JOHN KNEESE is a fine representative of the German element that has been so prominent in developing the agricultural interests of this State and is numbered among the prosperous farmers of Hardin Precinct, Calhoun County. He was born in Hanover, Germany, March 1, 1845, and is a son of John H. Kneese, a native of the same place. Grandfather Anton Kneese was also born there, and was a life-long resident of Hanover where he was engaged as a farmer. The father of our subject was reared in the place of his nativity where he still resides, and learned the trade of a butcher, which he carried on in connection with farming.
Our subject and his brother, Henry Andrew, were the only members of the family who came to the United States and both reside in Hardin Precinct. John Kneese attended school from the age of six to the age of fourteen years and gleaned an excellent education. He assisted his father on his farm and remained an inmate of the parental home until he was twenty-one years of age. He then became a soldier in the German Army in accordance with the laws of the land, and during his six months service took part in the war between Hanover and Prussia, and was engaged in several battles. After leaving the army he came to the United States in 1866, and upon reaching this country made his way to Calhoun County where his half-sister lived.
Mr. Kneese commenced life here as a farm hand, working by the month, and continued thus employed until he settled on the place where he now resides. He has three hundred and twenty acres of fine land, a part of it lying in the Illinois River bottom, and as fertile and productive as can be found in the State. He has placed it under good tillage and has on it good buildings and all necessary improvements to make it a desirable farm. A view of his fine residence will be noticed elsewhere in this volume.
Mr. Kneese took unto himself a wife April 22, 1873, in the person of Miss Caroline Schleeper, who has been of great assistance to him in his work. She is a native of this county and a daughter of Henry and Catherine Schleeper. For her parental history see biography of Henry Schleeper, on another page of this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Kneese have four children, namely, Katie, Annie, Harman and Lucy. The family are members in high standing of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Mr. Kneese is a man of good capacity, thrifty, energetic, hard-working and is considered one of our most useful citizens.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, page 560.
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