Abram L. Kellar, M. D.
The good old doctor of pioneer days won his way into the good graces of every family in all the region round about, for his sturdy but kindly character won the hearts of the mothers and children and his judgment and skill compelled the respect of the hard-working pioneer men. It is possible that the position of a doctor who has long held sway in a community embodies an ideal life as far as influence and standing go. Such a life has been that of the well-known doctor and old settler whose home has been in this county most of the time since 1832 and whose name appears at the head of this paragraph.
Dr. Kellar was graduated from the medical department of the university at Louisville, Ky., and began active practice in 1852 at Decatur, but four years later made Sullivan his permanent home, with the exception of the decade 1865-1875, which he spent at Shelbyville. He is a physician of the regular school and has been one of the leading men of the county since his settlement here. His parents were pioneers in Macon County when he was a little boy at a time when that county was all an unbroken wilderness.
The Doctor was born in Oldham County, Ky., December 16, 1827, and is the youngest member of his father's family. His father Abraham H. Kellar, was a native of Tennessee and a son of William Kellar, a Pennsylvanian by birth who grew up among the Dutch farmers and when he had reached manhood removed to Tennessee and there married Miss Rebecca Netherton, who came of a prominent family in that region. After their marriage and the birth of some of their children William Kellar and wife removed to Oldham County, Ky., and there became pioneers, for they made their location in that State in the last decade of the eighteenth century. In that county they spent the remainder of their days living to an extreme old age, Mrs. Kellar especially, as she died at the age of ninety-four. Her husband had been a preacher in the old school Baptist Church for years and for generations the family adhered to that church in religion and to the Democratic party in politics.
Abraham H. Kellar, who came with his parents when three years old to Oldham County, Ky., was there married to Nancy J. Hitt, who was born in the Blue Grass regions of Fayette County, Ky. This couple with their children emigrated in 1832 to what is now Moultrie County, Ill., locating near the present site of the village of Covington, although there was not then a town in the county and only five families within its present limit. They came with wagons, ox-teams and a horse and camped out upon the way, passing through a sparsely settled country.
The parents took Government land and here began life in Illinois about the time that the Indians left this region. The county was thickly inhabited by wild game and last but not least, as the Doctor says, there were then great numbers of rattlesnakes upon the prairies. He at one time killed one hundred and thirty-two sizable snakes in breaking ten acres of land. Before the death of Abram Kellar, which occurred when he was sixty-five years old, he had secured a comfortable home and life had grown easier for the farming community. His widow returned to Kentucky and her days ended under the roof of her daughter, Mrs. Paulina Hikes near Louisville, Ky., after she had reached the age of four-score years and four.
Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Kellar were formerly Baptists, but in 1828 they joined the Reformation and became active members of the Christian Church in whose communion they continued through life. Mr. Kellar was familiarly known for many years as "Hickory" Kellar on account of his Jacksonian faith which was Democracy of the deepest dye. The two brothers of our subject are H. Y. Kellar, a Christian minister at Effingham, Ill., and Joel H., who lives in Scotland County, Mo. The sisters who are living are Elizabeth, wife of Albert G. Snyder of Elk County, Kan., and Paulina, wife of Edward J. Hikes living near Louisville.
The subject of our sketch was married in Decatur to Miss Jane E. Cantrill, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Hall) Cantrill, natives of Kentucky, whose daughter was born in Illinois. They resided in this State until death and passed away at the ages of eighty-one and fifty-eight years respectively, being much mourned and deeply respected for their true Christian faith. Mrs. Kellar is the mother of five children, viz.: Charles H., who married Sarah Dilsaver, and is a painter by trade in Beatrice, Neb.; Addie is the wife of Dr. J. W. Goodwin, City Treasurer of Pomona, Cal.; Edgar H., married Lyda Stewart and is a minister in the Christian Church in St. Louis, Mo.; Lizzie M. and N. Pearl reside at home and are receiving at the hands of their parents a liberal education.
