Friday, September 9, 2016
Peter Westerhouse - Post Civil War Years #1
Following the end of the Civil War, the Peter Westerhouse family continued to live on the farm which Anna had purchased in the Captain Creek area of Eudora, Kansas. Peter was able to return to full-time farming in order to provide for his growing family. He soon realized he needed more land, so he and Anna decided to sell the farm and purchase a larger one. The Peter Westerhouse family planned to purchase the 160 acre plot of land which they had originally homesteaded (unsuccessfully) in Kansas. They first sold their current farm, 8 September 1865, for $1500, according to the property deed found at the Douglas County Courthouse. This represented a $1,100 profit from the $400 price Anna had paid a few years earlier.
According to the property deed found at the Douglas County Courthouse, Peter purchased a 160 acre farm 16 October 1865 for $1000. The property was located at the Northeast Quarter (2375 North 800th Road) of Section 10 in the Captain Creek area of Eudora. Currently the southwest corner of North 800 Road and County Line Road. This property was less than a mile south of the farm they had just sold. Peter and Anna must have been excited to return to the place where they had originally chosen to live in Kansas. Based upon family stories, they built a home between two willow trees, near Captain Creek on the southern part of their property. Peter was looking forward to planting more crops and adding more livestock. During January 1865, Henry Eggers, a local farmer, had bought an 80 acre farm south of the Westerhouse farm. Henry would help Peter and Anna from time to time. He had recently been divorced was living alone on his farm. Peter and Anna must have been happy to have him as a neighbor.
Peter and Anna had three more children during the next four years:
William Westerhouse, 14 September 1866 verified by his Kansas Death Certificate.
Aurelia Westerhouse, about 1869 based upon the calculated date from the 1870 Federal Census.
Amos Westerhouse, 6 June 1870, verified by his Kansas Death Certificate.
According to the September 1870 Federal Non-Population Census, Peter's farming business was successful. It indicated that he owned 160 acres of improved land and 5 acres of wooded land. His farm property was valued at $4,400 and the farm equipment was valued at $700. The census also listed that Peter owned 9 horses, 5 mules, 7 milch (milk) cows, 2 cattle and 30 swine with the livestock value of $1,400. In addition, the census showed 300 bushels of spring wheat, 2,000 bushels of Indian corn and 500 bushels of oats on hand.
The 7 July 1870 Federal Census indicated Peter was a farmer who was born in Prussia. His real estate was valued at $4,475 and the value of his personal estate was recorded as $2,700. His parents were listed as being foreign born and Peter as being a United States Citizen. The census shows that Anna was keeping house, Henry attending school and does not show Amos.
Peter and Anna decided to sell the farm because it was becoming more difficult for Peter to farm the land due to poor health. The farm sold 7 October 1872, for $3,700 at a profit of $2,700. The property deed found at the Douglas County Courthouse verifies this. It is not known where the family lived after selling the farm.
The 1 March 1875 Kansas Census reported Peter's occupation as farmer, his place of birth as Germany, the value of his real estate as $1,600 and the value of his personal estate as $600. It shows that Anna was keeping house and their son Henry was farming. The census shows Henry Eggers farming the adjoining property with value of his real estate as $800, the value of his personal estate as $200 and his place of birth as Germany.