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The following biographies are extracted from:
The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio

By Henry Holcomb Bennett
Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis.,



BERNARD H. KATHE, one of the most prominent and prosperous farmers of Scioto township, has long been favorably known in the agricultural circles of Ross county.  Like so many other settlers in that part of Ohio, he is a German immigrant of the class so highly prized all over the Union for their energy, industry, integrity and other elements of good citizenship.  His parents, Joseph and Lena (Wilkins) Kathe, were natives of Hanover, Germany, who died at comparatively early ages leaving two children, Bernard H. and Anna, the latter dying in infancy.  Bernard H. was born in Hanover, Germany, Feb. 29, 1856, and was seven years old when he lost both father and mother by death.  He was taken charge of by an uncle, who cared for him until his fourteenth year, and after the former's death found a home with an aunt.  When seventeen years old he entered one of the German agricultural colleges where he received valuable industrial training and was given a certificate of graduation at the end of two years.  About a year subsequent to this he enlisted as a cavalryman in one of the Uhlan regiments of the German army with which he served three years.  In 1881, when about twenty-five yeas old Mr. Kathe joined the tide of emigration then running so strongly westward and abandoned the fatherland for a permanent abode in America.  Immediately after reaching Castle Garden he made his way to Circleville, Ohio, and for two years worked on a farm near that place during the summer, assisting his uncle in a furniture store when the weather was unsuited to out-door work.  In 1883, Mr. Kathe came to Ross county and Jan. 11, of that year he was married to Mary M. D., a daughter of Phelix and Julia Miller, the former of Germany and the latter of Ross county.  For a short time after marriage he resided in Chillicothe and then located on the farm in Scioto township, where he now resides.  Some years later he purchased the 160 acres which constitute his home tract, besides 200 acres in Union township.  Mr. Kathe is a breeder of shorthorn cattle and other fine stock, operates a public corn-grinder and is in every way an up-to-date and progressive farmer, yielding to none in his understanding of the business.  The fact that he was elected in 1901 as a Democrat by 232 majority in a county usually Republican by five or six hundred, to serve as a member of the board of infirmary directors, fully attests Mr. Kathe's personal and political popularity.  Mr. and Mrs. Kathe have had twelve children, of whom the following named are living:  Alfonso, Otto, Leo, Phelix, Columbus, Bernardo and Colista; the dead are Bernard, Sylvester, Roman, Bruno and an infant unnamed.  The family is Roman Catholic in religion and Mr. Kathe is a member of the Knights of St. George.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 544
JOSEPH KELLHOFER, merchant and mill owner of Chillicothe and long prominently connected with the painting department of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad shops, is a worthy exponent of Ross county's citizenship of German descent.  His father, Leopold Kellhofer, was born in Baden, Germany, in 1809, of a family of tradesmen.  In youth he was apprenticed to learn the weaver's trade and after mastering its details followed it as a means of livelihood for some years.  In 1834 he married Martha Fisher and five years later came with her to the United States, landing at New York after a wearisome sea journey of sixty-four days.  The immigrants hastened as rapidly as possible to their point of destination, which was Chillicothe, Ohio, and on arriving there, Leopold worked for a while as a common laborer and then embarked in the business of gardening.  To this occupation he adhered with more or less success until his death, which occurred in 189, at the age of sixty-nine.  Of his nine children, three died in infancy unnamed.  The others, in order of birth, are as follows:  Mary, wife of Frank Konzen, of Henry county, Ohio; Joseph; Tressa, wife of Conrad Richard, of Circleville, Ohio; Leopold, Edward and Albert deceased.  Joseph Kellhofer was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, Feb. 4, 1844, and when nineteen years old entered the shops of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad company as an apprentice in the painting department.  In two years by close application he became qualified as a journeyman and accompanied his foreman to Indianapolis, where he was engaged a short time in the line of his trade.  