Stark County IL Biographies - K

Tirus T. Kelly

Tirus T. Kelly, an enterprising and progressive farmer and stock raiser is operating the Manxman Farm, consisting of two hundred and forty acres on section 8,Goshen township. He has been a life long resident of Illinois, his birth having occurred in Henry county, April 2, 1889. His father, Thomas Kelly, was born under the British flag, on the Isle of Man, and there passed his boyhood and youth, coming to the new world with his mother in 1874, following the death of the husband and father. Mrs. Kelly located in Henry county, Illinois, where she joined her older son. Thomas Kelly afterward purchased land and improved a farm in Weller township, that county. He there engaged in general agricultural pursuits for a number of years, when he sold that property and purchased the farm in Goshen township, Stark county, upon which his son Thomas now resides. He called it the Manxman Farm after an old estate on the Isle of Man. He bent his energies to the further development and improvement of that property, rebuilt and remodeled the house, also erected barns and outbuildings, and was regarded as one of the most energetic and enterprising farmers, stock raisers and feeders of the locality. He continued upon that farm until 1910, when he removed to Galva, where he now lives retired. While a resident of Henry county he was united in marriage to Mrs. Jane Kewish, who also was born and reared on the Isle of Man. When she crossed the Atlantic she, too, became a resident of Henry county, Illinois, and they she gave her hand in marriage to Robert Kewish, who was also a native of the Isle of Man and after coming to the new world followed farming in Henry county until his death. His widow afterward became the wife of Thomas Kelly and they are now highly esteemed citizens of Galva, where they hold membership in the Presbyterian church. Mr. Kelly is also a member of the Odd Fellows lodge there, in which he has filled all of the offices and is a past grand.

Tirus T. Kelly was reared under the parental roof in Henry and Stark counties and was educated in the schools of Galva and of La Fayette. He continued to assist his father with the farm work until the latter removed to Galva, at which time Tirus T. Kelly took charge of the home place and is now busily engaged in the further cultivation of the Manxman Farm of two hundred and forty acres. He raises good crops and in connection therewith is engaged in raising and feeding stock. He is also engaged in breeding Duroc-Jersey hogs and Shropshire sheep, and his live stock interests constitute an important and profitable branch of his business.

To the home farm Mr. Kelly brought his bride following his marriage in La Fayette, Illinois, on the 6th of April, 1910, when Miss Pearl White became his wife. She is a daughter of Abel H. White, of La Fayette, was born and reared there and was graduated from the high school. By her marriage she has become the mother of a daughter and son, Bernice and Russell T.

Mr. and Mrs. Kelly are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of La Fayette, and Mr. Kelly affiliates with the Masonic lodge there, exemplifying in his life the beneficient spirit upon which the craft has been established. He is also identified with the republican party but never has been an office seeker. That he is interested in the cause of education is indicated by his four years’ service on the school board and his active efforts to promote public school interests in his locality. In a word, his influence is always on the side of advancement and improvement. He stands for all those things which feature most largely in promoting the civic welfare, and at the same time he finds ample opportunity to carefully and successfully manage his business affairs, which are now brining to him substantial and well merited success.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 291-292. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Joseph A. Kidd

Starting out in life as a farm hand, Joseph A. Kidd has gradually worked his way upward. From his earnings he saved the money which enabled him to purchase land, and he now has one of the finest productive farms of Osceola township, his home being on section 18. He was born on the 17th of August, 1874, in Elmira township, his parents being James and Sarah (Gailey) Kidd, both of whom were natives of Ireland, the father’s birth having occurred in County Antrim, and the mother’s in County Derry. Coming to the new world they established their home in Stark county, Illinois, where their remaining days were passed, and upon the farm where they located they reared their family of five children: Elizabeth, the wife of W. H. Boardman, living in Elmira township; Thomas J., also a resident of the same township; Joseph A.; Mary, the wife of M. H. Londenburg, of Canova, South Dakota; and James, also residing in Elmira township. They also lost two children in infancy.

