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Francis Kuhn (1843-1928) and Amelia Herganhan Kuhn (1845-1914) Van Brunt Liquor dealer and grocer

Birth of Francis Kuhn: c 1842 Wurzburg, Bavaria, Germany

Marriage: Amelia Herganhan in Germany (The Encyclopedia of New Jersey edited by Maxine N. Lurie, Marc Mappen) born Bavaria, 1845 died 1914 (Walt Kuhn, 1877-1949: a memorial exhibition)


  1. Adolph circa 1870 died 1873

  2. William - Walter - Walt - ARTIST - October 27, 1877 436 Van Brunt street, christened William at Visitation church in Red Hook, married Vera Spier 1909 St Matthews, Hoboken New Jersey (Walt Kuhn, 1877-1949: a memorial exhibition)

Biographical sketches of Walt Kuhn shed some light on his parents who catered to the ships and sailors in and out of the port at Red Hook:
"His square, dour Bavarian father, Francis Kuhn, had arrived in Brooklyn in 1859 at the age of sixteen. Two years later he returned to claim his sixteen year old half-Spanish bride, Amelia Hergenhan. They started a combined ship-provisioning business and seamen's hotel, the International Hotel on the Erie Basin waterfront. They were duly naturalised in 1871. Their one surviving son, William, was born on October 27, 1877. Why his name was changed to Walter Francis later on is anyone's guess."

(Painter of vision: a retrospective exhibition of oils, watercolors and drawings by Walt Kuhn, 1877-1949 : February 6 through March 31, the University of Arizona Art Gallery, Tucson, Arizona)

Kuhn began life in Brooklyn as the son of a Bavarian father, Francis Kuhn, and a Spanish mother, Amelia Barbas Kuhn. His parents managed the International Hotel on the Erie Basin waterfront, and Kuhn grew up in a colorful, ever-changing setting.

(American paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts)

"From the mid-1880's to mid-1890's they were hotel and restaurant proprietors and founded the International Hotel, 46 Elizabeth Street, Erie Basin, South Brooklyn. Later they operated the Kensington Hotel, Ocean Parkway and Avenue D, Brooklyn. 1893: Student, Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute 1897: Proprietor of bicycle shop in downtown Brooklyn 1899-1900"

(Walt Kuhn, 1877-1949: a memorial exhibition)

Francis and Amalia Kuhn became American citizens on 15 November 1871, and from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties they owned and operated the International Hotel as a profitable extension of the ship-provisioning business. It was at the foot of Dwight Street on the Erie Basin Waterfront, directly opposite what was originally call the Erie Basin Dock Company, later Robbins Dry Dock and finally the Todd ship Yard. (Walt Kuhn, painter: his life and work Arts in Virginia, Volumes 25-26)

From reminiscences with the art historian Phillip Adams Kuhn:
I was born on October 27, 1877, in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, hard by the waterfront. It was then a highly respectable neighborhood where his Bavarian father was a prominent food chandler and proprietor of the International Hotel, host to seafarers of all nations.


Walt Kuhn was born on 27 October 1877 at 436 Van Brunt street in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, Van Brunt Street runs parallel to the waterfront two blocks inland from it, with salt waster at both ends, the East River to the north, and the lower Harbor to the south; and strangely enough number 436 is still standing, almost alone on a razed block in a drab tenement district. The house is propped up by a one-story concrete marine supply shop whose sideline of old but freshly repainted ships' figureheads lends a touch of color that Kuhn would have liked. It is a frame house with a yellow brick false front and red.....

(Ohio State University Press, 1978 )

1871 Francis Kuhn Van Brunt at Dykeman, liquors, 1873 424 Van Brunt butcher. Home or business? Old address system or new?

1876, 1877, 436 Van Brunt butcher. Polling place in 1876. 436 Van Brunt is shown as a frame building on the west side of Van Brunt north of Elizabeth. There is a new building on the dite in 2013.

1879 429 Van Brunt. 1879 Francis Kuhn 119 VanDyke liquors.

1870 Census: Ward 12, 530 ----, Kuhn, Francis, age 27, butcher, Bavaria, Amelia age 26, Adolf age 1 Kupp, Henry, age 18, butcher

1878 - Frank Kuhn was the proprietor of a lager beer saloon at 390 Van Brunt. His barkeep was accused of stealing 200 cigars, a telescope, an accordion, and a seven barrel revolver.

