John L. Geiger has played an important resources of this county, and while thus adding to its wealth has acquired a handsome property, whereby he is enabled to live retired, although he still retains his beautiful and well-ordered farm, on section 14, Nelson Township, and makes it his home. Mr. Geiger was born in Somerset County, Pa., January 21, 1826, coming of the old Dutch stock of that State. His father, Richard Geiger, spent his whole life in Pennsylvania, dying there on the farm on which he had settled after attaining manhood, and which he had improved, his age at the time of his death being sixty-six years. He was sound in his religion and in his polities, a true Lutheran as regards the former, and a Republican in respect to the latter. He married a Somerset County lady, Mary Hess by name, who was descended from some of the early settlers of that part of Pennsylvania. She survived her husband some years, rounding out a useful life at the age of three-score years and ten. She too was a member of the Lutheran Church.

Our subject is one of eleven children, all but one of whom grew to maturity, and six of whom are still living. He lived on his father's farm until he became of age, and the experience that he gained in all kinds of farm work was of value to him in his after career. He was ambitious and energetic by nature, with a faculty for hard and unremitting work, and wisely thinking that the broad prairies of Illinois, with their rich virgin soil, would afford an excellent field for his labors, he came hither in the fall of 1853 and identified himself with the pioneers who had previously settled in Lee County. He entered eighty acres of wild, uncultivated land, improved it and sold it advantageously, and then purchased his present farm, or a portion of it, afterward increasing it to its present size by buying additional land. In the busy years that followed, he made it into one of the best landed estates in Nelson County (Township). It has an area of two hundred and eighty acres, but very little of which is not under the plow, and two good sets of comfortable and roomy farm buildings adorn the place.

Mr. Geiger has gained his wealth since he came to this county, and has earned for himself a place among our moneyed men. Besides his farm he has a valuable property on the corner of Hennepin and Ninth Streets, in Dixon, and recently spent four years in his residence in that pleasant locality. He is looked up to with great respect by his neighbors and all who know him, as his whole life bespeaks him to be a man of steadfast purpose, of good principles, and one who has kept his reputation unspotted in all his financial transactions. The Republicans of this section claim him as one of their number, while his religious affiliations are with the Lutheran Church, which he and his wife attend regularly.

Mr. Geiger was married after coming to this State in the town of Sterling to Miss Anna Gregory, and in her he has a wife who fills in a perfe measure the office of helpmate, companion and friend. Three children have added to the wedded happiness and make their home attractive by their presence, namely: Nellie E.,a bright and well educated young lady; and two sons, Thomas L, and Walter W.

Mrs. Geiger was born in Sullivan County, N. Y. March 9, 1852, a daughter of ives and Mary (Davidge) Gregory, natives respectively of Hartford, Conn., and of England. Her mother had come to the United States when five years of age with her parents, who settled in Sullivan County, where she grew to womanhood and married. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gregory lived in that county on a farm near Liberty for thirty five years. At the end of that time, in 1869, they migrated to Illinois, and lived in Whiteside County, near Rock Fails, and there the father died February 21, 1881, when nearly seventy-five years of age. He was a Democrat in polities, and a Baptist in religion, as was his wife who survived him, dying in November, l891, and notwithstanding her advanced age, still took a deep interest in the affairs of the church. She was eighty years old March 31, 1891, and was at the time of her death quite sound physically and mentally. She made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Winfield Cone, at Thompson (Thomson), Whiteside County. Mrs. Geiger is the youngest of nine chikiren, of whom six are living, and all are married. She has four sisters, all of whom have been teachers, and one sister, who is a graduate of the Illinois State Normal School, was prominent in her profession in this State some years prior to her marriage. Mrs. Geiger was finely educated in the New York Normal School at Liberty, near her birthplace, and is a woman of superior culture. She too was successfully engaged in teaching before her marriage, entering upon her professional career at the age of seventeen years.

Portrait and Biographical Record Pg 217


Lee Co Bios

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