Joseph A. Kidd pursued his education in the Osceola Grove school, dividing his time between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the work of the fields. He continued at home with his parents until he reached the age of eighteen years, when he started out in life on his own account, working by the month as a farm hand for seven years. He was ambitious to engage in business for himself and during that period he saved his earnings until he felt justified, through experience and by reason of his capability, in renting land which he cultivated for six years. Further economy and industry enabled him during that period to save the sum wherewith he purchased his farm on section 18, Osceola township. Here he has one hundred and seventy-five acres, in addition to which he owns eighty acres in Elmira township. He cultivates all of this land himself and is quite extensively engaged in feeding stock. He has put up most of the buildings upon the place, erecting an excellent barn and sheds, while in 1913 he built his present residence, which is thoroughly modern, equipped with electric lights, and supplied with all the latest conveniences and comforts. His place is known as Glen View Farm, and the success of his stock feeding interests is indicated in the fact that he ships from two to four carloads of cattle and hogs annually.

When twenty-five years of age Mr. Kidd was married to Miss Lizzie Murray, and they have three children: Margaret Isabel; Dale Thomas; and James William. Mr. Kidd has always given his political support to the republican party where national questions and issues are involved, but casts an independent ballot at county elections. He has served as school director and is interested in the educational progress of the community. Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen camp at Osceola, and religiously with the United Presbyterian church of Elmira. His life is actuated by high and honorable principles, and his practical and progressive efforts have been attended with successful results, which place him among the substantial stock raisers and agriculturist of the state.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 276-279. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Thomas J. Kidd

Thomas J. Kidd is the proprietor of the Riverview Farm, a well improved property in Elmira township. He was born in that township, November 7, 1871, and is a brother of Joseph Kidd, mentioned elsewhere in this work. He was educated in the Grove school and remained at home until twenty-one years of age, when he secured employment as a farm hand, devoting three years to that work. He then returned home and again aided in the cultivation of that place up to the time of his marriage, when he removed to his present farm on section 22, Elmira township. Here he built a small house, but in the intervening period he has made many changes in the appearance of the place by reason of the excellent improvements which he has put upon it. He today owns two hundred acres of rich and productive land, and the Riverview Farm is one of the fine properties of the locality. He has brought his fields to a high state of cultivation and annually gathers substantial harvests.

On the 24th of November, 1897, Mr. Kidd was united in marriage to Miss Mary McLennan, and they have become the parents of four children: John Everett, who died at the age of nine weeks; Sarah Sophia, at home; James William, who died when three years old; and Leah Mae, at home. Mr. Kidd has membership with the Modern Woodmen of America but concentrated his attention and energies almost entirely upon his business affairs and through his close application and industry has won a gratifying measure of success.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 180-183 – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Albert W. King

Albert W. King gained financial independence through his well managed business affairs and is now living retired in Wyoming. He was born in Washington Courthouse, Fayette county, Ohio, on the 2d of November, 1846, a son of Wesley King, whose birth occurred in Maryland on the 18th of August, 1821. The paternal grandparents were John and Rachel (Hixon) King, natives of Virginia, who removed to Ohio at an early day in the history of that state. John King was a Methodist minister and three of his sons followed in his footsteps.

