Co. E, 26th MI. Infantry
Osage County Chronicle, Thursday, Feb. 8, 1894, Pg. 5
HON. MAX BUEK,
GLOOM CAST OVER THIS COM-
MUNITY BY HIS DEATH.
HE PEACEFULLY PASSES AWAY
TUESDAY MORNING, FEB’Y,
6TH, AT 1 O’CLOCK.
The Life of An Honorable Success-
ful and Public Spirited Man
Who was Well Known in
The earthly career of one of Burlingame’s most respected and honored citizens terminated on Tuesday morning, February 6th, at 1 o’clock. The sad event that has sent sorrow to a once happy household, and a feeling of gloom over the entire community, was the death of Hon. Max Buek, which, though expected, when it really came was none the less shocking. For over a year he has been ailing and has during this period given most of his time to an effort to regain his fast failing health. All that medical skill and care could do was done for him but against the ravishes of disease it could not avail, and right in the prime of life when he had earned the fruits of unrequited toil; when he had about him all that he wished with which to enjoy this life, then it was that he was stricken down and was called by the Ruler of all to leave the devoted wife, the loving children, the happy home, the legion of friends and to cross the dark silent river to the other world.
Maxmillian E. A. Buek was born near the shores of Pleasant Lake in Hamburgh township, Livingston Co., Michigan, on the 8th day of July, 1844. His father was a Lutheran preacher and one of the first settlers in Michigan, having come there with his family from Hamburgh, Germany. When Max Buek was but two years old his mother died. As a boy he was given the advantages of the district school which at that time were very meager. When he was fifteen years old his father died and he then worked his way through the Union schools at Howell, Michigan, getting by his own efforts a very, fair education. Three years later, in August 1862, and when but eighteen years old, he enlisted in Company E, 26th Michigan Infantry. Though small, young and not strong he made a good soldier and was a number of times commended for his bravery. He was in the Army of the Potomac and participated in a number of engagements, among which are Suffolk, Blackwater, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Deep Bottom, Ream’s Station, Hatche’s Run, Fall of Richmond, Fall of Petersburg. He was under General Dix and was stationed at New York during the riot. At Petersburg he was promoted to regimental color guard. While in the service he was at one time taken with typhoid fever and from this disease he did not seem to fully recover, but he remained in the service till the close of the war and was mustered out in June, 1865, at Richmond, Virginia. He returned to Michigan and remained there through the winter.
With limited strength and unlimited energy; with a weak-constitution, made still weaker by the ravishes of fever the weary marches and the hardships of war, but with a strong mind; with only the few dollars he had saved out of his wages as a soldier but with numberless pure impulses and an honest heart he turned westward with a determination to succeed in life—not only to succeed but to deserve the success. He came to Burlingame, Kansas, in the spring of 1866 and appreciating the fertility of the soil, the salubrity of the climate and the very favorable conditions under which agriculture could be carried on, he at once decided to make this place his life’s home—and to engage in farming. It was not long ere he secured a quarter section in Dragoon township and went to work with a will to pay for it. He earned some money at teaching school first at Haven, four miles from this city, and among his friends in this vicinity who most deeply mourn his death are a number of his Havana scholars who yet live here and have always thought so much of him. He afterwards taught school at Alma where he was engaged to teach both German and English.
He always was a very hard working man—worked beyond his physical strength. Being a good manager prosperity followed his efforts. It was not long ere he owned the Dragoon farm to which he has steadily added in good bottom farms and pasture land, having at the time of his death 1,360 acres in splendid condition.
On the second day of April, 1874, he was married to Miss Lucy Crumb, of Burlingame, and this estimable lady has been since that time a helpmate to him, a sharer of his cares, devoted, loving, faithful and attentive. They have lived near and in Burlingame during their entire married life and it is generally known that there could not be a home in which guests received a more hospitable welcome than in theirs. Both Mr. and Mrs. Buek seemed to be living to make others happy. If those about them were enjoying themselves they seemed contented. They had about them a happy family of six children; Laura, aged 17 years; Mary, 15 years; Adolph, 12 years; Bertha, 10 years; Clara, 3 years, and Max Carl, 11 months. To the children both parents were devoted; in them were their hopes and for them they were trying to make life’s journey smooth.
