Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery

KENNEDY, EDWIN

p. 1242

Surnames: KENNEDY, LYKENS, BROOKE, CROSDALE, BITLER, KEINARD, HAWS, HARTZ, O'NEIL

Edwin Kennedy, of Robeson township, Berks county, who has practiced veterinary surgery for the past half century, was born July 29, 1836, in Robeson township, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Lykens) Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy was reared on his father's farm in Robeson township, where he has spent his entire life. At the age of seventeen years he entered the E. & G. Brooke furnace at Birdsboro, working there during the winter months and farming during the summer seasons. On Aug. 10, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, 128th Pa. V. I., Col. Samuel Crosdale's regiment, First Brigade, First Division 12th Army Corps, and received his honorable discharge May 17, 1863, having participated in a number of hard engagements, including Antietam.

After his return home he engaged in the practice of veterinary surgery, which he has followed to the present time, gaining an enviable reputation in this line. Mr. Kennedy is very highly esteemed in his community, where he is known as a man of integrity and honor. He owns a residence property at Birdsboro, but makes him home with his children.

Mr. Kennedy married (first) when a young man, Miss Hannah Bitler, who bore him three children: one who died in infancy; Annie, deceased; and Margaret E., m. to David Keinard, of Robeson township. Mr. Kennedy m. (second) Rebecca Haws, who bore him children as follows: Emma m. Eli Hartz; Flora Irene is single; Irwin and Sarah are deceased; Edwin; Morris m. Myrtle O' Neil, and resides at Birdsboro; Charles H., Brooke and William.

In politics Mr. Kennedy is a Republican, and has served as supervisor and treasurer. He and Mrs. Kennedy attend the Lutheran Church. His war record entitles him to membership in McLean Post No. 16, G. A. R., Reading.


KENNEDY, WILLIAM H.

p. 918

Surnames: KENNEDY, LYKENS, MOYER, SNYDER, CLOUSER, LLOYD, BITLER, GRUBB, KIRBY, WICKLEIN, LYKENS, GLASS, HAHN, BECHTEL, FAGAN

William H. Kennedy, who has been identified with the agricultural interests of Berks county, for a number of years, and who now resides in Robeson township, was born in that township, Oct. 14, 1840, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Lykens) Kennedy.

Thomas Kennedy, it is believed, was born in the lower part of Chester county, was reared upon a farm, and early in life was engaged in work around the old Hampden furnaces, hauling and cutting wood. He also did boating on the Schuylkill Canal, and in 1840 he purchased the farm now owned by his son, William H. Here Mr. Kennedy engaged in agricultural pursuits until his retirement, eighteen years prior to his death, in 1891, when he was aged ninety years, and twelve days. Mrs. Kennedy died in 1878, when seventy-four years old. The children born to Thomas Kennedy and his wife were: Sarah m. Joel Moyer; Elizabeth m. Abram Snyder; Mary m. John Clouser; Hannah m. William Lloyd; Lucinda m. William H. Bitler; Lucetta died in infancy; Edwin is mentioned elsewhere; and William H. The family attended the M. E. Church, although not members. In politics, Mr. Kennedy was a Republican.

William H. Kennedy was educated in the common schools of Robeson township, and when a boy worked about his father's farm. At the age of eighteen years he left home and enlisted in Reading, Nov. 28, 1861, in Battery M, 5th United States Light Field Artillery, serving for two years and three months. He re-enlisted at Brandywine Station, Va., in the same battery, and his service covered five years, two months, fourteen days, he having been promoted to sergeant and corporal, being discharged as such at the close of the war. He was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and served in all in twenty-seven battles, his experiences being many and varied. Mr. Kennedy's record is that of a brave and faithful soldier and a capable officer.

After his discharge at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, Florida, Mr. Kennedy returned home, and for one year worked on the farm, at the end of this time engaging with Benjamin Grubb, at whose stone quarry he was employed for two seasons. In company with his brother Edwin, Mr. Kennedy then rented the Kirby farm, which they operated six years, afterward moving to a farm near White Bear, on which they remained for four years. Mr. Kennedy next spent one year on Edwin Kennedy's farm, and in 1881 he purchased the old homestead, a tract of about fifty-nine acres, which he devotes to general farming and trucking.

