Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1183


James A. Kuhns, who is engaged in farming in Hereford township, Berks county, is a native of Whitehall township, Lehigh county, Pa., born May 4, 1861, son of Elias and Hettie (Roth) Kuhns.

Jonathan Kuhns, grandfather of James A., married Judith Lichtenwalner, born April 2, 1801, died Jan. 25, 1876, and both are buried at the Jordan Lutheran cemetery. They were the parents of fourteen children: Polly (1820-1891) m. Jonas Rauch, and had thirteen children: Julian, born June 28, 1823, m. Jan. 19, 1845, Levi Fetterman, a farmer at Vera Cruz, and has nine children: Jonas (1824-1846) was a farmer at Guths Station, and m. Maria Kern, by whom he had six children: Elias; Anna m. Samuel Fegley, deceased; Leon, born April 16, 1832, m. in 1859, Julian Kuntz, and had four children; Simon, born July 11, 1837, was a farmer at Siesholtzville, and had children-Harvey, Cora, Mabel, Ida and Eva; Eliza, born 1835, m. in 1857, John H. Fryman, a merchant at Litzenberg, and has four children; Katie, born 1839, m. in 1867 Alfred Seipel a farmer at Bath, and has eight children; Pharon m. Mary Rothenberger and lives at Frankfort, Ind.; the others died in infancy.

Elias Kuhns, son of Jonathan, was born in Upper Macungie, Lehigh county, Jan. 12, 1829. He attended the old pay schools in his district, and when eighteen years old he learned the shoemaker's trade, following it for a few years. He was long engaged at farming, first in Whitehall township, Lehigh county, then for seventeen years in Hereford township, Berks county, on his father's farm, and later he located in Upper Macungie township, buying his father's farm of 122 acres, and on that he lived until his retirement. He now lives in that same township in a charming private residence. He and his family are members of Jordan Lutheran church. He married (first) Hettie Roth, who died aged thirty-four years. The had three children: Anna M. m. Jacob F. Nuss, a farmer at Vera Cruz; Jane m. Walter Schneck, a hotel keeper at Ringers, Pa.; and James A. Elias Kuhns m. (second) Lydia Taggert, who bore him two children: Orwin E., born Nov. 28, 1865 m. Anna M. Wisser; and Rosa m. Samuel Lorach, a farmer at Macungie.

James A. Kuhns was reared upon a farm, and in 1893 he began for himself in Upper Milford township, Lehigh county, on the old Rothenberger homestead. His next location was the Abraham Hiestand farm near Shimersville, where he lived four years, and then moved to his father's farm, which he cultivated for three years. In the spring of 1901 he located on the Jacob Deysher farm in Hereford township, where he has since continued. This farm consists of 120 acres, and Mr. Kuhns has equipped it with good machinery. He and his family are members of Huff's Church-he belonging to the Lutheran congregation, and his wife to the Reformed. Fraternally he belongs to Camp No. 470, P. O. S. of A., at Siesholtzville; and Vera Cruz Castle, No. 449, K. G. E.

On March 9, 1889, Mr. Kuhns m. Maria Gery, daughter of Ephraim W. and Sallie (Lauer) Gery, of Hereford township, where Mr. Gery was born June 4, 1818 (he now lives with Mrs. Kuhns). Mr. and Mrs. Gery had children as follows: Mary, deceased; twins deceased in infancy; Sarah; Henry; William; Alfred, deceased; Kate; Maria; Frank; and James deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Kuhns have four children: William H., Jennie M., Lloyd F., and Norman J.


p. 1483


Solomon Kulp (deceased), whose death occurred Jan. 20, 1898, in Cumru township, was engaged in the milling business in Bern township, where he conducted the Reber mill for nine years. Mr. Kulp was born Feb. 9, 1837, in Montgomery county, son of Henry and Rachel (Koch) Kulp. she and her sons Milton and Edward now live.

