Lee County Biography


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

Henry Kersten is one of the self-made men of Lee county. He had no special assistance when he started out in life on his own account, but in the course of years, through his well directed efforts and careful management, he has become the owner of four hundred acres of valuable land in Reynolds township. It was in this township that he was born, March 1, 1864, his parents being George and Christina Kersten, both of whom were natives of Germany. They came to America in the '50s and journeyed across the country until they reached Lee county, Illinois, where the father still makes his home, residing now in Ashton. The mother passed away in the late '70s, after which George Kersten married a second and third time, his third union being with Mrs. Emma Brundenburg. By his first marriage there were eleven children and by the second marriage there were three children, of whom two yet survive.

Henry Kersten spent the days of his boyhood and youth under the parental roof and after attaining his majority started out in the world on his own account. He then rented land for four years, after which he purchased the farm upon which he now resides, comprising one hundred and sixty acres on section 16, Reynolds township. From the beginning his success has continued, owing to the fact that he has never been afraid of hard work. He has labored diligently and persistently and has added to his holdings from time to time. He purchased eighty acres on section 8 and afterward invested in one hundred and sixty acres on section 17, Reynolds township. He has now altogether four hundred acres of rich and valuable land worth at least two hundred dollars per acre. He displays excellent management in the use of the fields, producing therefrom the best possible crops owing to his progressive methods of farming. He rotates his crops, keeps his soil in good condition and the harvests which he annually garners bring to him a good financial return.

On the 22d of March, 1888, Mr. Kersten was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Newman, who was born in Lee county, Illinois, and is a daughter of John and Martha (Wagner) Newman, both of whom were natives of Germany and came to the United States at an early date. They settled in Lee county, Illinois, and here continued to make their home until they were called from this life. Mr. and Mrs. Kersten became the parents of five children: Pearl Caroline, Harry J., Elmer H., Ervin H. and Rosa M. The parents hold membership in the Evangelical church, and Mr. Kersten is actively interested in its work. He is now serving as one of the church trustees and is treasurer of the Sunday school. He votes with the republican party and has filled the office of pathmaster. He has also been school director and is interested in everything that pertains to the general welfare along the lines of material, intellectual and moral progress.

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

Kersten Residence

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