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The writers of this booklet wish to dedicate it in memory of all the people who made Stuttgart, Kansas the little town to remember, for all the good things they accomplished in the first one-hundred years. Also those people who patronized Stuttgart in that period of time.
Their firm trust in God, their German energy and the thrift of our people made all this possible.
May God grant us the same perspective in the future as that of the past.
Elda Mae Hanke
Harold C. Dusin
Date: June 11, 1988
Four of our early settlers came to Kirwin, Kansas in the year 1872. They were M. Miller, Leo. Merklein, M. Merklein, and Geo. Veeh. They came here from Marshall County on foot. Kirwin was the place where they got corn. This was their main food that they ate, causing much indigestion.
Just imagine in your mind the deep silence and peace that rested over the region of north-central Kansas.
There was plenty of wildlife: antelope, herds of buffalo, prairie chickens, quail, beaver, porcupines, wolves, and the dreaded rattlesnake. You could hear the gobble of the wild turkey. Occasionally you would find a deer or elk. The creeks were alive with fish.
These travelers picked out the best fertile land. They entered their names in the land register of the land office, and they at once set out to build their dug-outs and cabins. They were usually built by the creek. Deer Creek was the most popular. They used logs and lumber they cut down from the trees along the creek.
In the spring they went back to Marshall County to earn money. On their return trips they had acquired wagons and oxen.
Geo. Veeh tried to take away a calf from a buffalo cow. He didn't have time to load his gun, so he took the stock of the gun and hit the cow over the head, breaking the stock. He spent a half day sitting in the tree waiting for the herd to leave.
The Omaha and the Sioux Indians roamed the area. They hung a dead child from a tree limb. George Veeh buried the child, and the Indians took after him. He ran all the way to Fort Bissell.
Prairie fires were another danger the settlers had to contend with. Mrs. Kate Miller and Mary Hemrick Dusin were left alone on the homestead or claim their men had signed for. When the fire broke out some cowboys in the area came and helped put the fire out.
Mary Hemrick Dusin was baking bread and an Indian walked in the door carrying a tomahawk. He asked for a loaf of bread, so she gave him one. A little later two more came, and asked for two more loaves. Later three more came, but she didn't have any more. She offered them flour which they refused. They became gruff and began swinging their tomahawks. John Miller arrived at the scene and saw a revolver in the room, and he got them quieted down, and they left.
When the Indians broke camp they took a mare and a colt, but somehow they got loose and returned home.
In March of 1873, Mr. & Mrs. Fred Hoff arrived from Marshall County. The 12th and 13th of April there was a terrible blizzard, killing people and stock.
More and more settlers were arriving: J. Bach, F. Krafft, Geo. Krafft, Geo. Weinman, M. Preuss, F. Veeh, J. Merklein, J. Vogel, H. Schuck, L. Stepper, M. Weinman, and Geo. Merklein. Some of these men were married, and others still single. Some of them came from Marshall County and some from Germany.
On the 13th day of March, 1881, the formal organization of the Stuttgart Church came to pass and the above named signed the constitution which Pastor Hast had drawn up. They adopted the name of: Evangelical Lutheran Emmanuel Congregation on the Deer Creek, Phillips County, Kansas. Michael Preuss donated a parcel of land close to the cemetery property for the church to be built on. Some of the other acreage was purchased from Mike Miller.
In 1885 the congregation met a long felt need when a church was built. It included a small residence for the pastor under the same roof. The building was 40 feet by 22 feet, of which 10 feet by 22 feet was reserved for the pastor's residence. The lumber had to be hauled from Orleans, Nebraska, which was 25 miles away. The dedication of the church was celebrated with great joy. Many more became members.
The original town was named Wagnerville, located in the northeast E½NW¼ Sec. 22 3-19. It was established in 1876. There was a store and postoffice. Mrs. Chas. Mueller was the postmistress, the only daughter of Isabelle Wagner. Wagnerville was discontinued July 13, 1883.
The Rock Island and Pacific Railroad played an important part in locating the town of Stuttgart.
Stuttgart is located in Mound Township in Phillips County, Kansas. It is named after Stuttgart, Germany where many of our settlers originally came from.
A large part of the land was owned by Mike Merklein. Other tracts of land were owned by Annie Sprague, Jermish Coursan, Henery Sherman, Mike Nugent, Martin Kistner, James Smith, Leo. Merklein, A. Spaulding, and George Veeh and wife.
George Veeh and wife, Margaret, purchased land and tracts from the Kansas Town and Land Co. He was the person who laid out the whole town of Stuttgart.
The coming of the railroad, manpower, and the use of horses and mules were needed. Many of the settlers worked at these projects, thus earning money to improve their living conditions. It was then that the little town of Stuttgart was brought into existence as the trading center. At this time much of the area was still unbroken prairie.
Small fields of grain were broadcast by hand, and harvested by cradles and fanned by hand. Corn was planted with a hand planter or hoe. With the coming of the railroad there were better communications with the towns and cities of the east, and better markets for their products.
As the settlers had the opportunity of earning more money, better tools and horse drawn machinery could be purchased. More land could be tilled.
In 1888 the first postoffice was established. Postmasters were George Veeh, Feb. 6, 1888; Martin Kistner, Aug. 10, 1900; Paul Bethke, April 1, 1905; James Smith, May 29, 1912; Leota Smith, May 13, 1914; Ida Smith, Sept. 26, 1918; Wm. Devries, April 6, 1920; August M. Veeh, Nov. 19, 1923; Annie Bethke, Jan. 23, 1948; Elaine Jacobs, June, 1982. Delores Vogel is the present postmistress, beginning in 1985.
STORES OF STUTTGART
George Veeh General Merchandise
The George Veeh General Merchandise Store was the first store in Stuttgart. It was opened in 1887 when the railroad was being built through the town. In those days the stores just handled the bare necessities such as sugar and salt. Most of the flour was milled in Kirwin. The women sewed all of their clothing, so all sewing supplies were much in demand.
George and Margaret Veeh operated this store until 1900. Some of their children clerked in the store. Their children were: John, Winnie, Anna, Mary, Margaret, Richard, Emma, August, Martha, Edward, and Clara.
George and Margaret then sold it to Martin Kistner. Martin and Margaret had their home in Stuttgart. Martin operated it for several years. They had three children: Helen, Ella, and John.
Paul Bethke purchased the business in 1903. They built their home in Stuttgart. Paul and Winnie operated the business for about ten years. More and more supplies were added to the merchandise from available markets back east.
Paul and Winnie had three children: Paul, August, and Linda. The store was then sold to Mr. Hopper.
The next person to purchase this store was William Grote. He and his wife Minnie made their home in Stuttgart, and operated this store for several years.
They still were the owners when the building burned to the ground. William and Minnie had three sons: Edwin, Hilbert, and Harold.
William Grote purchased a building site on Nov. 24, 1916, just south of the present bank. This was known as the William Grote General Store. He ran the business for a number of years. Annie (Miller) Ehm worked as a clerk there. On May 26, 1923 he sold it to August C. Veeh and August M. Veeh who started a partnership known as Veeh and Veeh.
Veeh and Veeh was operated by August M. and Alma Veeh. The store was soon known as a grocery store. Flour, sugar, spices, canned goods, meat, bread, candy and fruit were sold there. As many women did much sewing, quilt piecing and guilting was a very popular pass time for them. They sold a good line of cotton material for this purpose.
