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KEMP, Jacob

Jacob KEMP. Marshall county has many well-to-do and successful farmers, men who have accumulated what they have of this world’s goods through individual effort. Among this class the name of the subject of this notice is entitled to a place. On beginning life for himself his only property consisted of a rather worn-out team and one dollar and a half in money. The latter he paid out for one hundred pounds of flour, which he then thought would last him a life time, and arrived in this state with only a pair of willing hands and a determination to succeed. He is now residing on section 15, Evans township, where he is industriously engaged in the prosecution of his noble calling, and is meeting with more than ordinary success.

His paternal grandfather, John KEMP, who was a native of Germany, married a lady of Welsh birth, and settled in New Jersey, where Charles KEMP, the father of our subject, was born in 1791. At an early day the latter removed with his family to Somerset county, Pennsylvania, where he was reared upon a farm, and on reaching his majority he engaged as a stage driver on the old National road, then called the Braddock road. He was united in marriage with Sarah SMITH, daughter of Jacob SMITH, who kept a tavern along that highway, and for whom Mr. KEMP worked for a time. She died in 1818, leaving one son, Julius, now living in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, at the age of eighty-two years.

Charles KEMP was engaged in teaming while the National road was being built, and drove the first stage from Chambersburgh to Uniontown across the Allegheny mountains, which occupation he followed until his second marriage. He wedded Sarah CLEMENTS, who was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, in 1798, and was the daughter of Jacob CLEMENTS. In 1824 the father gave up stage driving and purchased a farm in Fayette county, on which he lived until his death. His wife died in 1867, a faithful member of the Methodist church. In their family were ten children – Jacob, of this review; Lucinda, Katie Ann and John, all deceased; Thomas, of Wenona, Illinois; Elizabeth Ann, deceased; William, of Wenona; and Anna Belle, Charles and an infant daughter, all deceased.

Jacob KEMP was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, November 25, 1821, but was reared upon a farm in Fayette county, and there secured his education in the common schools. He was married March 2, 1843, to Sarah PARNELL, who was born in that county, April 25, 1822, and died June 6, 1854. Five children graced their union, three still living – Nicholas M., of Ford county, Illinois, who married Catherine AXLINE, and has eight children: Jasper N. and Thomas M., deceased; Sarah M., wife of William H. GRIFFIN, of Livingston county, Illinois, by whom she has three children and Mariam E. On the 15th of February, 1855, Mr. KEMP as again married, his second union being with Catherine BROWN, who was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, June 28, 1818, and died in August, 1868. To them were born three children – Laura Belle and Jervis B., deceased; and Jennette B.

On the 31st of March, 1870, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. KEMP and Sarah DILLINER, who was born on the old home farm in Greene county, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1838, and is the daughter of Ambrose and Elizabeth (GRIFFIN) DILLINER, also natives of Greene county, the former born in 1815, and the latter in 1813. Her parents have lived upon their present home since 1825. In their family were seven children – Mrs. KEMP; Mrs. Caroline EVERLY, deceased; Mrs. Lydia F. STURGIS, who has three children; Lizzie, deceased; William L., of Greene county, Pennsylvania, who is married and has three children; and George S. and Walter, both deceased. By this union six children were born to our subject – Ambrose G., of Belle Plain township, Marshall county, who married Carrie CARRITHERS, by whom he has one child: Anna Belle, who has taught for three years in Ford county, Illinois; Emeline, deceased; Jacob Ezra; Lucy May and Franklin Rogers.

After his first marriage, Mr. KEMP located upon his father’s farm in Fayette county, where he made his home until 1856, and then removed to Illinois, at first settling in Hope township, La Salle county, where he continued to reside until 1864, when he removed to his present farm – a valuable tract of eighty acres, highly cultivated and improved. Besides general farming he has also operated a thresher and corn sheller for eighteen years.

For forty years, Mr. KEMP has been one of the most active and influential members of the Methodist church at Cherry Pint, during which time he has served as steward and class leader, and has also been superintendent of the Sunday school; while socially, for forty-five years he has held membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Although reared a democrat, he became a republican after Fort Sumter was fired upon, and his son, Nicholas M., valiantly served in the Union army. He has been road overseer, collector and assessor, and for fifteen years school director, in which offices he gave general satisfaction.

Extracted April 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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