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Old Timers 1907

(Glimpses of prominent Frackville citizens from the borough's early days)


KEHLER, JOSEPH J., a farmer and real-estate dealer of Frackville, Pa., was born in Eldred township, Schuylkill county, Jan. 19, 1849, a son of George H. and Sarah (Fetterholf) Kehler, both of whom were natives of Schuylkill county. John Kehler, grand- father of Joseph J., was a native of Schuylkill county and was a prominent farmer of Eldred township. He married Elizabeth Hepler. Samuel Fetterholf, the maternal grandfather of our subject, also was a farmer of Eldred township, but died in Dauphin county. The maiden name of his wife was Maurer. George H. Kehler, the father of Joseph J., was for many years a farmer of Eldred township and was a large land-holder, but in later life he removed to Mahanoy City, where he died. His family consisted of two sons and one daughter, of whom Joseph J. was the only one who grew to years of maturity. Joseph J. Kehler was reared on the old homestead in Eldred township, where he attended the public schools of the day, later attending schools in Philadelphia and at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in which latter city he was a student in the famous Eastman business college. At the age of fifteen years he initiated his independent career by becoming a clerk in a general store at Ashland, Pa., where he remained one year, after which he was in charge of a general store in Eldred township for five years. He then in 1872 became engaged in farming and operating a mill in Eldred township. He followed this vocation until 1881, when he removed to Frackville. Later he removed to Ashland, where he was engaged in conducting a general store until 1905, when he sold the business to his son, Webster, and returned to Frackville. He has since been a resident of that city, devoting his attention to farming and real estate. He is also a stockholder in and director of the First National bank of Frackville, of which he was one of the original organizers. He is a Republican in his political proclivities, having served in the borough council, and is a member of Camp No. 66, Patriotic Order of the Sons of America. Religiously Mr. Kehler is a zealous member of the United Evangelical church and always maintains an active interest in the work of that denomination. -For many years he has been superintendent. of the Sunday school and is one of the leaders in the weekly society meetings. In 1871 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kehler to Mary J. Hepler, a daughter of Elias and Elizabeth (Fisher) Hepler, of Eldred township. and they are the parents of four children: T. Webster; Elizabeth A., wife of G. W. Hopper; Jennie E., wife of John E. Dyer, and Joseph Jr., principal of the high school at Pottsville, Pa.

[This article can be found in "1907 History of Schuylkill County" by J.H. Beers]

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