Genealogy Trails

Jackson County, Illinois

Independent

Jun 1900

JACKSON COUNTY PIONEER RESIDENT
Philip Kimmel, Who Was 90 Years Old Monday, Lives in Murphysboro

Philip Kimmel, who lives in Murphysboro with the family of his daughter, Mrs. John Rude, at 2142 Spruce street, was one of the pioneer settlers of Jackson County. His ninetieth birthday was celebrated with a private family dinner, to which only members of the household were invited, Monday June 4th.
Notwithstanding his advanced years Mr. Kimmel is in relatively good health. For about six years he has been afflicted with asthma, which has impaired his health considerably. He is principally annoyed by his inability to rest while lying down, and sleeps while sitting in an arm rocking chair.
Mr. Kimmel was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, June 4, 1810. He was married in Pennsylvania to Mary G. Will, deceased. May 4, 1832. With a Mr. Koontz he came to Jackson county on horse back in the fall of 1840. His family remained on the farm at their Pennsylvania home and aside from work on the farm managed he tavern conducted by Mr. Kimmel before he came to Southern Illinois.

The country north of Murphysboro in Jackson county at that time was a dense forest and for nearly ten miles in that direction there were but two houses, and but few more in other localities in the county. There was a log hut five miles northeast of the site now occupied by this city on a farm containing 160 acres. It was owned by John Swain, deceased, and Mr. Kimmel bought the farm for $10 per acre. It is now valued at $60 per acre. The next spring Mr. Kimmel sold the horse he rode from his former home and went back, via the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. In March 1841 he brought his family over the same route to his western home. He lived on the farm he first bought until 1897, when he came to Murphysboro to live with his son, J[ohn]. Q[uincy]. A[dams]. Kimmel and daughter Mrs. Rude.
Although Mr. Kimmel bought his farm in 1840, he did not receive a deed for the place until a year later, when one was executed before Justice of the Peace John M. Hanson, deceased, at Brownsville, then the country seat. The deed was not placed on record until 1845, at which time D. H. Brush, deceased, was recorder.
From the time Mr. Kimmel became a resident of this county until the present many incidents common in pioneer life in a sparsely settled locality occurred. He recalls many and relates them with great interest when questioned about the early times in the development of the county.
When the county seat was changed to Murphysboro from Brownsville in 1843 he remembered an incident of interest in regard to the difficulty in securing a suitable place, in which to hold court during the construction of the court house. Dr. Logan had a vacant log building erected for a store that stood near the old Logan homestead, on what is now 312 to 316 South Seventeenth street. This building was offered the commissioners, two of whom were George Butcher and William Doty, both deceased, if they would move it to a suitable place for the location of the building in which difficulties were settled according to law. It was moved by Mr. Kimmel and a deceased brother to the corner now occupied by Ben Danielıs grocery, Walnut and Thirteenth streets, and was used as the court house until the present building was erected. Several additions and other improvements have been added to the building, yet the original structure forms the main portion of our court house today.
Of eleven children of Mr. Kimmelıs the following are living: Dan W., Joseph and Josiah Kimmel, Somerset township; John Q. A. Kimmel and Mrs. John Rude, Murphysboro; and Mrs. Jeptha Casteel, DeSoto. Mr. Kimmel went to Somerset this morning to visit with his son living there.

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