Search billions of records on
Navigation Tree The Kansans
advanced search (recommended)
a Generation of Kansas Pioneers in Atchison, Brown & Doniphan Counties

4. Springer Family History

Source Citation:
Richard Wilson, "", The Kansans and Whence They Came, Internet: . (Accessed 24 Feb 2017).
< >

M ary Ann, Samuel, Polly, John, and Jacob are five children of George and Elizabeth Springer who migrated to northeastern Kansas. The first four arrived c.1860 with the fifth coming a couple years later after a brief period in Missouri. All were born in Ohio, but they would spend roughly 20 years of their youth and young adulthood in Stark County, Illinois, before moving on.

Samuel Springer

Springer Family Migration Route to Kansas
Springer Family Migration Route to Kansas
1. York County, Pennsylvania
2. Fairfield County, Ohio
3. Stark County, Illinois
4. Doniphan & Brown Counties, Kansas

Samuel Springer was born c.1832 in Ohio. When a child, he moved with his family to Illinois where he later married Nancy Dixon 07 Apr 1853 in Peoria County. About 1860, Samuel took his family and mother to live in Iowa Township, Doniphan County, Kansas. He and Nancy have not been found after the 1885 census. Their children were:

  1. Mary (c.1854).
  2. Martha (c.1854).
  3. Jefferson (1856-1948) who married Sarah E. Forney 1882 in Holt County, Missouri, and moved there c.1893 after living in Nebraska.
  4. Melissa (c.1860).
  5. William Henry (1864-1948) who married Francis M. Kinney 1885 in Holt County and moved there as well.
  6. Malinda (c.1866).
  7. Angeline (c.1869).
  8. James (c.1872-1881).

Mary Ann Springer

Mary Ann Springer, the youngest child, was born in November 1835, and she married William Harrison Rutherford on 14 Mar 1853 in Stark County, Illinois. The Springer and Rutherford families became fairly well intertwined. Harrison had a brother named Anson Rutherford who was already married to a sister of Samuel Springerís wife, Charity Dixon.note1 Mary Ann and Harrisonís family moved to Kansas about the same time as Samuel between 1857-61. In March 1865, the two families purchased adjoining 80 acre properties located about four miles northwest of the town of Highland in Doniphan County (NW1/4 Sect7 Twp2 Range19). By 1882, Samuel had moved to a larger farm a couple miles east, but Harrison and Mary Ann were still at the same location. Between 1885-95, they relocated to Brown County, Kansas, where Mary Ann died 31 Jul 1909 while living with their son, David. She was buried in the Highland Cemetery in Highland. Mary Ann and Harrison had the following children:

  1. David H. (1853-1922).
  2. Sarah J. (c.1857).
  3. Marianne (c.1861).
  4. Mary Ellen (1865).
  5. Rosetta (1867).
  6. Dora (1872-1955).
  7. [See Rutherford Family History for more details on these children.]

Polly Springer

Catherine "Polly" Springer married John Colwell 07 Feb 1839 in Hocking County, Ohio, before the Springer family had moved to Illinois. They were living in Stark County, Illinois, in 1850, and had presumably moved here by 1843 when their eldest child was born in the state. In 1865, they were living in Doniphan County, Kansas, but further south than the others in Wolf River Township. By 1870, they had permanently moved to Holt County, Missouri. John died here 27 Jan 1895 and Polly died 21 Feb 1902. Both were buried in the Maitland Cemetery in Holt County. They had the following children, all of whom were born in Illinois:

  1. Catherine (c.1843).
  2. Robert H. (c.1845).
  3. Mary (c.1847).
  4. Ellen (c.1849).
  5. Melinda (c.1851).
  6. Rebecca (c.1854).
  7. John (c.1857).
  8. Moses (c.1859).

