Biography of Hiram H. Heberling

Hiram H. Heberling, who came to Kansas in April, 1855, and settled in a locality which he later named Georgetown in Shawnee County, was thenceforward prominently identified with the early history of the state.

His object in coming to Kansas was twofold: first to help make Kansas a free state; and second, to get land for his boys and himself. After some investigation he selected the location at the place above named, built a log cabin with shake roof and puncheon flooring, put up some fence and broke out some of the prairie sod.

The winter of 1855 he returned to his old home in Harrison County, Ohio. Then in the spring of 1856 he led his family back to Kansas. This family consisted of his wife, whose maiden name was Catherine Dickerson, and six children: James A.; Rebecca, Mrs. Martin L. Foltz; Sylvanus L.; George H.; Catherine J., Mrs. George Neil; and Sarah M., who now resided in California. After the parents came to Kansas, one other son was born, Junius L., who now lives in this township.

Hiram H. Heberling was born in Virginia near the City of Washington, District of Columbia, May 19, 1811, a son of John Heberling, who was a native of Germany and a blacksmith by trade. While Hiram Heberling never learned a trade he was a natural mechanic. He spent a good deal of time in milling and was a fair blacksmith and carpenter. His knowledge of these arts proved invaluable in Kansas. He had a set of tools and sharpened his own plowshares and often those of the neighbors when they became dulled by constant contact with the sod, roots and stones of Kansas soil. Hiram Heberling possessed a plow which was said to have been hand made by John Deere, who later founded and built up one of the greatest plow industries in America.

The services of Hiram Heberling were frequently called in to assist in the construction of many pioneer dwellings in Kansas. Though a man of very meager scholastic training he possessed much practical wisdom, was an extensive reader and naturally became prominent in the affairs of his community. A pronounced unionist, he was often threatened by the pro-slavery element, but when it became known that he and his three stalwart sons were a citizenry trained to arms, they were left unmolested.

Mr. Heberling helped to build the first constitution of Kansas and served in the first state Legislature of 1861. He also filled the office of justice of the peace. While he allied himself with no religious denomination, he faithfully practiced in his daily life the Golden Rule. His death occurred September 24, 1897, when eighty-six years of age. His wife passed away December 31, 1902.

Junius L. Heberling, the youngest of their children and the only son now living in Kansas, was born June 21, 1857. Farming had been his occupation throughout his active career. He now owned 115 acres of land in Williamsport Township of Shawnee County, where he resided. On December 31, 1885, he married Jennie E. Bissell. Four children were the fruit of their union: Junins Lewis, who is a member of Battery A in the Kansas National Guard; Elbridge B.; Maynard H.; and Rebecca, who is the wife of August J. Simon of Overbrook, Kansas, and the mother of two children named Donald and Roger.



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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