HENRY J. EICHENAUER, who for many years has been connected with farming interests in Menard county, is the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of fine land in townships 18 and 19. His farm is well improved with modern equipments, the pleasant residence being surrounded by fine trees and a well kept lawn. In the rear stand good barns and other necessary outbuildings, and these in turn are surrounded by well kept fields and pastures, the latter containing a high grade of stock and, taken altogether, his is one of the best farms of the county. Mr. Eichenauer is now building a fine modern residence in Petersburg at a cost of five thousand dollars and will occupy the same by the 5th of March, 1905.
As his name indicates, Mr. Eichenauer is of German lineage. He was born in the fatherland, August 22, 1854, his parents being John and Mary (Bernhard) Eichenauer, both of whom were natives of the same county, whence they came to America in 1860, sailing from the German port to New Orleans. The father was a wagon-maker by trade and while in New Orleans he was forced into the rebel army, ten soldiers riding up to his home on horseback and taking him to the Confederate camp. He was kept there until the surrender of the city. He afterward worked at his trade for the government and in 1865, on the first boat that went up the river to St. Louis, he made his way to that city. Subsequently he went to Beardstown, Illinois, where he engaged in farming, there purchasing a tract of land which he continued to cultivate until 1892, when he sold that property and removed to Bath, Mason county, where he is still engaged in farming, although he has reached the age of eighty years, his birth having occurred in 1824. His wife, who was born May 15, 1827, died January 24, 1903.
Henry J. Eichenauer pursued his education in the German Lutheran schools of New Orleans and of Beardstown, Illinois, and in his youth was trained to habits of industry and economy upon the home farm, gaining practical knowledge of all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He continued to assist his father until about twenty-five years of age, when he rented a farm in Cass county, Illinois, whereon he lived for three years. In 1883 he removed to Menard county, where he again rented land for two years and then with the capital that he had saved with his earning he made investment in property, becoming the owner of three hundred and eight acres a quarter of a mile from Oakford, Illinois. There he followed farming with success until 1889, when he sold that property and bought two hundred and forty acres where he now lives. To this he has since added an eighty-acre tract and has developed the entire place into a splendid farm property. In connection with the raising of grain he has always engaged in the raising of mules and horses, making a specialty of saddle and trotting horses. He also raises shorthorn cattle and his business has been so carefully conducted that it has become quite profitable and he is now one of the substantial citizens of his community. On the 5th of July, 1904, the train on which he was riding was blown from the track by a cyclone and Mr. Eichenauer barely escaped with his life.
The marriage of Mr. Eichenauer occurred on the 22d of February, 1880, the lady of his choice being Miss Michal Hickey, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann (Armstrong) Hickey, the latter a daughter of Jack and Hannah Armstrong, at whose home Abraham Lincoln was frequently entertained. Joseph Hickey was born in Tennessee and became one of the pioneer residents of Cass county, Illinois, which was the birthplace of his wife. Both are now deceased, but for many years they were numbered among the respected and worthy citizens of their locality and assisted materially in its early development. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Eichenauer have been born four children: Charles H., born August 8, 1881, in Cass county; Anna Marie, born in Menard county, June 24, 1884; Helena Edith, born in Menard county, March 22, 1886; and George Herbert, born on the old homestead, December 30. 1891. Mr. Eichenauer is a member of the German Lutheran church at Petersburg, while his wife belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian church there. For several terms he has served as a member of the school board and his interest in public measures has been manifest by tangible support of all movements, which he believes will benefit the county. He has been found reliable in his business life and trustworthy in friendship and because of his excellent traits of character receives the warm regard of many with whom he has been associated.