Biographical Sketches

Biographies from Miller County People

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Surnames Beginning With 'K'


John Kallenbach was born in Saxony, Germany on the 10th day of December, 1844. He immigrated to America in his early youth in May 1860 on the ship "Louisana" with his father (Johann Valentine Kallenbach) and 2 brothers (George and Henry) and in a short time became a naturalized citizen of our country. His mother was Anna Catherine Scharfenberg who was deceased before the Kallenbach family came to the United States. John's stepmother was Maria Magadlena (Recknagel) and she came to America with her husband and stepsons. Not long after his arrival, John enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War and served his adopted country through that long struggle as a Private in Company G, 10th Regiment of the Missouri Volunteers Cavalry.

  • John was married in Miller County to Marie Christina Artz on November 12, 1876 and they became the parents of four children:
  • 1--Roland Osborn Kallenbach 1888-1963 m. Minnie Mae Smith
  • 2--Oliver Richard Kallenbach 1883-1966 m. Carrie Bell
  • 3--Oscar Evans Kallenbach. 1995-1963 m. Agnes Bell
  • 4--Bertha Kallenbach 1890-1894
  • After the death of his first wife in 1892, he remarried and his second wife was Minnie Antoinetta Nixdorf, a daughter of Dr. Anton P. Nixdorf, one of the pioneer physicians of Miller County.

  • He and Minnie had nine children who included:
  • 5--Stella Pauline Kallenbach 1897-1983 (never married)
  • 6--John Frederick Kallenbach 1899-1983 m. Eula Marie Dorl
  • 7--Edison Charles Kallenbach 1900-1988 m. Wilma Ruth Connell
  • 8--Raymond Antone Kallenbach 1902-1977 m. Laurella Claudine Jackson
  • 9--Ruth O. Kallenbach 1905-1992 (never married)
  • 10--Nella Mae/Nettie Kallenbach 1907-1964 m. Almon John Jarrett
  • 11--William Henry Kallenbach 1908-1985 m. Broox Alva Buster
  • 12--Mildred Ruby Kallenbach 1910-1978 m. James Lee Blackburn,
  • 13--Hazel Dean Kallenbach 1911-1992 m. John Elender Curty.
  • Soon after the Civil War, John established a home in Tuscumbia and engaged in the blacksmith and wagon making business. The last few years of his life he was retired and spent the time farming his land a few miles north of Tuscumbia. John Kallenbach died at his home on the Saline Creek, the 28th day of December, 1918 at the age of 74 years.

    The Kallenbach family history has been traced in Germany to the mid 1600s and onward to the present generations who still live in the Central Missouri region.

  • KEETH OWNERS OF PROPERTY IN SECTION 18, Township 38, Range 13 (This land is owned today by Orville Keeth and faces Highway U. It is north of the Miller/Pulaski Counties line, between Hawkeye and Keethtown, in Miller County.
  • 1. FRANCIS MARION KEETH , 1864-1865 Francis was a son of John & Ruhama (Allen) Keeth, born in Edmonson Co., KY 1840; died in 1889; buried at Rankin Wright Cemetery. He married Sarah A. Smith-Shelton in 1864.
  • 2. JOHN R. KEETH, 1871-1877 John was a son of John & Ruhama (Allen) Keeth; born in Edmonson Co., Ky in 1825; he died in Miller County (date not found) and is probably buried in Rankin Wright Cemetery. He married (1) Catherine Whittle in 1847 and (2) Susannah Dean in 1873.
  • 3. ANDERSON KEETH, 1887-1890 Anderson was a son of John and Catherine (Whittle) Keeth, born in Miller County in 1848. He died in 1921 and is buried at Alder Springs Cemetery. Married Martha E. Smith in 1869. NOTE: He owned and operated the Hawkeye store which was located on this land during the years he lived on this farm.
  • 4. SOLOMON KEETH, 1891-1897 He was a son of John & Ruhama (Allen) Keeth, born in Edmonson Co., KY in 1837; died in 1937 and is buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery. He married Mary Ellen Bourne/Boren in 1856.
  • 5. WILLIAM R. KEETH, 1896-1896 (owned part of the land) He was a son of John & Catherine (Whittle) Keeth; born about 1865 in Miller County. His middle name was Riley. Do not know when he died nor where he is buried. He married Mary E. Thomas, daughter of Cornelius, in 1888.
  • In the 1900 census of Miller County, Richwoods Township, Andrew Jackson (Jack) Keeth and his wife, Mary Jane, were living in the same area as the property described above. They may have been living on the same property. Their nearest neighbors were the families of Barton, Pemberton, Wall, Plemmons, Meredith, Smith, Brumley, and Long.

  • In their home were the following children:
  • 1. Pearly b. 1890
  • 2. Mary M. b. 1892
  • 3. Cora A. b. 1895
  • 4. William H. b. 1897
  • 5. Bessie E. b. 1900 (she died in 1901).
  • Another child had been born to Andrew and Mary but was deceased by the 1900 census. In the census record it stated 5 of 6 children were still living. Some of this information was given me by Orville Keeth who now lives on the property listed above in Richwoods Township. I researched and added some additional information about the Keeth families.


    A few weeks ago a little lady in the Eldon area died at the age of 104 years. Had she lived until June she would have been 105 years old......she was one of those rare persons who lived in three different centuries.....born in 1895; lived the complete one hundred years of the 1900s and then for a short while in year 2000.

    Cora Anna Keeth-Meredith was from two Miller County pioneer families------ the Keeth family who came to Miller County in the 1840s from Edmonson County, Kentucky and the Thomas family who were natives of Virginia. I know more about the Keeth family's history because I am a descendant from the same family as Cora Anna and have done more research over the years with their history and lineages. I am sure Cora Anna was proud of her heritage which extended back to the English ancestors who came to America in the 1700s.

    I will record the history of her parents.....Andrew Jackson Keeth (1866-1956) and Mary Jane Thomas (1872-1944) who married in Miller County on August 8, 1889, the marriage performed by Rev. Allen J. Henderson. Andrew Jackson Keeth was a son of Solomon Keeth and Mary Ellen Bourne/Boren.

  • They became parents of a large family including:
  • 1. Pearley Keeth 1890-1979, m. Ollie Shelton 1912
  • 2. Burley Keeth 1891-1892
  • 3. Mary Maggie Keeth 1892-1988, m. Milford Wright
  • 4. Cora Anna Keeth 1895-2000, m. James Clint Meredith 1916
  • 5. William Henry Keeth 1897-1932, m. Blanche Moneymaker 1917
  • 6. Bessie Ellen Keeth 1900-1901
  • 7. Edward Asbury Keeth 1902-1988, m. Ella Pemberton 1926
  • 8. Lula May Keeth 1904-1998, m. O. C. Gilliam
  • 9. Oma Keeth 1907-1993, m. William A. Pemberton 1925
  • 10. Gladys Keeth 1909-1993, m. Logan Pemberton 1926
  • 11. Andrew Allen Keeth 1911-1998, m. Zella Lawrence
  • 12. Helen Keeth 1914-1914
  • Mary Jane Thomas was a daughter of William R. Thomas who was born in November 1838. Census records state he was born in Missouri but I think he was probably a native of either Virginia or East Tennessee. There is no record of the Thomas family in the 1880 census of Miller County so I would presume they did not move to the county until after that year. William and his family were living in Camden County, MO prior to moving east to Miller County. Another family, whose head of household was Cornelius Thomas, were living in Richwoods Township in 1880 and he may have been a brother to William R. Thomas. Perhaps William came to Miller County from Camden County because his brother's family had already settled in the area. The identity of William's two wives is not known although family members believe the first was a Mace.

  • He had at least 6 children by the two wives including:
  • 1. Cornelius Wilkins Thomas b. 1868
  • 2. George Thomas b._____
  • 3. daughter (name unknown) b._____
  • 4. Mary Jane Thomas b. 1872, m. Andrew Jackson Keeth 1889
  • 5. Charles Thomas b. 1875 (never married)
  • 6. Asbury Ambrose Thomas b. 1877, m Martha W. Whittle 1896
  • Andrew Jackson Keeth was the 4th child born to Solomon Keeth (1839-1913) and Mary Ellen Boren (1837-1927).

