Information about Mathias Kohn 1829-1888

One of my great grand-uncles led two brothers in emigrating from Waaerliesch, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. He settled in La Crosse WI as that town was first developing, and he became a notable businessman in the community. His success attracted his two brothers who emigrated in 1865 (John M. Kohn, my great-grandfather) and 1871 (Michael). Both John M. and Michael lived some time in La Crosse, but both also resettled to Kansas

I know these facts about Mathias Kohn.
  • 1829.08.16, he was baptized at St. Aper Catholic Church, Wasserlisch, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. The godparents were Mathias Hoffman of Wasserliesch and Christina Sturm-Kohn of the upper mill (about 2km west of Wasserliesch).
  • 1849.04.25, he was confirmed at St. Aper Catholic Church, Wasserlisch, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. No sponsor is identified.
  • Before 1855, he emigrated from Germany to the U.S. No information is available on the exact date or ship.
  • 1856.05.18, he purchased patent land identified as Section 23, Town 15, Range 5, documented in volume 89. The full description is SW 1/4 NE 1/4 S 23 T 15N R 5W and NE 1/4 NW 1/4 S 23 T 15N R 5W in the actual patent, dated 10 August 1858. The payment certificate for the same 80 acres was issued on 15 May 1856. The parcels are located in the extreme southeast corner of La Crosse county.
  • 1859.11.14, he sold land by warranty deed to Martin Voegele—the same 80 acres at SW 1/4 NE 1/4 S23 T15N R5W and NE 1/4 NW 1/4 S23 T15N R5W for payment of $200. Recorded 1862.09.25.11:00.
  • 1860.06.08, he was recorded in the U.S. Federal Census.
  • 1862.09.25, the deed transfer was recorded, in which Mathias sold 80 acres at SW 1/4 NE 1/4 S23 T15N R5W and NE 1/4 NW 1/4 S 23 T 15N R 5W . Certificates 13274 and 13276 United States for the certified register deposited in the General Land Office by Matthias Kohn. Recorded 1862.09.25.11:00.
  • 1865.09.18, he married Josephine Becker at St. Mary Catholic Church, La Crosse WI.
  • 1866, he was a saloon keeper and restaurateur, beginning before or in 1866. The saloon and restaurant had several locations, the first of which was on Pearl Street between Second and Third Streets. (Articles from The La Crosse Tribune and Nord Stern for the following news items: - "Matth Kohn & Jak. Ricker ...  Bier-Saloon ... [Pearl Street]" 30 Dec 1865. - "Neue Salon-Firma -- Hr. John Walter ... u. Kohn werden jetzt den Salon an der Pearl Stra├če" 20 Jan 1866.
  • 1866, he resided at the same address as his saloon and restaurant, on the north side of Pearl between Second and Third.
  • 1866.08.01, he owned land N 20 feet Lot 7 Block 19 in the city of La Crosse WI. (Agreement on 1868.08.01 between Philipp Koth and Mathias Kohn. Owner P.K. of middle 20 feet Lot 7 Block 19 of original plat of La Crosse and owner M.K. of N 20 feet Lot 7 Block 19 have built in equal share a wall on the line between the two parcels. P.K. desires to raise the wall of a two-story structure on that line, and M.K. agrees to pay 1/2 of the cost of that wall when he desires to build a structure using the same line. Recorded 1869.04.16.)
  • 1870, he was a saloon keeper, and was noted as sole owner beginning this year.
  • 1870, he and his family should be in the U.S. Federal Census.
  • 1875.06.01, he was recorded in the Wisconsin State Census. The entry at the bottom of page 21 reads "Mat. Kohn 4 white males, 3 white females." The members of the household that are accounted for: Mathias, Josephine, Ferdinand, Katherine, Frank J., Matt (Jr), and Clara Elizabeth. The five heads of household before and after his listing are John Bauer (4, 2), John Willing (4, 4), Ole Wanger (5, 0), Mrs. A.B. Osborn (0, 2), Phill Knoth (1, 4); Mat. Kohn; [page 22] Ryland Partier (7, 3), J.C. Durbough (2,5), T.J. Gile (1, 0), Sivace Wilson (7, 3), George Feathirter (1, 0).
  • 1880, he and his family were recorded in the U.S. Federal Census.
  • 1881.01.30, he was godfather for the baptism of Catherine Josephine Kohn, daughter of John M. Kohn and Susanna Reinert.
  • 1883, his business was included in city directories for several years through 1888 with Mathias the proprietor and statements that his residence was the same address, 111 North Third Street.
  • 1885.06.20, he and his family were recorded in the Wisconsin State Census.
  • 1888.10.15, he died within one day of a probable stroke that caused paralysis.
  • 1888.10.18, he was buried in La Crosse, Catholic Cemetery.
His children were
  • Katherine (1866-1949), not married, no known children.
  • Frank J. (1868-1920), not married, no  known children .
  • Matt (1870-1899), not married, no  known children .
  • John (1872-1940), not married, no  known children .
  • Clara Elizabeth (1874-1932), not married, no  known children.
  • Helen (1876-1929), married George Johnson, no known children.
  • Josephine M. (1877-1962), not married, no  known children. 
  • Herman J. (1879-1922), married Della Petrick before 1908, three known children (Charlotte, Archie, Bernice).
  • Charlotte (1881-1958), not married, no  known children 
  • Ferdinand (1883-1940), married Julia Louise Euler, one known child (Georgia L.). Ferdinand died in Los Angeles CA in November 1940. His daughter married John Lewis Harley (1910-1996), and they had one daughter.
  • George (1885-1940), married, childen may be Richard Walrath and an unnamed daughter.
  • Helen V. DeFrance (1889-1960?) (by adoption).
  • Carl DeFrance (1893-1940?) (by adoption).
The descendants who I know are from the children of Herman J. Kohn and Della Petrick-Kohn, Charlotte and Archie. Charlotte married Vincent Troyanek in Winona WI, and they had four known children. I am in contact with their grand-daughter. Archie married Leona [family name unknown], and they had three known children. However, I have not made contact with this family.

Helen Kohn married George Johnson (about 1870-1930), but any children are unknown.

Ferdinand Kohn married Julia Euler, and they had at least one daughter Georgia, who married John Lewis Harley. The family of Ferdinand lived in Los Angeles CA, and the Harley family lived in Union City CA. Any later descendants are unknown.

George Kohn married Matilda [family name unknown], and a stepson Richard Walrath came from another marriage and an unnamed daughter married Merlin P. VanDyke.

Any corrections or additions are welcome. Please write a comment!

© Thomas G. Kohn, 2013.


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  2. Some name searches done.
    Search details from these results:

    Charlotte Kohn,

    Frank Kohn,

    Clara E. Kohn,

    Josephine M. Kohn,

    George Kohn,

    Della Petrick,

    Archie Kohn,

    Ferdinand Kohn,
    http://www.americanancestors.org/search.aspx?Ca=0344&Da=269&Run=1&Co=191&FN=Ferdinand&LN=Kohn&Ci= (NOT LIKELY RELEVANT)

    George Johnson,

    Georgia L. Kohn-Harley,

    Helen Kohn,
    Herman J. Kohn,
    Bernice Kohn,

    John Lewis Harley,
    John M. Kohn,
    Josephine Becker,
    Julia Louise Euler,
    Vincent Troyanek,