HENRY A LAVERENTZ
One of the loyal German-American pioneers of Doniphan county, and a leading farmer of Wolf River township, is the gentleman whose name forms the caption of this article. He was born in the grand duchy of Oldenburg, Germany, January 2, 1827, and is a representative of an influential and honorable family of the empire. His father, Henry Gerhardt Laverentz, was extensively engaged in farming and stock-raising. He, too, was born in Oldenburg, which was the ancestral home of the family for more than two centuries previous. He married Catherine Meiners, and they became the parents of the following named: Henry A., and Edward, who resides in Germany. The father died in 1830, and the following year the mother became the wife of John Eberling, by whom she had six children: John, George, Frederick, Ellen, Annie and Catherine.
Henry A. Laverentz attended school in his native land until fourteen years of age, after which he devoted his energies to the work of the farm until his service was required in the royal army. For three years he was a member of the Dragoons, and after leaving the army he determined to seek a home and fortune in America. Accordingly he made his way to Bremen, where he took passage on the steamer New York, bound for the port of that name, and after arriving in the new world he made his way at once to Kansas. Here he purchased a farm on Wolf river, between Severance and Leona. It was a tract of wild land, but with characteristic energy he began its development, and in course of time transformed it into richly cultivated fields. As he carried on the work of cultivation and improvement his financial resources were thereby increased and enabled him to extend the boundaries of his farm by the additional purchase of another quarter-section of land. He now has one of the valuable farming properties of the county, and follows practical and progressive methods in his farming operations.
During the civil war Mr. Laverentz responded to the call for aid in suppressing the rebellion in the south. He was not then a naturalized citizen, but being opposed to the institution of slavery, he joined the boys in blue of Company A, Seventh Kansas Cavalry, and going to the front participated in the Little Blue fight, in Jackson county, Missouri, his first engagement. Later he took part in the battles of Corinth, Holly Springs, Coffeeville, Tupelo and Tuscumbia, together with many minor engagements and skirmishes. His regiment made it a business to harass the enemy, cut off detachments and destroy Confederate supplies, and in this way rendered effective service. On the expiration of his first term Mr. Laverentz re-enlisted as a veteran at La Grange, Tennessee, and was promoted to the rank of orderly sergeant. After four years of loyal service, in which he was always found faithful to his duty, he received an honorable discharge at Leavenworth, Kansas, October 27, 1865, and with a creditable military record returned home.
He then resumed farming, and has since devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits. He was married, in 1866, to Mrs. George Eberling, a widow, whose maiden name was Annie Heye, and for a third of a century they have now traveled life's journey together, sharing with each other its joys and sorrows, adversity and prosperity. They have one child, a son, Henry A., Jr., who resides upon and operates the homestead farm. He was born October 26, 1870, and married Lizzie Heastan, daughter of Benjamin F. Heastan. Their children are Mabel and Blanche. Mr. Laverentz, Jr., is also a member of the milling firm of Eberling & Laverentz, doing business in Severance, and is regarded as one of the leading and enterprising young men of Doniphan county.
Both the father and sons are stanch Republicans in their political views and the gentleman whose name heads this sketch has long been regarded as one of the leading supporters of the party in Wolf River township. He has frequently been seen in the conventions of his party, and has wielded a wide influence. Socially he is connected with Severance Post, G. A. R., and finds pleasant companionship among his Old army comrades with whom he fought on southern battlefields in defense of the land which he loves and whose institutions he honors. He is widely and favorably known in his adopted county, and with pleasure we present his record to our readers.