Extract from Cutler’s History of the State of Kansas
RICHARD ASTEL, JR., FARMER, Section 2, P. O. Hutchinson, owns 240 acres, 130 of which are under cultivation, 16 acres in timber, 3 acres in orchard, 160 acres enclosed with hedge fence; cottage 14x30, with addition 10x10; barn 24x32; stable and granary. Follows general farming and raising stock. To feed all the products of his farm, he has 7 horses, 18 head of cattle, and 53 hogs.
He was born in England, February 4, 1835, and came to the United States with his parents in 1852, and located in Quincy, Ill. He lived here for a time and then moved to La Grange, Mo., for two years, then to Alton, Ill., then to Highland District, Ill., where he resided until coming to Kansas in 1872, and locating here.
For a few years after coming here his farming was not a success, the drought and grasshoppers interfering with his calculations; but of late years he has had good crops, and is satisfied that this is a good agricultural State, and that in time the tame grasses will grow well here.
He was married May 3, 1853, to Miss Frances D. Thompson, a native of Tennessee. They have six children - Nora I., Minnie E., George S., Richard J., Ella L., and Bertha E. He served as Director of the School Board two terms when the district was first organized, and three years as Road Overseer.
WILLIAM ASTEL, farmer, Section 32, P. O. Mount Liberty, owns 1,200 acres, 450 in cultivation; 60 acres fenced with wire, 20 with hedge and wire, and two 20-acre lots with hedge; has 3 orchards, in all about 20 acres on section 32; dwelling 14x24, L 12x18, walled cellar; barn 20x32, granary 24x24, two stories; windmill pump. On Section 34 has a good dwelling, barn and stable, and stock corral; on Section 20 good dwelling and barn. Has 65 head of cattle, 60 hogs, 6 horses and mules.
Was born in England, November 21, 1841, and came to the United States with his parents in 1852, and located in Quincy, Ill. In 1860 he moved to Madison County and engaged in farming.
In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Ninety-seventh Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteer, and served with his command in the Western Army, and participated in the battle of Yazoo Bayou, in Sherman's attack on Vicksburg, and in the taking of Arkansas Post, and Port Gibson, Champion Hills, Black River, and siege of Vicksburg, and capture of Jackson, and in the action on Carrion Crow Bayou, where his command suffered very severely and he only escaped capture by making his escape on a horse, after which he was on provost duty in New Orleans ten months, then in the Red River Expedition under Gen. Banks, and back to New Orleans, and in the campaign against Mobile, Ala., April 9, 1865. Was in the first movement against Fort Blakely, and on the 16th was one of the storming columns that charged and took the fort, where his brigade suffered terribly in killed and wounded. This being the last engagement of the War, he was sent from there to Galveston, Tex., where he was mustered out in July, 1865.
After the War he returned to Illinois and made it his home until he came to Kansas in 1872, locating here. Was married December 25, 1866, to Miss Louisa Tisius, a native of Wisconsin. They have four children - Henry J., Thomas F., William and John W. Mr. A. is a member of the I. O. O. F. In 1875 was County Commissioner, and was on the School Board when the School District was organized, for two years.