John Handel


Carroll County IL Biography



During his residence of thirty-six years in this county Mr. Handel has fully established himself in the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens. He is recognized as one of the most prosperous and successful farmers of Washington Township, and is finely located on section 8, where he has sojourned for the last eighteen years. The farm comprises 200 acres part bottom and part upland. It is finely improved, with a handsome, large stone house, surrounded with a beautiful lawn, with handsome, ornamental trees adding beauty to the place. He also has commodious barns, and other outbuildings conveniently arranged . He makes a specialty of stock-raising and bee-keeping, having of the latter seventy-five stands. In this industry he has been remarkably successful, and realizes therefrom a handsome income. He seems finely adapted to this business, which can only flourish under the wisest and most discreet management.

When first coming to Northern Illinois Mr. Handel was for some years a resident of Derinda Township, Jo Daviess County, to which he came with his parents when a small boy. He was born on the other side of the Atlantic, in the Kingdom of Wurtemburg, Oct. 31, 1843, of parents who were also German in birth and ancestry, and natives of the same place as their son. His father, Daniel Handel, was a stone-mason by trade, and followed this in his native province until emigrating to America. He was married there to Miss Rosanna Schoenhaar, who was born and reared not far from the childhood home of her husband. After the birth of two children, John and Daniel, Jr., they set out for America, taking passage at Antwerp, about 1849, and landing in the city of New Orleans, proceeded thence up the Mississippi to Northern Illinois, and were located for a time in Jo Daviess County. There the father followed his trade for a time; then, coming to Washington Township, this county, purchased about 160 acres of new land. Upon this he made some improvements, then sold out and moved to a farm adjoining the old homestead, where he sojourned until his death, which occurred in December, 1883. He was then quite aged. The wife and mother is still living; her home is only a few rods from the residence of her son John. Both identified themselves with the Lutheran Church in early life. Three children were born to them after coming to Illinois, namely: Lena, the wife of John McIntyre, a resident of the town of Hanover, Jo Daviess Co., Ill., where he is dealing in hardware; Mary occupies herself as a school-teacher, and takes care of her mother; and Rosina, who died in her girlhood days.

Mr. Handel was reared and educated in this county, and remained under the parental roof until his marriage. This interesting event in his life occurred at the home of the bride, Miss Therese Miller, in Washington, Hanover Township, Jo Daviess County, April 13, 1871. Mrs. Handel is a native of Saxony, Germany, and was born March 17, 1845. Her parents, Frederick and Christina (Bair) Miller, came to the United States when she was quite young, and first located in Milwaukee, Wis. Later they removed to Hanover Township, Jo Daviess County, where the father purchased land and carried on farming until his death, which occurred in August, 1874, when he was quite ripe in years; the mother died in 1881, being also quite aged.

Mrs. Handel received an excellent education and careful home training, and remained with her parents until her marriage. Of this union there have been born five children, one of whom, a son, Willie, died at the age of two years and two months. The survivors are: Mary C., Charles D., Homer H. and Ernest R., who comprise a very bright and interesting family group. Mrs. Handel is a member in good standing of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Handel, politically, is independent, and has held the various local offices. During the late Civil War he enlisted as a Union soldier in Company E, 146th Illinois Infantry, in August, 1864. He was mustered in at Dixon, Ill., and soon after the command was stationed at Camp Butler for five months, and later at Chicago three months, and when President Lincoln was assassinated the regiment was ordered to Springfield, and participated in the services at the burial of Lincoln.

Transcribed & Contributed by Carol Parrish from Portraits and Biographical 1889 Pg 939

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