His father’s family consisted of nine children, four boys and five girls. Of the boys, his youngest brother, Mr. C. B. Buek, of Michigan, who was at his bed side at the time of his death, is the only one that survives him. His sisters are all living yet and reside in Michigan.
With his family he lived on the Dragoon farm which is two and one-half miles from this city, till four years ago. He then built a handsome and commodious house in the city and moved to town. His elegant home is provided with all the modern conveniences, both for comfort and pleasure. It is warmed with hot water radiators and lit with gas, in the rooms and hall ways are fire places. Mr. Buek had not played billiards much in the early days yet was fond of the game, and in the third story of his house has placed a billiard and had a pool table. In furnishing this often thought of his oldest brother Adolph, who, too, was fond of the game, and he calculated on the enjoyment they would get out of it, but Adolph died at about the time his house was finished and was never able to realize the forthought his brother had taken for him and now the one who had planned the pleasure for himself and friends must so soon give it all up.
In business he was very fond of raising and selling of cattle. He was an excellent judge of cattle and like every other business his success was due largely to his good judgement as well as his close attention to business. He was not inclined to over do nor to try to do more than he could be thorough in. He went on the theory that the right amount well cared for was much better than to many half attended to and he always made money on them. Of late years he usually fed about 250 head and always sent them to the market in prime condition. He had his business synchronized so that he could tell just what each piece of land paid him and what the profit was on each bunch of cattle. If a loss of any kind whatever was once sustained he knew how to avoid it in the future. The success he attained proved the wisdom of his system.
In politics Mr. Buek took much pleasure. He always had the interest of the plain people close at heart, and advocated that which he thought was to their best interests. He was a toiler himself and with the toilers he sympathized. His judgment in political affairs, as in business was acute and to be relied upon and was often sought. He always yielded a good influence, in local and county affairs.
In 1882 he became an independent Republican candidate for the state legislature and made a personal canvass. His election as an independent proved his popularity and the confidence that the people had in him where he was known. As a member of the house he served with credit to his constituency, and two years later was given the nomination of the regular Republican convention. This came to him unanimously by acclamation but was declined as he did not feel that he could further sacrifice his business interests by again going to Topeka. He continued however to take a lively interest till the time of his death. In the campaign of 1892 he was made chairman of the county central committee. In 1893, his failing health forced him to retire from the committee but yet his interest did not wane.
Shortly after coming to Kansas he became a member of the Masonic fraternity. He joined the lodge at Auburn and from Hon. Frank M. Stahl received his first instructions. Mr. Buek was instrumental in having the lodge organized here and was its first Master. To this order he has always given considerable attention. It is related that while teaching school at Alma and while Master of the lodge here he always made the drive from Alma here, 32 miles to attend the meetings of the lodge on Saturday nights returning to Alma Sunday. He always was in good standing and carried $2,000 life insurance in the order at the time of his death. It was on his request, that the Masons took charge of the funeral exercises.
About ten years ago his nephew, H. A. Buek, became connected with him in farm work and to him Max Buek too quite a liking. For the decade that they have been associated together, Henry working for and with him, at times by the month, later in partnership on certain pieces of land and then renting of him, there never has been a misunderstanding and both have prospered. Henry having become accustomed to Mr. Buek’s ways is well qualified to take charge of his farm property and in his care Mr. Buek felt that it would be best handled.
Being a defender of the Union, Mr. Buek was naturally a friend of the old soldiers. He was a member of the E. P. Sheldon Post, G. A. R., of this city and at one time was Post Commander. While in good health he was a regular attendant of the meetings, and took part in the affairs of the organization.
In the spring of 1891 he came into the possession of this paper. He was public spirited and took a pride in Burlingame and Osage county and wished to see THE CHRONICLE brought to the highest possible mark of success. His work on THE CHRONICLE was more in the nature of pastime and pleasure than labor. In April, 1892 , the present editor became associated with him in publishing the paper, and we never saw a man get more solid enjoyment out of life then he was then getting. With enough of this world’s stores accumulated so that he had no need of worry regarding the necessities of the life he spent his days talking of his cattle, watching the markets, chatting with his friends, writing as much or as little as he chose to for the paper and directing the political campaign of the county. In all of them he took pleasure. Then his evenings were spent in his pleasant home. At the family circle with his wife and children or in the billiard room with his friends, or talking over old political campaigns and the probable outcome of new ones.
