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John Conrad Befort

Updated November 28, 2007

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I would like our family history to begin with my great grandparents. Conrad and Anna Margaretha (Kronnewitter) Befort, along with their two small children, Paula and Peter, emigrated from Obermonjour, Russia, situated along the Volga, north of Saratov. Leaving on September 18, 1876, they arrived November 1, 1876. They landed in New York and immediately headed westward. Conrad and Anna, along with other immigrants, settled in and founded what is now known as Munjor, Kansas. Upon their arrival (as this was open prairie) the first in order of things was to provide shelter. Their first home was built of sod cut from the prairie. After taking care of their immediate needs, and to survive the coming winter, the next most important thing was to build a place of worship. Their first church was built in 1877. They were strong in their Catholic faith, and their lives were centered around their religious training. Conrad and Anna were farmers and were active in their community and church. As the years passed, they eventually had a family of thirteen children. My grandfather, John C. Befort, was born in Munjor, Februrary 18, 1890. He was the ninth child and youngest son. Conrad died August 12, 1914, survived by his wife and ten children. Anna lived in her home in Hays, Kansas, for some years, and the remainder of her life with her son and daughter-in-law John and Barbara. John C. Befort, son of Cronrad Befort and Anna Margaretha (Kronnewitter) Befort, was born on February 18, 1890. Barbara Steinbeck, the daughter of Alois and Elizabeth Steinbeck, was a sister to triplets and born on June 3, 1893. On October 24, 1911, they were married in Munjor, Kansas. They began their life together on a farm several miles west of Munjor. They remained there until 1920. During those years five children were born to them; Josephine, 6/27/1912; Albina; 9/3/1913, Clarence, 8/4/1915; William, 2/2/1917; and Alex, 10/17/1919. In the year of 1920, John and Barbara sold their farm and purchased half a section of land half a mile north of Hyacinth, Kansas. The home, barn and other buildings had been built about three years earlier. Ten other children were born to them the following years; Elizabteth, October 19, 1920; Agnes, 7/8/1922; Jasne 5/3/1924; John Jr. 9/18/1925, Ester, 8/31/1926; Bernice, 4/24/1928; Irene, 12/13/1929 twins Alois and Conrad, 10/30/1931 and Francis 10/6/1933. John Jr. and Elizabeth died as infants. Alex was a veteran of World War II in the U.S. Army and saw action in Germany and France. He died in 10/1951. He was survived by his wife, Rose (Steocklien) Befort, and infant daughter, Gloria. Irene died 8/16/1965, at age 35, survived by her husband, Leroy Wilson and small son, David. Conrad (twin son) died in 1947 at seventeen years of age. Francis died in a power line accident 8/22/1961. He was in the army from 1954-1955. He was age 27 when he passed awaya. He was survived by his wife Darlene (Hammersmith) Befort and two small daughters, Rosemary, 4 and Margaret, twenty-three months old. John and barbara worked long hours to provide for and rear their family. Barbara would begin her day at 4'oclock in the morning to do her baking, laundry, and help with outside morning chores, including milking cows and feeding animals. During harvest she was in the fields working along side the men. She was also a seamstress and made most of the children's clothing. Their children received their elementary deucation at Hyacinth in a one-room school, whre all eight grades were taught by one teacher. Simon Goetz and Florence Ross were the teachers during those years. Their children walked to school most of the time as it was only about a mile away from home. However, other times, after a particularly heavy snow storm, the children looked forward to going to school in a one-horse open sleigh. John would bundle them up in a fur laprobe and don his buffalo fur coat and away they would go. They were members of St. John the baptist Catholic Church, also located at

 
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    Margaret Mae
    329 South Briarwood
    Norwich, Kansas 67118
    United States

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