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Surnames - K -

Kirby, Charles Henry - one of the substantial farmers of Jersey County, owns and operates a fine farm in Richwoods Township, and also owns additional property in this township. He was born in Mississippi Township, October 10,, 1854, a son of George W. and Margaret E. (Utt) Kirby, natives of New Jersey and Ohio, respectively. After their marriage, in this section of the State, they settled on a farm in Mississippi Township, and here the father died in 1872, the mother surviving him until 1904. Their children were as follows: Charles Henry; Etta, who is the widow of George Reed of Texas; Fannie, who is Mrs. Abbott, of California.

Charles Henry Kirby attended the schools of his district until he was sixteen years old, and then took a three-year course at Shurtleff College at Upper Alton. In 1879, he began farming for himself in Mississippi Township, remaining there until 1886, when he sold the farm he had bought in 1879, and came to Richwoods Township where he owns 586 acres of land. Until 1910, he superintended the farming of the whole property, but in that year and since has rented a portion of it. With the exception of 160 acres of timberland, the property is all under cultivation.

In 1879, Mr. Kirby was married (first) to Lara Darlington, born in Mississippi Township. There were no children by this marriage. Mrs. Kirby died in 1884. In 1886, Mr. Kirby was married (second) to Nancy Reddish, born in Richwoods Township, a daughter of Jacob and Hannah Reddish, and they have one son, Harry L. Kirby, who married Dora Beatty and lives at home. Mr. Kirby served as an alderman of Fieldon, and as a Republican has always taken a deep interest in the success of his party. Fraternally, he bleongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. A man of large means, he has many interests in Jersey County, and is naturally anxious to forward its development in every way.

Kirby, Jett A. - one of Jersey County's prominent and respresentative men, distinguished in public life and successful in business affairs, belongs to one of the honorable old families of Jersey County. He was born here April 1, 1853, and his parents were L. L. and Sarah M. (Post) Kirby, the former of whom was born in New Jersey and the latter in Vermont. The paternal grandparents were Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Gaston) Kirby, and the maternal grandparents were James T. and Ardelia (Whitford) Post.

Nathaniel Kirby, the paternal grandfather, died in New Jersey, leaving his widow with four sons and two daughters. Not many records of this admirable woman have been preserved but it is evident she was courageous and resourceful, otherwise she would scarecely have undertaken the long overland journey, practically alone, a part of it through a wilderness, to Jerseyville, Ill., arriving with her children, July 4, 1839, her son, L. L., having ridden all the way on horseback. They soon settled on a farm in Mississippi Township. Prior to 1839, a Vermont family, James T. and Ardelia (Whitford) Post, had come tothe same neighborhood, in the same way. They settled on a farm two and one-half miles west of Jerseyville. James T. Post was born in Vermont in 1799 and his wife in 1803. These two families became united through the marriage of their children in 1848.

L. L. Kirby, father of Jett A. Kirby, was born February 3, 1823, and died in 1905. He married Sarah M. Post, who was born February 13, 1829, and died July 19, 1910. They became the parents of the following children: Elizabeth Ardelia, who was born January 1, 1849 and died in 1851; James H., who was born September 5, 1850, died August 5, 1893; Jett A., who was the third in order of birth; George W., who was born March 25, 1855, died July 20, 1858; Charles L., who was born October 9, 1857, died April 8, 1858; Edward A., who was born July 20, 1859, died December 11, 1877; William L., who was born August 2, 1861, died August 18, 1863; Lora O., who was born August 17, 1863, died May 11, 1877; and Hattie M., who was born April 14, 1865, is now Mrs. Edwin F. Smith, of Springfield, Ill.

Following their marriage, L. L. Kirby and his wife settled on a rented farm of forty acres situated two and one-half miles north of Jerseyville. It was wild land covered with a growth of hazel and Mr. Kirby grubbed out the roots and through hard labor converted it into arable land. On that place he built the log cabin in which he son, Jett A., was born. In 1856, he bought a farm located five miles north west of Jerseyville, buying property in the northwestern part of the city and adding to it until he owned eighty acres there.