Eggs and poultry were sold at the Veeh and Veeh store. Customers traded their commodities for other products needed. The men always needed their smoking and chewing tobacco. Just east of the store was the building that housed the chickens until a truck would pick them up. The eggs were kept to the back of the store. Freida (Merklein) Eltiste and Nettie (Smith) Grote were the clerks who were employed there.
Also in this store the postoffice was located. They ran this from Nov., 1923 to Jan. 23, 1948.
August M. and Alma Veeh had one son, Victor. August C. and Alma Veeh had two children, Alvin and Marie.
The store was sold in Oct., 1947 when it was purchased by Herman and Selma Zillinger. Ohildren of the Zillingers were Joyce, Donna, and James, later were Louie and Margaret. Elsie (Merklein) Post was a clerk.
In August 1948 Herman sold it to Lester and Dorothy Navis. They operated the business for several years, selling it to Paul J. Beyerlein, who operated the store with the help of his daughter, Erna. In Dec. 1979 he sold the building to the Farmers State Bank.
In this building was the location of the "Stuttgart Antiques and Collectibles", which just this year, 1988, closed their doors. It was operated by Ken and Wanda Dieckhoff. Ray and Eileen Dieckhoff were in partnership until September 1987.
Farmers Union Store
Around the year 1916, A. George opened the west store known as the Farmers Union Store. It was also a general merchandise store. Minnie (Kellerman) Bach was the clerk who worked at this store.
There were many who operated this store: Schafer, Williams, Bertholf, Bugbee, and Herman Kellerman who as a boy nailed together egg cases. A few years later George Miller and Herman Kellerman formed a partnership, naming it the Kellerman and Miller store. Elsie (Kellerman) Fickes was the clerk who worked there.
In 1928 Herman and Wilma Kellerman bought out George Miller's share of the store, and were in the business for the next fifty years.
The store was a general merchandise business with all kinds of canned goods, vegetables and fruits. Bushel baskets of fresh fruit were shipped in for home canning. Flour, sugar, spices, cereals, all sorts of cleaning supplies, etc. were available. They had a good assortment of medicine to cure the common cold, cough syrup, and cough drops. At Christmas they had a good assortment of candy and nuts. They handled Christmas trees and cards as well as all-occasion cards. The clothing department had overalls, coveralls, jackets, gloves and caps. A good name for the store would be "mini-supermarket"
At one time LaVergne (Higby) Cox was a clerk. Herman and Wilma had two sons, James and Willis.
Tom and Elaine Jacobs purchased the store from Herman and Wilma. They operated the store for a few years, and also had the postoffice in this store. Tom and Elaine have four children: Cory, Shad, Angie, and Crystal.
The building was sold to Leonard Pfortmiller, who is using it for a storage building and workshop.
The hardware store operated by John Vogel, or also known as J. H. Vogel, was built by George Veeh in the year 1901, some in 1905. In 1906 a structure was built on to the main building, and later an addition was built in the back.
Items sold in the store were: fly nets, horse collars, felt pads, bull whips, rope lariats, horse grooming tools such as currycombs and brushes.
All sorts of household equipment such as pots, pans, brooms, buckets, cream separators--Delaval and Malotte.
Rifles, shotguns, Daisey B.B. guns and shot, and blasting powder. All kinds of garden tools, axes, wedges, and carpenter tools. Knives of all sorts--pocket, butcher, and table. Also bicycles, tricycles, and scooters.
Windmill heads and towers, pump jacks, pipe and cylinders, gasoline engines, stock water tanks.
Barbed wire, smooth wire, staples, nails, bolts and rivets. These were displayed in a metal turntable.
Also sold were grain binders, headers, wagons and wagon boxes, and corn scoops. There was no electricity or any kind of power machinery. All farm work was done with horses and mules.
At that time no reports had to be made out, no sales tax, or inventory tax. Just personal property tax had to be paid.
Due to ill health the store goods was sold out on March 4, 1920. Some hardware stock was traded for 240 acres of Jewell County land near Burr Oak, Kansas, to a man who was a stove company salesman. They in turn had Aaron "Red" Prinsen and Cy Warner run the store.
There were 12,000-15,000 people living in Phillips County at this time. The highway was routed through Stuttgart, and quite a number of gypsies traveled along this route. John had a wooden club shaped like a bone of an ox (from the knee to the ankle). He dabbed a few red spots of paint on the end of it. When the gypsy women and kids came into the store he would go to his desk and wave it and they would run from the store as though they were hit by lightning.
Richard Veeh operated the store for a while, and then Phil Zillinger. Paul Kellerman worked there.
Albert Schra was the next to run the store. They had their living quarters in the rear of the store. They ran it a number of years. He put in the "Phillius 66" gas pumps. When the Schra family quit, the next one to own and operate it was Marmer Bethke, changing it to the Bethke Building and Construction Co.
Marmer and Annie Bethke purchased the property from J. H. Vogel in 1950. Annie was the postmistress, so the post office was located in the front part of the store. She was the postmistress until 1982.
The Bethkes built their living quarters in the back of the building. The front was used to sell paint, nails, and other building essentials.
An additional building was erected on the side of the original one. This housed the barber shop on one side, and the creamery operated by Lormer Bethke. The two barbers who used the building, each at different times, were Oakley Owens and A. R. Mckown.
One side of this building is where the present postoffice is located, and the postmistress is Dolores Vogel, who started in 1985.
STUTTGART BASKETBALL TEAM
In the 1930s Stuttgart had a very good basketball team with many members who had done well at the game in high school and college. They included: Martin Merklein, John Kistner, Herman Kellerman, Carl Kellerman, Ernest Eltiste, Veeh Dieckhoff, Orvie Hempler, Helmuth Hempler, Rich Veeh and John Vogel.
STUTTGART BASEBALL CLUB
In the 1920s thru 1940 and again from 1946 thru the early 1950s there was always a lot of pride in their baseball team that played twice a week all summer. Team members included: Nick Fink, Edd Dusin, Ernest Dusin, Alvin Vogel, Martin Veeh, Paul Kellerman, Carl Kellerman, Howard Vogel, Alfred Dusin, Ehrhart Grote, Henry Grote, Bill Grote, Paul Dahlke, Ray Dieckhoff, John Kistner, Helmuth Hempler, Rich Veeh, Martin Veeh, Alfred Veeh, Alvin Veeh, Richard Vogel, Edwin Veeh, John Vogel, Arnold Vogel, Edgar Vogel, Edwin Vogel, Paul Bach, Edgar Bach, Vernon Roeder, Leonard Preuss, Edwin Dusin, Emil Dusin, Harold Dusin, Floy Hanke, Virgil Ehm, Bill Ferris, F. Sutton, Jack Ward, Marvin Nash, Elmo Nash, Marvin Hull, Ted Lloyd, Phil Doctor, Duane Merklein, Erwin Bach, Max Keeten, Cecil Griffin, Carl Debey, Jack Redinger, Bob Vogel, Louis Dean Imm, Leavem Leikam and Ed Givens.
In 1903, Theo. Hempler organized the Stuttgart Band. In addition to the talented Mr. Hempler, who was also the church organist and director of music, the following were members of the band: Richard Bach, John Vogel, Charles Bethke, Wm. Grote, John Miller, Mike Miller, Leonard Vogel, Leonard Preuss, Christ Hempler, Henry Vogel, George Bach, Adam Weinman, George Vogel, Richard Veeh, Otto Hempler and Henry Himmelein.
