Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.
For several generations the Kanouse family has been represented in Morris county and the subject of this review is regarded as one of the leading and substantial citizens of Montville. His grandfather, Conrad Kanouse, was the first of the family to locate in what is now Boonton township, near Powerville, taking up his abode there about the time of the Revolutionary war. He cleared land and followed farming as a means of supporting his family, which numbered five sons and two daughters, namely: Tunis, John, Thomas, Daniel, Abraham, Nellie and Annie. The father, Conrad Kanouse, lived to be nearly eighty years of age. Thomas Kanouse, the father of him whose name heads this article, acquired a common-school education, such as most farmer lads of that day enjoyed, and then gave his attention wholly to the cultivation of the fields. He carried on agricultural pursuits throughout his entire life and died in his eighty-third year. His wife bore the maiden name of Elizabeth C. Van Ness and by their marriage were born eight children: Henry, who married Katie Fredericks; William; Jane, wife of Samuel Benjamin; Mary Ann, who died a the age of twenty years; Jacob, who went to California buy has not been heard of for a number of years; Peter, who married Emma Peer; Hannah, wife of Peter Earles; and Martha, wife of Charles Conklin. The mother of this family died at the age of seventy-three years.
William Kanouse was reared on the old family homestead near Powerville, and acquired a limited education in the schools of those days. He was trained to habits of industry and frugality, which have proven important factors in his business career. On attaining the age of twenty-five years he began business on his own account and after keeping a public house and tavern at Powerville for three years removed to Montville, where he purchased the land now occupied by the Textile Printing Works. From time to time he has sold portions of his farm for building purposes and has derived there from a good income. He also has valuable realty holding in Boonton, including the mansion House and City Hotel properties. All has been acquired through his own well-directed efforts, his enterprise, sagacity, careful management and judicious investment, and certainly his success is well deserved. He voted with the Republican party but has neither time nor inclination to seek public office.
In 1853 Mr. Kanouse married Miss Sarah Louisa Decker, daughter of John and Deborah (Vanderhoof) Decker. They have one daughter, Lucy A., now the wife of Asa T. Cook, of Montville, by whom she has five children: Frank Forrester, who married Estella Hickson and has two children, William and Ester; Clarence C., Louisa, Hobart and Peter I., all at home. Thus four generations of the family reside in this locality. Mr. Kanouse, long numbered among its most prominent business men and representative citizens, has a wife acquaintance, and the history of this section of the county would be incomplete without the record of his life.
Transcribed by Brianne Kelly-Bly
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