William Pilger

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 506-507, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  William Pilger was born in the Rhine province, Prussia, Germany, in 1832. He remained with his father in farming until 1853, when he took passage for the United States on the ship Yaeger which was making its first voyage. He landed in New Orleans after a six weeks' voyage, and then came up to St. Louis by way of the Mississippi, and from there came on to Beardstown. He spent the first five or six years here as a laborer. He was the first son of the family to come to this country, one sister having preceded him, another brother and two other sisters came over and settled in St. Louis. Here one died. Mr. Pilger came here a poor young man just twenty-one years of age. He began to farm here in 1858, and was actively engaged in farming and stock raising from 1858 to 1891, when he retired to Beardstown. He owns 240 acres of very good land, forty being in timber, the rest improved and supplied with good buildings. He has made money by his own efforts and is now enjoying the result of those efforts. He has been a hard-working citizen and is well known in the county, and now resides on the corner of Eleventh and Adams streets.
  Mr. Pilger was married to Elizabeth Schmidt, who was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, October 20, 1830, and she died at her home on the farm, March 4, 1881. She was young, when, with her mother and other children, she came to the United States and settled in Cass county, where her father had preceded them two years.
  Mr. and Mrs. Pilger had six children, four of whom are living, viz.: Louis, a teamster in Beardstown, married Mary Stock; Lena, is the wife of Marshall J. Ratineau, a painter by trade; Henry C., is a farmer; William is also a farmer on his father's homestead, and married Mary Holbrook. Mr. and Mrs. Pilger and family are members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Pilger is a Republican in politics, and is a man of influence in the city in which he has made his present wealth. He is great respected by all who know him.

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