Wesley King was reared in the Buckeye state and devoted to the greater part of his life to agricultural pursuits. He removed to Stark county, Illinois, in 1858 and purchased three hundred and twenty acres of good land in Valley township. Four years later, when it was thought that a railroad was going to be built through Wyoming he established a furniture store there. But the road was not constructed and two years later he sold that business and bought a farm two miles northeast of Wyoming, which he operated until his demise in 1887 at the age of sixty-six years. He was very prominent in the work of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in early days his home in Valley township was a stopping place for the Methodist circuit riders. His political allegiance was given to the republican party, and he held a number of local offices, including that of member of the school board. He was married on the 11th of November, 1841, to Miss Elizabeth Brown, a native of Virginia and a daughter of Peter and Eliza (Bateman) Brown. She reached the advanced age of eighty-four years; her mother died at the venerable age of ninety-four years; and her grandmother lived to be one hundred and three years old. By her marriage she became the mother of eleven children, of whom two died in infancy. Six are still living, namely: Celenia, the wife of Thomas C. Hepperly, of Lentz, Oregon; Albert W.; Peter, who resides in Missouri but was for forty years a resident of Kansas; J. E., who is farming in Stark county; Elizabeth A., the wife of W. R. Terpening, of Missouri; and Mrs. A. H. Pettit, of Los Angeles, California. John died in Holt county, Missouri, in 1909. Mrs. Alice Clark passed away in Burlington, Kansas. Isaiah died in Stark county, Illinois, in 1913.

Albert W. King was about ten years of age when the family removed to Stark county, Illinois, and here he grew to manhood. He attended the village schools of Wyoming for some time but being the eldest son in the family and his father needing help in the operation of the farm, he put aside his school books at a comparatively early age and assisted his father until he was twenty years old. He then went to Independence, Missouri, and worked in a store owned by his uncle for a year, after which he returned to Wyoming and entered the employ of Scott & Wrigley. A year later he and Captain Otman purchased the business formerly conducted by Scott and Wrigley and for five years this association was maintained. In 1874, however, our subject became sole owner of a business but in 1879 admitted his brother, J. E. King, to a partnership and firm became King Brothers. They continued in business for twenty-five years and for fifteen years the volume of their trade exceeded that of any other firm in Stark county. In 1899 they sold out and since then Mr. King of this review has not been active in business. His success was due to his quickness to recognize and take advantage of opportunities for expansion and for improving the service which he rendered his patrons, to his integrity and to his strong common sense—qualities which are always at a premium in the commercial and financial world. He owns three hundred and twenty acres of land in Penn township—the old family homestead—and is recognized as one of the substantial citizens of his community.

Mr. King was married in 1873 to Miss Mattie Stone, a native of Ohio and a daughter of Samuel S. Stone, who settled in Henry county, Illinois, before the Civil war. Mrs. King taught school previous to her marriage. She has become the mother of three children: Fred S., a merchant of Preston, Iowa, who is married and has two children, Lawrence Schmidt King and Ferris Albert King; Nina L., the wife of Dr. C. C. Falk, of Eureka, California; and Albert W., who died when in infancy. Mrs. And Mrs. King also reared a niece of Mrs. King, Julia Louise Stone, who, however, was always known as Louise Stone King until her marriage to Dr. W. H. Holmes of Pomona, California. Her mother died when she was an infant.

Mr. King has been prominent in public affairs for years and before the incorporation of Wyhoming was president of the village board for two years and has since served many times as a member of the city countil. He has brought the same sound judgment and insight to bear upon the solution of municipal problems that enabled him to successfully carry out his business enterprises and there was never been any question as to his devotion to the public welfare. For twenty-two years he was an officer in the Central Agricultural Society, realizing the close relation that exists between the prosperity of the farmers of the county and the development of the towns which are the trade centers for the county. He belongs to the Masonic lodge and chapter at Wyoming, to the commandery at Kewanee and has served three different times as master of the lodge and for twenty-three years has been its secretary, this record proving the high esteem in which he is held by his fraternal brethren. For forty years both he and his wife have belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star. Since retiring from business life he has found many other interests to occupy his leisure, and he and his wife both enjoy the months which they spend in California, going there frequently to visit their daughters.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 272-275. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Robert M. King, M.D.

