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Henry M. Keppel    

HENRY M. KEPPEL. Many of the most enterprising and prosperous citizens of Erie county were born across the sea, prominent among the number being Henry M. Keppel, a thriving business man of Corry. A native of Germany, he was born, November 13, 1837, in Hirschberg, Thuringia, which was likewise the birthplace of his father, Karl Keppel. His grandfather, Jacob Keppel, was a weaver by trade, and spent his entire life of fifty-six years in Germany.

The only child of his parents, Karl Keppel early learned the weaver’s trade, and followed it in the fatherland until 1853. Desirous then of taking advantage of the opportunities offered a poor man in the New World, he sailed with his wife and three children for America, embarking at Bremen, and after a long and wearysome journey of forty-seven days landing in New York City, September 9, 1853.

Proceeding by rail to Buffalo, he lived there a year, keeping busily employed. Going then to Cattaraugus county, he bought a tract of timbered land near Dayton, New York, and having cleared an opening erected a two-room block house with a small ell. He improved the land, in the course of time putting up substantial frame buildings, and was there successfully engaged in farming until his death, at the age of eighty-six years. He married Henrietta Vogel, a native, also, of Hirschberg, Germany, and she still lives on the home farm, being now ninety-three years of age. Six children were born of their union, namely: Henry M., of this sketch; Mary, wife of John Dankerd, of Towanda, New York; Ernest, a resident of Corry; Charles, of Fair Plains, New York; John, deceased; and Lizzie, wife of Charles Rieter, of Fair Plains. The three younger children were born in this country.

Having completed his early education while living in his native land, Henry M. Keppel came to this country with his parents, and soon after locating in Buffalo began learning the blacksmith’s trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years. Taking then a partner, he ran a smithy for five years in that city, after which he had a shop in Titusville, Pennsylvania, for a time, afterwards being there employed in teaming, and in oil refining. Turning his attention to agricultural pursuits, Mr. Keppel, in 1867, bought a tract of timber in Columbus township, Warren county, and there took up his residence. While clearing the land, getting it ready to cultivate, he became interested in the manufacture of lumber, and soon had a saw mill in full operation, being very successful in his new industry. In 1893, with J. B. Moore he purchased pine lands in Northern Wisconsin, erecting a large mill, which they operated until 1903; in 1898 they became owners of heavily timbered land in Randolph county, West Virginia, and subsequently. having added to their original tract by purchase of more timber, they put in a doublehand sawmill with a capacity of one hundred thousand feet a day, and proceeded to build up a town and establish a business. They built a spur railway track extending into their land fifteen miles, erected thirty-three dwelling houses, and had granted to the new colony a postoffice, which was called Ellamore. Removing with his family to Corry in 1898, Mr. Keppel has since been identified with the leading industries of the place, during the same year having been elected president of the National Bank of Corry.

Mr. Keppel wedded Miss Martha Miller in 1893 and two children were born to them, Henry Harrison, in school; and Marie, also in school and she is receiving musical instruction. Mr. Keppel is a true-blue Republican and during the year of 1908 he was alternate delegate to the Republican National convention at Chicago. Both he and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church at Corry and he is one of the strong factors in the church. He is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. at Corry and also of the B. P. 0. E. of Corry.

A twentieth century history of Erie County, Pennsylvania : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests, Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1909, pages 449-450. More Erie County History Books   Search Hundreds of 1880s-1890s Pennsylvania County History Books for biographies and historical information on your ancestors.  View the book page images on line and print them out for your genealogy file!  Free Access to the old history books - plus birth & death records, census images and ALL other records at ancestry.com.

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