The first family: The Kuhne’s

October 3, 2015

This is a picture of the Kuhne Family around 1920, based on the age of the children and the 1920 census.  Shown, with estimated ages, are Julian (11), Julian H (37), Rupert (8), Helen (13), Henrietta (41), and Frederick (10).

I found an obituary in a family bible, so along with that information and the research available at the Charleston County Library, I was able to learn more about the home and it’s inhabitants.  My great-grandparents Kuhne were both immigrants from Germany and members of the St. Matthews Lutheran Church.  Tax records confirm the year the house was built in 1914, and the 1920 census confirmed my great grandfather Kuhne, aged 37 and the chief clerk for the railway mail service, lived their with his wife and four children.  One of those children was my grandmother Helen M. Kuhne.  My great-grandfather passed away on May 27, 1926 of pneumonia.

By the next census in 1930, my grandmother would be listed as living in the house with her husband, Henry L. Drews,  and their oldest son, Henry (my uncle).  The 1929 city directory also indicates my great-grandmother was also still living in the home.

At some point the home was made into a duplex.  It is unclear exactly when this occurred.  As a child in the early 1960’s, the home was a duplex with the upstairs locked up and we never accessed it.  When my grandmother passed away, my uncle Henry stayed in the home until his passing.  At that time, my father inherited the house and he turned it into rental property as a duplex, which it has remained until our decision to restore to a single-family home.

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