The farming community of Jo Daviess County is largely made up of a class of men possessing more than ordinary intelligence. This accounts for the success with which agriculture has been prosecuted in this part of the State. Farming, as much as the trades and professions, demands men of sound sense and good judgment as well as executive ability and industry. Here and there we find both men and women of cultivated tastes and great refinement, also of mechanical genius, well read, and well informed. In this class may be properly mentioned the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Kipp, a native of Illinois, was born April 10, 1848, and it is nothing to his discredit that his early advantages for an education were somewhat limited - in fact, he is entitled to great consideration because he was enabled to make the most of the opportunities he had, so that there are few men who possess a larger share of general information. His father, Henry Kipp, a native of Germany, remained in the place of his birth until attaining his majority and was there married. Of his first union there were born two children, and the mother of these died in Illinois.
Henry Kipp after coming to America, contracted a second marriage with Miss Katie Meyer, a native of Germany, who emigrated with her parents to America when she was quite young and settled in Illinois. The father of our subject then purchased the land from which was constructed the comfortable homestead now owned by his son, Bernard. At the time of purchase a small portion of the land had been brought to a state of cultivation and upon it was a log cabin. The father set to work in true pioneer fashion to build up a home for himself and his children, and the Kipp homestead is now recognized as one of the most desirable farms in this county.
The record of the living children of Henry Kipp is as follows: The eldest daughter, Mary, is the wife of Lawrence Henfling, a retired farmer of Clinton County, Iowa; Christina married Mr. Casper Fegan, a shoemaker by trade and a resident of Lyons, Iowa; Henry, the youngest brother of our subject, met his death in one of the lead mines, being crushed by a falling rock and instantly killed.
Miss Barbara Clising became the wife of our subject in November, 1876, the wedding taking place in Jo Daviess County. Mrs. Kipp is a native of the city of Wittenburg, Germany, and was born in 1858. She lived there until a maiden of sixteen years, then came to America alone, and two years later was married. She was orphaned by the death of her parents when quite young and was reared by her maternal grandmother, who spent her last years in Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Kipp there have been born four bright children: Anna, Harry, Barney, and Ida. The eldest is ten years of age, and the youngest two. They form an intelligent and interesting group, which the parents look upon with pardonable pride.
Mr. Kipp, besides being a thorough and skillful farmer, is master of both the carpenter and blacksmith's trades, and also possesses musical talent in no small degree. He is recognized throughout this part of the county as a fine violinist, and his love of the art is greatly to his credit. Politically, he votes the straight Republican ticket, and although he has his own particular views about governmental affairs, he has never desired office, preferring to relegate its responsibilities to some man, who, perhaps, would not make so good a farmer, carpenter, blacksmith, or musician. He was personally acquainted with Gen. Grant, while the latter was a resident of Galena. Mr. Kipp, while not identified with any religious organization, may properly be called a Christian man, as he makes it the rule of his life to do unto others as he would have them do unto him. His farm embraces 120 acres of good land with modern improvements, neat and substantial buildings, fruit, and live-stock, and all the other accessories of a well-regulated, rural home.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess Co., IL (1889)