The Hefling Family
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Robert J Hefling

Robert Jackson Hefling


Robert, or R.J., was born 03 Oct 1865 in Hancock County, Illinois to William Gilispie Hefling and Elizabeth Vansickle. He died on 06 Aug 1931 in Reno County, Kansas and is buried in the Valley Township Cemetery, Reno County, Kansas.

Pedigree Chart

Photo Album

To next sibling, Adelia

Almeda Mae Shinkle


Almeda was born 03 Dec 1875 in Hamilton, Iowa to James William Shinkle and Martha Marancie Boynton. She died 27 Oct 1948 at her home in Valley Township, Kansas and is buried in the Valley Township Cemetery, Reno County, Kansas.

Pedigree Chart

The Schenckel/Shinkle Story;
    Part 1
    Part 2

R.J. and Almeda were married on 30 Mar 1898 in Webster City, Iowa. They had eleven children.

R.J. grew up in Linn County, Iowa. His obituary mentions he spent nearly a year of his early manhood in the Black Hills of the Dakotas and two years in Hamilton County, Iowa. Those two years would be when he met Almeda, whom I believe was a school teacher there. In the spring of 1892, R.J. moved to Kansas with the G. W. Harris family and other immigrants. R.J. was a farmer but also helped others to build their homes and barns. He settled in Valley Township, Reno County then went back to Iowa to marry Almeda. He brought her to Kansas along with his parents and three of his siblings.

For living in the late 1800s, R.J. and Almeda married at an age later than most. R.J. was 33 and Almeda was 23. Almeda falls into the category of a strong pioneer woman. She gave birth to eleven strong babies over the course of 20 years - all without running water or electricity. It could not have been an easy life living on the plains of Kansas.

For many years there was an old covered wagon with wooden wheels sitting in the yard at the farm. It isn't known for sure but we can imagine them traveling in it from Iowa to Kansas and perhaps using it for trips to town or to church. R.J. and Almeda were good to take the children on picnics in the summer or to the river to skate in the winter. Family was important and with both of them having siblings in Iowa there were many visits back and forth.

For twelve years, R.J. was a trustee of Valley Township and treasurer of the Haven Rural High School District. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.

R.J. had suffered from heart trouble for two years when some men attempted to steal some wheat from the storage bins of his son-in-law, Claud Zehr, who lived nearby. R.J. and his sons were called to be a part of a hastily organized posse and took off after the marauders. Shots were exchanged and blood was found near the bins as evidence at least one of the robbers was hit by the hail of bullets. After two rounds had been fired, R.J. was seized with a heart attack brought on by the excitement, and died while on the way to a Hutchinson hospital. Do not know if the culprits were ever caught.

Both R.J. and Almeda were active members of the Pleasant Grove Evangelical U.B. Church.

Children of Robert Jackson Hefling and Almeda Mae Shinkle:
  1. Arthur William Hefling
  2. Lois Elizabeth Hefling
  3. Lester Henry Hefling
  4. Floyd Vansickle Hefling
  5. Margaret Olive Hefling
  6. Virgil James Hefling
  7. Ronald Jackson Hefling
  8. Ira Franklin Hefling
  9. Martha Garnet Hefling
  10. Malinda Rose Hefling
  11. Joanna Mae Hefling

                                                                                               page created March 2010
                                                                                        added Shinkle Story May 2012

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