FERDINAND STRATMANN is a representative and successful farmer of Honey Point Township, his farm consisting of two hundred and forty acres of well improved land. He is a native of Prussia, the date of his birth being November 11, 1828. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all natives of the German Fatherland. The latter, William Stratmann, was a farmer, and was a member of the militia. He was a life long resident of Prussia. His son John, grandfather of our subject, also followed farming, and likewise belonged to the militia. His life was wholly passed in the land of his nativity.
Joseph Stratmann, father of Ferdinand, was reared, married and always lived in Prussia. For a time he served in the regular army. He bought a tract of land near the village of Buraru, and there engaged in agricultural pursuits until death closed his mortal career. He was the father of five children.
Ferdinand Stratmann was the only one of the family who came to America. He attended school from the age of seven until he was fourteen years old and then gave his father his assistance on the farm. In 1849 he enlisted in the Prussian army, and after serving faithfully three years was honorably discharged with a good record as a soldier. He was offered a commission if he would continue in the service, but he refused. His thoughts had already turned toward the United States of America, the Mecca of so many of his countrymen, and February 26, 1853, he set sail for this country on the ship "Rebecca", and landed at New Orleans the 7th of the following May. His entire wealth at that time consisted of $50, but he had health, muscle and good habits to rely upon, and was therefore well prepared to counter whatever might befall him in the struggle to better his condition. From the Crescent City he went to St. Louis, the trip consuming one week's time, and from there he went to Alton, where he hired out as a teamster at a pottery for three years. At the expiration of that time he rented his employer's farm for a term of nine years. In 1865 he bought a farm of one hundred acres in Montgomery County, but after living on it two years he sold it, and purchased a farm of eighty acres on section 36, Honey Point Township. He was very successful in his farming operations and made money enough to buy another farm of one hundred and sixty acres on the same section. Later he traded the first farm for the one he now occupies on section 25, of the same township, which compares favorably in point of cultivation and improvement with any in its vicinity.
September 21, 1856, Mr. Stratmann was married to Miss Dina Bartman, who was also a native of Prussia. Five sons were born of their happy union, as follows, - Joseph, Charles, John, William and Tony. November 27, 1872, death crossed the threshold of the home of our subject and took from it the beloved wife and mother. Though her life was closed ere it had passed its meridian she left behind her a goodly record in all the relations that she sustained towards others, and her memory is cherished in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. Mr. Stratmann has always been a great reader, and as he possesses a clear brain is well posted on general subjects. He is both a good German and English scholar, and appreciating the value of a good education has given his children every advantage in his power to secure one, besides assisting them financially to start in the battle of life. He bears a fine character among his neighbors and associates for the undoubted probity of his character and in him the St. Aloysius Catholic Church at Litchfield finds one of its most valued members.