ANDERS, John Jr.
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church. Chicago: Clarke Publishing Company, 1905, pp 416-7
Among the substantial and worthy citizens of Winnebago County that Germany has furnished to the new world is John ANDERS, Jr., a retired farmer of Pecatonica. He was born in the fatherland on 05 Jun 1846, and spent his minority in that country, coming to America when 21 years old. He is a son of John and Maria (BENCHRUST) ANDERS, who were also natives of Germany, and crossed the Atlantic in 1867, coming in June 1868 to Pecatonica with their three children. The father was born 19 Jun 1816, and died 19 Apr 1891, while his wife, whose birth occurred 15 Nov 1821, passed away 01 Jan 1898, in her 77th year. On arriving in Winnebago County the father turned his attention to farming upon rented land which he secured from Mr. SANDERS, and later when his financial resources permitted he purchased 40 acres, spending his remaining days in its cultivation and improvement. He and his family were members of the German Lutheran church, and his political allegiance was given to the republican party. He was respected because of his genuine worth and fidelity to duty, and in the community where he lived he had many friends. In his family were five children: 1) Fred, who is now living in Pecantonica Township, where he follows farming, married Miss Mary SWARTZ and they have five living children, three sons and two daughters, and have also lost two daughters; 2) John is the second in order of birth; 3) Chris died at the age of 25 years; 4) Mary is the wife of Chris AHRENS, a resident farmer of Pecatonica Township, and they have five living children, and have lost one; 5) Sophia, the wife of Henry SASS, who follows farming in this township, and they have three living children, and have lost one.
John ANDERS, Jr., aving pursued his education in the schools of his native country, resolved, on attaining his majority, to seek his fortune in the new world. Accordingly he left Hamburg in Nov 1867, and by steamer crossed the Atlantic to NY City, where he remained for about a week. He then went up the Hudson River to Rondout [Ulster County] NY, where he spent one year, being employed in a brickyard. On the expiration of that period he made his way by rail to Winnebago County, and spent a month in Pecatonica, after which he went to Afton, Rock County, WI, where he became a farm hand in the employ of William H. ELDREDGE. After a year he returned to Pecatonica, and for two years operated land which he rented from Leroy KIDDER. He next rented the Ogden HANCE farm for four years, after which he purchased land from Caleb PALMER, becoming the owner of 120 acres, which is still in his possession. Later he bought 60 acres of Mr. EGGLESTON, 80 acres of Mr. ATWOOD, and also purchased 160 acres in ND, in 1902. The tract was partially improved, and is now rented, while his sons are operating his farms in this county. He owns altogether about 400 acres of fine farming land in Winnebago County. For a number of years he engaged in feeding and shipping stock, and has bred shorthorn cattle, also Durham and Holstein breeds. He has likewise raised high grades of horses and hogs, breeding draft horses. His farming interests have been carefully conducted and have brought him a high measure of success. He is an excellent judge of stock and moreover he is practical in his work, his labors therefore bringing him a rich financial reward.
On 24 Dec 1872, Mr. ANDERS was married to Miss Sophia MARTH, a daughter of Joseph and Dorothy (DIRSCHEN) MARTH, both of whom were natives of Germany, in which country the mother died. The father afterward came to America, arriving here about 1874. His daughter, Mrs. ANDERS, was already living here and subsequently a son and daughter came from the old country, while one son is still living in Germany. In the [p 416] family were five children, of whom four still survive: John, living in Seward Township, wedded Mary E. HACKER, and they have five children; Fred yet makes his home in Germany; Ricka died in this country; Mrs. ANDERS is the next of the family; Mary also died in Germany.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. ANDERS have been born nine children: 1) Bertha, born 02 Sep 1873, is the wife of Charles CASH, a resident farmer of Burritt Township, and they have one daughter, Violet; 2) Herman, born 17 Aug 1874, and living in Burritt Township, married Jennie LYD, and they have a son and daughter; 3) Emma, born 10 Jul 1876, is at home; 4) Minnie, born 21 Jun 1878, is the wife of Herman THEDORFF, and has a son and daughter, Harry and Helen; 5) Ida, born 21 Mar 1881, is filling a position as bookkeeper in Rockford; 6) John, born 15 Feb 1882, died in infancy; 7) Mollie, born 05 Dec 1883, is at home; 8) George, born 28 Jun 1886, is operating his father's farm in Burritt Township in connection with his brother; and 9) Rosa, born 30 Nov 1887, died 30 Nov 1893.
John ANDERS, active and interested in public affairs, has served for 22 years as school director, and has done effective service in behalf of education. He has also been commissioner of highways in Burritt Township for three years, and at the present writing is one of the trustees of the village of Pecatonica. His political allegiance has always been given to the Republican party, save when he voted for Grover Cleveland for the presidency. He and his family are members of the German Lutheran church. In his life he has displayed many of the strong sterling characteristics of the German people. He feels that he made no mistake in selecting this country as a place of residence, and as the years have gone by, through the improvement of business opportunities and unfaltering energy, he has worked his way steadily upward until through his farming operations and judicious investment he has become the owner of extensive and valuable landed interests. At the present time, leaving the active management of his farms to his sons, he is now enjoying a well earned rest in Pecatonica, and his life history stands in evidence of what may be accomplished when one has the will to dare and to do, and through well directed labor finds the success which is the goal of all business endeavor.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.