In the l93Os the band continued, with many of the old members and new ones added as time went by. They included: Adam Weinman, Bill Weinman, Helmuth, Helen, and Dorothy Hempler, Geo. Bach, Edgar Bach, Paul Bach, Paul Kellerman, Carl Kellerman, Otto, Bob, and Eugene Krauss, Henry Bethke, Lormer Bethke, Martin Merklein, Vernon Vogel, George Wilderman, Hazel Hempler, and Herman Kellerman.
TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH
Trinity Lutheran Church was started by members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod one fourth mile west of Stuttgart in 1900. Some of the charter members were: Michael Bach, John Dirheff, Geo. Balbach, Herman Bohl, George Dill, August H. Dusin, Leo. Gackstatter, Martin Herman, Geo. Hofman, Richard Janicke, W. Closterman, Herman Kraus, Henry Manz, Charles Miller, Aug. Nierman, Geo. Pflieger, Raeckter, Emeck, Stuetzenhofaker, Leonard Stepper, Carl Hanke, Conrad Veh, Martin Wittig, Fredrick Veeh, Fredrick Wagner, and Michael Wagner. In 1945 it was disbanded with most members going to the new mission congregation, First Lutheran in Phillipsburg. Many transferred to Emmanuel Lutheran of Stuttgart as well as to other Lutheran churches.
BUSINESS ALONG THE ROCK ISLAND
The railroad came through Stuttgart in 1888. The depot which was a big structure, had three rooms downstairs, the waiting room, the main office which held the telegraphy equipment, and the baggage room. The stairway was located in the entrance-way.
The upstairs had four rooms. The agents and their families lived there.
Some of the early agents were: Prettyman, Durbin, and Garber. Bob Garber was probably the agent who was there the longest. He and his wife, Mabel, and two daughters, Marie and Betty, lived upstairs.
The Rock Island did a booming business during this period of time. "The Local", as it was commonly known, brought in a lot of merchandise for the stores, gas and oil for the garage, stockcars for the stockyard, and grain cars for the elevator. No. 7, the early morning fast train, and No. 8, an evening train, came through. Both of these trains stopped only "on a flag". The depot agent would wave a flag when the train approached, and it would come to a stop.
There were always grain and livestock cars being set out on the side track to be filled. Usually a gas or oil car was left at the bulk station that was located east of the depot. Other agents were: Merrieweather, Harmon, Bernie Elkington, and Virgil Verch.
There were two elevators located in Stuttgart, the east one located just west of the bulk station or northeast of the depot. The west one was at the present location of Brady Grain. When the east one was no longer used for grain, they converted it into apartments for people to use as living quarters A Mexican family lived on one side. The father was employed on the railroad section. The other side was occupied by "the McGees" who were employed with the construction crew who built the first Highway 36 south of Stuttgart.
Just west of the east elevator was an unloading dock made out of cinders and railroad ties Here they unloaded many things. When Bill Blackburn operated the garage he had the Plymouth car dealership. They unloaded the new Plymouth cars there. They also used it to unload implements, etc.
The west elevator was first operated by George Veeh, then by Gus Bandt, (father of Clarence Bandt), Hendrichson, and also Theo. Hempler and Adam Weinman.
The farmers raised good crops, but as usual the markets were low. Forty to fifty cents for a bushel of wheat,and twelve to fifteen cents for a bushel of corn.
Clarence Bandt and his wife, Wilma, lived in Stuttgart, together with their three children, Mina, Lawrence and Perry.
Others who owned or operated the elevator were: Bill Mikesell, Ehrhart Grote, Fred Woods, Omer Huff, Allen Adee, Leland Bach, Tom Veeh, and Glen Hultgren.
Shane Brady and his wife are the present owners. Glen Hultgren operates the establishment with the assistance of Mike VanDiest and Phyllis Merklein.
Other bookkeepers who have worked there are Francis Bach, Alice Kats, and Donna Faye VanKooten.
In the storage room of the elevator the "Old Time Dances" were held. Music was furnished by many of the area citizens. To name a few: Alvin Vogel, John Kellerman, Fred Kellerman, Paul Kellerman, Raymond Krafft, Ella (Weinman) Wells, Ehrhart Merklein, Ross Kelly, Leonard and Alma Beyerlein, and others. This was a sad time, but also a happy time. This took place in late 20s and early 30s, the depression years.
The stockyards were added to the business along the Rock Island. Martin Kistner bought hogs and cattle, shipping them to Omaha, Nebraska, and Kansas City.
A. C. Veeh later took over the business. Many hogs and cattle were shipped from these yards. Especially when the drought hit this area, no feed or crops of any kind could be raised. The pastures were as brown and dry as in the winter time, grasshoppers plagued the area, rainfall was nil, and dust storms were prevalent. So many of the farmers had to sell their cattle and hogs. This time and period was commonly known as the "dirty thirties". As more trucks hauled livestock to and from sale barns, the stockyards became obsolete, and eventually the yards were razed.
The railroad had two sections, an east and a west. Along the south side of the track was a little shack that housed the motor car. The west shack was located just west of the railroad crossing coming into Stuttgart. The motor car was the vehicle used to take the workers to their job, and also patrolling the tracks after rainstorms. Many of the area residents worked on the section.
Some of the section foremen were: Arnold Ward, Lough, McGinness, John Janssen, and Joe Reed.
Joe Reed and his wife Mina, together with their two daughters, Pearl and Josephine, lived in the section house many years. They raised a beautiful garden each year, had chickens, hogs, and a milk cow. Joe and Mina took great pride in their flower garden.
There were Mexican families living on the south side of the tracks, southeast of the depot. Shorty Conriques and his wife Patricia, Frank, and many others lived there. They also raised chickens, goats, and raised a beautiful garden. Shorty and Frank worked on the section many years. As the business on the railroad dwindled, all of these buildings were also razed.
Mail was brought into Stuttgart by trains No. 7 and No. 8. The people who hung the mail delivered the bag to the postoffice. They would hang the bag on the mail crane, and the baggage man would reach out and catch the bag with a hook. Occasionally they would miss. Bob Meyer, Bill Hanke, and John Kellerman were some who hung the mail.
A new depot was built in the same location as the old depot. It was razed in not too many years after it was built. During World War I and World War II the railroad ran many troop trains through, also C.C.C. trains. The Rocket replaced the old No. 7 and No. 8. The railroad was then known as the Route of the Rockets. The Rock Island was discontinued and is now known as The Kyle Railroad.
The German State Bank of Stuttgart, Kansas was chartered December 20, 1909 by the following stockholders: H. P. Andrews, Logan, Kansas; M. G. Bach, Prairie View, Kansas; Paul Bethke, Stuttgart, Kansas; A. L. Dougherty, Logan, Kansas; Martin Kistner, Stuttgart, Kansas; L. D. LeRoy, Downs, Kansas; H. L. Merklein, Prairie View, Kansas; A. Newman, Logan, Kansas; G. C. Smith, Phillipsburg, Kansas; and J. H. Vogel, Stuttgart, Kansas.
The building site was purchased from George Veeh on February 24, 1910, being the W 50' of Lot 1, block 6.
Henry Bethke, Arlington, Minnesota, arrived in Stuttgart, Kansas prior to June 1910 to manage the bank.
