WILLIAM KEPPLE, in his day one of the most respected citizens of Parks township, Armstrong county, was born there Dec. 23, 1848, and died Sept. 10, 1895, suddenly, when in his very prime.

             The Kepple family has been settled in this country for several generations.  Nicholas Kepple, the first of this line to come to America, was born in Germany, whence he came to the United States early in the eighteenth century.  He settled in Pennsylvania.

             Daniel Kepple, son of Nicholas, was born in Pennsylvania in 1767, and in 1798 came to the homestead in Parks township, Armstrong county, which has ever since been in the family name.  He was one of the pioneers  in this section.  His death occurred in 1824. His wife, Elizabeth (Yearyan), was born in 1770 and died in 1821.  They were the parents of twelve children:  Susan, Margaret, George, Mary, Elizabeth, Daniel, Francis, Christina, Esther (wife of John Gumbert, of Westmoreland county), Philip, Hannah (wife of George Spicher, of Westmoreland county) and David. 

             George Yearyan, father of Mrs. Elizabeth (Yearyan) Kepple, was a native of Germany, and came to this country as a �redemptioner,� his services being sold to David Kaufman, a farmer, to defray the expenses of his passage.  He worked for Mr. Kaufman three years and nine months before his time was up, at the end of that period receiving a horse, saddle, bridle and two suits of clothes.  His wife, whose maiden name was Williams, was a Welshwoman who came to this country at an early day with her parents and brothers and sisters.

             David Kepple, son of Daniel, was born Feb. 6, 1818, on the old homestead in Parks township where he passed all his life.  He built the present residence upon the place in 1861.  The land lies along the Kiskiminetas river, opposite Vandergrift.  Mr. Kepple served as justice of the peace and school director, and at the time of his death was an elder in the Presbyterian Church.  He was a highly esteemed citizen of his neighborhood.  By hard work and well-directed energy he made his farm one of the best in Parks township, and his success was recognized by all as the result of a life of industry and integrity.  His longest absence from the farm was a period of sixteen days when he made a journey out to Iowa to visit his sister Mary.  In politics he was a Democrat.

             Mr. Kepple was married (first) in January, 1844, to Magdalene Hawk, who was born Nov. 14, 1816, in Westmoreland county, Pa., daughter of Daniel and Mary Hawk, and died May 17, 1855, the mother of five children: Daniel; William; Philip; Mary, wife of S. S. Marshall, of Beaver Falls, Pa., and Caroline, wife of D. Newton Sober, formerly of Westmoreland county, now residing in Gilpin township, this county.  In 1858 Mr. Kepple married (second) Elizabeth Whitesell, who was born Aug 12, 1817, daughter of Jonathan and Susan (Vensel) Whitesell, of Kiskiminetas township, Armstrong county.  No children were born to this marriage.  Mr. Kepple died Aug. 20, 1888.

             William Kepple, son of David and Magdalene (Hawk) Kepple, began his education in the common schools near home and later attended Leechburg Academy.  He became familiar with farm work from boyhood, and continued to follow it all his life, remaining on the old homestead, which eventually came into his possession.  His intelligent and progressive methods brought the place to a high state of cultivation.  In addition to general farming, he gave considerable attention to the raising of horses and cattle, and dealt in stock to some extent.  He increased the area of the property to some three hundred acres, and all in all was well deserving of the high standing he enjoyed among the residents of his locality, where he was regarded as a substantial and honorable citizen.  He served his township in the offices of auditor, school director and justice of the peace.  He was a leading member of the Presbyterian Church at Apollo, which he had served as trustee and elder, holding the latter office at the time of his death.  He was a director of the Apollo Savings Bank.  Mr. Kepple had no illness to warn him of the approaching end.  He died suddenly about two o�clock on the afternoon of Sept. 10, 1895, while out on his farm, shortly after eating his dinner.

             On March 13, 1873, Mr. Kepple married Susan L. Keppel, who was born in 1848, daughter of Jacob Keppel, of Westmoreland county, and continues to reside upon the farm.  Seven children were born to them:  David James, born April 6, 1874, married Florence Stitt, and died April 3, 1899, at the age of twenty-five years; Jacob Albert, born Aug. 18, 1876, is now engaged in farming the homestead; Philip Frank, born Oct. 16, 1878, is employed at the Vandergrift Sheet Mill; Charles Hawk, born Aug. 23, 1881, died Nov. 30, 1885; William McBryar, born Jan. 25, 1885, is at home; Paul Whitesell, born June 4, 1887, is now a student at State College; Magdalene Virginia, born Nov. 18, 1889, is at home.

             Jacob Keppel, father of Mrs. William Kepple, lived and died in Westmoreland county, Pa.  He married Elizabeth Klingensmith, and they became the parents of fourteen children:  Margaret, wife of Andrew Sober; John; Joseph; Susan L., widow of William Keppel (sic); Albert; Samuel; Jonas; a daughter that died in infancy; Jane, wife of George Kline; Flora, wife of William F. Hill; Barbara, wife of Augusta A. Weilman; Minerva, wife of Dr. U. H. Debendarfer; and Theodore.

Source: Page 878-880, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed May 2002 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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