From that point he went to Litchfield, Ill., and during his two years' residence there was married to Mary T., daughter of Marcus and Cathrine F. Miller, of Ross county, Ohio.  Eventually he returned to Chillicothe, where he resumed his trade, and afterwards became foreman of the painting department of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad shops at Zaleski, Ohio.  This position, however, he soon resigned for the purpose of establishing the general mercantile business in which he has since been engaged.  During recent years Mr. Kellhofer has constructed a substantial business block and dwelling-house.  Another of his real estate investments was the erection in 1901 of what is known as the Kellhofer Scioto Mills, a manufactory of high grade roller-process flour.  Aside from his own business, Mr. Kellhofer's services are in demand for public use.  For nine years he has been a member of the board of equalization, one term a councilman from the sixth ward and poll clerk for several years.  He comes of a long line of Democrats and is strenuous in advocacy of the principles of that political party.  Mr. and Mrs. Kellhofer have had eleven children:  Martha T. wife of Adolph Paff of Chillicothe; Jacob J., of the same city; Anna, wife of Chancey Hollis, of Illinois; Albert Ernest, of Chillicothe; John, Mary, Rocelia, Clara and Leo Marcus at home; Paul and Edward died in infancy.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 545
WILLIAM KERNS, of Lyndon, was born in Pike county, Ohio, in 1831.  His father, Thomas Kerns, also a native of Ohio, in 1831.  His father, Thomas Kerns, also a native of Ohio, spent his life in agricultural pursuits and died in Clinton county in 1872.  By the first of his two marriages he left four sons, of whom William was the second, the others being John, James and Thomas.  In 1845, William Kerns removed to Buckskin township, Ross county, and engaged in farm work until he was nineteen years old.  Later he learned the carpenter's trade, but in July, 1862, left work to become a soldier in the Union army.  He enlisted in Company H, Eighty-ninth regiment Ohio infantry, and with this command saw much arduous service.  Sent first into Kentucky to meet the advancing Confederate raiders under Morgan and Smith, the regiment participated in all the subsequent movements of the year.  The first heavy engagement was at Fort Donelson and the next Stone River, later on the campaign from Murfreesboro to Chattanooga, culminating in the great battle of Chickamauga in September, 1863.  On the second day of that bloody encounter, Mr. Kerns' brigade was captured and he was one of the unfortunates who failed to escape.  This was a very calamitous event for himself and comrades as it meant for long detention in the dismal prisons of the South.  They were first taken to Richmond, Va., then confined for six months at Danville, and finally landed in that abode of horrors known as the Andersonville prison pen.  Mr. Kerns passed through the gates of this modern "Inferno" in April, 1864, and it was not until eleven months afterward that he obtained his release.  Some notion of the sufferings and cruelties he endured may be derived from the statement that on the day of his capture he weighed 170 pounds and when, more dead than alive, he again reached the Union lines his recorded weight was only seventy pounds.  Owing to his weakness, Mr. Kearns was compelled to spend three weeks in the hospital at Vicksburg, after which he was prostrated over a month with typhoid fever at Jefferson Barracks.   It is needless to say that when at last he reached home on May 25, 1865, he had enough prison and hospital experience to last him the rest of his life.  It was still a month later, or June 25th, before he obtained at Camp Chase his final and honorable discharge from the army of the United States.  As soon as he had rested and recuperated, Mr. Kerns engaged in the business of contracting, which he followed until 1897 and then retired to his farm near South Salem, where he enjoys repose' after a long and well spent life.  In 1854. Mr. Kerns was married to May J. Pricer, who died in 1894, leaving three daughters.  Sissy Jane, the eldest of these, became the wife of Albert Warner of Chillicothe; Sarah Catherine married to Robert Wallace, of South Salem, and May Frances is the wife of David Sommers  In the spring of 1897 Mr. Kerns was again married, his second wife being Eliza Ann Sanders.  Mr. Kerns has long been a member of the Presbyterian church of South Salem and for sixteen years has served as deacon.  He is a trustee of the Salem academy and member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 547
