Kibler Family Genealogy

Since the Kiblers are the most numerous family name in Jasper County, we will devote a whole page to information on their family. The history below gives a good background on the family.

If you have information you would like to contribute, please feel free to email Kim and I'll add it here. [I personally am related to them via both my STROLE and PRINTZ family lines.]

The Newton Weekly Press
September 11, 1923
(Contributed to Illinois Genealogy Trails by
Source #33)

Greatest Gathering of Relatives Ever Held in Jasper County, Sunday

The Kibler reunion at Peterson Park, Newton, Sunday, was decidedly the most largely attended relatives' reunion ever held in Jasper county, and it is doubtful if any similar gathering of people in any event of kinship in Southern Illinois has equaled in numbers this one, which in salient features showed 750 descendants of Adam and Barbara Kibler, 250 visitors, 485 seated and 135 standing at the tables for dinner, with representation from six states, according to the names registered, viz: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
The weather was ideal for outdoor exercises, bright and beautiful sunshine, yet cool enough for comfort, just what was needed to put everybody in a good humor and keep them smiling.
Five living grand-children of Adam and Barbara Kibler, forming the third generation descended from the latter, were present, being George Kibler of Mattoon, 84 years old, and Solomon Kibler of Rose Hill, children of Mr. And Mrs. Theobald Kibler, and Mrs. Ellen Harrah of Effingham, Mrs. Amanda V. Kibler of Newton, and Mrs. Angie Garner of Topeka, Kansas, children of Mrs. And Mrs. George Kibler. Theobald and George Kibler were sons of Adam and Barbara Kibler.
Mrs. Eunice Kibler, widow of the late Franklin Kibler, and grand-mother of Carl M. Kibler, Secretary of the Kibler Reunion Association, was the oldest relative in attendance-88 years old.
Program: Registration; dinner, with invocation by Marion Kibler of Charleston, and song, "Shall We Gather at the Table," composed by Raymond Kibler and Charles G. Batman; solos and orchestra selections; address, Ralph Cummins of Rose Hill; closing congregational song "God Be With You, Till We Meet Again."
George S. Batman, President, and Carl M. Kibler, Secretary-Treasurer, were re-elected as officers, and it was voted to hold a reunion next year, in the latter part of August, at Peterson Park.
Of those from a distance, we noted Rev. C. O. Myers, Sadorus; Mr. and Mrs. John A. Batman and her mother, Mrs. Florence Smith, Albion; James Riley, Decatur; Stanley Kibler, Robert Kibler, George M. Harding, Mattoon; Edward Meurlot, C. J. Weaver, Marion Kibler and Charles M. Harding, Charleston; all with their families. Dr. and Mrs. O. A. Kibler, Dunning; and Mrs. Dora Melton, Mandan, North Dakota.

