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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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PHILIP KIMMEL, Sr. Could the life record of this venerable pioneer of Jackson County be presented in detail, with the many events of interest that have thronged the passing years, the young, people of today would find much therein to instruct and edify. While it is not our privilege to narrate minutely and concisely all the facts connected with his long and useful career, yet, as fully as space will permit, we will portray the events that have individualized and given character to his life.

In Somerset County, Pa., the subject of this sketch was born June 4, 1810, being the son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Heiple) Kimmel, natives of the Keystone State. His childhood years were spent on his father’s farm, where he early acquired a practical knowledge of agriculture. In the intervals of farm work it was his custom to attend the subscription schools of the home neighborhood. These primitive structures were characteristic of the times. They were furnished with slab seats, resting on wooden legs, and a writing desk for the older pupils. Amid such unfavorable surroundings the boys and girls were initiated into the mysteries of the alphabet, and occasionally progressed so far as to be well informed concerning the three Rs.

In Pennsylvania, May 4, 1832, Mr. Kimmel was married to Miss Mary G. Will, who was born in Somerset County, that state, being a daughter of Daniel Will, an early settler of Jackson County. Eleven children were born of the union, seven of whom survive, namely: Mary A., who is the wife of Andrew Freidline; Daniel W.; Joseph; Julia A., who married Jefferson Casteel; John Q. A.; Sarah J., wife of John Rude, and Josiah. The deceased were named, Eliza, James M., Elizabeth and Henry K. The wife and mother, who was a lady of noble character and a devoted member of the Lutheran Church, passed away March 8, 1882.

Accompanied by Samuel Koontz, of Pennsylvania, Mr. Kimmel, in the spring of 1840, rode on horseback to Jackson County, Ill., the journey being made over bad roads and through an unimproved country. Arriving here, he bought two hundred acres at $10 per acre, and then went back to the Keystone State. In the spring of 1841 he again came to Jackson County, his family accompanying him. He settled upon the farm previously purchased, of which a few acres had been cleared, and the remainder was timber land. For a home for his family he built a log house, to which he afterward added, until it was quite roomy and comfortable.

In addition to farming, Mr. Kimmel at one time operated a sawmill, first by horse power and later by steam power. At one time his landed possessions aggregated one thousand acres, a portion of which he has divided among his children, although he still retains a goodly amount in his possession. In politics a Republican, he has served in numerous official capacities. For three years he was Supervisor of Somerset Township, for two terms officiated as County Superintendent of schools, and is now Treasurer of the township, having filled that position for twenty consecutive years. Under a former system he served as Commissioner of Jackson County. For several years he was President of the Jackson County Agricultural Society. He has a store of interesting reminiscences of the past, and is an entertaining and instructive conversationalist.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Jackson County, Illinois family biographies here: Jackson County, Illinois Biographies

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