John Linenberger, son of Andrew Linenberger & Margaret (Brungardt)
John Linenberger was born in Ellis County, Kansas on December 26, 1892
and died on July 22, 1956. He
married Elizabeth Kinderknecht on April 28, 1914.
On August 3, 1979 Elizabeth died.
John was born about 9 miles north of Victoria, Kansas in a sod house.
It having a big adobe brick stove in one corner of the house.
The adobe brick stove was something like a fireplace and barbecue
combined. It served as a heating
system and cook stove.
There were 5 boys; Bill, Joe, Nick, Andrew and Pete, older than John and
3 boys younger; Ray, Gus, and Vince.
John remembers that his brother Vince burned to death.
Vince followed his dad to the field where his dad set a straw pile on
fire. Their dad, not knowing Vince
had followed him until he heard a child's painful scream and saw the boy's,
Vince's, Clothes aflame. Doing all
they could, but the boy of about 2 years old, died that night.
Others died in infancy. There
were 14 children, all boys.
John's Mother died that same winter in Kansas City, Missouri at St.
Margaret's Hospital, which was closest to them at the time. John being only about 6 and brother Ray, about 4, went to
stay with their Uncle Pete Brungardt. Ray
only stayed a few months. John
stayed about 2 1/2 years.
August ( Gus ) their youngest brother alive, went to stay with a cousin
Anton P. Brungardt, a childless couple. He
( Gus ) stayed with them until he married and went on his own.
After John's Mother died, the boys tried to keep the house.
About 9 months later, Dad Linenberger married a widow, Barbara Quint,
with 9 children. Five girls; Ann, Susan, Margaret, Barbara, and Amelia.
Four boys; Joe, Pete, Jake, and Wendoline Quint.
Ann Margaret was married, Joe married soon after that, but that made 2
Joe's and 2 Pete's. Joe, having a
family of his own, was called Quint by the whole family.
Pete Quint, living at home, older than Pete Linenberger, but smaller, was
called little Pete. Pete
Linenberger was called big Pete and it was still that way in 1957.
Joe Linenberger later
married his step-sister, Susan Quint. They
have a family and live in Garden City, Kansas.
When John came home after 3 years at his Uncle Pete Brungardt's in
Walker, Kansas, the family lived 11 1/2 miles north of Victoria, Kansas, just
1/4 mile north of the Anton Kinderknecht farm.
Then Andrew and family, John's dad, moved to Grove County, Kansas, north
of Park, Kansas. But, lived in
Park, Kansas that winter. Later he,
John's dad, sold that place and bought and moved to a place 1/2 mile south of
the farm Anton Kinderknecht rented. Andrew
Linenberger, John's dad, ran a thrashing machine and crew of help for many
years, beside farming. Most of his
boys, working at the crew. One was
the engineer, John was for several years the water wagon boy, while too young
for harder work.
The Quint girls went with the thrashing crew, with the cook shack to cook
for the men. The shack was moved
from farm to farm. This crew of men
did not include the farmer who they were thrashing for or his help.
The grain hauling was all done with 50 bushel wagons.
Horses and wagons were used to haul coal to the steam engine.
Also, the water for the steam engine was hauled by horses and wagon.
It took lots of water.
The engineer and water man had extra work to do.
They had to stay later at night and get to work earlier than the rest of
the thrashing crew. They had to get the fire started and get enough steam in the
boiler to run the thrashing machine and also the thrashing machine had to be
back or set between or by the wheat stacks.
For each evening the machine was pulled away from the wheat stacks for
fire protection. Lots of times
there were 4 to 6 stacks side by side.
The thrashing machine was made of wood and if a boxing ( bearing ) got
hot, it could catch on fire. Straw,
wheat beards and oily wood on machine all would catch on fire easy.
This happened sometimes with all the precautions the men could take.
Many times the engineer or separator tinter, thrashing machine operator,
would stay with the outfit all night, if the machine was far from the farmer's
With a few boys from the neighborhood, there mostly always was ball game
at the Linenberger place. There was
Bill, Joe, Andy, Pete John and Ray Linenberger and Pete, Jake, and Wendoline (
Windy ) Quint, and with Pete, John, and Ed Shamber, John, Leo, and Ben Huff, and
Alex and Joe Kinderknecht, there were always enough to choose sides and have a
pretty good game. Only John
Linenberger went on to play with the town, Park, Kansas, team.
Even after he married, he pitched a lot.
When John left Park, Kansas, he worked on the railroad.
When he didn't pass for the Union Pacific railroad engineer, on account
of his eyes, he went to Emporia, Kansas and worked on the city street paving
gang for a year.
Then John went to Kit Carson, Colorado.
When he didn't pass for engineer, he worked as a railroad section hand
until the sugar beet factory started in Rocky Ford, Colorado in the fall of the
year for 3 years. He would go work
in the Sugar Factory cutting sugar, packing and loading sugar.
In the summer he worked on the railroad.
To grade up the road beds, they had 8 horses, 2 abreast, with 2 and
sometimes 3 men on the road grader. There
he worked for Tom McLeroy and son, a catholic family, on a farm between the
sugar factory and swing shift on the railroad.
Before he had a steady job, for summers, on the road gang, he worked for
a truck farmer where he fixed and washed the cucumber seeds.
They first, after picking, cut the ripe cucumbers with a machine,
something like a stationary ( silage cutter ).
Put all in a pit which was lined with filter cloth, water added, then
leave to ferment until all the pulp came on top of the water.
Then the pulp on top was taken off and cucumber seeds were brought out
and put on screens. By sprinkling
water on them and rubbing seeds back and forth, it washed the seeds clean.
Then they put seeds on screens to dry.
Every 2 hours the seeds had to be stirred.
At night they were taken to sheds so they wouldn't get wet again.
When John was 13 years old he broke his left collar bone.
He fell off a header box. Then,
when he was 16 years old, John broke his leg when a horse he was riding fell on
him. His Father, Andrew set the bone both times.
The collar bone was set right in the field using a silver dollar bent to
fit for a splint. He, John, laid around the wheat stack until quitting time.
After the bone was set, he felt comfortable as possible.
But to go home he rode a horse so it didn't bump and bounce too much.
Riding on the header box or on the grain wagon would be rough and painful
going over the field. About 5 years
later, both bones broken on ice, the bones were set by his dad Andrew.
His father called a Dr. to check the setting of the broken bones.
The Dr. told John's dad, it was better than he could do.
John got along fine, but was in a bed or a chair with 2 splints so he
couldn't bend or move the fracture for 6 weeks.
John Linenberger and Lizzie Kinderknecht went together for 4 years.
So, in 1912, after the sugar factory closed, John came to see his girl,
got a job on the railroad at Park, Kansas, 1/4 mile from Lizzie Kinderknecht's
home. He worked there until we got
married in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Park, Kansas, by Father Peter Heller,
on April 28, 1914. We had a big wedding at Anton and Catherine Kinderknecht's,
in their home. From then on John
and Lizzie Linenberger were a family of their own.
The first house we moved in was John's father's house in town, Park,
Kansas. The Linenberger's themselves built it, but sold it before we rented it.