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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 776~


John Kuhen

Photos of John & Rebecca Kuhen are in the source book.


"Through struggle to triumph," seems to be the maxim which holds sway for the majority of our citizens, and though it is undoubtedly true that many fall exhausted in the conflict, a few by their inherent force of character and strong mentality, rise above their environment and everything which seems to hinder them, until they reach the plane of affluence toward which their faces were set through long years of struggle that must necessarily precede any accomplishment of great magnitude. Such was the history of the late well-remembered John Kuhen, who was long one of the leading agriculturists of Fayette county, but who is now sleeping the sleep of the just. He was born in Noble county, Ohio, February 22, 1838, the son of John and Margaret (DeVore) Kuhen, both natives of Ohio, in which state the father devoted his life successfully to farming pursuits until his death.


John Kuhen, of this review, was educated in the common schools of Preble county, Ohio, assisting with the work on his father's farm, where he grew to manhood. In February, 1863, he married Rebecca Wroe, and a few months later enlisted as a soldier and was mustered in service as a private in Company N, Sixth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war, taking part in all engagements in which his regiment was engaged. He had seven brothers in the Union Army. Three of them, Daniel, George and Solomon, were wounded, but they all recovered. Of the fifteen children born to John and Margaret Kuhen, all are now deceased excepting Daniel and Margaret.


After the war John Kuhen returned to West Virginia and was mustered out of the service in June, 1865, and in September of that year he and his wife came to Iowa and settled in Illyria township, Fayette County, and after remaining here a short time they purchased a farm which Mr. Kuhen managed most successfully until his death. He was always a hard worker and good manager and he made a comfortable living and laid by a competency for his family. He had a nice home and many good improvements on the place in every respect, for he took a delight in keeping abreast of the times in all his work. Mrs. Kuhen and her sons now have one of the choice farms of the township, consisting of over three hundred acres. They make a specialty of raising Holstein cattle in connection with general farming and they are keeping up the work inaugurated by John Kuhen, whose death occurred October 26, 1908, after a life filled with success, good deeds to his fellow citizens and replete with honor, for he was a man who delighted in honest dealings and kind hospitable treatment of his neighbors. Two of his sons yet remain on the farm.


Mrs. Kuhen, who, as before stated, became the wife of John Kuhen in February, 1863, was born in the state of Pennsylvania and she is the daughter of Samuel Austin and Orfa (McCann) Wroe, the former born on the Atlantic ocean while his parents were enroute from Ireland to America, his father having been a sea captain. He grew up in Pennsylvania, studied medicine and became a noted surgeon. He came with John Kuhen and wife to Fayette County, Iowa, and lived retired until his death. For a short time he was a surgeon in the Union army, but on account of his advanced age and ill health he was not long retained. Three of Mrs. Kuhen's brothers were in Company N, Sixth Virginia Volunteer Infantry, George Wroe serving four years, John Wesley Wroe, three years, and Jerome Wroe, during the last year of the war.


Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. John Kuhen, two of whom died in infancy; the other nine are living at this writing, namely: George L., Virginia Belle, Maggie Florence, Mary A. (deceased), Benjamin Franklin, Charles, Delbert, Emery L., Emma Zoe, Agnes A. (deceased) and Ethelpella Paola. All of these children are residents of Fayette county, Iowa, excepting Emery L., who is principal of the schools at Wimbledon, North Dakota."


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