Michael Lochner, a pioneer and prominent farmer of Niles Township, was born in Roeddingen, Bavaria, Germany, September 5, 1836. His grandfather kept a hotel, and also dealt in lumber, at that place, and his parents, Michael and Susannah (Berchman) Lochner, were both born there. The father, Michael Lochner, Sr., was the youngest of a family composed of two sons and seven daughters, and was a farmer. In the year 1844, he left his native land to make a home in the New World, and arrived in Cook County, Illinois, settling in Niles Township in July of that year. He bought one hundred acres of land on sections 18 and 19, and continued to reside there until his death, which occurred August 7, 1848, at the age of forty-eight years. His widow survived until 1863, reaching the age of fifty-eight. Five of their seven children grew to maturity. John, the eldest of these, was shot at the battle of Chattanooga, during the Civil War, while serving as a member of the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry. Michael, the subject of this biography, is the second. Magdalena married John Brosel, now a resident of Niles Township, and died in Chicago. Killian is a farmer of Pilot Township, Kankakee County, this State; and Michael Medad is engaged in the same occupation in Niles.
As shown above, the subject of this sketch was near the completion of his eighth year when the family arrived in Niles, and here all his life has been spent since that time. On the 22d of July, 1894, was celebrated at his residence, by friends and relatives, the fiftieth anniversary of his arrival here. He had but little opportunity for English studies, attending the primitive public schools of this region two or three months in the winter for a few terms, and during the same time he attended the parochial schools of the vicinity about one year. When he was but twelve years old his father died, and the care of the farm devolved upon him. From that time he took the lead in the labors of the farm and did a mans work. His mother continued to reside on the homestead until her death, after which he purchased the interest of the other heirs and became its sole owner. He has disposed of a portion of this farm, retaining but eight acres of the original farm, to which he has added twenty-eight acres, and he is also the possessor of one hundred acres in Wheeling Township. He has always made farming his business, and has achieved success. He is a Trustee of St. Peters Roman Catholic Church of Niles Center, and is active in the erection of the fine new church edifice now being constructed by that society. He has served two terms as School Trustee, and has often refused township offices, being averse to engage in the strife for preferment. In matters on National policy, he has always upheld the Democratic party, but takes little part in political action. As a farmer and citizen, he enjoys the respect and confidence of his fellows, and enjoys the blessings of life in a rational and quiet way.
In 1865, Mr. Lochner was married to Terese Baumann, a native of Chicago and daughter of Franz Baumann, formerly of Baden, Germany. Thirteen children have been given to Mr. and Mrs. Lochner, of whom eleven are still living, namely: Susan Bridget, wife of Martin Knidl, of Wheeling, Cook County, Illinois; Agatha, Mrs. William Hoffman, of Morton Grove; Michael, Jr., at home; Mary, wife of Henry Heinz, residing in Niles Center; Peter and Frederick, employed as grocery clerks in Chicago; Teresa, Annie, Katharine, John and Albert, with their parents. Magdalena, the seventh, and Caroline, the eighth, died at the ages of five years and four months, respectively.
Mr. Lochner has served in all the hardships and severe labors common to pioneers of this locality. In the early days, all produce was hauled to Chicago with oxen, and gave very small returns for the labor necessary to its production and marketing. He remembers getting stuck with a wagon in the mud of Randolph Street, between Franklin and Fifth Avenue. Hickory wood sold for a few shillings per cord, and hay was almost a drug in the market. He persevered, and by the work of his own hands won a home and comfort for his declining years.