GEORGE E KESSLER
George F Kessler, who is now living on one of the valuable farms in Mission township, Brown county, has passed the seventy-fifth milestone on life's journey. He was born December 28, 1824, in Frederick City, Maryland, while the city was still in gala dress to celebrate the arrival of General LaFayette who had been entertained there the day previous. Jacob Kessler, the father of our subject, was also a native of Maryland and was a soldier in the war of 1812. He wedded Miss Mary E. Bower, a native of Frederick City and of German lineage. Five children were born of their union, namely William H., now deceased, who lived for many years in Washington, D. C., where he held a position at the treasury department for nine years, and later was for some time registrar at Tiffin, Ohio; Susan, who died in childhood Catherine Fleming, who died near Muncie, Indiana; John V., who died in Brown county, Kansas; and George E. The father of this family was a merchant tailor by trade. His political support was given the Democracy. He died at Tiffin, Ohio, at the age of fifty-six years, and his wife, who was a consistent member of the German Reformed church, died in Frederick City, Maryland, at the age of sixty.
George E. Kessler was a lad of four years when, in 1828, the family removed to Tiffin, Ohio, where he was reared. He pursued his early education in the town school and later continued his studies in the Methodist Seminary at Norwalk, Huron county, Ohio. In his youth he learned the trades of carpentering and door-making and followed those pursuits for more than twenty years. His life has been one of industry and his carefully directed efforts have brought to him a comfortable competence. In 1847 he married Miss Sophia C. Hammond, a lady of good family. She was born September 2, 1825, in Clark county, Ohio, and is a daughter of Nathan and Submit (Munson) Hammond, both of whom were natives of the Empire state. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hammond were born eleven children, six of whom reached man and womanhood, namely: Harry, Mrs. Kessler, Daniel, Martha, John and Esther. The others died in infancy. Mr. Hammond, who followed farming as a life work, passed away at the age of forty-four years, and his wife died when sixty-three years of age. Both were members of the Methodist church.
After his marriage Mr. Kessler took up his abode at Quincy, Logan county, Ohio, and later resided in Seneca county, that state. During the war of the Rebellion he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting in 1860 for three months service with Company F, Twenty-third Ohio Infantry, under General Rosecrans, who was afterward one of the celebrated generals of the war. The captain of the company was Israel Tromby, whose retirement from the position led to A. Abbot becoming captain. During the time of his first enlistment Mr. Kessler remained with his regiment near Charleston and in the Kanawha valley. Subsequently he re-enlisted for two years and participated in an engagement in West Virginia. He was with McClellan at Antietam on the 17th of September, 1862, -- the bloodiest battle lasting but a single day in the entire war. He also participated in the engagement at South Mountain and in other battles and skirmishes, and after hostilities had ceased was honorably discharged in Maryland, having served for four and a half years.
On the expiration of that period Mr. Kessler returned to his home in Ohio, and in 1868 he brought his family to Brown county, Kansas, taking up his abode six miles south of Hiawatha, where he lived for thirteen years and then removed with his family to Moultrie, Morgan county, for the grasshoppers bad entirely destroyed the crops in this state.
Upon returning to Kansas he resided for some time at Muscotah, Atchison county, and in 1884 he purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres, two and a half miles north of Horton and three miles south of Willis. This farm lies between the Rock Island and Grand Island Railroads and is one of the finest farming properties in the township, being well supplied with an abundance of fresh water, while the fields are carefully cultivated and the work is carried on along advanced and progressive methods. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kessler have been born the following children: John, who is manager of the farm; Charles, who is a mechanic in Horton; Lewis D., a railroad man living in Trenton, Missouri; Emma, wife of Sherman Vermillion, who is living near Pawnee City, Oklahoma; Martha J., wife of Irvin Folsom, of Plaza, Oklahoma; Ida, wife of Dan Randall, a railroad contractor; and Frank, who is employed in the railroad shops at Horton. Their son, Nathan, died at the age of twenty-eight years, leaving a widow, who is now living in Illinois; and Frances M., who became the wife of Miner P. Hale, of Horton, died, leaving four children.
Mr. and Mrs. Kessler are consistent members of the Methodist church, doing all in their power to promote its welfare and growth. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Democracy, and for more than forty years he has been an exemplary member of the Masonic fraternity. He has ever been a man of the strictest integrity, whose honesty in all dealings has been above question. He is frank and genial in manner and disposition, is well informed on all topics of general interest and has a host of warm friends, of whom he is in every way worthy.