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St. Croix County Biographies and Historical Sketches


St. Croix County Townships Map | St. Croix County (1909) | Early History of St. Croix County | Villages, Townships & Municipalities | St. Joseph, Troy & Warren Townships | Stanton & Star Prairie Townships | Rush River, Somerset & Springfield Townships | Richmond Township, City of New Richmond | Kinnickinnic & Pleasant Valley Townships | Hudson Township & City of Hudson | Forest, Glenwood & Hammond Townships | Eau Galle, Emerald and Erin Townships | Baldwin, Cady & Cylon Townships
Kealy, Keenlyne, Kelly, Kidder, King, Kinne, Kircher, Kirsch, Knapp


Andrew P. Kealy, who was elected sheriff of St. Croix county, Wisconsin, in 1906 on the Democratic ticket, is popular with every man in the county, and his services as custodian of the law and order of the county have won for him a host of admirers. He is fearless and devoted to his duty, and in the execution of the affairs incidental to his office he shows neither fear nor favor. Mr. Kealy was born in Pittsburg, Pa., January 24, 2864, a son of Peter J. and Mary (McLoughlin) Kealy, both natives of Ireland. They came to this country in the early days and in 1870 settled in Pleasant Valley, St. Croix County. The father was a practical and prominent farmer, and was honored with the position of chairman of the county board. His wife passed away in 1895. They had two sons. Robert now lives in Pleasant Valley, and Andrew P. is the subject of this sketch. Andrew attended the public schools of Hudson and then worked on his fathers farm until 1894, when he purchased a farm in Hammond Township, this county, and made various improvements. He was elected chairman of the county board, and is regarded as one of the leading Democrats of the county. Mr. Kealy is a member of the B.P.O.E., the M. W. A. and the Catholic Order of Foresters, in all of which he has hundreds of warm friends and admirers. He was married, May12, 1898, to Nellie, the daughter of Edward and Bridget Moran, of El Paso, Pierce county, this state. They have one child, Andrew W., born in Hammond Township, July 13, 1900. Although he has won distinction in many lines already, it is predicted by Mr. Kealys friends that he has yet many more honors in store for him. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

Robert Kealy was born in the city of Beaver, Beaver County, Penn., June 29, 1857. His parents were Peter and Mary McLaughlin Kealy, who removed to Pleasant Valley Township in 1871, where they have since resided. Robert Kealy received his early education in the public schools of the city of Beaver and then attended the classes of Beaver seminary for two years before coming with his parents to Wisconsin, where he finished his studies at the State Normal school in River Falls. Since leaving school Mr. Kealy has followed the vocation of the agriculturist in Pleasant Valley Township, where he now resides. He was married on September 11, 1888, to Miss Mary Jane Donohue, a daughter of Michael and Bridget Walsh Donohue and they are the parents of four children: Peter Robert, born August 6, 1889; Veronica, born September 9, 1891; Edmund Andrew, born September 15, 1892, and Mary, born July 21, 1897. The Kealy family are communicants of the Roman Catholic church. In politics Mr. Kealy affiliates with the Democratic Party of St. Croix County, and has always been prominent in its councils. He has been chairman of the Pleasant Valley town board for two terms and is at present serving his third term as town treasurer. He has always been interested in school affairs and has been selected by his neighbors as school director several times. The only order to which he belongs is the American Society of Equity of Wisconsin.

Robert Kealy is the owner of a fine farm of 240 acres, practically all of which is under cultivation. His specialty as a farmer is the breeding of fine blooded shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs, which are prepared for market in his own feeding yards and Personally sold at the Union Stock Yards at Chicago. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


A.C. Keenlyne, genial proprietor of Hotel Keenlyne, at Wilson, Wis., was born in Winona, Minn., February 16, 1858, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Keenlyne, who died when their son was in infant. A. C. was brought up by his sister and attended the schools of Durand, Wis., where he received a common school education. He worked for some time in a stave and heading factory near Arkansas, and July 17, 1875, came to Wilson. For twenty years he was in the steady employ of the West Wisconsin Manufacturing Company, the latter twelve years as foreman of the extensive shipping department of that concern. In 1890 the milling business closed down, and purchasing a farm, Mr. Keenlyne farmed for six years afterward, trading his farm for the Wilson hotel, the trade being made with the late J. A. Wilson. The subject of this sketch renamed the place "Hotel Keenlyne" and has since continued to run it. He is a fist-class mechanic and has fitted up his house in good shape for the accommodation of the public. It is lighted with acetylene gas and heated with hot water. Here are the headquarters for the long distance telephone, of which Mr. Keenlyne is manager. The popularity of the hotel is due in a large degree to the culinary skill of Mrs. Keenlyne, whose reputation as a landlady has reached beyond the confines of the valley.

