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Early Settlers – Emanuel and Eliza Kissel – Silent Land Cemetery, Spearville, Ford County, Kansas


Emanuel and Eliza Kissel brought their three daughters to Ford County in 1881. They settled nine miles north of Wright along the Sawlog creek.


Emanuel was born in the state of Pennsylvania in 1842. His family moved to Illinois where Emanuel enlisted in Co. A 2nd IL Light Artillery. He was honorably discharged after three years of service.

Emanuel married Phebe (unknown last name) and she gave birth to a daughter. Phebe died shortly thereafter the birth and is buried in Purple Cane Cemetery in North Bend, Dodge County, Nebraska. The daughter was Clara Louise.


Emanuel moved back to Illinois where he married Eliza Hughes in 1877. Their three daughters were born there. Two sons were added while living in Ford County. Their homestead was a 2-room sod house. To provide an income until the crops were sufficient to sustain the family, Emanuel and his sons quarried rock and freighted it to Fort Dodge and Dodge City where it was sold.


Eventually, the family was able to build a two-room stone house, stable, and chicken house. They also raised cows and a bountiful garden provided them with food. Their children attended school, grew up, married, and had their own children. Emanuel died at his home in 1908. Eliza passed away in 1933. They share the same stone in Silent Land Cemetery.


The rest of the story: Emanuel’s first wife, Phebe, died in 1871 after giving birth to a daughter. Using census documents, it seems that Clara Louise Kissel stayed in Illinois and lived with her Kissel grandparents. She did marry and raise a family. She died in 1956 and is buried in Nebraska.


Personal Note: A collection of my stories from Ford County is available for purchase on Amazon. You can type in either Mary S. Schartz or If Headstones Could Talk. It has been my pleasure to share these stories with you. You can read other stories at www.ifheadstonescouldtalk.com


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