History of Franklin
County, Iowa by I. L. Stuart. 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub.
Transcribed by Don Turner, former coordinator of this website.
A fine property of one hundred and sixty acres on section 13, Lee township, known as the East Lee View Farm, is the property of Fred Kappen, and its excellent condition is the visible evidence of the care and labor he has bestowed upon it since it came into his possession in 1893. Mr. Kappen is. a native of Germany, born November 5th, 1858, a son of Ludwig and Hannah (Welletz) Kappen, also natives of that country, the former of whom died in Germany. To their union were born five children: Fred, of this review; Minnie, the wife of F. Sharving, of Germany; Sophie, who married John Shocknecht, a resident of Illinois; and Mary and Caroline, deceased.
Fred Kappen came to America in 1882 and located in Illinois, where he remained until 1890. He then moved to Franklin county, Iowa, and in 1893 bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 13, Lee township. This is known as the East Lee View Farm and has become, under Mr. Kappen's able management, one of the finest agricultural properties in his locality. It is equipped with substantial buildings and modern machinery and nothing has been neglected which would add to its appearance or value.
Mr. Kappen has been twice married. He wedded first Miss Caroline
Matzenburg, and they became the parents of three
children: Carl, a resident of Illinois; Bertha, the wife of
George Diercks, of South Dakota; and Ida, who married F. Powers,
of Hampton. Mrs. Kappen died in 1884. On the 6th of November,
1886, Mr. Kappen married Miss Wilhemena Matzenburg,
a sister of his former wife. In this family were six children:
Mary, the wife of William Christian, of Illinois; Christ and
Caroline, who have passed away; Fredericka, the wife, of William
Westfall, of Illinois; Sophia, deceased; and Wilhemena, the wife
of the subject of this review. Mr. and Mrs. Kappen have three
children: Emma, the wife of Herman Meyer, of Grant township; and
Elmer and Fred, at home.
George G. Kaus
George G. Kaus, carrying on general farming upon one hundred and twenty acres of land adjoining the town of Latimer, was born in Wisconsin on the 3d of March, 1864. He is a son of Henry and Lena (Weizel) Kaus, the former of whom came to America when he was eight years of age and located in Wisconsin, where he grew to manhood. In 1869 he moved to Franklin county, Iowa, and bought a farm in Mott township, engaging in agricultural pursuits there until 1899, when he moved to Latimer, where he lived until his death, which occurred February 13, l912. He had survived his wife since 1907. To their union were born seven children: K. H., of Hampton; George G., of this review; Fred, of Scott township; Lena, the wife of F. H. Dohrman; Henry C., of Baker, Minnesota; Phillip A., of Hampton, this state; and Lizzie, the wife of C. H. Ferst, of Norfolk, Nebraska.
George G. Kaus was five years of age when he came with his parents to Franklin county, and he grew up upon the homestead, residing with his parents until he was twenty-three years of age. At that time his father gave him a quarter section of land in Cerro Gordo county and he cultivated this for four years, after which he returned to Hamilton township, Franklin county, where he remained for five years. At the end of that time he moved into Latimer and became connected with business interests there as an implement dealer, following which he engaged in the drug business for three years and in the clothing business for two years and a half. Eventually he resumed his farming, buying one hundred and twenty acres adjoining the town of Latimer, and here he has since engaged in general farming. He has made substantial improvements upon the property, providing it with excellent buildings and modern equipment, and it is now one of the finest farms in his locality.
On the 11th of April, 1887, Mr. Kaus was united in marriage to
Miss Carolina Rodemeyer, and to this union have
been born three children, Clara, Arnold and Luella. Mr. Kaus is a
member of the Lutheran church and a republican in his political
beliefs. For many years he has been very -active in public
affairs, cooperating heartily in all measures and projects of
community advancement and serving with credit and ability in
various positions of trust and responsibility. He has been
township trustee, was for two terms a member of the city council
and has been mayor of Latimer for two terms, his official career
reflecting credit upon his energy, enterprise and reliability. He
is a man who through his own industry and enterprise has
succeeded in the conduct of his farming interests and has gained
an enviable reputation throughout the county.
