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Rankin Family History Project

John Kuennell


John Kuennell, an enterprising and prosperous merchant of Altenburg, Mo. was born in the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1847. He is the son of Andrew and Eva Kuennell, both of whom were natives of Germany. Andrew Kuennell was a grain merchant and saloon keeper. He died suddenly at the age of fifty-six years. To him and wife were born ten children, six of whom are alive.

John Kuennell came to America in 1872. By trade he is a cabinet maker, but after coming to America he worked for some time as a millwright in Missouri, Illinois and Colorado.

In 1870 he engaged in the real estate business, but not meeting with success he engaged in the vinegar business, at which he lost all he had. Not willing to give up to disappointment, he began peddling with a capital of $25, a Christmas present from his mother. He continued this mode of merchandising until 1881, when he commenced business in Altenburg with a stock of goods worth $1,500. In the spring of 1888 he purchased his present residence, and the next fall build his large store in which he does an extensive general mercantile business.

In 1878 he was united in marriage with Carrie Wieland of St. Louis. She was born in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany. Her father is now engaged in farming in Clark County, Ill. This union has been blessed by the birth of one child, Katie.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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