John M. Kerr, one of the four proprietors of the original town plat of Columbus, was born about the year 1778, in County Tyrone, Ireland, and was educated at the University of Dublin. He came to this country early in the century, and settled in Franklinton, about 1810. His connection with the company entering into compact with the legislature in 1812, has already been given.* Mr. Kerr was appointed, in 1813, the first agent of the associates, and continued until 1815, when he declined longer service. He was also a member of the first board of councilmen, elected in 1816, for the "borough of Columbus."
* Transcriber's note: No mention of this connection has yet been found. I will add it here when it is located.--llg
He died in 1823, in the same year with Mr. Lucas Sullivant. Mr. Kerr left a large fortune, at his death, which was soon dissipated. Mr. John M. Kerr, jr., now nearly sixty-two years old, is the only son living; but a sister (Mrs. Mary F. Heffner, now a widow), resides in Fremont, Ohio. There is also a grandson, a boy of ten years, bearing the family name--John M. Kerr.
Mr. Kerr was buried in the old North graveyard, and, as a result of the neglect into which the place has fallen, the headstone placed at his grave has been destroyed, and his children are not able to identify the grave of their father--and he a man whose active business life was so intimately associated with the early history of the city!
The son of Mr. Kerr, mentioned above, is now living in Columbus, with his wife and child--the latter a promising boy of about ten years. Mr. Kerr is a man of much intelligence and literary culture, who made many business ventures with the great wealth which his father left, but failed in them all. And now, at the advanced age of sixty-one, he finds himself in great affliction from the almost total loss of sight by a painful disease of the eyes, and from the pinchings of absolute poverty.