Pappe Family History



Richard Pappe Sr. (1860 - 1919)

The following biography of Richard Pappe Sr. was first published in 1929*.

RICHARD PAPPE -- A figure of importance in Kingfisher life for many years, Richard Pappe was widely and justly considered one of the outstanding businessmen of this section of Oklahoma. From the earliest days of his residence he had the greatest faith in Kingfisher's future, and through his own fine efforts and ability, he contributed in considerable degree to the realization of its possibilities.

Mr. Pappe was born at Stotternheim Saxony, Germany, on December 5, 1860. After completing his education in his native land, he decided to come to America, which was to him, as to so many other men of vision in Europe, a land of opportunity. Leaving the associations and familiar scenes of his childhood behind him, he arrived in the United States in May, 1882, proceeding directly to the Middle West, in various parts of which he was to make his future home. From Illinois Mr. Pappe journeyed to Kansas, and there worked as a baker for some years, in fact, until the Oklahoma opening in 1889. At that time he came to Kingfisher, made the run, and was successful in taking up a claim some three and a half miles southwest of Kingfisher. Here he was to remain until the time of his death, engaging in various business activities, and contributing in every way within his powers to its advancement. He opened the first bakery shop in Kingfisher soon after his arrival, and continued successfully in this business for several years. Then he became one of the organizers of the Farmers' Bank, and served as its cashier for a period of two years, in the course of which he rendered valuable service to the institution in its formative period. At this time the bank also handled insurance and real estate transactions, and disposing of his interest in the bank itself, he decided to devote himself to the insurance and real estate department, which he purchased from the directors. In this work he remained prominent until the day of his death, building up an extensive business throughout all this section, and gaining wide reputation as an able businessman of finest progressive type. In connection with his other work, Mr. Pappe also handled farm loans, and he was one of the organizers of the Kingfisher Building and Loan Association, of which he served as a director and appraiser from the date of its establishment.

During his business career, Mr. Pappe built three store buildings, which are considered to be the best in Kingfisher, and he was also active in many other community enterprises. Always ready in his support of every worthy movement, he was known as one of the town's truest "boosters," and he accumulated his large fortune solely through his own ability and the efforts he put forth. Never once in gaining success did he resort to methods with the slightest taint of bad faith about them. He was known for his strict integrity, in fact, and was respected and loved by all with whom he came in contact.

In politics a Democrat, he served in many prominent city offices, and was for a long period a member of the city council. He was one of the organizers of the Kingfisher Chamber of Commerce, and a leader in all its work, serving as secretary of the local organization. Fraternally, Mr. Pappe was affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, being, at the time of his death a member of the board of directors of the Grand Lodge in the latter organization. He was active in the fraternal insurance field.

On July 20, 1892, at Pekin, Illinois, Richard Pappe married Henrietta Mathilde Louise Kornrumpf, a native of Göttingen Germany. They became the parents of eleven children, four now living, as follows: Richard, Jr.; Arthur; Louise, now Mrs. Louise Jersak; and Court. All these children are residents of Kingfisher, the sons being prominent in the business life of the community. There are also now ten grandchildren. Five other children of the family died in infancy, while a tenth, Clara, died at the age of nine, and another son, Albert, died at the age of twenty-six. All his life Mr. Pappe was a member of the Evangelical church, seldom being absent from his place on the Sabbath Day.

Mr. Pappe's death occurred at Kingfisher, on April 12, 1919. Many fine tributes were paid to his memory and to the value of his life and work. The following poem quoted by the local paper, well expresses the universal sentiment of the community:

Thou art gone to thy rest, husband!
    We will not weep for thee;
For thou art now where oft on earth
    Thy spirit longed to be.

Thou art gone to thy rest, father!
    Thy toils and cares are o'er;
And sorrow, pain and suffering,
    Shall n'er distress thee more.

Thou art gone to to rest, brother!
    Thy sins are all forgiven;
And saints in light have welcomed thee,
    To share the joys of Heaven.

Thou art gone to rest, loved one!
    Death had no sting for thee;
Thy dear Redeemer's might had gained
    For thee the victory.


* OKLAHOMA -- A History of the State and its People, by Joseph P. Thoburn and Muriel H. Wright, Volume IV, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York, 1929


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