Biographical Sketches

Biographies from Cole County People

Vic J. Kaiser

Vic J. Kaiser was the son of John B. Kaiser, remembered by many as owner and manager of the Madison Hotel for many years. John B. Kaiser was born about 1821 in London, of German parents, their home being in Baden. Prior to the Civil War he came to America, locating in Virginia where he lived until the war when he joined the Union Army, attaining the rank of major.

John B. Kaiser was a cabinet maker by trade. After the war he moved to Glasgow, Missouri, then in the early 1870s to Jefferson City where he bought the Madison Hotel which he operated until his death in 1886. Mr. Kaiser married Mary Paschal, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Paschal of this city. She was a native of Austria, coming here with her parents at the age of ten. She died in 1925 at the age of eighty-three. Their children, besides V. J. Kaiser were Charles; Sophia, wife of Will Edwards of this city; Anne Kaiser; Florence, wife of Dr. Bedford of this city; and John B. Kaiser of Fulton.

Vic Kaiser, born in this city in 1872, grew up in the Madison Hotel and from the time he was old enough to be of service worked there. He stayed on for a time as clerk after the death of his father, under the Bradbury, the Millers and the Veith management, then entered the service of the Missouri Pacific in 1904. He became division freight and passenger agent and made his home in Sedalia. Mrs. Kaiser was a native of Arkansas. The couple had a daughter, Sarah, who married Charles Van Dyne who was a manufacturer in Sedalia.

J. H. Kautsch

 J.H. Kautsch, Merchandiser
J.H. Kautsch was born in Cole County on February 14, 1860, receiving his early education in the public schools and engaging in farming until 1882, when he formed a partnership with C.W. Lohman. He continued this business until early 1887 when he started a business with J.A.N. Linhardt, establishing the firm of Kautsch and Linhardt which dealt in agricultural implements and general merchandise in Lohman, MO.

He married A.M.S. Schubert, daughter of Adam Schubert, in 1885 and had two children, Alma Elizabeth and John Arthur. He was Postmaster in Lohman during Grover Cleveland’s regime as President.

Doctor T. J. Kelly

Doctor Thomas Joseph Kelly, Jefferson City physician and surgeon, was born in Boston and reared in St. Johns, Newfoundland. His academic education was at St. Johns where he attended Bonaventure College. Always fond of athletics, while in college Dr. Kelly was active in track, soccer and hockey. His medical education was received at St. Louis University where he received his M.D. degree in 1929, specializing in surgery. In 1932 from the post-graduate school of that institution he received the degree of Master of Science in Surgery.

Following this, he located in Jefferson City where he opened a private practice. As a specialist in surgery and pathology, he was director of laboratory of St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City and of St. Joseph’s Hospital of Boonville. He was consulting surgeon on the staff of the state hospital at Fulton.

Dr. Kelly was born September 25, 1903, the son of Thomas and Katherine Bailey Kelly. His mother died when he was four years old. His father lived in New York. Dr. Kelly was married March 26, 1927, to Miss Thelma Burris of Paducah, Kentucky, daughter of Harry Richard and Ethel Pamela Rudicker Burris. Mrs. Kelly’s father died around 1913.

Dr. and Mrs. Kelly had two children, Barbara, born July 27, 1935 and Thomas Joseph born February 25, 1937. Dr. Kelly was a member of the Theta Kappa Psi, national medical fraternity, and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was president of the Jefferson City Athletic Association, of the Jefferson City Soft Ball Association, and trainer of the football team at St. Peters School.

E. L. King

 Edward L. King, Legislator
Edward L. King was born in Columbia, MO. His father was ex-Governor King and a prominent lawyer of Boone County, being Judge of the First Judicial District. Later the family moved to Ray County where Edward King grew to manhood and was educated in the public schools. He later graduated from Missouri University in 1858 and was admitted to the bar at Richmond.

He enlisted in the 3rd M.S.M. cavalry during the Civil War and was stricken by typhoid fever, resulting in his retirement from the ranks, while in Jefferson City. He served two terms as City Attorney of Jefferson City as well as represented Cole County in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate. He boarded at the Nichols House, 100 West High Street.