For some time he conducted a feed mill in connection with his hotel business, and in 1907 he turned the feed mill into a factory for the manufacture of egg cases, his long years at milling standing him in good stead in managing this venture, of which he has already made a pronounced success. He has a rapidly growing business, and business men predict that it will soon reach a very large scale.

Mr. Keenlyne was married in December 1880, to Eunice Green, daughter of L. L. and Sarah Green, old settlers of Dunn County. Mr. Green was a veteran of the Civil war, who farmed in Sherman Township, Dunn County. He is now deceased, having spent his declining years with his daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Keenlyne have two children, a son and a daughter. Theodore L. is a railroad fireman in the Iron Range Mountains. Bertha graduated from the Glenwood High School and is employed as saleslady in a department store at Downing, Wis.

Mr. Keenlyne votes the Republican ticket but has been too busy to run for office, although often urged to do so by his many friends. He affiliates with Hersey Lodge, No. 204, I. O. O. F. Mr. Keenlyne is an ideal hotel proprietor. Always smiling and good-natured, he makes his guests feel thoroughly at home, and his endeavor is to run a first-class place in every respect. He has a wide circle of friends, both in town and among the traveling fraternity. He has always been a hard worker, and his efforts have met with considerable financial success. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Francis Kelly is still hale and hearty at the age of 92 years although he has undergone experiences that would severely test the strength of the majority of men. He come of fighting stock, his father having been one of Wellingtons soldiers at the Battle of Waterloo. Francis, Sr., was a linen weaver of County Donegal, Ireland. By his wife, Winifred Boyle, he had four children Francis, Jr., was born, Nov. 1, 1813, the youngest of four. This son received a common school education at County Donagal and then took up farming. In 1844 he came to Quebec and worked on a farm four years. With a party of gold seekers who chartered their won ship, he went to California in 1849 and in five years amassed a small fortune. Returning east in 1855 he took up 460 acres of government land at New Richmond at $1.25 an acre. Upon this land he made improvements and sunk a 40 feet filled well. Susie, the eleventh child of John and Frances (Richards) Feehan, became his wife, April 15, 1886. John Feehan was the village blacksmith of Borrissary, Queens county, Ireland. He and his wife died in 1851. Mr. Kelly has been a school dirctor of Richmond for several years. He is a staunch Republican and attends the Catholic Church. Mrs. Kelly also has an interesting history. Upon coming to this country she traveled in the New England states, making her home chiefly in Wethersfield, Connecticut, the first town founded in that state. She made her home with the Beldens, who were the original settlers. The Kelleys have been blessed with eight children: Fannie, wife of John Henry, a prominent New Richmond farmer; James, who died in infancy; Francis, who died at five years of age; Mary, wife of James Lundy, another prominent farmer of New Richmond; Isabelle, postmistress at St. Paul Park, Minnesota, marred to William O'Brien, deceased; Susie, deceased at 20 years; William, who lives at home; and Emma, deceased. William carries on the work of the farm and looks after his parents. He is an up-to-date farmer and is a worthy descendant of a long line of honest and fearless men and women. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