William Keefe, who passed away on the 17th of August, 1904, was for many years actively and successfully identified with agricultural pursuits in Franklin county and at the time of his death owned four hundred and forty-four acres of valuable land. He was born in Canada and is a son of John and Catherine (Mulroney) Keefe, natives of Ireland. He came to Franklin county in 1872 and bought forty acres of land, to which he steadily added until he had accumulated four hundred and forty-four acres. Upon this fine property he carried on general farming and stock-raising until his death, which occurred August 17, 1904. He followed the most modern methods of agriculture and was widely recognized as one of the substantial and representative citizens of the community.
Mr. Keefe married Miss Rose McCaffrey, a
native of Canada, and they became the parents of nine children:
John and Jennie, at home; Dell, the wife of Ed Mahoney, of San
Francisco, California; Sylvester, a traveling salesman; James,
Anna, Josephine and Adeline, at home; and Frank, who has passed
away. Mr. Keefe was a member of the Roman Catholic church and
gave his political allegiance to the democratic party. Upright
and honorable in all the relations of life, he won the esteem of
those with whom he came in contact, and his death was deeply
mourned by a large circle of friends.
C. M. Kelley
C. M. Kelley is president of The Hampton-Kelley Canning Company, one of the largest productive industries of Iowa. In Hampton, where he makes his home, he is recognized as a business man of force, of broad experience and resourcefulness. He forms his plans readily and seldom fails to carry forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes It is true that he entered upon a business already established, but in enlarging and extending its scope he has proven that, like his father, he possesses, a spirit of initiative, supplemented by unfaltering enterprise.
Mr. Kelley was born in Bushberg, Missouri, August 18, 1869, and is a son of Henry B., and Rosalinda (Murray) Kelley, the former a native of New York and the latter of Vermont. In his early years the father was a- farmer and vineyard owner and was associated with Isadore Busch in the wine business near St. Louis, Missouri. He first became connected with the canning industry when in 1872, in company with a brother-in-law, they began evaporating sweet corn at Foster, Warren county, Ohio. Later their plant was located near South Lebanon, Ohio, until 1880. In that-year he and his associates embarked in the canning of sweet corn, and in 1882 he began operating a canning factory in Lima, Ohio. The following year he became general manager of the Watson corn and tomato plant at Vinton, Iowa, where he remained until 1891. During the fall of that year and the succeeding spring he perfected the organization of and incorporated the Kelley Canning Company at Vinton, now known,as the Iowa Canning Company, operating four plants, one at Laporte City, Iowa, one at Shellsburg, one at Garrison and the fourth at Vinton. In 1889- he went to Waverly, Iowa, where he organized the Kelley Canning Company, and the family still retain their interests there. The business which he successfully organized and instituted grew to be an immense concern, the largest of the kind in the state, and Mr. Kelley was active in its management and control until his death which occurred at Waverly, in June, 1903. He had for many years survived his wife, who passed away March 31, 1883. They were the parents of four children: C. M.; Horace G., manager of a canning plant at Iowa City; George R., manager of a cannery at Grinnell;, and Milo F., manager of a cannery at Belle Plaine.
