1883 Biographies
From the History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa; Springfield, Ill. Union Publishing Co., 1883

Transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall



E.B. Keeling came in 1876. The parents of Mr. Keeling were natives of England, and resided in Staffordshire at the date of his birth, Jan. 21, 1847. He is a son of George and Mary (Bate) Keeling. They went, while he was still in early youth, to Manchester, England, where their son was educated. They again, in 1857, transferred their residence to Warrington, where they remained ten years. In 1867, he came to America and settled at Freeport, Ill., continuing in that vicinity until 1872. Mr. Keeling went to Dakota that year and entered a claim for 480 acres of land. In 1876, he came to Franklin county, and May 24, 1877, was married to Mary Griffin. Their three children are — Ella E., Mary J. and Mabel F. The parents are members of the Episcopal Church. (Chapter 20, Grant twp., pg 371)
Major A. G. Kellam came to Hampton, from Delevan, Wis., in 1871, and in company with J. F. Latimer, established the Franklin County Bank. For about ten years he remained connected with the institution, and in the meantime became a law partner of John H. King and D. W. Henley. After closing his connection with the bank he devoted his whole time and energy to the practice of law. In business and social circles he was much esteemed and respected and his word was always as good as his note. Probably no man has ever had the thorough respect and friendship of the entire county as was felt for Mr. Kellam. In 1881 he removed to Chamberlain, Dakota, and is there engaged in business. In his leaving the county, Hampton lost a valued citizen. (Chapter 7, The Bar, pg 182)
Charles Kempthorne settled, in 1868, on the northwest quarter of section 25. He was born in England, June 14, 1840, emigrating with his parents to the United States, in June, 1850. He first settled at Lower East Fork, Jo Daviess Co., Ill. Soon after they removed to Benton, Wis., where his father engaged in farming. He worked on his father's farm until the 3d of June, 1861, when he enlisted in the 3d Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, company I, for three years or during the war. He was engaged in the battles of Winchester, Cedar Mountain, Antietam; at the latter engagement he was wounded in the right wrist. He was honorably discharged from the service, on the 29th day of June, 1864, at Washington, D.C. The following compliment was paid him by his commander: "One of the best soldiers I ever met with; has not been reprimanded since under my command." After leaving the army he returned to Platteville, Wis., and entered the Platteville Academy, where he received more than a common school education. In September, 1867, he was married to Jane Richards, of Benton, Wis., by which union there were seven children, five of whom are living — three boys and two girls. In March, 1868, he removed to Iowa, and located in Hamilton township, where he owns 320 acres of land, which is under a fine state of cultivation. He makes a speciality of grain and stock raising, and is one of the most successful farmers in the township. He is a republican in politics and has held nearly all the offices of the township. (Chapter 21, Hamilton twp., pg 376-377)
John F. Kent, agricultural dealer, was born in Middletown, Butler Co., Ohio, in 1844, where he lived until he was six years of age, when his parents removed to Illinois, and remained two years and then removed to Cedar Co., Iowa. They lived there ten years, and then removed to Horse Grove, Wright county. Mr. Kent's father died, in 1879; his mother still lives in the county. The subject of this sketch was the fourth child ; he received his education in the public school, and has taught several terms. In 1869, he located at Belmond, where he kept a hotel three years, and at the same time was engaged selling agricultural implements. After leaving the hotel he engaged in the agricultural implements business exclusively, at Belmond and Alden . In 1881, he came to Dows, and established himself in the same business. He was married in 1868, to Martha M. Hianes, of Troy, N.Y. They have been blessed with two children — Laila J. and Mary Alice. Mr. Kent is a member of the I.O.O.F. and Masonic orders, and is a democrat in politics. (Chapter 26, Morgan twp., pg 477)