L. L. Kidder was born in Genesee county, New York state, July 28, 1835, a son of Lyman and Harriet (Bass) Kidder, who came to St. Croix county in 1858 and settled at Huntington, buying land and continuing the farm industry. L. L. Kidder worked on the farm with his father in the early days and attended the public schools, receiving the usual training of the boys of that period. In 1860 he was married to Charlotte Bowman, daughter of William Bowman. This union was blessed with three children: Samuel is in Seattle, Wash.; Sadie is in Grand Forks, N. D., and William is in St. Paul, Minn. In 1864 he enlisted in Hatchs independent battalion and served on the frontier of Minnesota and Dakota, being mustered out in 1866. He then returned to this county and took up a farm of forty acres, which he broke and improved, doing all the plowing himself. Upon this place he continued to live, carrying on general farming, raising the usual crops and breeding some live stock and poultry. After winning success and making a small fortune, he retired a few years ago. He is now resting after many years of hard work, leasing his farm to another party. He keeps a fine driving team, owns his own place, has hosts of friends and enjoys himself in a way that few old men have the strength or opportunity to enjoy themselves. Mr. Kidder is an old time Democrat and still continues to vote that ticket. He has for many years been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Charles F. King, M. D., physician and surgeon of Hudson, is a native of Buffalo, N.Y., born September 14, 1844, son of William P. and Bridget (McKarran) King, the former having been born in New Hampshire and the latter in Ireland. The mother was reared in Scotland, where she was taken in her early youth. They spent their early-married life in Buffalo, N.Y., and in 1844, the year of the birth of their son, Charles, they removed to Wisconsin, where the father engaged in the mercantile business in Waukesha County. He went overland to California in 1852 and returned to Wisconsin in 1855, passing away at the age of seventy-eight years his wife died at the age of thirty-eight. They had six children, Charles being the oldest. It is interesting to note that the ancestors of the King family came over in the Mayflower, there being three brothersJohn, William and James King. Charles F. King received his early education in the public schools of Merton, Wis. He enlisted in the Civil war, February 1864, in the Third Wisconsin Cavalry. For three months he was a bugler, then entered the ranks, became corporal and then sergeant, and was retired second lieutenant of Company L, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, receiving an honorable discharge October 28, 1865. He returned to Wisconsin for two months and then tried life on the western plains of Kansas, where he took up a claim and worked vigorously for three years. Again returning to Wisconsin, he began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Loomis, of Merton, later entering the Rush Medical College, at Chicago, where he graduated on February 29, 1873. He was in the same class with the famous Dr. Millard and was at Chicago during the great fire. In 1873 he came to Hudson and entered into partnership with Dr. Otis Hoyt for a period of eight years. Later he went to Mandan, now North Dakota, where he was division surgeon for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, having the territory between Jamestown, N. D., and Glendive, Mont. He was made territorial superintendent of public health for the territory of Dakota. Resigning from this position, he returned to Hudson in 1887, where he has since continued the practice of medicine and surgery with great success. He is at present local surgeon for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, and has served in that capacity since 1888. He was surgeon of the Fourth Wisconsin Infantry in the Spanish-American war and remained with his regiment until the close of the hostilities. He is past commander of the E. A. Clapp Post, G. A. R.; was nine years commander of St. Croix Commandery, No. 14, Knights Templar; a member of the state guards since 1893, and captain of the hospital department of that body except during the late war, when he held the rank of major. Dr. King was married, May18, 1875, to Ella F. Hoyt, daughter of Dr. Otis and Eliza B. (King) Hoyt, of Hudson. They have four children. Lucile is the wife of f. F. Harding, of Porto Rico. Otis H. lives in Hudson, where he is a dentist. Lila is the wife of Henry W. Dooley, of Porto Rico, and Amos is a student at the University of Minnesota. Dr. King is known far and near as a man of great ability and much skill. The confidence that he enjoys is shown by the fact that he has been health officer of Hudson for several years. In addition to the honors already mentioned, he is one of the popular past exalted rulers of the Elks, a past master of St. Croix Lodge, No. 56, F. & A. M., and an active member of St. Croix Chapter, No.44, R. A. M. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


John D. Kinne has been a resident of Richmond Township for more than half a century. During that time he has always worked for the best interests of the public at large. He was born in Perrysburg, New York, October 14, 1837, son of Albert S. and Eliza (Williams) Kinne. His father came to New Richmond in October 1853, and took up 320 acres at the government price of $1.25 an acre. He served as chairman of the town and member of the school board, and died in May 1896. John D. Kinne received his education in the public and high schools of Gawaunda, N. Y. He assisted his father in developing his farm. In January 1864, John D. Kinne enlisted in Company D, Thirtieth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, and served on the frontier under Captains Fulton and Marshall until the close of the war. Mr. Kinne was married, December 27, 1863, to Augusta Erving, one of the six daughters of a prosperous farmer of Whitehall, Trempealeau County, Wis. Mr. Kinne was chairman of the town of Richmond for thirteen years, ending in 1908. He has been chairman of the county board and clerk and treasurer of the school board. He is a popular member of the I. O. O. F. and an independent voter. The family worships at the Congregational church. There are three children: John F., married to Charlotte Darley, and lives at home with his father. Dora is the wife of A. F. Chadwick, a commercial man of Superior, Wis. Payton W. married Jessie Wimpels. He is a successful farmer of North Dakota. Mr. Kinne is one of the influential citizens of Boardman and is known for the fairness of his dealings with all. It is interesting to note that all the horses that Mr. Kinne uses are raised upon his own farm and are his especial pride. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