History of the Families

(This interesting historical information was written by Charles G. Batman and was read by him to the assemblage.)
The Kibler families in this country are all descendants of Adam and Barbara Kibler, who were born in Germany more than 150 years ago. Barbara Kibler was born in 1770, but the exact date of the birth of Adam is not known. They were married in Germany and it is presumed that most of their children were born while living there, as their oldest son, Jacob, married a lady by the name of Sowers while yet living there, just before leaving for America. Adam and Barbara's family consisted of seven sons, Jacob, Martin, John, Theobald, George, Solomon, and Adam Jr., and one daughter Susie.
When this family left Germany, they came across the water and settled in the Shenadoah (sic) Valley in Page county, Virginia, near Luray. After they lived there for some time, the children began to migrate westward at different times, until five brothers, Jacob, Martin, John, George and Theobald who had been previously married, settled with their families in Jasper county, Illinois, where they lived the rest of their lives. The first of them to leave Virginia was Jacob, who first went to Ohio in 1828 and lived there for three years, then moved to Indiana and lived there for two years, then came to Illinois in 1833 and settled one and one-half miles northeast of Rose Hill, where he lived the remainder of his life. He died in 1866 and was buried in a cemetery near Rose Hill. His family consisted of four sons, Reuben, Joel, Solomon, and John Kibler, and three daughters, Mary McComas, Eliza Cummins and Delia Kibler, who died single.
Martin was the next to leave his home in Virginia and come west. He settled in Jasper county and raised a large family. He has more descendants than either of his other brothers. His family consisted of ten children, four sons, Levi, Reuben, Silas and John Kibler, and six daughters, Mary Eliza Cummins, Helnor Rodgers, Diana Fowler, Katie Wilson, Lucinda Beckwith, and Mariah Stump.
John Kibler came to Illinois shortly after his brothers Jacob and Martin and settled about seven miles northeast [
I believe this should be northwest] of Newton, where he lived until his death, September 10, 1870. He was buried in a cemetery, later called the Kibler cemetery, near his home. His son Solomon came to Illinois before his father did, and after he had lived here for a while, he returned to Virginia to visit his father and mother. After he returned to Virginia to visit his father and mother. After he returned to Illinois, his father and mother also came here and settled close to where he lived.
John Kibler's family consisted of eight children, four sons, Solomon, Adam, Daniel, and Washington, and four daughters, Polly Foltz, Sallie Printz, Jane Kibler, and Lydia Wilson.
Theobald Kibler was the fourth of the five brothers to come to Illinois, arriving with his family in 1846 and locating northwest of Rose Hill, where he lived until death. He was buried in a family cemetery near his home. A part of his family was born in Virginia and part in Illinois. His family consisted of thirteen children, nine sons, Jacob, Josiah, William, Reuben, Dayton, John, George, Isaac and Solomon Kibler, and four daughters, Isabelle Foust, Diana Sheckles, Eliza Ann Long, and Mahalia Green.
George Kibler was the last of the five brothers to leave Virginia. He left there and settled in Illinois, one mile south of Gila, in 1851. Here he lived the rest of his life. He died in 1875 and was buried in the Lutheran cemetery near where he lived. He was twice married, his first wife being Eva Strole. During her life they lived in Page county, Virginia, and to them sixteen children were born. After the death of his first wife, he was married to Mary Summers in Virginia and nine children were born to them. Of the children, fourteen lived to raise families of their own. They were: Emanuel, Franklin, William, George and David Kibler, and Betsy Ann Kite, Caroline Riley, Mary Jane Batman, Julia Ann Koontz, Frances Carter, Amanda Smith, and Angie Garner.
I have no trace of Solomon and Adam Kibler, the other two brothers, but the daughter Susie went from Virginia to Indiana and married George Faust as his second wife, and lived near Carthage, Indiana. She had no children of her own but raised three step-sons. She died in 1884 and was buried near Carthage.
Adam Kibler Sr., the father of the family died while they were still living in Virginia, and after his death, his wife Barbara came to Illinois and made her home with her son Theobald near Rose Hill until her death in 1853 at the age of 83 years.
It might be interesting to know that Barbara Kibler, the ancestor of nearly 2,000 descendants, lies buried in a little family cemetery on the north slope of a hill near where her home was, two miles northwest of Rose Hill. She has a small monument over her grave, which is alongside her son Theobald and his wife. These three stones and two others constitute the entire cemetery. Solomon Kibler, a son of Theobald, recently improved the appearance of this cemetery by surrounding it with a new woven wire fence and placing at the entrance a neat iron gate. He has also kept it free of weeds and it is at the present time in extra good condition.
Tracing from the time of Adam and Barbara Kibler to the present, we have six generations and we find that so many of the descendants bear the same name. For instance, there have been five Reuben's, five Robert's, six Frank's, five Charles', six George's, and thirteen John Kiblers. John seems to have been the most preferred name, for besides the thirteen John Kiblers, there have been twenty-one other Johns in the family, making thirty-four of the descendants named John.

Info in
blue was added by contributer Karen Whitehurst Fink, source #33

"Some Early Kibler History Recalled"

The Newton Press

May 3, 1927

The following item, clipped from a Page County, Virginia newspaper, was sent us by S.J. Kibler of Rose Hill. Mr. Kibler is the father of Mrs. Shirley (Faye) Hickey mentioned in the item. The Kiblers of Jasper County first settled in Virginia before moving to Illinois and some of their descendants are there yet as will be noted.

"Mr. and Mrs. Shirley Hickey of Cleveland, Ohio, after spending the winter in Florida, stopped with Mr. and Mrs. Hubert L. Kibler at Stanley for a few days. Mrs. Hickey was formerly Miss Faye Kibler of Rose Hill, Jasper county, Illinois. Her great-great-grandfather was Adam Kibler who owned the Thomas M. Kemp place near Kimball. One of his sons, Jacob, who was her great-grand-father, emigrated from Page County, Virginia to Illinois, and took up public lands. He went by wagon about ninety-three years ago. W. Stage Modesitt's grand-father, John Kibler, also a son of Adam Kibler, emigrated to Illinois about the same time, settling about twelve miles from his brother.

