Biography of Edward Henry Leitzbach

Edward Henry Leitzbach. The thirty odd years since he came to Humboldt have dealt kindly with Edward Henry Leitzbach. In that time he had attained one of the most substantial business positions in the community, had acquired a large share of material prosperity, and had used his means and ability wisely to promote those institutions and affairs which are most vitally connected with a city’s welfare.

Though of German ancestry, as his name indicates, Mr. Leitzbach was born in Connecticut at Robertsville in the town of Colebrook on August 6, 1864. His father, Nicholas Leitzbach, was born on the River Rhine in Germany in 1827. He was educated in his native land, learned the trade of cabinet maker, and served his time in the German army, being a participant in the war between Denmark and Germany during the close of the forties. He came to the United States in 1857, locating at Robertsville, Connecticut, where he followed his trade for many years. In 1887 he followed his son to Humboldt, Kansas, and continued working at his trade about ten years. His death occurred in December, 1911. In American politics he was allied with the democratic party. Nicholas Leitzbach married Elizabeth Esslinger. She was born in Germany in 1840, a daughter of Daniel Esslinger. Daniel Esslinger was born in Germany in 1812, brought his family to America about 1853, and located at Winstead, Connecticut. He was both a farmer and mechanic. He died near Winstead, Connecticut, in 1852. Elizabeth Leitzbach died in Humboldt, Kansas, in 1891. They were the parents of three children: Anna, widow of Rev. M. C. Wood, and living in Humboldt, her husband having been a minister of the Congregational Church; Augustus, who graduated from the Bellevue Hospital Medical College at New York City in 1885, and since then had been actively engaged in practice as a physician and surgeon at Fairmount, Illinois; and Edward Henry.

Edward Henry Leitzbach grew up in his native town of Connecticut, attended the public schools at Robertsville and the high school at Winstead, and his early tastes inclined him to mercantile pursuits. He had three years’ experience as a worker in a store in Connecticut, and in 1885 with limited capital and with this experience as a foundation came to Humboldt and bought a half interest in a furniture store. His partner for three years was J. N. Utterson. At the end of that time Mr. Leitzbach acquired the entire business, and had conducted it now as sole proprietor for upwards of twenty-eight years. It is the largest furniture stock in this part of the county, and it had been a center of a large patronage and of reliable merchandising for many years. The store is located on Bridge Street between Seventh and Eighth. Mr. Leitzbach owned the building as well as the stock, and from his participation in business affairs as a furniture merchant had gradually extended his interests to many other concerns. He had always favored Kansas land as an excellent investment, and at the present time owned altogether 1,890 acres. This includes a farm of 160 acres adjoining Humboldt on the east; 150 acres southeast of Humboldt; a half section of land, 320 acres, five miles northeast of Humboldt; an improved farm of eighty acres adjoining the last tract just mentioned; 160 acres four miles northeast of Humboldt; a 240-acre improved farm two miles north of Humboldt, with 160 acres adjoining; and 150 acres three miles east of Humboldt. Of his total holdings he had three farms of eighty acres each in Woodson County, Kansas. His interests also extend to Humboldt real estate. Besides his home at 1021 New York Street he owned the Theater Building on Bridge Street, a store building at the corner of Eighth and Bridge Street, the building in which the hardware store is located on Bridge Street, and also another store building along the same thoroughfare. He also had several dwelling houses. Mr. Leitzbach is president of the Humboldt Brick Manufacturing Company and a director of the Humboldt National Bank. The Humboldt Brick Manufacturing Company is one of the most successful concerns of its kind in this section of Kansas. It employs fifty people and its output of tile and brick is shipped not only over the various counties of Kansas, but to Iowa, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas. The plant had the most modern and improved machinery, and had been going forward successfully ever since it was established in 1897. Mr. Leitzbach was one of the original stockholders.

In politics he is a republican. He served as mayor of Humboldt in 1912-13, and for two terms was a member of the city council. He is identified with the Humboldt Board of Trade, and is a very active and liberal member of the Presbyterian Church at Humboldt, being a trustee and elder. He is one of the liberal contributors to the erection of the handsome new church on Bridge Street, costing $20,000. Fraternally his membership is with Pacific Lodge No. 29, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Wichita Consistory No. 2 of the Scottish Rite, Humboldt Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Humboldt Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America.

Mr. Leitzbach was married in Elsmore, Kansas, in June, 1899, to Miss Ona Cox, daughter of W. D. and Gertrude Cox, the latter now deceased. Her father still lives in Elsmore and owned the elevator there. Mr. and Mrs. Leitzbach have one daughter, Gertrude, born May 1, 1910.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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