Reserved for his photo

I have no photo.

My great great grandfather, Johann Peter Kraus, was born 9 January 1808 to Christina Elisabeta (Roth) and Wilhelm Christoph Kraus in Schilling, Balzer Kanton, Saratov Province, Russia.

Peter surely was a farmer and a strict Lutheran.

In 1854, as a recent widower, he moved to a new daughter colony of Schilling which came to be called Alexandertal, so named in honor of Czar Alexander. He took with him his wife as well as his sons and,if married, their wives and children.

In 1875-76 he cast his son David (my great grandfather), plus David's wife and three young children out of the family because David had been rebaptised by David's wife's eldest brother. Peter no longer considered David a Lutheran. So he no longer saw a place in the family for David and his family. As soon as possible David and his family departed for the US.

Evidently life soon got increasingly tougher in Alexandertal, so that in 1887, Peter in the company of his youngest son Samuel and several other relatives left for the US. This group arrived in Baltimore on June 4, 1887 and soon joined David and some other relatives in Marion County Kansas. Samuel settled on a farm not very far west of David's farm, and these two brothers, sons of Peter, are said to have taken turns hosting and caring for Peter until his death.

By 1891 Peter had died. He would have been more than 80 years old. I have found no notice of his death and no grave stone for him. He could have died anytime between 1887 and 1891. In 1961 Peter's grandson Alexander, my great uncle Alec, told me that as best he could remember Peter had been buried somewhere along the road between Lehigh and Marion, among members of the Riffel family. The only cemetery I can find which comes close to fitting that description is the so-called Lehigh-Dalke cemetery in the NE corner of section 21 of 19-1. This cemetery had been established about the same time as Peter's group arrived in Marion Coounty and was in land that had been owned by Peter's grandson Philipp. When I visited it in 2003, there clearly were many graves with missing headstones. Of the few gravestones visible, some were Riffle and all were Lutheran. This surely would have been the sort of final resting place which Johann Peter would have wished for.

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