Pittsburg Biographies
Updated: March 31, 2008  

Frank S. Botefuhr
1862 - 1935

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Frank S. Botefuhr was born into a family with a long musical history on March 4, 1862 in Bunker Hill, Macoupin Co., IL to Wolf Detlaf Charles Botefuhr and Eliza Jane James. His father had been born in Holstein, Germany and came to America as a child with his parents, Friedrich Andreas “Andrew” Botefuhr and Christiana Dorothea Schlunz.  Frank’s father’s musical resume included being the first music teacher at the University of Arkansas between 1871-1881, member of the first Board of Trustees at the University of Mississippi and an orchestral composer. Frank graduated from the University of Arkansas with a music degree and opened his first music store in Fort Smith not long after graduation. He came to Pittsburg in 1884 and opened his first music store in Pittsburg on North Broadway, which later was moved to Sixth and Locust to a larger building. It moved again to a store on North Broadway between Sixth and Seventh streets with its final location being at 1318 South Broadway. He supplemented his income by working at the Van Winkle Lumber Yard for about a year. In 1886 he married Amelia Kalthoff in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the only child of Herman and Louisa Kalthoff and was born in Cincinnati in 1865.  He and his wife returned to Pittsburg where he reopened his music store. In 1888 he became the conductor of the orchestra at the newly opened Opera House, which was located above the National Bank building at Fourth and Broadway. He remained in that position until the 1904 where he became the conductor of the orchestra at the new La Belle Theatre, opened by W. W. Bell in 1904 on the northeast corner of Fourth and Locust. His orchestras accompanied the theatre greats of the time including Eva Tanguay, Otis Skinner, Joseph Jefferson and Junius Brutus Booth, John Wilkes Booth’s older brother, when they visited Pittsburg. After the La Belle Theatre burned on November 24, 1915. In the late teens and early 1920’s, the Botefuhr Music Store became the largest music supply house outside of Kansas City, publishing original works by himself, his son Carl, Clarence Price and others under the imprint of Frank S. Botefuhr Publishing Co. He also began building pianos with names like the Frank S. Botefuhr Special and the Love Nest, a piano that would fit in the smaller homes. He also was very active in civic organizations, especially those that involved music. Mr. Botefuhr donated the instruments to the Pittsburg High School for the first high school band and lent instruments to the college for use in their band and orchestra. H once again became conductor of a theatre orchestra when the Colonial Theatre was opened on March 17, 1920. He played there for a few years until the need for an orchestra was eliminated due to ‘talkies’ becoming popular. Frank and his wife, Amelia had one child, Carl Harry. Mr. Botefuhr retired from the music store in about 1925 and turned the operations over to his son. Amelia (Kalthoff) Botefuhr died February 29, 1932 in Pittsburg, Kansas. Frank S. Botefuhr died September 11, 1935 after suffering a stroke during the summer. He and his wife are buried in the Mt. Olive Cemetery in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Carl Harry Botefuhr
1889 - 1946

Carl Harry Botefuhr was born March 14, 1889 in Pittsburg, Kansas and died January 16, 1946 in Kansas City, MO, while at his stepdaughter’s wedding. He married Leonore “Nora” J. Yobst in Pittsburg on May 5, 1922. She was the daughter of John Yobst and Lucy La Fort and had been the widow of Ben Mallard. They had one daughter Lucille J. whom Carl Botefuhr embraced as his own daughter since he and Leonore never had any children of their own. Nora was born July 24, 1895 in Montana and died in March 1984 in Pittsburg. Carl served during WWI in the Kansas Musket 3 cl 351 Infantry 88th division. After the war, he returned to Pittsburg to help his father with the music store.


Frank S. Botefuhr is Dead at Age of 73.
Retired Musician and Business Man had Been Ill Three Months.
Came to Pittsburg in 1885 and For Many Years Conducted Music Store;
Graduate of University of Arkansas.

