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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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Leo Kohler was born in Graefferen on the Rhine, Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany, June 28, 1843, and is one of the principal farmers and stock-raisers of Rock Township. He is the second of three sons born to the union of Sebastian and Mary Antonia (Riebold) Kohler, who immigrated to the United States in 1845, landed at New Orleans and came to St. Louis, where he died August 18, the same year. His mother moved to her brother-in-law’s, Ambrose Friedmann, living at that time on Glaize Creek, Jefferson County. After a stay of a year she, with her children, moved to her brothers’, Xavier and Anselm Riebold, in Franklin County, and there, in 1850, was married to Judge Anton Yerger, who was born in Baden, Germany, and came to Missouri in 1847. Mr. Yerger removed to Jefferson County in 1855, where he had a contract on the Iron Mountain Railroad. During this time he bought a farm where the village of Antonia now stands. The mother moved, with the children, to the farm in 1857, and he continued his business there till the road was finished and then repaired to the farm. Early in the war he was captain of Company F, Eighty-eighth Enrolled Missouri Militia; afterward promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He was elected and served several terms as county Judge. He was an influential and esteemed citizen, and died on his farm in 1882. The mother is still living, aged sixty-nine years, and is a member of the Catholic Church. Our subject remained and worked at home until he had attained his majority. He secured as fair an education as the common schools in those days afforded. He served in Company F, Eighty-eighth Enrolled Missouri Militia, and was made a sergeant and did active field duty on several occasions. In 1864 he secured a position on a Mississippi steamer as watchman, where he remained for several months and then returned to the farm. May 7, 1867, Miss Mary, daughter of Andrew and Magdalena Dotzauer, became his wife. Her parents came from Saxe-Coburg, Germany, where she was born January 1, 1851, and came to Jefferson County in 1852. Of the eight children born to our subject and wife seven are now living: Julius Anton Henry, Benjamin Franklin, Leo, Xavier, Andrew, Sophia (deceased), Lena and Philip. Since his marriage our subject has lived on his farm at Antonia, which place stands part on his farm, being the owner of 260 acres, making one of the finest farms in the vicinity. He received a part from his stepfather, but the most was obtained by his own efforts. He was a successful thresher for many years, threshing in Jefferson and St. Louis Counties, and for four seasons in St. Clair and Monroe Counties, Ill., having worn out four threshers from Kingsland & Ferguson’s Machine Shops, St. Louis; also followed smelting lead mineral for several years. He is quite extensively engaged in raising horses, cattle, hogs and sheep, and is also engaged in fruit and grape culture and wine-making. Politically a Republican, his first vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln. Though born a Catholic, he is not connected with any congregation, as is also his wife, a born Lutheran. Although his own education is not of the best, he is sparing no pains in educating his children. He is director of the schools, which position he has held for the past fourteen years.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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