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Benton County, Iowa ~ Biography and Family Information


Source:  History of Gage County, Nebraska
  By Hugh Jackson Dobbs.
Western Publishing & Engraving Company.
Lincoln, Neb. 1918.
Pages 1052-1053.
Isaac Kiler, a retired farmer, living in Barneston, has been allied with the agricultural life of Gage county for the past thirty-five years. He is now enjoying the rest earned after years of hard labor, in winning the wild prairie to fertility and helping to build up a great agricultural community.

Isaac Kiler was born February 13, 1844, in Richland county, Ohio, and is the son of John and Elizabeth (Hassinger) Kiler. John Kiler was born in Germany, in 1815, a son of John Kiler, a German farmer who came to Richland county, Ohio, in 1819, and endured all the vicissitudes of the early sailing-ship voyage, rude log cabins and the felling of the forests to make a home and clearing a space of ground for the growing of grain for the sustenance of life. These staunch and brave men who endured the hardships of those early years of our nation's history gave to their posterity brain and brawn to build up the nation which is today the vital exponent of the democracy man. In these rude surroundings, and close to the things of nature, John Kiler, Jr., grew to manhood and he then took as his wife Elizabeth Hassinger, who was a native of Ohio, born in 1824. In 1848 they moved, with rude ox team, over hill and valley to the state of Michigan and again built the log cabin, in the clearing of the pine forests of Michigan. Sons and daughters to the number of eight came to bless them, but ere they had reached manhood and womanhood the wife and mother passed away, in 1858. Leaving the remains of his loved companion and selling his property, Mr. Kiler moved with his family to Benton county, Iowa. Three children of this family are living, as follows : Mrs. Greenly, a widow, residing in Belle Plaine, Iowa; Isaac, subject of this sketch; and William, a farmer near Dodge City, Kansas.

John Kiler was married the second time, to Miss Sarah Shaver, who bore him five children, four of whom are living, as follows: Iona, residing in the state of Washington; John, a farmer near Superior, Nebraska; Charles, a traveling man; and Mrs. Nettie Lutz, living in Washington. The last days of John Kiler were spent in the home of his son Isaac, of this sketch, and he passed away January 1, 1889.

Isaac Kiler received his early education in Michigan and Benton county, Iowa. He helped his father on the farm until his marriage, in 1870, to Miss Clara Severance, who was born in Marion county, Ohio, a daughter of Frank and Elizabeth Severance. Mr. Severance died in Michigan, where he was a farmer, and his wife died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Kiler. Five children of this family are living: Emily, the widow of William Smith, resides at McCook, Nebraska; Phila is the wife of Charles Smith, a painter at Beatrice, Nebraska; Lucy is the wife of T. S. Jones, a breeder of stock at Wessington Springs, South Dakota; E. W. is employed by the Burlington Railroad, in Wyoming; and Clara is the wife of Isaac Kiler, subject of this sketch.

In 1883 Isaac Kiler and his family came to Gage county and here he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, in Liberty township. This land had never had a furrow turned nor been the habitation of a white man. Mr. Kiler and his wife made the improvements and continued their farming operations until they retired, in 1906. One child, P. M., was born to Mr. and Mrs. Kiler and he is now operating the farm in Liberty township. He married Frances Gallogly, and they have two children, Thelma and Bernice.

Isaac Kiler is one who started with no money but with much of ambition and determination to succeed and make the most of his opportunities. In connection with his farm in Liberty township, Mr. Kiler owns one hundred and sixty acres of land in Kansas. He loves to review the early day experiences and he tells of the trip he made from Council Bluffs, in April, 1864, with a lot of horses that he took overland to Salt Lake City, arriving —after many long weary days and nights on the trackless plains, under the stars— June 1, 1864, in Salt Lake City, and in Sacramento, California, June 28th. There were no hospitable roofs under which he could remain at night, but only the broad, virgin country with not a human habitation in sight for miles and miles. Then there were the hostile Indians and the wild animals constantly stalking the venturesome traveler. Before returning to Iowa, Mr. Kiler worked for two and one-half years in the lumber yards and saw mills.

The politics of Mr. Kiler are in accord with the Republican party and he and his wife are valued members of their community.

Transcriber's Notes:  The John Kiler family can be found in the 1860 & 1870 censuses of Iowa Twp., Benton Co., Iowa.

"Mrs. Greenly, a widow, residing in Belle Plaine, Iowa." was Melissa (Kiler) Greenlee, wife of Allen.
They were married in Benton Co., Iowa on Jan. 3rd, 1860.

Isaac Kiler and Clara Severance were married in Benton Co., Iowa on July 24th, 1870.
They can be found in the 1880 census of Buena Vista Co., Iowa. Their son's name was Perley M. Kiler.

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