CONRAD E. HENSEN of the firm of Hensen Bros., a well-known resident of Virden was born near Hamburg, Germany, April 3, 1865. He is a son of Frederick and Lena (Westfall) Henson who were both natives of the same locality. The father of our subject learned the trade of a cabinet-maker, which he followed in his native land until 1868, and then with his family emigrated to America and made his new home in Geneseo, Henry County, Ill. There he followed his trade until 1888 and then went to Litchfield, and worked in the car shops for one year. He now makes his home with the son whose name heads this sketch.
The parents of our subject reared four children, Henry, Augusta, Conrad E. and Julia. Conrad was but three years old when he came to America with his parents. He received his education in the public schools of Geneseo. When he was a lad of fifteen years he began work in a creamery, finding work there a portion of each year for four years. The remainder of his time he found employment in dressing poultry for the market.
For three winters this young man was thus employed at Mattoon, Coles County, from there going to Chicago, leaving the latter place in 1887, to engage in the business for himself in Virden, buying eggs and shipping poultry. He formed a partnership with his brother Henry, under the firm name of Hensen Bros. With true German frugality and caution, they commenced their business in a small way, but have increased it from year to year and now have branch establishments at Litchfield, Carlinville, Palmyra and Carrollton and carry on a business of over $250,000 a year. In 1889 they erected a brick building in Virden, two stories in height and 34x70 in dimensions.
The marriage of Mr. Hensen, April 10, 1889, was an event of great interest in his life. His bride bore the maiden name of Margaret Gabel. She was born in Dorchester, Macoupin County, Ill., and is a lady of worth and intelligence who is a fit companion for this enterprising and upright citizen. One child has crowned this union, little Charlie, who is the darling of the home.