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Early Settlers - Herman & Christena Weiss – Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Ford County, Kansas

Herman Weiss came to Kansas in 1877. He was one of the ten men who signed a constitution as charter members organizing Zion Lutheran Church.

Christian Hermann “Herman” Weiss was born in Germany in 1852. At the age of 20, he came to America and settled in Pennsylvania. Christena Siebert became his wife on June 4, 1874. Two of their 11 children were born in Illinois and Christena was left to care for them when Herman headed to Kansas.

In October 1877, Herman rode the train for five days and homesteaded on land south and west of Offerle. Christena and the two little boys arrived in December. Like many settlers before them, the first few years were a challenge to establish a family farm. Herman worked for the railroad as it was extending into Colorado. Christena did her part by selling eggs and homemade butter to citizens in Dodge City. She would travel along Butter and Egg Road.

Those families that persevered through the difficulties, would finally prosper. The Dodge City Kansas Journal of May 1911 reports “Herman Weiss has 7,500 bushels of old wheat on hand and 346 acres planted, 18 head of horses, 98 cattle and 14 hogs.

As Herman and Christena were traveling by wagon to Kinsley, their team of horses was spooked by a railway car. Christena tried to help hold the horses but lost her balance and fell out of the wagon. Herman got the team under control and went back to check on her. Christena complained of knee pain as he lifted her back into the wagon. When they reached Kinsley a doctor was called, but Christina seemed to be doing alright. She died on March 3, 1910. Bruises were found on her stomach and groin which indicated she suffered from internal injuries.

Herman died on October 16, 1939. They are both buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery along with ten of their 11 children and many grandchildren.

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