Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.PAGE 257
JOHN H. BEHRENS, who is extensively and successfully engaged in the raising of stock and in general farming in Greenview Township, was born on the 8th of February, 1865, in Menard county, and is of German lineage. His parents, Henry and Mary (Hildebran) Behrens, were both natives of Germany. The father, leaving that country sailed for New Orleans and thence proceeded up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri, while his wife, coming to America, made her way by water to Havana, Illinois. They were married in this state and in order to provide for his family Henry A. Behrens carried on agricultural pursuits. He worked hard and his careful management enabled him to acquire a handsome competence. As his financial resources increased he made judicious investments in real estate and became the owner of extensive landed possessions, having seven hundred and twenty acres at the time of his death, which occurred February, 1882. He had survived his wife for about three years, her death having occurred in February, 1879. They were the parents of five children, two sons and three daughters, of whom two sons and a daughter are now living, namely: John H.; William; and Mary, the wife of J. Wohler, of Menard county. An Uncle of Mr. Behrens of this review is still living. He is John Hildebrand, of Grundy County, Missouri, and on the 12th of August 1904, celebrated the seventieth anniversary of his birth. On that occasion a party was held in his honor, at which Mr. Behrens of this review was present.
Upon the old homestead farm John H. Behrens spent the days of his boyhood and youth and early became familiar with the duties and laborers that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. Since attaining his majority he has carried on the same pursuit and is now well known as a successful stock-raiser and feeder. He has about one hundred and fifty head of cattle upon his place at this writing, in the fall of 1904, together with ten head of horses and mules and about one hundred and twenty head of hogs. He has recently shipped sixty-five head to the Chicago market. His landed possessions comprise five hundred and five acres and because of his property and his business capacity and enterprise he deserves to be ranked among the leading and substantial agriculturists of the Menard County.
On the 22nd day of November, 1887, Mr. Behrens was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Stroker, daughter of Garrett and Julia (Miller) Stroker, in whose family were four daughters and a son, all of whom are living in this county with one exception: Lizzie, born June 20, 1862, is now Mrs. Behrens; Anna, born February 8, 1864, married William Behrens, a brother of John H. Behrens; Mary was born March 8, 1867; Mrs. Amelia Koester, born December 11, 1869, is living in Nebraska; Henry, born December 25, 1871, makes his home with his eldest sister. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Behrens have been born four children: George, born September 13, 1888; Edward, born Dec. 28, 1889; Franklin, born October 14, 1891; and Oscar, born July 9, 1899. The children have been reared upon the old home farm upon which their father spent his boyhood days and where he has always carried on his business interests.
Both Mr. and Mrs.Behrens are consistent and loyal members of the German Lutheran church, contributing generously to its support. In his political views he is a staunch Republican, keeping well informed on the questions and issues of the day and thus being able to support his position by intelligent argument. For the past twelve years he has been a school director and he is now road commissioner, a position which he has held at different times until his incumbency covers nine and a half years. In the discharge of his duties he has ever been prompt and faithful and all who know him recognized in him a man who is reliable and trustworthy in business, loyal in citizenship and devoted to his family and friends.