Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IAGenWeb Project



History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa
Union Publ. Co. Springfield IL. 1883.

"J - K" Biographies:  Jacobs ~ Kuppinger

Compiled & Contributed by Susan Steveson

E. W. Jacobs

[Page 914] E. W. Jacobs, a prominent citizen of Owen township, was born in Springfield, Ohio, Aug. 11, 1840. When he was four years of age his parents removed to Colum.bus, where he lived until he was fifteen, when they moved to Mt. Carroll, Carroll Co., Ill., where his parents are still living. In 1858 he went to California, prospecting, exploring the Pacific coast from Lower California to the British possessions. After an absence of eight years, he returned to Mt. Carroll, staying until 1870, when he came to Cerro Gordo county and engaged in burning lime at Mason City, putting up the first patent lime kiln in that city. He continued in the business about three years, when he came to his present home on section 5, where he is extensively engaged in dairy farming, also in raising cattle, sheep and hogs. In 1881 he erected one of the largest barns in the county, having a stone basement and all conveniences.

He was married in 1866 to Mary Sheldon, of Illinois, who died in 1870, leaving one daughter — Lulu. He married, a second time, Maria L. Bradley, Nov. 26, 1871, by whom he has four children — Ray G., Mabel C, Guy G. and Ethel Gertrude. Mr. Jacobs has been active and prominent in town affairs, is the present assessor and justice of the peace, and is a worthy citizen.

Josiah D. Johnson

[Page 847] Josiah D. Johnson came to the township in 1872, bought wild land on section 8 and located in 1874. He has so improved and beautified it that he now has a most desirable farm.

He was born in Auburn, N. Y., in 1830. When young, his father, Robert Johnson, removed with his family to Erie Co., Ohio, where his parents resided until their decease. He enlisted in the 96th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He learned and followed the carpenter trade a number of years. He assisted in the construction of several of the principal buildings of Rockwell, including the school house and Mr. Rockwell's dwelling.

He was married in Illinois to Eliza Willard, a daughter of Joseph Willard, born in 1836, and has one son — Henry, born in Ohio in 1858.

W. Scott Johnson

[Page 729] W. Scott Johnson was elected in 1873 and served nearly two years. Johnson was brought to Mason City at an early day by John I. Blair. He was a civil engineer and a lawyer; having an education which few men succeed in obtaining He was a fine elocutionist and a refined, polished gentleman. The story is that he left a girl whom he loved in the east, and upon finding that she was not true to him, it broke him down; he became discouraged and took to drinking. Before his term of office expired he went away leaving his engineering and surveying tools, which were purchased by H.A. Dyer. Where he is now is unknown.

Edwin G. Joy

[Page 950] In February, 1870, Edwin G. Joy started from Wisconsin with a span of horses for Iowa, arriving here in nine days, and at once settled on section 16, Mason township, on land which his father had purchased for him the previous year. On this farm he has ever since made his home. He was born in Booneville, Oneida Co., N. Y., his parents being Edward and Caroline Griffin. When he was three years of age he was adopted by Abiathar Joy, of Jefferson Co., N. Y., with whom he lived until he was seventeen, when the family moved to Wisconsin and settled near Beaver Dam, Dodge county. He attended the common schools, worked on the farm, and at the age of nineteen went into L. E. Piatt's store, at Beaver Dam, as clerk, where he remained about three years. On Aug. 15, 1862, he enlisted in company E, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, and started for Missouri, but at Cairo he was taken sick and was honorably discharged Nov. 6, 1862, on account of disability, when he returned to Wisconsin. As soon as health would permit he engaged in farming, which he pursued for three years then went to Beloit and became traveling salesman for a marble firm. Here he was married March 19, 1868, to Anna E. Ackley, of Beloit, Wis., and after continuing as salesman for about fourteen months, he returned for a few months to Beaver Dam, and from there came to his present home in Iowa.

Mr. and Mrs. Joy have five children — Earnest, Carrie, Harry, Minnie and Mattie.

