Peter Charles Kyle

by Edmund Starling, 1886

PETER CHARLES KYLE.

To write a full, complete, and deserving detailed review of the incidents and interesting surroundings, associated with the ancestral family and individual life of the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this article, would require a book of itself, but limit calls a halt in a work of this magnitude, and we must therefore ask  pardon for the brevity exercised in his case; nevertheless, we shall endeavor to give to those who follow after him, a sketch, full enough to leave them in no doubt as to his whereabouts from his birth up to this writing. Peter Charles Kyle is a native of Saarlouis of Rhenish, Prussia, four or five miles from the frontier of France, long in the possession of that country, and was fortified by Vauban in the reign of Louis XIV. The Congress of Vienna gave it to Prussia in 1815. The date of his birth was on the eleventh of November, 1839. His father's name was Christian Kyle, his mother's maiden name Gertrude Herring. The father was born in Berlin in 1794, and served as Second Lieutenant on the guard of the King of Prussia, during the War of 1812. The mother was born at Saarlouis in the year 1796. In November, 1840, when our subject was only one year old, his father and mother ans what children they had at that time, sailed for America in a sailing vessel and were ninety days on the ocean from Havre to New Orleans. They remained there some time, and then journeyed on up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to Madison, Indiana, where the old man engaged in the stone masonry business. In this he continued for four years, when an accidental fall produced conjestion[sic] of the lungs, and death ensued. The wife and widowed mothe was thus left with five children to care for, the eldest ten years, the youngest, six weeks. The subject of this sketch was at that time only five years of age. The mother, by her own labor and the exercise of motherly economy, successfully cared for her little ones, until they arrived at an age that justified calling them to her assistance. the children were blessed with an intelligent energy that relieved the mother, and since 1870, she has found a welcome, comfortable home with her son, the subject of this sketch. On the 28th day of December, 1886, Mrs. Kyle departed this life at the advance age of ninety years, and it is comforting to know that in giving up a long, well spent life to take on one more full of sunshine, all was peace and fearless submission.

Mr. Kyle, the subject of this sketch, was educated at the Madison, Indiana, public schools, and, during his life in that city, learned the art of bricklaying. During the year 1857, he went South and settled in Bayou La Fourche Parish, Louisiana, and there followed his trade up to the twentieth of May, 1860, when he joined the Louisiana Army and was made Lieutenant of the Assumption Blues. Soon after he was sent with his command to the mouth of Bayou Le Fourche River and there built, or assisted in building, a fort. At the completion of this work he received a discharge from the State and immediately set to work recruiting a company for the Confederate Service. He was not long in doing this, and with his troops joined the Eighth Louisiana Regiment and was sent to Virginia. From Virginia he was permitted and directed to return to his home and recruit and reorganize a company of cavalry. This company was recruited to its full number in a short while, and under the command of Captain Albert Cage, was assigned to Gen. Wirt Adams' command. Subsequent to this, he was placed on detached duty in the Signal Service Corps and assigned to the commands of Generals Pemberton and Bowen, at Grand Gulf and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

He surrendered, with Pemberton's command, to General U. S. Grant on the fourth day of July, 1864, and in the following September was exchanged. He again re-entered active service and was assigned to the cavalry under General Wirt Adams. His daring disposition lead him, with two comrades, to make a night raid into Natchez, and, as a result, all three of them were taken prisoners, and sent to Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana, where they arrived Christmas day, 1864. Mr. Kyle was held a prisoner of war until May 14th, 1865, when he was set at liberty. The war having terminated, he left the prison walls and settled in Thorntown, Indiana, where he remained until February, 1867, when he removed to Henderson.

On August 5th, 1865, he married, at Thorntown, Miss Phoebe Ann Thompson, granddaughter of Captain Phil. Thompson, who found with the Harrison Guards at the battler of Tippecanoe, and afterwards settled near Stockwell Indiana. By this marriage there were five children, four of whom are now living, John W., Louisa, Peter C. and Edward. The eldest child, Jacob, met a tragic and most distressing death. He was quite a child, and while out driving on the road, the horses became frightened, ran away, and little Jake was killed. On the twenty-third day of October, 1873, Mrs. Kyle, whose life had been devoted to her husband and children, departed this life, and thus the bereaved husband was left with four children to care for and bring up in the world. Faithfully he performed this duty until the twentieth day of January, 1880, when he took unto himself a second wife, Miss Louise Thompson, sister of his first wife, who has performed the duties of maternal head of the family most satisfactorily from the date of her marriage up to this writing.

Mr. Kyle is a contractor of brick and stone work, doing a large business, and enjoys the confidence of the entire community. He served a term of years as Superintendent of the streets of the city, and it is said by knowing ones that the position was never before or since so well filled. He was at all times watchful, diligent and active, and all of his work was done with an eye to permanency and not slushed over as is so often the case. In politics he recognizes no party, but holds himself aloof to vote and think as his own conscience dictates. In religion, he was born a Catholic, but has never affiliated with the church--in fact, he is not much of a churchman in any sense of the word. Yet, he is liberal to a fault, open hearted, willing at all times to do unto others as he would be done by, loves his friends and has a host of them. He is a leading member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Knights of Pythias, and has represented his lodges in the grand bodies of the State.


The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 727-29;

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