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JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
BIOGRAPHIES

LENGFELDER BROTHERS



The three Lengfelder brothers, Charles R., Louis and Gustavus Adolphus, 
come of pure German stock, their father and mother both having the blood 
in their veins of that strain that has given to our country some of its 
finest men. They have brought to our nervous, excitable, enthusiastic 
race the deeper intellect and calmer temperament of an older nation, and 
to the thrift and stability and strength of character of the parents is 
owing in large measure the success of the children. They are the owners 
of one of the largest farms in the county, and make a specialty of breeding 
stock of the purest strains. One of the brothers is the leading poultry 
raiser west of the Alleghany ountains and is the largest known importer 
of Imperial Pekin ducks in the country. They have gone into the business 
of caring for and breeding animals in a scientific manner, and are constantly 
trying new methods and investing money in improvements that might benefit 
their business. It would appear that the busiest men are the very ones who 
have the most time for outside affairs, and these brothers are no exception. 
They are all prominent in the county affairs, political, educational or 
economic, and they have all held various offices, which they filled to the 
entire satisfaction of their fellow citizens. 

Karl Daniel Lengfelder was the founder of this family in America. He was 
born in Germany on the 17th of June, 1836, He was well educated in his 
native land, and came of one of the finest families in the country, and 
since he had perfected himself in bookkeeping and held a fine position in 
the treasury of his native city, everything pointed towards a peaceful life 
in the land of his nativity. But it was not to be; young Karl heard of that 
wonderful country where one could walk along the shore and pick up chunks 
of gold as large as one's fist, so nothing would do but that he should set 
out for that marvelous coast. His enthusiasm fired others and he had soon 
recruited quite a company, and in June, 1854, they landed in New Orleans 
with their faces turned toward the gold fields of California. At New Orleans 
they boarded a steamer and made their slow way up the Mississippi until 
they reached St. Louis. Here they were told of the long overland trip 
that took months, of the Indians, the sand storms, the scarcity of water, 
and then at the goal of the likelihood of their finding no gold. As it was 
life in the new country was difficult enough to the young foreigners, and 
the thought of attempting such a perilous trip, with their utter lack of 
experience in the country, induced them to abandon their scheme. Karl 
Lengfelder remained in St. Louis for one month, and then he located in St. 
Clair county, where he followed the trade of wagon making for some months. 
He soon gave this up and went to farming, working at various places until 
by dint of close economy he had saved enough to buy a farm of his own. He 
had his eye on a fine farm in St. Clair county, and had made all the 
preliminary arrangements when, fortunately for Jefferson county, the 
owner decided not to sell. Looking about for another location, Mr. Lengfelder 
was struck with the desirability of a farm of one hundred and thirty acres 
in Dodd's township and he, bought this property in August, 1880. The 
following winter, in February, he moved his family hither, and from that 
time he was uniformly successful, adding to his holdings until at 
the time of his death, in 1900, on the 4th of January, he owned four 
hundred acres. 

