LaSalle County


Otto Kieselbach, attorney at law and editor and proprietor of the Reporter and the German Post, Mendota, Illinois, is one of the leading spirits of the town in which he lives.

Mr. Kieselbach is a German by birth and early association, and an American by adoption. He was born at Treptow on the Rega, Prussia, June 19, 1854, a son of Carl and Caroline (Jeske) Kieselbach and one of a family of nine children, four of whom lived to maturity, namely: August, of Koenigsberg, Germany; Otto, whose name graces this sketch; Hermine, wife of William Reiff, of Stettin, Germany; and Louis, who lives near Stettin. Carl Kieselbach, the father, was a soldier with the Cuirassiers from 1836 to 1839. By occupation he was a contractor and builder, as also was his father before him. The latter, Gottfried Kieselbach, was in all the Napoleonic wars. He died in Germany at the age of forty-seven years. In his family were five children who lived to adult age. The maternal grandfather of Otto Kieselbach was William Jeske, who was a soldier under Napoleon, by occupation a farmer, and died in middle life, leaving six children. Carl Kieselbach died in 1896, at the age of seventy-nine years; his widow is still living, making her home with her children and is now nearly eighty-four years of age.

Otto Kieselbach lived in his native land until he was nearly seventeen years old, and received in his youth the advantage of a college education. Emigrating to America in June, 1871, he first located at Winona, Minnesota. In March, 1877, he came to Mendota, Illinois, and accepted a position as teacher of German in the city schools, which place he filled until 1881. In the meantime he took up the study of law, subsequently pursued his studies for a while at the Union College of Law, and in 1883 was admitted to the bar. The same year he formed a partnership with L. S. Seaman, both in law and the publishing business. This association lasted until November, 1887, when Mr. Seaman left Mendota. Mr. Kieselbach has since conducted the Reporter and the German Post alone, also engaging to a certain extent in the practice of law. He has been a Democrat since 1872. Always interested in educational matters and using his influence to promote the growth and prosperity of the schools of his town, he is an important factor on the school board, of which he has served as a member for the past nine years.

Mr. Kieselbach belongs to Alemannia Lodge, I. O. O. F., of which he is past noble grand, and he is also identified with Mendota Camp, Modern Woodmen of America, and the Germania Society.

He was married to Ottilie Volk at Mendota, January 8, 1885. Her untimely death occurred July 17, 1891, and he was left with two children — Oswald and Clara. July 4, 1895, at Koenigsberg, Prussia, he wedded Elise Henschel, his present companion.

Extracted 18 Aug 2017 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 524-525.

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