Biography of William Kittinger

The enterprising methods of William Kittinger, a representative agriculturist of Caledonia Township, are indicated in the fact that he had nine acres of the best wheat raised in Racine County in 1916. His is a well improved farm, supplied with all modern equipments to facilitate the work and render farm life comfortable and attractive. He came to Wisconsin from New York, his birth having occurred in Niagara County, about ten miles east of Niagara Falls, on the 10th of December, 1847, his parents being Isaac and Priscilla (Burnette) Kittinger. The father was born in Harrisburg. Pennsylvania, April 7, 1818, and passed away in Caledonia, January 29, 1867, while his wife, who was born in Niagara County June 18, 1823, died on the 29th of July, 1913. They were married in her native County and became the parents of four children, of whom the eldest, Franklin, is now deceased. The others are: William; Loretta, the wife of Morgan E. Price, who is employed in a camp chair factory in Racine; and Charles E., who is the owner of a grocery store in Denver, Colorado, but is living in Lincoln, Nebraska. Franklin, the eldest son, was born March 29, 1846, and enlisted for service in the Union army as a member of Company H. Twenty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, August 12, 1862. He died at Murfreesboro. Tennessee, September 23, 1863, and was there laid to rest in the national cemetery, in a grave marked No. 2223. The valor of the family was further demonstrated in the father’s enlistment. He went to the front as a drummer and afterward became a fifer and on the 25th of March, 1863, at Brentwood, he was taken prisoner and held at Libby prison for two days. He became one of the best carpenters of Racine County and led an active and useful life. His wife was a member of the Congregational church of Caledonia. Both were highly esteemed by all who knew them and both represented old families of the east. The father was a son of Abraham Kittinger, a weaver by trade, who was born in Pennsylvania and there spent his life. The maternal grandfather, William Burnette, was born at Morristown, New Jersey, in 1776, the family there living at the time that. Washington made his winter quarters there.

William Kittinger had only such educational advantages as the district schools afforded, but through his own efforts has become a well informed man, reading broadly, thinking deeply, observing keenly and gaining many valuable lessons in the school of experience.

It was on the 11th of March. 1880, that Mr. Kittinger was married to Miss Katie Kleinschmidt, who was born in Racine, a daughter of John and Katherina Kleinschmidt, natives of Germany, the :former a farmer by occupation. To Mr. and Mrs. Kittinger have been born three children, of whom two are living: Frank, who is farming in Caledonia Township; Arthur, residing with his parents; and Nellie, who died in Lincoln, Nebraska, August 13, 1913.

At the time of the outbreak of hostilities between the north and the south William Kittinger watched with interest the progress of events and his patriotic spirit aroused, he enlisted as a member of Company H. However, as he could not remain in the array without his mother’s consent, on account of his age, and as she refused to give it he had to return to civil life after serving only five days. His desire to go to the front was incontestable evidence of his patriotism and his courage. He purchased his home farm in October 1865 and now has two hundred and twenty-five acres of land, having added to the original tract as opportunity has offered. Every cent he has made himself and his position indicates the spirit of enterprise which has characterized him throughout his entire life. He has worked diligently and persistently, utilizing his time and opportunities to the best possible advantage and in the conduct of his business has displayed sound judgment. He carries on general farming but devotes his attention principally to dairying. However, he is very successful in the cultivation of his fields, as is indicated by the fact that. Racine County in 1916 possessed no better wheat than he raised on a nine acre tract.. For dairy purposes he keeps a mixed breed of cows of high grade, for some of them having paid two hundred and two hundred and fifty dollars. He is enabled to give his stock green food throughout the winter, for he has two silos upon his place. He has sold cream to the amount of twenty-eight thousand dollars in twenty-two years to one man in Milwaukee. He also has upon his place a fine apiary of Italian bees, having from three hundred and fifty to four hundred stands, and through a long period he has engaged in the cultivation of bees, the honey finding a ready sale upon the market because of the excellence of the product. There are ample and substantial buildings for the shelter of grain and stock and for his family he has provided a beautiful home, which be erected in 1910 at a cost of six thousand dollars. It. is supplied with hot water heat and all modern conveniences.

Mr. Kittinger votes with the Republican Party and is inclined to prohibition principles, for he has always been a believer in the cause of temperance. His religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which his wife also belongs and of which they are loyal and consistent members. In every relation of life they have displayed sterling traits of character which have gained them the confidence, goodwill and high regard of those with whom they have come in contact. In business affairs Mr. Kittinger is known to be thoroughly reliable and his life record, crowned with success, should serve to inspire and encourage others, for it illustrates what may be accomplished through indefatigable effort.


Racine County WI,

Racine County Wisconsin History: Racine Belle City of the lakes and Racine County Wisconsin a record of settlement organization progress and achievement. SJ Clarke Pub Co. Chicago. 1916. 1216 pgs.

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