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William E. Kemp
The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
William E. Kemp, at one time county commissioner of Renville county, was born in Havana, Mason county, Ill., May 29, 1851, son of James and Lucina (Wilcox) Kemp. James Kemp was born in Watertown, New York, son of William and Sarah Jane (Hagerty) Kemp, natives of England and Ireland, respectively. They were married in New York City, where he engaged in the shoemaker business. In 1847 he moved, locating in Havana, Ill. James was married there to Lucina Wilcox, native of Ontario, Can., and in 1854 brought his wife and two children, William E. and Charles, to Minnesota, locating in Langdon where he first farmed and later entered into the hardware business. He died June 27, 1899, at the age of 63 years. He held township and school offices. He was prominent as a member of the I. O. O. F. of Hastings, Minn., lodge. William E. received his education at Langdon schools and at the Sparta, Wis., High school. Then he went to Northfield to attend college. On his return home he engaged in farming for himself in Hector township, Renville county, securing 240 acres of wild land May 15, 1878. He built a board shanty and lived here. After a number of years he moved to Hector and engaged in business, but returned to the farm again after about fifteen years. This has been improved with modern buildings and other improvements. He raises Mule Foot swine and Guernsey cattle. In the past he was also an extensive breeder of sheep and still raises a few. He is interested in several farmers' organizations, such as creameries, elevators, etc., and has held office. He as served as township clerk and assessor. He was a member of the county board at the time of the building of the courthouse and jail. Mr. Kemp was married Dec. 18, 1877, to Mahalie Mosher, and they have three children, Edith, a graduate of Hamline University and a teacher; Orville, a farmer of Brookfield township, and Percy.
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