Biography - Frederick Kessel

FREDERICK KESSEL who is numbered among the enterprising and representative farmers of Kinkaid Township, Jackson County, makes his home on section 16. He was born in the kingdom of Prussia, Germany, February 21, 1832, and is a son of William Kessel, who was also a native of that country. By occupation the father was a farmer. He served for five years in the army of Frederick the Great in the War of 1815 against Napoleon, was at the siege of Moscow, and took part in many of the battles of that war. He then returned to his home, and in the year 1857 he brought his family to America, taking up his residence on a farm in Jackson County, near Wilkinson Island, where he died on the 10th of August, 1858. He was married in Prussia to Gertrude Suootenhouse. Unto them were born ten children: William, Johanna, August, Minnie, Frederick, Harmon, John, Julius, Albert and Emily. All came to America with their father except William, who died in Prussia. The mother of this family was called to her final rest January 20, 1892, at the advanced age of ninety-one years.
In the usual manner of farmer lads our subject was reared, and with the family crossed the briny deep. Upon his father's death, he purchased the home farm and began business for himself. On the 8th of January, 1858, he was united in marriage with Regina Rickels, daughter of William and Mary (Suootenhouse) Rickels. She was one of seven children, viz.: August, Joanna, Minnie, John, Godfrey, Charlotte and Regina. The parents both died in Prussia, and Mrs. Kessel, with her two brothers, John and Godfrey, came to America. John died in Texas in 1864, and Godfrey died in Chester, Ill., October 27, 1891.
Upon the farm which he purchased of his father Mr. Kessel resided for seven years, and then removed to Kinkaid Township, where he improved a farm three and a half miles from his present home. In August, 1878, he removed to the farm on which he now resides. He has placed it under a high state of cultivation and made many excellent improvements upon it. It is two hundred and eighty acres in extent, and amid the well tilled fields stand a fine residence and large barns. He also owns four hundred and fifty-one acres in a bottom farm and another tract of two hundred and eleven acres, making in all nine hundred and forty-two acres.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kessel were born five children. Robert, born March 16, 1862, married Louisa Krugel, and they have one child, Gertrude; Albert F., born January 20, 1865, died December 5, 1889; Alfred, born January 2, 1867, Edward J., May 14, 1872, and Leo August, November 9, 1877, are still at home. The parents are members of the Lutheran Church, but aided in the erection of the Baptist Church near their home and regularly attended its services. Mr. Kessel has always been a supporter of the Democracy, and is now serving as Highway Commissioner and School Trustee. He belongs to the Knights of Honor. By extensive reading, experience and observation he has become one of the well informed men of this section, and is conversant with all the subjects of the day.

Extracted from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, page 205.

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