Marie (Seidler) Kuhne was born on June 26, 1862, in Halle (Saale), a city in the southern part of the German state Saxony-Anhalt.  Her parents were Ferdinand and Auguste Seidler.  Nothing is known of her life in Halle.  In September 1891, the Miner newspaper reported a letter from Frank A. Kuhne saying that he was recently married to a very handsome and worthy young lady in Saxony, Germany.  (This issue of the Miner is evidently not extant, or else Marie Kuhne, who wrote the original biographical sketch of her mother, was mistaken about the date.)

Frank Adolphe Kuhne (b. 1846 in Germany), a mining speculator, was serving in the German Navy when he came to San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, at age twenty-one in 1867.  He moved to the Arizona Territory in 1868, settling first in Navajo, Yavapai County, along what was to be Route 66.  There he drove a hay wagon from the Big Chino area of Yavapai County for feeding military horses and mules at Fort Whipple.  He was naturalized in Prescott, Yavapai County, on September 10, 1884.  Later Frank moved to Howells in Yavapai County along Lynx Creek, where he served as Postmaster from January 1888 to July 1890.
On June 23, 1891, Frank was issued a passport and he returned to Germany to marry Marie Seidler as part of an arrangement by Frank and Marie’s parents.  Frank and Marie married on September 19, 1891, and returned to the Arizona Territory in October 1891.  According to her daughter Marie Kuhne, Marie Seidler Kuhne was reportedly injured on the ship coming over and had to spend a year recuperating under a doctor’s care in San Francisco.

The couple began their married life in Howells, where Frank had several mining claims.  There Marie bore three children: Marie (b. July 1892), Moritz “Moe” (b. January 1894), and Frank (b. July 1892).  While her husband worked his mining interests, disappearing from home for long periods of time, Marie worked as a trained seamstress with a talent for handwork, bobbin lace, embroidery, crochet, and knitting.  The mystery of Frank’s long absences was solved in 1926 when his son Robert discovered an intact mining camp under the rim of the Grand Canyon that contained documents and belongings of his father.

By December 1899 Frank had moved his family to a home at 431 S. Marina St. in Prescott, Yavapai County.  There they had two more children: Helen (b. December 1899) and Robert (b. May 1902).  Mr. Kuhne passed away from a heart attack on February 6, 1903.  Marie subsequently took all the children to Germany for a stay with her relatives.  In the summer of 1905 they returned to Prescott, where Marie taught embroidery and lace making at her home.  A sampler made by her in 1876 hangs in the Fremont House at the Sharlot Hall Museum.

Mrs. Kuhne enjoyed social standing as a wealthy mine owner in her widowhood.  In May 1904 she sold one half of her deed to the Sunrise mine to W.C. Brandon.  In January 1906 one of the biggest mining deals recorded in Yavapai County took place when Mrs. Marie Kuhne and F.M. Murphy sold their titles to the Mark Twain and Eighty-Six mines in the Walker district to the St. Anthony Mining and Milling Company.

Marie (Seidler) Kuhne’s death came on July 30, 1945, in Prescott, at the age of eighty-four.  She was still residing at 431 S. Marina St., with her daughter Marie, a bookkeeper.  While her body was sent to Phoenix, Maricopa County, for cremation and inurnment, the Citizens Cemetery in Prescott has a headstone bearing the names of both Frank Kuhne and his wife Marie Kuhne.

Additional documentation and photographs are available in the Kuhne-Looney Family Papers Collection (SHM PC-8).

Donor: Marie Kuhne
Photo Located: RGC MS-39, Box K, F-Kuhne, Marie (Seidler)
Updated: 9/15/2017, Tom Collins