JOHN RETZER, the popular and efficient Postmaster of Cliffdale, has the honor of being a native of Calhoun County, which is still his home. He was born January 12, 1862, and is a representative of one of the early and highly respected families of the community. His parents Sebastian and Theresa Retzer, natives of Germany, emigrated from the Fatherland to America, and settled in Elk County, Pa., whence they came to Calhoun County, Ill., at an early day. Both are still living and their home is the farm on which they located on their arrival in 1860. It was then in its primitive condition, not a furrow having been turned or an improvement made, but with the assistance of his sons, Mr. Retzer transformed the wild land into a rich and fertile farm, and subsequently added to his possessions which now aggregate several hundred acres. His residence is one of the finest in the northern part of the county and in that home which is supplied with all the comforts of life he and his wife expect to spend their remaining days surrounded by the loving care and interest of children and friends. Of their family, George and John are farmers of this county; Mary is the wife of John Robeen; Augustine is deceased; Theresa and William complete the number.
John Retzer, whose name heads this sketch, has been known to the people of this county from early boyhood and a life unmarked by trickery or unscrupulous dealing, but characterized by honesty and integrity, has made him many friends. In his youth he assisted in the cultivation of the old homestead, and acquired his education in the log schools which were common at that day, and such as those in which many of our men of national reputation acquired their rudimentary knowledge. Throughout his business career he has engaged in farming. He chose as a helpmate on life's journey Miss Mary Benz, daughter of John Benz of Carlin Precinct, the wedding ceremony being performed on the 16th of April, 1885. They have become the parents of three children, two of whom are living: John was born on March 23, 1887; Otis was born October 2, 1888; one child died in infancy.
Mr. Retzer is now the owner of three hundred acres of land, constituting a farm which is second to none us regards the neatness with which it is kept and the high state of cultivation under which it has been placed. The reader will notice on another page a view of his finely improved homestead. His property is the work of his own hands, and is but the just reward of his industry and unceasing activity. In politics he marches in line with his worthy father, holding aloft the banner of Democracy. He has served as School Director of his district, and in 1887 was appointed Postmaster of Cliffdale, which position he still occupies as the result of faithful and prompt discharge of duty. Both he and his wife are members of the Catholic Church of Kampsville.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 474-475
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