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John Robert Kunz, II

Also Known As: "Johannes"
Birthplace: Berne, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
Death: Died in Bern, ID, USA
Place of Burial: Paris, ID, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Johannes "John" Kunz, I and Rosina Katherine Kunz
Husband of Rosina Knutti; Katherine Kunz and Rosina Kunz
Father of John Kunz, III; Christian Kunz; Rosina Bischoff; Catherine Chievers; Samuel Kunz, Sr. and 3 others

Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About John Kunz II

John Kunz II was born on Jan. 20, 1823 at Zwischenflueh, Canton Bern, Switzerland to Johannes Kunz (John Kunz I) and Rosina Katherine Klossner. John Kunz II was married to Rosina Knutti, daughter of David Knutti and Katharina Mani on Oct. 22, 1842. He and Rosina Knutti were baptized members of the LDS Church on Feb. 22, 1869 by Willard B. Richards and confirmed by Elder Christian Willie. On March 30, 1869 John Kunz II was ordained a teacher by Elder Karl G. Maeser. John Kunz II was ordained an elder on Nov. 4, 1869 by Elder Karl G. Maeser. On July 13, 1870 John Kunz II, Rosina Knutti Kunz and 8 of 10 children emigrated to the United States on the ship SS Manhattan. John Kunz and his Family arrived in Ogden, Utah and was greeted by Brigham Young on Aug. 5, 1870. Brigham Young called him on a Mission to Bear Lake Valley and and introduce there the industry of making Swiss Cheese. The Cheese making factory was started in Ovid, Idaho and later moved to Bern, Idaho. John Kunz II built and owned the first house in the Bern Town Site which he named after his native Bern, Switzerland. He spent the rest of his in peace at Bern, Idaho. In 1876 Ephriam Jones came to Bern, Bear Lake County Idaho to teach John Kunz II children how to speak and write English. John Kunz II was the first presiding Elder in the Bern Ward, Monpelier Stake, Idaho from 1878 to 1890 for approx. 27 years. John Kunz II was ordained a Bishop on June 3, 1878 by Charles C. Rich at Bern, Bear Lake County, Idaho. He was married to a second wife in the Fall of 1884. John Kunz II died on Feb. 16, 1890 at Bern, Idaho. He was buried at Ovid Cemetery, Bear Lake County, Idaho.

Selections: Courtesy of Diane Steckler Rasi-Koskinen in her Book, The comfort of being together in Pease & Plenty, The William J. & Annie Schmid Kunz Family Story.



Johannes Kunz (1803 - 1871)


Rosina Katherina Klossner Kunz (1802 - 1883)



Rosina Knutti Kunz (1819 - 1894)


Katherine Zemp Kunz (1837 - 1911)



John Kunz (1844 - 1918)


Christian Kunz (1846 - 1931)


Rosina Katharina Kunz Chievers (1848 - 1931)


Samuel Kunz (1851 - 1927)


Johann Gottfried Kunz (1853 - 1928)


David Kunz (1855 - 1916)


Jacob Kunz (1859 - 1890)


William Kunz (1860 - 1905)


Robert Kunz (1862 - 1956)



John Kunz (1823 - 1890)

Magdalena Kunz Wiedmer (1833 - 1871)


Rosina Kunz Morrell (1836 - 1913)

There is a Monument to John Kunz II at Bern, Bear Lake County, Idaho. The copy on the monument is shown below:

" In Grateful Remembrance of John Kunz II. Approximately 200 Feet east of this site, the first house on the town site of Bern was built in 1875 by John Kunz II. John Kunz II was born 20 January 1823 in Zwischen Flueh near Diemtigen, Canton Bern Switzerland. He married Rosina Knutti and they were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on 27 February 1869 by Willard B. Richards. Accompanied by his wife and eight of their ten children, (the others came later), he emigrated from Switzerland on 6 July 1870. They arrived in Cache Valley, Utah in August 1870 and came to Ovid, Idaho in June 1871. Bern was first settled by John Kunz II and his numerous family in 1876. He was the first President of the L.D. S. Branch established in Bern in 1878. The Bern Ward was organized in 1890. He accepted the call of President Brigham Young to make cheese and he made the first cheese in Bear Lake County at Ovid. The cheese was made in a kettle which the people in Ovid had used for making soap. John Kunz II died in Bern on 16 February 1890. He and his wife are the parents of ten children, one hundred and twenty seven grandchildren and they are the common ancestors of the Kunz Families originating in Bern. They are buried in the Cemetery in Ovid." This monument is located on the north side of the road in the middle of Bern, Bear Lake County, Idaho. It was erected by Lyman Milton Kunz and Family.


