Saturday, May 19, 2012

Liborius Kauphusman (1837-1881)

   This curiously named man is Liborius Kauphusman (pronounced Ka-foos-man), a Prussian immigrant who made his name (politically speaking) in 19th century Minnesota. He has the distinction of being the first German national to be profiled here on the site, but he certainly won't be the last! I will also note that Kauphusman's first name is listed as being spelled in a variety of ways, including "Laborius", "Laborious" and "Liborious". Very little information is available online in regards to Kauphusman, but enough has been found to construct an adequate profile for him!
   Liborius Kauphusman was born in Prussia on August 9, 1837, the son of Christian and Maria Kauphusman. The Kauphusman family immigrated to the United States with their three children (Liborius, Heinrich, and Christopher) in December 1846. Upon disembarking at a port in New Orleans they relocated to St. Louis, Missouri where Liborius received his education. Three years after settling in Missouri they removed to Lee County, Iowa and in 1856 settled in Minnesota.
  Kauphusman is recorded as marrying in 1860 to Ms. Katharina Maifleur and is listed by one genealogical website as having a total of 13 children! Within a few years of his marriage, Kauphusman was drafted into service but is mentioned as not having served in the Civil War due to his use of the commutation clause. Like Adoniram J. Patterson (who was profiled a few days ago), Kauphusman is recorded as paying $300 for a substitute to fight in his place. This clause was also used by future President Grover Cleveland, who in 1863 paid $150 dollars to a Polish immigrant to serve in his place!
                   This legislative roster containing Kauphusman's name was produced in 1877.

   In the years following the Civil War, Kauphusman is mentioned as owning a farm in Hart Township in Minnesota, as well as serving as a Justice of the Peace. In November 1876 the citizens of Winona County elected Kauphusman to the Minnesota State House of Representatives for a term commencing in January 1877. He was reelected to the House in November 1878 for the 1879-80 term, and during his service sat on the Committees on Agriculture and Manufacture as well as the Committee on Printing
  Liborius Kauphusman died on October 9, 1881, at age 44 of an unspecified illness. His wife Katharina is listed as surviving him by forty years, dying in 1921 at age 80. A burial location for both Liborius and his wife is unknown at the time of this writing. The rare portrait of Mr. Kauphusman shown above was found in the extensive Minnesota Historical Society database, which has proven to be a great tool in researching long forgotten Minnesota legislators!


  1. Liborious and Katharina are both buried in St. Peter'a and Paul's Cemetery in Hart, Minnesota. Not all the family pronounces the name "foo", many, especially the ones still living in Winona pronounce it "poo".

  2. Thank you so much for the information on my Great Great Grandfather. My Grandmother Alice Kauphusman was the daughter of Liborious' son Henry!