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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


WILLIAM F. DETERDING is successfully engaged in the occupation of a stock-raiser and farmer on section 24, township 16, and range 12. He is a native of Illinois, having been born in Jacksonville, Oct. 29, 1849. There is a class of foreign born citizens, who after emigrating to America, stand in their own light by immediately settling down in the large cities. Here they live in squalor and dependence all their lives. But there is another class, and notably among the Germans, who use better judgment. They push out to the Western country where land is cheap, and there rear homes for themselves and children that will always remain a monument to their foresight and industry. The younger generation that succeeds this class of pioneers reaps the benefits of the sacrifices made by its ancestors, and the men ultimately become the leaders of their community in the way of possessing goods of this world. Morally they are the superior of the descendants of those who remain in the large cities and consequently are better citizens. Mr. Deterding is one of the younger generation referred to. He is the son of George (deceased) and Louisa Deterding, who were natives of Germany, and who were married in their native land. They emigrated to America and settled in Jacksonville, Ill., when there were but three houses there, and have witnessed the transformation of a wild prairie to a busy, bustling city.

George Deterding, the father of the one whose name appears at the head of this sketch, worked for many years on the Wabash Railroad, between Jacksonville and Quincy, and while so doing resided in Jacksonville. He subsequently purchased a farm on section 10, township 16 and range 12, and lived there until his death, which occurred shortly after purchasing the farm. His record was that of one of the best citizens of Jacksonville, and as a pioneer he ranked among the first. He was the father of five children: Louisa, wife of William Krona, they are now residing in Cass County, this State; William F., Caroline, wife of John Aufdenkamp, who are residents of Seward, Neb.; Margaret wife of Frederick Maner. They are living in Cass County, Ill.; George is living in Missouri.

The mother of the subject of this sketch again married, taking for her second husband Henry Wegehoft, by whom she has had three children. Two are living: Mary, wife of John Musch, residing in this county, and Addie who is at home. In the death of the senior Deterding, Morgan County was deprived of a good man. He came to this country without means, and from a very small beginning accumulated a good property and left his family in comfortable circumstances. He was entitled to the distinction of being one of the very foremost of the German pioneers who came early to Morgan County, and his acquaintance was extensive. He died in the faith of his fathers, that of the Lutheran Church.

William F. Deterding as has been before stated, was reared to manhood under adverse circumstances, as the life of a pioneer is not conducive to the gaining of an education or a knowledge of the world. He is not obliged to indulge in any flight of imagination when he says that this part of the country was at one time a wilderness, and that wild game was abundant, notably deer, and that he has seen numbers of this game where now are herds of cattle. When he was a boy, schools and churches were scarce, now educational and religious advantages are to be found on every hand. He was married Feb. 14, 1878, to Miss Dora Bayless, daughter of John Bayless, by whom he has had four children: Della, Elton, Alma and George. He owns a good farm of 160 acres, under first class cultivation, and the buildings are in keeping with the place. He has accumulated all of this property by his own efforts, assisted by his wife.

Mr. Deterding belongs to the German Lutheran Church. Politically, he is a Democrat but does not take any active part in politics. In summing up his history it may be said that he is a successful man and a good citizen.

1889 Index
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