Lee County Biography

Christian Gross

Christian Gross, one of the extensive landowners of China township living retired in Franklin Grove, is numbered among the representative and progressive citizens of that community. He is interested in everything that pertains to the general advancement and growth and his influence is a tangible force for good along many lines. He was born in China township, this county, March 22, 1854, and is a son of Reinhart and Martha (Reinhart) Gross, natives of Germany. The mother came to America in 1846 and the father one year later. Their marriage occurred in Lee county in 1852 and afterward the father purchased land, buying eighty acres in China township and paying for this property a dollar and a quarter per acre. He afterward added to his holdings and became in time one of the representative farmers of the locality. He and his wife became the parents of six children, of whom four are yet living.

Christian Gross remained upon his father's farm until he was twenty-one years of age and then began his independent career, fanning upon rented land for one year. At the end of that time he bought one hundred and sixty acres in China township and for many years thereafter gave his time and attention to the management of his farming interests. From time to time he added to his holdings, which comprise today five hundred and twenty-nine acres, all in China township. Mr. Gross continued active in the cultivation of this property until 1903, when he retired and moved into Franklin Grove, where he has since resided. He is prominently identified with a number of important enterprises here and is well and favorably known in business circles. For the past ten years he has been manager and treasurer of the Farmers Telephone Company and for twenty years he has been a member of the board of directors of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He is a director of the Franklin Grove Bank and interested in other enterprises of this character.

In 1875 Mr. Gross was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta Hotzel, a native of Lee county and a daughter of Conrad and Elizabeth (Eckhart) Hotzel, natives of Germany. The parents came to America in 1847, on the same ship which brought the father of the subject of this review, and they made the journey from Chicago to Lee county in the same wagon. Mr. and Mrs. Gross became the parents of four children: Lillian, the wife of Jerry Dysart; R. C.; F. C.; and a child who died in infancy. The parents are members of the Evangelical church. Mr. Gross is a member of Franklin Grove Lodge, No. 504, K. P., and has been through all the chairs in that organization. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has been very active in the affairs of the township. He served on the school board for a number of years and was for six years mayor of Franklin Grove, giving to the community a straightforward and progressive administration. He is at present township supervisor and is doing his usual capable and farsighted work in this office. A resident of Lee county since his birth, he has become widely known within its borders. He merits the confidence and respect of all who know him and is numbered among the substantial citizens of the county.

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


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