FRANKLIN P LONBERGER
The business interests of Willis are well represented by Mr. Lonberger, who is now extensively and successfully engaged in dealing in grain and stock. He came to this town in 1887, and, beginning operations on a small scale, he has steadily increased his sales until he now handles large quantities of grain annually. This is undoubtedly largely due to his honorable business methods, as well as to his untiring industry. He was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, November 21, 1852, and is a member of the family that has long been identified with the Keystone state. His ancestors were Pennsylvania Dutch. The progenitor of the Center county Lonbergers was George Lonberger, who at a very early date come from York, Pennsylvania, and settled in Center county and died in Bellefonte, the county seat of Center county. Industry and integrity were numbered among the chief characteristics of those who bore the name of Lonberger. His parents were George W. and Elizabeth Lonberger. The father was born November 4, 1817, on a small farm, where occurred the birth of our subject, and there he was reared to manhood. His wife died in 1861, leaving ten children, six sons and four daughters, as follows: Augustus, a resident of Lincoln Centre, Kansas; George J., of Pennsylvania; John H., who also resides at Lincoln Centre; Franklin P., of this review; Thomas M. and Hiram B.; Mary, who married J. D. Miller; Ella, widow of Rev. J. K. Miller; Alice, who married Samuel Wait, and Henrietta, who died in infancy. Mr. Lonberger married for his second wife Mary Flory, by whom he has had three children: Oscar, of Pennsylvania; Elizabeth, widow of Robert Murray, and Fanny, who died in infancy. The father is a successful farmer and is still living on the old homestead, where his birth occurred. In politics he is a Democrat, and is a worthy and valued citizen, who enjoys the respect of all who know him.
Franklin P. Lonberger was reared under the parental roof, and was early trained to habits of industry and economy. He began work in the fields as soon as old enough to handle the plow. Through the winter months he pursued his education in the public schools, and later he attended an academy in Pennsylvania. At an early age he began teaching, being thus employed in Pennsylvania until twenty-one years of age. The year 1876 witnessed his arrival in Kansas, at which time he took up his abode in Doniphan county, where he successfully engaged in teaching, becoming one of the most popular educators of this locality. For some time he engaged in farming in Wolf River township, Doniphan county, and in 1887 came to Willis and began dealing in grain and stock. Gradually his business has grown, and year by year his capital has been augmented. He is the owner of a splendidly equipped elevator plant and handles a large quantity of grain, having sold three hundred thousand bushels in a season. He has applied himself diligently to his business, and his fair and honorable dealings have secured to him the confidence of his patrons, and thereby he has won their business support.
Mr. Lonberger was married in Doniphan county, Kansas, in 1880, to Miss Myra F. Devine, a daughter of Charles N. and A. J. (Davidson) Devine, of Doniphan county, where Mrs. Lonberger was born. By her marriage she has become the mother of five children, namely: Carrie E., George Noble, Kitty A., Frank M. and Winifred. Mr. Lonberger exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Democratic party, and does all in his power to promote the interests of his party and secure the election of his friends. He has served as a member of the village council, yet has never been an active politician in the sense of office-seeking. He keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, both politically and otherwise, and is a valued member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is one of the most genial and companionable of men, and very popular with all classes. His success is well merited, having been the outcome of earnest and continued endeavor, guided by sound judgment.