Henry C, Keil, a large and very successful dealer in all kinds of hardware, stoves and tinware, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, November 7, 1848. He grew up, attained his education and learned his trade of tinner in his native country. His father, Johanas Keil, is yet living in Germany at his old home, and is seventy years of age. He has been all his life a farmer. He had married a Miss Elizabeth Moell, a native of his own province. She died at the age of sixty years. She and her husband had belonged all their lives to the German Lutheran Church.
Henry Keil is the oldest of four children. After coming to this country and locating in Beardstown in 1867, he went back by way of Hamburg, Germany, in 1873; he returned to Beardstown in the spring of 1874, and has since lived here. He followed the tinner's trade for some time. He began business for himself in 1876, and has from that time on been increasing his stock and his trade. He carries a full line of first-class goods in a fine brick store of his own building, which he erected on Main street in 1890. He is a live man, bull of business, and one who works for the best interest of his city and county. He has been a stockholder in the First National bank since it was started, first as a private bank in 1877, and later a national bank in 1887.
He was married in Beardstown, to Sophia Weis. She was born at Hamilton Station, Cass county, and was there raised and educated. She is the daughter of John and Catherine Weis, who both died on their old farm in Cass county. They were pioneers in Cass county, having come about 1840. Mr. and Mrs. Keil are members of the Lutheran Church, as were their parents. They have three smart children: Alma, Arthur and Edwin, all still at home.
Mr. Keil is a Republican in politics, has been Alderman of the city for several terms, and is a fine man in every wasy.
Louis F. Kloker, a practical and extensive farmer, occupying his fine farm in secton 30, township 17, range 11, was born in Beardstown, May 20, 1836. Here he was reared and educated and has always been a resident. His father was Louis Kloker, Sr., a native of Hanover, Germany, belonging to an old German family. He had been a wagon maker, the only son of his father's family, and after growing up, about 1832, he came to the United States on sailing vessel. After a voyage of thirteen weeks he landed in New Orleans, and came on to Beardstown, via the Mississippi river. He began work as a mechanic, and died about 1839. He was known as a hard-working young man of good habits, and was a member of the Lutheran Church. He left two sons, our subject and a brother, Henry, who died when thirteen years of age. He married Mary Raube, also a native of Hanover, who had come to America in the same vessel with Mr. Kloker. They married soon after landing in Beardstown. She is the only member of her family in this country. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Kloker was married again to Fred Wedeking, who had come on the same vessel and at the same time as Mr. Kloker. After her second marriage they lived in Beardstown until 1844, when they settled on a farm southeast of Beardstown, and there Mrs. Wedeking died, December 25, 1857, aged forty-two. Mr. Wedeking died there also in 1887, aged seventy-six. He and his wife were good Lutherans, and very honest people.
After the death of his father, Louis was carefully reared by his mother and step-father, and since their death he has been taking care of himself. Mr. Kloker formerly lived in township 17, range 12. He has made the most of his property by his ownn efforts, and now owns 280 acres, which is highly improved, and has upon it good farm buildings. He also owns forty acres in timber land.
He was married in this county to Mrs. Minnie Yost, nee Soheide. She was born in Prussia, in 1833, and came to Cass county, Illinois, with her mother. Her father died in Germany, in the prime of life. After they had come to this country they first settled in St. Louis, and there Miss Soheide was first married. She outlived all her husbands, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Kloker, May 20, 1888. She was born February 8, 1794, and hence was ninety-four years of age: she was a strong, stout woman al her life. She and her people were Lutherans.
Mr. and Mrs. Kloker are working members of the St. Peters Lutheran Church, near Arenzville, of which he has been Trustee for some years. For thirty years he has been active in school work in the township. In politics he is a Republican. They are parents of six children: Henry, farming on the home place; John A., a farmer in this county; Edward, also a farmer in this county; Lena, wife of William F. Duval, a farmer of this county; Heramn and Fred are at home on the farm.