Mr. Kennedy married Mary M. Wicklein, daughter of Daniel Wicklein, and eight of the thirteen children born to this union are living, namely: Annie m. Alvin Lykens; Hannah m. Heber Glass; Laura m. William Hahn; Grant m. Jennie Bechtel; Daisy m. Charles Fagan; Luther; Elwood; and Elmer. Those deceased are Maggie, William, Harriet, and two others. In religious belief the family are members of the German Reformed Church. Mr. Kennedy is a Republican in politics, and has held a number of minor township offices. He is an elder of the church and was formerly connected officially with the Sunday school.


KEPNER, CHARLES E.

p. 831

Surnames: KEPNER, GOODHART, KERSCHNER

Charles E. Kepner, assistant manager in the office of the Adams Express Company at Reading, is one of the stirring young business men of the city. Though not a native son, he is a product of Reading, having come to the city at four years of age.

His grandfather, Bernard Kepner, was prominent in the manufacturing world, having during a long lifetime been proprietor of a shoe factory at Orwigsburg, where he died at the advanced age of eighty-six years.

Samuel Kepner, son of Bernard and father of Charles E., was during his life a hotel-keeper at different points. During the Civil war he served in Company E, 194th Pa. V. I. He died at Reading in 1895, in his fifty-third year. His wife was Elmira Goodhart, daughter of George Goodhart, of Reading, now deceased. There were but two children born to this marriage: Ivanora, now deceased: and Charles E.

Charles E. Kepner was born in Catawissa, Pa., Aug. 16, 1874. His parents removed to Reading in 1878, so that he passed his school life in the public schools of this city. He later took a course at Brunner's business college, and then began his business career as a clerk in a drug store. After two years he secured a position with the Adams Express Company, where he has since continued, the high character of his services being recognized by his advancement to the position of assistant manager.

Mr. Kepner married Nov. 30, 1893, Miss Anna M. Kerschner, daughter of Franklin P. Kerschner, of Reading, now deceased. In the Kepner home there are six children: Edward LeRoy, Samuel Franklin, James George, Charles Percival, Elmira Ivanora and Leah Mildred.

The political preference of Mr. Kepner lies with the Republican party, though the part he takes in politics consists largely in the casting of his ballot. He is a consistent member of Trinity Lutheran Church. Owing to the fact that Mr. Kepner's father was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion, he takes more than a passing interest in patriotic organizations, and is an ardent member of the Sons of Veterans, belonging to Company D of the First Regiment, Sons of Veterans Reserves. He is a man of sterling integrity, and his mind is keenly alert to the possibilities of life.


KEPPEL, SAMUEL B.

p. 1449

Surnames: KEPPEL, GORDON, WEAVER, PECK, GUINEY, REBER, LEINBACH, BITNER, HERBEIN, RUTH, LERCH, DELP, MULL, STELTZ

Samuel B. Keppel, late of Sinking Spring, was prominent alike in business and legislative affairs, and one of the most genuinely respected men of his district; he was born in Honeybrook, Chester county Pa., Dec. 10, 1846, son of John Keppel.

John Keppel, the father, was born and reared in Chester county Pa. He was raised by a family of the name of Gordon. His death occurred at Honeybrook July 15, 1894, when he was aged seventy years. He married Barbara Weaver, who bore him the following family: George; Samuel B.; Clara, wife of James Peck; Elizabeth, who for a period of seventeen years taught the Boyertown school, and is now teaching at Honeybrook; Sallie, wife of Lewis Guiney, of Coatesville, Pa.; and Alice, who died at the age of eighteen years.

