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Jacob Kessel, Page 411
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JACOB KESSEL, deceased, was a native of Schwabsburg, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, born in 1808. His parents, Caspar and Marie C. (Borngesser) Kessel, were natives of the same country, where the father followed farming and wine-making. Until thirty-eight years of age Jacob Kessel remained at home, assisting his parents. On the 6th of November, 1846, he was united in marriage with Catherine Marguerite Brandt. The lady is a daughter of Caspar and Marie M. (Zimmer) Brandt, and was born in St. Johann, Hesse-Darmstadt, on the 20th of May, 1821. Her father, who died on the 26th of April, 1842, was a farmer and wine-dealer. Her mother passed away in June, 1868. Mrs. Kessel is the youngest of five children, and the only daughter. Mr. Kessel was also one of five children, and was the second in order of birth.
In 1848, Jacob Kessel emigrated to America, sailing from Hamburg to New York, the voyage consuming forty-two days. On the way the vessel sprang a leak, and great was the consternation among the five hundred passengers on board. Divers were sent down to repair the break, and after a few hours all was made safe, and the vessel again proceeded on its way. coming on the Hudson River, the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes, Mr. Kessel reached Milwaukee, near which city he was employed some two months. In that city he met his brother, in company with whom he purchased eighty acres of timbered land near Port Washington, for $400. On that farm, three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kessel, their first-born having been laid to rest in their native land. The year 1855 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Kessel in Russell Township, where he purchased eighty acres of timber-land. In October, 1858, he bought for $300 eighty acres of his present farm. By subsequent purchase he added to his possessions, until he had about two hundred and thirty-two acres and a-half acres on section 7, in Rhine Township, and two hundred and forty acres in the town of Russell. Of this his son John received two hundred acres, and Jeremiah the other forty.
Mr. and Mrs. Kessel had a family of seven children, of whom only two are living. Jeremiah, born May 8, 1851, near Port Washington, received his education in the schools of Rhine Township. He was married on the 24th of July, 1880, to Marie, daughter of William and Marie (Brandt) Kuhn, who was born in Rhine Township September 4, 1858. Of this marriage have been born four children: John, Anna, Emma and Willie. John, the other surviving child of Jacob Kessel, was born in the town of Russell, March 8, 1861, and was married to Henrietta, daughter of Charles Henshell.
Mr. Kessel, with his family, belonged to the Evangelical Church. Politically, he was always a Republican, though not a man to seek notoriety or official distinction. Though in her seventy-third year, Mrs. Kessel is remarkably well preserved for one who has passed through so many hardships. Her home in Russell, as well as her first home in the town of Rhine, was a log cabin. The red men of the forest oftimes visited her home, always receiving the kindest treatment. In 1870, Mr. Kessel built the large house in which his family still resides. He was a man who believed in improvements, both private and public, and not only was his own farm well improved, but in laying out and building good roads he took an active part. By industry and economy he became one of the wealthy farmers of his community.
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