MICHAEL G. KIRSH, was born in Chillicothe, O., in the Phoenix hotel, which he now owns, on Oct. 16, 1858.  His parents were Michael and Annie Maria (Hechinger) Kirsch, both natives of Germany, the former being born in Hesse Darmstadt on Mar. 25, 1825.  Michael Kirsch came to America at the age of fourteen years, and was married in Chillicothe, where he located in his young manhood and there established the Phoenix Hotel, which has borne that name for more than fifty years, having no other owner than the father and his son.  Michael Kirsch was a well known and honored citizen of Chillicothe for many yeas, serving the municipality in various capacities, notably as a member of the city council and as infirmary director of the county.  He died in 1892, much lamented, and the death of his wife occurred in the same year only about three months later.  The city council adopted appropriate resolutions of condolence and sympathy on the death of Mr. Kirsch, a certified copy of which is now one of the treasured memorials of the family.  Seven children were born to this esteemed couple, one of whom died at the age of seven years.  Those still living re, Barbara, now Mrs. Hydell of Chillicothe; John, a resident of Portsmouth, O.; Mary, wife of Christian Goeller; Josephine, now Mrs. List, of Cincinnati; Emily, wife of Jerry Keefe of Columbus, O.  Michael G. Kirsch, the youngest of the family and the subject of this sketch, was educated in his native city and has there spent the most of his life.  For four yers he was in partnership with his brother John in the tin and stove business at Portsmouth, Ohio, which is still conducted by the latter.  Michael returned to Chillicothe and accepted a position with Ira Mosher & Son wholesale and retail grocers, with whom he remained as an employe for thirteen years.  After the death of the Phoenix Hotel in September of the same year.  In connection with the hotel he operated a livery business, owning his own barn and appurtenances.  Mr. Kirsch continued to operate his hotel and livery business until Apr. 14, 1902, when he leased the same to ex-Sheriff A. T. Swepston, and Mr. Kirsch  now devotes his entire attention to the fire insurance business, with offices in the Hawson block.  He has the agency for a number of the standard companies of the country and by devoting his entire attention to it is building up a fine business.  Nov. 16, 1881, Mr. Kirsch was married to Flora, daughter and only child of John and Lucy (Marsluff) Bier, both natives of Ohio of German antecedents.  John Bier, a general merchant in Chillicothe prior to and during the civil war, died in 1866, when Mrs. Kirsch was but fifteen months old.  His widow, married a man named Barman, by whom she had four children: Mrs. Oscar J. Fuchs, Mrs. Matthias Bonner, Josephine Barman and Clement Barman.  Michael Kirsch and wife have two sons, William C., born Feb. 11, 1883, now employed as a clerk in a grocery store, and Michael, born Jul. 4, 1887, now clerking in a drug store.  Mr. Kirsch is a member of the order of Elks and Red Men.  He and wife are members of the Catholic church, as were their parents before them.  He is Democratic in politics but has never been an office-seeker.  At one time he became a candidate for infirmary director and, though the county went Republican by 600 plurality, was defeated by only 146 votes.  He is a member of the board of fire commissioners of the city.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 547
ARTHUR D. KLINE, of Salem, is descended from a family of pioneer millers in Ross county, some of the early members of which were also connected with the first canal construction.  His father, Daniel Kline, was a Virginian and son of Peter L. Kline, who emigrated from Germany to the Old Dominion, but later removed to Ohio.  Settling on Deer creek in Ross county about 1819, he established a mill which he conducted fro some time.  Afterwards he had charge for a while of the Lumback mills below Chillicothe, but subsequently became manager of the Vandeman mill.  Peter Kline and his near relatives were pioneers in this business along Deer creek and neighboring streams.  They are also skillful as workmen in other lines, and built one mile of the old canal hear Chillicothe.  Daniel Kline married Maria, daughter of George Parrett, after which he engaged in farming and stock-raising, which he made the exclusive business of his subsequent life.  Daniel and Maria Kline became the parents of nine children:  George A., who became a member of Company I, Eighty-first regiment Ohio infantry and was killed in the battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864; Ellen, Missouri A. (deceased), Erskine L., and Arthur D. Kline; Dora, the wife of John Leib, a Buckskin township farmer; Allie, wife of Wilbur P. Harper, a farmer of same locality; Henry, a stock-buyer and breeder; and Nettie, living in Cincinnati.  