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Julius Emory Kiefer
(1893 - 1949)

Julius Emory Kiefer was born on 22 October 1893 in Kansas City, Kansas. He was the oldest son of Julius G. and Mabel B. Kiefer (nee Brush). Emory made his home with his grandmother when three years of age and spent his boyhood in the Rosedale District of Kansas City, Kansas. He was graduated from Rosedale high school in 1914 and from Kansas City Poly-Tech College in 1916. He then became an industrial arts teacher in a Kansas City junior high school.

Soon his teaching career was interrupted by World War I, and he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private. He served from 1 July 1918 to 24 December 1918, becoming an inspector in the aircraft division at Vancouver, Washington. His honorable discharge from the Army paper gives the following information: service number 3414618, Private, 3rd Co. 3rd Bn 164th Depot Brigade; blue eyes, black hair, dark complexion, 5 feet 4-1/2 inches in height. Upon being discharged, he enrolled in the Pittsburg (Kansas) State Teacher's College. In 1920 he completed his college preparation for the teaching profession. While at Pittsburg college he met Helen Allen, and they were united in marriage at Pittsburg on 15 June 1921. They had two daughters: Marjorie Allene Kiefer and Helen Frances Kiefer.

For ten years he not only taught school but attended summer sessions, and in 1931 obtained his Master's Degree in Industrial Arts from Pittsburg. Twenty-three years of his life were given to teaching; then ill health compelled him to change work. While teaching he took an active part in music, the YMCA, his church (Methodist), the Masonic and Eastern Star lodges, and other social activities. He was an honorary member of Kappa Delta Pi.

Emory and his wife Helen owned and operated the Kiefer Variety Store in Plainville, Kansas, starting in 1939. Emory worked whenever possible, but due to illness was compelled to stay at home much of the time. Repeated trips to hospitals and doctors failed to restore his health. Just a week before his death he returned to Winter General Hospital for further treatment for his heart. There seemed to be signs of improvement, but on 18 April 1949 he died quietly at the Veteran's Hospital, Topeka, Kansas. Cause of death was listed as aortic stenoris and insufficiency for nine years. After funeral services at the Methodist church with Rev. Hugh Morris officiating, he was buried in the Plainville cemetery with Masonic services at the grave.


Marjorie Allene Kiefer Romine's Notes on
Julius Emory Kiefer
written 12 April 1977

"My father, Julius Emory Kiefer, born October 21, 1893, Rosedale, Kansas, had an unhappy, unstable early childhood. He lost a younger brother, Herman in infancy and suffered from rheumatic fever which did permanent damage to his heart.

"His mother, Mable [sic], deserted him, leaving him with his Grandmother Brush (Gram as she was fondly called). Gram raised and guided him into a meaningful life. He attended elementary school a block and a half from home on Seminary Road and later climbed the long steps to Rosedale High School. My father had a beautiful voice, and he took part in all of the musical activities in school. It was there that he was offered an opportunity to pursue a musical career with the Metropolitan Opera. He declined.

"The World War I came and my father joined the army. He was stationed at nearby Fort Riley in the Rainbow Division. Later he was sent to Seattle, Washington and he helped inspect wood in the ship yards.

"After the war, he attended Pittsburg State Teachers College, Pittsburg, Kansas. He earned his B.A. in Industrial Arts and Secondary Education. While in college he met and married Helen Allen, my Mother. For their honeymoon he took her to see the great western part of the USA and Canada which they talked about the rest of their life together. After they returned, he began his teaching career at Osawatomie, Kansas. He later taught at Copan, Oklahoma [note: that's where his daughter Marjorie, who wrote this, was born] and Pratt, Kansas. While teaching he made us some beautiful pieces of furniture, including a bedroom suite.

"Every summer he would return to college for additional credits, and he earned his Master's degree from Pittsburg State Teacher's College. While he attended school we had these 3 months of the year to be with our Grandpa and Grandma Allen and Gram. This made for very close family ties.

"Then in 1933, the Great Depression hit and my father was without work. All of the family savings had been lost as the banks closed. There were no teaching jobs, as people would teach for free in order to have the learning experience. So we went to live with Grandpa and Grandma Allen. Together Dad and Grandpa would try for work. They would bid on old buildings, wreck them and sell the materials for money.

"It was a difficult time and if it had not been for home-raised products, I don't know how we would have managed. Then one day, a building they were wrecking collapsed on them, and my Grandfather lay critical for days. It took weeks for recovery, as it was very slow. My Father's heart was also bothering him so we moved to Gram's in Kansas City where my father could go back and forth to the Leavenworth's Veteran Hospital. That year was a very bad year.

"Finally the depression was getting over and my father was in better health. He was able to get back into teaching at Arma, Kansas. He was delighted as he loved to work with the students, and nothing gave him more satisfaction than to be able to meet a former student and to learn the career that student had pursued. He always felt teaching was a way to guide young people to a better life.

"Two years later we moved to Waverly, Kansas. This meant a raise in salary to $90 per month for 9 months out of the year. The following year, an opportunity came for him to be principal of Falun (Kansas) High School. He felt the administrative job might be easier because of his heart condition, as the long hours of standing while teaching Industrial Arts were not easy.

"But administrative work was not to his liking and both my Father and Mother decided to take on an adventure of owning their own business. They bought a Ben Franklin 5-10¢ Store in Plainville, Kansas. They both worked very hard and were able to buy their first home. As the money came in, every penny was put back into the business until they had a very nice store. But again the old heart condition problem appeared and this time for longer more extended stays in Wichita Veteran's Hospital. In 1943, he again took a teaching job at Council Bluff, Kansas but it was too much of a strain. He was to spend the rest of his life deteriorating in health until he died in the hospital in Topeka, Kansas. He was buried in Plainville, Kansas.

"My Father was a very stern, domineering person who had pride and high goals for his family. At times his wishes for us to reach this high plateau were difficult, but his inspiration helped us to achieve the better things in life."

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Sources:

[US-1918-1] Enlistment record: Julius Emery Kiefer, 24 December 1918, Edwardsville, Kansas

[US-1918-2] Honorable discharge: Julius Emery Kiefer, 24 December 1918, Camp Funston (sp?), Kansas

[KS-1921-1] Marriage certificate: Julius Emory Kiefer - Helen I. Allen, 15 June 1921, Pittsburg, Kansas

[KS-1949-1] Death certificate: Julius E. Kiefer, 18 April 1949, Topeka, Shawnee Co., Kansas

[NEWS-1949-1] Obituary: Julius Emory Kiefer, d. 18 April 1949

[FR-BMR-1] Family notes written by Blanche May Rall, written between 1954 - 1961

[X-1980-1] Letter from Elmwood Cemetery and Crematory, re plots of Frederica [sic] E. Brush, Julius E. Kiefer

[X-1903-1] Cemetery lot purchase record in Elmwood Cemetery, Jackson Co., Missouri, by Julius Emory Kiefer

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