Phillip Gerber

1??? - 1???

Phillip Gerber was born in Kansas into the Swiss Mennonite tradition. He, however, was to be the last in this line, breaking with his Mennonite roots to marry a Baptist by the name of Anna Fry. For a time, Phillip worked as a school janitor in Kansas until 18??, when he heard the Indian Territory to the south was to be opened to white settlers. On ?, he waited on the Kansas state line with thousands of others as a ? shot a pistol to announce the opening of what would become Oklahoma to homesteaders. Phillip rode an old plow horse 11 miles south into the territory before staking a claim to a quarter section, which was was 160 acres. There he built a soddy - a small house made from sod blocks cut right from the ground. Phillip spent the first winter there alone, and then sent for his family back in Kansas.
The land upon which Phillip had chosen to homestead was in prehistoric times the floodplain of the Mississippi, and the topsoil there was a hundred feet thick. Not in a thousand years would it become farmed out. There Phillip and Anna's family grew and prospered, and their son John continued to work the land after they died.




John Edward Gerber ???? - 19??


1. Richard Dean Gerber

This page last changed 24 July 2004 by Bradley Wogsland.