Biography of Harry A. Kunkle

Harry A. Kunkle. Kansas as one of the greatest agricultural sections of the world had bestowed its riches abundantly upon the disciples of farming, but it will be found an almost invariable rule that those who have benefited most from the prosperity of Kansas have relied upon those old virtues of industry and unceasing vigilance which have their rewards in other less favored communities. Hard work was no doubt the keynote in the success of the late Aaron Kunkle, who developed a splendid estate as a farmer in Kansas, and his only heir, Harry A. Kunkle, had not been bebind his father in similar enterprise and is today one of the largest land owners and most successful business mien of Ellsworth.

The Kunkle family had been identified with Pennsylvania since colonial times. The grandfather of Harry A. Kunkle spent his life in Silver Spring Township of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, as a farmer, and died there in 1874. He married a Miss Adams, also a native of Pennsylvania, and she died in Silver Spring Township in 1897. They had a family of children mentioned briefly as follows: Aaron; Levi, a carpenter by trade who died at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1915; Daniel, a retired farmer at Mechanicsburg; Elizabeth, who died in her native township in 1872; Mary, wife of Henry Witmer, a retired farmer at Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Sophia, now living with her second husband, Mr. Banks, a truck farmer on the eastern shore of Maryland; and Sarah, wife of Charles Hiekes, a tinsmith and hardware merchant who was last heard from at Columbus, Ohio.

The late Aaron Kunkle was born in Silver Spring Township, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1847, grew up and married there, took up farming as a business, and in March, 1879, brought his family to Kansas. The first six months they lived at Wilson, and he then took up a homestead of 160 acres eleven miles northwest of Ellsworth. That homestead grew and developed into a splendid farm and it was the family home for twenty years. It was sold in 1899 and Aaron Kunkle then bought a farm of 480 acres three miles northeast of Ellsworth. This he continued to own and he lived on it eighteen months, but in 1901. bought a place of 196 acres adjoining Ellsworth on the northeast. Here he built a good home and put up many other improvements. Altogether he owned 2,000 acres in Ellsworth County and had that big estate when he died on his farm near Ellsworth July 1, 1914. He had come to Kansas thirty-five years ago in modern circumstancces and undoubtedly he satisfied his ambitious in every respect. He was a republican, but never aspired to any office, and was a member of Ellsworth Lodge No. 109 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Aaron Kunkle married Elizabeth Sierer, who was born in Hamden Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1846, and is now living with her son and only child at Ellsworth.

Harry A. Kunkle received his early education in the rural schools of Columbia Township, Ellsworth County. In early youth he became associated with his father in farming and as inheritor of his father’s estate had made wise use thereof and like the wise man of the old parable had increased the talents given him until he is now owner of a magnificent property of 3,580 acres of farm land. He rents these farms for diversified agriculture, and he himself gave active superintendence personally to his farming and stock raising until 1914. In that year he built a fine modern residence in the southwest corner of section 21 and in the northeastern part of Ellsworth and lives there with his mother and superintends his varied properties. Mr. Kunkle is a republican. In 1900 he joined Ellsworth Lodge No. 109 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, had served as noble grand and is also past chief patriarch of Golden Belt Encampment No. 47 and is also affiliated with Charity Rebekah Lodge No. 39.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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