From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler
and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 435-436, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Robert Rich was born in Germany on the Rhine, in Baden, in 1852.
He is the son of Matthias Rich of the same place, who came to the
United States in 1855, settling in St. Louis with his wife and two
children, where he pursued the trade of cooper, which he had learned in
Germany. From there he came to Brown county in the fall of 1858, and
there continued his trade. He bought 100 acres of timber land that had
been cleared, although there was plenty of brush. This farm is Mr.
Rich's (Sr.) home at present, and is east of Cooperstown. Although Mr.
Rich, Sr., had barely enough to come to this country with, he now owns
300 acres of good land in this county with fine farm buildings on it.
He raises a good strain of cattle. Beside this he has 500 acres in the
bottoms of Illinois. He is now worth about $35,000. His wife is named
Parthina. They buried one infant son, and have ten living children,
namely: Robert; Julius, a farmer of this township; Emma, now Mrs.
Charles Petei, farmer in this township; Joseph, a farmer in this
township; Louisa, wife of Newton Quinn, farmer of Cooperstown; Sophie,
wife of John Snyder, farmer; Matthias, farmer; Henry, farmer; Ellora,
wife of Charles Barton, farmer of this county; Perfina is at home and
brightens up the home circle with her merry presence.
Robert Rich lived on the home farm until he was twenty-one, when
he went into a store as a clerk, as he was in falling health and found
the farm work too wearing on him. This work did not suit him, either;
so a year later he went to California by rail, in the summer of 1873.
There he worked out of doors, doing farming, and this proved of great
benefit to him. He was there until the winter of 1875, when he returned
to Brown county to his old farm. Here he worked on the farm again for
two years, and then farmed on his father's bottom lands for three
years. He then bought 160 acres of his present place, buying it at a
low price, $6,000 in all for the worked land. He moved his wife into a
shanty, where they lived until the farm was paid for. In 1888 he built
their present comfortable two-story frame house, one of the best in the
township, costing nearly $2,000. In 1891 Mr. Rich built a fine new
barn, 40x60 feet, costing $1,200. This, too, is one of the best in the
section. Twenty-four to thirty fine horses or cattle can be housed in
the large basement. Mr. Rich devotes himself chiefly to hogs, although
he does other farming also. He generally grows an equal amount of corn
and wheat, but has eighty acres of wheat this year, which will yield
about twenty bushels per acre. On the third year he grows clover about
even. Mr. Rich makes money, making about $1,800 clear of expenses. He
also has a great deal of fine stock.
Mr. Rich was married to Elizabeth Quinn, in 1877. Mr. and Mrs.
Rich have four living children, having buried an infant son. Those
living are: Della E., twelve years; Nellie Pearl, ten years; Matthias
Benjamin, eight years, and Robert, six years. Their father is giving
these children a good education, and he is a School Director. Mr. Rich
has been a very successful man of one of his age, forty. He has made
all his money himself, making a beginning in California when he saved
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