Arthur D. Kline was born and bred in Buckskin township and lives in a brick house which was built over a century ago by James Dickey, founder of the Salem academy.  It was at this institution that Mr. Kline received his education, and shortly after leaving school he married Mary E, daughter of John C. Duncan.  The latter belongs to an old and well established family of Highland county, his father being a native of Glasgow, Scotland.  Mr. and Mrs. Kline have three children.  Pearl D., their eldest son, a bright and promising young man, is a member of the United States regular army now serving in the Philippines; Arthur S. is at home, and George C. in school.  Mr. Kline has devoted his adult life to the business of farming and stock-raising.  For the last ten yeas he has made a specialty of sheep breeding and in his line has become an expert.  He handles different breeds, but his favorites are the Hampshire downs, and to these he confines most of his dealing.  The entire family are members of the Presbyterian church at South Salem.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 549
JOHN KNECHT, of the firm of Jacob Knecht & Son, brewers, of Chillicothe, was born in that city Nov. 9, 1858.  His parents, Jacob and Katherine (Griesheimer) Knecht, both natives of Hesse Darmsteadt, Germany, where they were married, came to America in 1852, having with them three children, a number afterward increased by two.  In his native country, the elder Knecht was a farmer and he pursued the occupation here until 1875, when he purchased the Knecht brewery, which he and his son John have since operated.  The plant is complete in all its appointments and has an annual capacity of twenty thousand barrels.   Fitted with all the modern machinery and appliances, this brewery is one of the solid and successful business enterprises of Chillicothe, with whose growth and progress they have ever since been prominently identified.  The parents were quite poor on arrival, indeed they would hardly have been able to reach these shores without the aid of friends.  The father's first work was on a railroad, but German thrift, industry and perseverance soon conquered, as they always do, and the Knechts found themselves in possession of a fifty-acre farm just north of the city, which they still own.  Of the original five children, only three are living.  Jacob, who was an iron molder by trade, died at the age of about forty, leaving one daughter, who is married and living in Chicago.  Christiana is the wife of John V. Muehlig and lives in Chicago.  Katherine died at the age of seven years; John is the subject of this sketch and Martin is operating the home farm.  John Knecht was educated in Chillicothe, he and Martin being the two children born after arrival in this country.  He has been connected with the brewery business ever since he was able to do work of any kind.  At present he assumes general management of the entire business, attending to the sales and collections, employing help and superintending all the details.  The establishment gives work to an average of ten men, the product being sold mostly to the local trade.  Mr. Knecht was married in 1878 to Rosa Jacobs, daughter of business man of Chillicothe, and born and bred in that city, and they have seven children, whose names are Mary, Christina, Emma, Bertha, Minnie, Louisa, and John Jacob.  Christina is the wife of Daniel De Long, a clerk in Chillicothe, the others being still at home.  Mr. Knecht is a member of the order of Red Men and the family belong to the German Lutheran Church.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 549
JACOB KOCH, capitalist and man of affairs in various lines of business, has spent his entire life at Adelphi, Ohio, of which he has long been a conspicuous citizen.  His parents, Jacob and Mary (Hisler) Koch, were Pennsylvanians who came to Ross county in 1830 and located at Adelphi, where the father pursued his trade as a shoemaker, and both husband and wife became substantial and respected members of the community, being members of the Evangelical church and identified with all movements for the uplifting of the masses.  The senior Jacob Koch died in 1857, his wife surviving him over thirty years and dying in 1887 at the age of eighty-two.  Of their family of eleven children, only two sons and one daughter are now living.  Frank, one of the sons, is a citizen of Pennsylvania, and Mrs. Hanna Beaver, the only daughter, is a resident of Ashville, in Pickaway county.  