Henry W. Leifheit, ‘mine host" of the Clinton House at Waterman, is the son of Henry and Frederica (Hartman) Leifheit. There were natives of Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1852, settling in Yorkville, Kendall County, this State. The following spring, 1853, they came to this county and located in Somonauk Township, where they resided for two years, and then returned to Kendall County. Four years later they returned to Somonauk, resided there two years and then moved into Clinton Township, where they are at present residing. They were the parents of nine children: Henry W., August, William, Fred, Herman, Caroline, Alvina, Anna and Minnie.
Henry W. Leifheit was born in Germany, Dec. 4, 1840, and was 12 years of age when he crossed the ocean with his parents. He remained with them on the farm, assisting his father in its cultivation and taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by the common schools, until he attained the age of maturity. On reaching that age, he rented a farm in this county, on his own responsibility, and successfully cultivated the same for four years. His next move was to Iroquois County, this State, where he bought a farm, on which he resided for seven years. Selling his farm, he purchased a hotel in the village of Ashkum, that county, and for one and a half years was engaged as landlord of the same. He then sold his hotel and came to Clinton Township and engaged in the saloon business. He continued in the latter business for three years, until 1877, then sold and purchased the hotel at Waterman, of which he is at present proprietor. His hotel is known as the "Clinton House," and is conducted in a manner entirely satisfactory to his guests. He is as genial and gentlemanly as one could wish to meet, and the pains he takes to attend to the wants of his guests and make their stay at his hotel pleasant is appreciated, as instanced by his constantly increasing business.
Mr. Leifheit was united in marriage in Oswego, Kendall Co., this State, Nov. 25, 1860, to Miss Joanna Wollenweber, daughter of Earnest and Hattie Wollenweber, natives of Germany, in which country her father died. Her mother came to this country with her children, in 1857. They had nine children, namely: Earnest, Augusta, Henry, William, Joanna, Charles, Minnie, Carrie and Eureka.
Mrs. Leifheit was born in Germany Dec. 30, 1840, and came to the United States with her mother in 1857 as stated. She is the mother of 10 children by Mr. L., namely: Willie, born July 16, 1862; Emma, Dec. 11, 1863; George W., April 10, 1865; Albert, Aug. 26, 1867; Ida, Jan. 16, 1870; Millie, March 21, 1872; Emmett, Feb. 4, 1874; Della, March 3, 1877; Carrie, Aug. 4, 1879; and Jessie M., Dec. 22, 1881. William, Emma and Ida are deceased.
Mr. Leifheit is a member of Lodge No. 580, I.O.O.F., and politically is identified with the Democratic Party.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of DeKalb Co.