Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kansas Blacksmiths.

The Kansas blacksmiths were a hardy group of men, they worked many long hours for little pay, but without then many farmers couldn’t work their fields if they couldn’t get their machinery running. Some farmers would have a blacksmith shop on the farm and did their own blacksmithing. I know my family farm had their blacksmith shop. The farmers who needed something fix and were to far from town would go to a neighbor who had a shop.

It was the professional blacksmith of a town that help keep it in running order. They worked on about anything metal, from pots and pans to horseshoeing. It was dirty hard work and not without it’s dangers. There was the danger of a fire, being kicked by a horse. There were many dangers to this job, sometimes it would be deadly as you will read.

I did this page to help those families who know their ancestor was a blacksmith and lived in Kansas but had no idea were or how to find them. This page maybe a help to them.

Henry Parnham.

Henry Parnham of Hooser, KS. He was a blacksmith and was killed while shoeing a horse in the late 1800's or early 1900's. The horse knocked him over onto a tool box that had a file protruding from it. The file penetrated him causing fatal injuries.

Blacksmith’s of Leavenworth, Kansas.

Census 1860.

1. Nicholas Delane, age 24, born France.
2. Peter Parish, age 20, born Illinois.
3. Michael Gauer, age 18, born Ohio.
4. John S. Davis, age, born Maine.
5. Asa E. Hempstead, age 25, born New York.
6. William F. Fulcher or Fletcher, age 37, born Virginia.
7. Thomas McGlin, age 25, born Ireland.
8. John McGlin, age, 62, Ireland.
9. William McGlin, age, 31, born Ireland.
10. John Donovan, age 24, born Ireland.

Fort Riley.

If one wants to be come a Blacksmith he will have to learn the art of horseshoeing, here is a photo of a class of horseshoers at fort Riley, of 1905.

Note. this photo can be enlarged by pushing on it.



JAMES SHONE, blacksmith, foreman on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, residing at Parsons, Kansas, was born in Manchester, England, in December, 1847, and has lived in many parts of the United States. He is a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Chisnall) Shone, the former of Welsh, and the latter of Scotch descent.

Samuel Shone was a blacksmith by trade. He came to the United States about 1850, landing at Galveston, Texas, where he followed his trade for a year or two. While there, the family suffered an attack of the yellow fever, and James was one of the victims; no case, however, proved fatal. The prevalence of this dread disease in the South caused the family to remove further north. They traveled by steamboat to Cincinnati, Ohio, and thence went to Springfield, Massachusetts, where the elder Shone worked in the Springfield Armory. They next went to Meriden, Connecticut, where they remained a short time. From that place, they moved to Hamilton, Canada, where the father was employed, about a year and a half, in a wrench and vise factory. In the late "fifties," he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he followed his trade successfully for many years. His death took place in that city, in 1870, when he had passed his forty-ninth birthday. His widow survived him until 1888, when she died at the home of her son, James, at the age of sixty-four years. One of her sisters, Mrs. Margaret Howarth, of Manchester, England, is still living, and is eighty-six years old.

Mr. Shone is the eldest of five children. The others are: Samuel, George, John, and Maggie Elizabeth. Samuel was born in England, and is a blacksmith foreman on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, at Denison, Texas. George was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is a competent master mechanic on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, residing at Alamosa, Colorado. John was also born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is roundhouse foreman at Parsons, Kansas. Maggie Elizabeth, the only sister, resides at Nevada, Missouri; she is the wife of Engineer Jennings, who is also employed on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, having a run on the branch leading to Eldorado Springs. The mechanical ability of the father was transmitted to the sons, all of whom are good mechanics and railroad employes.

In 1862, while living in St. Louis, Missouri, James Shone became an apprentice in the shops of the old Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, where he served for four years, mainly under Master Mechanic Charles Williams, finishing, however, under C. T. Ham and Harry Elliott. Completing his apprenticeship, he accepted a position as blacksmith on the old North Missouri Railroad at St. Charles, Missouri. A few months later, he obtained a more lucrative position on the Cairo Short Line, upon which he worked until 1877. Later, he worked on the M. 0. P. R. R. He then went west, to Parsons, Kansas, where he has remained ever since.

September 21, 1871, he was joined in wedlock with Mary A. Moore, the ceremony being performed at the home of the bride in Canton, Missouri. Mrs. Shone is of Scotch-Irish descent. She was born in St. Louis Missouri, in 1852, and is a daughter of Robert and Mary (Moore) Moore. Her parents, although having the same name, were not related to each other. Her father died in February, 1897, and her mother is still living at Canton, Missouri, aged seventy-five years. Mrs. Shone is the eldest of six children. The others are: Mrs. Lizzie Alderton, and Mrs. Nellie Marks, both of Canton, Missouri; Robert, a blacksmith, of Los Angeles, California; Mrs. Lydia Marks, also of Canton, Missouri; and Mrs. Mattie Meal, of Sugar Loaf, Colorado. Mrs. Shone was reared and schooled in St. Louis, Missouri, where the family lived for many years. They formerly lived upon and owned the land which is now occupied by the new union depot, of that city, but subsequently moved to Canton, Missouri.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Shone has been blessed with four children, - three daughters, and one son, namely: Mamie E., Nellie, Alice, and George. Alice died in infancy, and George, who was born in 1881, was accidentally drowned when twelve years and five days old. This was a sad blow to his fond parents, whose hopes are now centered in their two eldest daughters, who still brighten the home fireside. The three ladies of the household are members of the Order of the Eastern Star. In their religious views, they favor the Baptist church.

Mr. Shone was made a Mason at Parsons,, and now affiliates with the blue lodge, chapter and commandery, of that city. He is also a member of the Fraternal Aid and of the A. 0. U. W. In politics, he is a stanch Republican, and has served on the school board, and takes a decided interest in educational matters. Upon his arrival in Parsons, he engaged, at once, as a blacksmith on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, under W. T. Small. He was promoted in January, 1883, to be foreman of the blacksmith shops under Master Mechanic Joseph Haines, and has held that position up to the present time. Mr. Shone has charge of all blacksmith work, and of the locomotive department from Parsons to Hannibal, Missouri, and from Franklin Junction to St. Louis. He has charge of a force of about 25 men, ten of whom are expert blacksmiths. He succeeded D. K. McPherson, and the position was previously filled by only three or four foremen, who served short terms before McPherson's incumbency. In the successful performance of his various duties, Mr. Shone has at all times shown rare skill and judgment, and in all his dealings he is keen, accurate, and upright. His pleasant, sociable manners have made him a prime favorite on the road, and he has the esteem of all who know him. He has a comfortable home at No. 1926 Stevens avenue.


ALBERT TROESTER is a prominent farmer and blacksmith, residing in the southeast quarter of section 19, Liberty township, Labette county, Kansas. For many years he has been one of the most progressive citizens of the county, and gives assistance to all public enterprises which are for the good of the community. Mr. Troester was born in 1832, in Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Germany, of German parentage.

Frederick Troester, his father, was born in Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, in 1809, and died in Perry county, Illinois, in 1896. He married Elizabeth Kauhl, who was also a native of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Germany, and was born in 1806. She died in Perry county, Illinois, two years before her husband's demise. They reared the following children: Albert, the subject of this sketch; Louisa (Millhausen), of Perry county, Illinois; Fred and George, twins, - the former a resident of Crawford county, Kansas and the latter being deceased; Jane, deceased; Bennet, of Perry county, Illinois; and Louis, living in Missouri.

Albert Troester, the subject of this sketch, came to America in 1848, landing in New Orleans. The same year he went to St. Louis, where he lived for five years, and learned the trade of a blacksmith. In 1853 he went to Perry county, Illinois, and a year later to St. Clair county, in that state, where he made his home for seven years. In 1861 Mr. Troester moved to Washington county, Missouri, where he enlisted in Company E, 10th Reg., Mo. Vol. Inf., and was attached to the Army of the Tennessee. In 1862, he was detailed as head blacksmith of the 6th Wisconsin Battery, and was mustered out at St. Louis, in 1864. Mr. Troester then returned to Washington county, Missouri, where he opened a blacksmith shop, and did a large business for eight years. In 1872 he located in Labette county, Kansas, settling in the southeast quarter of section 19, in Liberty township, where he has since carried on general farming, and has also done blacksmithing. He is a superior workman, and is largely patronized. He is a man of strong personality, and his friends in the county are many. He is kind and generous, and ever ready to lend a helping hand to those in need or distress.