The Doctor and his wife are prominent members of the Christian Church and the ability, intelligence and zeal of this gentleman has fitted him to do excellent work in the church and he frequently fills the pulpit with profit, and acceptably. He is known as a fluent speaker and a natural orator and has a reputation as a logician, and he is frequently called upon to make speeches on various subjects and is never at a loss for forcible thought and expression. He was formerly an active worker in the Democratic party but is now alive to the interests of prohibition and votes to put down the saloon. He is a member of Blue Lodge No. 764 of the Masonic order, and for four years was Master Mason in the old lodge before the re-organization. He is a man of somewhat portly figure, striking appearance and has an excellent voice which stands him in good stead in his public addresses.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Oliver L. Kendall
Oliver L. Kendall, who is connected with the farming interests of Todd's Point Township, is a veteran of the late war, in which, as a loyal and efficient soldier, he won a record of which he may well be proud. Tippecanoe County, Ind., is the place of his birth, and November 2, 1834, the date thereof. His father, Joseph Kendall, was born in Massachusetts, and went from there to Kentucky. He lived in the wilds of that State for some time, and then removed to Darke County, Ohio, whence he went in 1825 to Tippecanoe County, Ind., and was one of the first settlers of Tippecanoe Township. He bought a tract of Government land in that locality on the east bank of the Tippecanoe River, and in the log house that he built by the side of that stream his son, of whom we now write, was born. He split clapboards for the roof and puncheon for the floor, and made it, in fact, a typical pioneer dwelling. For some time the country roundabout was but sparsely settled, and deer roamed at will through the forests and across the clearings that the pioneers had made. There were no railways, and for years Michigan City and Chicago were the nearest markets for grain.
The father cleared a part of his land, but his work of improvement was closed by his death in 1838. The maiden name of his second wife, mother of our subject, was Nancy Nunn, and she was a native of South Carolina. She married a second time, becoming the wife of Martin Hermann, and he died in 1886 in Tippecanoe County, at a venerable age.
Oliver Kendall attended the pioneer schools of Tippecanoe County, which were taught on the subscription plan, each family paying according to the number of scholars sent. The school-house was a primitive concern, built of logs, furnished with slab benches that were without backs or desks and were supported by wooden pins; and the school room was lighted by taking out a section of a log and placing greased paper over the hole thus made. Our subject resided with his mother until he was fifteen years old, and then began the struggle for an independent existence with no other capital than strong muscles a stout heart, and willing hands. At first he worked out by the month for $6 a month. He lived in Tippecanoe County until the fall of 1860, when he came to Illinois and rented a farm in Macon County, four miles south of Decatur.
The war broke out and found him busy managing his farming interests, which he abandoned in the fall of that year to defense of the Union. He became a member of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry and after a long term of service on many a hard-fought Southern battlefield, veteranized in March, 1864, and remained with his regiment until he and his comrades were honorably discharged in November, 1865. He took part in the battles of Farmington, Iuka, and Corinth, Miss.; in those fought at Somerville, Coffeeville, Plain Store, Colliersville, Byhalia and Moscow; encountered Forrest's forces at Memphis, Tenn., in May, 1864, and with his brave comrades assisted in driving him from the State. His regiment also did good work in an engagement with the enemy at Hart's Cross Road, Tenn., and December 13 and 14, 1864, bravely fought Hood's forces between Franklin and Columbus, and gallantly captured the works on Brentwood's Hill. The Seventh Illinois Cavalry joined in pursuit of Hood's fleeing army, and drove the Confederates across the Tenneesse River. The regiment remained in Tennessee during the winter, and then went to Mississippi and did garrison duty in that State and Alabama until its final discharge several months after the Rebellion was brought to a close, when its services were no longer needed by the Government. Our subject was commissioned by order of Gen. Rosencrans in 1864 as Second Lieutenant of Company I, Seventh Illinois Cavalry.
After leaving the army our subject returned Northward and resumed farming in Macon County. He resided there until 1889 when he rented the farm which he now occupies in Todd's Point Township. He is carrying on his agricultural operations skilfully [sic], derives a good income in repayment for his industry, and has already attained an honorable place among our most practical farmers. He is greatly esteemed by his neighbors, and is known in social circles as a member of the Masonic fraternity, which joined in 1872; and for his connection with I. C. Pugh Post, No. 481, G. A. R.
Mr. Kendall was first married in 1855 to Miss Savilla Shaw, a native of Tippecanoe County, Ind., and a daughter of Alfred and Emillia Shaw. She died July 21, 1861. Her father was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, and after marriage removed to Tippecanoe County, Ind. He cleared a farm from the wilderness in Tippecanoe Township, and there death found him March, 1864. The maiden name of his wife was Emilla Marquess. She was born in Virginia, and was a daughter of Smith and Eve (Stingley) Marquess. Smith Marquess was one of the earliest settlers of Tippecanoe Township, where he cleared a farm, which remained his home until death ended his life. The mother of Mr. Kendall's first wife now resides on her farm in Iroquois County, Ill.