Mrs. Kloker had three children by a farmer marriage with Ernest F. Yost, formerly a successful farmer of this county, and a native of Germany. They are: Mary, wife of Ernest J. Ross, now of Beardstown; Louisa, wife of Henry H. Meyer, a family in this county; and Minnie, deceased, dying at the age of thirty-two, after her marriage with Henry W. Meyer
Thomas Knight was born in Cornwall county, near Land's End, England, August 14, 1836. His father, Thomas Knight, was also born in Cornwall, of Cornish parents, and followed the trade of cooper until he came to this country in 1846. He first settled in Meredosia and then came into Cass county, where the family has since made their home. The father had brought a little money with him and was able to buy forty acres of land. He became a farmer, which business was entirely new to him. He was very industrious and had good judgment and all the family became well off. The father died there, after having increased his property to 264 acres. His wife survived him some years, and died when past four-score years. She was remarkable for being a very beautiful old lady and a very consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Knight is one of a family of six, of which all are still living. He is one of the wealthy and influential men of Beardstown, and is now living at the corner of Eleventh and Washington streets, where he recently purchased a fine home, and has lived here ever since he retired from active life on his farm. He has been a successful farmer and stock-raiser in Hickory precinct. He was a progressive farmer and kept up with the times. His possessions amount to 520 acres, most of it under the plow and suppled with the finest improvements. As he was only ten years of age when he reached Cass County, he is one of the oldest settlers of the county.
Mr. Knight was married in Beardstown, to Emma Dunn of Cornwall, England, where she was reared. She came to Illinois with her brothers when yet a young girl and settled in Cass county, where she and her brother John still reside. Mr. and Mrs. Knight have six children. Robert, who married Delia Thiveaght, daughter of a farmer of Monroe, Illinois; Minnie married Fayetter Post, a railroad conductor on the Ohio & Mississippi, living in Beardstown; Myrtle married L.W. Berry, train dispatcher on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad; Albert and Eddie are at home, as is also the youngest, Clarence Lloyd. Mrs. Knight and some of the children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Chruch. Mr. Knight, since he became of age, has become a Democrat, and his party elected him to the office of County Commissioner. He is a strong local worker for his party.
Fred W. Korsmeyer, one of the most successful men of this locality, lives on section 30, township 17, range 12. He is a German, being born in Hanover, January 15, 1838. His parents were J.H. and Mary (Lovecamp) Korsmeyer, who were born in the same place, and descended from the best German blood. When our subject was thirteen years of age they came to the United States in the fall of 1851. They took the usual passage of their fellow countrymen, from Bremer to New Orleans, and from there up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Beardstown. They located very near the present home of our subject, and here they lived and died, the father about sixty, and the mother seventy. They had always been members of the German Lutheran Church and are remembered as good, honest German settlers of that early day. Our subject and a brother, Herman, are the only members of the family.
Mr. Korsmeyer began farming on his own account about the time of his majority. His first was a purchase of 140 acres, and he increased it from time to time until he now owns 600 acres, the most of which is under the plow. He has made many improvements on the farm he has owned for the past thirty years. He has very fine land, lying in the bottoms of the Illinois river, and adjoining the Meredosia lake.
Mr. Korsmeyer was married in Cass county, to Miss Minnie Miller, who came from her birthplace, in Hanover, Germany, when young. Her parents settled in Beardstown, where her father did some years ago, at the home of his daughter, as did also his wife. They had lived to good old age and had been valued members of the Lutheran Church. Mrs. Korsmeyer is the youngest of three children. Her two brothers are Fred, a Morgan county farmer, and Henry, who lives in Springfield. Mr. and Mrs. Korsmeyer have seven living children: Henry and Herman assist in running the farm; Emma, William C., Christian, and Theodore and Charles, the twins, live at home. The children are all naturally bright, and the parents intend to educate them thoroughly. The family is Lutheran in religion, and Mr. Korsmeyer is very prominent i the politics of his township, being a Democrat, and has held almost all of the local offices. He is now a candidate for County Commissioner, and so popular is he that this means a certain election. They are among the most prominent people in the township.