History of Bern, Idaho:

Family story History of the Bern Ward, Bern, Bear Lake County, Idaho (Compiled by Kate Buhler) 1951:

In 1875, John Kunz II moved from Ovid to the town site of Bern, having been called here by Brigham Young. He named the new settlement after his native town in Switzerland. In 1876 he hired Ephriam Jones to come to Bern to teach his children to read and write the American language. That was the beginning of the first school teaching in Bern. All of the instruction, as well as church services, was held in private homes. In the fall of 1884, the first public school was organized with Alvin Rich as the first teacher. The school and all church services were held in a one room log house, located on what is now the Anthon Kunz place.

John Kunz II, (my grandfather) was sustained as the first presiding elder of the Bern branch. The first two missionaries called from the Bern branch was in 1884. They were John Kunz III and David Kunz (my father),and were called to Switzerland. John Kunz II held the position of presiding elder until his death on February 16, 1890. That same year, John Kunz III was sustained as bishop, with Christian Kunz and John Bischoff as counselors, and John M. Kunz clerk. The Bern ward was then organized and John Kunz II held his position as bishop for 27 years.

About the turn of the century, my father, David Kunz, was given the assignment to do the carpenter work on a new church building. It was located in lower Bern, on the property owned now by Elmer Buhler. The building was a large, one room, frame structure, high ceiling, with five long windows on each side, with a large, round, would burning stove in the center of the building. It was truly an improvement over the little log church.

About the year 1908, the town site of Bern was laid out by Joseph R. Shepherd, then president of the Bear Lake Stake. Upon his recommendation, the church house was moved to the new town site, the present location of the new building. When the Montpelier Stake was organized in 1917, the Bern ward became part of the newly created Montpelier Stake. On January 21, 1917, Robert Schmid was sustained as bishop of the Bern ward, with Robert Kunz and J.P. Alleman as counselors, and Ruel V. Kunz as clerk. They served for thirteen years. On July 13, 1930, Parley Kunz was sustained as bishop, with David Buhler and John S. Kunz as counselors, and Robert H. Kunz, as clerk. They served nine years and on December 17, 1939, Orlando Kunz was sustained as bishop, Able Kunz and Edwin Alleman, counselors, with Walter Buhler as clerk.

It was at this time that the people of Bern ward decided that it was time to build a new ward house, so on July 5, 1940, work commenced according to the Church plan of using donated labor where ever possible. From this date on the stupendous task of tearing down the old building, salvaging the material, and building an adequate place in which to worship continued. Work progressed very rapidly and the same winter, December 17, 1940, the first services were held in the new building. It was almost entirely completed and paid for at this time. The cost was around $8,500. The building is modernistic in design, and has an auditorium with a seating capacity of around 300, that can be enlarged by converting the adjoining Relief Society room, connected by large folding doors, into the main room. The bishop's office is also on the main floor. The building is equipped with modern plumbing facilities, a hot air heating system, and a modern kitchen, which is adjacent to the Relief Society room.

The new structure has been used for all church services and recreational activities since its completion. On June 3, 1951, Bishop Orlando Kunz was released, and the same day, Del Mar Kunz was sustained as bishop, with George Kunz and Rudolph Bienz as counselors, and Heber Kunz, clerk. With the united help of all the ward membership, they have cleaned, repaired and re-decorated the building and tonight September 16, 1951, it stands completed, awaiting the dedication as a "House of the Lord". Its beautifully landscaped grounds, its simple harmonizing furnishings, bring a feeling of peace to the hearts of those who worship within its walls. May the spirit of our Father in Heaven always richly bless this holy edifice, and those who made its construction possible. From Dedication Services, Sunday, September 16, 1951, 7:30 p.m. Bern Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bern Idaho. History Courtesy of Kate Buhler, 1951.

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John Kunz II's Timeline

January 20, 1823
Berne, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
February 7, 1844
Age 21
Diemtigen, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
October 20, 1845
Age 22
Moos, Riedern, Diemtigen, Bern, Switzerland
December 26, 1846
Age 23
Schwenden, Switzerland
September 21, 1848
Age 25
May 18, 1851
Age 28
Berne, Reiden, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
October 30, 1855
Age 32
Diemtigen, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
December 5, 1860
Age 37
Diemtigen, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
November 16, 1862
Age 39
Berne, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
February 16, 1890
Age 67
Bern, ID, USA