The second marriage of our subject was with Mrs. Jane Ward, and it was solemnized December 31, 1865. Mrs. Kendall was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, January 10, 1836. Her father, Thomas Morris was also a native of the Buckeye State, and in early manhood was there married to Miss Nancy Bevington, a native of Virginia, who went to Ohio with her parents when she was fourteen years old. Mr. Morris remained a resident of Pickaway County until 1839, and then with his wife and eight children, he started with a team on an overland journey to Illinois. After his arrival in this State he located in Macon County, being one of its pioneers. He entered a tract of Government land three miles south of Decatur, and resided on it for some years, giving his attention to its improvement. He then sold, and removing to Decatur invested quite largely in city property and was a resident of that place until his death. His wife died while they were living on the home farm in Macon County.
Mrs. Kendall was first married to Larkin Ward, a native of Macon County, and a son of William and Elizabeth (Wheeler) Ward. He died in 1864. Mrs. Kendall has three children living by that marriage,-Henry, Marion and Martha. Her eldest born, Bettie, is dead. By her union with our subject Mrs. Kendall is the mother of four children,-Charlie, George, Albert and Nettie. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891]
Daniel Kesler, one of the prominent business men of Cowden, Shelby County, carries a full line of agricultural implements and deals extensively in grain. He was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, February 20, 1845, his father, John, being a native of the same county, and his mother, Mary (Lear) Kesler, being born in Lancaster, Pa. They were happily united in marriage in Fairfield County, Ohio, June 1, 1843, and became the proud parents of seven sons and two daughters, six of whom were born in the county just named and the three youngest came to them in Shelby County, this State. Among the children of John and Mary Kesler, our subject was the first-born. Following him came Isaac who is engaged in the lumber business in Cowden; Samuel who carries on farming in Dry Point Township; Simon who is an invalid and resides with his brother, our subject; John who farms in the township just named, as does also Charles, the next son in age; Laura, now the wife of Albert L. Crumley, who resides in Cowden and whose husband is associated with her brother Daniel in the grain and implement business; William is a telegraph operator and station agent in Edna, Kan., and Alice died at the age of twenty-one after having married Albert L. Crumley who later became the husband of Laura. The father of this family, with Daniel and Isaac, was a soldier during the Civil War. He was a member of the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry and died of typhoid fever at Louisville, Ky., June 18, 1865. His wife is still living at Cowden. Daniel enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Forty-third Illinois Infantry and served bravely for seven months. Most of his time was spent in the Southwest, as he was assigned to duty in Arkansas. Isaac belonged to the same regiment as his father and served gallantly for nine months, being then discharged on account of peace being declared. Daniel Kesler chose as his partner to share life's joys and sorrows. Miss Elizabeth Thompson, a daughter of John Thompson, of Ohio. She was born in Pickaway County, that State, where she lost her parents by death previous to coming to Illinois. The marriage took place March 14, 1865, and proved to be a true union and one which led up to a life of more than ordinary domestic happiness and prosperity. They are both earnest and active members of the Free Methodist Church and find in its communion and duties comfort in the trials of life and broad opportunity for usefulness. To Mr. and Mrs. Kesler have been born eight children, six of whom are now living, Mary Nettie, who is married to Lincoln Bechtel and resides on a farm in Dry Point Township; Elmer and Charles who are both unmarried and reside at Pullman, Ill., near Chicago, are in the employ of the Pullman Palace Car Company. The next daughter, Annie, makes her home with her parents, and the younger ones, Harry and Bessie, are still at home. Two lovely infants, John and Lola Belle, were snatched from their parents' arms by death. He of whom we write is well known throughout the length and breadth of Shelby County as an honorable business man, possessing the esteem and confidence of all with whom he is associated in business. He deals in grain, stock and agricultural implements and has at present the control of the stock business at Cowden. This is a patriotic family who did not hesitate when the call came for volunteers to defend the old flag and the eternal principles of liberty in which they had been brought up. Political matters with them are based upon moral issues and a hatred of slavery and a love for their country became a controlling influence. They cheerfully sacrificed the comforts of home and yielded with resignation to the loss of their father when the time came. During all Mr. Kesler's earlier years he was a Republican in his sentiments and vote, but a few years ago became a Prohibitionist and has since voted with that party on legislative and national issues. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
John T. Killam
John T. Killam resides on section 33, of Rural Township, Shelby County, where he is proprietor of a fine farm. He was born in Ridge Township, May 18, 1847 and is a son of John and Mary M. T. (Bowen) Killam and a grandson of Peter Killam. His mother's death occurred February 12, 1877. He was at the tender age of one year when his parents removed to section 33, Rural Township, where his father had purchased a tract of land and had also entered some Government land, and thus became the owner of six hundred acres in one body. He also owned land in other parts of the county, and some valuable property in Pana, being one of the founders of said town.
