HENRY F. WITTE, a practical farmer and stock-raiser, lives on a good farm in section 3, township 18, range 11, where he owns 120 acres of fine prairie land and forty acres of timber. He bought this land in 1862 and has since been successful as a farmer. He was born in Harford, Menden, Westphalia, Prussia, Germany, on August 9, 1824. He is the son of Fred and Minnie (Isserman) Witte, natives of Prussia, Germany, where they married and began life as farmers. There, too, all the family was born, and in 1855 the parents, with three children, set out for this country, taking passage on a sailing vessel, the Berker, from Bremen, leaving September 8, 1856, and landed in New Orleans after a voyage of nine weeks and two days. From there they came up to Beardstown on a steamer, landing here November 24, 1855. Here the parents lived and died, the father when about seventy years old and the mother when ten years younger. They were members all their lives of the Lutheran Church.
Henry had two brothers and a sister that finally came to this country, Henry being the only one now living. He was a single man when he made the voyage and worked for two years in the Park House and brick yards in Beardstown.
In 1856 he was married in Beardstown to Minnie Vette, born near the birthplace of her husband. Her mother had died in Germany, and her father, Fred Vette, followed his daughter to the United States and spent his last years, dying in Cass county when nearly eighty years old. He and his wife were life-long members of the Lutheran Church. Mrs. Witte had come to the United States when a young woman, in 1855, on the same vessel that brought her future husband. They were married about eighteen months after landing. They have lived and labored to build up a good home. They have reared a large and intelligent family of eight children, two deceased, Carrie and Edward, aged eight years and one month, respectively. Those living are: William H., a farmer in Arenzville, married Sophia Roegge of this county; Bertha, wife of Ed. Krohe, in Hickory precinct; Anna, wife of Frank Lebknecher, farmer in this county; Mariah, wife of Albert Krohe of Hickory precinct; Lizzie, wife of William Roegge, a farmer near Arenzville; and Minnie, who is still at home and cares for her parents. She is an intelligent and accomplished young lady and is greatly beloved by her parents. The entire family are members of the German Lutheran Church, and Mr. Witte is a stanch Republican.
When Mr. Witte was a young man he traveled extensively in Germany, and was in the regular German army from 1845 to 1847, but was not in the Revolution of 1848. He and his family are highly respected by all who know them.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 251-252.
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