  • The children were:
  • 1. Mary Ann Keeth b. 1857, m. James B. Whittle 1878
  • 2. Sarah Jane Keeth b. 1859, m. Asa Shelton 1874
  • 3. Lucinda Catherine Keeth b. 1861, m. Levi Allen 1880, m.Alfred Abbott 1881
  • 4. Andrew Jackson Keeth b. 1866, m. Mary Jane Thomas 1889
  • 5. George W. Keeth b. 1868, m. Martha E. Plemmons 1895
  • 6. Nancy Caroline Keeth b. 1870, m. Anderson Allen 1886
  • 7. Lucy/Mary F. Keeth b. 1873, m. James M. Sloan 1891
  • 8. John Wm. Keeth b. 1875, m. Mary E. Wood 1897
  • 9. Fanny Ellen Keeth b. 1879, m. Charles Andrew Carroll 1899
  • 10. Harriett Emma Keeth b. 1882, m. Albion Knowles 1902
  • Note: 2 children died in infancy

    Andrew Jackson Keeth and Mary Jane (Thomas) Keeth are buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in southwest Richwoods Township. They have 3 young children buried there and also Mary's father, William R. Thomas, was buried there in 1904 when he died at the age of 71 years. William has a military stone at his gravesite because he was a Civil War soldier and served as a corporal in Company M of the 3rd Missouri Cavalry. He also served in Co. B, Osage Co. Regiment of the Missouri Home Guard. Andrew Jackson's parents, Solomon and Mary Ellen (Boren) Keeth, are buried at the Rankin Wright/Spearman cemetery which is located in the same vicinity as Pleasant Hill in southern Richwoods Township.

    NOTE: Solomon was also a Civil War soldier and has a military-issued gravestone in Rankin Wright Cemetery. He served in Company H of the Missouri 6th Cavalry.


    My Amazing Old Friend From Years Past

    I walked up the pathway to her door on a Sunday afternoon in February 1984 and my heartstrings gave a twitch as I remembered other days of long ago when a little girl ran down the hill along another pathway to a kitchen door and waited for her friend to let her in. In 1984 I was waiting for her to answer her door in her modest little home in Versailles, Missouri. This day I was waiting for that same old friend to once again open the door and let me in after many years of absence.


    The same wonderful gleam sparkled in her eyes when she realized who was standing outside her home. Nora Whittle Keeth had reached her 101st year of life in 1984 and I sat with her for three hours and listened to her talk of her life, which had spanned many decades. I remembered the scriptures which reminds us in Psalms 90:10 that God has only promised us "three score and ten years and if our days are numbered more, then we should apply our hearts to wisdom". With such wisdom, Nora Whittle Keeth had walked and talked with God heart to heart and she was called His friend.

    Her heritage is easy for me to record because it is the same as my own. We are both descended from good Kentucky pioneer stock and our common ancestry was one we both shared with pride. A few years prior to 1984 I had traveled back to Edmonson County, Kentucky and there I delved into the old land grants, probate and marriage records, discovering our Whittle-Keeth ancestors and our pioneer heritage in the Green River country of central Kentucky.

    Our common ancestors were Joseph and Susannah (Kinser) Whittle and John and Ruhama (Allen) Keeth, all living in Edmonson County in the early 19th century. They were farmers who homesteaded in the Green River Valley circa 1825. For a number of years they continued living in that area, but around 1845, the 'westward movement fever' evidently hit all these venturesome ancestors and they started looking for a new valley to descend or a new mountain to climb. They came to Missouri in covered wagons, bringing all their families and earthly belongings where they settled near one another in the southwest part of the Big Richwoods of Miller County.

    They continued to marry within the same family circle over the years. My ancestor, John Levi Whittle, married Nancy Jane Keath/Keeth and Nora's ancestor, Peter J. Whittle married Serilda Hoskins. John Levi and Peter J. were sons of Joseph and Susannah (Kinser) Whittle. Nancy Jane Keeth was a daughter of John and Ruhama (Allen) Keeth. This is the ancestral bond that Nora and I had in common.

    Peter J. Whittle (1836-1910) and Serilda Ann Hoskins (1836-1917) were Nora's grandparents. She told me she could remember them so vividly. Her grandmother was a "fair-haired Irish lady with a high temper; clean as a pin; and ruled the roost!" Her grandfather was a quiet, soft-spoken man who loved to till the earth and spent many years as a farmer. Peter J. Whittle was also a Justice of the Peace in Richwoods Township and performed many marriages over the years. Peter and Serilda Whittle parented eleven children between 1856-1878 including: JOHN A., JAMES B., GEORGE C, ROBERT D., MARGARET, MARY, ALBERT E., LEVI F., MARTHA A., NANCY E., AND HENRY V. All their children were given middle initials but no names....... Nora's father was the second son, James B. Whittle (1857-1938). Her mother was Mary Ann Keeth (1857-1938), daughter of Solomon Keeth and Mary Ellen Bourne/Boren. Solomon Keeth was a son of John and Ruhama (Allen) Keeth and Mary Ellen Bourne was a daughter of Wm. H . Bourne, a native of Virginia. The nine children of Solomon and Mary Ellen Keeth were SARAH J., LUCINDA C., ANDREW JACKSON, GEORGE WASHINGTON, LUCY F., JOHN W., FANNIE E., HARRIETT E., and Nora's mother, MARY ANN.

    James B. Whittle married Mary Ann Keeth in October 1878 and over the years they became parents of twelve children: Thomas Henry Whittle b. 1879, John Logan Whittle b. 1880; Lenora/Nora Whittle b. 1883; Arthur M. Whittle b. 1884, James E. Whittle b. c/1887; Cora I. Whittle b. 1889; Wm. Robert Whittle b. 1891; Everett Whittle b. 1892; Dora Mae Whittle b. 1894; Flora Whittle b. 1895; George Washington Whittle b. 1898, Elmer Whittle b. after 1900. Lenora/Nora was the first daughter and the third child of James and Mary Ann, born 6 Jan 1883 in Richwoods Township in southern Miller County. On that January day, 124 years ago, Nora came into the world in a ferocious snowstorm. Her father had to trudge through deep snow banks, leading a horse to fetch the midwife (a Mrs. Griffin) to assist in her birth. They made it back in time and Nora was born in an old 3-room log house that sat in the Pleasant Hill community near the present home of Gene and Beryl Whittle. She remembered well the home where she was born with its wood fireplace and over the years, they lived in other log houses in the same community. She told me that they moved away "every time the cracks got filled up between the logs".

    Her formal schooling was very limited because as the oldest daughter of eleven children, she was needed at home to assist her mother. But you would never have believed it that day as I spoke with her...she was very intelligent and one would think she was highly educated.....this was the amazing accomplishment of a self-taught woman. She had some wonderful memories of her school days even though they were few and one in particular was delightful...On her first day of school, about 1888-89, she and her cousin, Frances Hyle, were walking together to the old Madden Country School. Along the way the conversation got to the subject of their mothers. One said, "my mother can cook better than your mother"...No, she can't"...."My mother is prettier than your mother"..."No, she ain't" and here the fight really began! They started scrapping and tumbling all over the trail and had to be separated. When their teacher, John Martin, learned of this little episode, he brought them before the class and said, "You must now tell the truth, become friends again, kiss and make up!". Nora stomped her foot, refused to kiss her cousin, and said, "I ain't a doin' it cause my mama is the prettiest!".

