Lee County Biography


John Schoenholz came to this country many yers ago before he attained manhood. He was without money when he first made his appearance in this State. He acquired a competency and was well fortilied against poverty, as by his industry in tilling; the soil he earned a place among the well-to-do farmers of Lee County, and had a highly improved farm in Willow Creek Township, that was well stocked with horses,cattle and swine of fine grades.

Mr. Schoenholz was born in Havana, Germany, December 31, 1839, and died December 9, 1891. His parents Jacob and Elizabeth Schoenholz, were natives of the same locality as himself, and the father followed his trade as a weaver in the winter season, and the remainder of the year was engaged in farming. In 1861 he emigrated to this country with his wife, and for two or three years he resided near Hennepin, but the last part of his life was spent in this county. The mother of our subject is still spared to her children, and is now seventy- eight years old. She has reared five children to lives of usefulness, namely: Lena, wife of John Yetter; Jacob, John, Nicholas and Philip.

The worthy parents of our subject gave him such advantages of obtainingan education as the excellent schools of his native land afforded, to which they sent him regularly until he was thirteen years old. The following two years he attended the Sunday-school in the village near his home, where the higher branches were taught. As soon as old enough, he began to assist his father and obtained a good drilling in farm work. lie remained with his parents until he was eighteen years old, and he then boldly determined to try life in America, the land to which so many of his countrymen had gone and found prosperity. He set sail from Havre, and after a voyage of forty-seven days landed at New York. He went directly to Buffalo, and after remaining there a few weeks, came to Illinois, arriving here a* stranger in a strange land, and with no money. He, however, was well equipped for the struggle before him, as the blessings of a strong phsique and good health were his in a full measure, and he was industrious in his habits, with an excellent capacity for turning off work easily and well. The first two years of his life in the Prairie State were passed in and about Hennepin. Putnam County, where lie was employed on a farm. After that he came to Lee County and worked by the month the ensuing two years. He had carefully saved his earnings and was then enabled to be more independent by farming on his own account on rented land. He was successful in that venture, and in four years' time had enough money to buy eighty acres of wild prairie at $16 an acre, located on section 5, Willow Creek Township, the same being included in his present farm. He steadily devoted himself to developing a farm, erected a good set of frame buildings, placed his land under cultivation, planted choice fruit and beautiful shade trees, that have not only increased the value of his place but have added to its attractiveness, and he increased the acreage of his farm by buying other land, and to-day it comprises three hundred and five acres of well-improved realty. He carried on general farming, and the cattle, horses and hogs that he raised were from good blooded stock.

Mr. Schoenholz, undoubtedly, was much indebted to his wife for her ready and cheerful helpfulness in the work of making a home. Their married life began in 1861 and was blessed to them by the birth of these four children: -Emma, Philip, Julia and Frank. Mrs. Schoenholz was Ann Maria Yetter in her maiden days, and she is, like her husband, a native of Bavaria. She is a sister of John Yetter, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this work.

1892 Portrait and Biographical Record Lee Co Pg 741

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