Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
KUSSMAUL, WILLIAM F., who has for the past forty years been successfully engaged in mercantile business in Springfield, Ill., has been a resident of the city since 1854. He as born at Wurtemburg, Germany, March 1, 1832, son of John G. and Johannah (Shafer) Kussmaul, both of whom spent their entire lives in Germany. The father was a linen weaver by trade and died in 1870, and the mother died in 1865. They had three children and one son died young. The father served through the Prussian-Austrian War of 1812.
The education of William F. Kussmaul was received in the public schools of Germany and he worked with his father until fifteen years of age, when he was apprenticed to learn the trade of locksmith. He spent three years in learning his trade and worked at it four years afterwards. He worked nine months in the capital of Baden, then sailed for America, June 3, 1854. He proceeded at once to Springfield, which has since been his home. He became employed as helper in a blacksmith shop and worked at the trade three years, then entered the employ of the Wabash Railroad Company, where he remained thirteen years. He then embarked in business on his own account, in the line of retail groceries. He is an enterprising and progressive merchant and has established a good trade, having won the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has had dealings. He is well known in the city and has won a large number of warm personal friends there. He was personally acquainted with Abraham Lincoln, for whom he voted in 1860, this being the first vote he cast.
Mr. Kussmaul was married, in Springfield, Ill., November, 29, 1854, to Christian Yost, who was born February 16, 1833, daughter of David and Catherine (Plumer) Yost. The parents of Mrs. Kussmaul came to America in 1854 and located in Springfield. Both died in Sangamon County, he in 1870 and she in 1884. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kussmaul, namely: Henry, who has for the last twenty-four years been employed in Springfield post-office; Julius, for the past twelve years employed as machinist for the Wabash Railroad; Lizzie, married Archie Euewet, who has been employed for twenty-six years by the Babcock Boiler Company; Emma, living at home. William F. Kussmaul has two grandchildren - Thomas and Wilhelmina Kussmaul.
Mr. Kussmaul owns a handsome residence at 931 South Eleventh Street, where he has eighty feet front, and he also owns five other houses in the city. He is interested in the progress of the community and in politics is a Republican.