Jacob Koch, the other son, was born at Adelphi Dec. 20, 1835, and at an early age was put to work in his father's shop to learn the trade of shoemaking.  This he mastered very thoroughly and followed for many years in the place of his nativity.  Mr. Koch, however, did not adhere strictly to the old maxim that "the shoemaker should stick to his last."  He did, indeed, stick to his trade very closely until 1872, when he concluded that he had done his share of confining work and resolved to branch out in other lines.  He had been economical as well as industrious, and as he saved money made investments in real estate and other kinds of property.  He owns several farms, amounting to some 400 acres of land, and these are cultivated in the general way for raising the cereal crops and stock of different kinds.  For about twenty-five years he has been engaged in fire insurance and has worked up an extensive business in that line, and during the same period or longer has been a loaner of money.  He found time also to assist in carrying on the public affairs of his community, and has served two terms as justice of the peace, besides being a member of the school board and council for many years.  He has long been interested in Odd-fellowship and holds membership in Adelphi lodge, No. 114, Encampment No. 83, and the Daughters of Rebecca.  In 1862, he was married to Mary A. Patterson of Adelphi, by whom he had seven children: Josie, Estella, Lizzie, Retta, Howard, Stanley and Grace (deceased).  The mother died in 1898, and Mr. Koch was married a second time, to Miss Grace Strous of Pickaway county.  Both he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which Mr. Koch is the present organist and has been the chorister for over fifty years.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 550
ADAM KRAMER, manufacturer of cigars and dealer in tobacco at No. 3, North Paint street, Chillicothe, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, Aug. 29, 1833.  His parents, Adam and Anna Marie (Schollmeyer) Kramer, came from the fatherland to Chillicothe when he was a lad of fourteen years.  The father was an engineer in a distillery, where he lost his life by accident, when he was forty years old, and his wife died at the same age, but eight years later.  Adam was the eldest of their children, and next to him came Martin, who is now living on a farm in Ross county.  The third born was Jacob, who joined the Twenty-sixth Ohio during the civil war, was wounded and captured at Stone River, and being taken to prison died during his confinement there.  John is employed in his brother Adam's business, and Elizabeth, the only sister, is now the wife of George Neal, living in Chillicothe.  Adam Kramer attended school for eight years in his native country, receiving a good elementary education.  After reaching Chillicothe he became a pupil at private schools, mostly those held at night, thus increasing his store of book learning.  In Chillicothe he also learned the cigar-maker's trade with C. C. McCormick, a business man of the place long since dead.  After a three years' apprenticeship, Mr. Kramer worked as a journeyman with Mr. McCormick until the latter's death, when he formed a partnership with Mr. Hangs and purchased the business.  This they conducted together for about seven years, then the firm dissolved and each member started out for himself.  Mr. Kramer has been in the business continuously for more than fifty years, and during all the time but the first five years he was proprietor.  In 1875, his eldest son, Charles R., became a partner and since then the firm has been known as A. Kramer & Son.  They have as extensive jobbing trade, manufacturing about 200,000 cigars per annum, though they have made as many as a million.  Besides this they handle all kinds of tobaccos and smokers' sundries.  They own a saleswagon which makes regular and continuous trips through several of the adjacent counties.  In 1854, Mr. Kramer was married to Katherine Reiss, a German lady, who came alone to Chillicothe in early womanhood, her parents having died in Bavaria.  She became the mother of six children, of whom Charles R., William H. and David A., are all are engaged in their father's business.  Frederick B. is employed in the Central National bank as book-keeper.  Thomas died at the age of twenty-two, and Anna Marie, the eldest child, is the wife of J. P. Breinieg, who is employed in his father-in-law's factory.  The mother died in 1895 at the age of sixty-one.  Mr. Kramer's politics are Democratic and his religious tendencies are Presbyterian.  Though not a communicant of any church, he is a cheerful giver in liberal supporter of all good causes.  He has never been a seeker after office, preferring to devote his time to his business in which he has been successful.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 551
