Theophilus C. Launer

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 595-596, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Theophilus C. Launer, a large and prosperous farmer, lives on sections 6 and 7, township 17, range 11, where he owns 270 acres of well-improved land, with good farm buildings. He also owns 320 acres, almost all well improved. Besides this he owns a fine lot of timber land amounting to 182 acres, and eighty acres draining land in section 20. He came to the county a poor young man, but has since accumulated much valuable property. He has always lived in Cass county, except a year in Morgan county. He began here as a farmer on his own account, first purchasing forty acres, which he sold and with the proceeds bought 120 acres, and later sold that and increased his sales until he now owns a fine property, all earned by his own efforts.
  He was born in Buffalo, New York, January 30, 1838, and was yet a very young child when his parents removed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two years later they came to Cass county, which he has since made his home, and where he has been a prominent farmer. His father, Rev. Frederic G. Launer, was a native of Berne, Switzerland, born February 18, 1793. He was very highly educated, receiving instruction in his native country and other places, including London. He was educated as a Lutheran minister, and became master of five languages, being a man of quick perception and powerful intellect. He came to America in 1832, and first held a professorship in a college in Buffalo, New York, and later at Philadelphia, also preaching in both places. He afterward came to Beardstown and built up the first Lutheran Church of the place, and was also at Havana and Pekin, Illinois. He was widely and well known throughout the State as a preacher, and had a great deal of influence in that capacity. He was the pioneer minister in this part of the State, and did a great deal of good. He died in Beardstown, September 28, 1867. He was then seventy-four years, six months and ten days old. He worked hard all his life for his church, and made a host of friends. He was a missionary in this State, after filling that position in Africa for three years. His wife, Lydia, was born November 23, 1811, and died several years after him, in Beardstown, January 1, 1873. She was then over sixty years of age, being born in Canton Peal, Switzerland, where she lived until her marriage. She was a devoted wife and mother, and a good Christian woman. She was a daughter of General Marthe, and a grandchild of General David Marthe, Commander-in-Chief of the army of Napoleon the Great, during the time that general was frozen out of Russia, near Moscow. Of seven children three are now deceased. Charles served five years in the Union army; Peter was a brave and efficient soldier in the Mexican war; Theodore is now living in Morgan county, this State; and Mary resides in Beardstown.
  Our subject was married in this county, March 10, 1863, to Josephine Winhold, born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, September 12, 1838, coming to Cass county with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Launer are members of the Lutheran Church, and are prominent, good people. Mr. Launer has held almost all the local offices. He is a Republican in politics, as are his sons. They are the parents of six children: Bertha, wife of Prof. John Hagener, a teacher of the county; Ida, wife of John Kloker, farmer of this county; Rose, Cora, Richard and Robert are all at home, and all the children are intelligent, well educated, a credit to the family, society and the State.

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