Kansas History and Heritage Project- Marshall County

Marshall County Biographies


Among the well-known and successful business men of Marshall county, is Henry W. Koeneke, the cashier of the Herkimer State Bank, since its organization on August 2, 1909. This banking institution was opened for business on January 25, 1910, with the following board of directors: W. H. Koeneke, George J. Hoerath, Henry W. Koeneke, Joseph Bluhm, J. G. Schmidler and E. R. Fulton. W. H. Koeneke was selected as president of the institution; George J. Hoerath, vice-president, and Henry W. Koeneke, cashier. The bank was capitalized with ten thousand dollars, and now has a surplus of two thousand dollars and deposits of over seventy-three thousand dollars. The management of the institution has been successful, and by their business-like methods they have won the confidence and respect of all. In May, 1913. on the death of W. H. Koeneke, the board elected George J. Hoerath, president, and Joseph Bluhm, vice-president, and E. W. Koeneke was selected as a member of the board of directors to fill the place of his father, and in January, 1916, he was selected as assistant cashier of the bank.

Henry W. Koeneke is the son of W. H. and Julia (Brockmeyer) Koeneke, and is a native of this county. The father was born in Cook county, Illinois, on a farm on July 15, 1852. He attended the common schools of that county for a time and at the age of eight years, came with his parents to Kansas. They located on a tract of wild land in Logan township, Marshall county, and here, on the wild and unbroken prairie, they established their home, amid the most primitive conditions. There were but few settlers in the immediate vicinity at that time and the little family experienced many of the hardships of pioneer life. The farm was developed and somewhat improved with primitive structures, and in time they were in a position to look forward to better days. The farm was enlarged, better and more modern buildings were erected, and their position became one of substantial progress. As a young man W. H. Koeneke, in addition to his interests on the farm, engaged in the lumber business, having associated himself with his brother-in-law, William Winters, with whom he remained until 1888, when Mr. Koeneke purchased the entire business, which he operated by himself. In addition to the lumber trade the men also engaged in the buying and selling of grain, which Mr. Koeneke continued. In 1888 he erected a large elevator at Bremen and there did an extensive business in grain and lumber. In early life he foresaw the future possibilities of Kansas land and became owner of over fourteen hundred acres, which was in time placed under high cultivation and nicely improved.

W. H. Koeneke was a most progressive man and possessed of much business acumen. He was not at all satisfied with having a thing partially done, but he wanted it done right. He and his wife were prominent in the work of the German Lutheran church, and Mr. Koeneke was treasurer of the local society until his death on May 25, 1913. He was a member of the Republican party and took the greatest interest in the affairs of the township and the county. For many years he was treasurer of the township, and served as a member of the school board. He was a strong advocate of the best schools and good roads, and through his influence both received much consideration.

W. H. Koeneke was united in marriage in May, 1878, to Julia Brockmeyer, the daughter of Frederick and Fredericka (Martin) Brockmeyer, both of whom were natives of Germany and came to the United States in an early day, and for a time located in Connecticut, but later came to Kansas at a time when the country for the most part was one stretch of wild prairie. Here they established their home on a farm in Hanover, where the father engaged in general farming, until the time of his death. Julia (Brockmeyer) Koeneke, whose birth occurred on June 5, 1859, was the first child born to her parents after their arrival in Kansas. Here she grew to womanhood and received her education in the local pioneer schools. Her death occurred on May 17, 1910. Mr. and Mrs. Koeneke were the parents of eight children as follow: Sophia, E. W., Mary. Julia, Henry W., Martha and two that died in infancy. Sophia Kruse is a resident of Logan township, where Mr. Kruse is a successful farmer and stockman: E. W. is assistant cashier of the Herkimer State Bank and manager of the lumber yard at that place: Mary Geyer is a resident of Waterville, Kansas, where her husband is manager of the telephone system ; Julia Harmann is a resident of Logan township, where Mr. Harmann is a well-known and successful farmer of the district and Martha is a student in the schools of Logan township.

E. W. Koeneke was born in Marshall county, on February 22, 1884, and was reared in the town of Herkimer and educated in the public schools, later attending college at Midland for one year, after which he took a course at a business college in St. Joe. After completing his education, at the age of twenty-one years, he engaged in the flour-mill business with his father, at Shady Bend, Kansas. After continuing in the business for three years he returned to Herkimer and for two years engaged in general farming and stock raising. He then purchased the elevator in Bremen, which he sold after six years. He then purchased the lumber yard at Herkimer, which he still manages in connection with his duties as assistant cashier of the bank. E. W. Koeneke was united in marriage on September 14, 1910, to Sophia Scheibe, the daughter of John Henry and Minnie (Breneke) Scheibe, both of whom were natives of Germany and there received their education in the public schools and there lived until 1864, when they came to the United States, and were married in Marshall county, in 1870. After coming to this country, Mr. Scheibe located for one year in Illinois, after which he resided in Marshall county, for six months, when for the next two and one-half years, he worked on a railroad near Salt Lake, Utah. He then returned to Marshall county, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land in Walnut township. This farm he developed and improved and here he engaged in general farming and stock raising, with much success until the time of his death on August 29, 1906. Minnie (Breneke) Scheibe was born on March 18, 1852, and after coming to the United States located in Cook county, Illinois, where she lived until 1868. when she came to Marshall county and was married two years later. Mr. and Mrs. Scheibe were for many years active members of the German Lutheran church, and were among the organizers of the local church at Afton, Kansas, and Mr. Scheibe was the first to be buried in the cemetery there. They were the parents of the following children: Anna Frohberg, of Afton, where her husband is a well- known farmer; the second child died in infancy; Christina Berger lives at Afton, where Mr. Berger is a farmer; Herman is also engaged in farming near Afton; Bertha Ludicke lives at Home City, where Mr. Ludicke is engaged in the lumber business; Lena Drayer lives on a farm near Afton and her husband is engaged in general farming; Sophia is the wife of E. W. Koeneke; Albert is a farmer near Afton and Alfred is on the home place.

Sophia (Scheibe) Koeneke was born in Walnut township, Marshall county, on March 25, 1885, and received her education in the local schools and was reared on the home farm, where she lived until the time of her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Koeneke are the parents of one child, Minnie Julia, who was born on August 16, 1913. They are active members of the Lutheran church and are prominent in the social and religious life of the town. Henry W. Koeneke was born in Marshall county, on February 27, 1890, and was reared in Herkimer, where lie received his elementary education in the public schools, having completed the common-school course at the age of fourteen years. He then attended Midland College for three years, after which he completed the course in the Card Business College at St. Joe. For some time after completing his school work, he was engaged with his father on the farm. In September, 1909, be was employed by the First National Bank at Marysville, where he remained until 1910, when he assumed his duties as cashier of the Herkimer State Bank. He is a young man of sterling worth and held in the highest regard by all.

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