Lee County Biography


The Prairie State with vast prairies is noted throughout the Union for its splendid agricultural regions, and the tillers of the soil know just how to cultivate the land so as to bring rich and productive harvests. Such an one is the gentleman whose name initiates this life record, who is a successful general farmer in Palmyra Township, having a fine estate of two hundred and eighty acres near Prairieville, where he has lived for almost four decades. He came to this State in 1855, and lived seven years in Whiteside County. He came here a poor man, $700 in debt, all of which he has since paid with interest,having borrowed the money in New York State. He was born in Dutchess County, N. Y., July 20, 1820, being-the son of John I. Rikert, a native of the Empire State, whose parents were natives of Holland and came when young with their parents to the United States from Holland, settling in New York, where they spent the remainder of their days.

The father of our subject was united in marriage in the Empire State to Betsey Patner. She was born and reared in Dutchess County, N. Y., and is also of Holland descent. Some years after their marriage, this couple removed to Delaware County, the same State, and there they lived and died, the father passing away in March, 1845, and the mother in 1866. They were honored members of the Lutheran Church and always followed the vocation of farming, being successful in this line of business. Mr. Rikert was in his political views a Whig.

After coming to this State, the subject of this biography journeyed across the plains to Pike's Peak, in 1860, and remained there one year engaged in mining. He then returned to this county and took up the farm on which he now resides. He was married in Greene County, this State, to Miss Phoebe Bennett. This lady was born and reared in her native county, her birth occurring October 10, 1822. She has been a true helpmate to her husband and is a loving and faithful mother. She bore her husband three children, one of whom, Hiram, is deceased. He fell off a stone fence at the age of three years and received injuries that caused his death a few days later. Those living are Emma, wife of Fred F. Klostermann,a resident of Sterling, Whiteside County, IL, who is engaged in the stock business with his father-in-law, our subject; Mathias, a farmer in this township and a hard-working and thrifty man. He took to wife Rena Miller. Mr. and Mrs. Rikert are connected with the Lutheran Church, religiously, and Mr. Rikert is a stanch supporter of the Prohibition party, being formerly a Republican.

Portrait and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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