Biography of Thomas Kemp
Van Buren County, MI Biographies



Van Buren County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

This gentleman was born in Burwash, Sussex County, England, Nov. 15, 1813, and was the oldest in a family of thirteen children. His father, Thomas Kemp, Sr., and mother, Eleanor (Kirkland) Kemp, were both natives of England, although the latter was of Scotch descent. Thomas Kemp, Sr., emigrated to America in 1829, sailing from London the 9th of May, arriving at New York City on the 3d of July, and proceeding thence to Cayuga County, in the same State, where they settled and remained until death. Mrs. Kemp died when her son Thomas was seventeen years of age, and her husband survived her until 1863.

Thomas Kemp, Jr., commenced to earn his own living when eighteen years old, finding employment near home until 1835. In that year he hired to Isaac Barnum, at twelve dollars per month, came to Michigan, and purchased his present farm, on section 34, Bangor township, Van Buren Co. Mr. Kemp has been three times married, his marriage with Miss Cone, in Hartford township, being the first wedding celebrated among the settlers thereof. Mrs. Kemp died July 6, 1846. After her death Mr. Kemp visited Ohio, and before returning was married to Miss Mary Cone, a sister of his first wife. Less than a year afterwards his fireside was again left desolate, but the departing left, as did her predecessor, a child to take her place. Both these children are now living. Dec. 5, 1847, in Lawrence township, Van Buren Co., Mr. Kemp was married to Miss Julia Ravcn, who has borne him eight children, all but one of whom are living, the deceased member being Thomas Francis, who was drowned July 15, 1877, aged sixteen. The father of the present Mrs. Kemp was a nativc of New Jersey, and her mother of New York, Mrs. Kemp being one of a family of six childrcn. Her parents came to Van Buren County in 1840, and settled in the township of Lawrence, where her father died in July, 1843, and her mother in 1846. Mr. Kemp's educational advantages were not the best, and his attendance at public school aggregated but about five months. Both he and his wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1858, and have never shrunk from what appeared to be their duty. In politics Mr. Kemp votes with the Republican party on general issues, and in local matters for whom he considers most fit for the position in question.

History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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