C. M. Kelley was reared at home and started out in business life as a dealer in blooded horses and Jersey cattle. He was thus engaged until 1890, when he disposed of his interests of that character and joined his father in the canning business, establishing the plant at Waverly. In 1902 they built another factory at Forest City and in 1910 C. M. Kelley established the plant at Hampton. He had charge of the Waverly plant from his father's death and gave to it his undivided attention until 1910, when he organized and incorporated The Hampton-Kelley Canning Company at Hampton, Iowa. This plant during six weeks of the busy season, from the 15th of August to the 1st,of October, employs two hundred and eighty people. In 1913 they packed the product of between fifteen and sixteen hundred acres of corn, which aggregated one hundred and twenty-five thousand cases, with twenty-four cans to the case. This was packed under the names of the Cluster brand, Up Town brand and Kelley brand. There is considerable local capital interested in this venture, which has proven to be a most fortunate investment to those who have become interested therein. The plant is one of the most modern and sanitarily equipped plants in the country, having every possible device to aid in the saving of labor and time and to utilize the material to the best advantage in the production of a marketable product. In addition to his connection with The Hampton-Kelley Canning Company as its president Mr. Kelley is vice president of the Forest City (Ia.) Canning Company and is identified with a number of other firms and corporations as an officer or director. Concentrating his energies, however, largely upon the Hampton business, he superintends every detail and under his able management this has expanded rapidly and is today one of the largest concerns of this kind in the state. His position at its head has made frequent demands upon his energy, resourcefulness and sound business judgment and upon those qualities he has founded a success which ranks him with the leading business men of his section of the state.
In 1890 Mr. Kelley was united in marriage with Miss Emma
B. Brocken a native of Benton Iowa and both are well
known in Hampton. Mr. Kelley is a member of the Methodist church
and is connected fraternally with the Knights of Pythias and with
the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Mason City. He gives
his political allegiance to the republican party, and while a
resident of Waverly served on the city council. He occupies a
prominent position in business circles of Franklin county and his
interests are of a character that contribute not alone to.
individual success but also to public prosperity and commercial
Mark R. Kempthorne
Franklin county numbers among its progressive and successful native sons Mark R. Kempthorne, who, since 1905 has owned and operated the farm in Hamilton township upon which he was born. He follows the most practical and progressive methods in the conduct of his property and has met with a degree of success which places him in the front ranks of leading agriculturists of his locality. His birth occurred May 25, 1869, his parents being Charles and Jane (Richards) Kempthorne, natives of England. The father came to America when he was about ten years of age and located in Wisconsin, whence he moved to Franklin county about 1867. He took up his residence upon the farm now occupied by the subject of this review and there died in May, 1904, having survived his wife since 1895. To their union were born eight children: Mark R., of this review; two sons who died in infancy; Rose, the wife of Charles Scantlebury of Hampton; James Henry, of Aberdeen, South Dakota; Haymond, of Sterling Illinois; Emily, the wife of a Mr. Stangland, of Tacoma, Washington; and Florence.
Mark R. Kempthorne acquired his early education in the public schools of Franklin county and later attended Ellsworth College at Iowa Falls, graduating in 1896. Following this he engaged in teaching in the district schools for seven years, engaging in carpentering work during the summer months. In 1905 he bought the old homestead of three hundred and twenty acres on section 25, Hamilton township; and here he has since engaged in general farming and stock-raising. His success is well merited, for it has come to him as a result of perseverance, enterprise and intelligently directed effort.
On the 20th of May, 1903, Mr. Kempthorne married Miss Ocea
Myers, a native of Franklin county, and to this union
have been born three children: Charles G., whose birth occurred
March 16, 1904; Clara Garnet, born September 7, 1907; and Ocea
Eyvon, born April 27, 1913. Mr. Kempthorne is a member of the
Methodist church and a republican in his political views. He is
well known throughout his native community as an honest and
capable farmer and enjoys the respect and confidence of all with
whom he is associated.
D. E. Kenyon
D. E. Kenyon, a representative of financial interests in Franklin county, has been cashier of the Chapin Savings Bank since the organization of that institution in 1905. His birth occurred in Grundy Center, Grundy county, Iowa, on the 16th of September, 1880, his parents being M. F. and N. Ida (Wilson) Kenyon, who are natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania respectively and now reside in McMinnville, Oregon, where the father has charge of a fruit ranch. M. F. Kenyon was for a number of years engaged in the mercantile business at Ottosen, Iowa, and subsequently operated a farm near Livermore, this state.