H. W. Kahlke

[Page 762] H. W. Kahlke was born in Hamburg, Dec. 24, 1824. He attended school until sixteen years of age, when he engaged with a ship carpenter to learn the trade. In 1843 he left his native land and came to the United States, landing at New Orleans, and there engaged to work at his trade. He remained there until 1866, having been there through the stormy times of the war. In 1866 he came to Dubuque, where he engaged in boat building. In 1873 he made a new departure and engaged in building pontoon bridges; the first one he built was across the Mississippi river, at McGregor. He is now engaged at both boat and bridge building.

He was married in 1853 to Anna Hart, also a native of Hamburg, who bore him five children, of which but one is now living — Eliza, who is now the wife of Henry Sadler. Mrs. Kahlke died at New Orleans in 1863. In 1878 Mr. Kahlke bought a tract of wild land in Bath township, which he has had improved and has erected a good frame house, and a large barn. He still makes his home in Dubuque, but spends some time each year at his farm.

William Keenan

[Page 805] William Keenan came to Clear Lake in 1871. He was born in Pennsylvania, Feb. 20, 1849. When but two years old his parents moved to Wisconsin and settled in Washington county, where they were among the early settlers. They crossed Rock river on a log, the father carrying the children over one by one. The subject of this sketch made his home with his parents until eighteen years of age, when he went to Fond du Lac county, and carried the United States mail for fourteen months and then returned home and worked at the carpenter's trade. In 1871 he came to Iowa, first settling at Clear Lake, but a year later removed to Dougherty township, where he had the contract of building the Catholic Church. In 1874 he went to Wisconsin and was married to Catherine Rice. They returned to Dougherty township and located on section 36, on land previously purchased. In 1876 he engaged in the mercantile business. In 1881 he started a wagon shop, and in 1883 was engaged in this trade and also in running a store. They have three children — Ellie, Alice and Annie.

S. W. Keeney

[Page 996] S. W. Keeney established his business at Mason City in 1882. He has some of the best turnouts in northern Iowa, and keeps sixteen horses. He was born in Wayne Co., Ohio, Dec. 6, 1839. He is a son of C. C. and Phebe (Hotchkiss) Keeney, natives of Onondaga Co., N. Y. They were pioneers of Bremer county, where they settled Oct. 13, 1855.

Mr. Keeney was married in 1859 to Roxana, daughter of Andrew Dailey. She was born in Wayne Co., Ohio, March 25, 1840. They have had three children — T. E., Charles H. and Jennie. The latter died in 1872. Mr. Keeney was engaged in the livery business in Bremer county thirteen years.

Henry Keerl

[Pages 723 & 751] Henry Keerl was the next county recorder. He was elected in November, 1868, without opposition, and served until January, 1871. Lieut. Henry Keerl was born in Charlestown, Va., Dec. 14, 1836. He is a son of Dr. William and Ellen (Douglass) Keerl. His father died when he was a boy, and in 1859 he came to Cerro Gordo county to take charge of a mill owned by an uncle residing in Benton county.

Lieut. Keerl enlisted in August, 1862, in company B, 32d regiment, Iowa Volunteers. He had three brothers in the Confederate army. His command was attached to the Red River expedition under Gen. Smith, and at Pleasant Hill his canteen was shattered by a minnie ball. The battered article is preserved in grateful remembrance. At Memphis he was commissioned 1st lieutenant, and was engaged in action at Nashville and Fort Blakely. He returned to Mason City at the close of the war, and has since been variously occupied.

He is an ardent republican, and in the fall of 1867 was elected county recorder; has served in the city council many years. He is a member of the order of Masonry, and belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic.

He was married in 1863 to Lurena, daughter of Judge Randall, of Mason City. They have three children — William I., Letty E. and Henry.

O. A. Kimball

[Page 772] O. A. Kimball settled on section 9, in 1874, where he now lives. He purchased his farm of Colonel Wilson, of Illinois, and was the first settler on the land, making all of the improvements. His farm, which now consists of 120 acres, was formerly larger, but a portion of it is now owned and worked by his son. Mr. Kimball was born in Erie Co., N. Y., in 1829, and was there brought up. He moved west and resided in the Rock River Valley for twenty-five years previous to coming to Iowa. His wife was Philanda Pike, also born in Erie Co., N. Y. They have nine children, seven sons and two daughters.