Henry Kulp was born in 1800 in Montgomery county, where he spent his life, as a prosperous farmer and landowner, and died in his eighty-first year. He married Rachel Koch, of the Falkner Swamp, Montgomery county, and to them there were born nine children: Samuel, who lived and died in Montgomery county; Solomon; Susanna m. a Mr. Grimley; Henry, who settled in Texas; Aaron, who lived at Limerick, Pa.; Hannah m. a Mr. Yorkey; William, who resides in the west; George, who lives on the homestead in Montgomery county; and Elizabeth m. William Heitelbidle.

Solomon Kulp was reared on his father's farm, and continued with him until he reached his majority, when he was married. Until 1863 he worked at various occupations, but in the year mentioned he engaged in the milling business, which he followed for the greater part of his life. After his retirement from that in 1896, Mr. Kulp began farming in Cumru township, and here his death occurred, interment being made at Kissinger's Reformed Church in Spring township, of which he was a member.

In 1858 Mr. Kulp married to Miss Caroline Pfleiger, born July 31, 1839, daughter of John and Lydia (Snyder) Pfleiger, and to them were born ten children: John m. Harriet Harwick; Augustus died in childhood; Henry m. Sarah Schmehl; William m. Emma Hafer; Emma m. George Beecher, and lives in Millmont; Frances m. Sallie Lamb; Amanda m. Adam Zerr; Preston m. Millie Olinger; Milton, born March 5, 1879; and Edward, born April 28, 1881. After the death of her husband Mrs. Kulp removed to Millmont, and in 1895 erected a comfortable home, where she and her sons Milton and Edward now live.


p. 794


Nathan Kunkel, the only survivor of his father's family, now residing on the original Kunkel homestead near Wessnersville, was born May 8, 1830. He is well known in Albany township, where he is one of the largest taxpayers, and now in his declining years is enjoying life.

The Kunkels were among the pioneer families in Albany township, Berks county. The family was founded there by (I) Georg Kunkel (also spelled Kunckell and Kungel), a native of Germany, who located there sometime prior to 1754, and it appears that he reared a large family. In Rupp's History of Berks County his name appears on the list of taxables of 1756, as "George Kunckell." In 1759, according to Montgomery's History of Berks County (1886), his name is listed as George Kungel; in this latter year he paid a tax of, 6. At the Kunkel homestead is an old grandfather's clock that bears the date of 1772. It was brought into the house at the same time the house was being built, and is the workmanship of George Miller, of Germantown. It has kept good time all these years. On the brass face appear the letters "I. G. K." Georg Kunkel lived where now resides Nathan Kunkel, near Wessnersville. This tract has been in the family name since about 1754. Georg Kunkel was a farmer, and since his time his farm has been divided and sub-divided. His land at one time included all the upper end of Stony Run. He is buried at Wessnersville. His children were: George and Peter.

(II) George Kunkel, son of Georg, had these children: George Michael, John Adam (born May 8, 1792, died April 11, 1860; m. Magdalena, born Aug. 17, 1792, died May 19, 1844), Andraes, Jacob, and Sally (m. John Wagaman).

(III) George Michael Kunkel, born Aug. 4, 1789, died Jan. 25, 1862. After the death of his father he became the owner of the old homestead, which was divided into three farms, George Michael receiving 155 acres, John Adam sixty acres, and John Wagaman twenty acres. George Michael Kunkel married Regina Krohn, born June 11, 1790, died Jan. 12, 1866. They had children: Benjamin, born 1810, died 1890; Elizabeth, born 1815, died 1884; Salome m. Adam Lynn; Polly (Maria), born 1825, died 1874; Samuel, born Nov. 1, 1827, died April 2, 1903; Nathan, born May 8, 1830, is living and the owner of the old homestead; Michael, born Sept. 9, 1835, died April 2, 1907. Salome was the only one of this family that married. The other six children remained unmarried and lived on the farm now occupied by Nathan Kunkel, who is now the only survivor of the family. He erected a large monument in the cemetery at Wessnersville, where so many of his family rest.


p. 1394


William Kunkel, a prosperous young farmer in Albany township, living near Kempton, was born in Sept. 25, 1879, at the place where he now lives, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Hartman) Kunkel. He is a descendant in the fifth generation from (I) Georg Kunkel, who came from Germany and who lived where Nathan Kunkel now resides, near Wessnersville. Georg Kunkel at one time owned all the upper end of Stony Run. His children were George and Peter.