E.C. Kiefer was born April 23, 1848, in Milwaukee, Wis. His parents, Christian and Elizabeth (Leonard) Kiefer, were natives of Germany. The father was engaged in the bakery business in his native country until coming to America in 1845. He settled in Wisconsin and now owns 400 acres of land. E. C. Kiefer received a liberal education and remained with his parents until he was twenty-one years of age. Before he became of age he learned the carpenter's trade, which business he has followed ever since, at present doing a jobbing business in partnership with W.A. Roberts, under the firm name of Kiefer & Roberts. He came to Franklin county in 1870 and settled in West Fork township, remaining there until 1880, when he removed to Hampton, where he has since lived. In 1873, he was married to Amelia Rohmer, of Ingham township, Franklin county. This union has been blest with two children — Leonard Edward, aged five years, and Florence, two years old. (Chapter 22, Hampton & Washington twp., pg 408)
William H. Kiefer is at present constable of West Fork township. He is a prominent citizen and farmer. He is proprietor of 160 acres of land known as Highland Grove farm, which he holds at $4,000. Eighty-five acres are under the plow and the remainder in meadow land and pasture. The place is stocked with twenty-five head of cattle and a number of sheep; it also furnishes thirty-five hogs annually for market. The house, built in 1871, is surrounded by a fine grove. Mr. Kiefer was born in Milwaukee, April 4, 1858. His parents, Christian and Elizabeth (Leonhardt) Kiefer, settled here in 1847, his father having the position of weighmaster at an elevator. In 1864 the family went to Prairie Du Chien, Wis., where the father was employed in the same capacity, and also was in the grocery and provision business one year. In 1871 the family settled in West Fork township, the parents residing with the son. Mr. Kiefer was married June 5, 1881, to Sarah, daughter of S. A. Garber. They have one child — Chester Kiefer. Mr. and Mrs. Kiefer are members of the M.E. Church. Mr. Kiefer has always voted the republican ticket, and been active in promoting the welfare of his township. George Kiefer, a brother, enlisted at Milwaukee in a Cavalry regiment, served through the war and was severely wounded. (Chapter 35, Wisner twp., pg 583)
John H. King commenced practice in 1872, and for a time afterward was in partnership with W. N. Davidson. He remained here until August, 1882, then went to Dakota and was one of the founders of the town of Chamberlain, at the terminus of the Milwaukee & St. Paul R. R. Mr. King was for two terms a member of the State legislature from this county, and while there attracted considerable attention for his zeal and activity in the interest of his constituents. No member of the eighteenth General Assembly stood higher in the estimation of his contemporaries or made a better record than did Mr. King. He was an indefatigable worker, and although not a success as a lawyer, his energy made him a man to be sought for. He was one of the best known men in the State. (Chapter 7, The Bar, pg 182)
Jacob Klinefelter became a resident of Mott township in 1870. He is the proprietor of a finely improved farm of 135 acres, where he settled soon after his advent in Franklin county. He was born in York Co., Penn., Dec. 30, 1827. His parents, Peter and Catherine (Wilhelm) Klinefelter are both natives of the Keystone State. In 1831 the family removed to Marion Co., Ohio where his mother died shortly after. In 1834 his father settled in Dane Co., Wis., and there Mr. Klinefelter was a resident until he came to Iowa, as stated. In 1873, Mr. Klinefelter was married to Catherine Underkoffler, born in Waukesha Co., Wis. Their children are — Rosetta L., Mabel S., Amos J. and Arthur G. (Chapter 27, Mott twp., pg 486)
Adam Knau came to Franklin county, with his family, in the spring of 1869, and located on section 22, Geneva township, where he still resides. He was born in Hessia, Germany, Sept. 28, 1831. When eighteen years of age he emigrated to Pennsylvania. He was married in Butler Co., Iowa, to Mrs. Margaret Winkler, a native of Bavaria, born in 1825. They have had four children, three of whom are now living — Henry A., John G. and Margaret S., John is dead. They are members of the Evangelical Church. He is a republican in politics, and at present is a member of the board of township trustees. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., pg 355)
J.S. Knesel is a son of John Knesel, a pioneer settler of Franklin county. He is a native of Iowa, and was born in Clinton Co., April 27, 1856. Mr. Knesel, Sr., settled in this county in 1866, and engaged in farming. He bred his son to the pursuit of agriculture, who remained as his father's assistant until 1878. At that date he purchased a farm on section 6, West Fork township, which he has since occupied. His farm includes 120 acres of first class land, all under improvement, and worth $25 an acre. Mr. Knesel is still a young man, and with his habits of industry, and the careful judgment he displays, he has a future of prosperity before him. He was married Dec. 25, 1878, to Mary Smothers, a daughter of one of the pioneers of Floyd Co., Iowa. She was born in that county. They have one child — Almon Herbert. Mr. Knesel has always acted with the republican party. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp., pg 578)
