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Martin Appelhans & Martin Applehans – St. John’s Cemetery, Ford County, Kansas

There are two headstones in St. John’s with confusing last names – Appelhans and Applehans. They also share the same first name – Martin.

St. John the Baptist Diamond Jubilee 1904-1979 book has a “Martin Appelhans – 60-year-old man that was related to the John Appelhans family” passing away in 1914. His headstone reads: Hier Ruth Martin Geb 20 Nov. 1854 Gest 26 Feb 1914 Ruhe in Frieden Applehans (on the base)

Martin was born in Russia to parents who left Germany and settled in the Volga region of Russia. They came to America in 1877. One year later, Martin married Anna Marie Meier (b. 1851) who was also born in Germany. Seven children were born to this union. Martin died at the age of 59. Anna lived with her son in Topeka and passed away on January 27, 1927.***

A second headstone used the last name spelling of Appelhans. Martin was born March 27, 1891 in New Mexico to John and Margaret Appelhans. John was born in Russia and his family was part of the Volga Germans who immigrated to central Kansas in the 1870-1880’s. The family settled in Pfeifer, Ellis County, Kansas. Martin was the 2nd of ten children. At the turn of the century, the Appelhans family was living in Hodgeman/Ford Counties. Martin worked at his father’s harness shop. He was a victim of the influenza pandemic and died on October 31, 1918.

***This story comes from a burial in Holy Cross Cemetery in Pfeifer, Ellis County. But there is not a headstone for him. The 1910 Federal Census has his family living in Ellis County. For whatever reason, he must have come to Spearville where he died.

Note: John and Margaret’s son, Stephen (1905-1951) was ordained as a priest in 1932 and was consecrated as a bishop in 1948.

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