Samuel B. Keppel received a good education, studying in the district schools, Waynesboro Academy, and Millersville State Normal. For six years he engaged in teaching in Lancaster and Berks counties, and was quite popular with his pupils as well as with the other members of the profession. He next spent two years as a telegrapher for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, leaving that Company to become clerk in the office and telegraph operator (special line) for the Moselem Iron Company, where he continued from 1872 to 1877. On April 1, 1877, he moved to Sinking Spring, and entered the coal, lumber and grain business, and to this he devoted twenty years with great success. In April, 1881, he opened a similar business at Robesonia, under the firm names of Keppel & Reber, and it was so carried on until April 1, 1886, when Mr. C. D. Reber retired. Mr. Keppel continued the business for some time alone, finally selling it to Mr. Leinbach. From that time until 1899 he gave his undivided attention to the business at Sinking Spring, but he was of too energetic a nature to be content with but one iron in the fire, and in April 1892, he formed a stock company under the name of the Birdsboro Milling Company (Limited) of Birdsboro, PA., and leased the mill of the Brooke Milling Company. This mill had a capacity of 150 barrels of flour per day. Mr. Keppel became secretary and treasurer of this company.

In spite of his extensive personal interests, Mr. Keppel took an active part in public affairs, as a representative of the Democratic party, and proved his popularity as a candidate by repeated elections to public office. In 1891 he was elected to the House of Representatives, receiving a majority of 7,034, and in 1893 was re-elected by a majority of 7,556, his increased plurality showing well the satisfaction his services had given in his district. He served on the following committees: Banks, Insurance and Manufacturing. At different times he was a delegate to State conventions, and he showed his interest in the cause of education by effective work as a school director. He was also engaged largely in the fire insurance business in connection with his other work, and was a director in the Manatawny Mutual Fire and Storm Insurance Company, organized in February, 1893. He also served as agent for the Mutual and Stock Fire Insurance Company. He was one of the best known men in the county--in fact he was widely known throughout the State, Mr. Keppel was public spirited and progressive, and was ever at the front in any enterprise that tended toward the advancement and development of his town. He was one of the organizers of the Sinking Spring Foundry Company, capitalized at $10,000. The Water Company had for its founders, Mr. Keppel, Daniel Bitner, D. J. Herbein and James Ruth, and Mr. Keppel became its secretary and treasurer. He was a director of the Citizens National Bank of Reading, from its organization in May, 1888, and when it consolidated with the Second National Bank, he became a director of that bank. He was one of the largest stockholders and a director in the Colonial Trust Company, of Reading; and was president of the Reading & Womelsdorf Electric Railway Company. In all these concerns he had more than a nominal interest, and he kept fully posted on the work and conditions of each.

Mr. Keppel was twice married. His first wife Susan Lerch, died leaving one daughter, Leah, now the wife of Prof. W. S. Delp, of Philadelphia. On June 27, 1889, Mr. Keppel married (second) Eva Mull, daughter of Henry and Theresa Steltz, of Montgomery county, Pa. On April 18, 1903, Samuel B. Keppel entered into rest, after an active and useful life, leaving many friends to mourn his loss. He was a Mason of high degree, belonging to Chandler Lodge, No. 227, F. & A. M.; Reading Chapter, No. 152, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery No. 42, K. T.; Philadelphia Consistory 32 degree; and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Reading.

Upon the death of Mr. Keppel the board of directors of the Reading & Womelsdorf Electric Railway Company, of which he was president from its beginning until his death, passed a resolution, signed by all the officers, as follows:

"Resolved, That the Company sustained a loss that cannot be repaired. The Reading & Womelsdorf Electric Railway Company stands an enduring monument to his memory. He was one of the founders, and to his courage and perseverance the success of the undertaking was largely due."

Mr. Keppel was a member of St. John's Reformed Church, and was serving as a member of the consistory at the time of his death, taking an active part.


KEPPELMAN, ALBERT

p. 1441

Surnames: KEPPELMAN, MEYER, SCHRADER

Albert Keppelman, a well-known resident of Reading, Pa., who is serving as assistant superintendent of P. Barbey & Son's Brewery, was born in this city Feb. 19, 1865, son of John and Christiana (Meyer) Keppelman.

