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
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.