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W. H. Bodecker, a Butler county pioneer, came to Butler county at a time when many early settlers were having a struggle for existence, but Mr. Bodecker was not of that type. He had the fore- sight to see great possibilities in the future of this section of Kansas and the courage to act according to his convictions. He invested heavily in lands, and, as a reward of his capability and industry, he has become one of the wealthy men of the county, and is now the largest land owner in Murdock township.
Mr. Bodecker was born in Adams county, Illinois, in 1853, and is a son of G. D. and Anna Bodecker, Illinois pioneers and of German descent. He came to Butler county in 1885 and bought 160 acres of land. Having some means when he came here, he was in a position to take advantage of opportunities when he saw them. He started in Butler county with a cash capital of $7,000 and bought land from time to time, not only in Butler, but Sedgwick and Comanche counties, until he became the owner of 3,371 acres. Some of this land has not only doubled, but more than tripled in value since he bought it. He went into the cattle business extensively, and became one of the successful cattle men of this part of the State. In 1907, he realized $21,000 from cattle alone, and that was just about an average year.
Mr.. Bodecker was married, in 1878, to Miss Marguerite Schmitt of Illinois, and a daughter of Andreas Schmitt, a prosperous farmer of that State. To Mr. and Mrs. Bodecker have been born the following children : Louis, Benton, Kans. ; Mrs. Emma Leeder, Benton, Kans. ; Mrs. Rose Wilson, Augusta, Kans. ; W. J., Benton, Kans. ; Mrs. Christina Ohlson, Benton, Kans. ; Frank, Benton : Nellie, viola and Beatrice, all of Wichita.
In 1912, Mr. Bodecker retired from active business life and built an $8,000 residence in Wichita, where he now resides. At the time that he retired, he gave each of his five children a quarter section of land, and they are all successful and well-to-do farmers and stockmen. The Bodecker family are well known in Butler county, and are prominent in the community where they reside.
Mr. Bodecker died November 27, 1938, and is buried in Highland Cemetery, Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas. Mrs. Bodecker died October 14, 1932 and is buried beside him.