Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 411 - 412
In 1848, Jacob Kessel emigrated to America, sailing from Hamburg to New York, the voyage consuming forty-two days.
On the way the vessel sprang a leak, and great was the consternation among the five hundred passengers on board.
Divers were sent down to repair the break, and after a few hours all was made safe, and the vessel again proceeded
on its way. Coming on the Hudson River, the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes, Mr. Kessel reached Milwaukee, near
which city he was employed some two months. In that city he met his brother, in company with whom he purchased
eighty acres of timbered land near Port Washington, for $400. On that farm, three children were born to Mr. and Mrs.
Kessel, their first-born having been laid to rest in their native land. The year 1855 witnessed the arrival of Mr.
Kessel in Russell Township, where he purchased eighty acres of timber-land. In October, 1858, he bought for $300
eighty acres of his present farm. By subsequent purchase he added to his possessions, until he had about two
hundred and thirty-two and a-half acres on section 7, in Rhine Township, and two hundred and forty acres in the
town of Russell. Of this his son John received two hundred acres, and Jeremiah the other forty.
Mr. and Mrs. Kessel had a family of seven children, of whom only two are living. Jeremiah, born May 8, 1851, near
Port Washington, received his education in the schools of Rhine Township. He was married on the 24th of July, 1880,
to Marie, daughter of William and Marie (Brandt) Kuhn, who was born in Rhine Township September 4, 1858. Of this
marriage have been born four children: John, Anna, Emma and Willie. John, the other surviving child of Jacob
Kessel, was born in the town of Russell, March 8, 1861, and was married to Henrietta, daughter of Charles
Mr. Kessel, with his family, belonged to the Evangelical Church. Politically, he was always a Republican, though
not a man to seek notoriety or official distinction. Though in her seventy third year, Mrs. Kessel is remarkably
well preserved for one who has passed through so many hardships. Her home in Russell, as well as her first home in
the town of Rhine, was a log cabin. The red men of the forest of times visited her home, always receiving the
kindest treatment. In 1870, Mr Kessel built the large house in which his family still resides. He was a man who
believed in improvements, both private and public, and not only was his own farm well improved, but in laying out
and building good roads he took an active part. By industry and economy he became one of the wealthy farmers of his
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids