GEORGE M. POPE has been a resident of Calhoun County a quarter of a century, and within that time has improved a good farm and has placed himself among the solid men of Hamburg Precinct, where he is actively engaged in his business as a farmer and stock-raiser. He is a native of Bavaria, Germany, and was born March 15, 1833, to John Z. and Barbara (Ernst) Pope, who were also Bavarians by birth. His early life was passed in the land of his nativity and his education was conducted in its excellent schools, where he not only became conversant with the common branches but was taught Latin and French, and since coming to this country has added to his linguistic accomplishments by becoming a good English scholar. At the age of fourteen he began to learn the trade of a carpenter and joiner, serving an apprenticeship of four years. For a short time he followed his calling as a journeyman in Germany, and then in the fall of 1852, ambitious to improve his prospects and to make more of life than he could in his native Bavaria he emigrated to America, taking passage at Hamburg on a sail vessel and landing in New York City after a voyage of thirty days. He made his way to Detroit, Mich., where he remained a short time and then secured employment as a carpenter on the Great Western Railroad then being built, and was thus engaged about six months. As soon as navigation opened on the lakes he went to the Lake Superior region and carried on his trade there, being employed as a mining carpenter. He worked in that capacity some ten years and in 1864 went to St. Louis, Mo., where he carried on his trade one year.
In 1865 our subject became a resident of Calhoun County, locating then on his present farm in Hamburg Precinct. In 1872 he returned to Germany and for some three months enjoyed himself among the pleasant scenes of his childhood. In 1885 he revisited his old home, making a stay there of three months and then returned to his adopted country, where he had formed many pleasant ties and with which he had many pleasant associations. He married in January, 1854, taking as his wife Catherine Brown, a native of Germany, and their happy union was productive to them of seven children of whom the following four are living: Alice, wife of F. M. Hasty, of Calhoun County; Emma, Helen and Rosa. In the month of March, 1873, the home of our subject was desolated by the death of his beloved wife who had shared with him the joys and sorrows of life for nearly twenty years, and had been a loving companion and devoted friend, and to their children a wise and gentle mother.
When Mr. Pope came to Hamburg Precinct and settled on his land it was in a wild state, and it is only by hard and well-directed labor that he has been able to place it under fine cultivation and make it one of the well-improved farms of the precinct. It comprises one hundred and sixty acres of land whose well-tilled fields yield abundant harvests. There was much timber standing on the land when he took possession of it and he cut and took away from it seven hundred cords of wood. He is carrying on his farming interests very profitably and has a comfortable income from the proceeds of his labor. He is a man of good mental caliber, possessing decided opinions of his own and having broad views of life. In politics he is independent, always voting for the man and not for the party. He has done good service in Hamburg Precinct as School Trustee, and never fails to give his support to whatever will advance education and religion in his community. He is a Swedenborgian in his religious belief and is in every way a man of true integrity.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 478-481
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