CHARLES KRUGER was born in Jackson county, Ohio, Jan. 14, 1871.  His father, William Kruger, a native of Germany, born about the eyar 1838, when twenty years old or thereabouts emigrated to the United States and located in what is now West  Virginia but then a part of the old state.  Not liking the prospects in that section, the young German determined to seek farther and in due time became a resident of Jackson county, Ohio.  There he became acquainted with Rebecca Fry, a native of that county, and eventually made her his wife.  In 1873, he removed to Ross county and settled in Union township, where his death soon afterwards occurred.  During the civil war he served for three years in the Union army with a West Virginia regiment.  The occupation of his entire manhood was farming and to this he devoted all his time and energies.  He had two sons, Charles and William, who live with their mother in Concord township, near Frankfort, to which place they removed several years ago.  Charles, the eldest of the children, was educated in the common schools of Union township, adopted farming as his life occupation and has steadily followed it during all his working years.  His brother William, who was born Oct. 3, 1873, is engaged in the same honorable and independent calling.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 552
VALENTINE KUHN, a lately deceased citizen of Chillicothe, was a good representative of the busy and bustling German-American element which has contributed so much to the growth and development of the city.  His parents, John and Johanna Kuhn, were experienced gardeners and followed that occupation in Chillicothe after their arrival there from Germany.  They had a family of ten children, four of whom died in youth, the other six being: Mary, wife of George Geltz; Kate, wife of H. Hamm; and Lena, wife of William Wageman, all of Chillicothe; Letta, wife of F. Kindell, of Portsmouth, Ohio; Casper, of Chillicothe, and Valentine.  Valentine Kuhn was born in Germany, Dec. 9, 1849, and accompanied his parents on their trip across the ocean to New York, and thence to the Ross county capital.  He spent his youth in Chillicothe, attended the public schools and assisted his parents in their gardening work during the busy seasons until his arrival at the age of manhood.  He secured employment as car inspector in the Baltimore& Ohio Railroad shops at Chillicothe and retained that position for twenty-one years.  Meantime he had married Katie Wise, by whom he had four children: Emma, wife of George Hale, of Huntington township; Johnnie, deceased; Willie, at home, and one that died in infancy.  Their mother died Mar. 20, 1881, and Mr. Kuhn was married Nov. 15, 1881, to Caroline Hess, a lady of German parentage then resident in Chillicothe.  She was born May 26, 1848, while her parents, Gottfried and Caroline Hess, were at the quarantine station in New York harbor.  Later they came on to Ohio and settled in Chillicothe, where they embarked in gardening and trucking which was the business to which they had been trained.  There were eight children in this family, of whom Gottleib is dead, the others being: Susan, wife of George Smith, of Chillicothe; Caroline, wife of Valentine Kuhn; Mary wife of James Weekley, of Portsmouth, Ohio; John, Martin and Benjamin Hess, of Chillicothe; and Kate, wife of N. Rheinhart, of Portsmouth, Ohio.  After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Valentine Kuhn went to housekeeping on Fifth street in Chillicothe and lived at that place for twelve years, when they bought the tract of thirty-six acres where Mrs. Kuhn now resides.  At the time they moved in their residence was an old stone house, built over one hundred years ago as a landmark of that neighborhood.  This relic of pioneer days was destroyed by fire in 1898, and later replaced with a substantial brick house, modern in style and equipment.  Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn had a family of four children: Carrie, Charles, KAtie and Frank.  Mr. Kuhn died Oct. 9, 1898, since which time his widow has managed, the business with success.  In fact she has shown herself to be a woman of energy and excellent judgment and under her direction and personal work everything goes along with smoothness and regularity.  She is an industrious and good woman, and enjoys the good will and esteem of all who knew her.
Source:  The County of Ross: a history of Ross County, Ohio by Henry Holcomb Bennett - Published by S. A. Brant, Madison, Wis., 1902 - Page 553




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