MEINT ARKEBAUER, who owns and operates a fine farm of two hundred and eighty acres on section 10, Mt. Olive Township, is numbered among the substantial and respected citizens of this community and his property has all been acquired since he came to this county in 1855. In addition to the homestead, he owns forty acres of land adjoining the village of Mt. Olive and a timber tract of one hundred acres. His home and the other buildings upon the farm are first-class in every particular. His fields are well tiled and the stock which he raises is of excellent grades. He is a progressive yet practical farmer, and the success which has attended his efforts is due to himself alone. He may therefore truly be called a self-made man.
Mr. Arkebauer was born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, September 8, 1828, and is a son of Harmon and Anna (Johnson) Arkebauer, who were also natives of Hanover, where they were born, reared and married. After the birth of all of their children, the family started for America in the autumn of 1846, taking passage upon a sailing vessel, the "Averhardt." On crossing the channel they encountered a severe storm and were forced to remain at Portsmouth, England, thirty days for repairs. At length, after a tedious voyage, they reached New Orleans in safety, fifteen weeks having elapsed since they left home.
Coming up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, a few months were spent in that city, during which time two of the nine children died. Their next place of residence was on a farm in Moro, Madison County. They lived on a farm belonging to Samuel Dorsey for about five years and then came to Mt. Oliver, where the father died in 1857, at the age of sixty years. His wife survived him some years and met her death in 1886, while crossing the railroad track of the Wabash line. A fast passenger train struck her, killing her instantly. She was then eighty-four years of age. They were both members of the Lutheran Church and were people whose worth and ability won them many friends.
The subject of this sketch was the second of the family. When a youth he accompanied his parents to this country and was residing in Madison County when he attained his majority. Not long afterward he led to the marriage altar Miss Tette Keiser, who was born in Hanover, and when a young lady came to America in 1854. After living in Madison County for some time she removed to this county with her parents, John and Johana (Jerguna) Keiser, both of whom are now deceased. They lived to quite an advanced age, the mother having reached her eighty-second year at the time of her death. Both were communicants of the Lutheran Church. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Arkebauer were born six children, four of whom are yet living - Johanna, wife of Fred Druster, of Mt. Olive; Harmina, wife of Henry Gebner, a resident farmer of Cahokia Township; and Anna and John H., who are yet at home. The former attends to the household duties, while the latter assists his father in the operation of the farm. The two children, Anna and Herman H., are now deceased.
In 1874 Mr. Arkebauer was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died at the age of thirty-eight, after a happy wedded life of seventeen years. She was a Christian woman, a member of the Lutheran Church and in her death her neighbors lost a faithful friend and her family a loving and tender wife and mother. Mr. Arkebauer and the children are all members of the Lutheran Church and constitute one of the respected families of this community. In politics he is a Republican.