John Springer

John Springer was born November 1826 in Ohio, and he married Sarah "Sally" Coleman on 18 Jan 1846 in Stark County, Illinois. After leaving Illinois, they did not move directly to Kansas. John moved his growing family to Westport, Missouri, probably about the same time that his siblings were going to Kansas. He was in Missouri in 1860 and remained until c.1861-62. From here, he joined the others in Doniphan County, Kansas. John, along with his brother, Samuel, was sworn into the Kansas State Militia 27 Sept 1862. They spent 19 days on active duty from 12 Oct 1864 during "Priceís Raid", receiving 53 1/3Ę per day.

Along with some other Springer and Rutherford families, John and Sally moved to Phillips County, Kansas, between 1875-80. They returned by 1885, but their oldest son remained. They apparently settled near Highland, where Sally was listed as a widow in 1910. John and Sally had eleven children:

  1. William Hiram (1846-1888) who married Jane Armentrout 1868 in Doniphan County, Kansas, but moved to Phillips County.
  2. David (1849) who died as an infant.
  3. John W. (1852).
  4. Charles (1852-1854) who died as an infant.
  5. Samuel W. (1854) who married Annie L. c.1877.
  6. Mary E. (c.1857-1954) who married William James Ptomey 1894 in Hiawatha, Brown County, Kansas, and lived in Highland.
  7. Sarah (c.1859).
  8. George W. (1861) who apparently never married and lived in Highland with his brother, John, after 1905.
  9. Ella (c.1863) who married a Mr. McBride.
  10. James E. (1863-1901).
  11. Martha (c.1866).

Jacob Springer

Jacob C. Springer Sr. was probably the last of the five to move to Kansas. Jacob was born c.1825 in Ohio, and he first married Samantha L. White 02 Jan 1848 in Stark County, Illinois. Samantha died in 1862 and was buried in the Stringtown Cemetery in Stark County. They had seven children in Illinois:

  1. Jacob C., Jr. (c.1848) who married Nancy Rutherford 1872 in Doniphan County, Kansas. Nancy was a sister of Harrison Rutherford.
  2. Mary Elizabeth (1851-1935) who married Ezra Keller 1872 in Doniphan County.
  3. Nancy Jane (1852) who married Charles Keller, a brother of Ezra, 1870.
  4. George F. (c.1854).
  5. William Henry (c.1856).
  6. John Alva (c.1859) who married Tabitha Ford 1881 in the Severance City Hotel in Doniphan County.
  7. Charlotte (c.1862).

Jacob then remarried to Catherine Eby Armentrout on 17 Jul 1863 in Peoria County, Illinois. Their oldest daughter was born in Illinois in May 1864, but was buried in Highland, Kansas, in February 1865. Therefore, they must have initially moved to Doniphan County between these dates. Between 1875-1880, they had moved further west to Phillips County, Kansas, and were still there in 1885. In 1895 Jacob was living with a son from his first marriage, George, in Walnut Township, Brown County, Kansas, but Catherine was not there. This is where Jacob died 21 Jul 1899. In 1900 Catherine and their two youngest sons were living in Surface Creek, Delta County, Colorado. Jacob and Catherine had at least six children together, all born in Kansas:

  1. Ida Belle (1864-1865) who died as an infant.
  2. Samantha Catherine "Cassie" (c.1866).
  3. Charles Benton (c.1868) who married a woman named Sarah and moved to Ada County, Idaho.
  4. Florence E. (1871-1873) who died as an infant.
  5. Nellie Lucinda (1874-1968) who first married James Bruner 1893 in Phillips County. She second married Charles Edward Roberts 1910, and third John Richard "Jack" Olson 1918 in Grants Pass, Oregon.
  6. Joseph O. (c.1878).
  7. Caleb Lincoln (1880) who lived in Colorado in 1900.
  8. Albert Roy (1882-1941) who also lived in Colorado in 1900. He married Minnie Issabell Olson 1911 in Josephine County, Oregon, and died in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

George Springer

The father of the previous four was George Springer, Sr. who was born in Pennsylvania on 6 Sep 1789. Their mother was Elizabeth Heidlebaugh who was born 1 May 1793 in Conewago Township, York County, Pennsylvania, to Jacob and Catharina Heidlebaugh. George and Elizabeth married 11 Jun 1812 in Fairfield County, Ohio.