Dr. Robert M. King, who has engaged in the practice of medicine in Wyoming for eighteen years and who ranks high in his profession, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the 15th of April, 1864. His father, John King, was also a native of that country and held the position of pit boss there when in 1864 he resigned to come to the United States. At the time that the family sailed for America our subject was but six weeks old, so that practically his entire life has been spent in this country. After landing at New York on the 14th of June, 1864, the family continued their way westward to Sparland, Marshall county, Illinois, and subsequently they removed to Camp Grove, Saratoga township, where the father purchased land. He was successful in agricultural pursuits and became the owner of two hundred and fifty acres of excellent land, all of which was under cultivation. Both he and his wife were Presbyterians, and their religious faith was the motive force of their daily lives. She died in 1878 and he passed away many years later, his demise occurring in 1911. Eight of their eleven children are still living.

Robert M. King passed his boyhood and youth upon the home farm and gave much of his time to assisting his father. However, his education was not neglected and after attending the district schools he became a student in the old Northwestern Normal School at Geneseo, Illinois, and later entered Highland Park College at Des Moines, Iowa. He did his professional work at the Louisville Medical College in Louisville, Kentucky, from which he was graduated in 1898 with the degree of M.D. He located for practice in Wyoming, Illinois, and has met with such a gratifying measure of success that he has since remained here. He is careful in making a diagnosis to take into consideration all possible factors in the case, and in his method of treatment utilizes the latest discoveries of medical science. He not only has the confidence of the people as is evidenced by his large and representative practice, but he is also held in high esteem by his professional colleagues. He is in comfortable circumstances and owns a good two hundred and forty acre farm in Minnesota and eighty acres in Stark county.

Dr. King was married December 6, 1905, to Miss Nellie Wrigley, a native of this county and a daughter of Samuel Wrigley, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Dr. and Mrs. King have a daughter, Margaret Joan, who is named for her two grandmothers.

Dr. King is a democrat in politics but has been too busy with his professional duties to take an active part in public affairs. He belongs to the Masonic lodge at Wyoming and the beneficent sprit of that organization finds expression in his daily life. He is recognized as one of the leading citizens of Wyoming, and his genuine worth has gained him the warm regard of those who have been closely associated with him.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 74-75 – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Jacob H. Kopp

Jacob H. Kopp, actively and successfully engaged in general farming and stock feeding, was born May 7, 1870, on the farm on section 5, Osceola township, on which he now resides. He is a representative of one of the old German families of the county, his parents being Jacob and Elizabeth (Kopp) Kopp, who were natives of Germany. In early life the father crossed the Atlantic and made his way to Stark county, where he continued to engage in farming until his death, which occurred July 26, 1886. Securing a tract of land on section 5, Osceola township, he placed the first improvements thereon and bent his energies to the further development and cultivation of his land as they years passed by. His widow survives and is now living in Bradford.

In his youthful days Jacob H. Kopp was a pupil in the district school near his father's home and through the summer months he worked in the fields, becoming more and more actively the assistant of his father. Upon the latter's death he assumed the management of the home property and is now busily engaged in the cultivation of an excellent tract of land of two hundred and seventy-eight acres, in addition to which he has eighty acres in Bureau county. His land is very valuable and productive, bringing forth rich harvests annually as a reward for the care and labor which he bestows upon the fields. In addition to cultivating the crops best adapted to soil and climate he is engaged quite extensively in feeding stock and both branches of his business are proving profitable. Upon his farm are the latest improved farm implements and machinery. He has a threshing machine and corn sheller and everything that will facilitate his work.

When twenty-four years of age Mr. Kopp was married to Miss Anna Tilson and they have become the parents of four children, Jennie, Stella, Mollie and Dorothy, all four daughters being yet at home. The parents are members of the Catholic church at Bradford and Mr. Kopp is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America. His political allegiance is given to the republican party but he never seeks nor desires political office. He has served, however, for three years as school director and he is interested in the welfare and progress of the district, cooperating in well defined plans and measures for the general good.

[Stark County, Illinois and its People: A record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement, published 1916, p. 159-160. – Contributed by Karen Seeman]


Back to Stark County Illinois History and Genealogy