The date of institution was June 21, 1910. The balance sheet for June 21, 1910 was as follows:
Real Estate 2,700.00
Furniture & Fixtures 700.00
Capital Stock paid in 15,000.00
Individual Deposits 3,036.33
On May 2, 1918 an amendment was filed to change the name to Farmers State Bank, Stuttgart, Kansas.
On June 25, 1919, 40' east of the present building site was purchased from Martin Kistner so the east addition could be added to the first structure.
Due to ill health, Henry Bethke retired July 1,1956, and passed away on October 31, 1956.
Early employees were: Hugh Starr, Carl Kellerman, Lester W. Navis, Arnold Kuhlman, Orville Prinsen, Robert Merklein, Clazine Engelsman, Nancy Bethke, Jeannine M. Bethke, Barbara Bethke, Hilda Miller, Wauneta VanDerVeen, Candy Krafft, Lisa Kinderknecht, and Linda Smith.
The present Board of Directors are: Marmer Bethke, Gerald Bethke, Lola Bethke, Anna Bethke, and Buford J. VanLoenen. Marmer is President, Gerald is VP-Cashier, and Thomas M. VanDiest is Asst. Cashier. Other employees of the bank are: Laverne Merklein, Donna Vogel, Timothy Beim, and Delores Vogel.
The total assets of the bank on December 31, 1987 were $13,541,000.00. In December 1979 the Farmers State Bank purchased the building directly south of the bank from Paul Beyerlein, as they wanted to close in the space between the two buildings.
The motto of the bank is "Interest begins when you enter the door-interest in YOU".
THE CREAM STATIONS OF STUTTGART
Theo. Hempler was the first to operate a cream and separator business in Stuttgart. Farmers would bring their milk to this facility to have their milk separated from the cream to find the butterfat content.
He operated this business for the Fairmont Creamery Co. of Omaha, Nebraska. Then along came the cream separator. The farmers each owned one and separated their cream. He discontinued the business in 1920.
In 1920 John Kellerman became the next operator of the Fairmont Creamery Co. of Omaha, Nebraska.
John Kellerman and Elizabeth Balbach were married. They made their home in Stuttgart. In all the years he operated this station he drew customers from a wide area.
These were the thriving days of Stuttgart. Wednesdays and Saturdays were the busy days, the nights were open also. Those days the farmers brought their cream and eggs to town, and also did their other business The whole family came along. The ladies had their social visits, the kids had fun playing games, there were more kids than "Carter had Liver Pills". The men played cards and visited. What busy days these were!
Yours truly, Eileen, being John and Elizabeth's daughter, remember there was hardly room to walk in the station, for cans of cream that were waiting to be tagged, and shipped by the Rock Island to Omaha. My dad used a two-wheeled cart to haul the cream up to the depot, and set them on the baggage wagon.
My mother and I helped in the station. When I was fourteen years old I took the cream buying test. I was the youngest person in the state of Kansas to hold a license permit to buy cream.
Along came the thirties with the drought, the duststorms, grasshoppers, and very hard times. Farmers had a very hard time raising enough feed for their hogs and cattle. In the summer time the pastures were just as dry and brown as if it were winter time. The country looked very bleak. But the people clung to their faith and courage, and eventually it started to rain and times changed.
West of the cream station was a horseshoe pit where many pleasurable hours were spent. My Dad, John Brands (the barber), Ray Dieckhoff (my husband), Alfred Veeh, Henry Bethke, and countless others played horseshoes.
Through my years of working at the creamery I learned to know everyone in the community and beyond, their friendship has always been cherished by me----Eileen (Kellerman) Dieckhoff.
In 1946 my Dad's cream station burned to the ground, after twenty years of service to the community
In 1936 the Cudahy Creamery Co. opened its door, in the small building behind the commonly known "Restaurant". Ellsworth (Mike) and Hilda Miller operated this business. They also had gas pumps installed, selling Standard gas and oil. They operated this business for several years. When they discontinued the business Willard and Esther Weinman took over the station.
Geneva Schra was the next cream buyer, being there only a short while.
Lormer Bethke was the next operator, moving it to the building north of the hardware store. About this time the cream business was on the decline, and so Lormer discontinued his business.
MOVIE THEATRE AND TIN SHOP
Slightly northeast of the Kellerman Grocery store was the building where William (Bill) Devries had his tin shop. Here he worked and repaired many tin products. He built tanks, repaired tanks, etc. He also worked on windmills, about the only source of energythat the farmer had to get water to his livestock.
Also in this building the theatre was located. The movies were silent pictures, mostly of the western type. Also the school used the building for their box suppers and school programs, as the school building was not large enough to hold the crowds of people attending.
Bill DeVries also did trucking in the community.
During the late forties and early fifties the Stuttgart Business Men sponsored free movies for the people of the community. The crowds that attended these movies were huge. It was enjoyed by every one young and old. These movies were shown on Wednesday nights, and all business places were open. What a busy little town it was. If you didn't get there very early parking became rather sparse. I'm sure many people have memories of those nights "Movies at Stuttgart."
On occasion a circus or side show would come into Stuttgart. Thev always drew big crowds. The need for entertainment was desperate, guess that was the reason for the crowds. Tricks were done mostly by dogs, ponies, and monkeys, and, of course, the unforgettable clowns. One night a monkey escaced from the circus. The next morning he was captured by Clarence Bandt in Grandma Smith's chicken house. Everyone gave a sigh of relief.
The livery stable was located just north of the depot. When travoling salesmen came in on the train they needed transportation. Usually a local person was hired to provide horses for the salesmen and drive them around. This stable was torn down and another was built north of the Veeh General Store. Around 1915, it was also torn down.
In the west and north part of Stuttgart a cattle feedlot was located. It was owned by George Veeh. Anywhere from 500-1000 head of cattle were fattened there. Veeh owned a huge corn crib in which much of the grain used to fatten the cattle was stored. Veeh shipped cattle to Kansas City by the train load---such as trains were at that period of time.
EARLY HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, POOL HALLS, AND SALOON
There was a hotel built right north of the George Veeh General Store. Not much is known about this place. It was soon torn down.
In the early 1900s, the second hotel was built by Martin Nistner, located just south of the Veeh General Store.
It was a two story structure, with just one large room, and several smaller rooms on the second floor. Dances were frequently held in the large room above the restaurant. The upstairs was later used for hotel rooms. Traveling salesmen stayed in these rooms.
An addition was built to the south side of this structure, this at one time was the location of the postoffice, then later it was used as the barbershop.
Mr. and Mrs. McClellan ran this business. They had two sons. Elizabeth (Balbach) Kellerman worked for the McClellans. They were there only a short time.
When it changed ownership, William (Bill) Kellerman was the next operator. Mae (Jontz) Himmelein worked for Bill. He also ran it for just a short time.
Next were Bill and Mary DeVries who purchased the place. They used it as a restaurant, and also ran the hotel where salesmen stayed when they came to town.
Many of the railroaders also ate their meals at DeVries' restaurant. Mary served many good meals there. Elsie (Kellerman) Fickes helped there as a waitress, and Margaret (Balbach) Kellerman assisted with the cooking. There were busy times there.
When they sold the business, Henry and Lottie Stepper bought it. No more meals were served, but they sold pop and ice cream, etc. In the northwest part of the big room downstairs they built a meat market, and sold mainlv cold cuts and weiners.
Soon they decided to move back to the farm, but later moved back to Stuttgart again. When they sold out, Bob and Bertha Meyer bought the place. The merchandise that they sold was also pop, ice cream, gum, tobacco, cigarettes, etc. One of the favorite flavors of pop was cream soda.
