John Kuss, cigar manufacturer, Pekin, Ill., is a native of Henry, Ill., born January 9, 1869. His family became established in Illinois through his parents, Matthew and Martha Kuss, who were natives of Germany, the former born in 1829 and the latter in 1830. Following the precedent prevailing in the Fatherland, John Kuss started out to make his own living at the age of fourteen, and, after spending one year in a butcher shop at Henry, Ill., served three and a half years’ apprenticeship at cigar-making. Removing to Peoria, he worked two years at cigar-making there for different merchants, and for the following five years was identified with the cigar factory of Henry Gehrig. Feeling warranted because of superior training in his chosen occupation, he then started an establishment of his own, opening the store in Pekin where he has since catered to a constantly increasing trade. His stock includes all kinds of tobacco, pipes and smokers’ accessories; also twelve brands of cigars manufactured by himself, as well as domestic and foreign brands of other make.
Mr. Kuss is ambitious and painstaking and manifests a due appreciation of the value of courtesy and honesty in dealing with the public. The furnishings of his store are modern and pleasing, and the place has become a popular center of business activity in its line. He is also well-known in the social life of the town, being identified with the Knights of Pythias and the Athletic Club. On January 14, 1890, he was married to Miss Maud E. Woodworth, born in October, 1875, and of this union there are five children: Cora J., Frank W., Leo Lester, Maria and William J.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 1035