John Knesel, one of the enterprising farmers of Ross township, came to Franklin Co., Iowa, in 1866, and for one year lived on the Horton place and then came to his present farm. He first bought eighty acres of land, to which he added as occasion offered, and he is now the owner of 220 acres, of which 160 acres are under the plow, he values his land at $40 per acre. Mr. Knesel is a self-made man in every sense of the word, having started in life with no capital but good health, brains, muscle and a determination to succeed, and by strict economy he has become the owner of a fine property, and is now in a position to enjoy the fruits of his labor. John Knesel is the son of John George and Mary Maria Lorena (Meyer) Knesel, and was born in Lancaster Co., Penn., Nov. 19, 1822. His parents were born in Germany; were married in Philadelphia and settled in Pennsylvania in 1816. His father was a shoemaker, and at the time of his marriage his worldly possessions could have been tied up in a small handkerchief. About 1832 the family moved to Columbiana, Co., Ohio, and John lived on a farm there until 1849, then went to Logan Co., Ill., where he remained four years, when he removed to Clinton Co., Iowa, and engaged in farming until his removal to Franklin county. When he arrived here he had only $50 which he invested in a cow, and she died in a short time. The crops that year were an entire failure in Iowa, and for six weeks Mr. Knesel and family subsisted on nothing but boiled turnips. Mr. Knesel bought his land on credit, and nearly paid for the first eighty acres with the crop of one season. He has been one of the most successful farmers of Ross township. On the 28th of October, 1848, he married Susan Phillips, who was born in Columbiana county. Her grandfather was in the Revolutionary war, and her parents were early settlers in Ohio. They have had twelve children, of whom nine are living — Lorena A., wife of William Shinn, of Ohio; Mary C., the wife of W. H. Jenkins, of West Fork; Jacob L., now in Nebraska; James S., living at West Fork; John G.; Albert W.; Sarah E., wife of Ira Jenkins; Abraham and Charles A. Mr. and Mrs. Knesel are members of the Christian Church. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp., pg 577-578)
E.M. Knight was born in Clinton Co., N.Y., Feb. 6, 1838. His parents were Elijah and Jane Knight, his mother's maiden name being Blow. They were both born in Clinton Co., N.Y. His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, while his father served in the war of 1812. E. M. Knight learned the trade of blacksmith in 1856, at Governeur, N. J., working at it two years, then farming four years in his native county. He then opened a shop of his own and ran it three years, being one year in the employ of the Government, In 1865 he removed to Iowa, working at his trade in Monona until 1872, when he came to Chapin and opened the first blacksmith shop in the place. Mr. Knight bought the first lot sold in the town and planted the first tree. He married Jennie Horribin at Monona, Iowa, July 26, 1866. They have three children — Lulu, Carrie and Willie, the first child born in the village of Chapin. Mr. and Mrs. Knight are members of the Congregational Church. He has served as constable two terms, and is a member of Sheffield lodge, I.O.O.F. (Chapter 31, Ross twp., pg 547-548)
John Knoll came from Illinois in 1870. He was a native of Berne, Germany, born March 4, 1813. He received a good education in the German language and learned the stone mason trade, at which he worked until 1852, when he came to Buffalo, N.Y., and labored two years, and then went to Freeport, Ill., remaining until 1870, when he moved to Franklin county, settling in Geneva township, where he lived until his dea h, Aug. 7, 1882. He was married in 1842 to Anna B. Gruber, a native of Germany, born in 1819. They had four children, two of whom are now living — John and Mary, now the wife of Frederick Schrieber, residents of the township. John, Jr., was born Jan. 9, 1847, in Germany, and came with his parents to Franklin county, where he grew to manhood and received a common school education in the English language. He was married Jan. 16, 1879, to Catherine Hoebel, born in Freeport, Stephenson Co., Ill., April 25, 1857. They have two children, Edward and Mary. They are members of the Evangelical Church. (Chapter 19, Geneva twp., pg 356-357)