Mr. Troester was wedded to Theresa Schmidt, who was born in Prussia, in 1834. She is a daughter of Ferdinand Schmidt, who was born in Prussia in 1811, and died in that country in 1848. Mr. and Mrs. Troester have had six children, namely: Wilhelmina, deceased; Frank, deceased, whose offspring were, - Ed, Albertina, Will, Mamie, Lizzie, and John, deceased; Frederick, of Joplin, Missouri, whose children are, - Ernest, Charles, Mabel, Lewis, and Bert; Albert, of Labette county, the father of two children, Earle, and Fay; Lizzie (Weber), of Ottawa, Kansas, whose children are, - Masabella and Flora; and Julia (O'Fall), of Labette, Kansas, whose children are, Franika, and Georgia.
Mr. Troester is a Republican in politics. He is a member of the G. A. R. In religious belief he and his wife are devout Catholics.

Partridge City Directory 1887 - 1888.
Reno County Kansas.

1. William Crotts, Blacksmith, Crotts & Crotts, shop at corner of Ave E & Briggs st.

2. S. M. Crotts, Blacksmith, Crotts & Crotts, shop at corner of Ave E & Briggs st.


JOHN MANK. - Three decades of honest, earnest perseverance at one line of work in one place is sure to bring its reward. To John Mank, blacksmith of Rosedale, Kansas, it has brought a comfortable living, a competency laid by for a rainy day, and a respected position in the community.

John Mank is a German-American. He was born in Germany in 1859, a son of John and Elizabeth (Roeder) Mank, both natives of the same province in which he was born. His parents passed their lives and died in Germany, the father dying in 1868, the mother in 1900. They were farmers, and in their family were seven children. Of this number two died in infancy. Four of the sons came to this country: Peter, a retired cigar manufacturer of Terre Haute, Indiana; Henry, the first, who died in New York state in 1876; Henry, the second, a cabinet maker of Rosedale, Kansas; and John.

John Mank learned the trade of blacksmith in Prussia, Germany, and remained there until he was nineteen. Then he went to England, where he worked at his trade for three years and a half. In 1881 he came to this country. He traveled around for about a year, visiting various towns and cities, and in 1882 took up his residence in Rosedale, Kansas, where he at once opened a blacksmith shop, which he has since conducted. Here he soon gained a footing as a substantial and respected citizen, which he has maintained throughout the nearly thirty years of residence here. He affiliates with the Republican party, and has been honored by local official preference. He has served as city councilman and as a member of the Board of Education, at present being treasurer of the board, a position he has filled for four years. His religious training was in the Lutheran church, of which his parents were members, and to which he still adheres.

In 1885 Mr. Mank married Miss Sallie Beatty, who was born in Westport, Kansas, in 1859, a daughter of early pioneers of that place, her mother having settled there in 1830 and her father in 1842. Of the four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Mank, two died in infancy. Those living are: Edith, at home; and Iva, a stenographer at Swift's Packing plant.

Fowler City, Meade County, Kansas.
1895, census.

1. Frank N. Lepel, age 40, Colo.
2. Benjamin Low, age 61, Mo.
3. G.F. Strader, age 41, Mo.

Ninth Regiment Kansas Volunteers - Cavalry
New Company C.

1. Washington Farris, Farrier and Blacksmith, Home Trading Post, enlisted Oct. 23, 1863, mustered in Dec. 8, 1863; Deserted, DeVall's Bluff, Ark., June 29, 1865.

2. John C. Hollingshead, Farrier and Blacksmith, Home Leavenworth, enlisted Nov. 13, 1863, mustered in Dec. 8, 1863; Mustered out July 17, 1865, DeVall's Bluff, Ark.


1. Caress, E. L., town Shawnee, Blacksmith, from Ind. Year 1866.
2. Collins, A., Aubry, Blacksmith.
3. Ernshaw, Henry, town Shawnee.
4. Jacks, D., Olathe, Blacksmith & Wagon Maker.

Grainfield, Gove County, Kansas, census 1880.

1. Ira Niemyer, age 20, born Iowa.

Joshua Harlan of Republic County, Kansas.

Joshua Harlan enlisted August 1st, 1862, at Valpariso, Indiana, and was enrolled in Co. I, 5th Indiana Cavalry, as a blacksmith, in which capacity he served but a few months when the blacksmith tools were turned over to the regiment quartermaster. Served in the 23d army corps under General Burnside. Took part in the battle of Henderson's Mills, Tennessee, after which the regiment fell back to Wraytown, where a stand was made and another battle fought. The rebel troops engaged were Bragg's and Longstreet's commands. Was in all the campaign in East Tennessee; was partially disabled by being thrown from his horse while making a cavalry charge; also took part in the capture of John Morgan; was mustered out and honorably discharged May 28th, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky.

Westmoreland, Kansas, November 2, 1899.

