Lee County Biography


WILLIAM H. HAUSEN, of China Township, is associated with the rise and growth of Lee County as one of its honored pioneers who made the first improvements in this section, and has long been one of its foremost farmers and stock-raisers. He is of New England birth and training, born in the town of Bremen, Lincoln County,Me., August 25, 1816. His father, Charles Hausen, was born in that county in the town of Friendship, and he married Jane Hilton, also a native of Lincoln County. They spent several years of their married life in that vicinity and then moved to near Bangor, Me., where they spent some ten or twelve years, but in 1840 abandoned their Eastern home to found a new one in what was to them the far-distant State of Illinois. They came hither in the fall of the year and located in China Township on the farm that is owned and occupied by our subject, on section 2, a little way from Franklin Grove. They were among the first to settle here, and here they passed their declining years until death separated them, the father dying in the spring of 1859. After his demise the mother remained on the old home and died there in 1878 at a venerable age.

Our subject was the eldest of eleven children. When he was ten years old, his parents removed from his native county to Penobscot County, in the same State, and he remained there with them until 1838. He then started out in the world to see what life held for him in the wide West. He and his brother Harrison and another man left home September 4, 1838, and after making some stops in Michigan and elsewhere they arrived in this county in October. They bought claims to a section and a half of land, and on the farm on section 2, China Township, on which our subject lives, the first improvements were made in this part of the country

Fifty years and more have passed by since that October day when Mr. Hausen first set foot on these prairies where he has so firmly established himself, that were then in their virgin state, as wild and lonely as when they were the hunting grounds of the Indians, but which today are teeming with life and every evidence of an advanced civilization, and in this year of grace, 1891, have yielded such remarkable harvests of grain and other products of the earth that will bring in untold sums of money to the fortunate tillers of the soil, and mayhap shall help to feed the starving mill­ions across the water. That he has had a hand in bringing about this wonderful change that has converted a wilderness into a highty developed farming region, where, also, the sister industries of commerce and manufacture, that follow in the wake of agriculture, flourish, may well be the pride of our subject. He has made a good use of the advantages afforded to an intelligent, wide-awake, diligent farmer by the unsurpassed fertility of the soil, etc., of this part of the country, during the half-century that he has lived and labored here, and now has a fine estate of four hundred acres of land in Lee County, two hundred acres in Nachusa and the remainder in China Township, besides other property. He has devoted his energies not only to farming and stock-raising, but has given especial attention to fruit-growing, and derives a handsome revenue from this source.

Mr. Hausen was married, in Nachusa Township in October, 1850, to Mrs. Julia Felker, nee Stergy, widow of Mark Felker. Mrs. Hausen is a native of Maine. She came to this State with her husband, who was a pioneer of this county. His useful career was terminated by his untimely death within a year or two after settling here. Her married life with our subject has been spent on the same farm in China Township, and she, by her capable co-operation, has contributed in no small degree to his good fortune.

Our subject has reached and passed the milestone that marks a busy life of three-quarters of a century, and the record thereof shows him to be a man of many fine traits of character, who never wilfully wrongs another, is true in his friendships, never allows a desire to acquire wealth to shut out his strict ideas of justice and honesty, or make him less generous, warm-hearted and neighborly in his intercourse with the people among whom his lot has been cast since early manhood, and who revere and trust him. Resolution, sagacity, business thrift and forethought are his leading characteristics, and by these he has achieved success. Whatever concerns the township and county of his adoption has always been of great interest to him, and he has been ready at all times to help push forward public improvements, and in his capacity of High­way Commissioner, which office he has held for many years, he has been especially useful in that direction. He is socially identified with the Blue Lodge of Masons at Franklin Grove, and with the Nathan Whitney Chapter, No. 129. He has a broad outlook on life, is a Democrat in politics, and in religion is liberal in his views.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892


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