Woodford County Biographies

The biographies in this section were transcribed from:

"From Past and Present of Woodford County, Illinois (Wm. Le Baron, Jr. & Co., 1878)"

"Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford County, Illinois (1889)"

 "The Biographical Record of Livingston and Woodford Counties, Illinois (1900)"

and "Montana, its Story and Biography" (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1921)

 

 

If you are looking for the Surname beginning with the letter:
A-C D-F G-J K-M
N-P Q-S T-V W-Z

 

From Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford County, Illinois (Chicago: Chapman Bros, 1889)

 Click on the thumbnail to see a larger picture

Joseph Haas, a fine representative of the native born citizens of Woodford County, who, by sheer force of energy and perseverance, have made themselves prominent factors in developing and sustaining its agricultural interests, is the owner of a fine farm pleasantly located on section 27, Panola Township, where he is engaged in farming and stock‑raising.

Joseph Haas is of German parentage, born near Spring Bay, Sept. 9, 1843. The parents of our subject, John and Anne Haas, were born and reared in Bavaria, Germany, emigrating from there to the United States in 1836. They took passage in a sailing vessel, and had a long and tedious voyage of five months before landing in New York City. On arriving there, Mr. Haas had only $3 in money, but he procured work at his trade of shoemaking, and soon as he had earned a sufficient sum, came to Woodford County. He located near Spring Bay, where he bought a farm of 160 acres, ten of which were broken, and a rude log cabin had been built. The land was covered with timber, but by dint of hard labor and courageous industry, he succeeded in improving a fine farm. The task of clearing the land was no sinecure, but required unceasing toil and perseverance. His tools and farming implements were the most simple, and he has cut many a huge log in two with a cross-cut saw. In those early days, ere the construction of railways, facilities for transportation were limited, and much time was consumed in traveling short a distance. Chicago being the nearest grain market, Mr. Haas had to convey his wheat to that city in an ox-team, it taking him two weeks to make the round trip, while the price received for the grain was only thirty-six cents a bushel. His wagon was home-made, the wheels, which were sawed from a log, were about three feet in diameter. Notwithstanding the lack of machinery and implements that render farming a pleasure as well as a profit in these days, Mr. Haas, like many another of the pioneers, was enabled to keep his family in comfort, and accumulate some property. He was a warm-hearted, public-spirited man, generous and charitable in his disposition, always ready to aid the suffering and the destitute. He was well and favorably known throughout the county, and his death, which occurred July 6, 1857, was mourned by all. In him the Catholic Church lost one of its most esteemed members. Mr. Haas was twice married, and the father of a large family of children, of whom the following are yet living, namely: Mary, wife of Peter Beneman, of Peoria County, Ill.; Joseph; Peter, of El Paso, Ill.; Maggie, wife of John Miller, of Woodford County. Of those who are deceased, three were accidentally drowned in Partridge Creek, this county, the misfortune occurring while the parents, accompanied by their children and a hired man, were returning from a visit to a relative. During their absence a heavy rain had fallen, and on the way home, when the hired man drove through the ford, the water was so high that it lifted the wagon box off the wheels, and the whole family were thus thrown into the stream at a point where the water was ten feet deep. Three of the children were engulfed by the cruel, raging waters, and at last exhausted, sank to rise no more. The happy family circle was broken, and their joyous home changed to a house of mourning.

Joseph Haas, the subject of this brief personal narrative, was reared to manhood in his native county, amid the busy scenes of pioneer life, and did his full share of assisting his father on the farm. He has taken an active part in promoting the rapid growth and progress of the county, and has watched with a proud interest its transformation from a wild and uncultivated country, to one of the richest and most prolific agricultural regions of the State. He began his education in the log schoolhouse of that day, and has since been continually adding to it by systematic reading, and is now possessed of a large amount of general information, and is well posted on the topics of the day.

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As soon as well established in life, and able to maintain a family, our subject took upon himself the cares of a household, being united in marriage, November 22, 1865, to Miss Mary Simon, a native of Germany. Her father, John B. Simon, immigrated to America with his family, when Mrs. Haas was about four years of age, and become one of the original settlers of Worth Township. There were eight daughters born to him and his wife, of whom two, Magdalena and Osina are deceased, the following being recorded of the six living: Elizabeth is the wife of Conrad Kerker, of Worth Township; Catherine is the widow of Lorrenz Schneider; Annie married Charles Theobald, of Worth Township; Effie is the wife of Adam Staub, of Worth Township; Maggie is the wife of Peter Heininger, of Peoria County; Mary is the wife of our subject.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Haas has been blessed with eleven children, seven of whom are living, namely: Joseph P., Emma R., Angie E., Andrew F., Theresa L., Archibald S., and Ralph B. Mr. Haas removed to his present farm in 1864, and has been a continuous resident here since. It contains 240 acres of arable land, under a good state of cultivation, on which he has erected ample and substantial buildings. He pays much attention to stock-raising, and annually feeds and ships large numbers of hogs and other stock. He has a herd of fine Durham cattle, and three-quarter blooded Norman horses, that compare with the best in this vicinity. He has made nearly all the improvements on his homestead, and has erected a residence which is a credit to himself, and an ornament to his township, and which is represented elsewhere in this volume by a fine engraving.

In his political views Mr. Haas is not confined within any party lines, but reserves the right to support the men whom he considers best qualified to fill the offices, having, however a leaning toward the Democratic party. He is deeply interested in educational matters, and has served several terms as School Director. Being a man of sound common-sense, strict integrity, and an able business man, his opinions are uniformly respected, and he is held in high regard throughout the community. In religion, both Mr. and Mrs. Haas and children are valued members of the Roman Catholic Church of El Paso, and contribute liberally toward its support.
 


Link to Family Photograph

Link to Obituary


 Submitted by Marjorie Grebner Welsch
    

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Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford County, Illinois (1889)

Christian Haase, President of the Village Board, and the leading merchant of Washburn, is a fine representative of the energetic and wide-awake business men of this part of Woodford County, who are in every way possible advancing its interests. He has been identified with the administration of the public affairs of the place for a long time, as its most prominent civic official.

He is of foreign birth and extraction, born across the waters in the Rhine province, Germany, Dec. 8, 1848. His father, C. Haase, was born and reared in the same province. In early life he learned the trade of a stone mason, but after marriage he followed farming. He continued to reside in the Fatherland till 1867, when he emigrated with his family to America. He came to Illinois, and locating in Washburn, carried on the trade of a mason quite profitably several years, but is now living retired. The maiden name of his wife was Henrietta Junker, and she is also a native of the Rhine province. She is still living, and with her husband is spending her declining years pleasantly in a home surrounded by all the comforts of life.

The subject of this biographical review is the only child. He received a liberal education in his native land, attending school till he was sixteen. He came to America with his parents in 1867, and began life here as clerk in the general store of Roberts, Patrick & Co. Washburn was but a small village at that time, containing but a few families, and this was the only store of the kind in the place. He continued as clerk till 1878, and then purchased an interest in the concern of Mr. Roberts, and the firm became Patrick & Haase, and was conducted under that name till Mr. Patrick's death, which occurred in December, 1886, since which time he has conducted the business alone. In 1887 he was burned out, and the same year he erected a frame building on the same spot, and in 1888 he erected the building in which he is doing business at the present time. This is a handsome, commodious brick structure, twenty-four feet wide, eighty-five feet deep. Our subject carries a full and well-assorted stock of general merchandise, dry-goods, groceries, etc., and has one of the finest stores in the county. The career of our subject furnishes a fine example of what a self-made man may accomplish by thrift, industry and strict attention to business. He has risen from the humble position of clerk, to be one of the wealthiest and most substantial citizens of Washburn.

Mr. Haase was married in 1880 to Miss Mary Junker, who was born in Washburn of German parentage. They have one child named Carl.