Philip Kratz was born in Germany, in 1825. His parents emigrated to Waukesha Co., Wis., while he was a small boy. The father died, in 1861, aged sixty-three; the mother, in 1881, aged seventy. The father was twice married, and had, in all, eleven children, Philip being the youngest by the first marriage. His education was limited, but he has profited by observation. In the fall of 1853 he came to Iowa to to look at land. At that time cars were only running as far as Janesville, Wis. He, therefore, walked most of the distance to Franklin county, where he entered land, then walked to Des Moines, where he worked during the winter. In the spring he returned to Franklin, but on reaching there found the settlers fleeing from the Indians. He turned and went with them to near Cedar Falls, where they made a fort. From thence he went to Cedar Falls, where he worked on a mill race until the excitement was over, when he returned to the county and entered more land. He then removed to Wisconsin, but, in the summer of 1855, he again returned, in company with John Meyer, and added to his land. On March 12, 1856, he was married in Buchanan county, to Louisa Reed, who was born in Germany, in 1833. He then came and built a log house and returned for his wife, arriving in Reeve township, May 6, 1856. He is an industrious, go-ahead man. He cast his first vote for Buchanan, since which time he has been a sturdy republican, and has held offices of trust in his township. Mrs. Kratz is a member of the German Baptist Church. They have five children — Paulina A., Valentine J., Philip E., Mary J., (deceased), and Lemuel. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp., pg 518)
William Krukrow, in 1870, bought his present farm of 260 acres, in West Fork township, upon which he has a fine residence and all necessary outbuildings, all of which speak of thrift and good management. He was born in Prussia, in 1832, and emigrated to the United States in 1862, first settling in Prairie du Chien, Wis., where he worked by the month until he came to Franklin county. He is a member of the German Lutheran Church, and is a thorough republican in politics. He was married to Mary Bunder in 1856. They have four children — Frank, William, Henry and Lewis. Frank was married Sept. 14, 1882. He purchased 130 acres of land, on section 32, where he now lives. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp., pg 582)
Gotlieb Kugler came to Franklin county on a prospecting tour in 1869, and the following year removed here with his family. He purchased 160 acres of land on section 4, West Fork, and in the first year broke up sixteen acres, and the next year put twenty-two acres more under the plow. In 1870 he built a house while his sons were engaged in breaking land. In 1876 he began to set out fruit trees, and now has a bearing orchard which produces all the fruit needed by the family. He has forty head of cattle, nine of them being milch cows; he also keeps thirty hogs. His land is all cultivated, with thirty-five acres of meadow. He was born May 26, 1832, in Wurtemburg, Germany. In 1848 he came to America and at once learned cigar making at Philadelphia, thus occupying one year. He went to Milwaukee in 1849, and not securing work at his trade, he learned the business of a cooper, at which he worked until he came to Franklin county. His shop was located six miles from Milwaukee on the Janesville plank road. He married Harriet Esslinger at Milwaukee in 1853. Her parents emigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania, removing thence to Wisconsin. Ten of eleven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Kugler are living — George, Rudolph, Albert, Arthur, Walter, Tillie (wife of Adam Messhiser), Rosa, Julia, Loreno and Hermine, wife of George Messeluiser. Mr. Kugler has served three years as road supervisor, four as trustee, one term as school director, and is now chairman of the school board. Mrs. Kugler is a member of the Lutheran Evangelical Church. (Chapter 34, West Fork twp., pg 582-583)
Jacob Kurtz came to Franklin county in 1866, locating on section 25, where he still resides. He is the second son of fourteen children, and was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, in 1838. His parents were natives of Germany, where they died. He emigrated to this country when fourteen years of age, stopping a few months in Cleveland, Ohio, then going to Crawford county, where he remained eight years. In 1861 he went to Indiana, and remained until coming to Reeve township. He was married Sept. 24, 1878, to Mrs. Jennie (Anderson) Sanderson, born in Stephenson Co., Ill., March 3, 1855. By her first marriage she had one child — Minnie L.; by the present marriage three children — Charles O., James W. and Mabel A. Previous to coming to the township, Mr. Kurtz was a democrat, but now votes the republican ticket. (Chapter 30, Reeve twp., pg 521-522)


1883 Biography Index

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