Fortunate is the man who has back of him an ancestry honorable and distinguished, and happy is he whose lines of life are cast in harmony therewith. In character and in talents Mr. Kuhn is a worthy scion of his race. The family of which he is a descendant had many distinguished members in Germany and in his life he has shown the same ability which has characterized many of them. The sturdy German element in our great commonwealth has been one of the most important factors in furthering the commercial and material advancement of the country, for this is an element signally appreciative of practical values and also of that higher intellectuality which transcends all provincial confines. WeIl may any person take pride in tracing his lineage to such a source and this Mr. Kuhn can do.
He was born in Bavaria, Germany, May 10, 1831, his parents being G. J. and Julia (Gulden) Kuhn, who were also natives of that country. Our subject acquired a good education in the schools of the Fatherland and on leaving school obtained a clerkship in a store, receiving forty dollars a year in compensation for his services. He was thus employed till he attained his majority, when he determined to try his fortune in America, crossing the Atlantic in a sailing vessel in 1854, landing in New York, and here was employed in architectural work three years, after which he went to Connecticut, where he engaged in farming as a hired hand for two and one-half years, doing this that he might learn English. In 1859 he came west, locating first in St. Louis, where he was variously employed. On the 28th of February, 1860, be arrived in Atchison, Kansas, where he opened a retail grocery store and soon built up a prosperous business. In 1878 he began selling to the wholesale trade and success attended the new enterprise so that he was soon in control of one of the most extensive patronages in his line. The volume of his business constantly increasing he furnished employment to a large force of men and made extensive shipments of his goods. At length he determined to retire from business and sold his stock to local parties for one hundred thousand dollars. He was for a number of years one of the directors of the Atchison Savings Bank, but is not now actively connected with any business interests, his time being given only to the management of his various property interests in Atchison.
Mr. Kuhn has been twice married. His second wife was in her maidenhood Miss Ann Gladfelder, of Atchison, Kansas, and to them were born two sons, Julius O., who is a graduate of the public schools of Atchison, and Gustave A., who is still a student. Mr. Kuhn certainly deserves great credit for his success in life. His hope of benefitting his financial condition in this country was certainly not disappointed, for here he has made continued advancement on the road to success and today is numbered among the capitalists of his adoptcd city. All that he has has been acquired through his own energy and resolute purpose, and his life stands in exemplification of the opportunities that are offered young men in this republic where energy and ambition are not hampered by caste or class.