Pages 517-518, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




JOHN HALL KUDER, Superintendent 6f the Iola Brick Company's works, is one of the recent additions to the citizenship of Allen county. He came here in 1897 and took charge of the manufacture of brick for his company and is responsible for the success, in a great measure, which this company and its projectors have enjoyed.

Mr. Kuder was born in Iowa, August 31, 1837, and is a son of a prominent retired farmer and stock man, George W. Kuder, who resides near Muscatine, Iowa, and who was born in Germany in 1803. He went into Iowa in 1841 from the State of Ohio and was one of the most successful men of his county. He first married a Miss Kurtz, whose three children were: Nicholas and Mrs. Mahala Brown, of Muscatine, Iowa, and Madama, wife of Isaac McGill, of Davenport, Iowa. George Kuder's second wife was Sarah Oliva Crawford, daughter of James Crawford, people with Scotch-Irish antecedents. This wife was the mother of our subject. Her people were from Harrison county, Ohio. She died in 1857, leaving an only son, John H. Kuder. George Kuder married for his third wife, Sarah Eversole. Their children are: Frank, wife of John Thompson, of Wappelo, Iowa; Nellie, of Minneapolis, Minnesota: Guy S. Kuder, of Louisa county, Iowa, and Clyde and Earl Kuder, of Columbus Junction, Iowa.

Our subject was reared around Winfield and Muscatine, Iowa, by an uncle, William Crawford. He was left with a considerable legacy from his mother's estate and he learned to travel and sightsee in his youth. He undertook to learn the drug business but was counseled that it was hazardous to his health and he dropped it. He tried farming but he found this irksome and somewhat difficult and he abandoned it. He got into the service of one of the Iowa telephone construction companies prior to his farm venture and received an injury—ran a hedge thorn into his knee—which permanently disabled the same. On leaving the farm and without previous experience he engaged in the business of contracting and building and, strange to say, he made some money at it. Leaving this work, he engaged to travel for the Thompson-Houston Electric Light Company for the sale of their goods, putting in light plants over the country. Eight years with this company sufficed and he severed his connection to engage in the


electric light business in Coffeyville, Kansas. From this he got into the gas business but failed to reach the strong flow of gas and disposed of his holdings for what little they would bring and made his first start in the brick business. He took the position of engineer in the Coffeyville Vitrified Brick Plant, was promoted to foreman of the machinery and generally assisted in the manufacture of brick. His reputation at Coffeyville found its way to Iola, at a time when the latter place was searching for the right man, and he was offered a proposition, advantageous to himself, accepted it and still holds the position. He went to Coffeyville in 1887 and came to Iola in 1897.

In his comparatively short life Mr. Kuder has probably met with more physical misfortunes than any other man of his age. His first serious injury was the falling from a telephone pole and running of a thorn into his knee. White swelling followed and made a lasting injury. He next fell from the top of a high barn onto the floor and lay unconscious twenty-four hours. A horse kicked him and broke his skull, and while in the brick plant at Coffeyville he got his foot into a drypan and mashed the instep. Lastly, at Iola, he was caught in the connecting shaft to the cut off table and he came out of it all with the left arch of his forehead crushed, the back of his head caved in, his left arm and shoulder broken, five ribs snapped off, and right arm and leg bruised. The remarkable nerve which he displayed when these wounds were being dressed, marked him as one of the most courageous and determined men to be found anywhere.

Mr. Kuder was married at Winfield, Kansas, in 1887, to Adelia, a daughter of D. P. Williams, whose early home was in Mississippi. Mr. and Mrs. Kuder's children are: Daisy M. and George Leo.

Mr. Kuder's Republicanism is well known. His father is a rabid Democrat and, during the war even held opinions antagonistic to the union of the States. Our subject has no time for an active interest in politics but he does his duty as a citizen and as often as the opportunity occurs. He has and holds the highest regard of his townsmen.

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