14 Jul 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Becky Jones
John H. Kempster, farmer, owning 150 acres on sections 33 and 34, Portland Township, is a son of John and Lydia (Hall) Kempster (see sketch of William W. Kempster for biography of parents), and was born in Oneida Co., N.Y., May 11, 1818. He came West with his father’s family by water, via the lakes and Chicago, and Aug. 25, 1837, came to Portland Township, this county. He was reared on the farm and attended the common schools of the county. On his father dividing his land among his three sons, John H. received 120 acres and has since added by purchase 30 acres, and at present has a fine farm of 150 acres. He has a fine residence and good farm buildings on his place and the entire tract well fenced.
In the winter of 1856 he purchased an interest in a mill which his brothers and a Mr. Butzer had erected (see sketch of Wm. W. Kempster), buying out Mr. Butzer. Mr. Kempster has held the office of Supervisor one yaer, also Commissioner of Highways and School Trustee.
He was married in Portland Township Oct. 6, 1853, to Miss Eliza Rowe, daughter of Smith and Rachel Rowe. She was born in Steuben Co., N.Y., in 1830. The issue of their union was eight children, namely: Ellen A., born Sept. 23, 1854; Mary J., born March 17, 1856; Henry J., born May 31, 1858, died Aug. 5, 1879; Lottie J., born Dec. 24, 1860; Robert A., born March 5, 1863; Ulysses G., Feb. 1, 1865; Minnie E., Sept. 11, 1868; Estella M., July 7, 1870; Ethel C., Sept. 23, 1874; and Bessie R., Feb. 1, 1877. Ellen A. married John Hahn, a farmer in Larimer, Col. Mary J. is the wife of Wm. Arnett, a farmer in Loraine Township, Henry County, this State. Lottie J. is the wife of Henry Arnett, a farmer of the same township and county.