A stroke of apoplexy, suffered three months ago, caused the death at 8:05 o'clock last night of Frank Siegel Botefuhr, 73, retired Pittsburg musician and business man. The death occurred at the home of the son, Carl H. Botefuhr, 911 South   Olive. Mr. Botefutir had been seriously ill since suffering the stroke. Mr.Botefuhr was one of the early day musicians in Pittsburg,, coming here in 1885 from Fort Smith, Ark. He was born in Bunker Hill, Ill., March 4,1862, and was graduated from the University of Arkansas. He operated a music store in Fort Smith prior to coming to Pittsburg.
Directed Orchestra.
Shortly after coming here Mr. Botefuhr took an active interest in musical circles and for a time was director of the orchestra at the old opera house, then located above the National Bank building. Later he was director of the orchestra at the LaBelle theatre. Although the violin was his favorite instrument, Mr. Botefuhr was a member of the municipal band for many years, and was one of its more ardent boosters. He opened the movement for a high school band, and for a time furnished the instruments and music for the school organization. Mr. Botefuhr operated a music store in Pittsburg for many years, retiring a few years ago, leaving the son, Carl H. Botefuhr, in charge. In recent years his principal activities consisted of assisting with the organization of musical organizations, and aiding students.
Leaves Two Sisters, Also.
Two sisters survive in addition to the son, Mrs. Alice Spaulding of New York City, and Mrs. Geraldine Cabell of Houston, Tex. Mrs. Spaulding and son, Jack, were.expected here today. Mrs. Cabell and daughter, Mrs. W. K. Donoghue of Vinita, Okla. , arrived here yesterday. A nephew, Henry D. Schulte of Miami , Fla. , will not be able to attend the funeral. Mr. Botefuhr first came    to Pittsburg in  1885 , and was employed at the Van Winkle lumber yard here. A year later he went to Cincinnati, where he was married to Miss Amelia Kalthoff. The couple went to Fort Smith, Ark., and later came to Pittsburg. Mrs. Botefuhr died Feb. 29, 1932. Funeral arrangements have not been completed. The body is at the Ellsworth chapel.'' - The Pittsburg Headlight, Sept 12, 1935

Botefuhr Rites Sunday. Crowd of Several Hundred at Funeral for Musician

"Several hundred relatives and friends attended yesterday afternoon the funeral services of Frank S. Botefuhr, 73, early day Pittsburg musician. The services were held at the United Presbyterian church. Rev. J. H. Hutchman, pastor, in his sermon briefly sketched Mr. Botefuhr's. life and stated that the deceased was one of the first to bring musical culture to Pittsburg, in those days a mining camp. The Pittsburg municipal band, directed by J. J. Richards, play “Nearer My Got to Thee,” as relatives and close friends entered the church. Other music at the church included a vocal solo, ‘Face to Face,’ sung by Mrs. Charles R. DuBois; a duet ‘Lead Kindly Light,’ sung by Mrs. Clyde Hartford and Mrs. DuBois. Robert Gibson played a violin solo ‘Ave Maria’ (Bach Gounod) From the entrance of Mt. Olive cemetery to the grave the band preceded the funeral procession, playing a dirge. The body was lowered into the grave to the strains of ‘Abide With Me,’ Pallbearers were E. C. Webber, Dr. Walter McCray, Joe Schlanger, James Halliday, Homer Hickman and Bernard Harringan.”- The Pittsburg Headlight, Sept 16, 1935