Mr. Lengfelder married Katherine Zinlich in May, 1867. She was the 
daughter of Conrad Zinlich and was born in Germany on the 2nd of 
November, 1844. She was brought to America by her parents when quite 
a small child, and lived until 1860 in Baltimore. At this time her 
family moved to Belleville, Illinois. It was while Mrs. Lengfelder 
was making a visit to an aunt in 1866 that she met Mr. Lengfelder, 
and they were married within a year. Eight children were born of 
this marriage, five of whom are living. These are Charles R., Louis F. 
and Gustavus Adolphus, who live on the old home place; Annie P., who 
is Mrs. Grant and lives in Jefferson county; and Henry W. The mother 
of this family is yet living, at the age of sixty-seven years. The 
eldest of the brothers is Charles R., who was born on the 28th of 
November, 1868, on a farm in St. Clair county, Englemen township. 
He was educated in the schools of St. Clair and Jefferson counties. 
All of his life has been given to farming, he and his brothers 
operating the original farm of four hundred acres, to which they 
have added until now the acreage is a thousand acres. Since 1896 they 
have devoted much of their time to the breeding of horses and cattle, 
and they are the pioneer importers of registered horses and cattle in 
Jefferson county. They breed not only registered horses and cattle, 
but also pedigreed hogs, sheep, and poultry. Charles R. is a loyal 
devotee of the fraternal orders of which he is a member. He is 
affiliated with the Masons of Mount Vernon and with the Knights of 
Pythias of the same place. His mother and father were both members 
of the German Evangelical church, but he is a member and sincere 
supporter of the First Presbyterian church of his home town. He has 
always been actively interested in politics and has done much to 
advance the cause of Republicanism in Jefferson county. He served 
as tax collector of Dodd's township for two terms, from 1894 to 
1898, and is now serving his second term as county supervisor. 
Educational progress has ever been of great interest to him, and 
he is now serving his fourth term as township school treasurer. 
He was a candidate for county treasurer and led his ticket in the 
field, the result of the election giving him two hundred votes ahead 
of his ticket. This is an example of the popularity of Charles 
Lengfelder. It is no wonder, however, that the people like him, for 
he throws his whole soul into whatever he may be doing and since 
he only stands for the cleanest sort of politics, his neighbors 
are always anxious to secure him for their representative. Gustavus
 Adolphus makes a specialty of poultry and is an expert in all that 
pertains to the raising and breeding of fowls of every description. 
His particular variety of chicken is the Barred Plymouth Rock, which 
as a general all round fowl is the most popular chicken among all 
breeders, therefore it is much more to his credit to have carried 
off so many prizes than if he were raising some less widely known 
breed, such as Lackenvelders. His Barred Rocks took practically every 
prize at the St. Louis Poultry Show in December, 1911, and repeated 
the same performance at the Illinois State Show. He also breeds 
Bronze Turkeys, English Toulouse Geese and White Imperial Pekin Ducks. 
His authoritative knowledge on this subject has been 
recognized in his election to the presidency of the Illinois State 
Poultry Association. 

Gustavus A. was born on the 2nd of March, 1882, in Jefferson county, 
and he acquired his education in the same county, attending the 
common schools. He married Mary Lurene Williams of Piatt county and 
they have one child, Elsa Lurene, aged three years. He is a Republican 
in his political affiliations, and has been an energetic party worker. 
For four terms he has served as tax collector of Dodd's township. He 
is now serving as school director. He is a life member of the American 
Poultry Association, and is much interested in the work which the 
association as doing for raising the standard of poultry throughout 
the country. Both he and his wife are members of the First Presbyterian 
church. Louis F. was born on the 5th of March, 1871, and lives with his 
brother Charles R. In addition to the education that he received in 
the common schools he attended the Normal College at Normal, Illinois. 
In his later life, after finishing his school work, he gave a great deal 
of his time to reading, so that now he is well educated and broadly read, 
therefore is a valuable force in the educational advancement of the 
community. He has clung to the faith of his fathers and is a member 
of the German Evangelical church. The Lengfelders breed Percheron 
horses, which they ship to all parts of the United States, handling 
from forty to fifty horses annually. Their cattle are of the Shorthorn 
breed, and during the season of 1911 they handled about a hundred head. 
In one year they ship about two hundred and fifty head of hogs, the 
Poland China being their favorite breed. They also devote onsiderable 
attention to the raising of Shropshire sheep, shipping about a hundred 
head annually. Live, stirring business men are these three brothers, 
who have brought to their business the valuable assets of well-developed 
minds and bodies, and who are showing day by day that the modern 
economic thinkers are right in their cry of Back to the farm, for they 
are proving that the life is not only independent and profitable, but 
requires the keenest brains and a large amount of originality. The 
monotony of the farm of fifty years ago,  that is the cause of so 
much of the congestion in our cities today, is a thing of the past. 
Science and pioneers like these three brothers, who were willing to 
go ahead and venture experiments without any certainty of the outcome, 
have together succeeded in giving to farm life the charm of new ideas 
and broader interests.


Source: History of Southern Illinois George Washington Smith, 
M. A. VOLUME I - III ILLUSTRATED 
THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY CHICAGO AND NEW YORK 1912 Page 1520 - 1522

Submitted by Robert W. Loman 


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