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Early Settlers – Johann Jakob (John Jacob) Fatzer - Fellsburg Cemetery, Edwards, Kansas

Not all early settlers came to America from Germany or through Russia. At the age of 12, John Jacob arrived in America. He accompanied his parents and four siblings where they settled in Christian County, Illinois.

Johann Jakob was born in Switzerland in 1841. He enlisted in Co. E 25th IL Infantry with the spelling of his name as Jacob. During the war, Jacob was wounded in the knee. Besides the wound, Jacob suffered from chronic rheumatism and heart disease. His pension was set at $8.00/month.

Rosanna Zimmerman (b. 1851) became his wife on April 9, 1868, in Illinois. All four of their children were born there. As a farmer, Jacob was probably drawn to Kansas by railroad recruiters who wanted them to buy their land. In 1878, the family left Illinois and headed west. They spent seven years farming in Brown County, Kansas. There was a short stop in Kiowa County, before finally settling in Lincoln township south of Belpre in 1885.

Their four children all married and had children of their own. Rosanna passed away in 1910 and Jacob in 1916 and are buried in Fellsburg Cemetery with their four children.

Note: Jacob’s brother, Rudolf, was eight when the family emigrated. He remained in Illinois until 1913 when he came to Edwards County and died two years later. He never married.

Note: A tragedy struck the entire Fatzer family when Jacob’s daughter-in-law, Rella, died at the age of 37. She was using a gasoline iron when the gasoline exploded and was engulfed in flames. Her husband, John Rudolph, was left with six children. John and Rosanna helped raise their grandchildren.


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