Reuben Kinney


 [Page 819] Reuben Kinney was born [August 28, 1832] on the sea shore in New Jersey. His parents [Charles F. and Salome (Kirkhuff) Kinney] were from Scotland, of which country they were natives. They settled in New Jersey, where Mr. Kinney, of this sketch, grew to manhood. He obtained a fair education at the common schools, supplemented by two terms at the high school. At nineteen he decided to become a mechanic and learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he followed in and around Newark, N. J., until 1869, when he came to Iowa.

The first six months after his arrival he lived in the south part of Worth county, when he proceeded to Cerro Gordo county and bought a village lot at Rock Falls. He built a tiny frame house, laid out his place to the best possible advantage and set out fruit trees and shrubbery. His home is attractive and valuable. Since his location here, he has worked at his trade. In 1871 he purchased a tract of land on section 20, which is tenanted.

He was married in 1856 to Julia Spangenburg (sic), born in the State of Maine. Mrs. Kinney became the mother of twelve children, ten of whom are yet living — Sarah A., Margaret, William H., Amanda, Rosella, John, Rachel, Emma, Charles F. and May. The mother died in 1880, and Mr. Kinney married, in September of that year, Elizabeth Lee. By this Union there is one child — Serena.

Transcriber's Note: Julia Emily (Spangenberg) Kinney (1846 - 1880) was interred at Rock Falls Cemetery. Reuben and Julia's daughter Judy was born two days before her mother died. Judy died August 14, 1880 at the age of 9 months and 29 days; she was interred at Rock Falls Cemetery. Also interred at Rock Falls Cemetery is Salome Kinney, daughter of Reuben and Julia Kinney. She was born August 11, 1856, Pahaquarry, New Jersey and died before 1880 (no gravestone). Elizabeth Serena (Lee) Kinney (1859 - 1889) was interred at Rock Falls Cemetery. Reuben died December 12, 1926, Aranas Pass, Texas. He was interred at Prairie View Cemetery, Aransas Pass, Texas.



John Kinyon

[Page 849] The first drug store [in Rockwell] was kept by Miller & Curtis; and in 1883 the drug business of the place was carrired on by J. Kinyon & Son.

J. Kinyon & Son, druggists, succeeded E. Bonner, on the 1st of March, 1882. John Kinyon was born in the State of New York, July 10, 1826. He went to Portage Co., Ohio, with his parents when he was a child, where he grew to manhood. He was an early settler of Winneshiek Co., Iowa, having settled there in 1857. He came to Cerro Gordo county, March, 1877.

His wife, formerly Priscilla Haughawaut, was born in Pennsylvania. They have three children - Benjamin, Alice, wife of A. B. Willsey, and C. P., who is associated with his father in business.

H. P. Kirk

[Page 995] H. P. Kirk located in Mason City at the close of the war. He opened his business in 1867, and has prosecuted it successfully since its inception. He was born in Mahoning Co., Ohio, May 21, 1843, and was raised on a farm, receiving a common school education. In 1861 he enlisted for three months in the 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was stationed in Western Virginia. In February, 1862, he reenlisted in the 13th Illinois Cavalry, Company D, remaining about one year and receiving his discharge for physical disability. In February, 1865, he enlisted a third time in the 2d Iowa Cavalry and was in the service until the close of the war.

He was married in 1870 to Elizabeth R, daughter of S. D. Wordsworth, of Lake Mills, Iowa. Mrs. Kirk was born in Ohio in 1852. They have two sons — Clara L. and Verne P.

Cerro Gordo county was in its infancy when Mr. Kirk came within its borders. He has seen Mason City expand from a hamlet with three houses to a respectable city of 4,000 people. He leads his profession in this vicinity, and his rooms are a delight to his patrons. They are fitted up with admirable taste, and the evidences of the artists skill are to be seen on every hand.

I. R. Kirk

[Page 997] I. R. Kirk, cashier of the Commercial Exchange Bank, was born in Mahoning Co., Ohio, May 7, 1846. At the age of fourteen years he came to Mason City, where he found employment. About the year 1875, associated with M. V. Robinson, he established a dry goods house, which was in operation until 1880, when Mr. Kirk entered upon the duties of his present position. He is a member of the Masonic order, and belongs to the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery. Mr. Kirk's position in business, social life and general popularity afford unmistakable evidenceof his character.

