Richland County


When he gazes over his broad acres of well cultivated land the subject of this ketch is justified in feeling that he has achieved the acme of his ambition, when in his early life he became imbued with a determination to some day take front rank among the agriculturists of the Middle West. That Peter Kermicle is a popular man and stands high in the estimation of the people of Preston township, Richland county, Illinois, is attested by the fact that he has been elected to public office on many occasions, and is at the present time Justice of the Peace for that township, having discharged the duties thereof for the past fifteen years.

Mr. Kermicle was born May 28, 1830, in Hardin county, Kentucky, which afterwards became La Rue county, being the second of nine children of Samuel and Mary (Trainor) Kermicle. The former was born in Maryland, the latter in Virginia, January 30, 1800. The father of Mr. Kermicle moved to Kentucky when the son was quite young and settled on a farm in La Rue county, where he died in 1855. It was not long after the death of the father before the family moved to Richland county, and it was a very long and tedious trip, part of the trip being made by wagon and water. Upon their arrival at their destination they took up their residence with two older brothers, who had preceded them to Richland county. The mother of Peter Kermicle died in 1874.

Of the nine children born to the parents of the subject, seven grew to the years of maturity. In 1850 Mr. Kermicle removed to Coles county, Illinois, where he worked for two years for a cousin in the capacity of farm hand, sharing crops one year, and receiving ten dollars per month for the other twelve months. In 1852, on a soldier's land warrant, he entered eighty acres of land in Richland county, and later entered eighty additional acres, paying therefore the sum of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. On December 6, 1852, he was wedded to Elizabeth Veech, who was born in Hardin county, Kentucky. September 10, 1827, and came to Coles county, Illinois, with an elder sister in 1852, removing from there to Richland county two years later. She was the daughter of John and Mary (Kinkade) Veech, both being natives of Kentucky. The wife of the subject was the youngest of nine children. Her mother died in Kentucky in 1848, and the husband survived her but five years. Three children of this family died in Kentucky and six in Illinois. The wife of Peter Kermicle died on the home place in Preston township, January 1, 1897, aged sixty-nine years. She was a member of the Baptist church. As the result of this union four children were born, namely: John William, Mary Jane, Samuel Warren and Lucy Ann, all of whom are living, and are fairly prosperous.

The subject contracted a second marriage November 17, 1898, when he wedded Mrs. Nancy Lanter (nee Ping), who was born in Jasper county, Illinois, March 4, 1854, her parents both dying while she was still a child. The father of the second wife of the subject was born in Kentucky in 1830, and the mother in Decatur county, Indiana, in 1835. The father of Mrs. Kermicle went to Jasper county, Illinois, with his parents in 1840, where they entered a large tract of land, but the Indians were so numerous and troublesome that the family returned to Kentucky, remaining there but a short time when they returned to Illinois, and settling upon the land that they had originally taken up in 1840. The Indians having been driven out of that section of the state, they now built a hewed log-house, and other buildings needed out of hewed logs. The mother and grandfather continued to live on this place until the fall of 1867, when the latter died, the mother passing away five years later.

Silas Ping married Amanda Todd in 1852, and they settled on what was known as Ping Prairie, ten miles east of Newton, the same being a part of the old homestead settled by his parents in 1840, forty acre shaving been given him by his father. He finally sold this farm, and moved to Crawford county, settling in that locality that is now known as "Dark Bend," buying eighty acres of land. He remained here two years, and rented a farm north of Willow Hill, where his wife died February 21, 1865. Subsequently he married again, his bride being a widow, Mrs. Sarah Jane Gibbons (nee Mock), the ceremony being performed in Coles county, in November, 1866. His death occurred four weeks later.

The mother of the subject's second wife was born in Decatur county, Indiana, and was the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Callahan) Todd, who were both natives of Kentucky, her mother dying when she was about ten years of age, the father remarrying shortly after to Ruth Ridlen, a native of Indiana. She accompanied her parents to Willow Hill, where she married Silas Ping. She was the third of ten children, seven girls and three boys, all of whom lived to maturity. Her father died in 1872 in Jasper county at the age of seventy-two years.

The second wife of the subject is the second of seven children, five girls and two boys. Her first husband, William Lanter, died in 1898, one boy being born to them, and he is still living, Nathan Samuel being his name. He is married, with a family at Bone Gap, Edwards county, Illinois.

Mr. Kermicle is a Democrat, and takes quite an interest in township and county politics. He has been Road Supervisor, Road Commissioner, Township Assessor, and Township Collector two terms each. Both himself and wife are members of the Baptist church. The subject is considered one of the most prosperous men in the township, and there are none in the community to begrudge him his success. He is a self-made man in every sense of the term. Mr. Kermicle had a farm of two hundred acres, which he has divided among the children.

Extracted 21 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 441-443.

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