Kansas History and Heritage Project- Marshall County

Marshall County Biographies


Henry Bottger, the oldest resident of Vliets, former postmaster of that village, former justice of the peace in and for Noble township, owner of the elevators at Vliets, of which village he has been a resident practically ever since it was established and which, as a contracting carpenter, he did much to build up, is a native of Germany, but has lived in this country since he was seventeen years of age and is an honored veteran of the Civil War. He was born at Flensburg, the most populous city in Sleswig-Holstein. September 11, 1834, son of Jacob and Dora Bottger, natives of that same country, the former of whom was a millwright and miller and who spent all their lives in their native land, and there he received an excellent education in his boyhood. When seventeen years of age he came to the United States, arriving at the port of New York on May 28, 1852, and for two years thereafter worked in the city of Schnectady, New York, going thence to. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he began working at the carpenter trade and which city he presently left, going to St. Louis, seeking work as a journeyman carpenter. Later he went to Kansas City, where he was offered work on condition that he accept city lots in part payment of his service. Kansas City lots at that time did not seem as valuable as they now are and he declined that offer, going thence to St. Joseph, where he worked a short time and then came over into Kansas and began working at his trade in Doniphan county, where he remained three years, at the end of which time he went to Andrew county, Missouri, where he began working as a carpenter and where, in i860, he was married. Mr. Bottger was living in Missouri when the Civil War broke out and in the spring of 1861 upon the President's call for volunteers, he enrolled his name for the Missouri state Union service. In the fall of 1864 he enlisted as a member of Company E, Eighteenth Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and served with that command until he was honorably discharged in Mt. Pleasant hospital at Washington, D. C. in June, 1865, on a physician's certificate of physical disability. During his military service Mr. Bottger was attached to the Seventeenth Army Corps and was in numerous important battles, the last one of which was the battle of Bentonville, in North Carolina. Shortly after that engagement he was taken seriously ill and was transferred to the hospital at Washington, where he presently received his discharge, as noted above.

Upon the completion of his military service Mr. Bottger returned to St. Joseph, where he rejoined his wife and baby, and presently went back up into Andrew county, north of there, where he again engaged in construction work and was thus engaged until 1882, when he came over into Kansas and bought a farm of one hundred and forty-two acres, northwest of Vliets, in this county. Mr. Bottger improved that farm and lived on the same until 1894, when he moved to Vliets, later selling his farm, and in the village again resumed his old vocation of carpenter and builder, employing quite a force of men and building many of the buildings in that village, including the school house and the elevators, as well as a row of houses which he owns, and has done very well in his operations. Mr. Bottger is a Republican and for some time after moving to Vliets served as postmaster of that village. He also has served as justice of the peace.

Henry Bottger has been twice married. It was on December 31, 1860, that he was united in marriage to Alcelia Jane McLaughlin, who died on December 13, 1873, leaving four children, John and George, who are now living in Oklahoma; Fred, who is at home with his father, and Mrs. Mary St. John, who is living on a farm in Rock township, five miles northwest of Vliets. On August 24, 1881, Mr. Bottger married Mary Jane Ballard, who died on November 26, 1913, without issue. Mr. Bottger is a member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic at Vliets and of the local lodge of the Free Masons, in the affairs of both of which organizations he takes a warm interest. He is now the oldest inhabitant of Vliets and is held in high esteem there and throughout the county generally.

Return to Marshall Co. KHHP

This website created July 4, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
2011 Kansas History and Heritage Project