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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Jacob L. Kilts

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[This information is from pp. 80, 83 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Jacob L. Kilts, an energetic farmer of Carlisle, N. Y., was born in this town, September 2, 1846, son of William and Julia A. (Empie) Kilts. He represents the fourth generation of his family in America, being a great-grandson of Peter Kilts, who came from Germany, and settled on a farm in Stone Arabia, now the town of Palatine, Montgomery County, N. Y.

Four of the sons of Peter Kilts located in Sharon, one of the number being John, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. John Kilts spent the active period of his life in Sharon, and died at the age of eighty-seven years. He married a Miss Smith, and his children were: William; Benjamin; Conrad; George; Kate, who married Solomon Empie; Margaret, who married David Empie; Susan, who married Gideon Empie; Sophia, who married Daniel Shafer; and Magdalene, who married Ed Pointer. Of these the survivors are: Margaret, Susan, and Sophia. All of the grandfather's sons reared families. They were members of the Lutheran church.

William Kilts, the father above named, was reared and educated in Sharon, his native town. He assisted in carrying on the home farm until after his marriage, when he moved to Carlisle and settled upon a farm of one hundred acres, known as the Hilsinger place, which is now owned by his son, Jacob L. He engaged in general farming and stock-raising, made a specialty of hay and grain, and realized good financial returns as the result of his industry. Politically, he acted with the Democratic party. For years he was one of the main pillars of the Lutheran church, serving as Deacon and Elder, and frequently as a delegate to the Synod. He was well informed, especially upon subjects relating to religion. William Kilts died November 20, 1890, aged seventy-five years. Julia A. Empie Kilts, his wife, was a daughter of Adam Empie. They were the parents of ten children, three of whom are living, namely: Jacob L., the subject of this sketch; Wesley H.; and Cynthia A., wife of Charles J. Warner. The mother died in 1884.

Jacob L. Kilts passed his boyhood and youth in attending the district school and assisting upon the home farm. When a young man he managed the property jointly with his brother Wesley, but later succeeded to its ownership. He has seventy acres under cultivation. Aside from producing hay and grain, he raises cattle and sheep, and has acquired a wide reputation as a stock dealer. He also deals largely in clover seeds, producing an original variety which is cleansed by machinery, and whose superiority makes it eagerly sought for by the neighboring farmers.

Mr. Kilts married Melvina Shafer, daughter of Sylvester Shafer, and has four children; namely, Beardsley W., Bertha E., Avis M., and Aurie J.

In politics Mr. Kilts is an earnest supporter of the Democratic party. He has frequently been solicited to accept nominations to town offices and to serve upon committees, but has always declined. He is a beacon of the Lutheran church, is also a class leader, and prominently identified with the Sunday-school.

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