But as the winter of 1892 approached the disease, anaemia, or consumption of the blood, began to make inroads into his vitality. First he complained of the fatigue that followed when he attempted ascending the stairs at the office and his visits to the editorial room became less frequent. With each new arising complication of his physical system would come a renewed struggle for a freedom from the grasp of the disease. Hope would be inspired by a seeming improvement which was only to be followed by a still worse condition. The disease would let go its grasp only to take a stronger and firmer grip on the life of the one so many here were anxious to see freed from it entirely. He did everything to get well. Long and tiresome journeys were taken to a health resort, until too weak in body he was at last compelled to remain, where he longed to be, in the comforts of his own home. Here he had the constant care of his wife and the attention of his physician, but he gradually grew worse. Of his children he was very fond. During the confinement at home, and while the other children were at school his little two and one-half year old daughter Clara was his almost constant companion. Her loving kisses and gentle caresses sent a sunshine into his life that even sickness could not drive out. As soon as the time arrived for school to be over he watched for the other children and seemed to always wish them about him. While in health he was rather nervous but in sickness this left him and no noise of children seemed to disturb him. It was not till a week and a half before his death that he was obliged to remain in bed and from that time he failed very fast. But he would gather his family about the bed and talk to them, and loved to have his daughter Bertha stand upon the commode and recite to him. He longed to live that he might be with his family; he wished to continue life for other reasons but this was his greatest desire.
The 5th of February had for seventeen years been looked forward to as a day of rejoicing in the family. It was the birthday of their oldest daughter, Laura. It was a happy event for that family loving father, and when exactly two years from the same day his second daughter, Mary, was born the day became doubly sacred to him and the family. With each recurring year he advanced in life and his daughters grew up about him he thought more and more of the time and took more pleasure in the birthday. Three years ago another day was linked to it, his little daughter and pet Clara was born on the following day, the 6th, and it then became a period of joy. This year as the time approached he lay weak and emaciated upon the bed. As his daughters were about him he thought of it and talked of it; as little Clara would come up to his bedside and impress a kiss on his thin, white hand he would think of it and tears come to his eyes and a quiver to his lips for he longed to live for her and them. To others that came to his bedside he talked of the birthday of his daughters and what delight he felt in the approaching time. The 5th of February came, the morning was clear and the air exhilarating, the sin shone brightly and it seemed to his anxious friends that even nature was helping him to hold on to the departing life. He realized that it was the day that had meant so much to him and now meant still more. Patiently, kindly uncomplaining he lingered through the day and as the sun cast its last long rays across the horizon he went to sleep in this world on the evening of the birthday of his daughters, Laura and Mary, and woke up in the other world on the morning of the birthday of his daughter, Clara. His sleep here was peaceful through the night and his waking there at 1 o’clock, the time of his death, was equally peaceful. The soul of one of God’s noblest men has gone.
On the afternoon before as his little pet gave him his last kiss. “You poor little thing” were his last and piteous words to her and almost his last to anybody. On the morning of her birthday she went to give him the usual morning kiss and “Papa gone?” was her surprised inquiry as she approached the bed. With a determination to see him she went to the parlor where wrapped cold in death lay the remains of the one whose lose she was too young to realize, but still she would kiss the hand that had caressed her so often and lovingly.
He was of a quiet, reserved nature but firm in what he believed to be right, and yet where no principle was at stake he was ready to sacrifice his own pleasure and yield to the desires of his friends. He was the soul of honor. His own word he honored himself and thus made others honor it. Honesty and truthfulness he believed to be indispensable virtues to a truly successful life and these merits coupled with fairness to all, he possessed in abundance. Though surrounded by every luxury yet he liked to talk to and associate with those less fortunate than himself. He had a kind word for all and his heart went out in sympathy to any that might be in trouble and his help was extended in a substantial way.
