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BIOS-Past & Present of Bureau Co. 1906 > John Kitterman

3 Apr 2006

Source: Past & Present of Bureau County, IL - 1906
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin, Tampico Area Historical Society, www.tampicohistoricalsociety.citymax.com

Page 203


John KITTERMAN, a retired farmer residing in Tiskilwa, was born in this county, November 29, 1844, and was the tenth child of Michael KITTERMAN, whose birth occurred near Rock Mount in Franklin county, Virginia, in 1800. Tradition indicates that three brothers of the name emigrated from Germany to America in the latter part of the seventeenth century, landing in Maryland, whence they afterward went to Virginia. Henry KITTERMAN, one of these brothers, lived near Rocky Mount, Franklin county, while John settled in Floyd county, Virginia. Henry became the father of fourteen children, including John, Zack, Chris, George, Michael, Peter, Elias, Polly, Leah, Anne and four whose names are not remembered. Polly married a man of the name of FORTUNE and Anne became the wife of George ROBINSON. Michael and some of the others of the family journeyed to Harrison county, Indiana, where they arrived August 18, 1826. In 1827, he married Miss Lydia CLARK in Perry county, Indiana. She was a native of Nelson county, Kentucky, born September 15, 1810.

In 1828 Michael KITTERMAN came to Illinois on a prospecting tour and was so well pleased with the country that he decided to locate in what is now Bureau county but was then Putnam county. In 1830 he made the journey on horseback to this state, leaving his wife and two children in Indiana. He had just four dollars on reaching his destination and he began working at farm labor in the employ of John HALL, who paid him a wage of nine dollars per month. He occupied his leisure hours in building a cabin and established a claim a short distance from the Princeton courthouse. Having thus made arrangements for a home he went to Indiana for his family and during his absence his claim was jumped, finding the family of Kirke WILLIAMS living in his cabin when he got back, so that he lost his home and obliged to make another selection. His father-in-law, Robert CLARK, and his family accompanied Mr. KITTERMAN and his family to this state. Afterward his brothers, Peter and Elias KITTERMAN, and and two of his sisters, Mrs. FORTUNE and Mrs. ROBINSON, came to Bureau county, although later they settled at Ottumwa, Iowa, where some of their descendants still live. John , KITTERMAN, the eldest brother of Michael, remained in Perry county, Indiana, where he died at an extreme old age. His son John settled at Rock Rapids, Iowa, where about forty or fifty of his descendants still live. Zack KITTERMAN, another brother, went south and settled west of New Orleans in what was then called the Beach country. There were born to Michael and Lydia KITTERMAN thirteen children, all of whom reached adult age with the exception of two, although three have died since reaching maturity, all leaving families. All still live in Bureau county with the exception of one daughter, Mrs. J. H. PATT, whose home is in Preston, Iowa. Chauncey A. DEAN, son of Mrs. Anne DEAN, their eldest daughter, resided in the far west and died in July, 1906.

Mr. and Mrs. Michael KITTERMAN went through some terrifying experiences with the Indians and were obliged to seek safety in the fort at Hennepin many times. Although the red men had no personal dislike for Mr. KITTERMAN it was considered unsafe to remain in unprotected localties. At the outbreak of the Black Hawk war he enlisted on the 26th of May 1832, in Captain George B. WILLIS' company of mounted volunteers of the Fortieth Regiment, commanded by Colonel John STRAWN, and was mustered out on the 18th of June following. Upon the farm where he first settled on bringing his family to Illinois he made his home until his death, which occurred fifty-five years later in 1885. His wife survived him for more than five years, passing away in 1891, so that the old old home was her place of residence for more than sixty years.

John KITTERMAN was reared on his father's farm and acquired a common-school education. He gained practical experience in the best methods of tilling the fields and caring for the crops, giving his father the benefit of his service during the period of his minority. On the 12th of December, 1872, he married Frances Emma SWANZY, who was born April 13, 1850, a daughter of Dr. James SWANZY, a pioneer settler of Bureau county, who was prominent in this part of the state. Five children grace this marriage. Dr. H. B. KITTERMAN, the eldest, born in 1873, is an optician of Princeton. He was married in 1900 to Myrtle SARGENT, who was born in 1879, and they have three children: John Harwood, born im 1901; Sarah Ione, in 1902; and Eunice Alberta, in 1904. Ralph SWANZY, born in 1876, is at home. Humphreys Lyan, born in 1878, was married in 1902 to Nettie May SHARP, who was born in 1881. Ethel Grace, born in 1882, and Lydia Catherine, in 1891, are at home.

Throughout his active business life Mr. KITTERMAN followed farming and in 1900 retired, taking up his abode in Tiskilwa, where he purchased a beautiful residence. He is a democrat and served as road commission, but otherwise has never sought or held public office. In his business career he has prospered owing to his capable management and untiring industry and the success which he now enjoys is well deserved. He is now the owner of about eight hundred acres of land, all in one body except eighty acres. He has given considerable attention to stock-raising and while living on the farm never sold a load of corn but fed it all to his stock. His fine barns, valued at seven thousand three hundred dollars, were destroyed by fire in 1897, while the insurance amounted to only three thousand dollars. He has since erected new buildings upon the place and the farm is excellently improved. He and his family are members of the Episcopal church and stand high in the community where they reside.

TAMPICO AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - MUSEUM - FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY/RESEARCH CENTER  119 Main St., P. O. Box 154,  Tampico, IL  61283   www.tampicohistoricalsociety.com   tampicohistoricalsociety@gmail.com  President Joan Johnson, 815-438-7581 or garyjoan@thewisp.net  Family History Coordinator, Denise McLoughlin 815-718-3617. We are an all-volunteer organization so your donations are always appreciated!  Sign up to receive our e-newsletter. Thank you!  Visit us on FACEBOOK, too.