F. W. HARTKE. The members of a successful farming community are always depended upon to furnish the bone and sinews of our social, commercial and national life. A country, no matter how rich, which is under the control of unreliable and shiftless farmers can never help in building up villages, towns and cities which will prove of value to the world. The financial and social progress of Macoupin County has been largely increased by the influx into it in its early days, of such men as Mr. Hartke. This successful German farmer residing on section 13, Cahokia Township, has a well-improved farm of more than five hundred acres, upon which he has been residing for over eight years. His previous residence for the same length of time had been Mt. Olive, where he was engaged in general merchandising.
It was in 1866 that our subject first came to Macoupin County and after farming here for some time near Mt. Olive, he did business in St. Louis, Mo., in the wholesale and retail grocery trade. Later he returned to Mt. Olive, where he made his home until he came to Cahokia.
Mr. Hartke was born in Prussia, Germany, in Hanover Province, April 15, 1843. He came of good German stock and his parents, William and Minnie (Fromeman) Hartke, being natives of Prussia, where they lived and died, passing away when they had completed their three score years. They were engaged in agriculture throughout life and were sincere believers in the Christian faith, being members of the Lutheran Church. Our subject is one of a large family of children and he grew up in his native province. In 1863, when he was about twenty years old, he set out to the United States, embarking at Bremen in a sailing vessel, and landed in New York City after a five weeks' voyage. They still set their faces Westward, making St. Louis their objective point. Later he came to this county and made it his home.
It was on September 21, 1875, when young Hartke was married at Mt. Olive to Miss Minnie Kruse, who was born on her father's farm in Macoupin County, near Mt. Olive, November 15, 1856. She is the daughter of an old settler, Henry Kruse, now deceased, and of Mrs. Minnie Kruse, who is yet living on the old homestead. She is one of the large land owners in this county and in her declining years is able to surround herself with every comfort. The daughter was reared and educated in this county, and after the marriage with our subject became the mother of seven children, all of whom are still residing at home with their parents. They are namely: William H., henry W., Louis J., Anna W., Sophia F., Emma L. and August F. Mr. and Mrs. Hartke and their children are all devout Lutherans. Mr. Hartke's political views have led him to affiliate with the Republican party, in the progress and prosperity of which he feels a keen interest.