    By the ago of 6 years, her mother had taught her to sew and to operate the old spinning wheel. This skill of sewing and spinning had been her 'second life' over the years. She worked for the neighbor ladies in her younger life cleaning, cooking, and sewing when she used the old-fashioned, foot and hand pump sewing machines and made many, many garments over the years for her brothers and sisters and later for her own children. She did not do much cooking at home while growing up, but remembered one of her chores was the 'clean-up' after a meal. One time she remembered while washing the dishes she got careless and left a dish to soak in the dishpan so she could go outside and play. When her mother discovered she had not finished the job, she called her to the kitchen door and threw the dishwater on her! Nora laughed and said "that was the worse whipping I ever got." Nora said she only received one spanking from the hand of her father. After she had helped put the dinner on the table one evening, she ran back to the spinning wheel where she was still learning to spin. In the process her little sister, Dora Mae, spilled the whole table of food onto the floor. Her father thought it was Nora who had upset the table in her haste to return to the spinning wheel, so he got a hickory switch and gave her a tap or two. She said that when he learned it was not her fault, he sat down and "cried like a baby".

    In her early teenage years, she left home and worked in Dixon at an old rooming house called "The Cottage". It was a three-storied hotel and was used by 'traveling men' or drummers who rode the train into Dixon and canvassed the area selling their wares during the day. They generally arrived in town on a night train, sought sleeping rooms overnight, and worked the vicinity the next day. Nora was one of the cooks who prepared breakfast for these 'traveling men'. This was about the turn of the new century (1900). It was during those years that she purchased her beautiful old Crown pump organ, which was standing in a corner of the living room in her little home in Versailles when I visited her in 1984. It had traveled with her over the years from that old Dixon hotel; to her parents home in southwest Miller County; after her marriage to her own home in the Pleasant Hill community; later to her home in Iberia; and finally to her home in Versailles.

    She wanted the old pump organ so much, but was only earning $3.00 per week working at 'The Cottage'. One of the traveling drummers told her if she paid $16.00 down, he would take it to her home and she could pay a small amount at a time until it was paid for. She sent it back home to her parent's farm so her sisters could learn to play and they all did indeed learn to pump out beautiful music on its keys. When I saw it the last time in 1984, it was in the original state, beautifully hand-carved, displaying pictures of her family from its shining mantle shelves.

    On 9 December 1907, Nora married Thomas Newton Keeth (b. 26 Jan. 1875 d. 23 Jun 1960) at the home of her parents in the Pleasant Hill community. Louis Moneymaker, a minister of the gospel, performed their marriage ceremony that December day which is now 100 years ago. Before their marriage, Thomas/Tom Keeth had bought a farm in the same vicinity approximately five miles southwest of Iberia. He and his stepmother, Mary Moneymaker Keeth, the second wife of "Big Jim" Keeth, had the house 'all fixed up' for his new bride before their wedding day and they moved in on the day they wed. The house was a three room log house with one room downstairs, one room upstairs, and 'one on the side'. All their children were born in their log home including Lewis, Lela, Ruby, Lester, and Harold Robert (who died in infancy). Lester is still alive today, living in Pueblo, Colorado. He calls me often and it is such a pleasure to talk with him. He is much like his mother and loves to reminisce about his days growing up on their farm near Pleasant Hill and the little house where they lived in Iberia.

    Big Jim Keeth, father to Tom, was a woodcutter and worked for a time in the big timber region of Howell County, Missouri. All the Keeth men were skilled woodworkers and wood carvers, while the Whittle men were farmers, readers, writers, etc. She and Tom's heritage was diversified and it is no surprise that Nora was a self-taught reader and a marvelous writer-poet. When I left her Versailles home on that cold February day in 1984, she gave me a little booklet of poems she had written called "Priceless Joys, A Collection of Short Poems". What a treasure they were and I still have the booklet in my home today.

    Sometime in the time era of 1923-24, they left their farm and moved into Iberia. Their children finished their school years at Iberia's elementary school and then each entered the Iberia Academy. Their older daughter, Lela, taught at the Academy for a year after her graduation.

    Prior to and during the depression years of the 20's and 30's, Nora got a 'sewing help' job in the Iberia area. There she supervised a sewing circle of employees, teaching them needlecrafts. She also gave sewing lessons to many of the country schoolteachers, teaching them to make their own clothes. At one time, she taught sewing in the Odd Fellows Hall in Iberia and taught many to make robes.

    She remembered well the day Iberia's downtown area was burned and destroyed in April 1939. She and others were working in the W.P.A. Sewing Room, which was located in the old Rowden Hotel on Main Street. This building was one of the casualties of that devastating fire. This ended her teaching of sewing skills. The W.P.A. Sewing Room was not rebuilt so she conducted her life as a private seamstress for many years following the fire. She also recalled the days she spent rebinding and repairing old school books from all the area schools. That was quite an art in those days, hand-binding and repairing books, which had seen many years of use by students of Miller County.

    Another of her pleasant memories revolved around her country church home, the Pleasant Hill Christian Church. At age 19, in 1902, she taught a 'singing school' at that old church for grownups and children alike. They had no musical instruments in the church so she used a tuning fork and wonderful melodies could be heard ringing across the countryside as she taught them the beautiful songs of Zion and how to sing in harmony.

    At the age of 101 years, in 1984, Nora Whittle Keeth was a remarkable specimen of good 'pioneer heritage traditions'. Her family all lived to an advanced age. Four of the eleven children born to her parents were still living in 1984. Dora Whittle Lockwood, age 90, was living in Kansas; Flora Whittle Huff, age 88, Elmer Whittle, age 97, and Lenora/Nora Whittle Keeth, age 101 years, were all living in Versailles, Morgan County, MO. Longevity was a blessing in this family and I might add also, that she was related to Mr. Hite Boren of Hawkeye (Pulaski County) who lived to be over 100 years old. It was such a pleasure and privilege to interview 'Uncle Hite' before his death and to write the story of his life also. They all shared ancestral lineage in the Boren family of North Carolina.

    Deeply religious, her church and its people were a mainstay in her life. Nora read her Bible daily; attended church functions regularly; wrote poetry; took trips on the OATS bus; did her own cooking; and worked her needlepoint "when I can get my needle threaded".

    Visiting her on that Sunday afternoon in February 1984 was one of the most inspirational experiences I have ever encountered in my life. The years melted away and again I was back in her neat little home in Iberia being hid behind the kitchen door from my mother to escape the punishment I so richly deserved! That was our special secret and a memory that I will treasure always.

    Lenora/Nora Whittle Keeth died in November of 1984, just nine months after I visited her in February 1984. She was placed beside her husband, Thomas Newton Keeth, at the Pleasant Hill Church Cemetery where they had begun their married life in 1907. When I visit the old country cemetery I always go to Nora's gravesite and tell her what a moving experience she gave me when I was a child and onward into my adult life. I wish I could spend another afternoon with her so she could tell me some more of her fantastic stories.


    Solomon Keeth was born in September 1837 in Edmonson Co., Kentucky. He was a son of John Keeth Sr. and his second wife, Ruhama (Allen). John Keeth Sr. was born circa 1775 in Virginia (perhaps Montgomery County). The Keeth family (the name originally spelled Keith--later Keath-and finally Keeth) were natives of Scotland. In the mid 1600s, a man named Sir Robert Keith lived in Aberdeen, Scotland and some of his descendants came to America in the 18th century and settled in Virginia. There is no definite proof that John Keeth Sr. was a descendant of Sir Robert, but there is the strong possibility he was.......

    John Keath Sr. married Mary/Polly Allen (daughter of Stephen & Sarah (Radford) Allen) on January 14, 1813.

  • They were parents of 4 children:
  • l. Margaret Keeth b. 1815, m. John Bastin
  • 2. Stephen Keeth b. 1817, m. Mahala Backlidge
  • 3. _____Keeth b. 1819
  • 4. James Keeth b. 1820, m. Lucinda Hand in Edmonson Co., KY
  • After Mary's death, John then married her younger sister, Ruhama Allen, in Warren Co., KY on November 23, 1820.

