Lee County Biography


Conrad Meister, who resides on section 16, Bradford Township, came to this county at an early day, and belongs to that class of intelligent, enterprising German citizens of whom frequent mention has been made in these pages. He was born in Germany, near Hesse-Cassel, December 30, 1835 and in 1846 came with his parents to the US. They landed in New York and from that city pursued their Westward way until reaching Illinois, where they made their first stop at Chicago, remaining there but a few weeks and then coming on to Lee County, where they settled in China Township.

Our subject remained with his parents, assisting them in the varied duties of a pioneer life, until he was 21, when he was married in China Township, July 26, 1857, to Miss Rosina Hiller, who like himself, was a native of Germany, being born in Wurtemberg, July 20, 1836. For a year and a half after his marriage, Mr. Meister assisted his father on the home place, after which he came to Bradford Township and settled on section 16, where he has since resided. He has been successful in his operations as a farmer, and is now the owner of 320 acres.

In politics, Mr. Meister is a Democrat, and with his wife, is a member of the Lutheran Church. He is an intelligent man, who keeps well posted on the topics of the day and has always given his influence on the side of right and justice, and in behalf of whatever would tend to the welfare of his township and county. The family consists of eight children; Kate,Mary, George, John, Emma, Levi, Anna and Fred.

Source: Portraits & Biographical Lee County 1892


Conrad Meister is one of the early settlers in Lee county, his residence here dating from 1846. During his entire active life he was closely and influentially associated with agricultural interests of this locality, winning a comfortable fortune which now enables him to spend his declining years in rest and retirement. He was born in Germany, December 7, 1835. and is a son of John and Anna K. Meister, also natives of the fatherland. They came to America in 1846, locating in Lee county, Illinois, where both passed away. To their union were born five children, of whom the subject of this review is the only one now living.

Conrad Meister was eleven years of age when he came with his parents to Lee county and he grew up amid pioneer conditions, learning farming through practical experience in the development of his father's homestead. When he grew to manhood he became a landholder and for a number of years owned a fine property of three hundred and twenty acres in Bradford township. He carried forward the work of improving and developing this place along progressive and modern lines and made it a valuable property provided with substantial barns and outbuildings and modern equipment. He owned in addition three hundred and twenty acres of land in South Dakota but he has now divided all of his holdings among his children and is living in retirement at the home of his youngest son.

In China township, this county, Mr. Meister married Miss Rosanna Hilly, who was born in Germany and who came to America in 1855. Mr. and Mrs. Meister became the parents of eight children: Katherine, the wife of J. Clutz; Mary, who married Andrew Reinhart; George, who married Rachel Capes and who lives in this township; John, deceased; Emma, the wife of William Thomas; Levi, of South Dakota; Anna, the wife of John Reitz, and Fred. Mrs. Meister passed away in 1907 and was laid to rest in Ashton cemetery. Mr. Meister has lived in Lee county for a period of sixty-seven years and he has therefore seen a great deal of the development and progress of this part of Illinois. He has borne an active and honorable part in the work of advancement and his retirement is well deserved, rewarding many years of earnest and faithful labor.

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

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