Our subject is the youngest of a family of five children. He early learned the business of farming and stock-raising, having resided at home until he attained his majority. He attended the district school and completed his education at the old Seminary at Shelbyville. February 12, 1878, he was united in marriage to Oma J. Oller, a daughter of David and Caroline (Conrad) Oller, natives of Ohio, who removed to Wisconsin and then came to Mr. Oller died in 1862 or 1863. His wife is still living, making her home at Pana.
Mr. and Mrs. Killam have no children of their own but have been the loving foster parents of several children; one daughter, now deceased, having lived with our subject and his estimable wife and enjoyed every advantage that she would have received had she been their own child. Austin E. McDaniel resided with Mr. Killam until he was twenty-seven years old, having been taken at nine years of age. On his marriage to Miss Minnie Kerr, he made a home for himself, but only five months later, was killed by lightning. Jessie May Ferguson was one of our subject's family until she was united in marriage to Paul C. Smith, March 9, 1891. Leslie Ray Ramsey is now the pet of the household, being a small boy, his attention being chiefly devoted to his studies and in getting as much fun out of his childhood life as possible.
Mr. and Mrs. Killam are members of the Christian Church. Politically our subject favors the purity of principle promulgated by the Prohibition party. He was formerly a Democrat, but now shows his total abstinence principles in union with the above named party. He was Chairman of the Central Committee of the Prohibition party for several years. For seven years he served as Supervisor of the township, being Chairman of the Board for six years. He has also held the office of Collector for one year. He is the owner of three hundred and thirty acres of well-improved land, but raises and deals largely in live-stock.
So much of a man's character is accounted for by his antecedents that we feel that a short sketch of Peter Killam, the grandfather of our subject, will be in place here. He was born in Maryland, but when a young man removed to Kentucky, and there married. He came to Illinois in 1831 and settled in Ridge Township, where he died at the age of sixty. His wife also passed away from their home in Ridge Township. Peter Killam had five sons and four daughters, all of whom came with their parents to Illinois, with the exception of a son named Samuel, who died at the age of twenty. Those, who made settlement with their father in this State, are Isaac, Thomas, William, John, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah and Naomi. William was a soldier in the Mexican War, and dying while on the voyage home was buried in the Gulf of Mexico. Mary became the wife of Nathan Smith. Elizabeth married Leton Smith. Sarah married Harrison Bailey. Naomi married John Todd, in whose honor Todd's Point Township received its name.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
William E. Killam
Over half a century has been spent by our subject in upward growth. He was born in the early part of the nineteenth century, when advantages for culture and education were not thrust upon a young man, but had to be sought by those who had an inclination therefore. William Killam was born in Ridge Township, Shelby County March 7, 1838. He was a son of John and Mary M. T. (Bowen) Killam, and a grandson of Peter Killam. He now resides on section 28, of Rural Township, Shelby County, and has been successful in making a pleasant home and amassing a competency.
When our subject was a lad he attended the country schools, which were very different from the schools of today. Technical training was at that time no part of the school curriculum. Each boy learning from his father the duties to be done in agricultural life. Neither was there any attention paid to modern languages, although Lindsley Murray was conned from first to last pages, so that every pupil could at least parse an English sentence correctly, which is more than many can do at the present day. The few who had the proud acquisition of a knowledge of Latin, made it theirs for life, and where a Latin student of today cannot remember from one day to another, a single sentence of his translation, the old time Latin students can recite page after page of Cesar's Commentaries and of Virgil. Our subject laid a thorough foundation for the education that he afterward acquired by much drill in the three R's, and in English grammar, at the district schools. He completed his education at the old seminary at Shelbyville, which at the time was considered a very fine institution of learning. While here, George R. Wendling was his classmate and associate. After finishing at Shelbyville, our subject was engaged as a teacher for two terms.
