Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Carl F. Kuehnle

Carl F. Kuehnle, a splendid type of American manhood, interested in the various activities-business, social, political and intellectual-which constitute the vital forces of society at the present day, has for years had control of large ann important interests, in the management of which he displays notably sound judgment, keen discrimination and powers of coordination. At the present writing he is actively associated with banking interests in Iowa and at the same time has made for himself an enviable position as a representative of the Crawford county bar.

Mr. Kuehnle was born in Dubuque, Iowa, April 7, 1861. The family name indicates his German lineage. His father, Charles F. Kuehnle, was born near Heidelberg in Baden, Germany, while his mother, Mary (Von Eschen) Kuehnle, was a native of Chur, Switzerland.

The father was for many years a machinist, being foreman of the machine shops of the Illinois Central Railroad at Dubuque and later at Waterloo, Iowa, the removal being made to the latter place when Carl F. Kuehnle was a lad of nine years. His education, begun in Dubuque, was continued in the public schools of Waterloo, and he was graduated from the East Waterloo high school in 1878 with valedictorian honors. With a thirst for knowledge he entered the College of Liberal Arts of the State University of Iowa, completing the course by graduation in 1881, while in 1882 he was graduated from the College of Law.

In 1884 his alma mater conferred upon him the Master of Arts degree. Since his college days he has been one of the most stalwart champions of the university and his friendship has been manifest in many tangible ways. Immediately after the completion of his law course he located at Denison and accepted the position of law clerk in the office of Conner & Shaw at a salary of fifty dollars per month. His ability was soon recognized and his employers gave him opportunity to work up in his chosen profession.

When the senior member of the firm, J. P. Conner, retired to become circuit judge on the 1st of January, 1885, Mr. Kuehnle formed a partnership with Leslie M. Shaw, afterward governor of Iowa and subsequently secretary of the United States treasury. Under the firm name of Shaw & Kuehnle the partnership was continued until 1898, when they were joined by Cyrus Beard and the firm style was changed to Shaw, Kuehnle & Beard. In 1900, however, Mr. Beard was obliged to go to Wyoming for his health and was succeeded in the firm by Jacob Sims, under the name of Shaw, Sims & Kuehnle. Mr. Kuehnle's active connection with the Denison bar now covers over twenty-eight years, during which period he has enjoyed an extensive practice.

Mr. Kuehnle is interested in banking, being vice president and general manager of the Bank of Denison, president of the Manilla National Bank of Manilla, Iowa, and a director of the Commercial National Bank of Council Bluffs, Iowa. He is likewise on the directorate of several other business corporations.

Moreover, Mr. Kuehnle is a friend of education. He has long served as a member of the board of trustees of Denison Normal College, as a member of the board of education of Denison and in 1909 was elected by the state legislature a member of the board of regents of the State University.

In this connection the Iowa Alumnus said: "It is a particularly fortuitous circumstance that a man of Mr. Kuehnle's character, ability, energy, enthusiasm and popularity should be chosen as one of the guiding spirits of the gigantic task of university building. He brings to the board a wide and successful experience as a business man. His ability to manage, his business and financial instinct, his quick comprehension of extensive projects as well as his secure grasp of details, are of themselves sufficient assets to make him a valuable member of the board. To this must be added his legal training and his knowledge of the law as well as his oratorical power."

Mr. Kuehnle is indeed well known as a public speaker and has often been called upon to deliver addresses upon public occasions. No movement of Denison that seems to promise well for the city fails to receive his indorsement and cooperation and he has assisted various organizations for the general good. He has been for many years a trustee of the Carnegie Library and has been president of the Denison Commercial Club. He was president of the Alumni Association of the State University of Iowa in 1894 and ten years later was again honored by election to the presidency. He belongs to a number of the leading fraternal organizations and is particularly prominent in the Knights of Pythias, having served as grand chancellor in 1893-4 and as supreme representative from Iowa from 1895 until 1907.

In October, 1889, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Kuehnle and Miss Lillian M. Laub, of Denison, and they have two children, Lydia Belle and Carl Frederick, aged respectively eighteen and fourteen years. Mr. Kuehnle is one of the most popular as well as one of the most honored citizens of Denison and is almost equally well known throughout the state, having a particularly wide acquaintance among the prominent men of Iowa.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.