8 Jul 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Becky Jones
Ephraim H. Kempster, farmer, residing on section 33, Portland Township, and owning 370 acres of land in the township, is a son of John and Lydia (Hall) Kempster (see sketch of William W. Kempster), and was born near Utica, Oneida Co., N.Y., Sept. 16., 1834. When three years of age his parents came with him to this county, settling on wild land in Portland Township. Ephraim was reared on the farm, and received the advantages afforded by the common schools. On the death of his father he inherited 60 acres of the homestead, and purchased 30 acres of the same from his brother, William. He at once located on his land, and has resided there, continuously since. By energetic effort and good judgment he has succeeded in increasing his landed interests until he is at present the owner of 370 acres. In the winter of 1855-6 he and his brother William, together with Jacob F. Butzer, erected a mill, which they ran for a season, when Mr. Butzer sold his interest to J.H. Kempter, another brother. The three brothers ran the mill for about 20 years as a saw-mill, when they converted it into a turning establishment, and manufactured all kinds of furniture material for some 10 years. They have ceased to run it, and for the past few years have rented it. Mr. Kempster makes a specialty of stock on his farm. He has from 150 to 200 head of hogs, mostly Poland China. He has also a number of graded Norman and Clydesdale horses. Mr. Kempster is also, in addition to his agricultural labors, engaged in manufacturing lumber, which he ships to Davenport. On his farm he has a deer park in which he and his brother have six White-Tailed or Virginia deer.
Mr. Kempster was united in marriage May 15, 1859, to Miss Rachel Ann Spicer. She was a daughter of George and Abigail (Scudder) Spicer, and was born April 23, 1846, in Will Co., Ill. They were the parents of six children, three of whom died in infancy. The record is as follows: Loretta A., born Feb 14, 1860, died Sept. 12, 1860; Arthur E., born March 17, 1862, died Feb. 20, 1864; Charles M., born July 5, 1855, died Aug. 5, 1867; Frank E., born Sept. 12, 1868; Elbert A., born May 7, 1873; and Mabel M., born April 11, 1881.