Peter Kircher first saw the light of day February 22, 1838, at Hassen, Germany. He was one of a family of threetwo boys and one girlall of whom came to America. His father, John A., followed farming until his death in 1872. Upon coming to this country, October 1853, at the age of fifteen years, Peter Kircher worked in Rochester, N.Y., for four years. He located in Hudson, May 30, 1857, and spent four years learning the trade of mason, which he has since followed. He enlisted in Company D, Thirtieth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, August 11, 1862, and served three years until honorably discharged, September 21, 1865. His brave record as sergeant under Capatin Fulton and Captain Otis in Co. D. J. Dills regiment will not soon be forgotten. In December 1869, he was married to Margaret Kempf, who died June 29, 1903. Her father, John Kempf, was the leading farmer of Kempfs Farms, Stillwater, Washington County, Minn., where he lived and died. On an eighty-acre farm purchased in 1872 Mr. Kircher sunk a 238-foot drilled well. In 1875 he bought forty acres more, and to this in 1880 he added forty acres in St. Joseph Township. Upon all this land he made the improvements. Besides this, he built and still owns three beautiful residences on Second Avenue, Hudson. He is a Democrat in politics. For nine years he was an alderman of the city of Hudson, and he has been an influential member of Clapp Post, No. 151, G. A. R., and the I. O. O. F. for a long period. He has four childrenJohn E., married to Bell Ross, carries on his fathers business; Frank J. and George A. are students at the University of Minnesota; Elizabeth keeps house for her father. Mr. Kircher is respected and honored by all who know him. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)


Johsph R. Kirsch is a native of Germany, born June 25, 1852, a son of Joseph and Frances (Johns) Kirsh. He received a good education in the public and high schools of Germany and then came to this country to seek his fortune. Upon arriving in Hudson, Wis., in 1872, he engaged in the flour milling business for six years. Subsequently he spent seven years at the Jewett mills in Erin Prairie, Wis. After that he bought grain for the Northern Grain Company in Stanton, St. Croix County, Wis., for nine years. In this township he later started farming. He now owns 160 acres of rich land, 100 of which is planted. Upon this farm he does a general farming, raising the usual crops and breeding a fine grade of shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs, together with other live stock and some fowls. The farm is highly cultivated and well looked after, and the house is a model of what all farmhouses should be. The Kirsch family believes in the old German idea of liberal hospitality, and their latchstring is always out to their friends. Anyone who has been greeted with Mr. Kirschs hearty handshake and sat down to one of Mrs. Kirschs meals is not likely soon to forget their hospitality. Mr. Kirsch was married, in 1876, to Margaret Loretta Ryan, who has proven a most able helpmeet throughout life. By this union there are nine children: W. E., Robert J., John G., Frank R., who died at the age of one year and seven months; Raymond, Mollie, Francis, Marguerite and Claire. All the children have been given a fine education, and several of the daughters teach school. The whole family is highly regarded throughout the county. Mr. Kirsch is a Democrat and has served on the sideboard and school board for twenty years. He is one of the prominent members of the American Society of Equity. He owes all that he possesses to his own hard work, and the improvements on his rich farm are all the work of his own hands. He is a good citizen and one of the leading men of his township. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909


L. L. Knapp, M. D., physician and surgeon at New Richmond, is a native of Maine, born in Franklin County, March 24, 1851, son of Leonard S. and Lucy (Farnham) Knapp, who lived in Maine. The mother was born in Bangor of that state. The father was a farmer. He came here on a visit, but returned to his native state and died. In early life he was a schoolteacher.

L. L. Knapp received a thorough elementary education in the Western State Normal School at Farmington, Me., later studying at Kents Hill, the Great Wesleyan Seminary. He then took up the study of medicine, fighting against great odds, as he was troubled greatly with his eyes. He alternated work at school with bookkeeping and teaching. He graduated from the department of regular medicine at the University of Michigan, June 1883, and located at New Richmond the same year. His popularity was evident from the start. Commencing with no practice, he worked his way along until his personality, his worth and his skill won him a large practice and a warm place in the hearts of those families at the bedside of whose loved ones he performed such faithful and efficient service. After over a quarter of a century of medical work in the town he still continues his active practice.

He was married in 1879 to Jennie M. Ingerson, daughter of William Rounds Ingerson, of Vermont, who died in Michigan. Dr. and Mrs. Knapp have had no children. Mrs. Knapp is a patient invalid, her poor health being caused by the cyclone of 1899, when their property was all swept away, making necessary a new start in life. Dr. Knapp is a devoted husband, while she bears bravely her long days and nights suffering.

Dr. Knapp is a Republican in politics. He has served as health officer several years and has been supervisor of the first ward several years also. In 1880 he joined the Masons and later affiliated with the Odd Fellows. He is a member of his county and state medical societies, also a member of the American Medical Association. He is a self-made man, owing all that he has achieved to hard work, great skill and undaunted perseverance. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

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