HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS
& HISTORY OF MORGAN COUNTY
Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1906.




PFEIL, JOHN C., (deceased), formerly a prominent and prosperous farmer and an inventor of some note, long a resident of Morgan County, Ill., was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, June 9, 1822. He had a fair business education there when a boy, and began working at the tailor's trade. In 1840, after the death of his mother, with his father, three brothers and three sisters, he came on a sailing vessel to America, the voyage consuming several weeks. The names of the other children were as follows: Margaret, who married Henry Smith; Catherine, Wife of Conrad Dowd; Henry; Conrad; Maria, Mrs. John Long. The family finally reached Cincinnati, where the father died. After remaining a short time in that city, John C. Pfeil came to Beardstown, Ill., where he worked at his trade and clerked in a store. There he was taken sick with typhoid fever. About 1850 he moved to a farm, which he cultivated until his death. At first he bought 40 acres, and from time to time added to this tract until he owned over 300 acres in the home farm. Besides this he was the owner of considerable land in Kansas.

In 1867 Mr. Pfeil patented the gang plow, which he manufactured on the farm. For his patent he was once offered $50,000, which he refused. He also invented the roller cutter, and a sulky plow, ll of these implements being manufactured on his farm.

On December 22, 1847, Mr. Pfeil was married to Amanda Christiana Hamaker, a daughter of David and Sarah (Ream) Hamaker. Her father, who was born March 2, 1795, came to this section in 1830 with a team of horses and a few cows, and settled in North Prairie, Cass County. Mr. Hamaker bought a land claim with a one-room cabin, and lived in that vicinity many years. He died at Augusta, Ill., August 29, 1863, his wife who was born December 28, 1810, having preceded him October 24, 1855. Mrs. Pfeil was the eldest child born to her parents, the others being as follows: John, who was born October 26, 1830, and died in Oklahoma; Daniel H., born August 9, 1844, who was a soldier and died during the Civil War; and Catherine, who was born May 19, 1848, and married John Seckler, of Leavenworth, Kans.

The union of Mr. And Mrs. Pfeil resulted in eleven children, eight of whom are living, viz.: Maggie, wife of G. B. Rawlings, of Morgan County; Herman C., who lives in Seattle, Wash.; Edward, of Arenzville, Ill.; John W., who is on the home farm; Catherine A., wife of James Caldwell, who is with her mother; James C., who operates a part of the home farm; Amanda C., who lives at home; and Charles O., an architect of Memphis, Tenn. Those deceased are: Sarah E., who married Frank Hackman, and died in 1903; and Henry D. and Ross, both of whom died young. Mrs. Pfeil is a member of the Methodist Church. The father of this family was a man of strong mind, sound information and notable force of character, being religiously reared in the Lutheran Church. His death occurred July 31, 1884, and his loss was greatly lamented throughout the region which he did so much to develop. His remains are interred in Arenzville Cemetery.


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