Bertha made very good lollipops. On some of the sticks was stamped "free." If you were lucky enough to get one like that you would end up with two. They also operated the meat market, and also a truck delivered bakery bread, which was indeed a rare treat for everyone, as all the homemakers baked their own bread.
Bob and Bertha had one son, Jack. They soon sold the place and moved out of the territory.
Pete Cowlin was next in line to operate this business. He discontinued the meat market, and replaced this area with pool tables and card table. He sold beer, pop, etc. Pete moved from this location to the place known as Fred's Place. Hilda Kellerman worked there.
Richard and Emma Dieckhoff were next to operate this business. They also sold beer, pop, ice cream, peanuts, cigarettes, cigars, smoking and chewing tobacco. Many men and boys enjoyed playing pool and cards.
They decided to sell the business and they moved to Phillipsburg.
Bill and Lillie Grote ran the business in the 1950s, selling the same line of merchandise and refreshments as those prior to them. They were there several years, then sold it to Bernie Elkington. Edgar and Frances Bach the next ones to run it.
While they ran this place, Frances also operated the switchboard. It was located in the small attached building next to the pool hall. Edgar and Frances had three sons, Donald, Jerry and Jay.
When they sold the place, Clarence and Carol Long operated it. Later they moved to the building on the east side of the street, just south of the bank. It was just a beer parlor. They also had card tables. With this move, the pool hall was discontinued in Stuttgart.
In 1960 this building where all these people had operated their bbusiness for so many years was torn down. The building was owned by Bill Grote.
In the early 1900s John Kellerman, Sr. operated a saloon in the place known as Fred's Place. This place was closed due to the prohibition laws of that period of time.
The next business that was opened was a barber shop. Agatha Lough was the barber. Her husband was a section foreman on the railroad. When she discontinued her barbering, the place stood empty for a number of years.
Pete Cowlin opened his beer parlor in the late 1930s. He sold beer, pop, ice cream, candy bars, peanuts, etc. In the 1940s after Pete closed shop, Fred and Margaret Kellerman opened the beer parlor again. They opened a cafe along with selling all the other refreshments.
In this period of time the Emmanuel Lutheran Church was under construction and the workers all ate their meals at the cafe.
Later Margaret was the cook at the Stuttgart school, and was also doing janitorial work at the church. She had this job for nineteen years. When she quit this job, she was replaced by Eileen (Kellerman) Dieckhoff, who worked there thirteen years.
Fred operated this place till his death in 1978. Margaret continued running the place until 1983, shortly before her death in 1984.
The property was then sold to Tommy Thomas, a present resident of Stuttgart.
At the present time the place to get beer, pop, and candy bars, etc. is the Stuttgart Oil Co. Norman Kellerman is the proprietor.
BARBER SHOPS OF STUTTGART
After the postoffice was moved out of the building that was attached to the hotel, it was opened as a barber shop and cleaning shop.
Roy Gross was the first barber in Stuttgart. He was there for a short time. John Greving was also one serving this town for a while.
John Brands was one of the barbers who was there quite a while. He would come to Stuttgart every Wednesday and Saturday. During this period of time the businesses were open at night also. Business was very good at this time and period.
When the building just north of the Bethke Hardware was completed, by Bethke Construction, the barber shop was moved to the south side. Oakley Owens, and also Raymond McKown, were barbers. Agatha Lough did her barbering in the Kellerman house, just west of the blacksmith shop.
After the 1960s, barbering was discontinued. The present post office is located in this building.
LUMBER YARDS OF STUTTGART
The first lumber yard was located at the site where the Farmers State Bank is presently located. George Veeh had lumber brought in to sell to the settlers so they could build their homes.
Some of this lumber was taken to build George's home on the farm that he homesteaded in 1879. It is located 2½ miles southeast of Stuttgart. This was the first homestead in Mound Township. This lumber yard was soon torn down.
Martin Kistner built the next lumber yard. It was located on the south side of the street just east of the bank.
Adam Weinman was the first person to operate this business. They handled lumber, shingles, paint, nails, household supplies, garden tools, and coal. You could buy it at the coal house or off the railroad car. It was much cheaper if you got it off the coal car.
Adam ran the lumber yard for a number of years. Adam and his wife, Barbara, had four children: Richard, Willard, Della, and Rena. They lived west of Stuttgart in a home which he had built himself, as Adam was a carpenter.
The next person to run this business was Martin Kistner. His son, John, also worked there. John and wife, Verna, also lived in Stuttgart, and they had two children, John Jr. and Connie.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s Alfred (Shorty) Dusin operated the lumber yard. He and his wife, Emelie, had one daughter, Delene. They lived on a farm northwest of Stuttgart. It was sold to Paul Beyerlein who still owns the property, but the building is no longer usable.
In the early 1950s Marmer Bethke started handling lumber in the Stuttgart and Prairie View area. This is the Bethke Building and Construction Co. Marmer and his brother, Lormer, worked together. They built many homes in the area. Don Merklein and Carl Friebus previously worked there, and Cleo Jansonius works there now. They are still in the business.
This shop was located just east of the bank, along the sidewalk, and just west of the lumber yard.
Adam Weinman, together with Lou Bruning did a lot of work in this shop.
Lou Bruning and his wife, Elsie, lived in Stuttgart, together with their two children, one boy and one girl.
Ehrhard Grote also assisted Adam in this shop. He and his wife, Nettie, had two daughters, Betty and Bonnie. They lived on a farm north of Stuttgart but later moved into town. Bill Weinman also worked with his brother, Adam, in this shop. Bill and his wife, Anna, lived on a farm north of town. They had one daughter, Ella. Marmer Bethke also worked in this shop. As time went on there was no longer a need for the building, and so it was torn down.
The Pfortmiller Carpenter Shop is located in the building formerly occupied by the Kellerman Grocery Store. Leonard is a carpenter and he is in company with his son, Phillip.
Leonard and his wife have five children, and their son Phillip and his wife have three children.
GARAGES OF STUTTGART
When the automobiles made their appearance on the scone, there was a great need for a place to go for repair work to be done.
So the first garage was built in what is known as Chicago Ave., it was built on the west side of the street north of the highway, in the area of the Ellsworth Miller home.
The person who ran the garage was F. J. Wescott, he was there onlv a short while, then Fred Furher took over the business. However, he soon moved away, then Adam Weinman took over the garage. Then W. C. Blackburn moved to Stuttgart to take over the business.
So Adam Weinman, being a carpenter, built a new building east of the lumber yard, on the south side of the street. This is across the street from the blacksmith shop. It is still located in the same place.
Bill Blackburn operated this business for a number of years, in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Ed Crammer, Bill's brother-in-law, was the mechanic.
Bill and Irene, Ed, and Alta, and Lorraine (sister to Ed and Irene), all lived in Stuttgart. Bill and Irene had three children, Robert (Bob) Lloyd, an Aries.
Bill had the dealership to sell Plymouth cars. Quite a few wore sold in the area. Ed moved from the area, then Paul Kellerman started to work at Blackburn garage.
Paul and Alwina were married in 1927. They built their home in Stuttgart. They had three children, Norman, Dale and Maynard. Paul ran the tank wagon, delivering gas and kerosene to the people in the area.
In 1942 Paul bought out Bill Blackburn. He ran the tank wagon himself, while August Miller was the mechanic using the back of the building.