The citizens of Washburn having long since recognized the fact that in the young man who was so successfully carrying on a flourishing business among them, were embodied those traits of character that mark an astute, far-sighted, fair-minded, public-spirited citizen, and that the village would secure in him an able civic officer, elected him to a responsible place on the local Board of Government, and for a long time he was clerk of the board till his election to the still more responsible office of President of the Board. In that capacity he is doing all that he can to promote the highest interests of the village, and no feasible scheme is advanced for its improvement that does not meet with his hearty approval and liberal support. He was appointed Postmaster of Washburn, and served with satisfaction to all concerned till the change of administration. As a politician he affiliates with the Democrats, and is one of the leading supporters of the party in this vicinity.  

 


  

Transcribed and donated by Amy Robbins-Tjaden           

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From Past and Present of Woodford County, Illinois (Wm. Le Baron, Jr. & Co., 1878):

HAEDICKE, Adolphus, farmer; P.O. Peoria; was born in Prussia, Germany, July 1, 1810; emigrated to America, in 1836, landing first in New York, remaining about six months; then to Baton Rouge, La., staying there three years, finally locating permanently in Worth Township, in 1840; married Miss Hanna S. Brautigam, at Peoria, Ill., Dec. 12, 1840; she was born in Prussia Feb. 26, 1824; have nine children --Maria E., Henrietta (now Mrs. R. Schimpff, of Peoria), Augusta (now Mrs. William Speers, of Kansas), Christine (now Mrs. M. Wagner, of Cazenovia), William, Fredericka (now Mrs. R. Hess, of Kansas), Hanna (now Mrs. Henry Ames, of Kansas), Adolphus, Jr., Louisa; owns 165 acres of land in Worth Township, 15 acres in Tazewell Co., Ill., 160 in Kansas and a town lot in Peoria.  

 


  

Transcribed and donated by Amy Robbins-Tjaden           

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Hinrich (Henry) Hofker Harms

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Henry H. Harms (Hinrich Hofker Harms) was born in Octelbur, East Friesland, in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany May 25, 1822. He was married to Janna (Jennie) Hilwert Saathoff, who was born in Hanover, August 27, 1822. He was a farmer and weaver. In July, 1851, he, his wife and son Harm W. departed from the port of Bremen, Germany on the sailing vessel, Ernestine to cross the Atlantic to America. They were 9 weeks on the ocean, stopping in Cuba, before reaching the port of New Orleans. They traveled up the Mississippi River by boat to St. Louis, where they were quarantined on account of cholera, and, afterward, resuming their journey, went up the Illinois River to Peoria, Illinois. Again they met with delay as the bridge was washed away and they were on the opposite side of the river from the town. They paid their last dollar to be ferried across the river. On reaching Peoria, they both secured employment until they could get a start in the new world. Henry first secured employment as a farm hand near Farmdale, Tazewell County, Illinois, but afterward returned to Peoria, where for seven years he worked in a packing house in winter, and in summer was employed in a brick yard. In October, 1857, he moved to Woodford County, Illinois and rented a farm of eighty acres from a man named Helwoth Baum, the house on the place being a common residence for two years. Then Mr. Baum rented another eighty acres, while Mr. Harms and his family continued on the old place until 1863. In that year in partnership with a young man, he rented a tract of 160 acres near Secor. This connection continued for two years, and Mr. Harms remained on the place for three years, after which he bought 160 acres of unimproved land near Benson, titled it and by skillful drainage, cultivation and general improvements brought the farm to high productiveness and value. In 1874, he purchased 160 acres near his other place for $40 per acre, there the homestead remained until September 1881, when his wife died and he went live with his children. He died on September 14, 1903 at the home of his son Henry, who lived on a farm near Rochelle, Illinois. He and his wife are buried in Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery at Benson, Illinois. Click here for pictures of their headstone

Henry and Janna Harms had eight sons and daughters. One daughter, Gertrude died in infancy. They had 54 grandchildren.



Their children were:

-Harm W. Harms (Hye Harms) who farmed near Panola, Illinois before moving to Rochelle in 1900. He married Hiskie P. Johnson, by whom he had twelve children-four died before adulthood. The children who survived to adulthood are Henry H., Peter, Janna, John, Harm, Gracie, Annie and Bertha.

