Lee County Biography

Charles A. Fenstemaker


Charles A. Fenstemaker, a successful business man and representative citizen of Lee county, is the owner of the Fenstemaker elevator at Amboy, which he has conducted since 1909. His birth occurred in East Grove townhsip. this county, on the 3d of December, 1862, his parents being George and Hannah (Williams) Fenstemaker. It was about 1858 that George Fenstemaker came to Lee county, Illinois, from Pennsylvania, where he had been engaged in business as a gunsmith, coal mine operator and hotel proprietor and was also prominent in public life as a representative in the state legislature. He came here with the intention of devoting his attention to agricultural pursuits and took up his abode in this county when it was still largely wild and unimproved. Hunting was his favorite sport and he often invited guests to join with him in the chase. In 1869 he established his home in Wheeling, Missouri, and there passed away in October, 1882, at the age of seventy-six years. His wife, surviving him for a period of twenty-six years, was called to her final rest in 1908, at the age of seventy-six, and her remains were likewise interred at Wheeling, Missouri. The Fenstemakers are of old Pennsylvania German origin.

Charles A. Fenstemaker was a lad of seven years when his parents removed to Wheeling, Missouri, and there he attended school until eighteen years of age, pursuing his studies through the winter months and assisting in the work of the home farm during the summer seasons. In 1882 he returned to Lee county, Illinois, and during the following four years worked with his brother, G. W., in a blacksmith shop. In 1887 he took up his abode in Walton and there carried on blacksmithing in connection with grain buying until 1909, when he purchased the elevator at Amboy, which he has conducted to the present time with gratifying success. He had erected his blacksmith shop and residence at Walton, Illinois, but acquired his present home by purchase.

On the 25th of January, 1887, at Amboy, Illinois, Mr. Fenstemaker was united in marriage to Miss Clara Corpe, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Corpe, of Michigan. He gives his political allegiance to the democracy and has ably served in the capacity of tax collector and also as town clerk of Marion township. He is an upright, straightforward and honorable man and has made an excellent record in business circles, both for reliability and for the practical methods which he follows and which have led him to success.

History of Lee County 1914 by Frank E. Stevens

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