(II) Peter Kunkel, son of Georg, born Dec. 20, 1774, in Albany township, died Oct. 28, 1830. After his marriage he moved to Lynn township, Lehigh county, where he engaged in farming and also operated a distillery on his farm. Later he lived near Wessnersville, where he owned a tract of 275 acres, which is now owned by a descendant, Charles Kunkel. All the land in upper Stony Run was once in the name of this family. In 1797 Peter Kunkel married Maria Magdalena Rausch, born Nov. 10, 1778, died April 12, 1846. They had fourteen children, eleven of who survived their parents (sixteen grandchildren also surviving). Among these children were: Daniel; David; Andraes; Benjamin; Joseph (mentioned elsewhere); Peter; Polly m. Jacob Elbert; Catharine m. John Dietrich; and Sophia.

(III) Daniel Kunkel, son of Peter, was born in Albany township, Berks county, March 2, 1798, and died Oct. 26, 1863. He was a farmer, living on and owning the farm which later became the property of his son Jacob, who sold it to Henry Bauscher, his brother-in-law, in 1870, for $10,000. It comprises 127 acres of excellent land, situated in the potato belt, and is now tenanted and cultivated by Daniel Bauscher, son of Henry. The present barn on the place was built by Daniel Kunkel. He married in 1821 Maria Magdalena Zimmerman, born Feb. 27, 1797, died July 14, 1859, and they are buried at the Friedens Church at Wessnersville. They had a large family, thirteen children, among whom were: A daughter who married Daniel Brobst; Catharine, who married Reuben A. Dietrich; Mary, who married a Mr. Derr; Benjamin, mentioned below; John, who lived and died at McKeansburg, Pa.; Jacob, born in 1841, died in 1900; and Sarah, who married Henry Bauscher.

(IV) Benjamin Kunkel was born July 27, 1831, in Albany township, where he passed all his life. He died May 24, 1904. He lived retired for a number of years before his death. Mr. Kunkel was a substantial citizen, and in his day one of the best-known men of Albany township. He served as assessor of his township for many years. He and his wife were hospitable people, and visitors to their home were always treated to homemade bread, butter and honey, as they kept many bees and always had plenty of honey. In 1866, Mr. Kunkel built the present brick house. He married Sarah Hartman, born in 1834, who came from a Lehigh county family, and who died Dec. 29, 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Kunkel are buried at the New Bethel Church, where the Kunkel monument marks their last restingplace. They were Lutherans in religious connection, and he was a Democrat in politics.

Thirteen children were born to Benjamin and Sarah (Hartman) Kunkel, five of whom died young. We have the following record of the family: James Monroe, born in 1855, died in 1858; Albert D., born Dec. 28, 1858, is a business man of Klinesville; Matilda, born in 1860, died in 1861; Ellen (deceased) m. Benjamin Levan and lived in Lehigh county; Frances is deceased; Rose m. Jairus K. Trexler, of Lehigh county; Benjamin is a farmer in Maxatawny township; Sallie S., born in 1872, died in 1894, married Dr. Douglass S. Kistler; Lorenia, married George W. Lutz, of Albany township; Amanda, born in 1876, died in 1904; William; and two who died in infancy.

(V) William Kunkel obtained his education in the public schools and at a select school at Steinsville, which he attended two terms. He worked for his parents until he was of age, and in the spring of 1901 began farming on the old homestead on his own account. He has continued to follow agricultural pursuits with much success. He has owned the place since 1905. It consists of 197 acres of good land in the potato belt, and his crops are good in all lines. He raises from three thousand to four thousand bushels of potatoes annually, besides large crops of grain, and he has a full stock of farm implements as well as many conveniences for facilitating his work, including a wind pump. His farm stock is valuable. On his land are two large barns, one of which was built by his father and the other by his grandfather, Daniel Kunkel. His large and comfortable brick residence is surrounded by a fine lawn and a neat iron fence encloses the whole, which is remarkable for its neat and attractive appearance. There is an abundance of excellent water on this place. Like his father, Mr. Kunkel raises bees, having seven hives at present.

