Lee County Biography

Mathias Lievan
South Dixon Township


Mathias Lievan has played an important part in the development of Lee County as one of its most enterprising, far-seeing and clear-headed farmers, and although not one of the earliest settlers of this section of Illinois, he is farily entitled to be classed among its pioneers. He has acquired a handsome fortune and is now quietly passing his declining years in retirement in his old home on section 17, South Dixon Township, where he settled April 1, 1857.

Our subject was born on the beautiful Rhine in Prussia, Germany, October 13, 1813, coming of pure German ancestry. His father, who was John M. Lievan, was also a Prussian by birth, and was a grape-grower, having his vineyard on the banks of the River Rhine. He was there married to Margaret Lievan, who was also a native of that province, and her father's people were also grape-growers and wine-makers.

Mathias Lievan passed his early life amid the romantic scense of his birth, and some years after marriage decided on emigrating to the US, as he was ambitious to acquire wealth, and thought that his chances of doing so would be better in the New World. Accompanied by his wife and aged father (his mother having previously died) he set sail from havre de Grace, and after three months on the ocean landed in this country in 1846. The ensuing 11 years he lived in Somerset County PA, when he came here, and there his father died. Our subject wa employed in varous places in and around the ill-fated Johnstown, and at one time worked on the dam which breakage caused the awful flood that well-nigh destroyed that city. He also labored in the iron mines for some years, hearing much of the rich virgin soil of the great Prairie State, he came hither in 1857, resolved to try his hand at farming. He obtained the first 80 acres of his present homestead at that time, while it was yet in a wild condition, and actively entered upon the labor of retrieving it from a state of nature. He had much to contend with in those early years, and he and his faithful wife endured many hardships and privations,a nd made many sacrifices before prosperity began to smile upon their persistent and unremitting toil.

He had but little means when he began hisstruggles here, and he was so handicapped by having to pay a big interest that he had to give up forty acres of his original purchase. Better times came, however, and he grew rich, investing his money in other land until he became the owner of nine farms in this State and in Iowa, aggregating more than a thousand acres of fine farming land, nearly the whole of it being under cultivation. He has provided generously for his children, giving them a good start in life, distributing property among them to he value of $40,000.

Our subject was first married in his native province to Miss Anna M. Mechel, who was born and reared there, and died at their old home after the birth of two children, while she was yet a young woman.

Mr. Lievan married a second time in the land of his birth, Miss Magdalena Miller becoming his second wife. She was born and reared in the same neighborhood as himself, and was of similar parentage, her father being a grape-grower. A long and felicitous wedded life has been vouchsafed to our subject and his estimable wife, and of the 12 children that have come to them, all are living but Charles who died young. The others are Mathias, a farmer in Missouri, who married Mary Pifer; John W. a farmer residing near Dixon, who married Sophia Bremmer; Elizabeth, who is a resident of St. Louis; Margaret, wife of Henry E. Miller, of whom a biography appears in this volume; Katherine "Kate", wife of William Mossholder, a farmer in this township; Jacob, also a farmer in this township, married Sarah Genck; Rachel, at home with her parents; William, a farmer in Harmon Township, who married Ella Fritz; Idell, married Burton Ross and lives in O'Brien County, Iowa' Sarah, wife of Deitrick Scifkin, a farmer in O'Brien County, Iowa; Frank, a farmer in Marion Township who married Lotta Vroman; Emma, wife of Henry Flot, a farmer at State Centre, Iowa; Henry G., a farmer in Harmon Township who married Gertrude Wadsworth.

The two children of Mr. Lievan's first marriage are Anna and Mary and both own good and occupy good farms near Manning, Iowa; Mary married John Parker. Mr. and Mrs. Lievan and the most of their children attend the Evangelical Church and are liberal in their support of whatsoever tends to the moral and religious elevation of the community. Mr. Levan is loyal in his citizenship to the country of his adoption, is a firm believer in the superiority of its institutions and government and is a true Republican in his political sentiments.

In closing this record, we will add that a patient, resolute nature, a keen love of business, accuracy of judgment, and a never-failing self-reliance, together with honesty of purpose and act, have been his distinguishing traits and mark him as a true type of our self-made man, whose career is eminently worthy of emulation and deserving of praise.