Henry C. Korte, general farmer of section 4, township 17, range 11, was born in Kurhessen, Germany, January 2, 1840. He grew up at home, and in 1855 came to this country with his parents and three children. They set sail from Bremen, Hanover, on a sailing vessel, landing after an eight weeks' voyage on the vessel Oldenburg in Baltimore, and from there by railroad to Springfield, Illinois, and from there by wagon to Beardstown, Cass county. The father, Conrad, started a blacksmith shop, that being the trade he learned in Germany and carried it on for twenty years, dying at the age of seventy-six. He was a good worthy citizen and a member of the Lutheran Church. He was a Democrat in politics. His wife survived him about ten years and died at the age of seventy-two. She was also a Lutheran. Her maiden name was Christina Meyer. Henry, a sister, Mrs. Sophia Krohe, and a half sister, Mrs. Catherine Fischer, are the surviving members of the family.
Mr. Henry Korte began here as a poor man and worked as a farm laborer, beginning for himself in 1863, having been in the county since 1856. He purchased his first land in 1889. He has a fine farm in the section where he lives.
He was married in this county to Wilhelmina Krohe, born, reared and educated in Cass county, near the farm where she now lives. She is the daughter of August and Christine (Jokisch) Krohe, natives of Germany who had come to America when young and single, and were married in Cass county, where they made their home, the mother dying in 1889, aged over seventy. Mr. Krohe is still living in this county and is eighty years old. He and his family were always Lutherans and Mr. Krohe continues in the faith of his youth.
Mrs. Korte is one of seven children, being the third, and has been a good and faithful wife and mother. She has borne her husband four children: Albert H., married Mary Hessler of this county, and they live on Mr. Henry Korte's farm; Arthur G., single and a farmer on his own account, living at home; Edward, at home assisting his father; and Amelia, at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Korte, with their family, are Lutherans, and Mr. Korte and his sons are all Democrats. They are worthy good people.
Fred Krohe was born in Cass county, September 30, 1849, and was reared in Beardstown, which has been his home. He is the son of Fred Krohe, Sr., who was born in Saxony, Germany, May 8, 1809, and who died November, 1880, in Beardstown. He was a young man when with his parents he came to the United States. He married in Cincinnati, Sophia Hoverkluf, who was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1816, and died March 20, 1888. She had come with her parents to the United States to Cass county, both dying there. She had a family of six children, of whom three are living.
Mr. Krohe is a man who has devoted his time to his business and the amassing of a fortune. He has now retired and is living in Beardstown, and is living on the corner of Washington and Third streets. He has made a fortune and owns some very valuable property, and is owner of the opera-house block and some fine property in the county. He has lived ub tgus county all his life, except three years in Omaha, Nebraska, where he has some property interests.
He was married in Beardstown, to Elizabeth Stock of Cass county, a native of the same county. She was born February, 1846. She was reared and educated in this county and is the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Stock, natives of Prussia. Mr. and Mrs. Stock, were wealthy and well-known members of the county, and were members of the Lutheran Church.
Mrs. Krohe died at St. Louis, May 9, 1892; she was a good and worthy woman, who had always lived in Cass county and was associated with its history. Since her death Mr. Krohe has lived in his home at Beardstown.
Henry C. Krohe, a practical farmer living on a fine farm, a part of the old, Jokisch homestead, was born in Beardstown, March 3, 1848. This farm was secured by Henry's grandfather and consists of sixty acres, all well improved with good farm buildings. Mr. Krohe also owns twenty acres more. He has lived on this farm for many years and also operates many other lands. He is the third son of seven children. He obtained his education in the public schools. His father, August Krohe, a native of Germany, was the son of Godfred and Rosena Krohe, and the family all left Germany in 1835 and after a trip of some months landed in New Orleans, and some weeks later in Beardstown. They obtained land in the valley of Bluff Springs and here the grandparents died when past eighty. They were well known people and good Lutherans. August Krohe came here as a young man with his parents as above noted. He became of age here and a farmer, and is now living at home, having retired from active work. He was married here, to Christiana Jokisch, who came to this country on the same vessel as her husband. She was a worthy wife for more than fifty years and died in April, 1889.
