Lee County Biography

Hiram Hetler

Dixon Township


Hiram Hetler owns and operates a fine farm of two hundred and 75 acres on section 15, Dixon Twp. pleasantly situated within a few miles of the city of Dixon. Its well-tilled fields indicate the thrift and enterprise of the owner and many of its improvements stand as monuments to his ability. In connection with the raising of cereals he also engages in stock dealing, having many head of cattle and horses upon the farm, including 35 milch cows. The place is so complete in all its appointments, that it may well be termed a model farm, while its owner is classed among the representative agriculturists of the communty.

Mr. Hetler has made his home in Lee County since 1837, having come to Illinois in that year from Columbia County PA, his birthplace. The family is of Holland descent. The father of our subject Nathan Hetler, was born and reared in Luzerne County PA where he married Catherine Culp whose brother, Jeremiah Culp, a major of the late war, was killed at the battle of Antietam. Another brother owned the Culp farm on which the battle of Perryville KY was fought. In 1837, Mr. hetler and his family, in a covered wagon, made an overland journey to Illinois, camping out along the wayside at night. On the 6th of June, they arrived in Dixon, and the father purchased a claim. Subsequently he entered another claim and after placing some improvements upon it sold and purchased the farm on which our subject and a brother John now reside. He was quite successful in his business transactions and at the time of death in 1887, about 400 acres of land yielded to him a golden tribute. His widow is still living at the age of 90 years and six of the children yet abide.

The boyhood days of our subject were principally spent int he Keystone State, but after coming to Lee County he was married in Dixon to Miss Nancy Crippen a native of the Empire State. With her parents, Seth and Elizabeth (Smith) Crippen she removed to Wisconsin during her girlhood and from there to Illinois, their home being now in Dixon. Three children graced the union of Mr. and Mrs. Hetler, but Ida, who became the wife of James Sandford, an attorney-at-law at Dixon, died in 1888, leaving three children. Lula M. is now the wife of Edward S. Miller, a resident farmer of Nachusa Twp. and Minnie is at home.

During the late war, in 1862, Mr. hetler enlisted as a private in the First IL Artillery under Col. Taylor of Chicago and Capt. John W. Cheney of Dixon. With the regiment he served all through the campaign down the Mississippi River with Grant, and after the surrender of Vicksburg and Jackson Miss, returned to Missionary Ridge, where another battle occurred. The regiment then went to relieve Gen. Burnside at Knoxville TN and afterwards joinded Gen. Sherman at Atlanta, GA. Subsequently the troops were sent back to fight Hood and later held the reserve at the battle of Nashville. Mr. Hetler saw three years of active service and through it all was so fortunate as to escape injury. At the battle of Atlanta, howver, his regiment barely escaped capture and had it not been for the skill and daring of Gen. John A. Logan and Col. Wolcott, would undoubtedly have been taken prisoners.

When the country no longer needed his services, Mr. Hetler was honorable discharged and at once returned to his home and family. He then resumed farming which he has since followed with signal success. In politics he is a Republican and a warm advocate of the party principles. Frequently has he been called upon to fill public positions of honor and trust and is now Supervisor of Dixon Twp. The confidence reposed in him is never misplaced and he discharges every duty with promptness and fidelity. Himself and wife attend the Methodist Church and are well and favorably known throughout this community.

Lee County Portraits & Biographical 1892 Pg 703

Bio of his brother John Hetler

Bio of his brother Jeremiah Hetler

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