There is nothing which stimulates a man to deeds of worth and a life of uprightness and rectitude more than the recollection of the strength of character and examples of right living which have been shown by his forbears. In this respect Mr. Kuhn is fortunate beyond the majority of men in being descended from forbears who were men of strength and influence in their community, men who performed well their duties, whether in the peaceful pursuits of ordinary life or in positions of public trust. In the business affairs of Audubon, Iowa, Jacob Kuhn, a well-known retired miller, has always occupied a position of importance among those who have conserved and promoted the commercial and industrial prosperity of this community.|
Jacob Kuhn was born on August 31, 1844, oi'^ ^ farm near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Archy and Mary (King) Kuhn. Archy Kuhn, who was born and died in Pennsylvania, was the son of Archibald Kuhn. The family dates back to the seventeenth century when a Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn were among a shipload of emigrants captured by the British and taken into Port Derry, Ireland. A son, Adam, was born in Derry. Later this vessel proceeded to New Amsterdam, but the Kuhns did not go. Adam became a traveling merchant in Europe. He was the great-great-grandfather of Jacob Kuhn, the subject of this sketch. Eventually he came to New Amsterdam, now New York, and married a Scottish woman named Eve. They went to New Jersey, where three children were born, Mansfield, Michael and Nicholas, the latter of whom was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The family eventually moved to the Wyoming county settlement in Pennsylvania. At the close of the Revolutionary War, Michael Kuhn settled in Patten township, Allegheny county. Adam Kuhn later went down the Ohio ri\er to Fishing creek and settled below Wheeling, where Eve, his wife, was killed by the Indians. Adam Kuhn remarried and lived to be a ver}- old man. His son Michael, the great-grandfather of Jacob Kuhn, married Catherine McClarty, a daughter of Archibald McClarty, a native of Scotland, who settled on the Susquehanna river in the Wyoming settlement. Michael Kuhn and his family had several thrilling experiences and he fought in the Indian wars. He died in 1800, at the age of seventy-three years. Nicholas Kuhn had no children. Mansfield Kuhn settled in Kentucky. Michael Kuhn was born on April 5, 1747, and died on January 30, 1820. His wife. Catherine McClarty. was born March 3, 174^, and died July 12, 1823. They had eight children, Eva, Archibald, Adam, Samuel, John, Mary, David and Nancy. Archibald Kuhn, the grandfather of Jacob, was born on August 28, 1771, and died on December 13, 1831. He was married on May 16, 1799. to Martha Stotler, who was born on February 7, 1781, and who died on June 17, 1818. They were the parents of Michael, Jacob, Nancy, Archy. David, Catherine, John M. and William H. H. Archibald Kuhn was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature, 1816-1820. His son, Archy Kuhn. the father of Jacob, was born on September 2, 1805, and died on December II, 1889. He married Mary (Craig) King, who was born on August 18, 1812. and who died on March 28, 1904. Their children were as follow: Mrs. Nancy D. McCready, who was born on October 22, 1837; William, May 28, 1839, died on January 15, 1863, a soldier in the Civil War, serving in the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment. Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, was mortally wounded at Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, having been shot through the right lung; Mrs. Martha S. Stotler, March 6, 1841, died on March 28, 1897; Robert, December 12, 1842, died on September 28, 1843; Jacob, the subject of this sketch, was born on August 31, 1844. Jacob Kuhn was a soldier in the Civil War, a member of the Third Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, Light Battery H, One Hundred and Fifty-second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was a prominent member of the Twentieth Iowa General Assembly in 1884. The sixth child of Archy and Mary (Craig) Kuhn was James King Kuhn, born on February 18, 1846, and died November 17, 1879. The other children were: Mrs. Eliza Ann Dildine, March 3, 1848; Mrs. Susan Alter, June 24, 1850; Mrs. Mary L. Spraul, June 2, 1852, and David B., June 20, 1855.
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Jacob Kuhn was educated in the common schools of his native county in Pennsylvania. On February 13, 1864, he enlisted in Light Battery H, commonly called Rank's Battery, and connected with the Third Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery and the One Hundred and Fifty-second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He served one and one-half years and was discharged at Philadelphia on July 25, 1865. One section of Battery H was engaged in the battle of Gettysburg. While in the reserve artillery he took part in the battle of Monocacy, near Frederick City, Maryland. After the war Mr. Kuhn learned iron making in Pittsburgh and worked there until 1868. In March of that year he came West and located in Grove City, Cass county, Iowa, where, for the first year, he followed carpentry work. He was then married shortly, after which he moved to Anita, Cass county, where he resided for fifteen years, being engaged in carpentering during that time, with the exception of six years, during which time he was engaged in the milling business. In 1884, Mr. Kuhn located at Manning, in Carroll county, this state, and there engaged in the milling business for six years. He then lived in Des Moines eight years, and was there engaged in the milling business. In 1898 he came to this county, locating at Audubon, and there engaged in the milling business for sixteen years, or until October, 1913, when he sold out to his partner, A. S. Culver, having been engaged in the milling business for nearly thirty-six years, during which period he became very wealthy. Mr. Kuhn is the owner of a large ranch and town property near Billings, Yellow Stone county, Montana, and for twenty-five years has been a stockholder and director in the First National Bank at Manning.
On May 26, 1870, Jacob Kuhn was married to Minnie C. Taylor, who was born on September 20, 1851, the daughter of William and Martha Taylor, natives of Pennsylvania and early settlers in Cass county, Iowa. To this happy union the following children have been born: Mrs. Eva M. Reynolds, born on July 5, 1871, died on August 31, 1893; Mrs. Ada M. Wever, June 16, 1881, who, on October 24, 1906, married George B. Wever, who was born on December 27, 1880, to which union three children have been born, George Kuhn, December 1, 1907; Alice L., August 18, 1910, and Ethel Mary, March 1, 1913; and Ethel L., September 13, 1884, married on June II, 1914, Dr. Charles Burnside, who was born and reared in Audubon county, and who practises medicine at Los Angeles, to which union one child has been born, Harriett Elizabeth, born on October 13, 1914.
In politics Jacob Kuhn is an ardent Republican. In 1883 he was elected a member of the Iowa Legislature and served in the twentieth General Assembly. Fraternally, Mr. Kuhn is a member of Allison Post, Grand Army of the Republic. All of the members of the family attend the Presbyterian church.
Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 328-331.