Jacob Kessler, a pioneer resident of this place, passed away at the family home Saturday, December 18th, from an illness due to the infirmities of old age. The funeral, which was held from St. Mary's Church last Monday was laregely attended, Rev. W. D. Delaney, the pastor, officiating. Mr. Kessler, who was 82 years and eight months old, was of that sturdy class of farmers who, beginning life under modest circumstances, knew how to live within his means. He located here about sixty years ago, and by degrees acquired considerable land, finally becoming the possessor of something like 200 or more acres. At the time of his death he was worth about $60,000. He was of a charitable, generous nature, contributing liberally to all things pertaining to Catholic welfare and was highly esteemed throughout the country. He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Jacob Weipert and Mrs. O. Waller, and by two grandsons, John and Edward Fisher.
Source: The Catholic Tribune, 25 December 2015, p. 5
JACOB KESSLER is the owner of a farm comprising two hundred and four acres, about half of which he cultivates. He keeps a good grade of stock, and is engaged in mixed farming. In 1873 he built a residence at a cost of $2,000, and has erected other good farm buildings. His fine orchard, comprising one hundred and twenty trees, he set out himself. These, among many others, are the improvements he has placed on the farm, and altogether he is justly esteemed one of th ebest agriculturists of township 57, range 33, Buchanan County, his farm being on setion 5.
Sebastian Kessler, the father of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, was born in 1795, in Wurtemberg, Germany, and was a farmer by occupation. Our subject's mother, whose maiden name was Solastica Kutz, was also burn in Wurtemberg, in the year 1805. They were married in the Fatherland, emigrating to America in 1831 and settling on a farm in Start County, Ohio. Seven years later they came to Missouri, settling on Section 6 of this township, and taking up a Government claim of wild land. There were few settlers in the region at the time, and the family led a regular pioneer life. The father built a log house, which is still standing, the oldest building in the township, and so substantially was it constructed that it has been occupied up to the present day. Mr. Kessler, who died in 1845, was a member of the Catholic Church, as was also his wife, who departed this life in 1870. They had a family of eleven children, six of whom still survive, our subject being the eldest son now living.
Jacob Kessler was born May 21, 1832, in Stark County, Ohio, and was consequently only seven years of age when he first landed in Missouri. The journey was made by boat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, from which point they proceeded up the Missouri to Liberty, making the remainder of the distance with ox-teams. At first two families lived in the same log cabin, the other being Widow Boyer's family, comprising seven members, there being eight of the Kessler family. For a number of years the pioneers of that township went as far as Weston to mill, and also to Rochester, selling wheat at thirty-five cents a bushel, butter fo two cents a pount cash, and oats at five cents a bushel. Our subject had very meagre opportunities for an education, and learned the blacksmith trade under William Carter, of St. Joseph, for whom he worked for three years. In 1853 he crossed the plains to California by ox-team, helping to drive the cattle, and was four months on the way to his destination, Hangtown, Cal. He commenced mining, and steadily worked at the business for four years, being fairly successful. He came home by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and then engaged in farming for a while.
It was in the year 1858 that the marriage of Mr. Kessler with Margaret Beck was celebrated. Her parents, Wolfgang and Catherine (Charioux) Beck, were natives of Wurtemberg and Sarrbruck, Germany, respectively. They had both come to America before their marriage, which took place in the year 1833, in Canton, Ohio, and in 1845 they moved to Missouri, settling on Sect6ion 19, this township. The father died in 1881, but his wife is still living. They were parents of seven children, three of whom are deceased. Mrs. Kessler was born September 30, 1838, in Stark County, Ohio.
After his marriage our subject settled on his present farm, which was then all wild land, and for about thirty-five years has given his time and attention to its cultivation. Five children, two of whom are living, came to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kessler. Mary, deceased, was the wife of Alexander Fischer, and the mother of two children; Josephine and Catherine, both deceased, were the wives of Joseph Sleigher and Joseph Weipert, respectively; Calestia is the wife of Jacob Weipert; and Roanna Amelia completes the family. The children were all given good educations. Mr. Kessler has been a member of the School Board, building three schoolhouses here. During the Civil War he was one of the Enrolled Militia for eight months in 1862, and again in 1864 he served in the same branch for two months. He cases his ballot in favor of the representatives of the Republican party. Beginning in life with nothing, he has worked his way steadily upward by honest industry and perseverance.
Source: Chapman Bros., editor, Portrait and Biographical Record of Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri, pp. 403-404.