The funeral was held at his home on Wednesday, February 7th, at two o’clock and was one of the largest gathering of grief stricken friends ever seen here. Friends came from all of the neighboring towns to improve their last opportunity to show respect to the one whose memory they cherished. The stores of the city closed in honor of the citizen so much thought of. The Masonic lodge, G. A. R. Post and the Woman’s Relief Corps led by the Band marched to the house, which however by this time was completely filled, every room and the porches being occupied, a large number were unable to gain entrance. A sacred song by the choir was followed by reading the scripture and prayer by Rev. J. O. Foreman, of the M. E. church. After another song Mr. Foreman read a short sketch of the life of Mr. Buek and made a few remarks, telling of his early confirmation in the Luther church and of the honorable career he had lived. Mr. Buek had, up to the time of his sickness, been a regular attendant of Mr. Foreman’s church and the reverend gentleman spoke of the interest with which Mr. Buek listened to his sermons. He then extended words of sympathy to the bereaved family and friends and recommended to all the life of Max Buek as one worthy of following. At the conclusion of the remarks a last look was taken of the remains by his sorrowing friends and family. The Masonic brethren then gathered about his casket and repeated the Lord’s prayer, after which the pall bearers, Messrs. H. D. Shepard, Charles Lyons, C. E. Wood, S. S. Hall, C. W. Wood and W. H. Lord bore the remains of their departed friend to the hearse and the long procession started for the cemetery.
The band, the Masonic order and the G. A. R. Post acted as an escort. At the cemetery Mr. Foreman made a prayer and the Masons then, with their beautiful ceremony conducted by Jas. E. Pringle, showed their last tokens of honor to the brother that had gone to rest.
There was a number of large and beautiful floral offerings. One was a Star and Crescent of helietrope, white roses. Easter lilies and clove pinks, on it was the word “Father” in purple immortells. This was the token of his daughters. The Masonic piece was a bed of Marguarite, daisies and hyscinths in center of which was the emblem of the fraternity in various colored flowers. A star of white roses, pinks and other choice flowers was the gift of the 7th and 8th grade school friends of Mary. A large bouquet came from the room-mates of Adolph and Bertha and other cut flowers from intimate friends.
The relatives from away were Mr. C. B. Buek, of Brighton, Michigan; Mr. John Crumb, of Halifax; Mr. and Mrs. N. Frankhouser, and daughter Myrtle of Lyndon; Mr. and Mrs. Ben Morelan, of Halifax. His sisters in Michigan were unable to come to the funeral.
Peacefully the remains of the beloved husband, father and citizen sleep in the beautiful cemetery, midway between his farm home and his city home. His earthly career is ended, his life’s work is finished, he has gone where his kindly face can no more be seen in the world, his tender words can no more be heard, his wise counsel can no more be sought, but his good influence will live on blessing the community that was once blessed with his presence.
William Cutler wrote the following about this gentleman:
HON. MAX BUEK, farmer, residence two and one-half miles southeast of Burlingame. He is engaged in farming and stock-raising; and he has 160 acres where he resides, well improved. His dwelling house is one and one-half stories; main part 16x30 feet, ell 16x24 feet, with porches; contains twelve rooms, was built in 1878 at a cost of $1,300. Barn 20x24 feet, capacity for eight horses, has granaries and corn cribs. Bearing orchard of 1,000 trees of all varieties. Has 270 head of cattle, eight horses and 200 hogs. Mr. Buek also owns 160 acres of land west of Burlingame, and 560 acres of pasture land in Wabaunsee County. He came to Kansas in the spring of 1866 with only $300, which he invested in stock. He rented land the first two years and afterward taught school, working his farm in vacations, and thus struggled on until he obtained a start. Mr. Buek was born in Hamburg, Livingston County, Mich., July 8,1844. When eighteen years of age he enlisted in Company E., Twenty-sixth Michigan Infantry. Was in the army of the Potomac, and participated in the following engagements; Suffolk, Blackwater, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Deep Bottom, Ream's Station, Hatche's Run, fall of Richmond and Petersburg; was under Gen. Dix, on the Peninsula, riot at New York City; was promoted to Regimental Color-Guard at Petersburg. Was mustered out in June, 1865, at Alexandria, Va. Returned to Michigan and engaged in farming until coming to Kansas. His father was an attorney of Hamburg, Germany, and one of the first settlers in the town of Hamburg, Mich. Mr. Buek was married in the spring of 1874, near Burlingame, to Miss Lucy Crumb; they have three children - Laura, Mary and Ada. Mr. Buek is a member of, and established Corinthian Lodge, No. 79, A., F. & A. M. Is a member of Sheldon Post, No, 35, G. A. R. In November, 1882, he was elected to a seat in the popular branch of the Legislature, and as independent Republican.