- Hilwert William (Bill) is the next of the family and married Geske Kuhlman. They were the parents of six children.-- five living to adulthood. They are Janna, Henry H. Heika, George and Annie.

- Annie H. was the wife of Dirk Meyer, who was in the wholesale and retail hardware business in Peoria and in the manufacture of Weir furnaces. They had six children--five lived to adulthood. Sena, Joanna, Albert, Henry and Frank.

- Foske (Mary) was the wife of Frank Rewerts, who farmed near Benson, Illinois before moving to Rochelle. They had 11 children--nine living to adulthood--Etta, Henry, Janna, William, Fanny, John, August, Annie and Herman.

- Henry H. farmed in Livingston County, Ogle County near Rochelle, and near Plainfield, Illinois. He married Jennie Baum and had seven children, Jennie, William, Henry H. Jr., Caroline, Annie, Emma, and Herman.

- Janna married John Willms, who farmed at Benson and then moved to a farm near Rochelle, Illinois in 1899. They had nine children – five living to adulthood -- Hannah, Etta, Sena, Herman, and Amelia.

- Mafenda (Mandy) was the wife of George Willms, a proprietor of a grocery and feed store in Peoria. They had three children, Clara, Flora and Marie.

[Note: Pictured L-R are Mafenda Harms Willms and Janna Harms Willms, 1878 or 1879. Click on the picture for a larger version]

Henry Harms was a founding member of Trinity Lutheran Church at Benson. The congregation and church building were later moved to Roanoke, Illinois. According to the booklet printed for the congregation’s centennial in 1971, he was one of a two member church council elected in 1871. The church established a cemetery in 1872 and Henry Harms was “assigned” one of the lots. Lots were also assigned to Harm Harms and Holwert (Hilwert?) Harms, his sons. Two of the early graves in the cemetery are the young daughters of Harm Harms. According to Henry Harms’s daughter Annie Meyer (noted in her life story), her parents helped to build and organize Lutheran congregations at Peoria, Secor, and Rochelle, Illinois in addition to the congregation at Benson.

Sources:

* Adapted by O. Norman Nesheim, a great grandson of Henry Hofker Harms, from a biography of Hilwert William Harms in the “History of McLean County.” Hilwert William Harms is a son of Hinrich Hofker Harms. The biography contained a great deal of information about his father.

* “My Life” by Mrs. D. Meyer (Annie Harms), a daughter of Henry Hofker Harms written on the occasion of her 50th wedding anniversary in 1922.

Link to Henry Harms Obituary

[Janna Harms Willms was Norm Nesheim's grandmother.]
 


  

By Norm Nesheim

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The Biographical Record of Livingston and Woodford Counties, Illinois (1900)

 

Louis W. Harms

The village of Roanoke has a number of enterprising and progressive citizens who have met with marked success in their business undertakings, and have become leading men in the community. Among the number is Louis W. Harms, the well-known and popular cashier of the Farmer's Bank.

He was born in Washington, Tazewell county, Illinois, June 18, 1859, and is a son of Henry Harms, who was born in Aus Frieseland [note: Ostfriesland], Germany, in 1821, and on coming to this country, about 1848, took up his residence in Tazewell county, Illinois. The father was one of a family of three children. His sister died in Germany. His brother, Eilert Harms, is a well-known and prosperous farmer and stock raiser in Linn township, Woodford county. Henry Harms was a butcher by trade, and on first coming to America worked for Joseph Kelso, of Washington, Illinois, and after his marriage opened a shop of his own, successfully carrying on business there throughout the remainder of his life. He died in 1880, at the age of fifty-nine years. In 1858 he married Miss Catherine Denhart, a native of Hesse-Castle, Germany, and the fourth in order of birth in a family of seven children, the others being Lizzie, who was married in Illinois, and then returned to Germany to reside; Frederick and Conrad, both farmers living near Coffeyville, Kansas; Augusta, widow of William Witte and a resident of Washington, Illinois; Henry, who is connected with the bank at Washington conducted under the name of Henry Denhart & Company, and also with the bank at Roanoke; and Helen, wife of Adam Keihl, of Washington. To Mr. and Mrs. Harms were born four children, of whom Louis W. is the oldest. Lizzie is the wife of Charles Strathman, a druggist of Peoria, and they have one son, Charles D.; Catherine is a graduate of the normal school at Valparaiso, Indiana, and a teacher in the public schools of Washington, Illinois, where she lives with her mother; and Henry D. is now connected with our subject in the bank at Roanoke, but makes his home in Washington, and was formerly employed in the bank at that place for ten years. They have all received good common school educations. The mother is still living in Washington, and is an earnest member of the German Lutheran church, to which the father also belongs.

