Lee County IL Biography

Mr. Risetter was born July 31, 1853, in Lee County Illinois. His parents were Lars L. and Gertrude Lenning Risetter. He was educated in the district school of Lee County. Mr. Risetter is born and bred to the soil. To become a successful farmer was his ambition as a young lad. This ambition was also realized. As a farmer he continued until 1910, when he retired and moved to Beloit, Wisconsin, leaving his extensive landed possessions in the care and keeping of his sons. The success of Mr. Risetter as a tiller of the soil is well known far beyond the community where he spent most of his life. When Mr. Risetter retired, he belonged to the class whose fortune is fast approaching the seventh figure. During the course of years however, Mr. Risetter was not only attending to his farm. Other interests attracted his attention and taxed his mighty energies, notably the buying and selling of farm-land in the various parts of the Middle States. Mr. Risetter enjoys the reputation of being a judicious trader. From time to time he has acquired large tracts of land, and again profitably disposed of them. Nor did he confine his efforts to country real estate. He is also credited with much activity in handling town lots and city realty. The city of Chicago became a fertile field for many of his most successful deals. But more distant parts of our country, too, enlisted his attention. His real estate interests in Colorado are well known to many. A year ago he paid California a visit, where he made an extended stay covering more than a year. The purpose of this visit was to get a little rest and recreation, but he did not always rest while here. He had heard such about the opportunities offered the settler in this fair State. Now he was accorded the privilege of studying conditions, and he made ample use of it. No one returned East more satisfied with his visit to California and conditions here as he found them, than Mr. Risetter. During his stay he also came to know of the Scandiavian=American Colonies, and because much interested in the movement. It is Mr. Risetter's decided opinion, that it is our duty to try to guide and gather into settlements those of our countrymen who leave the Eastern States and come here to seek a home. He was much impressed with the immensity of the unpopulated stretches of land in California. Nor was it a small surprise to him to learn of the different varieties o soils in well-nigh every part of the State - how good soil and near-good soil and poor soil are found lying side by side, looking the same, but far from being the same in quality. All this convinced him of the necessity of authentic and conscioutious advice in the matter of assisting the Eastern home seeker. He was therefore, much interested in the Scandiavian-American Colonies, as organization called into being for no other purpose than to educate and direct our people in the matter of finding homes in these distant and, to them, unknown regions of the West Coast. And Mr. Risetter's interest in the project did not only manifest itself in commendable words, but also to substantial financial support and in himself becoming an associate of the movement.

Mr. Risetter was married twice, the first time, November 11, 1875 to Julia Christopher, the second time July 10, 1901, to Isabel M. Boyd, the Reverends J.J. Tackle and J. Nordby, respectively, officiating. The following children were born to them - Mrs. Gertrude Louise House, Mrs. Bessie Christiana Kota, Lewis, Thomas Clarence, Christopher, Mrs. Anna Lucille Fourtiloff, Dr. Ernest Adolph and Leonard Orrin. The Risetters are now located at Rockford Illinois, where they expect to spend the balance of their days.

Submitted by Judy Imhoff from The Lutheran Church and California By Edward Martinus Stensrud


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