The two were still living in Fairfield County during the 1830 census. Sometime between the birth of their youngest child in Ohio in 1835 and the death of a son in Illinois in 1841, the family relocated to Stark County, Illinois. It may have been toward the end of that range, since a daughter married in adjacent Hocking County, Ohio, in 1839. In Illinois, George passed away on 10 Oct 1849 after a 2 week illness caused by "inflammation of the brain", or encephalitis. He was buried in the Stringtown Cemetery in this county. Elizabeth remained here until making the trip to Kansas with her children. She died 27 Nov 1870 and was buried in the Highland Cemetery in Highland, Doniphan County, Kansas.note2 George and Elizabeth had thirteen children, all before leaving Ohio:

  1. Catherine (1813) who married Moses Lasley.
  2. Sarah (1814-1891) who married George Fantz 1833 and died in Stark County.
  3. George Jr. (1815-1886) who married Christina Fantz 1836 in Fairfield County, Ohio, and died in Stark County, Illinois.
  4. Catherine "Polly" (c.1816-1902) previously discussed.
  5. Henry (1817-1845) who married Araminta Miller 1843 in Peoria County, Illinois, and died in Stark County.
  6. Elizabeth (1819-1899) who married Reuben Colwell 1842 in Stark County, Illinois.
  7. Andrew (1822-1841) who married Hannah Frasee and died in Stark County.
  8. Jacob C. (c.1825-1899) previously discussed.
  9. John (1826) previously discussed.
  10. David (1828-1909) who married Mary Katherine Chandler 1852 in Stark County and died in Webster County, Iowa.
  11. Noah (1830-1901) who married Rebeccah Eby in 1852 in Stark County and died in Webster County, Iowa.
  12. Samuel (c.1832) previously discussed.
  13. Mary Ann (1835-1909) also previously discussed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Springer Selected Documents

Civil War Payroll

Kansas Militia in the Civil War, Adjutant General's Office, 1908.

Vol.4, p.4
Co. A, 9th Regiment

Name: John Springer, Private
Joined and sworn in 27 Sept 1862 at Highland by I. P. Johnson.
Ordered into active service 12 Oct 1864 to Atchison by Gov. Carney.
Relieved from duty 27 Oct 1864 Gov. Carney.
Number of Days in Actual Service: 19
Pay per day: .53 1/3
Amount of pay: 10.13
Valuation of Clothing Drawn: 2.22
Total Amount Due: 12.35
Total Amount Paid: 11.00
Rec'd of Payment: John Springer, witness by D. Whitaker Mar. 11 1870.

Name: Samuel Springer, Private
Joined and sworn in 27 Sept 1862 at Highland by I. P. Johnson.
Ordered into active service 12 Oct 1864 to Atchison by Gov. Carney.
Relieved from duty 27 Oct 1864 Gov. Carney.
Number of Days in Actual Service: 19
Pay per day: .53 1/3
Amount of pay: 10.13
Valuation of Clothing Drawn: 2.22
Total Amount Due: 12.35
Total Amount Paid: 11.00
Rec'd of Payment: Samuel Springer, witness by D. Whitaker Mar. 11 1870.


Horton Commercial, Horton, KS, [newspaper].

5 Aug 1909

Grandma Rutherford departed this life Saturday at 2 p.m. She had been sick for several days but her death was a surprise. She was past 70 years of age. The funeral was preached by Rev. Grout in the Wesleyan church Sunday. We failed to get an obituary.

Horton Headlight, Horton, KS, [newspaper].

5 Aug 1909

D. H. Rutherford's mother died at his home July 31. She was 74 years old and died of heart failure.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


  1. [To clarify, Mary Ann Springer was married to her brotherís (Samuel Springer) wifeís (Nancy Dixon) sisterís (Charity Dixon) husbandís (Anson Rutherford) brother (Harrison Rutherford).]
  2. [Find more information regarding the burial location of Elizabeth Heidlebaugh in the Appendix.]