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Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


Rheinard Kahmer

Pioneer & Farmer

Union Township



 RHEINARD KAHMER was born in Philadelphia, Pa., October  20, 1817.  His father, who bore the same name, was a sailor, and was lost at sea in 1824.   The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Mary Surrick. She lived to be almost ninety years of age, dying in 1887. She was the mother of five children, four of whom are now living.

Rheinard Kahmer, our subject, was reared on his uncle's farm in Bucks county, Pa., where he remained till he was sixteen years old. He then went to Philadelphia to become a carver, but only worked as an apprentice about a year. He next worked at the carpenter's trade, but finally hired out to work on a farm. In 1837 he came west as far as Peoria, Ill., where he worked on a farm for two years.

     In 1839 he came to Delaware county, Iowa, and has therefore been a resident of the county over fifty years. There was no settlement then, and even squatters were few and far between. Delhi, for many years the county seat, then consisted of one log cabin. Deer, elk and wolves were plentiful, and Indians were frequent visitors at his cabin.


 Mr. Kahmer, although forty-five years of age, was a soldier in the late war, serving nearly two

as a member of the Twenty-first Iowa infantry. He participated in numerous engagements, including the siege of Vicksburg. He was sometimes sick, but never in a hospital. He was mustered out in June, 1864, at New Orleans.

     Mr. Kahmer married in 1846, the lady of his choice being Miss Pauline Nelson, who was born in England in 1820. She came to America in 1830. Mr. and Mrs. Kahmer have had no children of their own, but have reared to maturity two whom they took in infancy. Cornelia Hogh, whom they took when she was two weeks old, is now the wife of Curtis Blanchard. Lewis Barden came under their care when he was eleven months old, and is still living with them. He is an industrious and intelligent young man, and is well repaying his adopted parents by his honorable and useful services for the care and thoughtful solicitude which they have spent on him. In politics Mr. Kahmer was reared a democrat, but has been a stanch republican since the organization of that party.

     Our subject owns one hundred and forty acres of good land, in Union township, which he has in a good state of cultivation and which gives him a fair yield annually for his time and expenditures on it. He is one of the very few citizens now living in Delaware county who have been identified with the growth and development of that county for more than fifty years. He is a pioneer of pioneers, a citizen of good repute, and a gentleman whom every one likes and whom all respect.

~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 317-318; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson