Kit Carson County, Colorado

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Kit Carson County Pioneers:

Arthur J. Poppert, 6 South 46 West

In 1885 Harlan County, Nebraska, Michael "Pappert" is farming, 37, born in Hesse, with Henrietta 32 in Wisconsin. Peter 14, Michael 12, Louise 8, and Anna 6 were born in Wisconsin, Arthur 2 and Henrieatta four monnths were born in Nebraska.

In 1900 Harlan County, Michael and Henrietta have "Otto" Sept 182, Henrietta January 1885, George Aug 1887, and Walter July 1891.

Michael 1847-1913 is buried in Harlan County # 71383416, with Henrieatta 1862-1912 # 71383415.

In 1910 Logan County, Colorado, Arthur is farming, 27, Bessie O. 26, Olive B. 4, and Walter M. 1.

Arthur claimed two quarters in sections 7 and 18, 6S 46W in 1917.
Arthur John Poppert registered for WWI with an address of Kirk, born Sept 19, 1883, farming, with Bessie O.

In 1920 Kit Carson County, Arthur is farming, 37, born in Nebraska, with Bessie O. 36 Pennsylvania. Olive B. 14 and Walter M. 11 were born in Nebraska, Virgil A. 9 and Eleanor 2 were born in COlorado.

Arthur and Bessie are farming in Elbert County, Colorado in 1930, with Virgil 19 and Eleanor 12. Next household is Walter 21 married to Marian E. 19, born in Ohio. They have Elva L. newborn.

They're in Colorado Springs in 1932, at 324 Mesa Rd, a laborer. Virgil A. lives with them. Both are laborers. Walter M (Marian E.) is a driver, at 1434 N. Chestnut.

1937 Douglas County "Mrs. A. J. Poppert of Arvada, who had been visiting with her daughter, Mrs. Albert Anderson, at Greenland, stopped in Castle Rock for a short visit with Dr. and Mrs. L. E. Shull on Thursday."

Arthur and Bessie are alone in 1940 Jefferson County, Colorado, with no kids."

Arthur was in Jefferson County probate July 10, 1967, and Bessie Olive Poppert November 18, 1959.

Eleanor Poppert married Russell Drown on February 1, 1933, recorded in Douglas County. They divorced in 1937 in Jefferson County, Colorado.

In 1940 Douglas County, Albert Anderson has no occupation, 32, with Eleanor V. 22, and adopted son Arthur M. 1, all three born in Colorado. Albert was in Elbert County, Eleanor in Jefferson County in 1935.

Arthur might be the Arthur M. Anderson April 7, 1938-March 20, 2001 buried in Riverside National # 72060494.

Walter M. Poppert married Marion E. Robinson on October 14, 1928, recorded in Douglas County.

In September 1959, among those attending from a distance "Mr. and Mrs. Walter Poppert and daughter" attended the 50th anniversary of the Marion Dykes in JOes.

Dale L. Poppert, M.D., 86, passed away March 2, 2007. He is survived by his sister, Evelyn P. Johnson of Arvada; children Dale Poppert Jr., of Walnut Creek, CA, DeeAnn Poppert-Dixon and Doyle Dixon of Stockton, CA, Debbie Poppert-Thorne and Bobby Thorne of Arvada; grandchildren Kristen Poppert, Derek Poppert, Hannah Dixon, Kyle Poppert, Christy Thorne. He was preceded in death by his wife, Delores Snyder-Poppert, and his parents, Walter Poppert and Nellie Heddendorp-Poppert.

Virgil A. Poppert married Salma W. Brand on October 3, 1932, recorded in El Paso County, Colordo.