Louis W. Harms attended the public schools of his native place, and later was associated with his father in the butcher business until the latter's death, when the business was disposed of, and our subject embarked in the grocery trade, under the firm name of Rapp & Harms. This partnership continued until 1894, when he came to Roanoke and organized a bank, known as the Farmers Bank, of which he has been cashier ever since. He owns the lot and building where the bank is located, and in connection with his banking business is interested in real estate, handling Iowa and Indiana lands principally. He is a wide-awake and energetic business man, of keen discrimination and sound judgment, and in his undertakings has been remarkably successful.

On the 23rd of December, 1879, Mr. Harms was united in marriage with Miss Ella Rapp, who was born in October, 1859, and is the youngest child of Ernest and Christina (Schmidt) Rapp, residents of Washington. Her brother Charles, who is engaged in the grocery business in that city, is married and has four daughters -- Pearl, Mary, Bessie and Ruby. The other two children of the Rapp family died in infancy. To Mr. and Mrs. Harms have been born two children -- Carrie M. and Ella F., both graduates of Washington high school. The younger is now pursuing a four-years' course at the Ohio Wesleyan University, having won the scholarship at that institution, standing highest in a class of fourteen.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Harms are members of the Presbyterian church, and the family occupies a position of prominence in social circles. In politics he is a Democrat and a supporter of sound money issues. While a resident of Washington he was a member of the township central committee a number of years, and was treasurer of the city one term, but he has never cared for political preferment, desiring rather to devote his entire time and attention to his business interests.  

 


  

Transcribed and donated by Amy Robbins-Tjaden           

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Past and Present of Woodford County, Illinois (Wm. Baron, Jr. & Co., 1878)

HEINEKE, Henry, Jr., P. O. Benson; proprietor of Farmer's Home, billiard hall and sample room, Benson, Ill., born in Peoria, Ill., Dec. 19, 1854; removed to Secor, this county, in 1869, and to Benson, his present home, in Oct., 1874; is one of the Commissioners of Highways; married in 1876, to Miss Lena H. Kalkwarf; she was born in Germany. One child--Lena K. Mr. H. is agent for the Peoria German Demokrat.

 


  

Transcribed and donated by Amy Robbins-Tjaden           

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Past and Present of Woodford County, Illinois (Wm. Baron, Jr. & Co., 1878)

Heller, Peter, farmer; P. O. Benson; Rep.; Dutch Reformed; was born in Lorraine, France, Sept. 10, 1825, and came to this country in 1847, and worked at the cabinet business in Philadelphia, Washington and other places until 1852, when he came to Peoria, and in 1853, he entered one lot of his land from the Government, and in 1857, moved on to it, and has since purchased 240 acres more; he now has 320 acres on Secs. 10 and 11, valued at $50 per acre; he married Thearse Longenfelt, in Philadelphia, April, 1848; she was born in Alsace, France, Oct. 1818; they have three children -- Raymond, Adolphus and Lena; Mr. H. has by his hard work and economy made one of the desirable homes of the county; his farm is one of the best, improvements good, and his residence, just built, is one of the most magnificent; as a man of culture, Mr. H. will rank with the better class of this or his own native country

 


  

Transcribed and donated by Amy Robbins-Tjaden           

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From The Biographical Record of Livingston and Woodford Counties, Illinois (S. J. Clarke Publishing Co, 1900):

W. C. HOGELUCHT


Among the more prominent and enterprising farmers of Greene township, Woodford county, who are of alien birth, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. Like others of his countrymen, he has brought to the new world the habits of economy and frugality which are inherent characteristics of his native land, and the exercise of which, accompanied by industry and good management, have secured for him a comfortable competence. He now owns and occupies a fine farm of two hundred and eighty-five acres of land on section 18, Greene township.

