J P H KOCH
J. P. H. Koch is the owner of one of the fine farms of Nemaha county, his property comprising five hundred and sixty acres of highly improved land on section 13, Marion township. He was born in Prussia, Germany, December 21, 1843, and his father, John Koch, was also a native of the same locality. Having arrived at the age of maturity he married Anna Mary Wilberg, and in 1854 he brought his family to the new world, establishing his home in Wisconsin. Three years later he emigrated to Kansas, becoming one of the first settlers in Nemaha county. Here he took up government land and established a fine farm, being identified with the agricultural interests of the community until his death, which occurred when he was seventy-nine years of age. He was a prominent member of St. Mary's Catholic church and aided in building three houses of worship at St. Benedict. His widow still survives him and now resides in Richmond township. In their family were ten children, nine of whom are yet living.
Mr. Koch, the third child, was about ten years of age when he came with his father to America and was a lad of twelve summers when he arrived in Nemaha county. At the age of five years he began his education in the Fatherland and further continued his studies in Wisconsin and in Kansas, but the schools of that period in Nemaha county were not equal to those of the present time and his advantages were therefore somewhat limited. He remained with his father until thirty years of age, assisting in the operations of the home farm. In 1875 he was wedded to Miss Mary E. Harpau, a native of Germany. After their marriage they located in Richmond township, Nemaha county, where Mr. Koch engaged in general farming until 1897. Their home was blessed with eight children who are yet living, namely: John, Frank, Peter, Mary Irena, Joseph, Clements, Eddie and Lizzie. The eldest child died when about five months old. All were born in Nemaha county and the family are well and favorably known in the community.
Mr. Koch is to-day the owner of five hundred and sixty acres of land, all of which has been placed under a high state of cultivation through his own efforts. His home is a large and commodious modern residence and in keeping with this are the fine outbuildings. The barn is 50x36 feet, with a sixteen-foot shed on each side, and other substantial improvements indicate the progressive spirit and enterprise of the owner who is regarded as one of the leading agriculturists in the community. He and his family are members of St. Mary's Catholic church of St. Benedict and he has contributed to the building fund of four churches there. In politics he is a Democrat, but has never sought or desired public office, preferring to devote his time and energies to his business interests.