"Adam Kibler mentioned above, was the first Kibler of the county. More than a hundred years ago he settled at the Kemp place, where his old log home is still standing. He had at least six sons. Several of them settled in Illinois where the name of Kibler is frequently met and where annual reunions are held. Adam and his wife, both natives of Germany, had grown children when they came to this country. Adam's brother who emigrated to America at the same time lived in Page a short period and settled permanently in Pennsylvania, where the family still holds to the original spelling of Keebler.

"As far as our informant can remember Adam's sons were Jacob and John who settled in Illinois, Martin who owned the present Pendleton Fox place near Kimball, and Theobald who probably located in Illinois. There were two other sons whose names are not recalled.

"Martin Kibler mentioned above was the father of Jeremiah Kibler of Luray, William Kibler, the Springfield tailor, grand-father of Hubert Kibler of Stanley, Asher Kibler, father of the late Commissioner of Revenue F.S. Kibler, Andrew Kibler, a Disciples preacher, David Kibler, father of J.W. H. Kibler of Luray, and several others.

"This is Mrs. Hickey's first visit to Page county. While here she had a picture taken of the old Adam Kibler home place near Kimball.

"Barbara Kibler, wife of the original Adam Kibler, is buried near Mrs. Hickey's home in Jasper County, Illinois. After her husband's death she lived with one of her sons in Illinois where she died."

A Birthday Reunion

The Newton Press, June 8, 1892

Sunday, May 15, 1892, was the 89th birthday of Grandpa Theobald Kibler, the oldest man in Crooked Creek township. There were present about 100 of his friends and neighbors to assist in celebrating his anniversary and to help dispose of the good things that had been prepared to eat. The gathering was held at his old home place in a large, double, hewed-log house. The inclement weather kept away many that would otherwise have attended. All the family living were present, except John Kibler and family who were unable to cross the Embarrass river. Seven sons and one daughter, eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren were there. Some living at a distance could not bring their children. There are 107 of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

At one o'clock we sat down to all the good things culled from nature's great storehouse, with the old gentleman at the head of the table and after he had returned thanks to God for his many blessings and the Rev. Rozell gave a short talk on the beauties of the life of the old father and prayed for a continuation of his care and protection the future, we proceeded to do justice to the chicken and other eatables that had been prepared for the occasion.

Grandpa Kibler was born in Shenandoah county, Virginia, May 15, 1803; was married to Susan Painter in 1822 and moved to Pennsylvania, living there two years; from there he moved to Trumbull county, Ohio, living there about 4 years; from there to Portage county, Ohio, living there two years; thence to Henry county, living there one year, from there to Rush county, Ind; living there eleven or twelve years; then to Shelby county, living there one year; and in 1845 he came to Jasper county, Ill., and in 1846 moved to the old home place where the reunion was held. There was born to him 14 children, 10 sons and 4 daughters. Eight sons and one daughter are still living. His wife, Susan, died June 10, 1873 at the age of 75 years and some months. He has married twice since and is a widower now, having buried three wives.

He is in fair health and lives with his son Reuben. He was presented with a new suit of clothes by Reuben Kibler and a beautiful cane from Jacob Kibler, of Danville, Ill, his eldest son. His old neighbors and friends enjoyed themselves and wished him many returns of the anniversary of his birth.


Silas Little

Kibler, James P. - was murdered near Mt. Meredian, Indiana around September 1. His father was Franklin A. Kibler.
(Newton Press, September 25, 1889)