On Nov. 25, 1899, Mr. Kunkel married Miss Sallie A. Loy, daughter of Phaeon and Louisa (Miller) Loy, farming people of Albany township; her grandparents were Michael and Polly (Behler) Loy, who lived on the farm now owned by their son, Phaeton. Mr. And Mrs. Kunkel have a daughter, Lovie Mae. The family are Lutheran members of the New Bethel (Corner) Church, of Albany, of which Mr. Kunkel has served as organist since 1899. The church music is also under his supervision. Mr. Kunkel being a popular music teacher in the district, where he has given instruction to many of the young people. He is a Democrat in politics, and served three years as township assessor.


p. 592


D. Webster Bland Kupp, M. D., a popular physician, residing at Gibraltar, Berks Co., Pa., has met with success in his chosen calling. He was born at Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill county, July 4, 1857.

The original spelling of the name was "Krupp," and the family is distantly related to the noted gun makers. Frederick Krupp, great-grandfather of Dr. Kupp, emigrated from Germany and became one of the early settlers of Union township, Berks county, taking up a large tract of land opposite Douglassville, and there he engaged in farming and blacksmithing. Frederick Krupp had four sons: William, John, Frederick and Henry.

John Kupp, son of Frederick, was born in Union township, Berks county, and became his father's successor in both farming and blacksmithing. He was a member of the German Baptist Church of Chester county, Pa. He had seven children: William, Samuel, John, Isaac, Harrison, Elizabeth (m. Jacob Haws, a carpenter and undertaker of Union township) and Mary E. (m. Henry W. Titlow, of Pottstown, Montgomery Co., Pa.).

Isaac Kupp, son of John, was born in the old Kupp home, Feb. 10, 1819, and there grew to manhood. He learned the tailor's trade, and conducted a clothing store at Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill county, Pa., and later one at Pittston, Pa. His health failed, and in 1860 he gave up his mercantile business and returned to the farm, farming for his father. In a few years he purchased the farm and operated it until his death Jan. 3, 1893. In 1840 he became a local minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was a preacher through all the remainder of his life. On Aug. 4, 1839, he married Margaret L. Bland, who was born Jan. 19, 1819, daughter of Edward and Martha Bland. Edward Bland was born Aug. 23, 1774, and belonged to the old Bland family of Mt. Airy, Union township, Berks county, Pa. He was the father of the following children: Edward, born Jan. 22, 1794; Catherine, Dec. 7, 1798; Mary, July 16, 1800; Ann, April 13, 1802; William, Sept. 13, 1804; Samuel, Nov. 13, 1806; Robert, Jan. 22, 1809; Adam, May 5, 1811; John, Jan. 6, 1816; and Margaret L., Jan. 19, 1819. To Isaac and Margaret L. (Bland) Kupp were born four children, namely: Elizabeth Anna, born May 3, 1845, died Aug. 27,1880; Edward Newton, born Dec. 10, 1847, read law with John S. Richards, a leading member of the Berks County Bar, and after graduating with first honors at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., Sept. 1, 1868, took charge of a classical institute at St. Michaels, Md., and died at that place Dec. 30, 1868; Walter Earl, born Sept. 5, 1853, died Nov. 17, 1855; and D. Webster B., born July 4, 1857.

Dr. D. Webster B. Kupp received his early education in the Hill school at Pottstown, Montgomery county, and he began the study of medicine with Dr. Franklin R. Gerhard, of Douglassville, Berks county. After a three-years course he graduated from the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., March 15, 1882. On June 1, 1882, he located at Gibraltar, Berks county, for the practice of Medicine, and there he has continued ever since. He has built up a large practice and has won a warm place in the hearts of the people in the village and in the surrounding country.

