Robert Rich
Biography


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 up $1,000.



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