Christian "John" John Ambrosius

  Taken from: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, edited by Newton Bateman, LL.D., and Paul Selby, A.M.; and History of Schuyler County, edited by Howard F. Dyson, 1908, page 768; a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Company, Astoria, Illinois, 1970, is sold by the Schulyer County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Ambrosius, John C. - The wage-earning career of John C. Ambrosius extended from about his sixth year until his retirement to Rushville in 1907.  Few of the leisure class of the community have so unremittingly pursued to habit of industry, or so wisely utilized their opportunities, as has this erstwhile farmer and stock-raiser, the present worldly assets of whom consist of a comfortable town home, and 200 acres of valuable land in Section 16, Woodstock Township.  Mr. Ambrosius was a year old when brought to Schuyler County by his parents from Clark County, Ind., where he was born December 22, 1846.  His father, Phillip Ambrosius, was born in Germany, and according to the time-honored custom which secured early independence to the youth of the Fatherland, was apprenticed to a cooper at the age of fourteen years, thereafter following the cooper’s trade until coming to the United States at the age of twenty-one.  Locating in Clark County, Ind., among people who spoke a strange tongue and who had few interests in common with his own, he rapidly forged to the front as a cooper, and the next year married and established a home of his own.  Upon coming to Schulyer County in 1847, he located near Frederick and there plied his trade, thence removing to Pleasantview, Schuyler County, and from there to the State of Missouri.  Returning the fall of the same year, he bought eighty acres of land in Rushville Township, north of the farm of M. S. Strong, and here his death occurred at an advanced age, his wife thereafter making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Jordan, up to the time of her death in August, 1903.  This couple were the parents of eleven children, six of whom are still living; Rosalie, wife of Thomas Baxter, of McDonough County, Ill., Simon, a farmer of Harrison County, Mo.; Elijah, occupying a farm near Camden, Schuyler County; Frances, wife of Jacob Swope, of Astoria, Ill.; Elizina, wife of Henry T. Jordan, of Camden, Ill.; and Phillip.  The parents were members of the Union Baptist Church, and the father was a Democrat in politics.
  The hard work of his life when John C. Ambrosius should have been care free, but such were the family fortunes, and so large the number of children, that each was compelled to contribute to the general support as soon as their strength permitted.  Practically all of the children acquired a knowledge of coopering, and little John C. was no exception to the rule.  At six he had made his work of value, and from then until his retirement, he knew no such thing as help of a financial kind from any one.  When his strength permitted he broke prairie with an ox team, cut timber, made staves which he hauled to the market, and also made flour and other barrels which brought in a considerable revenue.  Such education as he received was acquired during a few winter months when he attended school irregularly, but he was keen and observing, and experience and observation have been his most beneficent teacher.   In 1875 he joined his brother in the purchase of a farm of 125 acres in Browning Township, fifteen acres of which they cleared, and May 18, 1876, Mr. Ambrosius married Nancy Serrot, a native of Sugar Grove, Woodstock Township, and the daughter of a very early pioneer family.  After his marriage Mr. Ambrosius bought his brother’s share in the farm, improved the same until 1887, and that year sold out and bought 120 acres in Section 16, Woodstock Township.  To this he has added eighty acres, and now owns two hundred acres of as fine and productive land as is to be found in the township.  Through the exercise of the greatest iconology while on the paternal farm; he acquires a fortune of $600, a team and wagon, and some substantial wearing apparel; and from this nucleus has come a prosperity which he richly deserves and has worthily won.  He was obliged to go in debt for a part of his land, paying ten per cent interest of the same, but this deficiency melted away in a short time, giving place to that supreme independence which a man feels who is the architect of his own success, and the absolute possessor of the domain he occupies.
  To Mr. And Mrs. Ambrosius have been born seven children: Rhoda, wife of Thomas Gregory, who has one child; Lois on the home farm; W. H. Ambrosius, whose wife died April 23, 1906; Marion, connected with the Brown Shoe Factory, of St. Louis; Lilly, wife of Clarence Rhinehart, also on the Woodstock Township farm, and the mother of two children, Jemima and Chester; George, living at home; Clarice, also at home.  W. H. Ambrosius is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of the World at Ripley.  The farm of Mr. Ambrosius is being conducted by his capable sons,  who have been given every advantage possible under the circumstances.  He is the possessor of a competence sufficient to tide over any emergency that may arise during the latter part of his life, and what is of far greater value, of the kindly regard and confidence of the people among whom has been spent his well directed and moderate life.

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