Mr. Henry C. Krohe was married, near his present residence, to Christina Menge a native of Germany, born in 1852. She was only one year old when her parents came to Cass county in 1853. Here the father died fourteen years ago, but the mother is still living. They have always been Lutherans, as are Mr. and Mrs. Krohe of this notice. Mr. Krohe is a Democrat, but has never been an office holder. They have six children: Bertha C., Lydia S., Ross A., Felix J.A., Paulina W. and Marilda L.
They are excellent people and are connected with some of the best families of Beardstown.
Henry W. Krohe was born at Beardstown, Illinois, November 27, 1841, and died suddenly at his home in that city, of heart failure, December 19, 1889. He grew up here, and in 1862, when just about of age, he started for California, with an uncle and aunt. Going to New York, they took a steamer to Aspinwall, crossed the Isthmus of Panama, and was landed by a Pacific steamer at the city of San Francisco, where Mr. Krohe remained for some time. Later, he went to Portland, Oregon, Umatillia, Vancouver Island, etc., and thence up to British Columbia, and back again into California. He was amongst the Cherokee Indians, whose language he learned to speak well. He spent four years as a miner, and had a varied experience, making and losing money.
In 1866, he returned to Beardstown, and shortly afterward he went in partnership with his brother-in-law, George Schneider, into the saloon business, and together built the opera-house block, in 1873; but when it was nearly completed it was blown down by a terrible storm, July 4, 1873.It was rebuilt by them the same year. Aout eight years ago, Mr. Krohe sold his share of the opera-house block to his borther, Fred Krohe, who is still the proprietor of the same, with his brother-in-law, George Schneider, now of Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1869, he engaged in the manufacture of mineral and soda water, in which business he continued until the time of his death. He was well known as a hard-working business man. He built several nice dwelling houses, which became the property of his widow.
He was married at Jacksonville, Illinois, February 11, 1875, to Miss Bertha A. Eberwein, a native of Cass county, born December 2, 1846, the daughter of J.C.H. and Maria Eberwein, who were born in Germany, and came to the United States when very young. Mrs. Eberwein died in 1847, leaving two little girls, Caroline and Bertha, both having good homes at the time they were married. Mr. Krohe and wife were reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church. He was a genial and pleasant man, a Democrat in politics, but not an office seeker. He leaves no children, but a widow, to mourn his early death; and Beardstown lost one of its best citizens when Mr. Krohe died.
George Kuhl was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, in 1807. His parents, Christian and Elizabeth (Ganz) Kuhl, were very old when they died, the father at the age of eighty-three, the mother at the age of eighty-five and one-half years. They were members of the Lutheran Church. When George was yet a young man he embarked for America in the ship Baltimore in 1833. After a voyage of eight weeks he landed in Baltimore and went from there to Richmond, Virginia, and followed his trade of baker. He soon left that city, however, and came to Beardstown, Illinois. He was the first of his family to venture across the ocean, but was later joined by his parents and other brothers and sisters. He is the eldest of a large family that comes of good German stock. His youngest brother is a Lutheran clergyman of Carthage, Illinois, and he and George Kuhl are all that are left of the family.
When Mr. Kuhl cmae to Beardstown in 1835 he had but twenty-five cents in his pocket. The city was then very small, and the country was new. He began his business career in Beardstown as a baker. He soon gained a footing and found a sale for his wares, bith in the little town and on the boats that were on the river. He made money and after twelve years established a large grocery store. Later he made it a general store, and added to it all the time until he became a large pork packer and grain dealer. Those were the times to make money, and during the war times he was one of the largest dealers on the Illinois river. He had two large grain houses that were destroyed by fire, and he lost some $4,000 in a paper mill. This made no difference to Mr. Kuhl's business enterprise. In spite of his losses he has made a large amount of money, and he now enjoys it in a beautiful home that he erected, that cost him some $15,000 when completed. It is furnished with every modern improvement. He has always had the best interests of the city at heart, and has done everything he could toward building it up. He has been a hard worker, and is the best kind of a citizen, and one that has a good deal of influence with all classes not only in the city but all over the county. He has been a leader in all tending to improve the city. He was one of the originators, and is one of the principal supportors of the German Church, and has contributed liberally to its support. His party (Republican) has rewarded his faithful services by making him Alderman of the city. He is a very temperate man and one that scorns anything mean or low. He has now retired from business, and is taking a merited rent, but he still takes a strong and deep interest in all that occurs in the city's history.
