Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
ERNST KEMMLING. Greene county has furnished comfortable homes for many of the enterprising citizens hailing from the great German empire, who have been settling within her borders since early pioneer days when the land was still the home of various tribes of Indians, the Osages, Delawares and Kickapoos, and also the haunts of many specie of wild denizens of the far stretching forests. We have always welcomed the Germans or any of the people from her provinces, and this has been as it should be, for they have been courageous and not afraid of hard work and have been of untold assistance to us in clearing the fertile soil of its heavy timber of oak, hickory, walnut, ash and other hardwoods; and they, too, have helped build our substantial dwellings, convenient business blocks and imposing public buildings. One of this sturdy class is Ernst Kemmling, who has resided on the outskirts of Springfield for a period of thirty-seven years, where he started in a modest way and in due course of time became owner of a vast tract of valuable land.
Mr. Kemmling was born in Germany, November 6, 1846. He is a son of Henry and Caroline (Hinkle) Kemmling, both natives of Germany also, where they grew up, were married and established their home, and there the father engaged in sheep raising for wool, principally.
To Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kemmling seven children were born, namely: Henry and Augusta are both deceased; Carroll lives in Germany; Minnie is deceased; Ernest, subject of this sketch; Lena lives in Germany; and the youngest died in infancy.
Our subject remained with his father until he was twenty-one years of age, at which time he was drafted into the Prussian army, and he served three years in the regular army, and was a soldier for a year in the great Franco-Prussian war, seeing a great deal of hard service, including the sanguinary battle of Cravalett, which lasted two days in the middle of a hot August, and in which engagement the Prussians lost thirty thousand men and the French thirty-two thousand men. Our subject was also before Metz for six weeks, where the French surrendered to the Prussians. The war was concluded July 4, 1871; Mr. Kemmling was honorably discharged from the service. He remained in his native land until December 27, 1871, when he sailed from the Fatherland for the New World, coming straight to Steubenville, Ohio, where he remained five years, during which he was employed by the Jefferson Iron Company. Leaving there he came to Springfield, Missouri, in March, 1877, and bought eighty acres of railroad land on which he settled and went to work. By close application, economy and good management he prospered with advancing years and added to his original purchase from time to time until he became owner of five hundred acres of good land, and ranked among the most enterprising and successful agriculturists of Greene county. He has been living on his present place many years, near the north end of Campbell street, but of late years he has not been so active as formerly, merely overseeing his estate and engaging in trucking and gardening on a small scale and is now practically retired. He has accumulated considerable other property which he looks after, including a splendid home. He is certainly deserving of a great deal of credit for what he has accomplished since coming here, alone and unaided and with but little capital with which to start.
Mr. Kemmling was married in his native province on September 4, 1867, to Minnie Meke, a native of Germany and a daughter of Louis and Charlotte (Henze) Meke, both natives of Germany, where they grew up, married and settled, and to them seven children were born, all of whom are now deceased except the wife of our subject.
To Mr. and Mrs. Ernst Kemmling four sons were born, named as follows: Ernest L., Henry and August, all prosperous farmers of Greene county; and John, who lives in Oregon on a farm, where he is doing well also.
Mr. Kemmling was for many years a member of the German Veterans. He has been a Democrat for the past thirty-seven years, and he and his wife belong to the German Evangelical church. They are well liked in their neighborhood, being hospitable, neighborly and honest in all their intercourse with the world.
Springfield-Greene County Library