Kansas History and Heritage Project-Anderson County Biographies

Anderson County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Record of Southeastern Kansas"
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1894

BENARD H. KELLING has been a resident of Anderson County since 1872, when he came here from Washington County, Iowa, and located in Jackson Township, on section 29. Mr. Kelling was born in Prussia, January 31, 1835, and when but one and a-half years of age was brought over to America by his parents, Benard and Helena Kelling. The father died in Comanche, Iowa, about six months after arriving there, and the mother passed away in Rock Island County, Ill. Soon after the death of the father, the family removed to Rock Island County, where our subject lived until he was sixteen years old, when he crossed the plains to California, being eight months on the way. He lived at various places along the Pacific Coast for five years, working by the month part of the time and subsequently finding employment in the mines. He returned to Rock Island County and remained there a few months, and then went to Iowa, where he was employed by a railroad company for two seasons, after which he tried farming for about a year.

At the tune when so many people were going to Pike's Peak, our subject was among the very first to go, but he was satisfied the re only a short time, and returned to Illinois. He remained there another brief period and then went to Washington County, Iowa, where he engaged in farming. While living there he was united in marriage to Catherine Seber, in 1861. By her union with Mr. Kelling, this good lady became the proud mother of three children, Alex H., William B. and Frederick L., and went to her final rest in that county in 1880. Two years later our subject was again married, his second choice of a life companion being Mrs. Mary E. Durstine, nee Gorton. Mrs. Kelling was born in Vermont, March 29, 1849, and was the widow of C. Wilson Durstine, who died in April, 1881.

When Mr. Kelling was first married, he settled in Washington County, Iowa, and stayed there until the spring of 1872, when he came to Kansas and located in Coffey County. He remained there until the following autumn, at which time he established himself in Anderson County, and located on section 20, this township. From there he came to his present place of abode, one mile south. Mr. Kelling possesses a clear intellect, and is a man of wide experience and extended information. He has improved his estate, which comprises five hundred acres, and it is considered one of the best kept farms in the county. Besides general farming, our subject is engaged quite extensively in the raising of stock, and keeps some of the best grades always on hand. He has never been an office-seeker, but attends strictly to his own affairs at all times, thus finding but little time to devote to politics.

Mr. Kelling is known and respected for the honesty and sincerity of his character, and has the friendship of some of the best men in the community. His genial and hopeful disposition, combined with a persevering nature, is the secret of his success in life.

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