Friday, October 30, 2015

The Story of a Vintage Pie Safe- Henry W. Kemper, Kemper Furniture

Last month I shared with you all how I found an amazing vintage pie safe on the local classifieds siteI knew I had to at least go and look at it. As soon as I saw it I knew it was coming home with us.The owner did not know much about the piece other than it had belonged to her mother. I could only imagine the stories that it held.
Henry W. Kemper- Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours

I attempted to find out more about the piece on my own but turns out I was reading the manufacturing stamp wrong that was on the back. Rita my blogging friend over at Panoply did a little sleuthing of her own and turns out that this piece was made by Henry W. Kemper, a German immigrant who came over to the US in 1869. In 1876 Henry opened Kemper Furniture at 560 Main Street in Troy, MO. From what I have been reading he made most of the furniture he sold. Not only did he build furniture but he also did a lot of custom work for Hechler Hardware Store. If I followed correctly his sister was married to the owner of Hechler Hardware but not 100% positive of that. Turns out that Henry also made coffins from time to time. He was a husband and father to 4 daughters and 1 son. His son took over the business and eventually sold it to the current owners. It now goes by Troy Furniture Company. I wish I could find a picture of him but one has not turned up yet. 
Kemper Furniture-Henry W. Kemper- Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
  I originally was purchasing the piece to paint it but after finding out its history and knowing that it is possibly 140 + years old I decided I would not paint the outside after all.
Henry W. Kemper- Kemper Furniture- Troy, MO-Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
At some point the inside of the cabinet was painted a french blue which was beautiful but I needed it to be a more neutral color.
Henry W. Kemper- Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
I ended up going over the blue with some Old White and Country Gray.
Vintage Ironstone-Henry W. Kemper- Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
Now the pie safe is the perfect spot to display some of my other treasured vintage finds.
Brown Transferware Pitcher- Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
Brown transferrer Pitcher-Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
Vintage Ironstone Soup Tureen-- Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
J&G Meakin-Romantic England-Transferware- Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
Kemper Funriture-Henry W. Kemper- Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
These drawers hold the boys school supplies that we need when doing homework. I did not have that with the bakers rack that previously was in here. It comes in quite handy to say the least.
 Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
I wonder if Henry ever imagined what would become of his pieces as he worked on them?
Ornate Key Hole-Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
This is truly a special piece even down to the working key hole. I just need to find a key that will work in it.
Henry W. Kemper- Vintage Pie Safe-From My Front Porch To Yours
I think that it would make him happy to know that all these many years later someone is still loving and caring for a piece of furniture he made.

If you by chance have any more information on Henry please do share it with me!

Sharing at these wonderful blogs:
Between Naps On The Porch
Coastal Charm
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

29 comments:

  1. omgoodness I need this piece!!! I love all your stuff & kitchen/dining , but this is DARLING! The charm is ooozing!! Happy weekend/ Halloween ,Pamela!

    Paige.Rose
    from
    www.TheQuaintSanctuary.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pamela, I absolutely love this piece, its history, and the way you've styled it. You really scored big on this one. I'm a brown transferware collector, too, and that would just make me smile every time I'd look at it. Thanks for the shout out, too. I so love learning the back stories of old things, and that's a great one.
    Rita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you again Rita for helping figure it all out!

      Delete
  3. It's stunning! I love the pie tins on the side - don't think I've ever seen that before. Much better with the white interior. Gorgeous piece!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anne. They are normally made from tin but these are made from wood which makes it unusual. I have not seen many with the pressed wood sides.

      Delete
  4. Oh Pamela what a beautiful treasure to have. I love that you painted it inside. It looks more original to the piece. Your other vintage pieces look so pretty in there. Just love your dining area and this piece is certainly a show stopper. Glad you go the history on this piece too.
    Kris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kris. Yes, the history of the piece grabbed me.

      Delete
  5. Cool! I love it:) I'm missing something like this in my house ... Feels so warm and "homey":)..