Mr. [Wilke] Hogelucht was born in Friesland [should be Ostfriesland], Germany, in 1830, son of Carl W. and Tatye (Redenius) Hogelucht, also natives of that country, where the mother died, after which the father married again. He came to America and lived to the age of sixty-five years. Our subject received a good practical education in the common schools and a gymnasium in Germany, and during his youth assisted his father in the work of the home farm. In 1854 he came to the United States on a sailing vessel, and after nine weeks spent upon the water landed in New Orleans, whence he came by boat up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Peoria. After a short stay in that city he went to Tazewell county, Illinois, and rented a farm near Washington, which he operated one year.

Mr. Hogelucht was then joined by his father, who had just come to America, and together they bought an unimproved farm in Greene township, Woodford county, but after two years our subject sold his interest in the place and purchased one hundred and twenty-five acres of his present farm on section 18, to which he has since added until he now has two hundred and eighty-five acres. When he located thereon it was all wild land, but by persistent and untiring effort he has converted it into one of the most highly cultivated tracts in the township. The buildings and other improvements on the place are in first class condition, and stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise.

At Metamora, Mr. Hogelucht married Mrs. Gertie (Johnson) Redenius, widow of Harm Redenius, by whom she had four children, namely: Helen first married Jacob Monk, a farmer by whom she had four children, Harm, Wilk, Gertie and Getke, and for her second husband married William Webber, by whom she had three children, John, Fritz and Johanna. Mrs. Webber died about eight years ago and was buried in Greene township cemetery. Johanna is the wife of Albert Saathoff, a farmer of Kansas, and they have a large family of children. John is a farmer of Wisconsin. Harm is a prominent farmer and stock raiser of Greene township, where he owns a farm of one hundred and twenty-seven acres on section 7. He married Wilhelmina Flohr, and they have nine children. Mrs. Hogelucht, who was a devoted wife and loving mother, died November 3, 1894, and was buried in the Lutheran churchyard cemetery in Greene township. She was a faithful member of that church and took an active interest in its work.

Mr. Hogelucht has never cared for political preferment, though as a public-spirited and progressive citizen, he takes a deep interest in all that tends to improve his township and county and has done all in his power to promote the general welfare of his community. He is widely and favorably known and his friends are many throughout Woodford county.


[notes: his name was Wilke C. Hogelucht and he was born in Ostfriesland]

 


  

Transcribed and donated by Amy Robbins-Tjaden           

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Daniel Hollenback is buried at the Hollenback cemetery. He owned the land where the cemetery sits. When he sold it, he sold all but the portion where the cemetery is located, which he set aside as a burying ground. Daniel was b 30 Nov 1795 in Virginia, the son of Jacob Hollenback & Susannah Jones

 


 

Donated by LouAnn Cameron

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Early Settlement of Lynn Township, Woodford Co., IL

The next to locate in the [Lynn] township was George Hollenback, with his newly married wife. He was married to Jane Patton, in 1844, and immediately then left the parental roof--and their parents living only a few miles north in Marshall County--and opened a farm and built them a home of their own. They settled on the east side of Section 3, within a few rods of the Marshall County Line." [Jane died in 1858]

 

George Hollenback home

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[Notes: George and Jane had six children, four boys and two girls. Jane died in 1858. George married Malinda Warden May 1, 1859. They had two children. Martha E. (Mrs. James Kerrick) and Cora.

