DANIEL DIEHL, an honored veteran of the Civil war who is equally loyal to his county in times of peace, and who is classed with the representative farmers of Menard county, was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, in 1834. He is a son of Henry C. and Hannah (Lease) Diehl, who were likewise natives of Berks county, Pennsylvania. The father's birth occurred in February, 1809. He was a son of John Adolph Diehl, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a grandson of Nicholas Diehl, a native of Germany. The last named came to America in colonial days and settled in Philadelphia. In his native country he had learned the baker's trade and after living in Philadelphia for a time he opened the first bakery ever conducted in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he remained until his life's labors were ended in death. When the country became involved in war with England he espoused the cause for the colonists and fought for the independence of the nation. His son John Adolph Diehl was a hotel keeper and became proprietor of the Black Horse tavern near Philadelphia. At a later date he removed to Oley Valley in the same county, where he carried on general farming until his death, which occurred when he was sixty-five years of age.
Henry C. Diehl, the father of our subject, spent the first eight years of his life in Philadelphia and afterward resided upon his father's farm until he had attained his majority. He became a farmer in Berks county, Pennsylvania, but on the 1st of April, 1845, he left the Keystone state for Ohio. This was about the time of the historic fire in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He stopped for a time at Johnstown and finally arrived in Pickaway county, Ohio, with fifty cents in his pocket. It was difficult for him to obtain employment and he gladly accepted any work that would yield him an honest living. Subsequently he engaged in farming there until April, 1851, when he again sought a home in a frontier district, this time working his way to Illinois. On the 18th of April of that year he located in Cartwright township, Sangamon county, where he carried on farming for several years. In 1858 he bought a farm of forty acres and later he purchased eighty-nine acres of land on the Sangamon river in Menard county. Upon the latter farm he resided until 1864, when he sold his property in this county and purchased twenty acres of land in Gardner township, Sangamon county. There he continued to reside until eighty-three years of age, when he returned to Menard county and died at the home of his son-in-law Tilmon Hornbuckle in July, 1893. In his political affiliation in early life he was a Whig and afterward became a Republican, giving loyal support to Lincoln. He held membership in the United Brethren church and his life was ever honorable and upright, his wife, who bore the maiden name of Hannah Lease, was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, and her father was likewise a native of that state, but her grandfather was of German birth and became the founder of the family in the new world. He, too, was one of the heroes of the Revolution. Mrs. Hannah Diehl died in December, 1883, at the age of seventy-eight years, at the home of her daughter Mrs. Tilmon Hornbuckle in Menard county.
They were the parents of seven children: John, who is living at Reading, Pennsylvania; Catherine, the wife of David Bartgis, of Cowley county, Kansas; Daniel; Harrison, who died May 5, 1854; Charles, who is living in Lewisburg, Kansas; Cinley, a resident of Springfield, and Mary E., who is the wife of Tilmon Hornbuckle, of Menard county.
Daniel Diehl spent his early life in Berks county, Pennsylvania, remaining there until ten years of age, and between the years 1845 and 1851 he resided upon his father's farm in Pickaway county, Ohio. In the latter year he journeyed with the family by boat to Beardstown, Illinois, and he resided between Ashland and Pleasant Plains in this state until 1854, when he went to Springfield. Prior to this time he had engaged in agricultural pursuits, but on removing to Springfield he followed the blacksmith's trade. At the time of the Civil war Mr. Diehl manifested his loyalty to the Union cause by active service in the army. He enlisted in October, 1861, as a member of the First Battalion of Yates Sharpshooters, afterward Company C, of the Sixty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He was mustered into service at Camp Butler as a corporal and proceeded with his company to Quincy, Illinois, and afterward to New Madrid, where he took part in a battle. He next engaged in the battle of Island No. 10, and later his and another company brought three thousand prisoners to Camp Butler. Mr. Diehl's regiment was subsequently sent to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, and he took part in the siege of Corinth and in a number of skirmishes. He was also at Iuka with Rosecrans and fought under that general in the battle of Corinth, October 3 and 4, 1862. His regiment remained there in camp until 1863, doing guard duty and was stationed to protect the rear of Sherman's army from the rebels at Pulaski, Tennessee. In January, 1864, Mr. Diehl veteranized and after a furlough of thirty days he rejoined his regiment, which was reorganized at Ottawa, Illinois. He and his comrades were dispatched to Decatur, Alabama, to join Sherman and they did some gallant service in the battles of Resaca, Ringgold, Dallas, Buzzard's Roost, Peachtree Creek, Kenesaw Mountain and Atlanta. In September, 1863, Mr. Diehl was detached as regimental blacksmith and served in that capacity until after the fall of Atlanta, when he was transferred to the supply train of the First Division of the Seventeenth Army Corps and went with Sherman on his famous march to the sea. He was next transferred to the First Brigade of the First Division of the Seventeenth Army Corps and with this command proceeded to Beaufort, South Carolina. He fought in the first engagement at Orangeburg, South Carolina, and for four days and four nights was in water from three to four feet deep. He fought at Goldsboro and after the surrender of Lee and Johnston he went to Washington, where he took part in the grand review, the most celebrated military pageant ever seen on the western hemisphere. He was mustered out at Louisville, July 11, 1865, and with a most creditable military record returned to his home, having been honorably discharged in Chicago.
Following his return home Daniel Diehl resumed blacksmithing and for many years was well known as the village blacksmith of Salisbury. There he carried on business with success for a long period, but now he is living a retired life in the enjoyment of a comfortable competence, which was gained through earnest labor. He was a skilled workman and because of the able service which he gave his patrons he secured a large trade that made his business profitable.
Mr. Diehl was married on the 22d of June, 1869, to Miss Eliza J. Stone, a native of Gardner township and a daughter of B.D. Stone, a native of Kentucky. They are the parents of five children: Oraette is the wife of F. Cutler, by whom she has three living children, Robert, Floy and Lorne, and they live in Bradfordton, Sangamon county. John H. married Nellie Mae Wood and lives in Athens. Allie D. is the wife of Charles Brown, also a resident of Athens. Katie L. married William C. Buerkett and has one daughter, Valera. They make their home in Salisbury. Viola M. completes the family.
Mrs. Diehl is a consistent member of the Christian church at Salisbury and Mr. Diehl is independent in both his religious and political views. While living in Sangamon county he served for twelve years as constable as an accommodation to the people of his locality, for the office paid small compensation. His has been an active and useful career and as a soldier and citizen he has made an honorable record.