Jett A. Kirby enjoyed excellent educational advantages. After completing the common school course, he took a Normal School course at Platteville, Wis., and a business course in Brown's Business College, Jacksonville, Ill. For some time after his return home he engaged in farm work and then accepted a position as bookkeeper and cashier in the Carlin-Babley Bank, which later became the M. E. Bagley Bank. In 1893, when misfortune fell upon this institution and the back was chosen assignee. After satisfactorily settling up the business, he took a trip to California, and upon his return to Jersey County, embarked in a real estate business, handling farm land and city property. He purchased a handsome modern residence in the center of the city annd has resided here ever since. His personal holdings aggregate many acres. He owns 320 acres in Gage County, Neb., 320 acres in Thomas County, Kans., 1000 acres on the Illinois River Bottoms, and with his sister, owns the old homestead of 320 acres and he also owns 200 additional acres adjoining. He owned the property that he divided into 222 lots and laid out as Woodlawn Addition to the north part of Jerseyville.

From early manhood, Mr. Kirby has been a man who has enjoyed the confidence and regard of his fellow citizens and has preserved their good opinion because of his enterprise and public spirit. In 1896, he was elected to the State Legislature on the Republican ticket and served faithfully and conscientiously for two years.

On February 11, 1911, Mr. Kirby was united in marriage with Miss Hildegarde Palmstrom, who was born July 27, 1879, at Hastings, Minn. They have one daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, born August 29, 1917. They are members and liberal supporters of the First Baptist Church of Jerseyville, and he is chairman of the church board of trustee. His fraternal connections are with the Mason and the Modern Woodmen of America.

Kircher, H. L. - owner of a finely developed farm of 160 acres on section 12, Fidelity Township, is a recognized authority on agricultural matters, and a man widely known and respected. He was born in English Towhship, August 5, 1862. He was the eleventh child of George Christopher and Elizabeth (Thurston) Kirchner, the former born in Erfurt, Germany, and the latter in Jersey County. The maternal grandfather was born in Ohio, but moved to Jersey County at an early date, settling on Norht Otter Creek, in English Township, where George Kirchner and his wife were married. They located on land that Mr. Thurston had entered from the government a short time previously. Here George C. Kirchner lived the remainder of his life, with the exception of three years spent in Jerseyville.

H. L. Kirchner attended the Franklin district school for a number of terms, and a German school at Fieldon for a short time. He remained with his father until he reached the age of eighteen years. His father then dying, he went to live with his brother, Charles B., in the vicinity of Otterville, where he spent two years. After this he and his brother Valentine were engaged in farming in partnership in Otter Creek Township for two years. In 1887, he bought his brother's interest in their 155 ¾, acre farm. He lived there until 1905, when he turned his farm over to pasture and bought another farm on 240 acres in the Paradise neighborhood of Fidelity Township, which he sold in 1911. Immediately afterward, he purchased his present farm, upon which he has spent much money and labor in erecting new buildings, setting out orchards and small fruits and in extensive fencing and tiling projects. It is now a modern and valuable farm. He has always carried on general farming and stockraising, and is a man of means and wide experience in agricultural matters.

On October 13, 1887, Mr. Kirchner was married to Lena Scheffel, born in Monroe County, N. Y., October 20, 1868, a daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (White) Scheffel, both born in Germany, who came to Rochester, N. Y., at an early day, moving thence in 1867 to Jersey County, Ill., where they engaged in farming. He died on December 9, 1897, and she April 24, 1907. Mr. and Mrs. Kirchner became the parents of the following children: George Christopher, Jr., who lives at Alton, Ill., was married to Florence Edith Hartwick and their children are Mildred Ellen and James Robert, and he is a Baptist Ministerial student; Harold Walter, who lives in Fidelity Township, was married to Eva Ewing, and they have one son, Earl H.; and Theda Carleson, Ray Edward, and Russell Laverne, who are at home. Mrs. Kirchner received here education at the Shiloh District school. They are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a trustee and member fo the official board, as well as superintendent of the Sunday school. A Republican, he has served as school director of the Paradise District.

Kleffner, Frank - a successful general farmer and dairyman of Jersey Township, is one of the highly respected men of the county. He was born at Alton, Ill., September 22, 1863, a son of Werner and Mary (Garloch) Kleffner, natives of Prussia, Germany, where they were married. Werner Kleffner was one of the earliest settlers of Alton, Ill., coming directly there after leaving his native land. Being a stone mason by trade, he developed a contracting business and was engaged in the construction of some very important buildings and bridges. His wife and one daughter joined him some years after he settled at Alton. Foresighted, he bought farm property, and sold the right of way to the C. P. & St. Louis Railroad, and the construction of the road also added value to his property. He was engaged in farming, as well as contracting, until his death, which occured September 26, 1895. The mother of Frank Kleffner died July 12, 1901.

