Through thirty years Mr. Ukele has been identified with the agricultural interests of Nemaha county and now resides on section 28, Berwick township, where his fine farm indicates his careful supervision and his progressive spirit. His careful prosecution of his business affairs has brought him creditable success and he is to-day numbered among the substantial citizens of his community.
A native of Michigan, Mr. Ukele was born in Washtenaw county on the 12th of April, 1842. His father, Christian Ukele, was a native of Germany and on crossing the Atlantic to America, in 1817, took up his abode in Washtenaw county, where he made farming his life work. He was, however, a baker by trade, although in this land he devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits. His death occurred when he was about fifty-eight years of age. In the 30s he went to Chicago, which was then but little more than a frog pond. It was his intention to engage in the bakery business in the future metropolis, but death ended his labors there before he had actively become connected with business interests. In his family were eight children.
Fred Ukele, the subject of this review, is the fourth in order of birth and was reared in the county of his nativity, where he remained until 1860. In that year he went to Henry county, Illinois, where he enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, and served in 1864-5, until the war closed, when he received an honorable discharge. He was very loyal to duty and faithfully fought to protect the cause represented by the flag.
Returning to Henry county when his services were no longer needed in the field of battle, he began to work at the blacksmith's trade, which he carried on in that locality for three and a half years. Thinking, however, to better his financial condition in the less thickly settled districts in the west, he chose Nemaha county, Kansas, as the scene of his future labors and he made his way to the Sunflower state, purchasing the farm upon which he now resides. It was then a tract of wild prairie, on which not a furrow had been turned or any improvement made, but with characteristic energy he began its development. He is one of the oldest settlers in the township and he has made his farm one of the most valuable and attractive properties. He owns two hundred and forty acres of rich and arable land, all of which is under a high state of cultivation, and the various improvements on the place indicate the activity and enterprise which have characterized his business career. In connection with general farming be is also engaged in stock raising and now has upon his farm about one hundred and fifty head of cattle which he is preparing for the market.
In 1873, while Mr. Ukele was chopping wood, a tree about two feet thick fell across his right side, crippling him for life. Notwithstanding this accident, however, he has continued to superintend his farm and has through his well-directed efforts became the possessor of a handsome competence.
In 1864, in Geneseo, Illinois, Mr. Ukele was united in marriage to Miss Christie Oleson, a native of Sweden, who came to America in early girlhood and was reared in Henry county, Illinois. Two children have been born of their union: Edward, whose birth occurred in Henry county, Illinois, and Sylvan, who was born in Nemaha county, Kansas. The family is well known in the community and its representatives occupy a leading position in social circles. Mr. Ukele is a man of pronounced political opinions, unswerving in his support of the Republican party and on that ticket he has been elected to a number of township offices, wherein he has discharged his duties with promptness and fidelity. He holds membership in the Baptist church and is one of its deacons. His life has been well spent and while his business affairs have gained him a handsome property his straightforward dealing has won him the respect and confidence of his fellow men.