Lee County Biography

John Hetler
Dixon Township

John Hetler who carries on general farming on sections 15 and 22, Dixon Township, has the honor of being a native born citizen of Lee County, his birth hav­ing occurred in this township, November 25, 1847. He is descended from an old Pennsylvania family of German origin that was founded in America at an early day. His paternal grandparents lived and died in Luzerne County, Pa., where his father, Nathan Hetler, was born. In the Keystone State, he married Catherine Culp, also a native of Pennsylvania, and some years later they started with their three children for Illinois, making the trip in a covered wagon.

On the 13th of June, 1837, they arrived in Dixon Township, Lee County, and Mr. Hetler secured a piece of raw prarie land on which he built a log cabin. The family began life in the West in true pioneer style and the hardships and trials of the frontier were not unknown to them. However, as the years passed, and financial resources were increased, Mr. Hetler was enabled to supply his home with the comforts of life and extend the boundaries of his farm until it comprised four hundred acres. He was an industrious and hard working man who labored untiringly in the interests of his family. He died on the old homestead, where our subject now resides, May 27, 1877, at the age of sixty-nine years and his loss was deeply regretted by many friends. His wife is yet living and makes her home with her son John. She is now eighty-nine years of age but is yet hale and hearty, except that for the past ten years she has suffered the complete loss of her eye-sight. She is a member of the Lutheran Church to which Mr. Hetler also belongs. In politics he was first a Whig and afterward a Republican and held a number of local offices, the duties of which he discharged with promptness and fidelity.

Our subject is one of six children. In the district schools of the neighborhood his education was acquired and in the days of his boyhood and youth he worked upon his father's farm throughout the summer months. When it became time for him to engage in business for himself he determined to follow the occupation to which he was reared and is now recognized as one of the successful farmers of the community. He owns three hundred and forty-three acres of valuable land, which have been his property for twelve years and the farm is pleasantly and conveniently situated four miles from Dixon. All the necessary buildings are there found, together with the latest farm machinery and other accessories and the place is well stocked, having on hand twenty-five milch cows. Mr. Hetler is a man of good business ability with a degree of carefulness that insures success.

A marriage ceremony performed in Dixon Township, united the destinies of Miss Lasetta Mil­ler and Mr. Hetler. The lady was born in Frank­lin County, Pa., and in 1866, came to Illinois with her parents, Samuel and Mary (Munn) Miller, who located in Nachusa township, Lee County where they afterward lived. Mr. Miller died at the age of seventy-eight years in 1888. His wife is still living in Nachusa Township and is beloved by all know her.

By the union of Mr. and Mrs. Hetler were born six children but only two are now living - Della and Harry. They have lost four, Shelby, Mary, Grant and Nora. The parents are quite prominent people in Dixon Township and move in the best circles of society. There own home is a hospitable one where friends are warmly welcomed and entertained. Mr. Hetler exercises his right of franchise in support of Republican principles and keeps himself well informed on the issues of the day. Throughout long years he has witnessed the growth and development of his native country, has taken a just great pride in its progess and has ever borne his part in the promotion of those enterprises calculated to advance the general welfare.

Portraits & Biographies Pg. 356

Bio of his brother Hiram Hetler

Bio of his brother Jeremiah Hetler


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