Portraits & Biographical 1892 Pg 835

Family Photos

This is a rough outline of what I've been able to put together on the Lievan/Levan family. It appears as though John spelled his name Lievan - Jacob spelled it Levan ? ? (from the research of SuAnne Devine-Drawz) 1. (John) Mathias Lievan 13 Oct 1813 to Lee County about 1857 m. Anna M. Mechel died in Germany a. Anna Lievan 1841 lived in Manning IA b. Mary Lievan 1842 m John Parker lived in Manning IA m 2nd Magdalena Miller in Germany c. Mathias Lievan b 2 Aug 1844 Germany m Mary Pieffer 28 Aug 1899 & lived in Missouri he married a 2nd time Eliza Kellog had 3 chidlren George, Oliver & Francis 1. Areta Opal Lievan 2 Nov 1902 MO d 26 Mar 1993 Kansas CIty MO m Willie Irvin Stone aa. Elmer Lee Stone 28 Dec 1922 MO bb. Faye Lorene Stone 30 Jul 1924 MO m Edward Fenton Horn on 28 May 1949 cc. Norma Louise Stone 19 Feb 1927 MO dd. Newell Edwin Stone 16 Feb 1929 MO 2. Arthur Lievan 3. Charles Lievan m Grace Ellen Rhodes 4 Nov 1908 Lee Co ??? d. Katherine "Kate" Lievan 11 January 1847 Somerset PA m Wm. Mossholder e. Margaret Lievan b 22 Feb 1849 Jamestown PA, m Henry E. Miller f. John W Lievan 24 Feb 1851 m Sophia Bremer on 24 Dec 1887 in Dixon she was b 21 Aug 1858 died 21 Aug d/o Edo Bremer (Obit say died 21 Aug 1948 age 90 y 18 day = birth 3 Aug 1858 but reads Born 21 Aug 1858..) 1. Pearl V. 2. Myrtle M. Lievan m Arthur Franklin Shuck 22 Nov 1911 in Dixon aa Josephine Mildred Shuck 30 Apr 1912 m Thor Bergh bb Robert Shuck 29 Dec 1916 m Mabel McComb g. Jacob Lievan 1853 m Sarah Genck/Grover h. Rachel Lievan 1855 i. Elizabeth Lievan 1857 lived in St. Louis j. William Lievan 1859 m Ella Fritz k. Idell/Della Lievan 1861 m Burton Ross lived O'Brien Co IA l. Charles Lievan abt 1862 died young m. Frank Lievan 1863 m Lotta Vroman n. Sarah Lievan 1865 m Dietrick Siefkin lived in O'Brien IA o. Emma Lievan 1867 m Henry Floto lived State Centre IA p. Henry Grant Lievan 1869 m Gertrude Wadsworth lived in Harmon Twp. 2. Jacob Levan 14 Sep 1822 Germany to US in 1853 d 15 Jan 1911 buried Oakwood m. Angeline Sarah Ahl d/o Frederick (d 1857 Lee co) & Catherine (Asner) who died in Germany a. Margaret Levan b 5 Oct 1849 Prussia d 24 May 1920 buried Oakwood m George Ortgiesen b. John Mathias 15 Oct 1851 Prussia d 27 Jun 1926 buried Oakwood m Isabelle Miller b 6 Aug 1863 d/o August & Hannah (Warneck) Miller 1. Arthur Levan Jun 1888 2. Ruben J.Levan Jan 1890 3. Agnes H.Levan Dec 1891 4. Estelle M.Levan May 1894 5. Frances M. Levan Oct 1896 6. Mathias D. Levan Dec 1898 c. Mary Levan 13 Apr 1858 Lee Co d 21 Apr 1935 b Riverside Sterling m Sebastian Bechtel d. Louis George Levan 26 Jun 1861?? d 9 Apr 1938 m Rosetta Estella FLETCHER or FISCHER 14 feb 1889 e. Ellen Levan 1 Mar 1861 Lee Co d 15 Nov 1921 buried Oakwood m Charles Bartholomew 19 Mar 1884 1. Clara Bartholomew 15 Jul 1891 d 10 Nov 1956 m Paul Johns aa. Alice Johns 3 Apr 1911 Lee d 8 Aug 1986 Polo m Edmund Russell Cox bb. Fred Johns 8 Dec 1912 d 3 Mar 1997 Lee Co m Mary cc. Robert Johns dd. Josie Johns ee. Clarence Johns ff. Raymond Johns 23 May 1920 d Feb 1987 Lee Co m Mabel f. Caroline Levan 6 May 1866 d 27 Dec 1953 m Conrad Miller 13 Feb. 1890

Lee Co Bios

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