Genealogy Trails

Richland County, Illinois
Genealogy and History

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John VON GUNTEN, Jr., County Clerk, was born in Olney, December 27, 1853, and is the second of nine children born to John and Catherine (HAUCK) VON GUNTEN, natives respectively of Berne Switzerland, and of Germany. John, Sr., was a baker and followed his trade for a time in his native land. When a young man, in 1849, he emigrated to the United States, and settled at Louisville, Ky., working at his trade for a few months. In the same year he came to Olney, and again followed his trade for three years, when he was married. In 1852, he engaged in the dry goods business here, and continued in it until 1879, at which time he retired from active business. Mr. VON GUNTEN, Sr., and his wife are members of the German Reformed Church. He was one of the Aldermen for a time, and assisted in securing brick sidewalks for the city of Olney. He was also a director for the G.M. Railway, which was consolidated with another road during his term of service, and became the P., D. & E. Railway. John, Jr., was well educated at the Olney common schools, from his fifteenth year until he went into his father's store, and took charge of his business for about one year. In 1877, he ran for County Clerk on the Democratic ticket, and was elected to that office in 1882, and still holds it. He belongs to the Olney Lodge, No. 140, A.F. & A.M., of which he is W.M., and also to Richland Chapter, No. 38, R.A.M., Olney Council, No. 55, R. & S.M. and Gorin Commandery, No. 14, K.T. In politics, Mr. VON GUNTEN is a Democrat, and is one of this county's most enterprising and prominent men. [Counties of Cumberland, Jasper and Richland, Illinois: Historical and Biographical; F.A. Battey & Co, 1884]

BERNHARD E. VOIGT, merchant tailor, was born in Prussia, April 27, 1857, and is the eighth of ten children born to Carl and Frederike (Muench) Voigt, Prussians. He was a shoemaker by trade. In 1874, he emigrated to the United States, coming to Olney. He soon purchased a farm near the city, and he and his wife reside here and are adherents of the Evangelical Association. Bernhard E. received a good education in Prussia. At fourteen years of age he was apprenticed to the tailors' vocation, and served three years. He was then a journeyman in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. After the arrival of the family to this country, he was employed by a firm in Olney for a period of three years. In 1880, Mr. Voigt returned to Oiney, and went into business for himself. He is proprietor of the only merchant tailoring establishment in this place, and his trade is excellent. He was married, April 27, 1880, to Adeline A. Fessel, of Wabash County. Two daughters bless his marriage, Clara P. and Olga A. He is a Republican, and a rising man in every respect. [Counties of Cumberland, Jasper and Richland, Illinois: Historical and Biographical; F.A. Battey & Co, 1884]

WILLIAM VON ALLMEN & SON, boarding house and saloon. William was born in Switzerland, March 31, 1823, and is third child in a family of eight children born to John and Elizabeth (Balmer) Von Allmen, natives of Switzerland. John was educated in his native land, learned the shoemaker's trade, and followed it to some extent through life. He was engaged some in farming, and during the wars of Napoleon I. was a soldier in the Swiss army. In 1851, he came to the United States, settling in German Township, in this county, where he lived until death claimed him, October, 1872. He and wife were members of the German Reformed Church. William Von Allmen received a fair education in his native land, and was apprenticed to the carpenters' trade, and in 1846 came to the United States in company with his employer. They worked for a month in New Orleans, and finally, William came up the river to Louisville, Ky., landing with only $1.25 in money. He worked for some months in a dairy, then went to Terre Haute, Ind., was employed on a canal and in a slaughter house. He was then employed in various ways at Cincinnati, Ohio, and at Terre Haute, Ind., until in 1857, when he came to German Township, farmed for five years, then came to Olney, and engaged in the saloon and boarding house business. He was married, in 1855, to Margaret Rue, a native of New Albany, Ind. Ten children were given them, seven of whom, three sons and four daughters, are living. The family belongs to the German Reformed Church. Henry Von Allmen is oldest of the ten children born to William Von Allmen, and was born June 11,1856. He received an excellent education. At the age of eighteen he was apprenticed to the gunsmiths' trade. He served for two years with his brother-in-law, Henry Goedeke, and then followed the trade at Fairfield and Olney for some three years. He then entered the saloon business with his father, remaining there some three years. In 1882, in company with C Eggler, he engaged in the same business, and since then has continued in the position. He is a member of the German Reformed Church, of the A. O. U. W., and is very highly esteemed by his associates.  [Counties of Cumberland, Jasper and Richland, Illinois: Historical and Biographical; F.A. Battey & Co, 1884]

J. C. VON ALMEN, dealer in lumber, doors, sash and blinds, Olney, was born June 4,1843, in Switzerland. His father followed the stone-mason trade till 1847, when he emigrated to America and located in Preston Township, where he now lives, engaged in farming pursuits. The subject of this sketch was reared on the farm, and at the age of twenty he commenced to learn the coopers' trade; this he worked at about eighteen months. He enlisted, in 1864, in Company G, One Hundred and Thirty Sixth Illinois Infantry, served about six months and returned home. He then continued the cooper's trade during that winter; the following spring he engaged in farming; this he continued four years. In the spring of 1869, he removed to Olney and followed the carpenters' trade several years; in 1879, his present business was established, which has since been rapidly increasing, the transactions running from $18,000 to $20,000 a year. He was married, in 1868, to Mary Welch, who was born in Clark County, Ill. This union has been blessed with three sons and one daughter. [Counties of Cumberland, Jasper and Richland, Illinois: Historical and Biographical; F.A. Battey & Co, 1884]




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