Lee County Biography


Lee county was called upon to mourn the loss of one of its early residents when Fredrick C. Degner died on his farm in Bradford township in 1893. He had lived in this part of Illinois since 1866 and for a long period was influentially connected with agricultural interests here, developing one of the finest farms in this locality.

He was born in Germany, June 29, 1843, and he came to America in 1866, locating in Lee county, Illinois, where two years later he bought a farm. For many years thereafter he coutinuied to make his home upon this property, carrying forward the work of improvement and development with characteristic energy. He provided the place with a comfortable residence and substantial buildings and was very successful in its conduct, becoming one of the best known farmers and stock-raisers in this locality. He died upon the property May 15, 1893, and was laid to rest in the Woodside cemetery, Lee Center. He was a man of many sterling traits of character, reliable in business, progressive in citizenship and straightforward in all relations of life. His death was, therefore, sincerely regretted in this township, where for so many years he had made his home and where he had contributed in substantial measure to general advancement.

In Lee county, Illinois, Mr. Degner was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Hotzel, who Was born in China township, this county, a daughter of Conrad and Anna E. (Eckhart) Hotzel, natives of Germany. The parents came to America in 1847 and located in Lee county, where they resided until their deaths. Mr. and Mrs. Degner became the parents of ten children: Carl, who died at the age of four; Anna, the wife of Emrich Schnell, of Minnesota; W. F.; Mary, who married U.G. Fulfs, a resident of Whiteside county, Illinois; Martha, the deceased wife of John Rupel; Emma, who married August Geyer, of Lee county; two children who died in infancy; Kathryn, who married Walter Dunseth, of Amboy; and Nellie H., a music teacher. Mrs. Hegner has also reared a granddaughter, Blanch Rupel. She owns the homestead of eighty acres in Bradford township and resides upon it. She has many friends in this part of Lee county, where her character and worth are known and recognized

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

Son of Frederick C. Degner

During the entire period of his active life W. F. Degner has been associated with farming and stock-raising interests of Lee county and his success is evident today in his ownership of one of the finest farms in Bradford township. He was born in Lee county, October 23, 1873, and is a son of Fredrick and Sophia (Hotzel) Degner, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Lee county. The record of Mr. and Mrs. Fredrick Degner is found elsewhere in this work.

W. F. Degner was reared at home and acquired his education in the district schools of Lee county. In his childhood he aided in the operation of the homestead and when he began his independent career turned his attention to farming, renting a tract of land upon which he resided for six years. At the end of that time he bought the farm which he now occupies. He has one hundred and twenty acres on sections 28 and 29, Bradford township, and has greatly improved this property, which gives every evidence of the care of a progressive and practical agriculturist. In addition to general fanning Mr. Degner makes a specialty of feeding cattle and hogs and his stock-raising interests are extensive and important.

In 1900 Mr. Degner married Miss Mary K. Albrecht, a native of Lee county and a daughter of Burchart Albrecht. Mr. and Mrs. Degner have three children, Carl G., Raymond A. and Mabelle O. The parents are members of the Lutheran church and Mr. Degner gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is now serving as school director and discharges the duties of this office in a capable and progressive way. He is a stockholder in the Amboy State Bank and connected fraternally with Lee Center Lodge, No. 1036, M.W.A., of Lee Center. He is accounted one of the progressive and prosperous farmers of Bradford township and is well and favorably known throughout his native county.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

Back Home