G. H. Knollmeyer

 George H. Knollmeyer, General Merchandise
George H. Knollmeyer was born May 24, 1867 in Osnabruck, Germany and immigrated to America at the age of nineteen, arriving in Carlisle, Ill. He then went to St. Louis in 1886 and worked in the milling business until 1890 when he moved to Jefferson City. He worked as a miller for the G. H. Dulle Milling Company until August 1891 and then moved to Little Rock, AR, working at the largest mill in that state.

In 1894 he returned to Jefferson City and engaged in the general merchandising business with his father-in-law, J.B. Bruns of JB Bruns Shoe Company.

He married Lena Bruns on April 25, 1892 and they had two children, Mary and Helen. They made their home at 200 Broadway.

Chris S. Koch

Christopher S. Koch, Missouri Pacific engineer, was born in Mason County, Illinois, December 8, 1880. He was educated in Warrensburg, Missouri and came to Jefferson City July 30, 1903, as locomotive fireman on the Missouri Pacific. January, 1909, he was promoted to locomotive engineer. In 1926 he was promoted to district supervisor of air brakes, holding that position until it was abolished in 1927. In January 1936, Mr. Koch was elected chairman of the local Committee of Adjustment, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. He was a member of the Methodist Church and the Masonic Lodge. In 1915 he bought a home at 507 Capital Avenue.

Mr. Koch was the son of James A. Koch who was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, January 19, 1854, and at the age of thirteen came with his parents to Mason County, Illinois. He was married October 30, 1878, to Elizabeth C. Budke, a native of Mason County, born February 22, 1858. They were the parents of six children: Chris S.; Kate, a teacher in the Marshall school; Mrs. Alice Carr of Knobnoster; Harry J. of Tucson, Arizona; Mrs. Mary Huddleston of Portland, Oregon; Ruth died at the age of four. Following his marriage, James A. Koch moved to Johnson County, Missouri where he lived on a farm several years. He was deputy sheriff of that county from 1896 to 1900 and sheriff from 1900 to 1904. He then moved to Knobnoster.

Mr. Koch’s paternal grandparents were Solomon and Margaret Koch, natives of Pennsylvania. Solomon Koch was born October 3, 1821 and died June 1, 1894. His wife, born January 5, 1822, died September 3, 1899. His maternal grandparents both lived to a ripe old age, his grandmother dying in Mason County at the age of ninety-four.

Chris S. Koch was married in Jefferson City August 24, 1909, to Miss Mary Beatrice Jenkins, a native of Houstonia, Pettis County, daughter of Eli and Jennie Vanata Jenkins. Eli Jenkins was born near Bonnot’s Mill, Osage County July 2, 1852. Following study in country schools he finished at Drury College, Springfield and taught school in Pettis County for a number of years. In 1902 he came to Jefferson City as clerk in the mechanical department of the Missouri Pacific. In 1905 he became a guard in the state prison. Aside from his regular duties and with no monetary compensation, he established a night school in the prison in which he gave several hundred illiterate convicts a rudimentary education and assisted others, who were not illiterate, up through higher mathematics. While in the performance of his official duty Mr. Jenkins was stabbed and killed by a convict. His death occurred on February 28, 1918.

Mrs. Koch’s mother was born hear Houstonia June 27, 1867. She was married to Eli Jenkins December 15, 1884, and died February 23, 1927. She was the daughter of Gilbert and Louisa Vanata who were reared in Dark County, Ohio and came to Missouri and homesteaded land near Sweet Springs prior to the Civil War. They lived to be ninety-two and eighty-eight years of age respectively.

Albert Kroeger

 Albert Kroeger, Publisher
Albert Kroeger was born near Mepen, Hanover, Germany on December 25, 1850. His parents were Gerhard Henry Kroeger and Anna Adelheid Wangelpohl. He immigrated to America in October 1862 with his parents going straight to Jefferson City.

Three years later, at the age of sixteen, he began working as a typesetter in the Missouri Staats-Zeitung office. In 1876 he purchased the plant of the Fortschritt and began publication of the Missouri Volksfriund, one of the most influential German papers published at that time. He served two terms as City Councilman.

He married on October 16, 1882 to Mathilda Wengert, daughter of John and Crescentia (Wagner) Wengert, natives of Bavaria. They had nine children: Otto, Christina, Leo, Rosa, Paulina, Caecilia, Agnes, Paul and Mathilda. They made their home at 409 Mulberry Street.

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