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Schoenchen, Ellis County, Kansas

Founded - April - May, 1877

Schoenchen is distinctive among Unsere Leute for it was the last settlement founded by the Volga-German immigrants in Ellis and Rush Counties.  It is the only one which was established in 1877 and the sole community created by spinoff from an original because of conflict among the first settlers.

The story of Schoenchen begins at Liebenthal.  Founded on February 22, 1876, Liebenthal was the creation of a part of the Volga-German group which left Saratov, Russia on October 24, 1875, sailed from Bremen, Germany on the Ohio November 2, landed in Baltimore on November 23 and spent the winter in Topeka, Kansas after arriving there by train on November 28, 1875.  On February 21, 1876 the Liebenthal group came to Hays and the following day moved to the present townsite in Section 21, Township 16, Range 18, in Rush County.  Among the Schoenchen founders were the following who participated in the establishment of Liebenthal share in the added distinction of having been involved in the founding of the first Volga-German community and being among those of Unsere Leute who actually founded two of the original settlements:

Furst Group - February 21, 1876

Heinrich & Elizabetha (Hermann) Bieker -

Maria, Maria Katharina, Margaretha

Johann & Maria Eva (Wasinger) Bieker -

Anna Katharina, Maria Katharina, Clemens, Johannes, Franz

Johann Joseph & Maria (Mayer) Bieker -

Gottlieb, Konrad, Anna, Elizabetha, Alexander

Nikolaus & Anna Maria (Hardinger) Bieker -

Katharina, Sophia, Elizabetha, Anna Maria,
Maria Elizabetha, Katharina Elizabetha, Alexander

Wilhelm Bieker -

Peter, Elizabetha, Kaspar, Joseph, Margaretha

Paul & Christina (Schueller) Dinges

Franz Waldschmidt

Nikolaus, Katharina Elizabetha, Johannes, Katharina, Adam,

Alexander, Anna Katharina

Philip & Maria Elizabetha Wolf -

Margaretha, Philip, Johannes

Johann & Anna Katharina Zimmerman -


At this stage the record is still unclear as to which  group the following couples belongd: Konrad and Maria Elizabeth (Pfannenstiel) Bieker; Philip & Dorothy (Siegel) Bieker.  Fr. Lang fails to mention them, but the 1926 Golden Jubilee book lists them among the 1876 arrivals.  In any event, they merit recognition as it appears they were among the founders of Schoenchen. 

Second Group Arrives -August 14, 1876

On August 14, 1876 a second group, all from Schoenchen, Russia settled in Liebenthal, Kansas in Rush County.  Included in its number were the following families which later moved to Schoenchen:

Agnes (Maria) Hepner (Grandmother)

Helena Herklotz

Karl Anton Herklotz

Jakob Munsch

Joseph and Anna Elisabeth (Lang) Munsch

Michael & Maria Agnes (Hepner) Schmidt
Dorothea, Julia, Paulina, Anna

Alois Werth

Friederich & Lucia (Ebel) Werth
Anton, Johannes

Jakob & Maria Barbara (Munsch) Werth

Jakob, Johannes

Johann & Maria Elizabeth (Munsch) Werth

Maria Elizabeth 

Johann Peter & Maria (Zimmerman) Werth


Karl & Anna Margaretha (Wendler) Werth

Mikolaus, Jakob, Heinrich, Maria, Elizabetha, Katharina

J. Jakob & Maria (Werth) Zimmerman

Theresia, Benjamin, Mikodemus, Maria, Alexander

Katharina Zimmerman (Grandmother)

Third Group Arrives - September 1876

In September, 1876 a third group, all from Neu-Obermunjor, Russia settled in Liebenthal.  Of that party all but the Philip Dreher family later moved to Schochen.  They were:

Adam & Katharina (Sauer) Bieker

Franz, Katharina, Elizabetha

Franz & Maria Julia (Gross) Dreher

Anna, Alexander, Peter, Katharina

Johann & Anna Maria (Unrein) Dreher

Johann, August

Konrad & Anna Elizabeth (Wendler) Dreher


Anna Katharina Graf (Grandmother)

Friedrich & Anna Maria (Kohlmeyer) Graf

Katharina, Clementina, Barbara, Florian

Joseph Rumbach

Joseph  & Anna Katharina (?) Zimmerman


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Resarch Material Available and Where to Obtain Them
Other Research Material

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To purchase a copy of the Schoenchen Cemetery Map click HERE.

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