  • They became parents of several more children including:
  • 1. Andrew J. Keeth b. 1824, m. Libby Charlton 10 Feb 1845-Miller Co., MO
  • 2. John Keeth Jr b. 1825, m. Catherine Whittle 6 Oct 1847-Miller Co., MO
  • 3. _____Keeth b. 1827
  • 4. Sarah Keeth b. 1829, m. Joshua Cochran 7 Jul 1846-Miller Co., MO
  • 5. Nancy Jane Keeth b. 1832, m. l-John Levi Whittle 2 Jan 1850-Miller Co, MO
  • 2-Thos. Owen Workman 1865-Miller Co., MO
  • 6. Daniel Keeth b. 1834, m. Susan E. Hoskins 3 Mar 1854-Miller Co., MO
  • 7. Solomon Keeth b. 1837, m. Mary E. Bourne 14 May 1856-Miller Co, MO
  • 8. Francis Marion Keeth b. 1840, m. Sarah A. Smith-Shelton 7 Mar 1864-Miller Co,
  • 9. Lucinda Keeth b. 1844, m. Alexander Long 14 Apr 1864-Miller Co., MO
  • John Keath died in Edmonson Co., KY and did not make the trip to Missouri with the Keeth families. Ruhama came along with her children and lived the rest of her life in Richwoods Township of southern Miller County. The Whittle family also came in the same group of immigrants from Edmonson County, Ky. The two families intermarried in the mid 19th century and have continued to remain close-knit to our day. There is no record of Ruhama's death, but family members believe she is buried at the old Rankin Wright/Spearman Cemetery which is located near where the Keeth and Whittle families homesteaded in the late 1840s. Ruhama was still alive in the 1860 census and was living in what today is known as the Pleasant Hill Community. She was 64 years old in that census and still had 3 children still living at home. There were two girls in her home named Lucinda Keeth.....I believe one was a daughter and the other was a granddaughter.

    Solomon Keeth, the 11th child of John Keeth Sr., married Mary Ellen Bourne in Miller County on May 14, 1856. I believe the name Bourne was the same as the Boren family in the area today. In early records I found the name spelled BOURNE and later was changed to BOREN. I have not been able to definitely prove that Mary Ellen was a daughter of Mary B. Bourne but I think she was her child. Mary B. Bourne married John R. Keith in Miller County on March 12, 1858. She was about 43 years old at the time and I think she had several children by her first husband, Mr. Bourne (first name not found).

  • Through census research I think her children were:
  • 1. Zachariah Bourne b. c/1837 VA, m. Harriett________
  • 2. Mary Ellen Bourne b. 1839 VA, m Solomon Keeth 1856-Miller Co., MO
  • 3. Edward Bourne b. 1845 VA, m.__________
  • 4. Charles P. Bourne b. 1849 MO m. Nancy Jane Goodall 1864
  • 5. William L. Bourne b.1852 MO m. Elmira Shelton 1869
  • 6. Virginia F. Bourne b. 1854 MO m. Newton C. Murray 1868
  • 7. Harriett F. Bourne b. 1856 MO m._________
  • NOTE: I think there were two other children born to Mary B. Bourne and her lst husband:
  • 8. Emily B. Bourne b. 1843 VA m. Daniel Jackson Thompson 1858
  • 9. James Bourne b. 1834 NC m. Mary Catherine Setser.
  • James Bourne and his wife, Mary Catherine were living in northern Pulaski Co. (near the settlement later known as Hawkeye) during the 1860 census. His name was spelled BOURNE just as the other family members in Miller County. Later his name was changed to BOREN and he reared his family near old Hawkeye. His son, James Hite Boren, died in the early 1980s at the age of 102 years. I visited with him on several occasions before his death and his mind was wonderfully clear. He had gone blind, but it did not interfere with his vivid memories. Solomon Keeth served in the Civil War with the Union Army. He was in Company H of the 6th Missouri Cavalry. His Civil War gravestone is located in Rankin Wright/Spearman cemetery. The old cemetery was first called Rankin Wright because it was on land owned by an old Confederate soldier named Wm. Rankin Wright. When a group of folks inventoried Miller County cemeteries in the early 1970s, they gave it the name "Spearman" because so many members of that family are buried there.

    Solomon and Mary Ellen were parents of 12 children (per the 1900 Miller County census).

  • The ones I found record of are:
  • 1. Mary Ann Keeth b. 24March 1857 m. James B. Whittle 13 Oct 1878
  • 2. Sarah Jane Keeth b. 28 Feb 1859 m. Asa Shelton 8 Oct 1874
  • 3. Lucinda Catherine Keeth b. 2 Mar 186l m. Levi Allen 1880
  • 4. Andrew Jackson Keeth 30 Apr 1866 m. Mary Jane Thomas 8 Aug 1889
  • 5. George Wm. Keeth b. 31 May 1868 m. Martha E. Plemmons 27 Apr 1895
  • 6. Nancy Caroline Keeth b. c/1870-71 m. Anderson Allen 31 Oct 1886 Note: She must have died as a young woman because Anderson Allen married
  • Mahala Eliz. Keeth (dau. of John R. & Mary (Shelton) Keeth) on Sep. 8, 1893.
  • 7. Lucy Frances Keeth b. 27 Dec 1873 m. James M. Sloan 27 Sep 1891
  • 8. John Wm. Keeth b. 24 Feb 1875 m. Mary E. Wood 21 Jan 1896
  • 9. Fanny Ellen Keeth b. 20 Dec 1879 m. Charles Andrew Carroll 26 Nov 1899
  • 10. Harriett Emma Keeth b. 5 Apr 1882 m. Albion Knowles 17 Sep 1902
  • NOTE: Two other children must have died in infancy or early childhood.

    Solomon and Mary Ellen are both buried at Rankin Wright cemetery. She died on December 11, 1927 at the advanced age of 88 years. Solomon died 14 years earlier on June 8, 1913 at the age of 76 years. His tombstone is a government issued Civil War stone and only has his name and military information listed. They are resting side by side in the old cemetery that has been in existence for almost 150 years.

    NOTE: Members of the Keeth family are buried in both the Pleasant Hill and Rankin Wright cemeteries of southern Richwoods Township. I am a board member of the Rankin Wright Cemetery Association and secretary/treasurer of the Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association. Since I have many ancestors buried in both cemeteries, I will always have a special interest in both cemeteries.


    BIRD KELSAY was born in March 1853 near High Point in Moniteau Co., MO. He was a son of James Johnson Kelsay and Lucinda Jane Hale, early settlers of central Missouri. James Kelsay was one of five Kelsay men who came to the Moniteau/Morgan counties area and settled in the late 1820's and early 30's.

    Hugh Kelsay Sr., perhaps the father of the other four men, was in the area in 1825 (per Goodspeed's 1889 History). They settled on Moreau creek about 6 miles east of present-day Versailles and the area became known as the "Kelsay Settlement". James Kelsay, father of Bird, was a farmer, a gunsmith, and blacksmith by trade. It is reputed that he built some of the first wagons that crossed the American desert in the westward movement.

  • Bird was one of several children born to James J. and Lucinda (Hale) Kelsay including:
  • 1. Harmon Kelsay 1850-1903 m. Nancy Louisa Swanson 1875
  • 2. Bird Kelsay 1855-1940 m. Rosetta Alice Jones 1883
  • 3. William Kelsay b. 1857 m. Martha Washington Livingston 1884.
  • 4. Nancy Kelsay b. 1863 m. Absolem E. McComb 1884
  • 5. Jennie Kelsay b. 1865 m. Samuel L. Payne 1886
  • 6. John Kelsay b. 1870 m. Clora McGorder 1894
  • 7. Reuben Kelsay b. 1874 m. _____________________
  • By 1880, Lucinda Jane Kelsay was a widow and was living in Miller County in Equality Township near the families of Lawson, Birdsong, Walker, Scott, Dobson, Brockman, Burris and Goodrich. Evidently James Johnson Kelsay had died sometime between 1874 and 1880. I do not know if he died before or after the family moved to Miller County from Moniteau County.

    Bird Kelsay, son of James and Lucinda, married Rosetta Alice Jones in Miller County in Miller County on 3 June 1883. Their marriage was performed by Wm. H. Payne, minister of the gospel. Rosetta/Rosa was a daughter of Adolphus Jones and Betharbra Dobson and was born in November 1866 in Marian County, Illinois. Her paternal grandparents were Alfred and Sarah Jones, natives of Virginia. Aldolphus and Bethabra had least 6 children and perhaps more, all born in Illinois.