D. E. Kenyon spent his boyhood on his father's farm near Livermore and acquired his early education in the common schools, later continuing his studies in the high school at Grundy center. Subsequently he spent several years in the employ of the Interstate Lumber Company and for three years had charge of the lumberyard at Chapin. In 1905, at the time of the organization of the Chapin Savings Bank, he was made cashier of the institution and in that capacity has remained throughout the intervening eight years, proving a highly competent and popular official.
In Chapin, Mr. Kenyon wedded Miss Clara Crawford,
a native of Franklin county and a daughter of G. W. Crawford, an
early settler of whom extended mention is made on another page of
this work. Our subject and his wife have one child, Willis E. In
his political views Mr. Kenyon is a staunch republican, while
fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows. Both he and his wife are widely and favorably known
throughout the community, having won the unqualified confidence
and regard of all with whom they have come in contact.
Charles G. Klousia
Charles G. Klousia has been connected with agricultural interests of Franklin county since 1879, and has now important holdings in Mott township, owning two hundred and forty acres of excellent land on section 14. He was born in Germany, November 22, 1853, and is a son of William and Annie Rosa.(Lossa) Klousia, also natives of that country. The parents came to America in 1855 and located in Wisconsin, where the father died one year later. In their family were two children, a daughter who died in infancy and Charles G., of this review. After the death of the father the mother married Michael Wolf and of this union were born six children: John F., of Kimball, South Dakota; George, of Mount Vernon, Washington; Rosa, the wife of Frank Smith of Platt, South Dakota; Dora, David and Adolph, all of whom reside in Kimball, South Dakota.
Charles G. Klousia was two years of age when his parents came to America and he was reared in Wisconsin, acquiring his education in the public schools. At the age of twenty-one he removed to Iowa and engaged in farming in the employ of others for five years. In 1879 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 14, Mott township, and afterward added to his holdings a half section east of that. He later purchased two hundred and forty acres on the same section and this he operates in conjunction with one of his sons, carrying on general farming and stock-raising.
On the 14th of February, 1879, Mr. Klousia was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Meselheiser and they became the parents of nine children: Clarence of Joplin, Missouri; Alma, who married J. H. Wolf of Boise, Idaho; Walter, a resident of Mott township; Florence, the wife of Edward Fleming of Wisconsin; Lauretta, at home; Della, who married C. W. Patton of Mott township; George A., Howard A. C. and Irving L., all at home.
Mr. Klousia is a member of the Evangelical church and gives
his political allegiance to the republican party, serving as
treasurer of the school board. During the long period of his
residence in the county his enterprise and industry have carried
him forward into important relations with business affairs and he
has won a creditable reputation in every connection in which he
has been found.
William H. Koell
Probably no man is better known throughout Franklin county as a successful fruit grower than William H. Koell of Hampton, who during the entire period of his active life has been connected with this business and is now the owner of one of the finest fruit ranches in this section of the state. He was born in Hampton, May 15, 1876, and is a son of William G. and Catherina Koell, natives of Germany. The parents located in Clayton county after their arrival in America and moved from there to Franklin county in 1875. For thirty-three years the father engaged in fruit growing, becoming one of the leading representatives of this industry in the state. He has now retired from active life, making his home in Hampton. He and his wife became the parents of five children: Minnie, who married Eli Hersey, of Parkersburg, Iowa; William H., of this review; Emma, the wife of J. N. Johnson, of San Antonio, Texas; Christ, of Thompson Falls, Montana; and Anna, deceased. By a former marriage Mrs. Koell had a son, August H. Kruse, now a resident of Portland, Oregon.
William H. Koell was reared in Hampton and acquired his education in the public schools of the city. At the beginning of his active career he turned his attention to fruit growing and has since been connected with this occupation, his experience and ability being important factors in his present success. He has a large fruit farm on South Maple street in Hampton and the extent of his business may be judged from the fact that during the first year he shipped sixteen hundred and forty boxes of assorted fruits and the first crop in the following year amounted to thirty-six hundred and fifty boxes. Mr. Koell raises strawberries, black raspberries, everbearing red raspberries, blackberries, currants, gooseberries, grapes, plums, apples and cherries, and in addition to the fruit sells the plants also, doing a large business in this line. He is greatly interested in the cultivation of the Americus everbearing strawberry, which he considers the most satisfactory strawberry grown both for market and home use.
