McLean County, Illinois
MICHAEL KINZINGER, a retired farmer of Montgomery Township, Woodford County, is one of its pioneer settlers, and a fine representative of the well-to-do and substantial German citizen. His birth took place in Germany Oct. 10, 1814, and he emigrated to the United States in 1837, becoming a citizen of McLean County the following year. His parents were Daniel and Catherine (Swartztrober) Kinzinger, natives of the German Empire. Daniel K. was born in 1765, and Catherine, his wife, in 1771. He was a tailor by trade, which he followed until his death, which occurred in 1828, in his native land. The mother survived six years, dying in 1834. Their marriage took place in 1805, and they became the parents of five children, four sons and one daughter, as follows: Jacob married Miss Catherine Peachy; Daniel died when seventy-five years of age; Michael of our sketch was the third child; Peter married Catherine Kneage, and Anna became the wife of Henry Fatten. The parents were members of the Mennonite Church.
After the death of his father Michael Kinzinger was comparatively homeless. He went to live with a gentleman by the name of Gingve, near the town of Morborg, where he remained for ten years following. When sixteen years of age he commenced to learn the blacksmith trade, at which he worked two years. He then abandoned this and engaged in distilling, being thus occupied fourteen years. After spending one year in Bavaria he set sail for the United States, first landing in New York City, whence he went into Butler County, Ohio, and followed his former business as a distiller.
Our subject was married, in 1837, to Miss Magdalena Naffziger, in Butler County, and in 1838 came with his family to McLean County. They remained in Bloomington for a short time, and Mr. K. rented a tract of land and was occupied in its cultivation for six years following. In 1844 he purchased eighty acres and soon afterward doubled this amount. He soon afterward erected a log house, 16x18 feet in area. This he divided into two rooms, and their floor was the ground in its native state.
In this humble abode there were born the twelve children of Mr. and Mrs. K., namely: Catherine became the wife of Joseph Fry, of Stout's Grove; Peter was first married to Miss Naffzinger; his second wife was Miss Pauline Rust; Daniel was first married to Miss Mary Schick; his second wife was Miss Mary Blank; Jacob married Miss Magdalena Keen; Christian married Miss Lena Strubar; Barbara became the wife of David Zook; Magdalena married Jacob Grundy; Anna became Mrs. Peter Schantz; Phebe, Mrs. Joseph Strubar; Caroline, Mrs. George Kirchner; Kileon and August are unmarried. All are living at this writing, March, 1887.
In due time the log cabin was replaced by a handsome frame dwelling, a good barn and all necessary and convenient out-buildings. The land has been finely cultivated and everything about the premises denotes the supervision of a thorough and intelligent business man. Mr. Kinzinger spent year after year industriously and economically, and now, resting from his toils, is passing his last years in the comfort and quiet which he has so fairly earned.
Mrs. Kinzinger is the daughter of Peter and Barbara (Beck) Naffzinger, natives of Bavaria, where they were married and became the parents of eleven children, as follows: Elizabeth, Jacob, John, Magdalena, Barbara, Phebe, Peter, Valentine, Catherine, Christian and John (2d). Mr. K. is Republican in politics, and both he and his wife are members in good standing of the Mennonite Church, in which Mr. K. has been a minister for twenty-three years.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 655. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.
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