John Albers is one of the extensive farmers of Doniphan county, his home being near Bendena. He was born in Oldenburg, Jever, Germany, August 21, 1833, and is a son of Adde Meenen Albers, a well-to-do farmer, who was born in the same locality and married Maria Hendrichs; she died before the emigration of the family to America. In 1850 the father brought his children to the United States, locating in Doddridge county, Virginia, now West Virginia. He there purchased land and engaged in farming, becoming a prosperous and influential citizen. His death occurred some years ago. His children by his first marriage were: John; Albert, a resident of Rush county, Kansas; Gerhardt, who is the owner of a sheep ranch near Dillon, Kansas; Margaret, the wife of John Gabel, of Washington, D. C.; Mary, the wife of John Finster, of West Virginia; and Anne Lucenia, the wife of M. E. ???Ricklifs, of Doniphan county. After the death of his first wife Mr. Albers was again married, and the children of the second union were Christopher, George, Catherine, Sophia, Caroline, Ellen, Julia and Emma. Julia resides with her husband in Iowa and the other children are living in West Virginia.
In the schools of the fatherland John Albers obtained his education and at the age of sixteen years he came to the United States. At that time there was a rumor of foreign war in Germany and that fact hastened his departure. He sailed from Bremen on a vessel bound for New York and after a long voyage of forty-nine days anchor was dropped in the American harbor. Mr. Albers made his way to Cumberland, Maryland, where he spent the succeeding winter. When his father and the others of the family came to the new world he accompanied them to Doddridge county, Virginia, remaining under the parental roof until twenty years of age, when he began work in the neighborhood as a farm hand. In 1857 he started westward, in company with his brother, Albert, taking passage on a vessel at St. Mary's on the Ohio river and following the water route to Kansas City. From that point he directed his steps into the farming districts and secured work in Cass county, Missouri, in a sawmill. While employed there he suffered an attack of fever and ague and believing the climate unhealthful he made his way to Elwood, Kansas, where he spent a winter in chopping wood. In the spring he and his brother went to the Republican river country, but soon afterward returned to Doniphan county, and in the year 1861 engaged in farming in the Elwood valley.
The following spring John Albers returned to his old home in Virginia and was married, and then brought his bride to the Sunflower state, locating near Brenner, where he rented a farm for a year. The following spring he purchased forty acres of land on the southeast quarter of section 33, Wolf River township, paying therefor one hundred and fifty dollars. He also bought a house that stood near the bank of the Missouri river, whose destruction was eminent. This he moved to his farm and for the first time in his life began keeping house in his own home. With characteristic energy he began the development of his land and soon discovering what products were best adapted to this latitude he secured from his fields abundant harvests. Year by year his success has been augmented and in addition to the cultivation of grain he has secured a desirable profit from stock raising and feeding, which business he has followed for the past thirty-five years. From time to time he has added to his property by the additional purchase of adjoining lands and although he has given to five of his children a tract of two hundred and forty acres he still has three quarter-sections of land, together with an eighty-acre farm. He is accounted one of the most prosperous agriculturists of the community and yet his success has been won along legitimate lines, being the outcome of indefatigable industry and unfaltering purpose.
Mr. Albers has been twice married. He first wedded Caroline, a daughter of Charles Ladwig, who was a school teacher in Germany and came to the United States in 1852, locating in Doddridge county, Virginia. Ten years later he took up his abode in Kansas. Five children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Albers: Charles M.; Florence, the wife of J. M. Fisher; Herman, Albert and John. The mother of these children departed this life in 1873 and the following year Mr. Albers wedded Rosa Holzhey and their children are William, Eddie, Bertha, Ernest, George and Ruth.
During the civil war Mr. Albers was a member of the state militia and was with Colonel Tracy's command at Kansas City on the expedition against Price. In politics he is a stalwart Republican and frequently was seen at county conventions at an earlier day, but now takes no active part in political work. In religious belief he is a Lutheran. His life at all times has been honorable and upright, faithful to his duties of citizenship and loyal in friendship.