On the 24th of April, 1901, Mr. Koell was united in marriage
to Miss Margaret Peterson, and they have become
the parents of two children: Everett, born August 2, 1902; and
Onalee, born June 14, 1904. Mr. Koell is connected fraternally
with the Modern Woodmen of America, is a member of the Methodist
church and gives his political allegiance to the republican
party. He is well known in Hampton, where his entire life has
been spent and where his honorable business methods and
straightforward character have gained him widespread esteem and
John F. Kopacek
John F. Kopacek, the owner of the Mulberry Farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 29, Geneva township, was born in Bohemia, January 7, 1871. He is a son of Frank and Rosa (Martinek) Kopacek, also natives of Bohemia, who came to America in 1875 and located in Marshall county, Iowa, where they remained for two years. At the end of that time they moved to Franklin county and resided near Faulkner until 1909, after which they moved to Hancock county, where they now make their home, the father living retired. Five children were born to their union: Anna, the wife of W. Zeman, of Linn county, Iowa; John F., of this review; Mary, the wife of L. Prochaska, of Hancock county; Frank, of Hancock; and Barbara, the wife of S. Nedvod, of Hancock county.
John F. Kopacek was brought to America by his parents in 1875
and spent the greater part of his childhood in Franklin county.
When he was twenty-two years of age he began farming
independently in the vicinity of Franklin and since that time has
been engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1899 he bought one
hundred and sixty acres of land on section 29, Geneva township,
and upon this property he has since resided, cultivating and
developing it according to the most practical agricultural
methods. His property is known as the Mulberry Farm and is well
improved in every particular, being provided with an excellent
set of buildings and modern machinery. Mr. Kopacek engages in
general farming and stock-raising and under his able management
both branches have become important and profitable.
Frank W. Korth
Frank W. Korth is a successful farmer of Morgan township, Franklin county, where he owns eighty acres on section 14. He was born in Wisconsin, on the 21st of February, 1869, and is a son of Wilhelm and Caroline (Wilke) Korth, natives of Germany, who came to America in the early '6os, locating in Wisconsin. There they made their home for about seven years and then came to Morgan township, where the father passed away on the 20th of February, 1908. He was widely known in his township and favorably regarded by all who knew him. Mrs. Caroline Korth lives in Dows. To their union were born ten children, as follows: a son who died and was buried at sea; Bertha, the wife of G. H. Butenhoff, of Hamilton township; Frank W.; Albert, of Morgan township; Matilda, who married H. W. Lempke, of Morgan township; Theodore, also of Morgan township; Sarah, a resident of Dows; Otto, of Morgan township; Amanda, of Dows; and Walter, of Morgan township.
Frank W., Korth attended district school near his father's farm and assisted him in the work of the home place until he had reached the age of thirty-one years. He became efficient in agricultural pursuits and after leaving the home farm set himself up independently, acquiring title to eighty acres on section 14, Morgan township. He has his acres under high cultivation, and his improvements make the place one of the valuable ones of the neighborhood. Mr. Korth follows up-to-date methods and such success as has come to him is the result of indefatigable labor, well applied energy and good judgment.
On January 27, 1910, Frank W. Korth was united in marriage to
Miss Winifred McKenzie, who was born in Franklin
county and is a daughter of Charles R. and Marie (Murphy)
McKenzie, natives of Ohio and pioneers of Franklin county, who
came here in 1868, locating near Sheffield, but later removing to
Hampton. The father died in February, 1906, and the mother now
makes her home in the latter city. They were the parents of six
children: Ambrose, of Denver, Colorado; Mary, of
Hampton;.Winifred, who is now Mrs. Frank W. Korth; Florence, who
married G. W. Froelich, of St. Paul, Minnesota; Frances, of
Hampton, who teaches public school, at Manning; and Aileen,
deceased. Mrs. Korth before her marriage was for three years a
school teacher and for five terms was principal of the west side
school at Hampton. Mr. Korth is a republican and is interested in
the welfare of his party, staunchly supporting its candidates at
the polls. He served for some time as a director of the school
board of Morgan township and is a member of the Lutheran church.
