Each Monday, the Centre Daily Times will publish an installment in our “Share our Heritage” series, featuring photos from Centre County’s past. Today’s photos are from Amber Keene.
She wrote a history of the farm:
“It was the 26th day of April in 1808 that Jacob Kuhn/Keen signed the bond that completed the purchase of the farm 1 mile west of Millheim, in Haines Township from George Pontius. Jacob was a farmer in Bern Township, Berks County.
“In 1776, Jacob Kuhn married Susanna Croninger/Groninger, born December 1756 in Northampton County.
“Susan’s parents and other families emigrated from the older settlements of Berks, Bucks and Northampton counties westward into Northumberland County — but were compelled to flee with their families from the pursuit of the savages. Jacob and Susanna were one of those westward-bound couples. They returned to Berks County and settled there, as that was the birthplace of their first child and son John Keen/Kuhn, born Sept. 4, 1776.
“Jacob and Susanna Kuhn are buried in the Reformed Cemetery in Aaronsburg, Centre County.
“One month after Jacob’s death on May 15, 1815, the property and possessions of Jacob Kuhn were put up for auction, which included the real estate. Son Daniel Kuhn purchased the 180 acres of land at $20 per acre — a total cost of $3,600. Son George Kuhn purchased the 150 acres of land at $26 per acre — a total cost of $3,900. George Kuhn/Keen purchased the farm and was in the Keen family for almost 150 years. The last member to own it was the Rev. Paul. E. Keen, who inherited it from his father, the Rev. Emanuel D. Keen.
“A desk that was sold in 1815 to George Keen for $2.40 is now in the possession of Lori Keene Stiver, daughter of the late Robert L. Keene. She is the eighth generation of Keenes of this family, beginning with Jacob, born 1750.
Generation two in Centre County
“George Kuhn/Keehn/Keen accompanied his parents, Johan Jacob and Susanna (Croninger) Kuhn/Keen, to Haines Township to the farm his father purchased from George Pontius in 1808. George was 20 years of age and not married.
“Across the fields on a neighboring farm located 1 mile south of Millheim, just off the Zeiglerville Pike, lived the Daniel Kramer family. This farm was purchased in 1796. The Kramer family consisted of Daniel, his spouse, Anna Margaret (Kern), and their three children, Daniel Jr., John and Salome.
“George courted the eligible Salome, later known as Sarah, and they were married around the new year of 1809. They resided on the Kuhn/Keen farm, as did his parents. Here, all nine of their children were born.
“George and Sarah are buried in the Reformed Cemetery in Aaronsburg.
“Jacob Keen, the fifth child and second son of George and Salome, was a leader in agriculture. On Jan. 5, 1843, he married Anna Mary Deininger, of Bernville, Berks County. Mary’s father, August E. Deininger, came to America in 1818 (and) married a German girl who also came to America seeking her fortune. August was well-educated, spoke German fluently and English above average for his day. He was an excellent musician who taught singing classes. In Berks County, he followed stone cutting and the marble business, as well as candle making. These trades he followed in Millheim.
“Five children survived to adulthood.
“Jacob and Anna Maria were the third generation to live on the Keen farm. Here their 13 children were born. Their youngest was born in 1869.
“Jacob and Anna Maria moved from the farm to Millheim in 1882.”
Readers can contribute to the “Share our Heritage” series by sharing their own photos. Just drop off or mail copies of the photos to Centre Daily Times, 3400 E. College Ave., State College, PA 16801 or email them to Photo Editor Laurie Jones at email@example.com. Provide as much information as you can. All photos in the weekly series are placed in a “Share our Heritage” gallery at CentreDaily.com. If you have any questions about this series, Jones can be reached at 231-6461.