Jefferson County Historical Society

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Leo Kohler was born in Graefferen on the Rhine, Grand Duchy of Baden,
Germany, June 28, 1843, and is one of the principal farmers and stock
raisers of Rock Township.  He is the second of three sons born to the
union of Sebastian and Mary Antonia (Riebold) Kohler, who immigrated to
the United States in 1845, landed at New Orleans and came to St. Louis,
where he died August 18, the same year.  His mother moved to her brother-
in-law's, Ambrose Friedmann, living at that time on Glaize Creek, 
Jefferson County.  After a stay of a year she, with her children moved 
to her brothers', Xavier and Anselm Riebold, in Franklin County,and there, 
in 1850, was married to Judge Anton Yerger, who was born in Baden, Germany, 
and came to Missouri in 1847.  Mr. Yerger removed to Jefferson County in 
1855, where he had a contract on the Iron Mountain Railroad.  During this 
time he bought a farm where the village of Antonia now stands.  The mother 
moved, with the children, to the farm in 1857, and he continued his business 
there till the road was finished and then repaired to the farm.  Early in the 
war he was captain of Company F, Eighty-eighth Enrolled Missouri Militia, 
afterward promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel.  He was elected and 
served several terms as county judge.  He was an influential and esteemed 
citizen, and died on his farm in 1882.  The mother is still living, aged 
sixty-nine years, and is a member of the Catholic Church.  Our subject 
remained and worked at home until he had attained his majority.  He secured 
as fair an educatiion as the common schools in those days afforded.  He
served in Company F, Eighty-eighth Enrolled Missouri Militia, and was made 
a sergeant and did active field duty on several occasions.  In 1864 he 
secured a position on the Mississippi steamer as watchman, where he remained 
for several months and then returned to the farm. May 7, 1867, Miss Mary, 
daughter of Andrew and Magdalena Dotzauer, became his wife.  Her parents 
came from Saxe-Coburg, Germany, where she was born January 1, 1851, and came 
to Jefferson County in 1852.  Of the eight children born to our subject and 
wife seven are now living: Julius Anton Henry, Benjamin Franklin, Leo, 
Xavier, Andrew, Sophia (deceased), Lena and Philip.  Since his marriage our 
subject has lived on his farm at Antonia, which place stands part on his farm, 
being the owner of 260 acres, making one of the finest farms in the vicinity.  
He received a part from his stepfather, but the most was obtained by his own 
efforts.  He was a successful thresher for many years, threshing in Jefferson 
and St. Louis Counties, and for four seasons in St. Clair and Monroe Counties, 
Ill., having worn out four threshers from Kingsland & Ferguson's Machine Shops, 
St. Louis; also followed smelting lead mineral for several years.  He is quite 
extensively engaged in raising horses, cattle, hogs and sheep, and is also 
engaged in fruit and grape culture and wine making.  Politically a Republican, 
his first vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln.  Though born a Catholic, he is not 
connected with any congregation, as is also his wife, a born Lutheran.  Although
his own education is not of the best, he is sparing no pains in educating his 
children.  He is director of the schools, which position he has held for the 
past fourteen years.