The grand jury have been industriously investigating the Marion township brush-heap horror this week and a large number of witnesses have been before that body. The evidences of the tragedy were discovered on the 3d of September. On the 27th of August, James Kibler and Alfred Bowen were arrested in Brazil on the charge of carrying concealed weapons. The marshal of Brazil was in the city Tuesday and was before the grand jury. The Brazil mayor's docket shows that Bowen had $8 on his person and Kibler $41. Bowen was fined $7 and the men were released. Kibler had two pen-knives and a tin box of ointment in his pockets.
Bowen has not been seen since his release at Brazil, reports to the contrary, notwithstanding, with possibly one exception. A son of Bob Rains says he saw him in this city at 10 o'clock, Aug 30, and will swear he did. Bowen has not been seen in the neighborhood of Mt. Meridian lately, and nobody there where he is well known, has seen him for several months
On the night of Aug 29th a man entered Mr. Hurst's store in Mt. Meridian and purchased a lunch. From the description which Mr. Smith and others give of him, there is no doubt that this was Kibler. He left the store and has not been seen there since. On the night of Aug. 30, a bright light was seen by the people in the neighborhood of Mt. Meridian in the direction in which the corpse was found.
Upon searching the pile of ashes where the body was burned some knife blades and a tin box were found. They resemble very much the articles Kibler had when in jail in Brazil.
Mr. F.A. Kibler and J.D. Riley, his nephew, both of Newton, Jasper County, Ills. were in the city Tuesday. Mr. Kibler is the father of James Kibler, and in company with Sheriff Vestal he visited the scene of the fire on the Runyan farm, and also talked with Mr. Hurst, the Mt. Meridian store keeper. From the description given him he left town Tuesday evening well satisfied that the corpse found was the body of his son James.
The people in the neighborhood of where the deed was committed are assisting int he search for the murderer, and will leave nothing undone towards his apprehension. Mr. Kibler, who is a gentleman in comfortable circumstances, offers $100 reward for the apprehension of the murderer.
The grand jury will no doubt roughly sift the matter, but there is no doubt the bones found in that brush heap were those of either James Kibler or Alfred Bowen. Should either of them turn up at this stage it would be a hard matter to clear his skirts of the murder of the other.
["The Greencastle Times", Greencastle, IN, vol. 8, no. 44, September 26, 1889. Transcribed by K.T. Many thanks to Dennis Miller for finding this data.]

Clew to the Jefferson Township Murder
A special from this city to the Indianapolis Journal of the 23rd says:
It is thought that a clew has been discovered to a supposed murder and cremation enacted in Jefferson township, six miles southeast of this city, three weeks or more ago. The bones of a man were found in a brush-heap that had been burned, together with four knife-blades, a tin box, such as druggists use for ointment, suspender buckles, buttons and other articles that escaped destruction by fire The officers of this city, in their investigations of the case, have learned that two men - Alfred Bowen and James Kibler - were arrested at Brazil on the 27th of August, just one week before the discovery of the crime, on the charge of carrying concealed weapons. On searching Bowen a revolver and $8 were found in his possession, and $41 was found on the person of Kibler. The officer on making the arrest also remembers finding two pen-knives and a box of ointment in Kibler's possession, the box found in the ruins being identified as similar to the one containing the medicine. Bowen was born and raised in Jefferson township, within a half mile of the ill-fated spot. He left there several months ago for Illinois. Kibler was employed in Jasper county, that State, where he was accused of the commission of a rape. Nothing can be learned of the present whereabouts of the two men, though diligent efforts have been made to discover them.
Additional light is being thrown on the mysterious murder and cremation, referred to above that points still more strongly to Alfred Bowen's connection with it. He was seen in this city on Thursday, the day of the old settlers' picnic, and the day following his discharge at Brazil. Thursday night he was seen at Mount Meridian, near the scene of the tragedy, by a shop-keeper, of whom he bought some crackers and cheese, and was heard in conversation with his supposed victim outside of the store immediately afterward. That was the night on which a fire was seen in the locality. The father of young Kibler is here from Jasper county, Ill., and from the description given of Bowen's associate, his appearance, size clothing, etc., is positive that the remains found in the ashes of the brush-heap are those of his son. He says the last he heard of him was at Springfield Ill., on the 10th of August. Nothing can be learned of Bowen's whereabouts, of his movements subsequent to the night of the 29th of August.
[Greencastle Banner, vol. 37, no. 39, September 26, 1889]

Kibler Family Pictures

Julia Ann (Kibler) Koontz
Born 28 Dec 1838 in VA
Died 6 Feb 1917 in Jasper Co., IL

Andrew Jackson Koontz
Born 3 Oct 1831 in Virginia
Died 2 Feb 1917 in Jasper Co., IL

Both are buried at the Gila Lutheran Cemetery

Many thanks to Nancy Bower (source #16) for contributing these pictures!

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