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John P. Koelzer, deceased, was for many years an enterprising farmer of Nemaha county and in his death the community lost one of its best citizens. He was born in Prussia, Germany, spent his boyhood days in that land and for three and a half years served as a soldier in the Prussian army. On emigrating to the United States he took up his residence in Wisconsin and in 1854 came to Kansas, locating in Nemaha county. There he secured government land and developed a farm, upon which his widow is now residing. He erected substantial buildings, including a good residence and barns, divided his fields into convenient size by well kept fences, planted orchards and made all the other improvements found on a model farm, his energies being devoted to its further development and cultivation until his death, which occurred October 18, 1886. He married Mary Margaret Wink, who was born in Prussia, Germany, June 9, 1837. Her father, George Wink, was a native of the same locality and by occupation was a farmer. In 1847 he came to the United States, taking up his abode on a farm in Wisconsin, where he died at the age of seventy-four years. He was also a soldier in the Prussian army about three years. His wife bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Becker and was a native of Germany, but her death occurred in Wisconsin, at the age of seventy years. This worthy couple were the parents of seven children, three of whom are now living. Mrs. Koelzer was the third in order of birth in the family and was a maiden of nine summers when she came with her parents to the new world. Her childhood days were passed in the Badger state and there she was married, in 1850. Four years later she accompanied her husband to Nemaha county, Kansas, becoming one of the pioneer settlers of the community. Thirteen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Koelzer: Joseph, who is now living in Richmond township, Nemaha county; Peter, deceased; Mary, the wife of Alexander Tiehen, of Nebraska; Sophronia. the wife of Pierce Haug, of Richmond township; George, who is living in Oklahoma territory; Eliza, the wife of Cornelius Hugo, of Nebraska; Henry, also of Oklahoma territory; Andrew. of Lindsay, Texas; Lena, the wife of John Broxterman, of Richmond township; William, of St. Benedict; Philena the wife of John Haug; Ann Catherine; and Lawrence, who is now deceased. The two eldest, John and Peter, were born in Wisconsin, but the others are natives of Nemaha county, Kansas.

Coming to Nemaha county in pioneer days, Mr. Koelzer took an active part in the work of development and improvement in his locality and was a public-spirited and progressive citizen. In politics he was a Democrat and in religious belief was a Catholic. He aided in building the first church in St. Benedict, as well as the second and third churches. Through his well directed efforts he accumulated a comfortable competence, becoming the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land. One-half of this was divided among his children, the other half going to his widow. Mrs. Koelzer still residies upon her farm and is one of the highly esteemed pioneer ladies of the county, whose growth and upbuilding she has witnessed.