JAMES KAHLER, a successful German-American farmer of Cedar township, was born September 18, 1840, in Holstein, Germany, and came to the United States in 1852 and settled in Rock Island county, Illinois, where he worked by the day for a time. He came to Benton county in 1869. He is a son of Matheis and Lena (Struve) Kahler. His father was born and reared in Germany, and there married and settled on a farm, which he worked. He came to the United States about 1850, and spent one winter in Davenport, Iowa, after which he removed to Moline, Illinois, and stayed there two years. He next located in Rock Island county, Illinois, where he purchased a farm and remained twenty years. In 1870 he sold his farm and located in Benton county, Iowa, and lived with his son James until his death February 9, 1886, aged seventy-eight years. His wife was a daughter of James Struve, born in Germany; her people were farmers. She was reared and married in Germany, and died December 30, 1874, aged sixty, at the home of her son John, in Benton county, Iowa. Their children are: Henry, who lives in Waterloo, Iowa, a retired blacksmith; James; John, who lives in North Dakota; and Katrina, the wife of Henry Weiss, of Davenport, Iowa.
James Kahler remained with his father on the farm in Rock Island county, Illinois, until after his marriage, in 1867, and the second year removed to Iowa and to Benton county. He purchased eighty acres of raw prairie, cleared and improved the land, erected a house, and soon added another eighty acres. He added to his land as he was able, from time to time, and now owns and operates four hundred and forty acres in sections 19 and 30, Cedar township. He is a self-made man and very successful. He has comfortable buildings, fine trees and an orchard, and has lived on this place ever since first purchasing it, spending all his time and energy towards the building up of a good home with pleasant surroundings. In political views he is a Democrat, but aims to vote for the best man for an office, regardless of party affiliations. He and his wife belong to the German Lutheran church, and he is interested in all movements for the welfare or prosperity of the community.
On January 31, 1867, Mr. Kahler married Lena, daughter of Henry and Bertha Stoultenberg, of Germany; her father died in his native country, and the mother came with her daughter to the United States in 1866 and settled in Rock Island county, Illinois, where the former died in 1871. Mr. and Mrs. Kahler have been blessed with children as follows: Katrina, wife of Dave Dutler, of Cedar township; Dora, wife of John Brody, who resides in Nebraska; Amelia, wife of John Struve, of Cedar township; Mathilda, wife of Otto Wandschneider, of Cedar township; Sophia, wife of Charles Wandschneider, of Cedar township; and Rebecca, Grover and John, living at home. Besides these, there were a pair of twins who died in infancy, as did also one daughter, Augusta.
Picture of James and Lena Kahler