L. S. Klinefelter

[Page 685] In 1879 L. S. Klinefelter was elected to succeed Mr. Kling, and in 1881 was reelected as school superintendent of Cerro Gordo county. He is the son of Adam and Margaret (Dillman) Klinefelter, natives of Pennsylvania, who emigrated to Ohio after their marriage, and were the parents of six sons and four daughters. Levi was born in Summit Co., Ohio, Nov. 13, 1848. His father was an Evangelical preacher who traveled extensively through the wilds of that State organizing churches. Levi was educated at Union and Northwestern College in Du Page Co., Ill. He came to this county in 1873, and in 1879 was elected to his present office, which he has filled with credit to himself and constituents for two terms.

He was married Oct. 1, 1879, to Carrie E., daughter of Dwight Brown, a native of Vermont.

W. J. Konvalinka

[Page 986] W. J. Konvalinka was born in Iowa City, Iowa, Jan. 6, 1856. His parents, Joseph K. and Anna (Cerney) Konvalinka, were natives of Bohemia. They emigrated to Iowa in 1855 and located in Johnson county. His father was a millwright by trade. In 1883 he still lived at Iowa City. The subject of this sketch was a student of St. Joseph's school, and at the age of thirteen he was employed by Glenn & Pryce, afterward John Glenn. In 1875 he entered the employ of Donahue & McCosh, with whom he remained about six years, traveling in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota and Dakota. In 1880 he engaged with Kirk's Iron and Hardware Co., of Chicago; but in March, 1882, seeing a chance to better himself, financially, he abandoned the road and has since been the manager of the business house of Konvalinka Bros., of Mason City.

June 6, 1881, he was wedded to Clara McMillen, a daughter of John L. McMillen, one of Mason City's pioneers. She was born July 9, 1862.

Conrad Krug

[Page 818] Conrad Krug settled in the township in 1805. He was born in Germany, June 18, 1833. He was raised to agricultural labor, attending school until he was fourteen years old. In 1856 he left his native land for America, first settling in Canada, where he spent his time in farming and chopping wood. In 1865 he came to Iowa, and in 1866 located on section 36, in Falls township. He built a house and stable in the fall of that year, and his stable, with a pair of horses, together with his farming tools were destroyed by fire. He then sold the land and went to Portland township where he rented land. In 1868 he bought forty acres of land, which, three years later, he sold and purchased 160 on sections 14 and 15 of Falls township. In 1883 he had 180 acres of land under good state of cultivation. Mr. Krug was married in 1855. They have five children—Henry, Peter, William, Mary E. and Katie. He is a member of the German Methodist Church. Mr. Krug takes much interest in educational matters and has held several township offices.

John A. Kuppinger

[Page 761] John A. Kuppinger, in 1877, settled on section 22, Bath township, on land which he had previously bought, made good improvements, set out a grove and built the house in which he now resides. He is a native of Baden, Germany, born Jan. 20 1830. Here he attended school, and at the age of fourteen years, he commenced to learn the carpenter trade with his father, at which he continued to work until 1853, when he came to America and located at Canal Dover. He was superintendent of a coal mine for one winter. In 1855 he went to Allamakee Co., Iowa, bought wild land in Waterloo township, but lived in Dorchester and worked at his trade for three years, at which time he started a wagon shop, working at times on his land until he had thirty-five acres cleared. He remained there until 1872, when he came to Mason City and engaged to work on the C. M. & St. P. Railroad, and after three and a half years, went to Austin, Minn., where he was employed by the same company about one year and a half, when he returned to Mason City, opened a wagon shop and after running it a few months, settled on his land where he now lives.

He was married, in 1858, to Margaret Elizabeth Naas. They had six children, four of whom are living: — Jacob F., John A , George H. and J. Frederick; Willie died in infancy, April 14, 1869. The only daughter, Mary E., died, Nov. 5, 1874, aged fifteen. Mrs. Kuppinger died, Nov. 21, 1879. He was a second time married in February, 1881, to Mary Canneff, who is a native of America.



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