George & Malinda are buried at the Minonk Twp. Cemetery. George was b 31 Dec 1819 [son of Daniel Hollenback & Martha Thralls]. He d 28 Mar 1903. Malinda Davis [d/o Daniel Davis & Mary A. Statler, widow of unknown Warden] was b 10 Dec 1833 in OH and d 26 Feb 1922. ]

 


 

Transcribed by Barb Darling and donated by LouAnn Cameron

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Early Settlement of Lynn Township, Woodford Co., IL

The first actual settler within the bounds of Linn was Harrison Hollenback, who moved to Section 3 in 1840. He came here, with his family, from [Perry Co.] Ohio and built the first house on the prairie south of the timber. This house was quite a mansion for those times, being a hewed log building, twenty-four feet long and eighteen feet wide and one and a half stories high. It is still in use, but serves the ignoble purpose of sheltering cattle.

 


 

Transcribed by Barb Darling and donated by LouAnn Cameron

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Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford County, Illinois (1889)

Frank Hunzinger, a prominent, well-to-do farmer of Roanoke Township, has been a resident of Woodford County for thirty years, coming here when a boy of sixteen, and during that time he has been an important factor in developing its great agricultural interest, and he has become the proprietor of 320 acres of rich farming land, well stocked with cattle and horses of high grades and provided with a neat and substantial set of frame buildings, pleasantly located on the northeast quarter of section 35, two and one-half miles south of the village of Roanoke.

Our subject was born on the 3d of April, 1842, in Alsace, when it was a Province of France. His father, Jacob Hunzinger, was a native of the same place, while his father, George Hunzinger, is supposed to have been a native of Switzerland, who emigrated from there to Alsace, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, residing there until his death. The father of our subject was reared and married in his native land, and engaged in farming there until 1860, when he disposed of his property there and then followed his sons across the ocean to America. He located in Roanoke Township, buying a farm here, and was a resident of this place until his death. He and his wife were the parents of five children -- Magdalena, Jacob, Elizabeth, Frank, and John, all of whom came to America.

Frank Hunzinger passed his boyhood in his native land, and in its excellent schools gleaned a sound education, attending school quite regularly until he was fourteen years old. He then assisted his father on his farm until he was sixteen years old. At that age the ambitious lad set out in the world by himself, anxious to try life in America, whither his brother Jacob had preceded him. He set sail from Havre, France, in November, and after a long and tedious voyage landed in New York City in the following January, and at once made his way to his brother in Woodford County, this State. At that time he was a poor boy, his sole capital being a sane mind in a sound body, but he had inherited industrious and persevering habits from his good parents, and these with other good traits were enough to insure his success in any walk in life. He at once sought and found work by the month on a farm, and was thus employed until his father came, when he remained at home with him the following two years to assist him in the management of his farm. He then began an independent life by farming on rented land. He was fairly successful in that venture, and was enabled to make a payment on eighty acres of land which he had purchased, said land now being included in his present farm. There were no buildings on it at that time, and he at once began to make the necessary improvements. He has met with more than ordinary success in his efforts to secure a home, and now has a fine farm that is comparable with the best in this locality in point of cultivation, good buildings, etc. Our subject has been a hard worker in his day, and by sound discretion, keen judgment and far-sighted forethought, has acquired a valuable property and placed himself among the most substantial citizens of his township.

In his work Mr. Hunzinger has not been without the assistance of a faithful wife, to whom he owes much for his present prosperous circumstances. Her maiden name was Caroline Kuhl, and they were united in marriage in 1867. Mrs. Hunzinger was born in Woodford County, and is a daughter of Henry Kuhl, a well-known pioneer of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Hunzinger have six children, namely: John, Amelia, Joseph, Jacob, Lena and Etta. The family are prominent members of the Presbyterian Church, and are generous in its support.

Although our subject is of foreign birth this country has no more loyal citizen than he, the most important part of his life having been passed here, and he is thoroughly attached to American institutions and government. Politically, he is an intelligent supporter of the principles promulgated by the Democratic party, He is of the type of men called self-made, and we may add that he is well made. He is a keen observer, possesses ripe common-sense, prompt and systematic business habits, and in his dealings with others is always fair and square.   

 


  

Transcribed and donated by Amy Robbins-Tjaden           

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