normal School and prepared himself for the teaching profession. He taught school in his native state for four years, after which he clerked in a general store for four years previous to migrating to Kansas. He left the old home in Pennsylvania in 1879 and came to Atchison Co., KS, investing in an eighty-acre tract in Shannon Township which he gradually improved. The small house which he first erected was gradually enlarged as the needs of his family demanded more room and his means permitted. In 1883 he erected the present handsome home, which is one of the most attractive places in the township. Mr. Kistler raises cattle, horses and hogs and feeds his grain products to the livestock on his farm, thus managing to keep up the fertility of his acres and being able to market his farm products in the most profitable manner.

He was married in 1876 to Ellen BROBST, who was born in Lehigh Co., PA, in 1853 a daughter of Daniel and Lydia (KUNKEN) Brobst, of Lehigh Co., and whose ancestry came from Germany. They are the parents of five children: Mrs. Alice BUNNELL, of Lancaster Township, this county; Anna, wife of Samuel DU BOIS, also of Shannon Township; Calvin, a farmer, residing at the Du Bois home and assisting in the management of the farm; Bertha, wife of James DOOLEY, residing in Shannon Township; William, at home, married Catharine WOLTERS.

Mr. Kistler is a Republican in politics, but he has never been an office seeker or sought preferment at the hands of his fellow citizens. He is affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workman. He and the members of his family stand well among the neighbors and are highly esteemed by all who know them.

Taken from:

History of Atchison County, Kansas

by Sheffield Ingalls - 1916

Submitted by:

Clemi Higley Blackburn, July 2001

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Last updated 7/18/2001

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