  • The children were:
  • 1. James A. Jones b. 1865
  • 2. William J. Jones b. 1866
  • 3. Rosetta Alice Jones b. 1866 (perhaps a twin to William) m. Bird Kelsay 1883
  • 4. Judith Frances Jones b. 1873 m. Elmer Evans 1889
  • 5. John Wesley Jones b. 1874 m. Nettie Kilgore 1898
  • 6. Walter J. Jones b. 1879 m. Rosa Kays 1900
  • After Bird married Rosetta, they lived in the Bear creek area where he became a blacksmith. Over the years he continued his profession in Tuscumbia, Bagnell, and Eldon. Bird became a Baptist deacon at the age of 28 years in 1883 and was one of the members of the original board of deacons of the Eldon Baptist Church.

    Over the years, Bird and Rosetta became parents of four children, three daughters and one son.

  • They were:
  • 1. Ida Brooks Kelsay b. March 1884 m. John Henry Koenig
  • 2. Olive J. Kelsay b. Feb. 1889 m. O. W. Holloway
  • 3. Adophus J. Kelsay b. Aug. 1893 m. Mary __________
  • 4. ____(dau.) ______ b. m. James Wright
  • Bird Kelsay lived to reach the age of 85 years when he died in July 1940 at Eldon where the family had lived for some time. He was buried at Eldon Cemetery where several other members of the Kelsay family are buried.


    John Herman Kempker married Gertrude Kirkweg on 24 March 1900 in Miller County, Mo. The marriage was performed by Charles J. Putz, Catholic Priest.

    John Herman Kempker was a son of John Herman Kempker Sr. (1834-1914) and Anna Gesina Borgmann (1841-1908), both born in Holland. According to records found, John Herman Sr. was born near the town of Van Sweetin, Holland.

  • The children of John Herman and Anna Gesina (Borgmann) Kempker were:
  • 1. John Bernard Kempker 1867-1938 m. Mary Elizabeth (Hake) Lepper in 1889 (He was born in Holland) (She was the widow of Stephen Lepper)
  • 2. John Herman Kempker 1870-1923 m. Gertrude Kirkweg 24 Mar 1900
  • 3. John Henry Kempker 1873-1965 m. Sophia Lepper 1898
  • 4. Mary Margaret Kempker b. 1874 m. Joseph Busche 1894
  • 5. Anna Adeline Kempker b. 1876 m. Gerhard/George Hake 1897
  • 6. Gerhard/Geo. Kempker 1879-1958 m. Agnes Mary Mormann 1904
  • 7. Mary E./Mamie Kempker 1882-1966 m. Frank M. Groose 1905
  • John Herman and Anna Gesina (Borgmann) Kempker came to America about 1868 when their oldest son, John Bernard, was about a year old. They settled in Cole County, MO near the small town of Taos. Bernard Heinrich/Henry and Anna M. Kempker, the parents of John Herman, also came to America as well as his two brothers (John Bernard and John Henry). They all settled near each other in Cole County. John Herman Kempker (1870-1923) came to Miller County where he married Gertrude Kirkweg on 24 March 1900. Her Kirkweg family lived east of the Osage river in the St. Elizabeth area.

  • The children of John Herman and Gertrude included:
  • 1. Francis/Frank Kempker b. 1902 m. Coelista Lootens 1926
  • 2. Stephen Kempker b. 1904 m. Mathilda Levan 1927
  • 3. Catherine Kempker b. 1907 m. Richard Schulte 1929
  • 4. Mayme Kempker b. 1911 m. Francis Schulte 1931
  • 5. Bernard Kempker b. 1911 m._________________ (twin to Mayme)
  • 6. Emma Kempker b. 1913 m. Hubert Schmidt 1935
  • 7. Regina Kempker b. 1918 m. Victor Morff 1939
  • 8. Elizabeth Kempker b. 1921 m. Norbert Gerling 1946
  • NOTE: I am not sure if all the marriages shown for the children of Herman and Gertrude are correct. I tried to determine them from the Marys Home History Book. Most of the family of John Herman and Gertrude (Kirkweg) Kempker are buried at Our Lady of the Snows cemetery in Mary's Home.


    Jesse Kendrick was one of the earliest settlers in Miller County. On 16 April 1839 he received a Certificate of Entry from the U.S. Government for 40 acres in the Southeast quarter of the Northwest quarter of Sec. 10, Twp. 40, Range 14, which today is located in the west part of the town of Tuscumbia. Jesse entered this parcel of land in 1837. Shut-In Branch ran east and south through his 40 acres emptying into the Osage River just a little northeast of Tuscumbia's city park.

    Evidently Jesse Kendrick came to Miller County alone with only his old slave, Reuben, as his companion. In Miller County's 1840 census, Jesse was enumerated living in Equality Township with no one listed in his household. Reuben, being a slave, would not have been counted as a joint resident in Jesse's home. The neighbors of Jesse in 1840 were Aaron Roberts, Josiah Birdsong, Hiram M. Williams, John Francis, and Noah Hudson. These families did not live very close to one another in those years. Often, miles separated the nearest neighbors.

    Per Goodspeed's 1889 History, Jesse Kendrick settled near and built the first house at the Tuscumbia site. His home, probably built of logs, was near Shut-In Branch. While living in the area, he served as a Justice and settled several disputes among his neighbors. Called Squire Kendrick, he held his Justice court at his home and was known to level fines against several who could not settle their differences any other way! He performed 4 marriages in 1838 in his role as a Justice of the Peace. Jesse also opened a grocery store, dram shop, and saloon at the site of Tuscumbia. His business ventures were second only to the Harrison brothers who had built a trading post at the site of Old Tuscumbia in the early 1830s.

    On October 7, 1839, Jesse wrote out his last will & testament which was witnessed by John Brockman and W. H. McDonald. In 1843 Jesse bequeathed his 9 children the following; Sarah Kendrick Reaves $50---Nancy Kendrick Downy $50---Rebecca Kendrick Bevens $50-- -Allen Kendrick $50---Harriett Kendrick Ticer $100---Carroll Kendrick $25---Jincy Matilda Kendrick $100---Caroline Kendrick $100---and Maime D. Kendrick, all the remaining part of his estate. At his death, Jesse's old slave, Reuben, was given his freedom along with his gun and all the property he owned. It would be interesting to know if Reuben had any personal or real property to claim when he received his freedom in 1843. When Jesse died in 1843 (probably about the age of 60 years), Reuben, buried him on the banks of Shut-In Creek. He marked the grave and tended it the rest of his life. The old gravestone stood for many years, but eventually floods along the Osage River caused the waters to back up into the Shut-In and the gravesite vanished from sight. No one today knows for sure where Jesse's grave is located.

    John L. West was appointed Administrator of Jesse's estate and on August 2, 1847, he sold 40 acres to John and Nancy Brumley for $85.50. The land had been viewed and appraised in April 1847 by A. J. Burnett, Joel Thacker, & William Wilson and they had placed a value of $140 on the property. The Brumley's purchased the land for almost half what it had been appraised. I do not believe Jesse Kendrick has descendants living in Miller County today. There was a descendant in Springfield, MO a few years ago. Of his nine children, it is likely none ever lived in Miller County but had ventured elsewhere over the years of the mid 19th century.


    Mary Anna Belle Kershner was born in Michigan on April 7, 1871. She was a daughter of James Addison Kershner and his first wife, Sarah Amanda Schnorf. James was a carpenter by trade and evidently moved into the Miller/Maries counties area of central Missouri in the early 1880s. I believe there were at least four children of James and Sarah Amanda (Schnorf) who came to Missouri with him including: SARAH A. KERSHNER 1869-1887; MARY ANNA BELLE KERSHNER 1871-1930 m. George W. Patterson in 1887; CHARLES H. KERSHNER 1874-1887); and WILLIAM MARION KERSHNER 1867-1923 m. Laura Jeannette Shelton in 1888. (William and Laura later moved to Oklahoma).

    Note: Charles and Sarah Kershner died 35 days apart in 1887. He was 13 years old and Sarah was 18 years of age. They are both buried at Strickland Cemetery in western Maries County, located near the Little Tavern creek. On Sarah's grave- stone is engraved "Today was to be my wedding day".

