Among the prominent German families of Eden, Lancaster township, Atchison county, Kansas, the family of John Schletzbaum has long been well known. John Schletzbaum himself was for a protracted period one of the leader's in township affairs, and Francis Schletzbaum has been one of the most active men in the township during recent years.
Francis Schletzbaum was born in Munich, Bavaria, November 21, 1831, a son of John and Annie (Schuester) Schletzbaum, who had children as follows: Barbara, who married Joseph Baner, and is buried in Saint Clair county, Illinois; Annie, widow of John Wetzer, who lives at San Diego, California; Mary, wife of Charles Kuchs, of Davenport, Iowa; and Joseph, now deceased, who was once county clerk of Doniphan county, Kansas.
The Schletzbaum family came to the United States from Bremen, on the Louisa, to Baltimore, being sixty-five days en route. They were bound for Belleville, Illinois, and it required three weeks for them to make the journey from Baltimore to St. Louis. In 1856 the head of the family died near Belleville, and two years later the subject of this sketch came to Kansas. He came by steamer on the Missouri river and settled on a pre-emption claim in Doniphan county, previously selected by himself, which farm is now the property of Frederick Metz. He remained at that location until 1865, when he sold his title and purchased a piece of unimproved land in Atchison county, where his beautiful and attractive home now stands.
During the past thirty-four years Mr. Schletzbaum has made the most of his opportunities. His labor has been rewarded and his original quarter-section has grown to a tract of five hundred and sixty acres, and upon his farm can be found all the requirements necessary to handle and properly house all the products of the field. Fortune has smiled upon him and Providence has dealt with him with a hand no less just than generous. If when old age overtakes him he is bountifully provided, it is in the way of a Divine blessing conferred upon one whose acts have been acts of honor and whose deeds have been deeds of peace. Frank Schletzbaum is an extensive farmer and has always been a grower of stock. Recently he has engaged in the breeding of a fine grade of polled Durham cattle.
One of the well known Republicans of his township, he does his part as a delegate, and as a local worker but never permits himself to become a candidate for an elective office. He has been Eden's postmaster for a quarter of a century, has served thirty-five years on the school board and is a member of the executive committee of the county central committee. Mr. Schletzbaum was not regularly enlisted in the federal service during the days of the civil war, but he was a member of the state militia of Kansas and was called out at the time General Price raided Missouri, advancing toward Kansas City. Westport was the only place at which his company came near having an engagement with the rebels, which opportunity was lost only by the cowardice or incapacity of Colonel Treat.
Francis Schletzbaum was married in Illinois, in 1857, to Elizabeth Schaad, who was born in Switzerland in 1838. Their children are: Frank Schletzbaum, who is married to Victoria Hess; Antoine, a telegraph operator with the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, who is married to Frankie Buckles; John, whose wife was Mary Hunkey; Mary, deceased wife of Dr. Shelley; Emma, Mrs. Edward Donland, of Atchison; Annie, bookkeeper for the Lewis Shultz Lumber Company, of Atchison; Cyril; and Olive.