Mr. Korth is public-spirited and takes part in promoting all
public improvements. He stands high in the confidence of his
friends and neighbors.
Philip E. Kratz
Philip E. Kratz is a representative of one of the best known pioneer families in Franklin county and during the, entire period of his active life has been closely connected with agricultural interests here, owning and operating one hundred and twenty acres of land in Reeve township and one hundred and eighty acres in Grant township. He was born in Reeve township, May 2, 1861, and is a son of Philip and Louisa (Reed) Kratz, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father was born in 1829 and came to America at the age of twelve years, arriving in 1841. He became a resident of Wisconsin and there engaged in farming until he removed to Iowa. He settled first in Buchanan county, this state, but in 1854 removed to Franklin county, where he secured a homestead, walking to Des Moines in order to close the deal whereby he became the owner of the property. From time to time he added to this until his possessions were extensive and valuable. He died December 31, 1905, when in the seventy-seventh year of his age, and his wife, who was born June 30, 1833, died April 17, 1900. They were the parents of five children: Paulina, who was born February 21, 1857, and died January 30, 1900; Valentine J., living retired in Hampton; Philip E., of this review; Mary, who was born August 8, 1864, and died October 14, 1866; and Lemuel M., who was born December 7, 1866, and is an attorney at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Philip E. Kratz remained upon the home farm throughout the period of his boyhood and youth and early became familiar with the best methods of farm operation. In 1892 his father deeded him one hundred acres on section 8, Grant township, and to this he has since added eighty acres. In addition to this he owns a one hundred and twenty acre tract in Reeve township and is active in the development and improvement of both properties. He engages in general farming and stock-raising on an extensive scale and has met with excellent success in the conduct of his interests.
Mr. Kratz married Miss Mary E. Bailey, a native of Wisconsin, and a representative of a family which has been in Franklin county for about forty years. Mr. and Mrs. Kratz have three children: Milford Lemuel, born July 11, 1892; Edna K., born August 14, 1894; and Lewis Bailey, born July 16, 1900.
Mr. Kratz is a member of the Methodist church and gives his
political allegiance to the republican party. During the entire
period of his active life he has been closely associated with
agricultural interests of this locality and he is a man whose
character and standards have always merited the respect and
confidence of his neighbors.
Valentine J. Kratz
Mr. & Mrs. Valentine J. Kratz
Extensive landed holdings return to Valentine J. Kratz a substantial annual income enabling him to live retired in an attractive, commodious and comfortable home in Hampton. He was born in this county on the 1st of December, 1858, and therefore for more than a half century has witnessed its continued growth and development, great changes occurring during this period, as ploneer conditions have given way before the evidences of an advancing civilization. His parents were Philip and Louisa (Reed) Kratz, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father was born at Bingen on the Rhine, Germany, in 1829 and came to America at the age of twelve years, arriving in 1841. He became a resident of Wisconsin and there made, farming his life work until he came to Iowa. He first settled in Buchanan county, this state, but in 1854 removed to Franklin county, where he secured a homestead, walking to Des Moines in order to close the deal whereby he became the owner of the property. From time to time he added to this until his possessions were extensive and valuable. He died December 28, 1905, when in the seventy-seventh year of his age, and his wife, who was born June 30, 1833, died April 17, 1900. They were the parents of five children: Paulina, who was born February 21, 1857, and died January 30, 1900; Valentine J.; Philip Edward, who was born May 2, 1861, and is a farmer of Grant township; Mary, who was born August 8, 1864, and died October 14, 1866; and Lemuel M., who was born on the 7th of December, 1866, and is an attorney at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Valentine J. Kratz,remained upon the home place through the period of his boyhood and youth, was reared to the occupation of farming and early became familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. In 1894 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land to which he added as his financial resources in creased until he is now the owner of five hundred and twenty-four acres. On the 7th of March, 1900, he removed to the farm which is now his home, a place of one hundred and twenty acres in the outskirts of Hampton. He has greatly beautified and improved the farm which is devoted to the cultivation of the crops best adapted to the soil and climate and presents a most neat, thrifty and attractive appearance.
