SEBASTIAN KUMLE, the owner of 520 broad acres of land, usually may be found at his homestead in township 15, range 8, where his interests have centered for many years. He may be most properly termed a self-made man, having worked his way up from a modest beginning to a good position socially and financially. From his substantial German ancestry he inherited the qualities requisite to the formation of an honest man and a good citizen, and is thus regarded most unquestionably by all who know him.
A native of his Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany, our subject was born Jan. 20, 1830, and lived there until a young man of twenty years, receiving a good education in his native tongue, and becoming familiar with agricultural pursuits. He was always thoughtful beyond his years, and saw little in his own country to encourage him in carrying out his ambition for the future. He finally decided to emigrate to America, and shipping from the port of Bremen landed in New York City after a safe voyage on a sailing vessel.
Soon thereafter, leaving the metropolis, young Kumle proceeded southwestward across the Mississippi to St. Louis, Mo., where he sojourned two years. Thence he came to this county from Jacksonville, went into the country, and found employment as a farm laborer. He was thus occupied one year, and the next rented a tract of land and commenced farming on his own account. The next important event in his life was his marriage, in 1852, with Miss Gertrude K. Rushe, a native of his own country, who emigrated to America with her brother in July, 1850.
Mr. Kumle operated as a renter until 1863, and in the meantime had accumulated sufficient money to purchase 140 acres of land. This was mostly under cultivation, but there were no buildings upon it. He put up a house and barn and gradually added the other buildings necessary for his convenience. Later he purchased 185 acres, which constitutes the present homestead. It will thus be seen that he was prospered from the beginning. He always made it a rule to live within his income, and was prompt in meeting his obligations. In addition to general agriculture, he raises in large numbers cattle, horses and swine, making a specialty of the latter and of Norman trotting and saddle horses. In this industry he has been particularly successful, achieving an enviable reputation.
To our subject and his estimable wife there have been born five children, the eldest of whom, a son, Joseph, is a well-to-do farmer and stock-raiser; he married Miss Mary Dayton, and they have three children - Fred, William and John. A. L. married Miss Ella Coultas, is a farmer by occupation, and the father of two children, a son, Harry, and a babe unnamed; William F. and John Emil remain at home with their parents; Mary is the wife of Hardman Seller, a native of Germany, who crossed the Atlantic when fifteen years old, and is carrying on farming in this county; they have five children - Gertrude, Kate, Mary, Ann E., and Joseph.
Mr. Kumle, with his family, belongs to the Catholic Church. In politics he votes independently, aiming to support the principles and not men. It certainly should be a matter of pride to Mr. Kumle and his family that their surroundings are so pleasant as to elicit praise from passers-by. To an equal extent will the view of their home, given in this volume, attract the admiration of many readers.