August and Hattie Miller had one son, Larry. August worked there a number of years. He then moved to Phillipsburg.
Paul Bach was then employed there for a number of years. Paul and Bettie had two children, Sandra and Greg. Then he decided to move to the farm. Then Edgar Bach was employed there till Norman returned from the service in 1955. Norman, Dale and Maynard all shared duties in the business. Norman worked full time till Paul's death in 1965. He then purchased the business and still owns it today.
Norman and Lois have four children: Lonnie, Timothy, Tamara, and Daniel.
Men who worked for Norman are: Darrell Preuss, Denten Krafft, Allen Jackson, Art Imm, John White, Shane Kinter, Dan Kellerman, and Corey Jacobs.
Another garage was also constructed In Stuttgart. It is located just west of the Farmers State Bank on the west side of the street. Willard Weinman built this structure and operated it from 1946 to 1953, when he sold It to Charlie Long. Charlie and Sophie had two children, Larry and Janice. They still live in Stuttgart, and Charlie still operates this business. During the harvest season Charlie is an essential asset to the farmers of the community.
BLACKSMITH SHOP AND TELEPHONE SWITCHBOARD
The first blacksmith shop was operated by J. Bach. He lived in a little shack at the location of the present blacksmith shop. He only worked for about a year when he died of a heart attack.
Next it was taken over by a man named Coursen. He too was there for about a year or perhaps a little longer.
It again became apparent that another blacksmith was needed, and so George Veeh persuaded G. E. (Ed) Woodard to move to Stuttgart to take over the shop. Soon after Ed moved to Stuttgart he built the shop which is still standing.
His business in the shop was sharpening plow lays, cultivator shovels, lister lays, mower sickles, and he did acetylene welding. You could always hear it all over town when the forge was heated, and he used the triphammer. In the first years he shod many a horse before the days of the automobile.
Ed and Daisey lived in Stuttgart many years. They had three children, Audrey, Helen, and Corbette (Corby). Ed was a great sportsman, he loved to hunt and to fish.
Daisey was the switchboard operator for the Independant Telephone Co. for years and years. Those were the days when anything of significance was happening she would "ring the alarm", such as: coal on track, fruit by the bushel basket full (peaches, pears, etc.) at one of the grocery stores. The ladies did a lot of canning in those days. Also, if cabbage had arrived to make the sauerkraut for the winter, if there was a disaster such as a fire, also funeral announcements.
This was the time when they had the"partyline." As many as six or seven families were all hanging on the same line. Everyone had their special ring. It would ring a long, or a long and a short, or a long and two shorts, etc. This kept a lot of the people busy "rubbering" (listening) to someone elses conversation. On Saturday or Wednesday night parents would honk their car horns, the same as their telephone rings, to let their kids know it was time to go home. The system had a few good advantages after all.
If Daisey happened to be out gardening, or tending the chickens, Ed would take over the switchboard, but it wasn't under such friendly circumstances, he became rather gruff at times. One day he became entangled with his sister, Irene Smith. (I believe Irene won the battle). Each month Hilda Kellerman would collect the money from the customers, what they owed the company for the use of the phone. Daisey was also a good morale booster, if you were ailing and she would show up, she could always cheer you up.
Ed lived to the ripe old age of ninety-nine, he passed away in 1964. Daisey also lived to be in her nineties, she passed away in 1974. Daisey once said she attributed their longevity to all the "Adam's Ale" they drank--water. Frances Bach took over the switchboard in the old barber shop and in her home.
Men who operated the blacksmith business after Ed was gone were his son, Corby, Nelson Woodard, Virgil Miller, Eldon Miller (Ed's brother-in-law), Jack Golden, and B. "Red" VanAllen. Norman Kellerman is the present blacksmith.
After Ed and Daisey Woodard passed on, their home and property was sold at auction. Pastor Duane and Mrs. Levin purchased the property. This is the location of the Levin Honey Farm. They have a lot of honey bees, selling honey at various stores. I might add it is a very delicious product. Pastor and Mrs. Levin have one son, Darren.
This concludes the "used to be" businesses of Stuttgart. Those left there to carry on are: Brady Grain, Charlie's Repair, The Farmers State Bank, the U.S. Postoffice, Stuttgart Oil Co. and the Blacksmith Shop, The Pfortmiller Carpenter Shop, the Bethke Building and Construction, Levin Honey Farm, and Wilderman Implement.
Edwin and Carl Wilderman, sons of Bertha and George Wilderman, started an implement business in Stuttgart in 1953. They sold Ferguson and Case line of tractors and machinery. In 1973 they moved their business to their farm north of Stuttgart.
PETS OF STUTTGART
Another one of the interesting things worth mentioning were the "Pets of Stuttgart". The police dogs were a very popular breed of dogs at this time. Queen was the dog owned by the Bob Garber family. Bob was the depot agent. Hans was another police dog owned by the A. H. Veeh family. August operated the Veeh and Veeh store, and also the postoffice that was then located in the store building. Hans was a very good watch dog.
Fritz was the police dog owned by the Ed Crammer family. Ed was the mechanic at the Blackburn garage. Fritz was also a very good watch dog.
Snippy was the little rat terrier owned by the John Kellerman family. John operated the Fairmont Creamery Co.
Fido was owned by Hilda and Lena Kellerman. He was as broad as he was long. Tony and Duke were the dogs owned by the Herman Kellerman family. Herman operated the Kellerman grocery store.
Pearly was the horse owned by the John Vogel family. The Vogel boys used this horse to drive their milk cows to and from a pasture south of Stuttgart. Sorrel Horse was owned by the Clarence Bandt family, he was a devil of a horse, not too many people dared to ride him. He was very unpredictable.
If you would happen to visit the Mike Merklein family east of Stuttgart, you would be greeted by the "hello boy" phrase. It was the parrot orned by the Mike Merklein family.
When all of the kids of Stuttgart would suddenly disappear, and homes and businesses were locked, the gypsies had arrived in town. They would always locate at the stockyards on the west side of town.
They would show up with their gypsy wagons, and their beautiful spotted horses. At a later time they would come with cars. The men would stay out of sight, and the women and kids would go begging and stealing. They would beg for anything in sight. "Shorty Conriques", (a section hand) who with his wife Patricia were residents of Stuttgart, were robbed. The Phillips County Sheriff was called, and they caught up with the gypsies west of Prairie View.
The billfold containing $100.00 was recovered. Later on they also made their appearances at some of the farm homes. Usually they were trying to sell purses that they had made. Some of them were downright pretty.
Three of the ministers who served the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, and some of their children, settled in the Stuttgart community.
Pastor T. Schulz was born on December 26, 1858 at Reinswalde, Brandenburg, Germany. He received his education in Germany, then coming to America, he attended Wartburg Seminary, Mendota, Illinois.
In 1888 he was ordained, and in 1890 was called to Stuttgart, Kansas. He served this congregation for twelve years.
Pastor Schulz was married to Anna Friebus on May 1, 1892. They had six children, and two of them made their home in and around the Stuttgart area: Erna Beckman (Mrs. Herman Beckman), and Gertrude Anschutz (Mrs. Ernest Anshutz). After retirement, Pastor Schulz lived on his farm north of Stuttgart until his death January 13, 1937.
Herman Dahlke was born in Germany on May 1, 1862. He came to America around 1880.
He was married to Anna Maria Kosted on August 26, 1888. They had ten children, but only three settled in this area.
