FLORENTINE ERWIN KELLOGG was 5 feet 7 1/2" high, and in
middle life weighed about 185 pounds, and grew somewhat
heavier with advancing years.
He had blue eyes, black curly hair, a large head with
prominent forehead, high cheek bones, medium sized well-shaped nose, large chin, heavy lower jaws and a firm mouth.
He was a large chested, strong limbed, powerful man, and very athletic. His standing broad jump was 11 1/2 feet, and his running broad
jump was 18 feet.
He could take a 72 pound weight in each
hand and put them together above his head, and could lift
a weight of 1,000 pounds.
Superior judgement, promptness of action, firmness of decision, and a fearless disposition were among his leading
Though not a highly skilled workman, he was an all around
mechanic of unusual natural ability, and his inventive faculty was very pronounced.
He possessed a very retentive
memory and was a great reader, being especially fond of history and poetry.
Like his father he was a total abstainer from tobacco and intoxicants, and had the satisfaction of seeing all his sons follow his example in this particular.
He was a man of sterling integrity, of high moral character, and a consistent member of the M. E. church. He
was a devoted husband, and also a loving father, although his children could testify that he did not spoil the child by sparing the rod. As the scriptures say "whom the Lord
loveth he chasteneth," so he also not unfrequently manifested his love for his children in the same manner, when "in the course of human events" it became necessary.
Although a money lender during much of his life, he was not a Shylock, and he showed unusual consideration for the distressed debtor if he were honest and deserving. In one
instance, rather than foreclose the mortgage on the farm of his neighbor, Jno. Stark, he "knocked off" all the interest, which amounted to over $2,000.
In another case where his friend, David Fulton, who owed him a large sum of
money had died and all of his property would have been required to satisfy the note and mortgage, he voluntarily closed the matter up at a great sacrifice to himself, and placed his friend's widow in comfortable circumstances.
He was a very hard worker, a good financier and a prosperous man. His death was caused by cancer on the right
lower jaw, but for which he would probably have lived to a great age, for otherwise his health was unimpaired.
Very few men were ever more justly entitled to called a pioneer than he. In 1818, at the age of 2 years, he accompanied his father and mother to Morgan County, Ill., being a member of the first white family to settle in that part of the state.
In his boyhood days he removed with his father to Plum River in Jo. Davies County, Ill., where they were among the very earliest white settlers, his father being the first man that ever took a wagon into the town of Galena.
In 1840, in company with three brothers and one cousin, he went out into the Rocky Mountains as far as Pike's Peak, prospecting for silver, where they had many narrow escapes from Indians.
Finally, in 1846, two years in advance of the discovery of gold, he came to California.
On the 23rd of March, 1846, he started for California with his wife Rebecca and their three little children, Angeline, Philander and baby Jane, in company with about 375 other emigrants. His outfit consisted of a two horse carriage, two wagons loaded with provisions, tools and household goods, one large and powerful New Foundland dog named
(old Buck), five yoke of oxen, two yoke of cows, and three horses, two of which were exchanged for mules at Fort Bridger on the way.
He and his family rode in the carriage, while he put the wagons in charge of his brother "Frank," (Benjamin F.E.Kellogg, his youngest brother,) William McDonnell and John Spitler.
It took them seven months to reach their destination, having endured many hardships.