No more fitting illustration can be given of the appreciation bestowed upon its people by a republic than in the respect and admiration given to its self-made men. The history of such a one is always of interest and the life record usually contains lessons which others may profitably follow. Mr. Halling has sought not the alluring promises of the future, but has striven in the present and utilized the opportunities that have surrounded him and thus he has won a leading position in connection with the great material industries of the state. He is accounted one of the leading stock dealers of Doniphan and has met with marked success in his undertakings in this direction.
He was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, October 1, 1848, and is a son of the late Lambert Halling, who was born in Hessen, Germany, in 1806. His father was a carpenter and under his direction he learned that trade in the city of Frankfort.
In 1840 Lambert Halling left the land of his birth and reached America with a very limited capital, amounting to only a few cents. He followed his trade in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, being employed by Mr. Libert for some time. He was married there, in 1845, and in 1857 started with his family by the river route for St Joseph, Missouri, but soon afterward located permanently in Doniphan, Kansas. Here he became well known as an expert mechanic and builder and aided in the erection of the Catholic college and convent in Atchison, the first church of St. Mary's at Purcell, St. Benedict's church near Denton and innumerable farm residences and other buildings in Doniphan and Atchison counties. In 1859 he pre-empted a tract of land near Doniphan and upon that farm, in comfort and ease, he spent the last years of his life. He was successful in his agricultural pursuits and therefore capable of directing the efforts of his sons in early life so that they became prosperous business men. In his religious faith he was a consistent Catholic and gave liberally of his means to church, to benevolent and educational enterprises, and died May 20, 1895. He wedded Mary Gruch and his children were: John, a Union soldier in the civil war who now resides in the Ozark mountain region of Missouri; Frank, of this review; Mary, the wife of John F. Libel, a properous farmer on Wolf river; Minnie, the wife of William Mangelstorf, of Bushton, Kansas; Julia, the wife of Theodore Jockems, of Barton county, Kansas; Annie, the wife of Sebastian Rosenhover; Elizabeth, the wife of Hermann Gronniger, of Union township, Doniphan county, and August, who is living on the old homestead.
Frank Halling was reared on his father's farm near Doniphan. He attended school in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and was also a student in Atchison College for three months. His early efforts at farming were carried on under the guidance of his father. As an experiment and to encourage industry and develop independent action in his sons, his father gave him a cow and a horse in 1869 and later he sold these in order to make other investments. He used his capital, together with what he had earned in binding wheat, to purchase calves, which he fed for a season or two and then sold at a good profit. As opportunity offered he enlarged his field of operation as a stock dealer and in 1875 purchased his present farm, making the first payment with the proceeds of the cattle that he had sold. This left him with an indebtedness of twenty-two hundred dollars, upon which interest at ten and twelve per cent, was to be paid. His payments were made as agreed upon and from time to time substantial improvements were placed on the property. Later he became the owner of an additional tract of one hundred and twenty acres on section 29, Wolf River township, and in connection with his father he purchased a quarter-section of land near the old homestead in 1888, borrowing seventy-five dollars to make the first payment upon the place. Within three years he had paid off all the indebtedness and with the passing years success has attended his efforts and a gratifying degree of prosperity has come to him as a stock dealer. He is an excellent judge of stock and his judicious investments have always resulted in securing to him a good profit. He is recognized as one of the leading stock dealers in northeastern Kansas and has carried on business along that line on an extensive scale.
On the 18th of May, 1880, Mr. Halling was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Gronniger, whose father was one of the early settlers of Union township, Doniphan county. Their children are: Ella; Lambert, deceased; Bernard and Elizabeth, deceased; Frank, August, Adelaide, Lydia, Frederick and Olivia. In his political views Mr. Halling is a Democrat and was once elected treasurer of Wolf River township, but cares not for political honors. His life has been a busy and useful one and his energy and enterprise have been the salient features in his success.