On October 31, 1861, Mr. Killam was united in marriage to Levicy Tolly, daughter of Robert and Jemima (Denton) Tolly. She was born in Flat Branch Township, Shelby County, this State February 16, 1838. She was an admirable woman and made a pleasant home for her husband and the six children which she left on her death, to her husband's care. Her decease took place in 1889. Her children's names are as follows: Mary R., Morris E., John H., Clara A., William E., and Mabel G. During her life Mrs. Killam was a consistent and conscientious member of the Baptist Church.
Previous to his marriage he of whom we write had built a house on the land where he made his home. The young couple at once settled here. The young couple at once settled here, spending the happiest days of their marital life in the making of a home in its truest sense, that is, not four square walls that should be merely an abiding place, but the sanctuary of love, sympathy and encouragement. Our subject now owns two hundred acres of land that is under a good state of improvement. He has always followed mixed husbandry, finding that to be in the end more profitable than attention to specialties. Our subject is a member of the Baptist Church, as was his wife. While the political inclinations of Mr. Killam are toward Democracy, like most men who have breadth of thought he is rather independent, leaning however toward Prohibition. He has held several local offices in the township, having been Assessor, Supervisor, School Assessor, and Town Clerk. He is a charter member of the Rural Township Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company, and since its organization has always held an office. This company insures farm property in six townships, namely: Tower Hill, Rural, Flat Branch, Pickaway, Ridge and Todd's Point.
Mr. Killam has taken great interest in the education of his children. Two of these Mary R., and Morris E., have attended the State Normal University at Normal, Ill., where they finished the course with high honor to themselves. Mary taught school for several years, and Morris E. was like wise engaged for three terms. Clara E. has devoted herself to becoming proficient in the art of music, having attended the Jacksonville Musical Institute, and being a line pianist. The young people are intelligent and accomplished and their father is justified in the pride which he takes in their progress.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Jacob Kircher, a wealthy resident of Shelbyville, was for many years actively engaged in farming, but he now lives in retirement, though he still owns one of the choice farms for which Shelby County is justly noted. He is a native of Wurtemburg, Germany, October 20, 1827, being the date of his birth. His father, whose name was Louis Frederick Kircher, was also born in that place, as was his father before him. The latter came to this country in 1834, and spent his remaining years in Maryland.
The father of our subject learned the trade of shoemaker in his youth, and with the exception of the time that he was a soldier in the German army, he followed his calling in his native Wurtemburg until 1829, when, ambitious to better his condition, he emigrated to this country with his wife and four children. He landed at Baltimore with empty pockets, and what was worse, in very poor health. He was fortunate enough to obtain the assistance of friends, by whose help he went to Hagerstown, where he found employment in a livery stable. He worked faithfully, frugally saved his money, and his wife also worked hard, and after a time with their united earnings they had enough to buy a horse and wagon, with which they started for Ohio, taking with them all their earthly possessions. They walked the greater part of the way, camping and cooking by the roadside whenever they were weary, and when they arrived at Lancaster, Ohio, they decided to proceed no further. Mr. Kircher looked about for a suitable location, and finally selected forty acres of land belonging to the Government situated in Hocking County, ten miles from Logan, the county seat. He did not have money enough by fifty cents to pay for his claim, but he obtained it by mending a pair of boots, and then walked to the land office to enter his land. His homestead was heavily timbered and he had to cut away large forest trees to make room for a cabin, which he built of logs covering the roof with boards rived by hand and held in place by weight poles, he floor being made of puncheons and the chimney of earth and sticks. The father was a man of remarkable industry and not only labored in the day time, working hard to clear his land, in which he was assisted by his wife and children, but he employed his time in the evening making shoes, and thus earned the money to support his family. The older children soon went out to work, receiving their board and their clothes for their services, while our subject was left at home to assist his parents. He and his mother cut the first crop of wheat, she using a sickle and he a butcher knife. The family prospered and the father was enabled to buy eighty five acres of land adjoining, and in time improved a valuable farm, upon which he lived until his death at the ripe age of seventy-nine years. His wife survived him some few years and then died at the home of her daughter in Richland Township, this county, at the venerable age of eighty years. This worthy couple were the parents of six sons and one daughter, named as follows: Louis, John, Godfrey, Jacob, Mathias, Philip and Hannah. John and Mathias reside in Richland. Louis, Philip, Godfrey and Hannah are deceased.