    ReplyDelete
  6. You can't imagine my delight when I read your post this evening!! I always enjoy seeing the wonderful things you create, but this story is dear to my heart! I am from Troy, Missouri, and your tale of the pie safe was simply incredible. Kemper (Troy) Furniture Store and Hechler Hardware are still going strong, and I posted your story on a Troy Facebook page. I hope they see it and are able to show you a photograph of Mr. Kemper. What a wonderful piece you found; I hope your treasure from Troy will become a special part of your family story!
    Evelyn Hill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Evelyn I am so glad my post and it brightened your day! Thank you for sharing it on their FaceBook Page. I would love to see a picture of him. I looked on Ancestry but could not find anything.

      Delete
  7. I know the person who would be able to give you the history behind Henry W. Kemper. My father in law is Charles H Kemper. I am sure they have a picture of him! My husband and I think that since this is stamped and not hand written he did not necessarily make it but sold it from the furniture store. The in law's have a few pieces that have his signature hand written in carpenter pencil on the bottom!

    Mende Kemper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are pencil markings on the boards of the piece that you can see when you open the bottom portion. I just know that there probably was more in the upper portion but since the previous owner painted over it I will never know for sure. I am pretty sure the piece is missing an header piece. I see three holes on the top where something must have been attached at some point. It certainly is an older piece. Kinda sad to find out that he may not have made this piece but thank you for the information! That is so cool that your grandfather is a Kemper! I will have to see about looking at the bottom of the piece again. I cleaned off cobwebs from it before we brought it in but I was not necessarily paying attention to anything else.

      Delete
  8. Hi Pamela! This is a fabulous piece, and I think it looks great just painted on the inside! Great call. Jane

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a beautiful piece! I would not have painted the outside either! It's gorgeous! And I love your transferware treasures!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is beautiful. I love how much of the history you have been able to find. That is so much of the fun for me too. I love the styling you have done. The fact that it is functional is the cherry on top. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  11. You are indeed the right person to own this vintage piece because you appreciate the talent it took to build it and are interested in it's history. It is a special story.
    You have styled it beautifully with your lovely collections. It is quite striking and caught my eye immediately.
    Your unique old church sign brings back memories. I remember as a child our church used a similar piece to record church attendance.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Such a special find! The older I get the more I appreciate history. It looks perfect the way you added your touches to it. I hope you get to find out more info. You could put it in an old frame and put it on the shelf! Have a great week! Diane

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my goodness Pamela, this is just gorgeous and this post speaks to me! My grandfather came over from Germany and was a carpenter. He made/built all of his own furniture and then started building homes. I have a few of their pieces and they hold a special place in my heart. I bet it was hard not to paint over it but after that history how could you. I love the inside painted, just gorgeous! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Kristin how much you must adore the pieces your grandfather built! I know they will always hold a special place in your family.

      Delete
  14. Hi Pamela! Oh, this looks wonderful and how nice your were able to find out about its history! I love the bright color you've painted inside and you've dressed her up so prettily! I really like your little Sunday School sign you hsve on top. I remember those from church when I was a little girl!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. It is a beautiful piece! Drool worthy actually!
    It always means so much to know the history on a piece too....great!
    Love the ironstone....
    Nancy
    wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. PAM! This is just like the one Jimmy & I got out of a barn. I did it white with the pale, aqua-blue back and added the chicken wire to the doors. It was reaaallly rough. You have one in much better condition, but I painted that with several coats and I know it in & out. I recognized it immediately.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am married to Charles H. Kemper Jr., great grandson of Henry William Kemper. We have a photo of him which we would be delighted to share with you along with some corrections of his personal information which you have. Hope this reaches you as I've tried twice before. My daughter in law Mende (above) will come to my rescue if this doesn't. Mary
    Anne Kemper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Mary Anne how wonderful of you to stop by! I wish there was a way to contact you directly but there is not. I would love to hear more about your families history. Please send me an email to frommyfrontporchtoyours@gmail.com . Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      Delete

I love when ya stop by so leave me a comment if ya have some time! I always try and respond but sadly enough sometimes I am unable to return the love due to noreply blogger status.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...