Alma was married to August Veeh. They had two children, Alvin and Marie.
Alvin Dahlke married Anna Merklein. Their two daughters are Darlene Kearns and Alta Mae Wachs.
Paul was born May 8, 1905 in Stuttgart. Paul was married to Lucille Strodbeck. They had one daughter, Joanne Johnson. Lucille was a teacher in District 127, teaching in the year 1927-1928. She also taught at District 43.
Frederick Krauss was born on April 24, 1877, at Nuremberg, Germany. He received his education at Gymnasium, Mission Institute, Neuendettelsau, Germany 1896-1899. He immigrated to the United States in 1899.
In 1903 he was united in marriage to Emilie Klinksick, she passed away in 1908. In 1910 he married Mathilde Kraushaar. He was the father of seven children. He served the Stuttgart church for twenty years.
His children were Elizabeth, Marie, Carl, Otto, Gertrude, Robert, and Eugene. Marie (Mrs. Howard Vogel) settled in this area. He retired from the ministry in 1958. He passed away in Phillipsburg, Kansas at the age of 93.
District #127 was located on the north end of Chicago Avenue. The land where the schoolhouse stood was donated to the district by Michael Merklein. At first it was just one room. The school was organized around the year 1879-1880. Mr. Theo. Close was the first teacher. His salary was $150.00 a year. There were twenty-one boys and sixteen girls who attended school.
The receipts for the year were $268.87. Expenditures for the year were: $150.00 for the teacher's salary, $32.18 for rent, repairs, fuel, and other incidentals, $18.57 for library and school apparatus, $23.83 for sites, building, and furniture, and $31.90 for other purposes, for a total of $256.48. This left a balance on hand of $12.39.
The first pupils who attended school were: Winnie Veeh, Annie Veeh, Mary Veeh, Margaret Veeh, Johnny Veeh, Richard Veeh, Fred Preuss, Lizzie Preuss, George Merklein, John Merklein, Lizzie Merklein, John Bach, Katie Bach, Louise Merklein, Mary Manz, Henry Manz, Estel Woodard, Irene Woodard, Willie Miller, Emma Miller, Adam Weinman, and the list could go on.
Other pupils from 1900-1920s were Kistner, Kellerman, Preuss, Vogel Woodard, Bethke, and Smith.
Some of the early teachers were Audry (Woodard) Davis, Zoe O'Leary, Bela (Woods) White, Grace Goddard.
The families in those days were large, and so more room was needed for the children to go to school. So another wing was built on the west side of the original building, thus the need for another teacher. The east room was use from grade one through four, and the west room from grade five through eight.
Some of the teachers during this time were: Bernadine (Keating) Merklein, Lucille (Strodbeck) Dahlke, Lena Holgerson, Marie Griffen, Viola DeYoung, Jennie Rupke, Mrs. Cortly Rumbaugh, Emma Gackstatter, Alma Mousley, Ellen Cline, Pansy Henricks and Dena Frank.
The pupils attending were: Bethke, Merklein, Preuss, Vogel, Weinman, Manz, Veeh, Bandt, Krickenbaum, Reed, Krauss, Blackburn, Kellerman, Woodard, Davis, Zollman and Schra.
In the early 1950s this first structure burned to the ground, so the district put up a quonset hut as a temporary place to hold classes. This served the purpose until the next school was built.
This structure stands directly east of the garage, or across the street from the church and parsonage.
This building had three classrooms, an auditorium, kitchen, restrooms, and a basement. They gave very good plays, participated in track meets, played basketball, softball, and had a good music program.
The pupils attending were: Bach, Bohl, Bethke, Clarke, Dieckhoff, Eltiste, Grau, Janssen,Kellerman, Kistner Miller, Pfleiger, Preuss, Rouleau, Vogel, Wagner, Woodard, Woods, Friebus, Krafft, Schauer, Veeh, Weinman, Zillinger, Kuhlman, Manz, Long, Wells, Flanigan, Hanke, Dill, Kelly, Gackstatter, Imm, Zollman, Lesher, Dusin, and Roeder.
Other teachers were: Hazel Brown, Lois Stutterheim, Jo Ann White, Thelma Blessman, Margaret Klawuhn, Robert Klawuhn, Greta Smedley, Marjorie Candlin, Lillian Yocum, James Musgrove, Patsy Jo Breathower, Loren Smith, Marie Hogan, Barbara Robinson, Grace Kinter, Zella Roeder, Roy Watt, Anna Marie Staley, Edna Hopson, Beth Hutson, Emma Miller, Eula King, Florence King, Elizabeth Weinman, and Marilyn Adee.
The ladies who did the cooking for the school lunches were Margaret Kellerman, Maggie Dusin, Freida Merklein, and Eunice Janssen. They were also the janitors.
The other districts consolidated with Stuttgart were: Maybelle-#87, Highland-#75, Brush Creek-#45, Evening Star-#63, and Pleasant College-#43.
This school closed June 30, 1970. Emma Miller and Marilyn Adee were the last teachers. This truly was a sad time for the Stuttgart community.
ORGANIZATIONS AND CLUBS
The Ladies Aid was organized in the l93Os when Pastor F. Krauss was serving Emmanuel Lutheran Church. There were ten charter members: Emma Dieckhoff, Margaret Vogel, Matilda Krauss, Emelia Merklein, Barbara Miller, Martha Veeh, Lydia Ehm, Mabel Kellerman, Mabel Garber (Noel) and Anna Bethke.
The Ladies Aid accomplished a lot, each month they had their Bible study, they did a lot of sewing and quilting and served on many sales. They had an annual bazaar, selling the beautiful handwork they made.
When the new church was built in Stuttgart, and dedicated on March 30, 1952, the Ladies Aid was fortunate to be able to help with a lot of the furnishings in the church, of which they were very thankful and proud.
Down through the years their membership grew. This organization turned into the ALCW (American Lutheran Church Women). They gained a few members and lost a few. They also continued quilting, sewing, serving on sales, pack health packets and sewing packets for missions overseas, and doing Bible study.
And now just this year of 1988 our name was changed to the Evangelical Lutheran Church Women of America (ELCA). This work has just begun.
There is also a young woman's organization in the church known as "Discovery". They have sponsored some of the activities within the church, such as "Fun Nite." It is enjoyed by all who attend.
The Luther League is the youth organization for the young newly confirmed members of our church. Each summer they sponsor an ice cream social enjoyed by many people. Their members attend conventions, send delegates to camp each year, and they also sponsor the Easter egg hunt for the Sunday School on Easter Sunday morning. Their membership is curtailed by boys and girls leaving for college, and who never return to this area.
During the 1950s some of the women of the Stuttgart community organized the Prairie Gem Home Demonstration Unit. Here they learned many new ways of keeping house and cooking.
Some of the members were: Marie Flanigan, Marie Bach, Hilda Miller, Freida Eltiste, Eileen Diecknoff, Eunice Janssen, and Katie Davis. Kansas State University furnished us with many lessons, and good ideas for housekeeping, cooking, and gardening.
The Stuttgart 4-H Club was organized in February of 1952. Officers were Larry Janssen, Kenneth Dieckhoff, Loren Eltiste, Shirley Miller. The leaders were Ray and Eileen Dieckhoff, Ernest Eltiste, Wava Kaiser, Helen Bach, Eunice Janssen, and Marie Bach.
One of the main projects for the year was to landscape the school grounds.
