Biography of Peter Moyer

Peter Moyer. On the old historic farm in Shawnee County, not far from North Topeka, which was located by the Hon. Thomas Ewing of Ohio, and which was later occupied by the famous United States military leader, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, resided Peter Moyer, who had lived in this community since 1878. Prior to that year he had lived in a number of communities, in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, but after coming to Kansas settled permanently and had never cared to leave the Sunflower State. He had devoted himself to farming throughout his career and the success that had come to him had been a reward for a life of industry and honorable, upright living.

Mr. Moyer is a native of the Kingdom of Bavaria, and was born May 22, 1845, his parents being also natives of that country. His father, John Moyer, was a woodworker in the land of his birth and there passed his entire life as a plain, unassuming man, content to follow his trade and rear his family, without desire for public preferment of any kind. He and his wife had five sons and two daughters: Adam, Henry, Margaret, John, Peter, Jacob and Eva, of whom Adam, Henry, John and Peter came to the United States, the first three named settling in Mismi County, Ohio. Peter Moyer was educated in the public schools of Bavaria and there was engaged in varlous oceupations before he formed the idea of coming to America and gathered the means together to carry out his determination. Finally, in 1867, he made the journey and in that year settled in Elkhart County, Indiana, where he took up farming. After one year Mr. Moyer removed to Kalamazoo County, Michigan, spent twelve months there and a like period in Wabash County, Indiana, and then moved to Wyandotte County, Ohio, where he made his home on a farm for seven years. In 1878 Mr. Moyer came to Kansas and settled, as noted, on the old historic property which had been located during the pioneer history of the state by Hon. Thomas Ewing of Ohio. In 1855, Mr. Ewing’s sonin-law, William Tecumseh Sherman, had come here and built a log cabin, in which Mr. Moyer subsequently lived for a period of twelve years. In this connection an anecdote told by Mr. Moyer is auropos: Ezekiel Marple, one of Mr. Moyer’s neighbors, and an old resident of this community, became well acquainted with Sherman while living on Indian Creek, in 1855, and when the general, many years after, and at the height of his fame, was passing through North Topeka, Mr. Marple pushed his way through the crowd, and, addressing the great war hero and statesman, said: “You don’t look like you did up on Indian Creek twenty-five years ago.” In very characteristic language, General Sherman, recognizing his old friend, replied to the effect that after what he had passed through since he had seen him last, it was no wonder that he had changed.

When Mr. Moyer first located on his present property, it was owned by David Shellabarger, from whom he secured it in 1880. Mr. Shellabarger proved a kind and true friend, helped Mr. Moyer to get the farm, and rendered him every assistance in his power, thus giving him a good start toward success and enlisting his lasting gratitude. Mr. Moyer had never diverged from his agricultural labors, for in them he had found satisfying prosperity, his property now being one of the valuable ones of the northern part of the county. He had made numerous improvements which have enhanced its value and had brought its soil to a high state of cultivation, so that bumper crops are the rule and not the exception on his land. He is known in his community as an honest, industrious man and a good neighbor, while the high quality of his citizenship had never been doubted. His family had been reared carefully and educated well and the sons and daughters have all taken their places as honorable citizens of the various communities in which they reside.

Mr. Moyer was married in 1874 to Miss Eva Hensel, of Upper Sandusky, Wyandotte County, Ohio, and to this union there have been born five sons and two daughters, as follows: Charles Key, a resident of Denver, Colorado; Catherine, who lives in Los Angeles, California; John, of Denver, Colorado; Minnie, living at Oakland, California; Henry, whose home is at Tacoma, Washington; Alpha, a resident of Superior, Minnesota; and Roy, who had remained at home and is assisting his father in the cultivation of the homestead. All of the children are well situated in life.



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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