GEORGE KUHL was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, in 1807. His parents, Christian and Elizabeth (Ganz) Kuhl, were very old when they died, the father at the age of eighty-three, the mother at the age of eighty-five and one-half years. They were members of the Lutheran Church. When George was yet a young man he embarked for America in the ship Baltimore in 1833. After a voyage of eight weeks he landed in Baltimore and went from there to Richmond, Virginia, and followed his trade of baker. He soon left that city, however, and came to Beardstown, Illinois. Re was the first of his family to venture across the ocean, but was later joined by his parents and other brothers and sisters. He is the eldest of a large family that comes of good German stock. His youngest brother is a Lutheran clergyman of Carthage, Illinois, and he and George Kuhl are all that are left of the family.
When Mr. Kuhl came to Beardstown in 1835 he had but twenty-five cents in his pocket. The city was then very small, and the country was new. He began his business career in Beardstown as a baker. He soon gained a footing and found a sale for his wares, both in the little town and on the boats that were on the river. He made money and after twelve years established a large grocery store. Later he made it a general store, and added to it all the time until he became a large pork packer and grain dealer. Those were the times to make money, and during the war times he was one of the largest dealers on the Illinois river. He had two large grain houses that were destroyed by fire, and he lost some $4,000 in a paper mill. This made no difference to Mr. Kuhl's business enterprise. In spite of his losses he has made a large amount of money, and he now enjoys it in a beautiful home that he erected, that cost him some $15,000 when completed. It is furnished with every modern improvement. He has always had the best interests of the city at heart, and has done everything he could toward building it up. He has been a hard worker, and is the best kind of a citizen, and one that has a good deal of influence with all classes not only in the city but all over the county. He has been a leader in all tending to improve the city. He was one of the originators, and is one of the principal supporters of the German Church, and has contributed liberally to its support. His party (Republican) has rewarded his faithful services by making him Alderman of the city. He is a very temperate man and one that scorns anything mean or low. He has now retired from business, and is taking a merited rest, but he still takes a strong and deep interest in all that occurs in the city's history.
He was married for the first time to Christanna Belger, who was born in Saxony and came to this country when young in 1836. She died at Beardstown when about thirty years of age. She left four children, one of whom is dead. Mrs. Lizzie Rearick died after her marriage. The three living ones are: William P., who is in the grocery business, married Mary Shepherd; George S., a dry-goods merchant, married Julia Buck; Philip, a successful dry-goods merchant of Beardstown, married Mamie L. Arenz. Mr. Kuhl was married for the second time in this city to Mary E. Hemminghouse, nee Mashmeier. She was a German by birth and came to the United States with her parents in 1834. Landing in New York city they came by water route to Beardstown. Ten days after their arrival her father died, and her mother died some six months later. Mrs. Mary Kuhl was first married in her native country to the Rev. William Hemminghouse. He had charge of a German Lutheran mission; after some ten years he became a Methodist, and was a missionary through the West. He died when he was forty years old. He left six children, all dead but two daughters: Minnie, wife of George Schultheis; Henrietta, wife of Chris Kuhl. By their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Kuhl have four children: Louis, a clerk for Philip Kuhl in Beardstown, and married to Emma McVey, now deceased; Henry E., a clerk in Nashville, Illinois, married Allie Means; Mary, a teacher in the High School of Springfield, and she is an accomplished lady, and a graduate in English and German; Lydia, wife of Rev. M. D. Hornbeck, a minister of the Methodist Church.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 277-278.
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