Lee County Biography


Meppe William Meppen is a good type of the foreign element that is so important a factor in developing and sustaining the great agricultural interests of this county, and the farm of two hundred and forty acres he operates on section 26, Nelson Township, is in many respects one of the best in the locality. Mr. Meppen was horn in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, August 16, 1836, that part of the German Empire having been the home of his ancestry since the fifteenth century, and a certain estate in the town of North Werden has been in the possession of the family since that time, it still being owned by a kinsman of our subject. The father of the latter, Peter Meppen, was born thereon as well as himself, and there led the life of a farmer until his death at the age of fifty-four years. He married Martha Becker, who came of good old German stock, was born and reared in the Kingdom of Hanover, and died in the home where her wedded life was passed, at the age of seventy-two. The family on both sides have always been prominent members and active workers in the Lutheran Church, and Peter Meppen, who was a deacon thereof when he died, was considered one of the firmest pillars of the church with which he was connected.

He of whom these lines arc the life-record Is one of six children, of whom three are living, he being the only one of the family to settle in this country. He lived in the Fatherland until he was twenty-seven yean old. At that age, he was stalwart and active, had been trained to industrious habits and was a good worker, so that when he decided to seek a home in the New World he was well fitted for the life that lay before him in the struggle for a competency on the broad prairies of Illinois. He left his native place in October, 1863, and at Bremer Haven took passage on a steamer bound for New York. After landing in that city, he came directly to Lee County, and for a while lived in Palmyra Township prior to coming to Nelson Township, in which he has resided for twenty-eight years. In the old country he had been a miller, but after coming to this he adopted the calling of a farmer, which he has since followed exclusively. He was formerly engaged in agricultural pursuits in another part of the township, but four years ago he rented the farm that he occupies on section 26. This is a fine farm, with fields well cultivated, and with excellent equipment in the way of buildings, machinery and all the facilities for farming according to the best methods.

Mr. Meppen's wife, to whom he was married in Nelson Township, was born and reared here, a daughter of one of the pioneers of the county, Louis Brauer, a native of Oldenburg, Germany. He came to this country when a young man, and was an early settler of this part of Illinois. He obtained a tract of Government land, from which he made a good farm, which was his home until his untimely death at the age of fifty-two years deprived his community of one of its most skillful farmers, and of one of its best citizens. He was a prominent member of the Lutheran Church, and was always active in the advancement of religion. His widow, who has attained the age of sixty-four years, is now living in Prairieville. Her maiden name was Louisa Toel, and she is of the pioneer stock of this county, where she married Mr. Brauer. She, too, is a true Lutheran in religion, and her uncle was a minister of that faith. Mr. and Mrs. Meppen are the parents of six children, one of whom, Mabel, died in infancy. The others, who are at home with their parents, are Martha, Lucy, Louis, William and Arthur.!.

The fellow-citizens of our subject, appreciating the fact that he is a man of great merit, worthy in every way of their consideration, and not that alone, but knowing that he is shrewd and capable, and clear-witted in counsel, have frequently selected him to fill some public position, and he has held the most of the township offices, such as that of Highway Commissioner, etc. His political creed is that of the Republican Party. In religion he has not departed from the faith of his fathers, but both lie and his wife are among tho leading members of the Lutheran Church.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892


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