Lee County Biography

Nachusa Township

Henry Bothe is a general farmer and stock-raiser, and owns and successfully manages a farm on section 19, Nachusa Township, which is stocked to its full capacity with cattle, horses and swine of good breeds; its one hundred and thirty-two acres are under the best of cultivation, and a substantial and well made class of buildings adorn the place. A foreigner by birth, our subject, nevertheless, like many other of his countrymen, was found in the ranks of the Union army during the late war, and he fought gallantly for the land of his adoption until failing health obliged him to abandon military life.

Our subject was born in Prussia, near Minden, December 26, 1840. He lived there until he was eighteen years old, and then, in 1859, came to America with his mother and two sisters, crossing the ocean from Bremerhaven to Baltimore, where they joined the father, Frederick Bothe, who had come to this country ten years before, and had lived in the South some time. After the reunion of the family, they came to Illinois and located on a farm in Nachusa Township. The father was a hardworking man, and, by unremitting toil, got a good start in life and made many valuable improvements on his place, continuing its development until death stayed his hand, in 1873, at the age of 57 years. His wife is yet living on the old homestead and is now 75 years of age. She has always been connected with the Lutheran Church, and is still a faithful member. Her son, of whom we write, and her daughter, Christina, are the only members of the family now living. The latter is the wife of John Hollister, a grain-dealer in Fillmore County, Neb.

Henry Bothe did not attain his majority until after he came to this country, and he was not of age when he enlisted, September 9, 1861, in Company B, 12th IL Infantry, which was attached to the Army of the Tennessee. Our subject served one year with great credit to himself and to his regiment, showing excellent qualities as a soldier and winning the approval of his superiors for his fidelity, courage in battle, and general trustworthiness. He won a good record for hard fighting at Ft. Donelson, but that experience ended his career in the army, as he became ill from exposure and fatigue endured on a forced march, which resulted in his honorable discharge, September 8, 1862, as unfit for future service. He returned to Illinois, and although he regained his health in part, he has never been so well since. As soon as he was able, he resumed farming, and in 1878, he became possessed of his present farm in Nachusa Township. He is an intelligent farmer, having a good understanding of the best methods of tilling the soil, and knows well how to care for his stock, which is the source of a good income, and he keeps his place up to a high standard. His neighbors esteem him greatly, having a just appreciation of those meritorious qualities that mark him as a loyal citizen, a trusty friend, and true in his domestic relations as a kind husband and tender father. In politics, he is a tried and true Republican. Religiously, he and his wife, also, are members of the Evangelical Church.

The marriage of Mr. Bothe with Miss Catherine Hotzel took place in Bradford Township, September 4, 1864. Mrs. Bothe was born in Germany, in Hesse-Cassel, in 1843, a daughter of Conrad and Anna E. Hotzel. She was only three years old when her parents emigrated to America, and became pioneers of this county, being among the early settlers of China Township, where the father improved a new farm, which was his home until his death, in middle life. His wife is yet living on the old homestead, and is 75 years old. He was a Lutheran, and clung to the faith of his fathers until death, but she has been a faithful member of the Evangelical Association for many years.

Mr. and Mrs. Bothe are the parents of ten children, of whom one, Caroline, a twin, died when six days old. The others are William, at home, Elizabeth, wife of J.Conrad Seebach, a farmer at Dysart Iowa; John, who lives with his grandmother in this township and manages her farm; Christian, Minnie, Alvina, Kate, Lillie and Henry, who are at home with their parents.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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