Henry J. Gehner, Jr., has been a resident of macoupin county ever since his early childhood and the history of the agricultural interests of this section would be incomplete without adequate mention of the work he has accomplished. He was born in Morgan County, Illinois, April 18, 1861, and is now in the fifty-first year of his age. He can claim sturdy German ancestry on both sides of the house, being a son of Henry and Wilhelmina Mary (Schweppe) Gehner, both of whom were born in Germany. The father is now living on the home farm in Cahokia township and an interesting sketch of his career appears elsewhere in this work. The mother died in 1878, when the subject of this review was seventeen years of age.
As a member of a large family of children Henry J. Gehner, Jr., early learned lessons of industry and self-denial that proved of inestimable value to him in his maturer years. He received his preliminary education in the district schools and the Lutheran parochial schools of Mount Olive, and continued at home assisting in work upon the farm until after reaching his maturity. At the age of twenty-four years he was married and then purchased eighty acres of land in Cahokia township, upon which he took up his residence. During the time that has since passed he acquired more land and is now the owner of a farm of two hundred acres, which is one of the most highly improved places in the township. He also owns eighty acres in Mount Olive township and several town lots and three residences in Mount Olive. In addition to engaging in general farming he makes a specialty of breeding and raising fine horses and, as he is a good judge of animals and aims to keep fully abreast of the times, he ranks very high as a breeder. He has persistently and energetically followed his work and has met with merited recompense for his labors.
On the 19th of April, 1885, Mr. Gehner was married to Miss Harmina Arkebauer, a daughter of the late Meint Arkebauer, who was born in Germany and was one of the early settlers of Mount Olive township, macoupin County. to Mr. and Mrs. Gehner eight children were born, Lydia, Rosina, Amanda, Theodore, Paulina, Clara, Ida and Walter. All of the children are still living at home. The deepest sorrow that Mr. Gehner has known was occasioned by the death of his beloved wife, which occurred January 13, 1911. She was a woman of the most admirable traits of mind and character, and was greatly respected wherever she was known.
Politically Mr. Gehner adheres to the democratic party. he has served as road commissioner and also for several terms as member of the school board. He and his children are actively identified with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, of which he is one of the prominent supporters. His success has been gained by strictly legitimate and honorable methods and never in such a way as to injure others. Hence, he is greatly esteemed and his influence for good is felt throughout the region in which he has almost since his earliest recollection been a resident.