Dr. Kupp is a firm believer in the principles of the Republican party. In 1885 and 1897 he was a delegate to the Republican State convention from Berks county, and in 1892 was alternate delegate to the National Republican Convention at Minneapolis, Minn. For many years has been a member of the county committee. From 1899 to 1905 he was a member of the school board in Robeson township, filling at different times the offices of president, secretary and treasurer of the board. Since May 1, 1898, he has been a member of the board of Pension Examining Surgeons and secretary of the board since 1899. He is an ardent friend and supporter of the Hon. Boies Penrose, senior Senator of Pennsylvania. In the fall of 1903, Dr. Kupp was raised a Mason in Union Lodge, No. 479, F. & A. M; He is a charter member and past president of Washington Camp, No. 592, P. O. S. of A., of Gibraltar. He is a member of the Berks County Medical Society, has been a member of the State Medical Society since June 29, 1887, and of the American Medical Association since 1896. Dr. Kupp is both the practical, resourceful physician and loyal friend, belonging to that happy class of useful men, now all too fast disappearing in the rush of modern life-the family physicians.

On March 15, 1882, Dr. Kupp was united in marriage with Amanda Smith, daughter of Jacob Smith, of Shenkel, Chester Co., Pa. To this union were born two sons: Warren Newton, born May 24, 1884, died June 5, 1888; and Webster Bland, born Jan. 13, 1889, graduated from the preparatory department of Dickinson College in June, 1907, and then entered the Medical Department of the Medico-Chirurgical College, Philadelphia, Pa., to take up the profession so ably followed by his father. Mrs. Kupp died June 6, 1906. Dr. Kupp married (second) Anna F. (Warmkessel) Wolfe, widow of Dr. William S. Wolfe, of Fleetwood, Pa. This union has been blessed with one daughter, Miriam Bland, born March 6, 1908. Dr. and Mrs. Kupp are members of the Lutheran Church.


p. 1154


Frank Anthony Kurfess, who has been connected with the Philadelphia & Reading railroad shop since coming to Reading, is a highly esteemed citizen of the Tenth ward, residing at No. 1136 Spruce street. He was born Oct. 22, 1840, in Neuhausen, Kreis Esslingen, Wurtemberg, Germany, son of Ernst Johan and Francisco (Harrer) Kurfess.

Ernst Johan Kurfess was born Dec. 25, 1806, in Neuhausen, and died April 4, 1871. He was a tanner all of his life, and owned an establishment and twenty-five acres of land. He was widely known, becoming very prosperous in his latter years, although for three years prior to his death he was an invalid. He married Francisco Harrer, born in 1806, daughter of Lorentz Harrer, and their children were: August; Albert, who came to America in 1855, settling at Schuylkill Haven, his latter years being spent in Philadelphia, where he died; Gustav; Frank A.; Mary, and Joseph.

Frank Anthony Kurfess attended the schools of his native country until fourteen years of age, and then learned the machinist's trade, which he followed successfully in the Fatherland until May 15, 1881, on which date he left Esslingen and twelve days later landed at Castle Garden, N. Y. He then visited his brother Christian of Schuylkill county for a time, after which he came to Reading and settled at No. 1019 Cotton street. In 1891 Mr. Kurfess purchased the property at No. 1136 Spruce street, where he has lived ever since. Mr. Kurfess has been employed as a machinist in the Philadelphia & Reading Locomotive shop ever since coming to Reading. In politics he is a Democrat, while he and his family are religiously connected with St. Paul's Catholic Church.

On July 12, 1868,m Mr. Kurfess was married to Matilda Kambeitz, born March 1, 1846, daughter of Heinrich and Louisa (Schaeffer) Kambeitz, the former a master shoemaker at Hesse Darmstadt, and to this union three children have been born: Marguerite, born Dec. 29, 1869, m. Joseph Impink, of Reading, and they have five children--Marguerite, Joseph, Catherine, Carl, and Alberta; Ernst, born Dec. 16, 1872, died Aug. 16, 1873; and Mary C., born Feb. 2, 1880, is at home.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:55:03 EDT

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