Biography of Philip Henry Kiefer of Barnesville Minnesota

Philip Henry Kiefer, a respected resident of Barnesville, Minnesota, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father, Philip Kiefer, was a pioneer settler in Milwaukee. The family moved to Hennepin County, Minnesota, in 1863. Philip Henry, one of eleven children, learned carpentry before moving to Montana in 1876, where he worked as a teamster and freighter, notably assisting General Nelson A. Miles in capturing the Nez Perces Indians. Returning to Minnesota in 1883, he settled in Barnesville in 1889 and established a successful hardware business. Kiefer married Catherine Mulcahey in 1890, and both are members of the Assumption Catholic Church. He also owns several properties in Barnesville and is active in the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Knights of Columbus.

Philip Henry Kiefer, a respected resident of Barnesville, Minnesota, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of Philip and Sally (Honetele) Kiefer. His father played a significant role as a pioneer settler in Milwaukee, helping to clear the city of timber in its early days. He was a prosperous farmer and lived on his farm in Wisconsin until 1863 when the family moved to a farm in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Philip Henry, one of eleven children, grew up on his father’s farm and received his education in the local public schools. When the family settled in Hennepin County, he was ten years old. After completing his schooling, he learned the carpenter’s trade and worked in that field for several years. Seeking better opportunities and perhaps fueled by a desire for adventure, he traveled to Montana on February 10, 1876. He spent about eight years there, working as a teamster and freighter. During his time in Montana, he had notable experiences, including being with General Nelson A. Miles during the capture of the Nez Perces Indians.

In November 1883, Mr. Kiefer returned to Minnesota and resided in Moorhead for six years. In 1889, he settled in Barnesville and established himself in the hardware trade. Since then, he has dedicated his attention to the business and achieved notable success.

Upon his arrival in Barnesville, the town had a frontier-like appearance, with his store being the only building on his side of the street. However, the town experienced rapid growth. In 1899, Mr. Kiefer constructed his current spacious and modern building, which included a main store measuring 25×80 feet and a one-story warehouse measuring 20×40 feet. In addition to offering a full line of hardware, paints, and oils, his store provides a comprehensive range of stoves and all other products expected in a contemporary hardware establishment.

Mr. Kiefer is politically independent and has not actively engaged in political affairs, apart from fulfilling his duty as a responsible citizen.

In 1890, he married Miss Catherine Mulcahey, and both are members of the Assumption Catholic Church in Barnesville. Mr. Kiefer has served as a trustee for the church.

In addition to his store building and home, Mr. Kiefer owns other properties in Barnesville and is regarded as one of the town’s prosperous, enterprising, and community-minded individuals.

He is affiliated with the Catholic Order of Foresters in Barnesville and is also a member of the Knights of Columbus in Fargo.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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