Jacob Kircher was only two years old when the family came to America, so that he has but little or no recollection of other than his adopted home. Just as soon as he was large enough, and that was when he was very young, he began to assist in clearing the land and tilling the soil of his father's homestead. He remained an inmate of the parental household until his marriage and soon after that all-important event, in company with his brother-in-law, he bought one hundred acres of land nearby, on which was a set of log buildings. He and his brother-in-law farmed together on that place until 1855, when he sold his share of it, having decided to settle in the fertile farming regions of Illinois, this State with a pair of horses and a wagon, and on his arrival in this county he invested all the money he had in forty acres of land in Ridge Township. This purchase included a primitive log cabin, which had an earth and stick chimney, a puncheon floor, and two doors, but had no windows. Our subject and his family, and his brother and family spent the winter of 1855-56 in that rude structure, doing all their cooking by the fireplace, corn meal being their chief diet.
Mr. Kircher had been reared to habits of industry and economy, was possessed of good judgment, and moreover had been fortunate in the selection of a wife who afforded him material assistance in his labors, and his wealth steadily increased. He bought other land at different times and the old farm upon which he settled so many years ago, and which is still in his possession, now contains three hundred acres of well-improved land, amply supplied with good buildings and everything necessary to carry on agriculture successfully, and besides this he owns valuable city property. He continued to live on his farm until 1891, when he removed to Shelbyville, where he has since made his home in retirement from active business. A life of honesty and uprightness has won him the esteem of all who know him, and he is regarded as one of our most trustworthy citizens. He and his wife and all of their children are members of the Lutheran Church, and have done much to help their pastor and fellow-members to make it a power for the advancement of religion in the community. Mr. and Mrs. Kircher were united in marriage in 1852. Mrs. Kircher, whose maiden name was Rosanna Phipher, is a native of Ohio, born April 25, 1832, and a daughter of John and Magdaline Pipher, who were natives of Wurtemburg, and pioneers of the Buckeye State. Our subject and his wife have been blessed by the birth of the following children: Lena, wife of William Roof; Hannah, who married John Kimmel and died at the age of twenty-four years; Matilda, wife of John Kniller; Theodore; William; Mollie, wife of Theodore Warner; and Philip. The reader's attention is invited to the lithographic portrait of Mr. Kircher presented on another page.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Jacob Kircher, a prosperous and wealthy farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 28, Holland Township, September 29, 1855. He is a son of Jacob and Sarah (Middlesworth) Gallagher who were born in Fairfield County, Ohio. For particulars in regard to the ancestry of this gentleman our reader is referred to the biographical sketch of Abram Gallagher, his brother, which will be found elsewhere in this volume. The subject of this sketch is the eighth in a family of ten children, and his home has always been in Holland Township, where he lives on the old original homestead which was entered by his father from the Government about forty-five years ago. His education was given him in the public schools of this county, and he received thorough and systematic training upon his father's farm, gaining health and strength for life's duties. He owns four hundred acres of excellent farming land upon which are good improvements and a fine large brick house which is an ornament to the township.
Our subject was united in marriage April 3, 1881 with Miss M. Lettie Allen, who was born in Holland Township, Shelby County, August 20, 1860. She is a daughter of Jedediah and Mary (Hege) Allen. This worthy couple were born in Ohio and came as pioneers to this county, and their daughter, Lottie is the third in a good family of eight. To Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher four bright and healthy children have been born, all of whom are living. They are by name Floyd, Ray, Ossa Fleta and Fred. The religious belief of the family is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church with which both Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher were long connected, and where she is still prominently identified. Her husband is not now a member of the church although a believer in Christianity and he gives liberally of his means for the support of the Gospel. His early political convictions were in accordance with the doctrines of the Democratic party and he voted with that organization for many years, but he has recently been more interested in the farmers' movements and now votes with the Farmers Mutual Benefit Association. Mr. Gallagher is very pleasantly and comfortably situated, having sufficient of this world's goods to provide abundantly for himself and family without being burdened by cares. His value in the community is appreciated by his neighbors who consider him one of the solid and efficient members of the social and industrial community which makes its home in the township of Holland. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Louis J. Kircher
Louis J. Kircher is a prominent dealer in dry goods, clothing and groceries, also hardware, stoves and farming implements, in Strasburg, Shelby County. He keeps a large and well-assorted stock of goods that is suitable for the country trade of which he has almost a monopoly. Our subject is a son of Matthew and Catherine (String) Kircher. They were residents of Richland Township, and the parents of nine children, of whom he of whom we write is the eldest. He was born in Hocking County, Ohio, April 23, 1856.
