(Taken from Our Kunkel Family In America, 1980 edition compiled by Wallace M. Kunkel)


“The following is taken from our 1954 genealogy:


Jacob J. Kunkel, third child and first son of Henry Kunkel, was the grandson of Henry Kunkel—our first Kunkel in America.  He was born in York County, Pennsylvania. His wife, Susannah Julia Ann Acton, born in Charles County, Maryland, was the fifth of eight children born to Henry and Mary Ann Padgett Acton.  (According to the Acton genealogy, her line dates back to King Edward I of England.  King Edward was born in 1239 and died in 130?, the son of King Edward III.)


Jacob and Julia Ann were married on the 25th of August, 1831, moved to Richland County, Ohio (later called Crawford County) and in 1844 came to Holt County Missouri.  Their first six children were born in Ohio – and the other six were born in Holt County, Mo.  Here, Jacob and Julia Ann lived, raised their family and died.


Mr. Jacob Buntz (born 1864), still living in this neighborhood in 1954, remembers the old Kunkel men as fine builders:  The Adolph Egger, the Lynn Derr (built by John Kunkel) and the McIntyre houses were of brick and built by them.  They kilned all the brick on one of the farms – and traces of the old kiln still exist.  The Jacob Kunkel homeplace was bought by John Hornecker in 1877.  The old house, well over 100 years old in 1954, still stands and the Hornecker heirs still own the land.


The house was of three stories.  The basement with a two-foot-thick rock wall, had a large fireplace in it and around it one can well imagine the family practically lived in the cold months.  The laths were hand split, sills and joists hand trimmed and siding and doors are of walnut.


The Kunkels were Mennonites but in later years joined the Evangelical Church.  (The first German Mennonite Evangelical Church in Holt County was formed in the home of Jacob’s sister Nancy Ann Rostock who, with brother Daniel, built the first church structure.)  The Kunkels through all generations, have been church people.


Jacob died on the 5th of December, 1872, and his body was laid to rest in the Nichols Grove Cemetery east of Oregon, Mo.  His monument is a monolithic obelisk of milk white glazed marble.  Inscription:  “Jacob Kunkel – died Dec 5,1872 – 62 years 6 mo 26 da. ‘ Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.’”  On the opposite side:  “Julia Ann Kunkel, died Mch 10, 1873 aged 58 yrs 9mo 22 da. ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.’”


EDITOR’S NOTE:  Jacob built a cobbler’s bench for himself in Ohio and took it with him to Missouri.  It was then used by his son, William Mattinger Kunkel, and then it was stored in his nephew’s (Lafayette Kunkel) hay barn for 80 years.  Lafe was my grandfather.  I acquired the bench over 30 years ago.  It is of walnut and pine (the drawer).  It has octagonal, tapered Windsor-type legs, the drawer is hand dovetailed – otherwise it is held together by forged, cut nails. (Grace McDonald Kunkel and Mark C. Kunkel).