Frank Kleffner attended a parochial school at Alton, Ill., and was reared on the home farm. In 1889, he bought out the heirs to the farm of forty acres in Elsah Township, that had belonged to his father-in-law, and conducted it for about six years, when he rented the property, and took charge of a 160 acre farm in Mississippi Township, on which he remained for three years. He then went to Piasa Township, where he rented a farm for three years, and at the expiration of that period, he went to Madison County, Ill., where he rented a farm for six years. Returning to Piasa Township, he rented a farm for a year, but then returned to Madison County, where for the succeeding sx years he was engaged in farming. Once more he returned to Jersey County, and rented the old Abijah Davis farm in Jersey Township, whre he has since lived, carrying on general farming and dairying, keeping a herd of from ten to twelve cows. He also raises cattle, horses and hogs, and is succeeding very well along these several lines.

On May 21, 1889, Mr. Kleffner was married to Elizabeth Wagner, born at Elash, Jersey County, April 16, 1872, a daughter of Phillip and Caroline (Schnurr) Wagner, natives of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Kleffner have had the following children born to them; Fred, who is at home, Frank, who died at the age of nineteen years; and Rose, Mary, Minnie, Josephine, Katie, Alma and John, all of whom are at home. The family belongs to the Church of the Holy Ghost, at Jerseyville. In politics, Mr. Kleffner is a Democrat, and he has served as a school director. Hardworking, thrifty and capable, he has forged ahead, and deserves the prosperity to which he has attained.

Knight, Joseph - who is devoting his abilities to farming, owning a fine property in the vicinity of Dow, Ill., is one of the representative men of Jersey County, and has had a more adverturous life then many. He was born at Afton, Hampshire, England, October 20, 1843, a son of James and Elizabeth (Coles) Knight. James Knight was a soldier in the English army in the war against Napoleon, and after the close of hostilities,he engaged in the manufacture of shoes. His death occurred when he was ninety-seven years and seven months old. Ten children were born to him and his wife.

When he was fourteed years old, Joseph Knight ran away from home and joined the English army, entering the Sixty-fourth Regiment of His Majesty's Second Staffordshire troops, under Capt. Godfrey Knight, and served in India for four years. Then turning his attention to the sea, Mr. Knight worked his way up as a sailor, and during 1864 and 1865 was ship carpenter on the steamship Diane, a United States government transport. in 1867, he became foreman of the Broadway Planing Mills, at St. Louis, Mo., but in 1869, he came to Jersey County and began farming. He now owns a fine farm of 300 acres comprising his homestead, and 277 acres in another farm.

On June 27, 1867, Joseph Knight was married to Miss Margaret Elmeda McDow, a member of the well known McDow family of this county. Mrs. Knight was born in Jersey County. Mr. and Mrs. Knight became the parents of the folllowing chldren: James, how is deceased; Herbert, who is at home; and Walter E., and Joseph, twins, of whom the latter is deceased, and the former lives at Salem Church, in Jersey County. Mr. Knight is a Democrat, and has served as a school director and supervisor. He is a man of many and varied experiences and is recognized as a good and valuable citizen, and successful farmer.

Kuebrich, John R. - one of the successful farmers and stockraisers of Jersey Township, is numbered among the substantial agriculturalists of Jersey County. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, April 13, 1876, a son of John and Mary (Fleischman) Kuebrich, both of whom died in Germany. Growing up in his native land, John B. Kuebrich attended school. On December 7, 1892, he came to the United States, and locating in Jersey County, he worked at first by the month for farmers and later was employed in the steel mills at Granite City, Ill., for two years. He then began farming on he own account, renting land for that purpose in Elash Township, so continuing for four years. Then for a year he operated land in Mississippi Township, and in 1904, he moved on the Fulkerson farm in Jersey Township, which continued his home until September, 1912, when he bought his present farm of 120 acres of finely improved land, admirably adapted for dairy purposes. Here he carries on general farming and stockraising, and he has been deservedly successful in his undertakings.

On March 28, 1900, Mr. Kuebrich was married to Caroline Yockers, born in Jersey County, March 16, 1875, a daughter of George and Louisa Yockers, natives of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Kuebrich have had the following children: Leo, who was born January 10, 1901; Florence, who was born June 21, 1902; Francis, who was born November 2, 1905; Paul, who was born May 28, 1908; and Joseph, who was born July 15, 1915. Mr. Kuebrich is a member of the Catholic Church. He belongs to the Knights of Columbus and the Western Catholic Union. Politically he is a Democrat, and he served one term as a school director.

Source: History of Jersey County Illinois, 1919
Edited by Oscar Hamilton
President Jersey County Historical Society, 1919
(Actual Book Pages 497 - 664)(PDF Pages 632 - 799)