    I do not know when or where James' first wife (Sarah) died. About 1880, James married Hattie (Hughes) Patterson, widow of George R. Patterson. They probably married in the state of Illinois because according to Mary Anna Belle's obituary, it stated they moved to Illinois from Michigan in 1874 and then moved to Texas in 1882. By 1884, they had moved to central Missouri. They made all these moves by wagon and team.........

    If James married Hattie in 1880, they must have been living somewhere in Illinois. James Kershner (1841-1922) and Hattie Hughes-Patterson-Kershner (1836-1925) were living in eastern Miller County during the 1900 census with their children, George and Mary (Kershner) Patterson. Some of their neighbors during the 1900 census were the families of Boyd, Armstead, Sooter, Brandon, Hickey, Lawson, Whitaker, and Woody. According to obituary records, Hattie was a native of Sciota County, Ohio, a daughter of Jonathan Hughes.

    Mary Anna Belle Kershner married her step-brother, George W. Patterson, in Miller County on 28 December 1887. She was 16 years old and he was 22 when they married. Mary was one of four children born to James Kershner and his first wife, Sarah (Schnorf); George was one of four children born to Hattie (Hughes) and George Patterson, Sr. In 1900, they were the only surviving children of their parents.......

    Mary Anna Belle and George W. Patterson became parents of ten children including: LILLIE DELPHIA PATTERSON 1890-1950 m. Theodore Brandt; JAMES W. PATTERSON 1893-1918 (killed in World War I); MABEL A. PATTERSON b. 1895 m. Fred Curtman; GEORGE H. PATTERSON 1897-1967 m. Bertie E. Story; HARRY PAUL PATTERSON 1902-1996 m. Goldie Cross; VICTOR J. PATTERSON 1909-1949 m. (?); and 3 children died in infancy.

    Mary Anna Belle (Kershner) Patterson died on November 30, 1930 at the age of 59 years. Her funeral services were conducted by Rev. Charles M. Sooter and she was buried at Brays Union Cemetery. Her husband, George W. Patterson lived until 1943 when he died at the age of 78 years. He was buried beside Mary Anna Belle at Brays Union.


    Peter Kinder, Sr. was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania in the southwestern section of the state. When he was born, sometime prior to 1765, it was actually Westmoreland County because Washington County was not created until 1781. He was of German descent with the surname sometimes spelled Gunter/Guenter. Peter married Dolly See about 1778. It is believed she may have been his 3rd wife. The name of his first wife is not known and a second wife was identified as Levina. Peter was father to at least nine children. During the Revolutionary War, he served in the Washington County Militia, 2nd Company of the 5th Battalion under the command of Capt. Ezekiel Rose.

    Peter, Dolly, and their children moved into the new state of Kentucky in the early 1790s and settled in Shelby County, east of Louisville. In 1795 he purchased some land on "Bullskin creek, a branch of Brashears creek" and paid $100 English pounds for the acreage. For the next 31 years they lived on Bullskin creek; reared their children; and saw their grandchildren come along as the years passed by.

    In 1826, Peter Kinder sold his land to Jeremiah Anderson for $455.47, which was to be paid by March 1, 1829. Peter and Dolly moved to Montgomery Co., Indiana shortly thereafter to live with or near their sons and families who had moved there earlier, about 1825. In May 1827, Peter Kinder died in Indiana and his will (written 23 Jan.1827) was probated in Montgomery County at Crawfordsville. His wife, Dolly, continued to live with her sons and died there sometime after 1827.

  • The children of Peter Kinder were:
  • 1. Sarah Kinder m. John Booth c/1795
  • 2. Peter Kinder Jr. m. Elizabeth Cowan c/1800
  • 3. George Kinder m. Milly ___________
  • 4. Margaret Kinder m. Peter Smock 1802
  • 5. Mary Kinder m. John Barr 1803
  • 6. Martha Kinder m. Abijah Mettich 1806
  • 7. John Kinder m. Jane Melone 1808
  • 8. Jacob Kinder m. Nancy Shephard 1816
  • 9. Nancy Kinder m. Jesse Hicks 1816.
  • All these marriages were performed in Shelby Co., Kentucky.

    John Kinder was born circa 1780 in Pennsylvania, one of the older children of Peter and Dolly. John married Jane Melone in Shelby County, KY 11 November 1808. Jane was a daughter of Drury and Mary Melone (also spelled Millone) of Shelby County. Drury and his family appeared on the first tax list of Shelby County in 1792 owning 231 acres on Brashears creek, so they were an early Kentucky family also.

    After their marriage, John and Jane (in some records she was called Patsey) Kinder lived on 124 acres of land 'on the east bank of Bullskin creek'. They lived in Shelby County until about 1824/25 and at that time moved northwest to Montgomery County, Indiana on land John had bought in 1823. His brother, Jacob, also moved to Indiana and settled near John. By 1826, his parents sold their Kentucky farm and moved to Montgomery County as well.

    John and Jane/Patsey Kinder were parents of ten children per early census records, but since no probate has been found listing the names of heirs, only two children are known...William Kinder born 1815 and John Kinder Jr. born 1818. Both came to Miller County, MO in the late 1830s or early 40s.

    William Kinder, born in Shelby County, KY in 1815, came into Missouri territory and first settled on land in Pulaski County which is today located in southern Miller County. In 1835, he married Lydia Bilyeu in Illinois. She was a daughter of William and Diannah (Coker) Bilyeu of Miller County, formerly of Overton Co., Tennessee. He and Lydia were parents of 4 children: NANCY KINDER b. 1836; JOHN KINDER b. 1838, GREENUP KINDER b. 1841; and HUBBARD KINDER b. 1843. Lydia Bilyeu Kinder died in 1844 and the following year, on 27 May 1845, William married Lydia's younger sister, Julia Ann Bilyeu. William and Julia Ann had eight other children, six of whom were born in Linn Co., Oregon after 1852.

    There is no mention of John Kinder Jr. in Miller County records prior to his marriage in 1846. It is not known for sure if William and John came to central Missouri at the same time or if John may have followed his older brother at a later date.

    John Kinder Jr. married Didama Ruth Bilyeu in January 1846. In the Miller County census of 1850, the two Kinder families were living adjacent to one another in Richwoods Township. Didama Bilyeu was a daughter of Peter Bilyeu and Mary Jane Coker who lived in Miller County for awhile but in the early 1850s, moved off to Oregon and settled in Linn County, near Scio. They lived there until their deaths in the 1870s. Didama, their daughter, remained in Miller County when her parents, sisters, and brothers moved west to Oregon.

    NOTE: In 1990, I made a trip to Linn County, Oregon researching my Bilyeu and Kinder ancestors. I found information on the Bilyeu families, but did not have much luck locating the Kinder family. I visited Bilyeu Den Cemetery which overlooks the beautiful Willamette Valley of Linn County. I took several pictures of the tombstones of my ancestors that are buried there

  • John and Didama (Bilyeu) Kinder were parents of several children including:
  • 1. Peter Kinder 1847-1928 m. Harriett Lamb in Miller Co., MO
  • 2. Jenny Kinder b. 1848 m. James Brannon in Illinois
  • 3. Margaret Kinder (died young)
  • 4. Nancy Kinder b. 1852 m. James Dinkens in Illinois
  • 5. Sarah Kinder b. 1853 m. David Workman in Miller Co., MO
  • 6. Geo. Allen Kinder 1855-1938 m. (1) Vienna Hale in Miller Co., MO (2) Rebecca Howell in Oklahoma
  • 7.Rachel Eliz. Kinder 1856-1932 m. John Henry Wyrick 1878 in Miller Co., MO
  • 8. Celia Didama Kinder b. 1859 m. James Clemons Wyrick in Miller Co., MO
  • 9. Ruth Kinder b. 1860-1945 m. Jesse M. Topping in Miller Co., MO
  • 10. John Kinder Jr. 1864-1933 m. Luella Blize in Miller Co., MO
  • 11. James Leander Kinder 1867-1949 m. Alvina L. Martin in Oklahoma
  • John and Didama (Bilyeu) Kinder made several trips to Christian County, Illinois and it is possible that some of their children may have been born there. They permanently settled back in Christian County, IL after 1870. Some of their children remained in Miller County, MO and others reared their families in Christian Co. near the town of Stonington. John and Didama died in Christian County and are buried there.

