GEORGE RETZER, a representative farmer and stock-raiser residing on section 8, Carlin Precinct, Calhoun County, was born in Elk County, Pa., April 7, 1857, and is of German descent. His parents, Sebastian and Theresa (Schreiber) Retzer, were natives of Germany, and emigrated to this country in 1853. The year 1860 witnessed their arrival in this county, and locating in Carlin Precinct they have since resided upon a farm which they then purchased. Mr. Retzer is now the owner of several hundred acres of land, but to a great extent he has retired from active business life, and he and his worthy wife are enjoying the fruits of former toil. Their home is one of the best in the northern part of the county, and there, surrounded with the comforts of life, they expect to spend their remaining days. In politics he is a Democrat and one of the leading and influential citizens of the community. In religious belief both Mr. and Mrs. Retzer are members of the Roman Catholic Church. Their family once numbered nine children, but four are now deceased. The living are George of this sketch; John; Mary, wife of John Robeen; Theresa and William.
In presenting to the readers of this Album the biography of George Retzer, we record the life work of one of Calhoun County's most esteemed and valued citizens. In his youth he was not surrounded with the advantages which the lads of today enjoy. He only attended the common school during the winter season when his services were not needed on the farm, for as soon as he was old enough to reach the plow handles he entered upon the work which has been his business throughout life. Farming was then carried on with ox-teams, and following after those slow plodding animals, George traversed many an acre of his father's land, but industry and enterprise have at length receivai their reward.
Our subject is now the owner of a fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres which pay a golden tribute to the care and cultivation of the owner. Well tilled fields, good buildings and the latest improved machinery all plainly indicate the thrift and enterprise of Mr. Retzer, who now ranks among the well-to-do farmers of Calhoun County. He is also an enterprising and progressive citizen who gives his support to any movement calculated to promote the general welfare. In politics he is a Democrat, having supported that party since attaining his majority, and in religious belief both he and his wife are members of the Catholic Church. Their worth and ability are known to their many friends who hold them in high esteem.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Retzer was celebrated October 18, 1880. The lady was formerly Miss Mary Smith, daughter of Michael Smith, deceased, one of the early settlers of Calhoun County. An interesting family of two children grace their union: Gilbert, born December 16, 1888; and Mary Elizabeth, March 12, 1890. On another page of this volume will be noticed a view of the commodious residence and surroundings on the farm of Mr. Retzer.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 522-523
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