Albert Keppelman received his education in the common schools of Reading, and when a young man entered his father's employ, the elder Keppelman operating a foundry and machine shop at that time. Learning the machinist's trade, young Keppelman followed it for some years, but in 1886 accepted a position with the firm by which he is now employed, as shipping clerk, a position which he held for some years, then being advanced to his present capacity. Besides attending to his regular business duties, Mr. Keppelman has found time to devote to music, of which he is a great lover, he being an exceptionally talented violin player. He assisted in the organization of the Germania Band and Orchestra, of which he is still a member, and when a boy he traveled for two years as musical director of Col. Hall's Pavilion Show. Mr. Keppelman is very fond of, and takes a great interest in, the children, and was the founder of the Juvenile Parade for the amusement of children on the Fourth of July. The older people as well as the children attend this parade largely, the former seeming to find as much amusement in the proceedings as the little ones. The children are all served ice cream and pretzels after the ceremonies are over, and cash prizes are given those who make a special effort at costuming.

Mr. Keppelman was married in 1889, to Miss Catherine F. Schrader of Reading, daughter of Henry 0. Schrader. and three children have been born to this union: Henry S., with the P. & R. Co.'s drafting department; Margaret H.; and Catherine C. Mr. Keppelman and his family are members of St. James Lutheran church. In political matters he is a Democrat, and he is connected fraternally with the Royal Arcanum and the American Order of Steam Engineers.


KEPPELMAN, JOHN H.

p. 507

Surnames: ARTHUR, BAUER, BEACHER, BELTZ, BROWN, ERMANTROUT, FREES, KEPPELMAN, MOYER, ROWE, SCHROEDER, SEIDERS, STERNBERGH, VEASEY, WOLF

John H. Keppelman, superintendent of the Gas Company at Reading since 1887, was born at Reading, Feb. 16, 1853, and educated in the local schools, graduating from the high school in 1870. He then learned the trade of molder in his father's iron foundry and worked at it for nine years; after; which he served as city clerk from 1879 to 1884. In 1887 the Consumers' Gas Company elected him superintendent to manage its extensive operations, and he has filled that responsible position in a most efficient manner to the present time.

Mr. Keppelman represented the Sixth ward in the city councils from 1885 to 1897, four years in the common branch and eight years in the select; during which time many public improvements were ably advocated by him and established by a vote of electors, more especially the sewer system and paved highways. Since his early manhood he has been an earnest adherent of the Democratic party. He became a Freemason in 1881, in Teutonia Lodge, No. 367, which was mainly organized by his father in 1865; and he is a member of the Harrisburg Consistory, and of the Shrine at Reading. He was chiefly instrumental in having established at Reading the Reading Council of the Royal Arcanum, a mutual life insurance association, which has secured a large membership. Mr. Keppelman is president of the Board of Trade (1909). He is a member of the board of managers of the Reading Public Library, and a director of the First National Bank.

In 1876 Mr. Keppelman was married to Mary E. Arthur, daughter of Col. John E. Arthur, and Rebecca Moyer, his wife, of Reading, by whom he had three children: Mamie, who died in infancy; Robert, who died in youth; and Arthur, an attorney at Reading, m. to May Sternbergh.

John Joseph Conrad Keppelman, father of John H., was born in 1827, in Baden-Baden, Germany, where he learned the trade of locksmith. He emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1848, and located at Pottsville, but he remained there only a short while when he moved to Reading and engaged in the foundry business which he carried on quite extensively for many years, having established and operated very successfully three plants, the first on North Sixth street, the second on North Fifth street and the third in Riverside. He died in 1907. He married Christina Bauer, daughter of John and Wilhelmina (Beltz) Bauer, of Reading, by whom he had ten children: William m. Ella Brown; John H. (above); Emma m. Dr. Samuel Ermentrout; Edward m. Ella Beacher; Howard m. Ida Seiders; Ida m. Joseph Veasey; Katharine m. Dr. F. X. Wolf; Albert m. Catharine Schroeder; Theodore m. Sallie Rowe; and Florence m. Howard Frees.

John Keppelman, the grandfather, was a distinguished soldier under Napoleon, and for valorous conduct at the battle of Wagram was awarded two medals of honor, which have come into the possession of his grandson, and are highly prized by him. He died at the age of forty-six years, and his wife lived to be ninety years old. They had four children, but their son John was the only one to come to America.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:51 EDT

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