George Edward Pultz 1859 – 1929

George Edward Pultz - Kate Anna Smith
George Edward Pultz and Kate Anna Smith

George Edward Pultz is my great-grandfather, born on June 26, 1859, in Henry County, Iowa. His parents were John Wilson Pulse (Putlz) and Eleanor Ann Wilson Cole. 

The 1860 Census shows the family living in Trenton, Henry, Iowa, and young George was one year old. The 1880 Census taken on July ninth found them settled in Liberty, Clarke, Iowa. It was during this year George meant and married Kate Anna Smith on October 14, 1880, in Woodburn. Kate was only sixteen years old.

Kate and George lived in Clarke County for several years. They had eight children George Alvah 1882, Frank 1884, Ina Grace 1885, Carrie Rosalie 1887, Ruby Jemima 1889 (my grandmother), Edward Glenn Pultz 1891, James Harold 1894, and Wuanita Susan 1896. The family then traveled to the state of Kansas. They settled in Bala, Riley County it was there that Edna Blanche was born in 1899, Lloyd Wilson 1901, Willard Zee 1903, Kenneth Leo 1906, and Wilma Jean Pultz 1909.

George and Kate became active members of their community. They farmed the land and shared their bountiful harvest and celebrated with family and friends. There were many family gatherings over the years with so many children and their spouses plus numerous grandchildren. June when the winter wheat harvest was completed the family would gather to celebrate another prosperous year in farming by having a yearly Pultz Reunion. It gave family members time to catch up on what was happening in their families since they were so spread out over Riley County and beyond in Kansas. The Pultz women would prepare the potluck dinner, which everyone brought their favorite dish to share. I remember the fried chicken that was delicious, but my very favorite was watching and waiting for my uncles to start making their homemade ice cream for dessert. We waited with anticipation with our spoons in our hands ready for that first bite. The men had their game of horseshoes while the children played on the playground swings, slides, and teeter-totters. The reunion was always held at Hunter’s Island elementary school just south of Manhattan, Kansas.

George and Kate taught their children to care for one another and each other. They were always helping neighbors or friends with planting and harvest if someone was ill or unable they would help out.  The favor was returned many times over as George and Kate were getting older. There were marriages, births, funerals, and children going off to war in such a large family, but always took time to celebrate their good fortune. Some of the grandchildren left the area over the years to create their own lives and family but they always knew they could come home any time.

George and Kate lived out their older years in the same part of  Kansas they settled in so long ago. Their roots were deep in Kansas soil and on December 24, 1929, George passed away peacefully at home. He was seventy years old. He was converted and joined the United Brethren church in Iowa. He lived a Christian life and faithful to his family. He was a devoted husband, a kind loving father, and a true friend to everyone. He had been ill for the past year, but he never complained.

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Kate carried on and never remarried. She enjoyed time with family and friends. Kate passed away on May 21, 1947, in Keats, Riley, Kansas at the age of eighty-two years old. She had given birth to thirteen children and was a member of the North Star United Brethren Church. They are buried at the Sunset Cemetery in Manhattan, Kansas.

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