He was married for the first time to Christanna Belger, who was born in Saxony and came to this country when young in 1836. She died at Beardstown when about thirty years of age. She left four children, one of whom is dead. Mrs. Lizzie Rearick died after her marriage. The three living cones are: William P., who is in the grocery business, married Mary Shepherd; George S., a dry-goods merchant, married Julia Buck; Philip, a successful dry-goods merchant of Beardstown, married Mamie L. Arenz. Mr. Kuhl was married for the second time in this city to Mary E. Hemminghouse, nee Mashmeier. She was a German by birth and came to the United States with her parents in 1834. Landing in New York city they came by water route to Beardstown. Ten days after their arrival her father died, and her mother died some six months later. Mrs. Mary Kuhl was first married in her native country to the Rev. William Hemminghouse. He had charge of a German Lutheran mission; after some ten years he became a Methodist, and was a missionary through the West. He died when he was forty years old. He left six children, all dead but two daughters: Minnie, wife of George Schultheis; Henrietta, wife of Chris Kuhl. By their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Kuhl have four children: Louis, a clerk for Philip Kuhl in Beardstown, and married to Emma McVey, now deceased; Henry E, a clerk in Nashville, Illinois, married Allie Means; Mary, a teacher in the High School of Springfield, and she is an accomplished lady, and a graduate in English and German; Lydia, wife of Rev. M.D. Hornbeck, a minister of the Methodist Church.
Christian Kuhlmann, one of the substantial farmers, and highly respected citizens of Monroe Precinct, Cass County, Illinois, was born in the kingdom of Eilstad, Germany, in April, 1827. His parents were natives of Hanover, and passed their lives there. When Christian was three years old, his father died, leaving a wife and three children.
Mr. Kuhlmann attended school until he was fourteen, when he began to earn his own living, working by the year on a farm. The first year he received only $3 and his board. In 1851 he came to America. Setting sail from Bremen in April in the sailing vessel Capanica, he landed at New York after a voyage of forty-two days. He there found employment in a sugar refinerery at $26 per month, and thus earned the money to pay his way to the West. In 1852 he came to Illinois, coming via the Hudson River to Albany, Erie canal to Buffalo, the lakes to Cleveland, canal to Portsmouth, and the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to St. Louis. He found employment on a farm in St. Louis county, and remained there till 1854. That year he came to Cass county and was employed at farm work by month. He was very industrious, saved his earnings, and in the course of time rented land and began farming on his own account. In 1864 he made his first purchase of land, 160 acres, located on section 26, township 18, range 11. There was a log cabin on the place, into which the family moved, and he at once began to make further improvements on the land. Prosperity attended his well-directed efforts, and as the years rolled by he added to his original purchase and erected suitable farm buildings. His home farm now contains 375 acres, and he also owns another farm, 437 acres, in the same township. Besides these Mrs. Kuhlmann has a farm of 120 acres. Mr. Kuhlmann is indeed a self-made man. His life and achievements serve well to illustrate what a poor young man with ambition, good judgment and plenty of energy can accomplish in this free land of ours.
In 1855 Mr. Kuhlmann was married in Cass county, to Mary Middlebusher, also a native of Hanover. She came to America with her parents. Their union has resulted in the birth of two sons, George H. and John H. The younger resides with his parents. George H. is engaged in farming on his own account. He married Miss Kate A. Heminghaus, a native of Morgan county, Illinois, daughter of German parents. They have three children: Christian, Adelia and Lydia.
The Kuhlmann family are members of the Lutheran Church at Beardstown.