Lee County Biography

Henry Bollman
Nelson Township

Henry Bollman owns 120 acres of fine farming land on section 22, Nelson Township and is conducting a profitable business as a general farmer. He was born in Prussia, Germany, March 27, 1833, to Gotlieb and Elizabeth Bollman, who were also natives of Prussia, and passed their entire lives there on a farm, the father dying at tbe age of forty-nine, when scarcely past the prime of life, and the mother was not much older when she died. They were most excellent people, true Christians and members of the Lutheran Church.

Our subject is one of eight children, of whom two are living in the US, he and his brother Fred, the later a prosperous farmer of South Dixon Tuwnship. He came to this country tcn years before Henry came, being scarcely more than a boy when he ventured to try his fortunes in a strange land.

Amid the quiet scenes of his birthplace our subject grew apace, and in the local schools conned his lessons diligently, thus securing a good practical education, and he also received a useful training in agriculture on his father's farm. He was but fifteen ycars old when he determined to follow his brother Henry to the far-away country across the sea, and with a courageous spirit and the high hopes of youth, he set out on the long voyage in the good ship "Baltimore," from which he disembarked six weeks later in the city of that name in the State of Maryland. From there he made his way to Pennsylvania, and upon his arrival in Somerset County, found he had but two dollars in money left. He, however, was nothing daunted as long as he could secure employment, and he worked for different people until he obtained a good start in life. He then came to Illinois to in vest his earnings where he could get rich farming land comparatively cheap, and could profit by numerous other advantages which this region offers to a skillful, industrious farmer. He made his first purchase of realty in South Dixon Township, and while he held it made many good improvements upon it. He finally disposed of that farm at quite an advance on the cost price, and bought the farm that he now occupies in Nelson Township. He has the land under excellent tillage, the productive soil yielding abundant harvests in repayment of the care and toil expended upon it, and he raises a good class of stock. He is very comfortably situated here, keeps his place in a good condition, everything about it denoting thrifty management.

Mr. Bollman was wedded to Miss Christina Grobe in this township, and their domestic life has been productive of much real happiness, among its blessings being the six children born to them, of whom these five are still inmates of their home Anna, Alvena, William, Henry and Gertie. Their eldest daughter, Mary, is the wife of Milt Hax. Mrs. Bollman was born in Saxon-Weimar, Germany. Her father died when she was very young, and she afterwards came to the US and to IL with her mother and four brothers, the family locating in Lee County. The mother lived to be an old lady and died in Nelson Twp. Mrs. Bollman was 17 years old when she came to the country, and her met and married our subject a few years later. In them the Lutheran Church has to of its truest Christian members. Mr. Bollman first exercised the right of suffrage by casting his vote for James Buchanan for the Presidency, and he has ever since given the Democratic party his support.

Source: Portraits & Biographical Lee County 1892 Pg 288

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