William J. Ihrig
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Co. C, 79th PA. Infantry
History of Allen and Woodson counties, Kansas
embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county
edited and compiled by L. Wallace Duncan, Chas. F. Scott.
WILLIAM J. IHRIG, one of the best known masons and plasterers of Allen County, and a citizen who has spent more than a generation as a resident of the county, came here in March 1879, from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He is a native son of the Keystone State, having been born in Philadelphia, Pa. .January 21, 1842. His father, Adam Ihrig, was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, in 1811 and, about 1853, came to America with his family and located in the city of Philadelphia. He was known among the early hotel keepers of Strasburg, Alleghany
Citv, and in the counties of the Oil Region and his last years were passed in Cleveland, Ohio. He married Margaret Ihrig and died in 1894, his wife dying at Cleveland in 1872. Their children are: William J., the first to grow up; Catherine, wife of John Meyer, died in Cleveland in 1898; and
Adam Ihrig, of the city of Cleveland.
W.J. Ihrig ‘s boyhood was passed in ‘ the manufacturing districts of Pennsylvania, in the counties of Schuylkill, Alleghany and Lancaster. He was schooled in both English and German and remained under the parental roof till his enlistment in the army. September 12, 1861, he
became a member of Company C, 79th Pennsylvania Volunteers, Col. Hambright’s regiment. He belonged to the Army of the Cumberland and began his active service at Louisville, Kentucky. The 14th corps, to which he belonged, was in the battles of Perryville, Nashville, Murfreesboro,
Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and in the Atlanta campaign. In this campaign our subject was wounded at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and taken prisoner. He was confined in Andersonville nearly four months, was transferred to Florence, South Carolina, where on the eve of an exchange of prisoners, with two others he made his escape. They fell into a squad on detail for wood and when outside broke the guard line and fled. They were piloted through the .strange country by negroes and reached the Union lines some six weeks after their escape. A pass was isaued to Mr. Ihrig to enter a parole camp at Alexandria, Virginia, where he found his regiment, and he returned home with it in June, 1865. From the battle of Murfieesboro Mr. Ihrig was on detail in the 4th Indiana Battery, serving a gun, till after the battle of Lookout Mountain. He then returned to his regiment.
On coming out of his long army service Mr. Ihrig’s first work was in the oil fields as a driller and he followed this work much of the time till he left the State. He conceived a desire to see the west and left Lancaster in 1879 on a prospecting tour. He met with our townsman, Henry F. Travis,
on the train and, upon their reaching Kansas City they decided to run down the Santa Fe Railway and see lola. Their coming settled the fate of both, for Ihrig bought the Perkins place (the Goodner property) and Travis located in Elm township and both brought theii families out the
Mr. Ihrig learned the masons and plasterers trade in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and he has practically followed nothing else in Kansas. He has worked on nearly every good brick or stone building in lola and his prosperity has enabled him to build a house for himself every year for the past ten. With the end of 1899 he sought retirement and is in ample financial freedom to remain so.
July 26, 1865, Mr. Ihrig was married in Lancaster, Pa., to Mrs. Annie Gminder, a daughter of Archibald Warren, one of Lancaster’s merchants. One of his sons, William Warren, served in the regular army and was stationed in .some of the western posts. He went to South America when
his enlistment expired. A daughter, Lizzie, married Peter Frank and resides in Saginaw, Michigan. George Pinkertou. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, married Amanda Warren and Susie Warren mamed James Buchanan, of Philadelphia. The youngest, James Warren, is still in Lancaster. Mrs. Ihrig has a son, Harry Gminder, by her first marriage. The Ihrig children are two sons, Albert W., who married Maggie Duncan and has six children: Annie, Bertha, Lillian, Lloyd, Eugene and Charlie. Arthur Eugene Ihrig was born in May, 187 1, and is W. J. ‘s younger son. He was married to Nellie Bean in Ida and has no children.
Harry Gminder married Emma Riggs and resides in Concordia, Kansas. Their three children are: Anna, Lillian and Edna. As a citizen W. J. Ihrig is one of our most pronounced and positive
in his views. There are no more staunch Republicans than he and his interest in and connection with McCook Post, G. A. R., is especially strong and permanent. He is a member of many of our mutual insurance orders and is, on the whole a social and agreeable gentleman.