1886 Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL


These were typed by Linda Kestner. (click on her name to go to web page.)   I mailed her the bios on the Gehring family of Knox County, IL, that came from Germany thinking they were all somehow related and by Gosh.... She found the common link and they are related.... Now am getting tombstone photos for her.  Some are already online at the Oneida Cemetery Photo Gallery page.


Prominent among the self-made men of Knox County, who started with nothing except their own indomitable perseverance and energy, and who have made a financial success in life, and who were born in the great Empire of Germany, is the gentleman whose name heads this biographical sketch, who is living on his farm on section 12, Sparta Township.  Mr. Gehring was born Feb. 9, 1825, his parents being Bennet and Elizabeth (Closman) Gehring, likewise natives of the "Faderland."  His father was a farmer in the old country, and there raised a family of nine children, five of whom are living, namely, Joseph, Anthony, Xaver, Barbara and Caroline.  Joseph and Barbara yet continue to reside in their native land, and there the father died in 1857, and the mother in 1842.  Xaver Gehring was an inmate of the parental household until he was 18, having in the meantime received an education in the common schools.  On leaving home he worked out for two years, when he was drafted into the German army and served his country for three and a half years.
In 1849, Mr. Gehring, hoping to better his financial condition, set sail for the United States, arriving in safety at New York.  In the latter State, for four and a half years, he worked out by the month at whatever labor he could procure that would bring him in a fair remuneration.  In 1854, he came to this State and settled on the identical place on which he at present resides.  He purchased, on coming to the county, 815 acres of land, and has followed the vocation of a farmer until the present time, meeting with success.
Mr. Gehring was married in 1853, just prior to his coming to this county, to Miss Elizabeth Hemminger, and their family circle has been blest by the birth of three children -- Joseph, Henry and Amelia.  The wife and mother died in 1878, and Mr. Gehring formed a second matrimonial alliance in 1879, at which time Mrs. Mary Stephenson, the accomplished daughter of William Leighton, became the wife.  She had a family of five children by her former marriage -- William, George, James, Isabel and Helen.  Politically, Mr. Gehring is a Republican.  He has held the office of School Director for 15 years, and is one of the large land-owners, successful farmers, and honored and respected citizens of Knox County.
Martin Gehring is one of the representative citizens and successful farmers of Knox County, and has a pleasant homestead, consisting of a well-cultivated farm and a cozy residence, lying within Sparta Township, on section 12.  He is quite a prominent man in the neighborhood where he resides, and holds the offices of Roadmaster and School Director.
Mr. G. was born on Nov. 10, 1854, in Germany, and is the son of Anthony and May (Moser) Gehring.  His parents were natives of Germany and came to America with their family in 1857.  Settling in Sparta Township, they purchased 40 acres of land on section 14, and also 20 acres of timber land.  In 1871, the father purchased 80 acres on section 12, and they were residents of this part of Knox County, until 1883, when they moved to Oneida.  In that town he purchased a house and lot, where he is now living a retired life.  Their family consists of two sons, both living, and by name Alex, and Martin.
Our subject remained under the parental roof until 21 years of age, and then took the farm on shares, and in this way labored until 1880.  At that time it came into his possession.  He has been liberally educated, and his application and aptitude for various studies have placed in his possession a source of enjoyment which, as a man, he fully appreciates and which can never be taken from him.
His marriage with Miss Elizabeth, daughter of John and Ann (Taylor) Parkinson, was celebrated March 18, 1880.  She was born in Knox County, June 23, 1857, and her parents are of English ancestry, but were married in America.  They have reared a family of seven children, of whom Mrs. Gehring is the oldest child.  Mr. and Mrs. Gehring are the parents of two bright and interesting children, by name Minnie G., born Sept. 23, 1881; and Fred B., born Nov. 2, 1884.  Mr. Gehring is a Republican in politics and interested in the workings of that party.  Both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, of Oneida.
Foremost in the ranks of wealthy and substantial men and leading citizens of Knox County stands the subject of our biography.  He is a farmer whose desirable and attractive home is located on section 33, of Sparta Township.  He may be called in a great measure a self-made man, as he worked his way industriously and ambitiously, from the age of 13 up to the present prosperous and enjoyable position in life which he now fills.
Mr. Gehring was born Dec 1, 1844, in Baden, Germany, and is the son of Anthony and Mary (Moser) Gehring.  They were natives of Germany.  Anthony Gehring was born March 12, 1824, and Mary (Moser) Gehring was born June 24, 1824.  In 1857 they emigrated to America, and, coming to Illinois, then known as the "Far West", settled in Knox County, on section 14.  At this place they purchased 40 acres of land, which they occupied and cultivated until 1873, at which time they added 100 acres to the original homestead.  He moved into Oneida village, prosperity having crowned his effort toward success, and purchased a house and two lots, where he is now living a retired life.  Two of their pleasant little family of three children now survive -- our subject and Martin.
The subject of this sketch began active labor at the age of 13, as previously stated.  He worked by the month until he reached the age of 20, having in this interval received an ordinary common-school education.  He rented a farm on section 13, Sparta Township, which he worked until one year later, when he rented one on section 28.  Here he remained one year, and they rented the farm on which he now lives, including 90 acres.  His wife will inherit this homestead at her mother's death.
Mr. Gehring was united in marriage in 1867, with Miss Jerusha, daughter of Ira and Caroline (Stewart) Squires.  Mrs. Gehring was a native of Trumbull County, Ohio, and was born Aug. 1, 1847.  Her father was born June 21, 1822, and died May 6, 1850.  Mr. and Mrs. Gehring have a family of four children, by name as follows:  Mary A., who was born Oct. 29, 1871; Sarah L., born Oct. 9, 1874; Carrie L., born April 7, 1877, and Ira A., born Dec. 15, 1879.  Mr. Gehring is a live man in public affairs, and holds the office of School Director.  He is a Republican in politics, watching with vivid interest the affairs of the nation.  He is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is Steward and Trustee, and has a word of cordial sympathy and courteous kindness for one and all.  Both himself and wife are popular and pleasant people.  She is a member of the same church to which her husband belongs.

There is also another bio on Alexander Gehring on 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois Knox County page



Created Sunday nite, May 22, 2005

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 09:42:25 AM  updated & uploaded

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