    William and Julia (Bilyeu) Kinder moved with her Bilyeu family (William and Diannah (Coker) Bilyeu) to Oregon Territory in 1852 and remained there the rest of their lives. Today there are many descendants of the Kinder and Bilyeu families living in and near Linn Co., Oregon and various other places on the west coast.

    Rachel Elizabeth Kinder, daughter of John and Didama (Bilyeu) Kinder and the great grandmother of author, Peggy Smith Hake, was born in Miller County on 4 February 1856. She married John Henry Wyrick in Miller County on August 24, 1878. John Henry was a son of Chesley Nelson Wyrick and his wife, Lucinda (Wyrick), natives of Grainger County, Tennessee.

    Rachel (Kinder) and John Wyrick lived all their lives in Miller County, first in Glaize township near the small community of Ulman (once called Ulman's Ridge). Later they moved to southwest Richwoods Township and settled in the community known as Pleasant Hill. They are laid to rest, side by side, in the Pleasant Hill church cemetery overlooking the green meadows and rolling hillsides of the Big Richwoods.

  • The children of Rachel (called Betty) and John Wyrick were:
  • 1. Earnest Wyrick born & died 1879
  • 2. Perry Tolbert Wyrick 1880-1958 m. Carrie Gertrude Whittle
  • 3. Vernetta Amanda Wyrick 1883-1942 m. Anthony Cordell Martin
  • 4. Aretta Frances Wyrick 1885-1919 m. John Hendricks
  • 5. George Elmer Wyrick 1890-1975 m. (1) Leatha Shelton
  • (2) Elizabeth Ferguson
  • 6. Chesley Sylvester Wyrick 1892-1962 m. Amanda Elizabeth Whittle
  • NOTE: Chesley Sylvester Wyrick and Amanda Elizabeth Whittle were the grandparents of Peggy Smith Hake

  • The following are the children of John Kinder Jr.(#3) and Luella Blize. (John was a son of John Kinder Jr (#2) and Didama Bilyeu)...................
  • 1. William Kinder 1887-1915 m. Blanche Bilyeu
  • 2. Charles L. Kinder 1890-1954 m. Beulah Byrd
  • 3. Marcus Earl Kinder 1892-1965 m. Leftie Bond
  • 4. Ray Kinder b. c/1896 m. (1) Eva Hopkins (2) Flossie Jones NOTE: Ralph and Ray were twins
  • 5. Ralph Kinder b. c/1896 m. Mary Knight
  • 6. Sada/Sadie Kinder 1899-1987 m. Clate Condra
  • 7. Jobe Kinder 1900-1969 m. Arlie Prater
  • 8. Minnie Kinder 1902-1987 m. Fred McDonald
  • 9. Blanche Kinder 1907-1995 m. Wesley M. Condra


    Rachel Elizabeth Kinder was born in Miller County on 4 Feb 1856, a daughter of John Kinder and Didama Ruth Bilyeu. Her father was a native of Shelby County, Kentucky (born 1818) and her mother was born in March 1828 in Christian County, Illinois. They married in Miller County on 18 Jan 1846. Rachel was one of eleven children born to John and Didama including: PETER KINDER 1847-1928 m. Harriett Lamb; JENNIE KINDER b.1848 m. James Brannon in Illinois; MARGARET KINDER died young; NANCY KINDER b. 1852 m. James Dinkens in Illinois; SARAH KINDER b. 1853 m. David Workman; GEORGE ALLEN KINDER 1855-1938 m. (1) Vienna Hale (2) Rebecca Howell; RACHEL ELIZABETH KINDER 1856-1932 m. John Henry Wyrick; CELIA DIDAMA KINDER b. 1859 m. James Clemons Wyrick; RUTH KINDER 1869-1945 m. Jesse M. Topping; JOHN KINDER JR. 1864-1933 m. Luella Blize; JAMES LEANDER KINDER 1867-1949 m. Alvina Lucinda Martin.

    Sometime after the Civil War Rachel's parents, John and Didama Kinder, moved back to Christian County, Illinois where other members of the Bilyeu and Kinder families were living. They lived the remainder of their lives there and are buried in Christian County. Several of their children remained in Miller County because they had married their spouses in the area of Equality and Glaize Townships.

    Rachel Elizabeth Kinder (called Betty) married John Henry Wyrick on August 24, 1878. He was a son of Chesley Nelson Wyrick (1829-1912) and Lucinda Wyrick (1827-1908), natives of Grainger County, Tennessee. Chesley and Lucinda were 3rd cousins. It is believed their fathers were first cousins who were both born in East Tennessee.

  • The known children of Chesley and Lucinda (Wyrick) Wyrick were:
  • JOHN HENRY WYRICK 1853-1923 m. Rachel Elizabeth Kinder;
  • JAMES CLEMONS WYRICK 1856-1941 m. Celia Didama Kinder;
  • JOSEPH WYRICK 1864-1893 (he drowned in the Gasconade River);
  • AMANDA WYRICK b. 1867; LAURA WYRICK b. 1870 m. (1)____Saunders
  • (2)____Heard.
  • Rachel Elizabeth (Betty) and John Wyrick lived most of their married life near Cat Tail creek about 3 miles south of Tuscumbia. Some of their neighbors during the census of 1900 were the families of Lamb, McDonald, Helton, Topping, Wyrick, Patterson, and Bear.

  • They reared several children on the Equality Township farm including:
  • ERNEST WYRICK 1879-1880;
  • PERRY TOLBERT WYRICK 1880-1956 m. Carrie Gertrude Whittle 1902
  • VERNETTA AMANDA WYRICK 1883-1942 m. Anthony Cordell Martin 1904
  • ARETTA FRANCES WYRICK 1885-1919 m. John Hendricks 1907
  • GEORGE ELMER WYRICK 1890-1975 m. (1) Leatha Shelton 1908
  • (2) Elizabeth Ferguson
  • CHESLEY SYLVESTER WYRICK 1892-1962 m. Amanda Elizabeth Whittle 1912
  • About 1917, Rachel/Betty and John moved to Richwoods Township and settled southwest of Iberia in the Pleasant Hill community. They had two sons and their families who lived in the same area (Chesley and Lizzie Wyrick & Perry and Carrie Wyrick). Lizzie (Elizabeth) and Carrie were sisters, daughters of Josephus and Leatha Jane (Loveall) Whittle. The Whittles were early settlers of the Pleasant Hill community and had been there for many years. When the Wyrick brothers married the Whittle sisters, they settled down near the other Whittle families of southwest Richwoods Township.

    John Henry Wyrick died 3 April 1923 and was buried at Pleasant Hill cemetery near the old church that carried the same name. Rachel Elizabeth Kinder-Wyrick lived until July 10, 1932 when she died at the age of 75 years. A couple of years prior to her death she had broken her hip and was a bedfast invalid the last two years of her life. Her daughter, Vernetta/Nettie Martin, took her mother to her home that was about 2 miles northeast of Tuscumbia and cared for her there until her death. Rachel/Betty was taken back to Pleasant Hill church for her funeral services and then was buried in the old cemetery beside her husband. They are the only Wyricks buried at Pleasant Hill.

    NOTE: Rachel Elizabeth Kinder and John Henry Wyrick were my great grandparents. Their youngest son, Chesley S. Wyrick, was my grandfather. (psh)


    George W. Kingery was born 11 November 1839 probably in Cole County, MO. The Kingery family lived in Jefferson Township, Cole Co., in the 1840 census. Through research and speculation, I believe the parents of George were Greenbury and Jane (Barlow) Kingery of Jefferson Township. Evidently Jane was Greenbury's second wife because they married in Cole Co. on December 14, 1837. In the 1840 census there were older children living in their home. Also in their home was Joseph Kingery, born 1757, who was the father of Greenbury.