Members that year were: Shirley Miller, Donna Bach, Larry Janssen, Eldon Miller, Loren Eltiste, Dean Bach, Kathryn Vogel, Kenneth Dieckhoff, Maralee Pflieger, Carolyn Vogel, Alice Merklein, Kathleen Janssen, Delwin Grau, and Melvin Eltiste. In 1953 they gained some members: Connie Kistner, Norman Merklein, Bob Merklein, Eugene Vogel, Lee Vogel, Sally Veeh, Carol Friebus, and Phoebe Schauer.
The projects they enrolled in were livestock (hogs, cattle, sheep, dairy calves) and crops. The projects for the girls were gardening, sewing, and cooking.
They all worked hard on their projects and received good ratings on them. It was a worthwhile organization for the youth of the community. When TV made its appearance on the scene, there was no longer an interest, and so the club disbanded.
The people of the area were very interested in music. They took great pride in their band, orchestra, and choir. Theo. Hempler was the director. They gave many enjoyable concerts, which drew big crowds as people needed a source of entertainment.
Those who played in the band or orchestra are listed on page five, plus Richard Dieckhoff, Alvin Vogel, and Clara Hempler. They did their practicing in different homes in the area.
Theo. Hempler also directed the church choir, and he also was the church organist. Somehow he had the ability to get people involved. Even if you felt you couldn't sing---you did.
The church always had a choir down through the years. Each year it added a few members and also lost a few.
Stuttgart also had a men's quartet. They sang for funerals, weddings, and school programs. They were always willing to cooperate when it came to entertaining.
Those who sang in the quartet were: Helmuth Hempler, Paul Kellerman, Carl Kellerman, and Herman Kellerman, and Alvin Vogel later sang also. Later on in years Norman Merklein and Alvin Veeh sang for funerals and other functions. Margaret Vogel sang solos at funerals, and also Arliss Weinman.
The young people during the 30s and 40s were members of the high school band at Phillipsburg.
During this time Mr. & Mrs. Sharpnecke came from Alma, Neb. to direct the band and give music lessons. When they no longer came, Mr. Moorman, the band director of the Phillipsburg High School, did the directing, and the band gave many concerts. Then came the changing times and TV replaced a lot of the good entertainment we used to enjoy.
The men of the Stuttgart area always had a yen for sports. In the early 1920s baseball was an important sport. In the 1930s and 1940s another baseball club was formed. Those who played are listed on page 5, plus Bob Garber, Lyle Bethke, Herman Kellerman, Jack Meyer, and Wade Pfost.
They played teams at Phillipsburg, Norton, Almena, Alma, Neb., Logan, Kensington, Agra, Gaylord, Harlan, Palco, Penokee, Bogue, Damar, Stockton, Nicodemus, Speed, Glade and Norcatur.
This was great entertainment for Sunday afternoons. The games drew large crowds. When they played their games at home they played at the ball diamond located one-half mile east of Stuttgart at the farm of Leonard Preuss. It was an ideal place. The spectators sat along the hill, and the ball diamond was located below, sort of giving it amphitheater effect. Martin Veeh and Alfred Dusin were the coaches.
When the clubs of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s disbanded, some of the young boys played in the "Cookie League." Stuttgart won second place at the state tournament at Lucas, Kansas. Those playing were: Larry Janssen, Maynard Kellerman, Loren Eltiste, Eldon Miller, Phil Altman, Billy Wray, Tom and Bob Reece, Dave Cox, and Albert Graham. The team that they played was Salina Exlime, a team from Salina, Kansas. E. J. Miller and John Janssen were the coaches.
In 1934 a few of our young men loved to play basketball, so they practiced a lot, and organized a basketball team known as the Stuttgart Ramblers. The coach was Edwin Veeh. They played teams at Prairie View, Long Island, Phillipsburg, Athol, and the list could go on. Members of the team are listed on page four.
SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY
Many of our boys in the Stuttgart area served in the armed forces of our country. War is always a very worrisome and tense time for our entire nation to experience. All people and nations should thank God for any efforts toward bringing about peace in the world. Men giving their lives in World War I were Lawrence Schauer, August Kaiser, and Fred Wagner. In World War II, Walter Merklein, Paul Merklein, and Delbert Roeder gave their lives. May they not have died in vain.
NATIONAL CORNHUSKING CONTEST
The national cornhusking was held in Norton County in the fall of 1930. The Stuttgart businessmen decided to build a float. It was completely made out of ears of corn. All the businessmen contributed their labor to build this. It turned out to be quite an undertaking, and it was very attractive.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s there was much oil drilling being done, but no luck. G. Watson was the ramrod.
Then in the early 1950s they again started leasing and drilling. This time due to improved methods they brought in many producing oil wells in the area. This indeed was a great boost to the economy.
Those who got into the oil well pumping business were: Willard Weinman, E. J. Miller, Ludwig Kaiser, Don Merklein, Willis Kellerman, Leland Bach, Eldon Miller, Ernest Eltiste, and Vernon Vogel.
PEOPLE OF THE STUTTGART COMMUNITY 1888-1988
Nugent, Bandt, Kistner, Bach, Weinman, Vogel, Hendrickson, Veeh, Bethke, Furher, Woodard, Kellerman, Himmelein, Smith, Schmidt, Miller, Bruning, Schra, Conriques, Preuss, Merklein, Barg, Anschutz, Beyerlein, Dieckhoff, Dill, Dusin, Ehm, Eltiste, Ferguson, Friebus, Gackstatter, Fink, Grau, Grote, Hanke, Hempler, Hoffman, Howard, Hopper, Imm, Jackson, Kaiser, Krafft, Long, Manz, Pflieger, Roeder, Stepper, Wagner, Wilderman, Garber, Reed, Merriweather, Prettyman, Rex-road, Blackburn, Crammer, Davis, Devries, Hoff, Lesher, Huff, Vielguth, Higby, Dahlke, Flanigan, Schauer, McClellan, Zillinger, Zollman, Golden, Bohl, Kelly, Swisher, Balbach, Bishop, Calhoun, Meyer, Meyn, Dilges, Rudolph, Schardt, Schulz, Rossbach, Berner, Bucholz, Krauss, Klotz, Schuck, Weber, Huskey, VanKooten, Woods, Janssen, McGee, Costello, McCall, McAdoo, VanAllen, Griffen, Musgrove, Behringer, Middlebrooke, Ruckert, Horn, Hale, Hadley, Jacobs, Dodds, Pfortmiller, Posson, Robison, Wells, Tomkins, Yocum, Stutterheim, Bennett, Fansin, Plante, Koelzer, Castle, McClure, Kipp, Levin, Zimmerman, Koenken, Juengel, and Griffin.
The above mentioned people are those who at one time or another lived in Stuttgart or in the vicinity. If any name is missing it was not omitted intentionally.
To Mrs. Delores Vogel for the art work and design of the cover; to Shirley VanLoenen for the theme of the centennial; to Laverne Merklein and the Farmers State Bank for the typing and printing, and to the many people who contributed information to make this book possible.
On the banks of Deer Creek in Mound Township is the beautiful town site chosen by our forefathers for Stuttgart.
With the coming of the railroad this brought with it new hope and better times which they had prayed and longed for.
Time has a way of changing things. However, Stuttgart still remains a small town with deep community pride and appreciation of its heritage with a great faith in tomorrow
With this in mind, this cover was designed and drawn by our postmistress, Ms. Delores Vogel.