JOHN A. KOEHLER, manufacturer of guns and pistols, and dealer in general hardware, at No. 160 on Commercial avenue, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, on the 3d day of September, 1830. His father, John Koehler, was born in Germany in 1790, married Elizabeth Luly, who was born in same country in 1800. The father died in 1850, and the mother in 1849, having had a family of nine children — George Koehler (deceased), Matthew Koehler (also deceased), Lena, wife of Lewis Pfeffer, of Buffalo, N. Y.; Balthser Koehler, of Chicago; John A. Koehler, subject of this sketch; Catherine, wife of ___ Caston, of Blue Island, Ill.; Elizabeth, wife of William Kleber, of Chicago; Frank Koehler, of Chicago; and Eve, deceased wife of ___ Mishler, of Germany.
John A. was reared in his native country, where he served four years' apprenticeship to the trade of gunsmith. He came to the United States in 1851, and for ten years worked at his trade at various points, principally in Chicago, from where he came to Cairo in 1861. He came here to engage at his trade in the interest of the Government, and has been a resident of the city of Cairo ever since. In 1872, he erected a two-story brick business house at a cost of $5,000, located on Commercial avenue between Ninth and Tenth streets, where, since 1880, in addition to his regular trade stock he has kept a full line of general hardware goods. He was married in Ottawa, La Salle Co., Ill., on the 24th of May, 1863, to Miss Henrietta Purucker, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, in October, 1844. She was the second of a family of four children of Adam and Elizabeth (Weis) Purucker, the latter deceased. The names of this family were John, Henrietta, Margaret and Johanna Purucker. Mrs. Henrietta Koehler and the youngest sister are deceased; the former died in Cairo, on the 15th of January, 1876, leaving two children — Louisa, born July 18, 1866; and Charles Koehler, born August 13, 1868. The family are members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Koehler is a member of the I. O. O. F., and in politics, Republican. He owns a residence property on Center street, Cairo.
Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 26-27.
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