HENRY R. STUTSMAN, a leading farmer of Girard Township, his well-improved and well-managed homestead being on section 30 was born on a farm three and one-half miles southeast of the town of Goshen, Elkhart County, Ind., May 2, 1846. His father, Jacob Stutsman, was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, in September, 1815, a son of Samuel Stutsman, one of the pioneers of that section of the country, who was a Pennsylvanian by birth, and of German antecedents. He was reared and married in the Keystone State, and removed from there to Ohio in the early years of the settlement of Montgomery County. He purchased a tract of forest, built a shelter for his family, and in due time cleared a farm from the wilderness. In 1833 he removed from there to Elkhart County, Ind., where his remaining days were spent. The maiden name of his wife was Magdalena Ulery. She was born in Pennsylvania and died in Elkhart County, Ind.
Jacob Stutsman was a youth of eighteen years when he went with his parents to their new home in the wilds of Indiana. He inherited a portion of his father's farm, bought other land adjoining, and resided there until 1868, when he came to Macoupin County. He bought two hundred and eighty acres of land in Girard Township, including the farm now owned by our subject, and he was prosperously engaged in agriculture until his death in 1871. His wife bore the maiden name of Hannah Studebaker, and she was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, May 19, 1819. Her father was Jacob Studebaker, and he was a native of Pennsylvania. He was a son of David Studebaker, who is supposed to have been born in Lancaster County, Pa., of German parentage. He became a pioneer of Montgomery County, Ohio, in an early day, and there died in the fullness of time.
Jacob Studebaker, grandfather of our subject was a carpenter. In 1816, with his wife and the one child that had been born to them in their old home, he went to Ohio and settled among the pioneers of Montgomery County, where he bought a tract of land. When not engaged at his trade, he devoted his time to the improvement of a farm. In 1830 he emigrated to Elkhart County, Ind., where the Indians predominated, as there were but few white settlers. He bought a piece of land two miles northwest of Goshen, on the Elkhart River. He improved the water power by building the first mill for the manufacture of lumber ever erected in that section of the country. He did a great deal towards the upbuilding of that county in his capacity as a skillful carpenter, as it was he who erected the first Court House in Goshen, and many other buildings were the work of his hand. He resided in that locality until his demise. The maiden name of his first wife was Esther Leer, and she was a daughter of Jacob and Lydia Leer. She was born in Pennsylvania and died in Montgomery County, Ohio, her death occurring in February, 1827. The mother of our subject still makes her home on the old homestead with her son.
Henry Stutsman grew to man's estate in his native county. After marriage he purchased a farm east of Girard, but after living on it two years, he sold it, and bought a tract west of Girard. He did not, however, settle upon that at once, but devoted himself to the lumber business at Girard five years, and the following four years was connected with the creamery in the same village. he then located on the old homestead, where he has since engaged in agricultural pursuits, carrying on his operations skillfully, industriously, and with good profit. He is an honest, upright man, kind and neighborly in his relations with his fellow-citizens, and none know him but to esteem him. He and his family are worthy members of the German Baptist Brethren Church.
Mr. Stutsman was first married in 1868 to Miss Mary Miller. She was born in Elkhart County, Ind., and died at Girard in 1881, leaving six children - Ella, Emma, Charles, Asa A., Maude and Thomas. The second marriage of our subject was in 1883 to Miss Susie Frantz, a native of Clarke County, Ohio. Her father, Joseph Frantz, was born in Virginia, and removed from there to Ohio, locating in Clarke County, where he bought and improved a farm, on which he spent the remainder of his life. The maiden name of his second wife, mother of Mrs. Stutsman, was Catherine Neher. She was born in Clarke County, and was a daughter of Henry and Susan (Frantz) Neher, the latter a native of Virginia. Mrs. Stutsman's grandparents were early pioneers of Clarke County, Ohio. She was only three years old when her parents died, and she lived with her maternal grandparents until she was thirteen, when she went to live with an uncle, with whom she came to Illinois when she was seventeen years of age. Her marriage with out subject has brought them three children - Fred, Verner and Sylvia P.