The History of the

James H. Kellar Family

Donated by Linda Piechowski

 


James H. Kellar was buried at the little, quiet Evergreen (aka Pine Creek) Cemetery south-east of Dallas, Barron County on the side of Pine Creek Road.  It was a hot Monday in August 1895 when he finally was laid to rest.  The Rev. Paul Hull came from Prairie Farm to say a few comforting words to the watching numerous GAR members (because James H. was a veteran of the Civil War) and family mourners:
James H.'s many children:
James H. was laid next to his waiting son, Casper (1866 – 12/18/1893), who had died two years earlier of consumption at the young age of 27.

James H. Kellar was a farmer having registered a 160-acre farm located near Dallas, Barron County, WI on April 20, 1882 at the land office in St. Croix.  By the time of his wife's death in 1907, the farm had been sectioned smaller to only 50 acres.

James H. came to this rough wilderness from Plymouth, Juneau County, WI where he also was a farmer being helped by his elderly father, John Kellar, until his father died there and was buried in Fowler Prairie Cemetery.  It was John who had initiated the migration from New York to Wisconsin in 1849, first settling in Columbus, Columbia County, WI east of the Wisconsin River before moving west into Juneau.  John Keller changed his name's spelling to Kellar shortly after he set up housekeeping in Wisconsin.

John Keller was born in German Flatts, Herkimer County, New York approximately 1800.  He married Catherina Casler (b. 1807) in 1823 at the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of German Flatts and then started having their children:

When the Erie Barge Canal opened, John Keller stopped being a farmer and became a saddle and harnessmaker and had also a tow boat business on the canal.  His wife died in the late 1830's from a plague, so he needed to hire a widow lady with a retarded son to care for his children while he worked.  He finally got the "fever" for promised land in the new state of Wisconsin and migrated with all his children, but the nanny and her son remained behind in New York.

There is speculation that John Keller's father's name was Michael Keller and his mother's name was Betsy Shoemacher.  Further back in the family's history, there is speculation that they fought in the Revolutionary War and, further back still, were among the first Palatine refugees whom the British sent over to work in the pine forests harvesting trees to extract the sap to make pine tar used for shipbuilding. These forests were in the area of Rhinebeck in Dutchess and Columbia Counties, NY..


 

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