CHRISTOPHER KAUFMAN, farmer, section 10, Croton Township, was born July 13, 1823, in Schwegenheim, Bavaria, Germany, which was also the native place of his mother, Catherine (Heyser) Kaufman, who was born in 1794, and died in Pike County, Ohio, in 1868. His father was born in 1792, in Grunenshein, Germany, and died in his native land in 1834.
Mr. Kaufman was eleven years old when his father died. After fulfilling the requirements of the law in relation to his education, he was, according to the custom of the country, apprenticed to learn a trade. That of stone-mason seemed most feasible, and after fulfilling his contract with his master he worked as opportunity offered and supported his mother. When the conscription for the German army was made his number entitled him to a release, and he availed himself of his liberty by emigrating to the United States, his mother accompanying him. She went to another son, who was residing in Pike Co., Ohio, and Mr. Kaufman of this sketch proceeded to New Orleans, reaching there in December, 1845. In June 1846, he came to Chicago and thence to Muskegon Forks, in Newaygo County. He came with J.F. Gauweiler, whose sketch, on another page of this volume, contains the experiences common to both in those earliest days of the pioneer history of Croton. But, severe as was his experience, he was fitted to endure by the toils and privations he had encountered in his native land, and with true continental perserverance he refused to be daunted by the obstacles he encountered in the New World. After his experience in the lath-mill terminated he settled on 80 acres of land in Croton, designated as "canal land," and paid for the same; but, by some chicanery, never clearly comprehended by anybody, a collector appeared who took a second payment for it, but failed to account for it to the authorities, and Mr. Kaufman paid for his property a third time. Yet he kept up his courage and hard work, and now owns 240 acres of land, with 100 acres under cultivation and with first-class improvements.
Mr. Kaufman is a Republican and is highly respected in his generation for his genuine, meritorious traits of character. He has been for 37 years a resident of what is now Croton Township.
Christina Marsh, who became the first wife of Mr. Kaufman in 1851, at Muskegon, died in 1867, leaving no children. The second wife of Mr. Kaufman was the widow of David Jones. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Mahle, and her only child by her first marriage, Eliza Jones, is the wife of Milton Cole, of Croton Township. The marriage of Mr. Kaufman and Mrs. Jones took place Sept. 13, 1868, and they have three living children, - Christina B., William H. and Bertha A.