John Hench, a leading farmer of the township of Byron, came hither in the spring of 1853, and about 1860 commenced his agricultural operations on a comparatively small scale, by the purchase of 80 acres of land, on which he has managed his affairs with the most unqualified success, and is now the owner of 202 acres of land, which is in good condition for practical and successful farming.
He was born in January, 1824, in Perry Co., Pa. His father, John Hench, Sr., was a native of the city of Philadelphia, the latter being the son of George Hench, who was a native of Holland, and who came from his native country to America when a young man, accompanied by six brothers and several sisters. The brothers served the country of their adoption in the cause of the Revolutionary struggle, and there is a tradition that five of the number lost their lives in the period of that valorous patriotism which established the Republic. George Hench was a Fifer in the command of Gen. George Washington, and after the termination of the war, settled in Perry County, where he remained till his death. He followed the plow and there reared his sons. John Hench, Sr., was there married to Miss Sally Pardon, also a native of the same county. After making ready yo locate and take his part in the scenes of active existance, he bought a tract of land in the county in which he was born and raised, which contained 260 acres, which made him a prominent farmer there. It was all in timber and he cleared a home, where he resided till his death, in 1865, the death of his wife occurring in or about 1838. To them were born 11 children, as follows: Margaret, who married Philip Leonard, and died in her native county; Catherine married Robert Robinson, and lived in Waterloo, Pa.; Mary married William Thompson, and resides in Newport, Pa.; Jane, wife of David Leonard, is deceased, dying in the county in which she was born; William is a resident there; John is the next in order of birth; Letitia married William Kerlan, of Juniata Co., Pa; Sarah is the wife of Henry Bixler, of the county of her birth; Ross is a resident on the old homestead on which his father was born; George is deceased; and a sister died in infancy.
Mr. Hench lived at home until the death of his mother, in 1838, when he engaged with a farmer in the neighborhood as an assistant. His marriage took place Feb. 15, 1851, and Miss Grace Bull became his wife. She is the daughter of John and Jane (Wray) -(believe that should be Jane Linn), and the family is represented by the sketch of a brother of Mrs. Hench, on another page. He and his wife removed to Illinois in the month of April succeeding their union in marriage, and came with the family of her father, John Bull. They settled on a part of the homestead of the latter, and commenced the world with the possession of two cows and a pair of oxen, Mr. Hench residing on the same place seven years and making a success of his efforts. He procured the means to pay for the 80 acres with which he first commenced his independent farming, and which was located on section 11 in the township that became "Byron", on arriving at municipal dignity. His increased estate is in a most promising condition, and is in appearance and value a credit to the owner's good sense, industry, and judgement. The barn on the place was erected in 1878 and is, in all respects, a good structure for the purposes of a farm. The dwelling is of more than ordinary pretensions and was built in 1882.
The children of the household number seven-William, married Sarah Taylor, his wife is deceased, and left a child named Grace, he next married Miss Eudora Murphy; Jennie L., who is at home and lives with her parents; John B. is a practicing physician in Hinsdale, DuPage Co., Ill. The others are named, respectively, Robert H., Thomas M., Sally B., and A. Lincoln. The mother is a member of the Presbyterian Church. John B., the second son, married Helen Bebb, the grand-daughter of ex-Governor Bebb of Ohio, who was subsequently an extensive landholder in Winnebago and Ogle Counties, and of whom an extended account appears elsewhere in this work.
Mr. Hench has led an active and prosperous career, and can look back over it with the conscious pride that the years have not been misspent.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Ogle Co., IL, Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL, 1886, page 214
Return to Ogle Co. Genealogy Site