Carl H. Botefuhr Is Dead
Critically Ill in K. C. Hospital for Past Eight Weeks

Carl H. Botefuhr about 56, long in the music supply business in Pittsburg, died 5:45 o'clock this morning in Research hospital at Kansas City.
Mr. Botefuhr had been in the hospital there the past eight weeks. He had been in failing health for several years and became ill in Kansas City, where he went to attend the wedding of his step-daughter, Mrs. John Clements. he became ill the day of the wedding.
Mrs . Botefuhr, who had been spending part of her time in Pitsburg looking after the store and part in Kansas City with Mr. Botefuhr, was notified yesterday that his condition had become critical and she went to Kansas City late in the afternoon.
Mr. Botefuhr was a veteran of World War I, having served overseas.
The Botefuhr family played an important part in the early musical history of Pittsburg, longtime residents here said. Mr. Botefuhr's father, the late Frank Botefuhr, opened the first Botefuhr music store here and Mr. Botefuhr later was associated with his father in that business. The First Botefuhr store was on North Broadway. It later was expanded and was moved to Sixth and Locust. The store later was moved to Broadway between Sixth and Seventh, on the east side of the street. For the past six years, it has been located at 1318 South Broadway.
Mr. Botefuhr also had a musical education, having received his training at the Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. He was born in Pittsburg, on March 14, 1889, and had lived here all his life. He was married May 5, 1922.
Memberships were held in the United Presbyterian church, the Blue lodge, Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Commandery of Knights Templar, the Shrine, Elks, American Legion, Kiwanis, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans.
Survivors include the widow, Mrs. Leonore Botefuhr, and his step-daughter.
Funeral arraingments are incomplete, but probably will be Saturday. The body will be brought to Pittsburg sometime today or tonight. It will be taken to the E. K. Smith chapel. The Pittsburg Headlight, Jan 16 1946

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Father: Wolf Detlaf Charles Botefuhr born 22 June 1833 in Holstein, Germany and died 29 May 1904. Married 16 Nov 1854 in Macon Co., IL. Parents: Friedrich Andreas “Andrew” Botefuhr and Christiana Dorothea Schlunz.
Mother: Eliza Jane James born in July 1835 in Massachusetts and died 22 Dec 1922 in Sebastian Co., AR.

Children of Wolf Detlaf Charles Botefuhr and Eliza Jane James:
1. Laura Louis born 1858 and died 1895. Married George William Schulte, May 23, 1883 in Sebastian Co., AR. He was born in 1842 and died in 1937. They had one child: Henry
2. Edward H. born in 1860 in Illinois
3. Frank S. (see above history)
4. Frederick Clemens born 19 Oct 1864 in IL and died 11 Feb 1930 in Hollywood, CA. Married Rebecca Belle Prince, April 21, 1892 in Kansas City, MO. She was born Nov 12, 1864 in IN and died Feb 3, 1936 in Hollywood, CA. They had one child: Russell Lelland
5. Charles born Nov 1867 in MO. Married Clara Mulleur in 1895. She was born in August 1877 in VT. They had the following children: Florence Elizabeth, Fay Margaret, Charles and George D.
6. Geraldine born in 1972 in AR and died April 25, 1948 in Garland Co., AR. Married Powhatan J. Cabell in Sebastian Co., AR, Oct 11, 1892. He was born in 1871 and died Sept 15, 1923. They had the following children: Alice, Virginia, Joseph B., Maria Jane, Frederick and Gerale
7. Alice born in Sept 1877.

Children of Frank S. Botefuhr and Amelia Millie Kalthoff:
1. Carl Harry born - born 14 Mar 1889 in Pittsburg, Crawford Co., KS and died 16 Jan 1946 at Kansas City, Jackson Co., MO. Married Leonore "Nora" J. Yobst 5 May 1922 in Pittsburg, Crawford Co., KS. She was the daughter of John Yobst and Lucy La Fort and was born 24 July 1895 in Montana and died in March 1984 in Pittsburg, Crawford Co., KS They are both buried in Mt. Olive Cem., Pittsburg, KS

        Botefuhr Family Web Cards & Personal Data Sheets  

Carl Botefuhr Music Store Front
610-612 N. Broadway
- no postmark (1915-1930)
click to see larger image

Carl Botefuhr Music Store Window Display
610-612 N. Broadway
- no postmark (1915-1930)
click to see larger image
Jacob Botefuhr
Not sure of connection yet.
- photo courtesy of Dr. Carl Botefuhr