Our subject passed his boyhood days in his native place, enjoying such educational advantages as were to be obtained in the district schools of the vicinity. When fourteen years old he came with his father to Shelby County, and remained under the parental roof until reaching his majority, when he engaged in farming on his account in Richland Township, continuing on his first tract for two or three years. In 1883 Mr. Kircher came to Strasburg and engaged in the hardware business. He has since added a good stock of merchandise and has a fine store and enjoys a large and lucrative patronage. Our subject was married to Miss Clara Ruff. She was a daughter of John Ruff. Of three children born of this union only one is living at the present time. To him has been given the name of Edward G. Our subject has been honored by election to various township offices. He was Collector for two years, and has for some time been a member of the Village Board. He with his wife is a member of the Lutheran Church. In politics our subject is an ardent Democrat, believing in the sovereign right of the individual.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Shelby County is one of the most productive sections of the Prairie State, a State world-renowned for its rich soil and quick response to the efforts of the agriculturist. The old saying has been quoted often in regard to it that if you will "tickle it with a hoe it will laugh with a harvest." Those who came to this region from the stony and stumpy fields of the mountainous regions of the East, congratulated themselves upon finding how much greater reward they secured for their toil than they did in the regions where so much preparatory effort had to be made in clearing the land from obstructions. When it became known that the State of Illinois was so prolific and so easily cultivated, thousands flocked here who have since had abundant reason to rejoice at their choice of a new home. It soon became a favorite with emigrants from foreign lands and many thousands came here from the German's Fatherland. Among such the traveler finds in Oconee Township the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this paragraph.
Our subject was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, July 28, 1850. His mother, Christina Kuhn, died in Germany, but his father, Michael Kuhn, came to this country and after his emigration took to himself another wife. His death occurred in Pana, Ill. Charles came to America in 1854, with his elder brothers and sisters, the family consisting of five sons and one daughter. Of these Matt was the eldest and resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he is engaged as a private watchman in a manufacturing establishment and has also a fine war record as a member of the Twenty-ninth Ohio Infantry during the war. Jacob enlisted in the Fifteenth Missouri Infantry, and being captured by the Confederate forces, passed through the unspeakable horrors of captivity and died in Andersonville prison. The only sister, Rasa, married Joseph B. Hubbard and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. The next three in age are: John, who resides at Pana, Ill.; our subject, and Robert, who was killed by a sad accident at the coal shaft at Pana, leaving a widow with three children. There was one half-sister, Minnie, who married Mr. Fred Seipel and died in Pana.
The congenial life companion of our subject was born in France in 1848 and came with her parents to America in childhood. She bore the maiden name of Dora Struphart, but was a widow when she married Mr. Kuhn in 1879. The six children who bless this happy home are: Emma, eleven years old; Michael, aged ten; Henry, nine; Dora, seven; Joseph, four; and Louie, a lovely babe of one year.
Mr. Kuhn located on the farm where he now resides in 1879, but after some time removed to Montgomery County, where he remained for four years, but did not find this new home satisfactory and returned to the farm on which he had first started, purchasing the land which he had previously rented. He has one hundred and twenty acres of prairie land adjoining the timber and has a nice orchard, plenty of water and a farm that is in every way desirable. He is a member of the Oconee Camp, No. 1312, M. W. of A., and is identified with the Farmers' Protective Association and the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association. The Republican party is the political organization with which he finds himself heartily in sympathy and he has voted with it ever since he had the privilege of the ballot. He is a member of the German Lutheran Church, and his wife is connected with the Roman Catholic Church. He is a public-spirited and enterprising man, always helpful in forwarding progressive movements, and liberal in his attitude toward church and benevolent enterprises.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Jacob F. Kull
Among the prominent agriculturists of Prairie Township, Shelby County, who have helped to give this county its present proud position in the State is the gentleman whose name appears at the opening of this paragraph. His home is located upon section 3, is quite near to the village of Strasburg, and his settlement in the county dates from September 6, 1854, when he first purchased forty acres of land on Robinson Creek in Ridge Township. Here he tilled the soil for two seasons and then removed to the region where he now lives, and purchased one hundred and ten acres of his present property on which at that time the principal improvements were a log cabin and the broken soil of a very few acres. He now owns about two hundred and thirty acres of land upon which are splendid improvements, and he has platted some additions to Strasburg which he has sold off from his farm. A view of his pleasant homestead may be found elsewhere in this volume.
