JOHN A. KERN, a prosperous farmer of Moultrie County, resides on section 21,
Whitley Township. His residence in this county dates from 1858, at which time his
advent here was made from Indiana. He was born in Lawrence County, Ind., November 14,
1836, and his parents were Edward and Polly Ann (Rice) Kern, natives of Gallatin County, Ky. In
that county they were married and about two years after that important event in their lives they
removed to Lawrence County, Ind., where they settled on a farm. There they died, the father at
the age of fifty-five and the mother when sixty-seven years old. They welcomed the coming of
eight children to their home and fireside, six of whom lived to be grown.
The names of the children of whom our subject is one, are respectively: Sophia, David S., John A.,
James B., Susan E. and Newton J. The survivors of these have reached man's and woman's estate
and have taken honorable positions in society. Sophia married Anderson Boadinghamer and
resides in Lawrence, Ind., on a part of the old homestead. David S. died in February, 1858, at
Indianapolis, Ind. Susan E. is the wife of Thomas Ray and resides in Lawrence County, in her native
State. Newton J. lives on the old homestead.
The subject of our sketch was reared on the home farm and received his education in the common
schools of Ills district. He was a careful and conscientious student and became well posted in
all the common branches of learning. In 1858 he taught the school in his home district and soon
afterward came to this State and was engaged in teaching in this county in East Nelson Township.
While there he formed the acquaintance of Ann E. Armentrout and in March, 1860, she became his
wife. She was a daughter of Philip Armentrout and was born in Whitley Township, August 4,
1842. After marriage Mr. Kern rented a tract of land which he operated for four years and in 1865
he purchased the land upon which he at present resides, which was at the time entirely new, never
having been cut by the plow. He is now the owner of two hundred and fifty acres of land
upon which he has placed fine improvements, having a good residence and commodious barns and
Mr. Kern has been twice married. His first wife died March 4, 1884, having been the mother of
eight children, six of whom survived her. They are all progressive men and women who have appreciated
the advantages of education and in this respect have made all efforts to obtain every advantage.
Ollie J. is Principal of a school at Cherry Valley, this State; James R. is a farmer and resides
in Indiana; Minnie M., who is a teacher by profession, is at present in Germany, where she has
gone to complete her education in Hanover, desiring to give her attention to the teaching of the
German language. Eunice F., who is also a teacher, lives at home, as do her brothers John F. and
On October 11,1886, our subject was again married, this union being with Miss Laura Pedro, a
daughter of Bayless Pedro, a resident of Shelby County, By her Mr. Kern is the father of two
children, only one of whom, however, is living, a son, whose name is Vernon H. Politically our
subject i& a Republican, having joined forces with that party on its formation and being loyal to it
in every respect. He has been a member of the School Board, in which capacity he has done efficient
work, being a broad, liberal-minded and progressive man in all his ideas, and especially concerning
education. He is a member of the Christian Church, while his wife belongs to the Baptist Church.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 646/647
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb