William Hedke was born on 16 Jul 1843 in Posen, Prussia, Germany and died 30 Jan 1891 at Randolph, KS. He married on 12 Dec 1867 Ernestina Hoefner, who was the daughter of Julius and Augusta Hoefner. She was born in Posen, Prussia, Germany and died 2 May 1904 at Randolph, KS. Both are buried at Fancy Creek Cemetery.
William Hedke served as a solider in the Seven Week’s War between Prussia and Austria in 1866, and again in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71. With a desire for a home where he might rear his family granting them the advantages and privileges not to be found in his homeland, he sailed for free America, landing in New York in 1872.
He remained in New York for a month, then came to Kansas to join an uncle. They made ties for the railroad (Union Pacific) in “Timber City” south of Cleburne and by hard work he saved enough money to pay for passage for his wife and two small daughters the same fall.
He homesteaded a farm south of Randolph and later bought a farm north west of Randolph where he resided until his death. The family was of Lutheran faith.
William and Ernestina’s children:
Emma, born 15 Jun 1869, Posen, Prussia, Germay. She married on 29 Sep 1889 to Herman Vogelsang, son of John H. and Elizabeth Vogelsang. Emma died 31 Dec 1949 at Clay Center, KS.
Pauline, born 17 Jun 1872, Posen, Prussia, Germany. She married 17 Apr 1897 to William Henry, son of Max and Caroline Henry. Pauline died 28 Aug 1959.
Mary, born 1874 married William Norris in 1892. She died 9 Nov 1942.
William, born 12 Sep 1976 and died 11 Jan 1951 at Salina, KS.
Ellen, born 2 Nov 1879. She married Sheldon B. Laird, son of Selden and Adelia Laird on 1 Jan 1900. Ellen died 20 Apr 1974 in California.
Bessie, born 18 May 1881. She married John Olson, son of John and Anna Olson on 19 Mar 1900. Bessie died 4 Mar 1951 at Elkfalls.
Fred, born 29 Oct 1884. He married Selma Blaske. Fred died Jan 1967 at Blue Rapids, KS.
Henry, born 31 Dec 1888 married Molly Simon. He died 3 Apr 1964 at Manhattan, KS.
Charles, born 30 Jun 1891. He married Wilma Rolfs at Chepsto on 24 Jun (year unknown). Date of death unknown.
Edward, born 17 Feb 1894. He married Flossie Barber on 14 Jan 1932. He died 4 Dec 1965 at Kansas City, KS.
Source: Pioneers of the Bluestem Prairie. (Manhattan, KS: Riley County Genealogical Society), 1976, p. 352.