1880 Francis Kuhn 39, liquor saloon, Amelia Kuhn 37, wife, Walter Kuhn 3, son, Hans Merchansen 36, Frank Darly 38, Carl Dernsdorf 33, Gilstrof 52, Ryan 39, N. G. Fox 30, Thomas Flannigan 38, James Stone 50, Lefarty Metzel 25, Daniel Ettingham 45, William Murphy 50, all boarders, #4 Van Dyke street.

Francis Kuhn 1881 34 Vandyke Brooklyn, New York Liquors Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1881. He then appears to move to Elizabeth street.

1891 February Mr and Mrs. F Kuhn were among the merrymakers at the annual masked ball of the Brooklyn Saengerbund ball - "a great family frolic".

1892 Census: 12th ward, Francis Kuhn age 49, liquors, Amelia age 47, Walter age 16, Margaret age 9

1899 Passport: Francis Kuhn, born Wurzburg, Bayern, 30 Nov 1842, hotel keper, different immigration info than the 1910 passport. See below.

Francis Kuhn sailed for Europe on the Kaiser William der Grosse October 1899


1910 Passport application, wife, Amelia, born Wurzburg November 1842, immigrated on the Diana from Bremen May 1857 naturalized November 15, 1871, age 67, 5 ft 11 1/2 inches, mustached, hair grey bald, eyes blue.

Kuhn Adolph 5 y Jul 14 1873 5576 Kings
By 1903 the Kuhns had left Red Hook and were living in Freeport, Long Island. They were running the Kensington Hotel on Ocean Parkway and Ave. D in Brooklyn. The Kensington was primarily a residential hotel "in what must have been a rustic suburb.

Walter Francis Kuhn (1877-1949)

Walter Kuhn, born Brooklyn, 27 October 1877, artist, got a passport in 1901 and 1903. Walter Kuhn. Sailed to Europe arriving New York, October 13, 1925. Also 1926. Arrival Date: 12 Jun 1931 Birth Date: 27 Oct 1877 Birth Location: New York Birth Location Other: Brooklyn, New York Age: 53 Gender: Male Port of Departure: Cherbourg, France Port of Arrival: New York, New York Ship Name: Bremen. He also sailed in 1933. He registered for the WWI draft, hard to read indicated he was married. He registered for the WWII draft listing his address as 65 University Place, New with Miss Brenda Kuhn as his next of kin. own employer,

Walt Kuhn (1877-1949)

Walter Kuhn was born on October 27, 1877 in Brooklyn, NY. His father, Francis Kuhn, was the owner of a ship provisioning business and several New York hotels. Kuhn's mother, Amelia Hergehan, introduced her son to art and theater at a young age. From this point forward, Kuhn's lifelong interest in art, theater and the circus began. For the remainder of his life, employment in the entertainment industry acted as a second career and source of income for the artist. More importantly, it provided limitless inspiration for his canvases.

At the age of 15, Kuhn sold his first drawings to a magazine and began to sign his name "Walt." In 1893, he enrolled in evening art classes at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. However, he soon lost interest in becoming an artist and instead, decided to open a bicycle shop in Brooklyn. In his lifetime, Kuhn would become known for his impulsive, yet dedicated personality.

By 1899, Kuhn had become enamored with ideas of the American West, and with only $60 in his pocket, he set out for California. Upon his arrival in San Francisco, he again took up the pen and became a cartoonist for WASP magazine. In 1901, the young artist departed for Paris, where he enrolled in formal art classes at the Academy Colarossi. Finding too little discipline for his liking in Paris, Kuhn soon left for the Royal Academy in Munich, where he studied under Barbizon painter Heinrich von Zugel (1850-1941).

In 1903, he returned to New York and immersed himself in the booming art scene. While continuing to work as an illustrator for local journals, he helped manage the Kit Kat Club- an organization that raised funds for scholarships at the National Academy of Design. In 1905, he held his first exhibition at the artist run, Salmagundi Club, establishing himself as both a cartoonist and a serious painter. That same year, he submitted his first illustrations to LIFE magazine.


More info and tons of images of him and his art work on the Internet.