Josiah Comfort was one of the first men in this section to obtain a living from the public. He was a blacksmith, and for many years followed his trade at a shop on his farm.

Garnett, Anderson County, Kansas.
Census 1870.

1. Miller Henry, age 32, born Europe.
2. Swallow William M., age 17, born Ohio.
3. Downer Erasmus N., age 25, born Iowa.

Topeka City Directory-1874-5.

1. Arthur, Napoleon B., blacksmith. res w s Quincy bet 14th and 15th.
2. Asmussen, Andrew, blacksmith, res n w cor 4th and Quincy.
3. Bogert, John, blacksmith, res s s 3d nr Kansas ave.
4. Bosworth, Charles, blacksmith, res e s Quincy bet 14th and 15th.
5. Bowen, David, blacksmith. res w S Monroe bet 4th and 5th.
6. Burge, Edward, col'd, blacksmith, res e s Kansas ave bet 3d and 4th.
7. Doty, John, blacksmith, res e s Quincy bet 3d and 4th.
8. Ellison, C. H., blacksmith, res e s Jefferson bet 2nd and 3d.
9. Ellison, Churchell [sic!] H., blacksmith, n s Sixth ave bet Monroe and Quincy, res n w cor Jefferson and 2nd.
10. Erickson, Andrew, blacksmith, res s e cor Polk and 4th.
11. Fensky, Herman, blacksmith, w s Kansas ave, N.T., res same.
12. Ferren, John, blacksmith, res e s VanBuren bet 4th and 5th.
13. Frazier, J. A., col'd, blacksmith, res e s Jefferson bet 3d and 4th.
14. Gilbert, Wm., blacksmith, res e s Adams bet 2nd and 3d.
15. Golden, Charles, blacksmith, bds Ashbaugh House.
16. Helsing & Johnston, blacksmiths, 120 Kansas ave.
17. Hickman, Ambers H., blacksmith, res w s Kansas ave bet 9th and Tenth ave.
18. Huffman, S. R., blacksmith, s s 5th bet Kansas ave and Jackson, res cor 5th and Western ave.
19. Hunt, Jacob, blacksmith, 59 Kansas ave, res same.
20. McCann, Robert, blacksmith with K. B. Co.. res outside city limits.
21. Miller, Henry, blacksmith, res Van Buren bet 4th and 5th.
22. Miller, Ira. 0., blacksmith, bds w s Kansas ave bet 9th and Tenth ave.
23. Morgan, John H, blacksmith, res n w cor Adams and 3d.
24. Murgatroyd, Thomas, blacksmith, res 240 Kansas ave.
25. Perime & Armstrong. blacksmiths, Eighth ave bet Kansas ave and Quincy.
26. Smith, Chas. E., col'd, blacksmith, res w s Walnut, e end.
27. Snodgrass, Wm. O., blacksmith, res w s Monroe bet 13th and 14th.
28. Spendlove, Phillip C., blacksmith, e s Kansas ave bet Tenth ave and 11th, res n e cor 11th and Madison.
29. Sullivan, J. C., blacksmith, n s Eighth ave bet Monroe and Quincy.
30. Waggener & Cady, blacksmiths, w s Quincy bet 5th and Sixth ave.
31. Windsor, B., blacksmith with Topeka Rolling Mills, N. T.
32. Worland, T., blacksmith, n s 5th bet Kansas ave and Jackson.

The following concerns Mill Creek township, Kansas.

George Cook, a blacksmith, and his wife came here about 1856 or 1857, and lived on part of John Moll's farm. His wife died about 1859, and he sold out to a man by the name of Flynn, who came here from Leavenworth. Flynn, who had a wife and a boy and girl, lived here two years, when he returned to Leavenworth. Flynn sold out to James and Cornelius Herrington, who lived here with their families two or three years, then moved to Clear fork, near Blaine.

A Frenchman, by the name of Grabeer, a blacksmith, lived on the J. W. Garrett place in the early 60's. He had quite a family, consisting of his wife and several children, two of whom were Adam and Anthony. Adam enlisted in the 11th Kansas. He had a wife and some children, and moved to the Fulton farm, near Onaga, during the war. His parents moved to Washington county about 1861. Then a man by the name of Fizzel moved to the place. He had a wife and children, Cynthia, John and others, and moved to Washington county about 1864. Martin Luther is living northwest of Elsworth, Kan., where he is running a blacksmith shop.

Authors note. I could keep adding and adding but at some point one has to stop and I have reached point.

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