C. E. KESSINGER, who has for many years been successfully identified with the agricultural and live-stock interests of Macoupin county, was born in Bird township, January 16, 1852. He is a son of John and Eliza (Adams) Kessinger, both of whom were born in Kentucky, the former in 1825, and the latter in 1827. Mrs. Kessinger was a daughter of Horatio and Cynthia (Mure) Adams and came with her parents to Macoupin county when she was a child. John Kessinger grew to maturity in his native state and arrived in Morgan County, Illinois, in 1847. After working for a year at farm labor he came to Macoupin county and secured employment for three years with farmers of this county. He then purchased eighty acres of land on section 15, Bird township, but changed his place of residence several times until 1872, when he located permanently on section 13. He was very successful as a farmer and became a large landowner, gaining recognition as one of the leaders of the community. Politically he was an earnest supporter of the democratic party and religiously he was actively identified with the Methodist church. He died in 1890 and his wife was called away in 1879.
The Kessinger family is of German descent. Ludwick Kessinger, the first of the family to arrive in America, was born on the River Rhine and his wife was Eve Greenwald. Solomon Kessinger, the great-grandfather of our subject, as born in Pennsylvania and moved to Kentucky early in his life. His son, Lynn, was born in Kentucky and died there at the advanced age of ninety-three years. In the family of John and Eliza Kessinger were the following children: P. W., a resident of Carlinville; C. E., of this sketch; Harriet, the widow of Cicero Solomon; W. H., who lives in Bird township; Cynthia, who married James Sells, of Denver, Colorado; J. P., who makes his home in Carlinville; and M. M., of Alton, Illinois. The mother of these children was twice married, her first husband being Bird Peebles. To this union one child, Horatio B., was born. He is now a resident of Bird township.
Mr. Kessinger, whose name introduces this sketch, attended the common schools and enjoyed advantages of early training, which have been of great assistance to him in meeting the responsibilities of life. He remained with his parents until twenty-two years of age and then engaged in farming in Western Mound township. After a few years he located on section 13, Bird township, and can claim one of the most attractive properties on this section, everything about the place indicating thrift and progress. He engages in general farming and is meeting with highly gratifying success.
On the 28th of December, 1873, Mr. Kessinger was married to Miss Mary Love, who was born in Bird township in 1854, a daughter of Samuel and Minerva Love. The father is said to have been the first white child born in Macoupin county. He spent his entire life as an agriculturist in this county and died September 29, 1891. There were nine children in his family, namely: John J., who is now engaged in farming in Bird township; James Madison, deceased; Mary, now Mrs. C. E. Kessinger; Newton, also deceased; Ada, who married Frank M. Washburn, of Bird township; Nettie, deceased; Adela and George, both of whom are at home; and Walter, who is deceased. The parents of these children were both members of the Baptist church. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. kessinger: Eva May, Harriet and William P., all of whom are deceased; Gertrude, who is the wife of Walker Cundell, of Bird township; James N., of Carlinville; and Fred, at home.
Religiously Mr. Kessinger is a member of the Methodist church while his wife is an adherent of the Baptist denomination. They are both active workers in advancing the welfare of the section with which they have been closely identified for many years. Politically he gives his support to the democratic party but not from any desire to hold office, as his time and attention are mainly devoted to his family and his farm. He represents a high type of American citizen and, being a man who has unfalteringly met the problems of life, he fully merits the respect in which he is held by his neighbors and friends.