Louis Kahn Mora County, New Mexico

Louis Kahn, who died at Mora in February, 1906, had a life of adventure worthy of record on these pages. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, September 22, 1830, and spent his boyhood attending the common schools of his native land. In 1847, at the age of seventeen, he came to America, landing in New York, and a month later going to Philadelphia, and thence to Mississippi. In the latter state he bought a team and stock of goods, and peddled through the country, and while thus occupied he was a victim of the western fever, which overtook so many of the more enterprising young men of that day. Accordingly, in March, 1849, ne started west with a wagon train, of which, a portion of the way, he was in charge. En route to Colorado, they met Col. Ceran St. Vrain, who was coming to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and they joined him and his party and arrived in Santa Fe August 15, 1849. From 1849 to 1867 Mr. Kahn was engaged in freighting, with wagon trains composed of eight to ten wagons, from Santa Fe and Las Vegas to Westport, Kansas City and Leavenworth, as well as other points. While on one of these trips, at Junction City, on the Lost Spring, he narrowly escaped death by cholera. At times the Indians were troublesome and rendered frontier life wildly exciting. Mr. Kahn's most serious trouble with the red men was in 1864, about seventy-five miles from Las Vegas, when he fought the Indians from ten o'clock in the morning to sundown. All his men, eleven in number, were killed, himself alone escaping. He was wounded three times with the red man's arrows, in the arm, the scalp and the small of the back. August 8, 1860, when the Navajo Indians made a raid on his property, Mr. Kahn lost forty-six yoke of oxen, ninety-four cattle and fifteen head of thoroughbred horses. And the last freighting trip he made, in 1867, was one on which he had considerable trouble with the Indians.

In 1867 Mr. Kahn settled down to keeping store, meat market, etc., in Sapello, New Mexico, where he remained two years. From that time until 1874 he farmed and traveled, and in 1874 he located in Mora, where he since made his home. He was in the butcher business here for a few years and from that turned to hotel keeping, in which he was engaged at the time of his death. He owned a hundred acres of land under irrigation and had a fine fruit orchard, from which fresh supplies were obtained for his hotel. Mr. Kahn was also largely interested in the Taos grant. Mr. Kahn served five years as justice of the peace at Mora.

In June, 1851, at San Miguel, Mr. Kahn married Miss Candelaria Antonia, Mary, Rayitas, Regina and Julia. The last named is the wife of Charles U. Strong of Mora. The daughters are in charge of the hotel. 

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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