Calhoun County

1891 Biography - John Simon

JOHN SIMON is a worthy member of the farming community of this county, and is industriously pursuing his vocation in Richwoods Precinct, Calhoun County, where he has a good farm and a comfortable home. He is a Bavarian by birth and was born December 21, 1828. His father, Andrew Simon, was a farmer by occupation and spent his entire life in Bavaria, dying in 1842.

Our subject attended school quite steadily in his youth, and obtained a very good education. When not attending to his books he assisted his father on his farm and gained a practical knowledge of agriculture. In the prime and vigor of a stalwart manhood he determined to seek a better fortune in the wonderful land of America, of which he had heard much, than was offered to him in the land of his birth, and in 1852 he emigrated to this country, setting sail from Bremen and landing in New Orleans after a long and tedious ocean voyage of sixty-five days. He went directly to St. Louis, and after staying a short time there proceeded to Lincoln County, Mo., where he was employed in chopping wood for two years. After that he bought sixty-nine acres of timber land, paying $100 for the entire tract. He cleared a part of it and lived on it seven years, when be sold it and came to Calhoun County. After his arrival here he bought the place where he now resides and has since been constantly improving it, until he has it in a good condition, and from its fertile, well-tilled fields reaps abundant harvests, from which he derives an excellent income. At the time of purchase forty-five acres of the one hundred and sixty acres were cleared and a log house stood upon the land. He has since cleared quite a tract and has erected a substantial set of frame buildings, planted a fine orchard and otherwise improved the place.

Mr. Simon has been twice married. In 1855 his marriage with Miss Barbara Schlagh, a native of of Germany, took place. She died in 1881, leaving one child, Andrew. In 1882 our subject was married to Miss Mary Borchert, and they have one son, John H. Andrew is married and has three children, and lives in Gilead Township.

Mr. Simon is a self-made man, and has done well in life by persistent and wisely directed labor. He is a man of sterling habits and is well thought of in the precinct where he has made his home so many years. He and his family are members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and are active in its every good work.

Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 383-384

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