It was in the year of his first purchase of land, 1894, that Mr. Kratz made further arrangements for a home of his own, in his marriage on the 27th of April to Miss Ella Shroyer, a daughter of William Jones and Maria (Rucker) Shroyer. The father was a native of Virginia and the mother of Ohio. When twenty-one years of age Mr. Shroyer left Indiana, where he had lived for some time and with a brother came to Iowa. He is still a resident of Hampton, and Is president of the Old Settlers' Union. His wife, however, has passed away. In their family were five children: Everett L., who was horn December 22, 1861, and died on the 6th of May, 1887; Ella, born January 8, 1863; Cora B., born February 2, 1866; Minnie M., born July 2, 1871; and William Wooster, who was born July 16, 1874, and resides upon the old homestead farm in Reeve township. Unto Mr. and Mrs Kratz have been born two sons and a daughter: Howard V., born April 24, 1895, and now a high-school student; Gertrude Louisa, born May 17, 1896; and a son, who was born November 9, 1899, but died in infancy.
In his political views Mr. Kratz is a republican, while
fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias and the
Mystic Workers of the World. His religious faith is that of the
Methodist church, and his life is in consistent harmony with its
professions. He has always depended upon earnest, persistent
labor for his success and as the years have passed he has gained
a position among the men of affluence in the community, his
straightforward business methods being recognized by all.
Leonard J. Kron
Among the representative and valued citizens of Hampton is numbered Leonard J. Kron, who in the course of many years' connection with agricultural and business interests of Franklin county has accumulated valuable landed holdings and made important business connections, the extent of which places him in a position where he may now live in honorable retirement. He was born in Rockford, Illinois, May 8, 1846, and is a son of Frederick and Julia (Heming) Kron, the former a native of Germany, and the latter of Maine. The father came to America when he was about twenty-one years of age and after locating for a short time in New York moved to Rockford, Illinois, where he became associated with the Leveretts, of New York city, who owned a great deal of land in that vicinity. In their interests Frederick Kron took charge of a number of sheep and also engaged in general farming. He died near Rockford, Illinois, and his wife passed away in Monona county, Iowa. To their union were born two children: Leonard J., of this review; and G. F., of Monona county.
Leonard J. Kron was reared in Rockford and acquired his education in the public schools. At the time of the Civil war he enlisted in Company F, One hundred and Forty-second Illinois Infantry, reenlisted in Company G, One hundred and Fifty-third Illinois Infantry, in which he served fourteen months. He was mustered out at Chicago, Illinois, and immediately returned to Rockford, where he engaged in the contracting, building and lumber business until 1876, when he moved to Franklin county. Here he bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 20, Reeve township, and operated this property for many years thereafter, becoming known as one of the most progressive and practical farmers in his locality. He invested extensively in land in various parts of the county and has now important and valuable holdings. He is also well known as part owner of a bank in Lansing, of which his son-in-law has charge.
Mr. Kron married Miss Rosella Beemer, of Winnebago county, Illinois, and they have become the parents of two children: Myrta, the wife of R. G. Miller, manager of Mr. Kron's bank at Lansing; and Fred W., of Reeve township. After the death of his first wife Mr. Kron was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Carrie North, a native of New York.
Mr. Kron is connected with the Grand Army of the Republic and is a member of the Congregational church. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and for more than forty years was continuously in public office, serving for twenty years as county surveyor. His official record is a credit to his conscientiousness, ability and public spirit and in this and in all other relations of life he has held to high and pure ideals, winning in consequence the esteem and confidence of a wide circle of friends.
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