Hocking County, Ohio, was the native place of Mr. Kull, who was born January 31, 1836, being a son of Christopher F. and Johanna (Weidner) Kull, natives of Wurtemburg, Germany. In their native land they had grown to manhood and womanhood, were united in marriage and one child was born to them before leaving their Fatherland. In 1830 they came to the United States and made their first short stop at Baltimore, Md., then went on to Ohio, settling on the prairie in Fairfield County. When the family arrived in the Buckeye State the father had $50 which he thought would be sufficient to keep them in frugal comfort until he could earn more, but the ague was then prevalent throughout that region, and the family being sick for some time the $50 were spent for quinine. This disgusted Christopher Kull with prairie life and removing to Hocking County he settled among the hills and woods. His father, Jacob F. Kull, with his wife made his home there, also four sisters and a brother, Jacob F., Jr., who died in Hocking Country. The father of our subject was fond of hunting and found plenty of game in that hilly region. As his health improved there he was well pleased with Hocking County and made it his permanent home and reared a family of fourteen children, twelve of whom grew to maturity. They were: Magdalena, who married John Kircher and died in Shelby County; Christian who died in this county; Charles; our subject; Mary, wife of G. Pieffer; Caroline, wife of John Ruff; Minnie, now Mrs. J. F. Baur; Amelia, wife of Christ Bruney; Emanuel, Adam; Matilda, wife of J. F. Mantz, and Julius. The parents of this large family came to Shelby County in 1865 and settled at Strausburg, where they remained until called hence by death.
Jacob F. Kull was reared among the woods and hills of Hocking County and there grew up to a sturdy and intelligent manhood. In 1858 he decided take to himself a wife and was married April 13, to Elizabeth Niller, who was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, February 18, 1839. She became the mother of eight children and died in this county June 11, 1877. The children who survive her are named as follows: Ferdinand J., Johanna A., wife of John Piefer; C. Louisa, wife of C. Martin Rieger; Caroline Rosetta, wife of Charles Nipp; Matilda E. W.; William and Tobias. The second marriage of our subject took place February 3, 1878, he being then united with Cathrine M. Clump who was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, August 15, 1857. Of their six children four are now living - Joseph B., John D., Caroline W. and Anna S. J. The religious belief of this family is in accord with the doctrines of the Lutheran Church with which they are connected, and the political views of Mr. Kull have led him to ally himself with the Democratic party. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
MRS. ROSINA KULL, who resides on section 4, Rose Township, is one of the representative women of Shelby County, and was born in Germany June 20, 1833. Her maiden name was Rosina Walker and her marriage with the late Christian Kull took place in Fairfield County, Ohio. He was born in Lancaster, Ohio, January 13, 1832. Their first settlement as a married couple was made in Hocking County, that State, and there they continued to make their home until 1864. During the year just mentioned this young couple removed to Shelby County, Ill., and settled upon a farm where the widow now resides. Here Mr. Kull was actively engaged in farming which he carries on successfully until his death which transpired October 8, 1881. Both he and his wife early became identified with the Lutheran Church, in which they were devoted and hearty workers. Mrs. Kull is the mother of seven children: Magdalena who is the wife of William Wendling; Helen who married Henry Fossler and died in Nebraska, September 25, 1890; Mary; John, who married Miss Mary Bowman; Jacob F., who operates the farm and was married in Rose Township, February 12, 1890, to Miss Julia Pauschert who is the mother of one child-Rosa Hay; Mattie who is the wife of Augustus Pauschert and Drucilla. The quiet and unostentatious lives of this worthy mother and her excellent children are of interest to all who understand that the best prosperity of the community, is derived from the homes within its borders which are not notable for public affairs, but in which is carried on an industrious and honorable existance [sic] tending to the preservation of society and the prosperity of the commonwealth.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
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