JAMES J KNEPP
James J. Knepp is interested both in farming and banking in Nemaha county and is one of the reliable business men whose consecutive efforts and honorable dealing have secured to him the public confidence. His labors have also been crowned with a high degree of prosperity and he is, therefore, numbered among the substantial residents of the community. The history of every locality is formed largely of the records of its leading business men, their connection with the industrial and commercial interests being the chief element in the progress and upbuilding of the localities with which they are connected. It is thus that "history has become the essence of the innumerable biographies," as Carlyle has said, and that "the history of a nation is best told in the lives of its representative citizens."
Mr. Knepp is a native of the Keystone state, his birth having occurred in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, on March 19, 1846. On both the paternal and maternal sides he is of German lineage. His father, William Knepp, was born in Union county, Pennsylvania, in 1823, and was a son of Henry Knepp. Having arrived at years of maturity he married Miss Sophia Peters, whose birth occurred in Union county, Pennsylvania. In 1870 they removed to Miami county, Kansas, where the father died in 1890, the mother passing away in 1889, in her sixty-third year.
James J. Knepp, of this review, spent his boyhood days in Pennsylvania and in Michigan, having accompanied his parents to the latter state in 1863. The family took up their abode in White Pigeon and Mr. Knepp remained a resident of that town until 1869, when he came to Kansas. Locating in Doniphan county, near Highland, he secured a farm west of the village and there carried on agricultural pursuits and stock raising, meeting with good success as a dealer in stock. In 1881 he removed to Richmond township, Nemaha county, where he purchased a farm, continuing its cultivation for several years, at the same time feeding and shipping cattle. On leaving that place he removed to his present farm, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres of land in Mitchell township. Here he erected one of the finest dwellings in the locality and has built good barns and outbuildings to shelter the grain and stock. He is a very practical, yet progressive, farmer and a sagacious stock dealer, being an excellent judge of the cattle which he buys. His methods of feeding and shipping made the stock valuable upon the market and he thus commands good prices in Kansas City, which is the principal shipping point. His labors, however have not been confined to this line. In 1892 he was one of the organizers of the Citizens' State Bank, of Seneca, and since that time has served as its vice-president.
In 1867 occurred the marriage of Mr. Knepp and Miss Amelia L. Benfer, a sister of Hugh H. Benfer, a prominent retired farmer of Hiawatha, Kansas.
The lady is a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of Elias and Sarah (Young) Benfer. Unto our subject and his wife were born five children: Cora wife of B. F. Stickney; Ida M., wife of Theador Diffenderfer; William H.; Jay B.; and Charles E., who is cashier of the Linscat Bank, in old Mexico. Socially Mr. Knepp is connected with the Knights of Pythias fraternity, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen and enjoys the high regard of the brethren of those organizations.