1910 Ft Lee, N. J., Walt and Vera.

1920 Census: Manhattan Assembly District 10, New York, New York, 152 West 14th street, rent, Walt Kuhn 42, artist, father's birthplace Germany, mother's birthplace Sapin, Vera Kuhn 34, Brenda Kuhn 8

Name: Walt Kuhn Birth Date: 27 Oct 1880 Birth Location: New York City, New York Father's Name: Francis Kuhn Mother's Name: Amelia Barbas Spouse's Name: Vera Spiers Marriage Date: 6 Feb 1909 Marriage Location: New York, New York Death Date: 13 Jul 1949 Death Location: New York

Walt Kuhn Birth Date: 27 Oct 1880 Age at Death: 68 Death Date: 13 Jul 1949 Burial Place: Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA

Later Records

1886 390 Van Brunt was a barber shop.

1890, 1894, 1898 and 1902 - polling place. 1901 polling place and barber shop.

Pietro Campione - barber - 346 Van Brunt

Birth: circa 1875/1877 Villa Franca, near Naples Italy.

Marriage: Anna also born Villa Franca c 1899.

Children: Mariano ?/21/1895 Italy, Mary ?/25/1897, Mamie Vita ?/22/1898, Rose 12/15/1902, Lucy 07/28/1903, Cecelia 09/02/1904 and Frank 12/14/1906


In April 1906 at 9:50 (or eleven) at night a gas pipe bomb wrecked the barber shop of Peter (Pedro) Samperi at 401 Van Brunt. Windows were blown out of 401, the neighboring saloon, building across the street and buildings around the corner. Four of the Samperi family (who were in a back room) were knocked off their chairs. Mrs Kane and her six children, who lived above the barber shop, ran panic stricken into the street. Having heard the explosion the neighbors also poured out of their homes.

The police theorized that business jealousy was the motive. Four people were injured. Two of them were the reputed bomb throwers.

Pietro Samperi and others chased the two men through the streets of Red Hook. Gun shots were fired by both sides.

Peter Samperi a "young athletic Italian" and his brother, Antonio, had established a well patronized shop with steady customers. A week before the bombing someone had opened the door to the shop and fired three shots. Samperi insisted that he did not have a clue who was after him. He maintained to the police that no one had threatened him or his bother. The police discovered that a competitor of Samperi had tried to buy the building that housed Samperi's shop but the owner, Joseph Kane who lived upstairs, had refused to sell. The culprits were though to be the Campione (AKA Canada) family who had a competing barber shop on another block in the neighborhood. The names of the suspects vary WILDLY in the reportage. However, in April 1906 the names were given in the Brooklyn Eagle as Manuel Valenti 25, 51 Luquer street and Rosario Canada 17 of Manhattan. When they were caught and brought to the Police Station about forty cartridges were found on "Canada" and about twenty on Valenti. Valenti's face was full of powder and his jacket was burned. Canada's left hand was burned.

Pietro Samperi was also arrested and charged with possession of a revolver.

The only witness the police had was John Crawford 17 of 171 Breard street who initially failed to show in court. It was stated that Crawford was induced to stay away from the court by Italian friends of the accused. With no witness it was feared the case would peter out. Valenti, however, was held by the grand jury for shooting two bullets at David McGrath, age 24, one of those pursuing Valenti and Canada after the bombing. The shots were fired at close range and two bullets went through McGrath's hat.

By April 13, John Crawford was located in Boston. He appeared in court on April 13 at the arraignment of Valenti and Canada.

On May 15, 1906 Emanuel Valente, 25, of 51 "Luqueer" street and Rosario "Canata", 16 of 47 Bedford street, Manhattan "were quickly found guilty" by a jury. The maximun penalty was ten years.

The story was carried by the New York Times and as far away as Los Angeles.

See Red Hook Streets

1913: 346 Van Brunt fire damage to building slight.

1917: WW I Draft Registration Mariano Campione 436 Van Brunt born April 22, 1895 Villa Franca Italy, barber 436 Van Brunt, single, 5 ft 2 inches, bron eyes dark hari living with parents.