    The Kingerys were natives of Pennsylvania, probably of German descent. George W. Kingery, born 1839, married Margaret Strong in 1865. Margaret was born in Missouri on March 10, l847. Her father was a native of Kentucky and her mother from Tennessee per census records.

  • They became parents of at least four children including:
  • ELIZA ELLEN KINGERY 1867-1940 m. William McClure
  • DELL KINGERY (a son) b. Dec 1869 m. Jessie J._____
  • REBECCA J. KINGERY b. Aug 1872 m. (no record)
  • CORA KINGERY b. Dec 1874 m. Daniel L. Williams.
  • In 1900, George and his family were living in Saline Township, Miller County near Olean. In his home was his wife, Margaret, their unmarried daughter, Rebecca age 28, and daughter and husband, Cora and Daniel Williams. Next door lived son, Dell Kingery and his wife, Jessie. Among their other neighbors were the families of Grandstaff, Manning, Roark, Uptegrove, Sidebottom, Milburn and Richardson. George W. Kingery was a soldier of the Civil War who fought with the Union forces. He was a member of the Missouri Home Guards during the war as was Jacob Kingery Sr. and Jacob Kingery Jr. The two Jacobs were some of George's kinfolks--perhaps his brother and nephew.

    In 1895, George was listed as an active member of the Samuel McClure G.A.R. Post #145 at Eldon. When he became too old to work, George enjoyed the company of other Civil War comrades in his area. George W. Kingery died at his home in Saline Township on April 30, 1916 at the age of 77 years. His services were held at the Eldon Baptist Church with Rev. John R. Blythe conducting his funeral. He was buried at Eldon Cemetery. Margaret Strong Kingery survived her husband and at her death (the date not listed on her tombstone), she was buried beside George at Eldon.

    NOTE: In Miller County's history, there was a man named Rev. Andrew Kingery who married Elizabeth DeGraffenreid on February 8, 1837. Miller County was only 2 days old when they married! Later, Rev. Andrew performed the second marriage of record in Miller County. He conducted the marriage of Sims Brockman to Rachel Gartin on 26 Feb 1837.

    In 1836, Andrew Kingery entered land in Miller County so was an early day landowner. He was a Missionary Baptist preacher in the mid 1830s in the Cole and Miller counties area. In 1835, he helped to organize the United Baptist Church of Christ at Gilgal in Miller County. After 1837 there is no other record found for Andrew Kingery in Miller County. He and Elizabeth may have moved to Cole County or he may have continued as a circuit-riding Baptist preacher and moved wherever needed to preach the gospel...........I am presuming he was from the same Kingery family as George W. Kingery.


    William Kirkweg was born in Germany in March 1843. He married Katharina/Katie (maiden name not found) about 1869. He came to America just a year or two prior to his marriage. Katie was born in October 1843. She was also a native of Germany. They lived in the St. Elizabeth area of Jim Henry Township in 1900.

  • William and Katie were parents of at least five children including:
  • 1. Henry Kirkweg 1870-1956 m. Katherine Mormann 1895
  • 2. Bernard/Ben Kirkweg 1873-1936 m. Barbara Bax 1916
  • 3. Gertrude Kirkweg 1878-1953 m. John Herman Kempker 1900
  • 4. William B. Kirkweg 1881-1962 m. Elizabeth Dubbert 1910
  • 5. Anna B. Kirkweg 1884-1966 m. Henry Bernard Nilges 1910
  • In the census of 1900, William and Katie were living near St. Elizabeth with 3 of their children still living at home (Bernard/Benny, William, and Anna). The oldest son, Henry and his wife, Katherine (Mormann) were living next door to them with two children in their home---Agnes age 2 and Joseph age 2 months. Oldest daughter, Gertrude, had married John Herman Kempker just a few months earlier and they were living in the Mary's Home area near the other Kempker families.

    NOTE: I was not able to learn very much about the Kirkweg families. They were not in the Miller County census of 1880 so must have come to the St. Elizabeth area during the time period of 1880-1900. They may have been in Cole County prior to 1880 or perhaps in the German communities in Osage County.


    Anna Mary Koetting was born near Taos, Cole Co., MO, on February 9 1846. Her parents were German immigrants who came to central Missouri in the early 1840s, but I have not been able to learn their identity, therefore I do not know Mary's maiden name.

    About 1867, Mary married Herman H. Koetting, probably in Cole County. They came to Miller County and settled in the Marys Home community in the mid 1880s. The German pronunciation of the name Koetting is "Kutting" and I found the name spelled "Kuthing" and "Kutting" in census records. In 1900, Herman and Mary lived near the families of Williams, Hake, Winters, Williamson, Evers, Edgemond, Groose, and Klindt.

  • Mary and Herman were parents of several children including:
  • l. Steven Koetting l869-l946; married Mary Feltrop on December 23, 1897. She was a daughter of Benjamn Feltrop who brought his family to America from Germany in 1890 and settled west of Marys Home.
  • 2. Marie/Mary Koetting 1872-1903; first married William Crede in June 1889. Before his death in 1891, they became parents of a daughter, Elizabeth Crede. In 1894, Marie married her second husband, Francis/Frank Berendzen, and they became parents of several children.
  • 3. Frank Koetting 1876-1932, married Margaret Talken. She was a daughter of Wm. And Sophia Talken, natives of Germany who lived in the Marys Home area.
  • 4. John F. Koetting, the 4th child, never married. In 1940, he died at the age of 60 years and was buried in Our Lady of the Snows cemetery at Marys Home.
  • 5. Anna Lena Koetting 1885-1969; married John Able Talken in 1907. John was a brother to Margaret who married Frank Koetting. His parents were Wm. & Sophia Talken.
  • 6. Herman August Koetting 1898-1967; married Mary Elizabeth Lepper in 1913. She was a daughter of Anton & Margaret Lepper who were early settlers in the Marys Home area. Anna Mary Koetting lived to the advanced age of 86 years when she died March 29, 1932. Her husband of over 50 years, Herman, preceded her in death. He died in 1918 and both are buried in the Marys Home Cemetery.
  • NOTE: If any of the Koetting family members have a record of Anna Mary's maiden name, I would appreciate having the information for my records.


    Joseph Kurtz was born in Alsace, France on 16 Sept 1849. While still in his home country, he married Elizabeth Yach (1838-1917). In 1878, they immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Seymour, Indiana. Twenty years later they moved to Spring Garden, Saline Township, Miller County, MO and later bought the old Crane farm on the Hickory Hill road near Marys Home.

  • They were parents of 5 children including
  • (1) Mrs. John Ley of Indiana (evidently the Ley family did not come to Miller County)
  • (2) John Kurtz of Henley 1875-1947 (no record of a marriage---he is buried at Marys Home Cemetery
  • (3) Sister M. Benedict of Joplin (Joseph & Elizabeth had a daughter named Denia, born 1877, and I believe she is the one who became a Catholic nun and used the name Sister M. Benedict)
  • (4) Mrs. August F. Schulte of Marys Home (Mary Magadlena 1880-1953-married August F. Schulte in 1903)
  • (5 ) Charles Kurtz of Etterville 1883-1957 m. Anna Hunepohl 1906
  • Joseph Kurtz was a stone mason by profession and he built all the culverts on the Rock Island railroad line when it was built between the Osage River at Henley and Pleasant Hill.

    He served in the Franco-Prussian War while a young man in his native country of France. After settling in the Marys Home area, he learned that 2 of his neighbors, Antone Leutkemeyer and William King, had fought in the same war on the opposite side in the same battles. These old soldiers spent many hours talking of their experiences in this foreign war. Anton and his wife, Anna M. (Massman) Leutkemeyer are buried at St. Lawrence Cemetery in St. Elizabeth.

    Joseph Kurtz died on March 21, 1923 and was buried in the parish church yard in Marys Home. His wife, Elizabeth (Yach) Kurtz, died on June 9, 1917 and he was placed beside her at Marys Home Cemetery.

    © 2007 - Miller County Historical Society