BRECH, JOHN C. - The well known resident of Virginia Precinct whose name constitutes the caption hereof, is considered one of the foremost farmers in township 18, range 10 N., Cass County. Having lived in this county all his life, he has here built up an enviable reputation as an enterprising and prosperous agriculturist, and as an honorable and worthy citizen of the community in which he has filled responsible local offices for a long period. Mr. Brech was born in Beardstown, Ill., September 2, 1860. He is a son of Charles C. and Catherine (Ulrich) Brech.
Charles C. Brech came from Westbaden, Germany, 1854, and went to work on a farm near Beardstown, and Catherine Ulrich, a native of the same city, came to the United States in the following year, and located also at Beardstown, where they were married. In 1868 they moved to Arenzville, which was their home until 1872, when Mr. Brech bought ninety-six acres in section 30, township 18, range 10, land that was partly improved. On this place Mr. Brech completed improvements, and carried on farming until he died, passing away in 1891. His first wife died in 1863, and Mr. Brech had taken for his second wife Carolina Tribswasser, who was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, and was brought to Cass County when two years old. The children of the first marriage were: Carrie and Philip, both deceased; Emma, Mrs. James A. Gleason, of Springfield, Ill.; John C.; and Lucy, deceased, who was Mrs. William Spengler. By the father's last marriage, the children were: Elizabeth, deceased, who was Mrs. Frank Baff; Tina, now Mrs. Charles Kruse, of Iowa; and Lena, now Mrs. Henry Schall, of Morgan County, Ill.
John C. Brech attended the district schools in his youth, and always resided at home with his father. On August 2, 1887, he was married to Hannah Rosina Bierhaus, who was born in Bluff Springs Precinct, Cass County, September 18, 1860, and is a daughter of Henry and Anna Clara (Pholey) Bierhaus, natives of Germany. Henry Bierhaus came by way of New Orleans to St. Louis, where he studied bookkeeping, but after a short time proceeded on to Beardstown, and in 1901 to Los Angeles, Cal., dying there January 5, 1903. His body was cremated. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Bierhaus were: Hannah Rosina; Elizabeth (Mrs. William Cramer), of Tacoma, Wash.; Henry, of Cass County, Ill.; Anna, of Los Angeles, Cal.; Edgar, of township 18, range 11, Cass County, Ill.; Milton and Louise, now Mrs. D. P. Proctor, of Los Angeles, Cal.
After his marriage Mr. Brech rented land one mile from the home place for a year, and then purchased a 40 acre farm adjoining the homestead. There he lived until 1896, when he moved into the paternal dwelling, where he has since continued to reside. He is the owner of 128 acres of land with two residences, one of them being a very picturesque cottage, which he has substituted for the home that was destroyed by fire July 31, 1913. He is engaged in raising grain.
Mr. and Mrs. Brech have three children: Myrtle, who is Mrs. Albert Buxton, of Cass County, Ill.; and Royal C. and Zella Louise, who are at home. The mother of this family is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In politics Mr. Brech is a Republican, and has rendered efficient service in several important local capacities. From 1899 until the present he has acted as highway commissioner; has held the office of county commissioner, and has served on the school board, and, in fact, so highly do his fellow citizens appreciate his services that they have kept him in public office almost continually since he was twenty-one years old. He is a member of the M.W.A. of Virginia, Ill.