The rich fields and the broad prairies of California afford excellent opportunities to the agriculturists and stock raisers. Mr. Kuhn now owns and operates a large farm in Felix post office, in Calaveras County. He was born in Prussia on the 20th of August, 1828, and his ancestors for several generations resided in that land. His parents were James P. and Barbara (Cook) Kuhn. The father died at the age of fifty-nine years, and the mother afterward crossed the Atlantic to New York with her two sons and three daughters. They remained in the east for ten months and thence crossed the plains with horse teams to California, being three months upon the way from Council Bluff to Stockton. John, the only brother of our subject, was drowned on the journey, and other than this they met with no serious trouble on the journey. After arriving at their destination the children worked at whatever they could get to do to provide for their own support and for the support of their mother. She died in the sixty-sixth year of her age, and only two of the family now survive. The sister of our subject, Lena, is the wife of Jacob Wagoner and a resident of Stockton.
Frank Kuhn, whose name introduces this sketch, took up his abode upon his present farm in September, 1856, securing a squatter’s right to one hundred and sixty acres of land, on which he made many improvements, building a good frame residence and several barns. As his financial resources have increased he has judiciously invested his money in land, and at one time his ranch comprised three thousand acres. For twenty-two years he was successfully engaged in the sheep raising business, having as high as ten thousand head of sheep at one time. His average number, however, was about two thousand, and he also has nearly four hundred head of cattle in his pastures. There are also several fine gold prospects on his land, which he is now developing. It is entirely through his own unaided industry that he has become one of the most prosperous agriculturists in the county, having a handsome competence that now supplies him with all the comforts that go to make life worth living.
Mr. Kuhn was happily married in Chicago, Illinois, in 1853 to Miss Catherine Even, a native of Luxembourg, Germany, and unto them in California have been born five children, namely: Frank W.; John W.; Lena, the wife of William Bach; Josephine, the wife of Robert Callehan; and Catherine, now the wife of Peter J. Prowse. John is still at home and assists his father in the management of the farm. There are also seven grandchildren. Mrs. and Mrs. Kuhn were reared in the Catholic faith. In politics he is a Democrat, but has never sought or desired office, his attention being given in an undivided manner to his business affairs. We often marvel at the success of young men of American birth who work their way upward, but certainly still greater credit is due to those who come from foreign lands and have to learn our customs, methods and manners of doing business. Mr. Kuhn, however, readily adapted himself to new conditions, and his life illustrates most forcibly the possibilities that lie before young men and the reward that may be earned through indefatigable effort and laudable ambition.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.
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