WASILLA, Alaska — When Virgil Poppert loaded up two flatbed trucks with equipment and headed to Alaska in 1961, he didn't realize he was putting his family on a bumpy road to the American dream.
Nearly 40 years after Poppert Milling began, grandson Dave Poppert has yet to take a paycheck. For more than 15 years, the husband and father of four has worked two jobs to keep the family business going, and keep the dream of controlling his destiny alive.
"I don't want to get rich. I just want to make a good living and be my own boss.... That's why you do it," Poppert said.
Dave Poppert, 43, is about to realize that dream. He swears the good-paying construction job he took in Anchorage — one of many over the years that has paid the debts on the family business — will be his last.
Poppert Milling is doing well enough to stand on its own. "I always knew in my heart it was a viable business," Poppert said.
His wife, Cathy, who does the bookkeeping, knows what it took to get to this point. "Just plain old persistence and hard work," she said.
When Virgil Poppert set out from Arvada, Colo., with his 22-year-old son Keith, Alaska was his land of opportunity. Virgil had a business making paneling, casing and trim. He saw there was a need for his products in the new state of Alaska.
Virgil opened the business about 40 miles northeast of Anchorage in 1963. He was more laid back than his grandson. He bought boards instead of trying to mill them himself. Instead of bidding on timber sales or doing his own logging, he waited for people to come along with boards to sell. It could take half a year or more of waiting before he collected the 30,000 board feet to fill up the drying kiln.
"Grandpa was just making a living, not a very good living, but a living," said Keith Poppert, 64. "He was happy at 30,000 feet."
Keith worked alongside his father but then tired of the business. He took a job at the state experimental farm in Palmer. He later worked at Wal-Mart.
Instead of being driven like his son, Keith Poppert drove dogs and built sleds in his spare time to sell to other mushers. He smiles as he throws a fist into the air while putting together some sleds in the mill shop.
No thumb. It got ripped off when a line wrapped around it.
"All of a sudden the dogs took off and I fell off," he said. "I was on the ground and the thumb wasn't with me."
Dave borrowed $68,000 from the Small Business Administration and bought the business from his grandfather in 1984, moved it to its present location just north of Wasilla and convinced his younger brother Randy to be his partner. They hung up a sign "Poppert Bros. Milling."
"If I wasn't buying, he was going to sell to someone else," Dave Poppert said.
He soon discovered the business made no money. "I went back to doing construction," he said. He took a job with a general contractor that was remodeling barracks at Elmendorf Air Force Base in 1985. "We were pretty much destitute when that job came along," Poppert said.
Any extra money he made in construction helped his brother keep the business going. The arrangement worked until Randy was permanently injured while working as a volunteer firefighter in the late 1980s.
The brothers considered selling but decided to lease the business for two years. The only problem was the man who took over didn't make the payments.
When Dave Poppert returned after a year from a construction job in Fairbanks, he found the doors open, the power and phone turned off and the fork lift burned up.
The SBA was going to foreclose because it hadn't received any payments for more than a year. To avoid that, Dave Poppert hand-delivered the agency a check for $5,000 to cover part of the interest on the missed payments.
Worse yet, Dave Poppert discovered that Poppert Bros.' reputation for delivering quality, kiln-dried Alaska birch was ruined because the wood sold in his absence was dried improperly and had warped.
Dave Poppert fought back. He gave Hardwoods Inc. of Anchorage birch for free until their confidence was restored in him. "They've been buying ever since," he said.
The company wasn't out of the woods yet, but it was getting there. Dave Poppert needed more boards and he couldn't find enough reliable people to supply them. He bought a skidder, a new fork lift and a band saw mill. He bid on an 80-acre timber sale near Trapper Creek in 1992 and did most of the logging himself. He hired a man for $25,000 to log the last 20 acres. It took four years to get the logs off the land.
Dave Poppert told his wife that if he couldn't sell all the wood from the timber sale, he'd sell the business. At one point, there was birch from 30 logging trucks stacked in the yard.
"We sold everything. All the wood," he said. "After we paid the taxes, we had like $300."
"That was really good wood, and doing it ourselves helped us financially," he said.
But not enough. Dave Poppert continued to work construction during the day. On nights and weekends he could be found at the mill. When the business needed money, he cashed in his retirement accounts from the construction jobs.
Like slow-growing Alaska birch, Poppert Milling got stronger and stronger. Four years ago, there was enough money to hire Burt Munson as their contract sawyer. Last year, the mill produced 90,000 board feet of birch, 30,000 board feet of spruce and 20,000 board feet of cottonwood.
Dave Poppert a year ago received a $205,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and built three new drying kilns, a 50-by-96-foot dry storage building, and bought a 24-inch double surface planer.
Dave Poppert plans to double the volume of sales by offering a whole array of hardwoods. His 18-year-old son Michael might someday take over the business.
"If that is what he aspires to do, it would work," Dave Poppert said.
Olive Poppert married Harold A. Bertch on August 24, 1924, recorded in Kit Carson County.

"Baby Boy" Bertch, August 18, 1925 is buried in Stratton # 88106515.

In 1930 they're in Elbert County, Colorado, farming. Harold is 34 and Olive 24, both born in Nebraska. Arlene is 2 born in Colorado.
The three are still in Elbert County in 1940.

In 1941 Olive Bertch won some ribbons for canned vegetables at the Douglas County, Colorado fair.

In 1951 Castle Rock "Mr. and Mrs. Harold Bertch entertained her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Poppert, and her nephew, Keith Poppert, and Dick Carrol and son Arthur, all of Denver, last Sunday."
September 1951 "Mr. and Mrs. Harold Bertch entertained her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Poppert, and the Bertch's daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Homyak and family, of Denver, last Friday."

Harold Austin Bertch was born August 3, 1895 at Fremont, Nebraska to William A. Bertch adn Nellie L.Kurth.
William Austin Bertch 1868-1910 is buried in Des Moins, Iowa, # 70598108. So is Nelly (Kurth)(Bertch) Millard 1870-1957 # 151643773.

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