Illustrated Atlas Map of Menard County, Illinois 1874|
Published by W.R. Brink & Co., of Illinois
AMONG the citizens of Menard County of foreign birth we number Mr. G. J. Nybroe. He belongs to that class who, in order to enjoy the peculiar privileges of our country, its rich soil, underdeveloped resources, its free civil and religious institutions, have left behind them their fatherland, home, parents, friends, and all the scenes endeared by early association, and have braved the dangers of the Briny deep. It is often among such men that our most valued citizens are found. When the ship of state has become endangered among the rocks of prejudice and the whirlpools of passion, they have those to stand by her most firmly.
Among men of this character is he whose name heads this biography. He was born in Norway, February 14, 1823. When he grew up to manhood, regarding the theatre of action afforded at home too circumscribed to give full scope to his aspirations, and hearing of the advantages of this county. And of its liberal institutions, he determined to leave home and parents and come to the land of his present adoption. What tender scenes, what deep heart-anguish, the parting between the son and the widowed mother involved, was too deep and is too sacred for our pen to profane, and we only speak on this subject in order to impress vividly the sanctity, and loyalty of a citizenship baptized by such sacrifices and heart histories.
Mr. Nybroe arrived on our welcome shores in 1850. He came immediately to Menard County, in which he has ever since been an honorable citizen. He at first hired out as a farm hand to Mr. Archibald Kincaid, a well-known and prominent farmer of the County, who was a true friend to the orphaned foreigner, and to whom Mr. Nybroe wished in this history to acknowledge his thanks and gratitude. After working for Mr. Kincaid some three years, he remained with him some four years more as a renter, during which time he married Miss Torber Aleson, daughter of Ale and Aene Aleson, of Springfield, Illinois, and natives of his own country. Having saved up his money, Mr. Nybroe, after remaining some seven years with Mr. Kincaid, resolved to purchase land for himself, and accordingly bought one hundred and sixty acres of raw land in Township 18 north, Range 5 west. On this property he moved in the spring of 1858, and here he has since resided. He has continued his acquisitions till he now owns some two hundred and thirty acres of very fine land, highly improved, and on which stands a fine residence, for a view of which see our Illustrations. On this farm there are some of the best and finest hogs that it has been our pleasure to view in Central Illinois. They are pure Berkshires, and some of the finest of the lot have taken premiums to the amount of one hundred and twenty-six dollars the present season. They took the sweepstakes at the Menard County fair, and drew premiums also at the Sangamon County fair.
Mr. Nybroe's father died in Norway, when this son was about nine years old. His mother lived at the old home till 1858, and followed her husband to his last resting-place. They raised nine children, all yet living. Of these Mr. Nybroe was the first to come to this country. He was followed in 1852 by his youngest sister, now Mrs. Christine Quisling, of Coffee County, Kansas. In 1854, Taral and Miss Ane Arrived. They also reside in the same County and State. Afterwards the eldest sister, Mette C., and Johon C. arrived. They both reside in Athens Precinct, the sister the wife of Mr. Yinsen. There are back in Norway the eldest brother, Christian, and two sisters, Martha and Maria. They are all enterprising, industrious, and temperate. They were well educated in their native country, both in literature and Christian morals. The mother did her duty tenderly and well. She not only laid in the young minds of her offspring the necessary lessons of economy, but of religious reverence and temperance. Acting upon her counsel, Mr. Nybroe has never thrown a card in a game of chance, has never taken a dram of spirits as a beverage, nor used tobacco in any form, and he wishes it understood that he ascribes his success in life to the influence of noble woman; first to a mother's prayers and counsel, that are yet as fresh in his mind as the mother's lips who spoke them, and to the faithful assistance of a devoted companion and exemplary wife.