Departed Poland Russia for Land of Opportunity

Man leaves home land in hopes of a better life.

| Good Old Days


Jacob H. Boehs was born in the village Antanofka, Poland Russia, in 1858. At the age of 14 he lost his father. His mother remarried one year later. That same year, on December 4, 1874, he left his homeland with his parents, brothers and sisters. They embarked with 710 other passengers on the SS Vaterland. Sailing wasn't smooth; they encountered violent storms. They lost all three propeller blades en route across the Atlantic. They arrived in Philadelphia on December 25, 1874.

Great-Grandfather William took sick while on ship. Prayers were said, asking that he be spared till they reached America so they wouldn't need to bury him at sea. He died several days after they reached land.

On December 27, 1874, they left for Kansas by train, arriving on the 30th. It was a cold winter day, 12 below zero. They spent their first winter in Florence, Kansas. Living quarters were poor, and the death rate amongst them was high. A child reportedly died every other night. Jacob's parents later moved to Durham, Kansas, where they made their home.

Jacob spent three years working in Illinois, where he learned English. Wages were low: the first year they were $8 a month; the second year, $10 a month; the third year, $12 a month.



At 26 he married Susanna Koehn of Durham, Kansas. Their first nine and one-half years together were spent in Kansas. Henry,

John, Ben, Helena, Solomon, Anna, Jacob and Sam were born there; Solomon and Jacob died in infancy.






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