Biography - Charles Kuhn

CHARLES KUHN. 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.

Extracted 26 May 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, page 535.

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