1920: March 1, 1920, Petition for Naturalization Pietro Campione, 436 Van Brunt street, Brooklyn, barber, born 20 April 1875 "Vellfra--a"*, Italy, immigrated from Naples on the Burgandia arriving October 12, 1898, wife, Anna, born April 10th 1899, Vellfra--a*, residence 436 Van Brunt, children Mariano ?/21/1895, Mary ?/25/1897, Vita ?/22/1898, Rose 12/15/1902, Lucy 07/28/1903, Cecelia 09/02/1904 and Frank 12/14/1906, denounced Victor Emmanuel III King of Italy. Mar 1920 Eastern District, New York, Petition for Naturalization

*Villa Franca?

1920: 436 Van Brunt, Peter "Campinoe" 44, barber, Anna "Campinoe" 40, Mariano "Campinoe" 24, barber, Vita Campinoe 18, Rosalier "Campinoe" 17, Lucy "Campinoe" 16, Cecelia "Campinoe" 13, Frank "Campinoe" 12

1930: 436 Van Brunt, Pietro Campione 53, barber, own account, own, $7,500, Anna Campione 50, Vita Campione 25, daughter, Frank Campione 22, son, laborer

1930: 436 Van brunt, rent $40, Mariano Campione 32, barber, Josephine Campione 21 Peter Campione 1 [1 6/12]

1940: 436 Van Brunt, Peter Campione 64, barber, Anna Campione 64 Mamie Vita Campione 39

1940: 436 Van Brunt, Marion Campione 43, barber, Josephine Campione 35, Peter Campione 11, Mary Campione 5, Michael Campione 2

1942: WW II Draft Registration, Mariano Campione, Birth Date: 22 Apr 1895, Birth Place: Villa Franca, Italy, 436 Van brunt, Brooklyn, New York, USA Wife, Josephine,

1976: Mariano Campione SSN: 094-26-5532 Last Residence: 11210 Brooklyn, Kings, New York, USA BORN: 22 Apr 1895 Died: Jan 1976 State (Year) SSN issued: New York (1951)

1976: Mariano Campione Birth Date: 22 Mar 1898 Death Date: 19 Jan 1976 Cemetery: Long Island National Cemetery Burial or Cremation Place: East Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York, USA

Mariano Campione Service Info.: PVT US ARMY WORLD WAR I Birth Date: 22 Mar 1898 Death Date: 19 Jan 1976 Service Start Date: 26 May 1918 Interment Date: 22 Jan 1976 Cemetery: Long Island National Cemetery Cemetery Address: 2040 Wellwood Avenue Farmingdale, NY 11735-1211 Buried At: Section 3a Site 579

In December 2015 James Dipersia wrote that his great grandfather was Pietro Campione who owned the barber shop at 436 Van Brunt.
"He came here in 1887 and died in 1965. I remember the hall walls being curved and could not get the player piano out of the apartment - must have been hoisted. He lived there till his death with his daughter Mamie (Vita) - she stayed there on VanBrunt till her death. She never left the house - she would put money on a string and let it down out the window so one of the kids in the neighborhood could by her food."

See Red Hook Streets, 436 Van Brunt

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Liquor Stores Red Hood 1870 and later
Red Hood

Red Hook Liquor Dealers

A Survey of Liquor Dealers in Red Hook mid to Late 1800s

Red Hook Liquor Dealers - The Families

Balfe - Ball - Baumann - Behnken - Bell - Black - Boysen - Bray - Brickwedel - Callaghan - Carberry - Cassin - Cavanagh - Collimore - Collins - Coogan - Cordes - Curran - Daly - Dawson - Dempsey - Depperman - Devan - Dixon - Dockery - Donovan - Doran - Ehrichs - Fay - Finkeldey - Fitzgerald - Garahan - Gillen - Graef - Haack - Henry - Higgins, Hugh - Higgins, George - Hoehn - - Hoffman - Hughs - Hunold - Hussey - Judge - Kassenbrock - Keleher - Knoop - Krohler - Lamont - Lever - Little - Looney - Madigan - Mahnken - McAvanny - McGee - McGrath - McKenna - McQuade - Meyers - Molloy - Mooney - Moran - Mullady - Munsinger - Murray - Noble - O'Brien - O'Hara - Oberdieck - Powers - Ropke - Schmadeke - Schwanemann - Shea - Sheridan - Siebe - Simmons - Struve - Sullivan - Weinphal - Winkelman

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