"My Grandfather's Farm"

Carroll County IL Biography

The fly leaf of a German Bible contains this notation --- "I and my wife left Deutschland March 12, 1849, in the fine German script of my grandfather, Valentin Bickelhaupt. Also recorded are "42 days on the sea" -- a soujourn in Franklin county, Pennsylvania during which time they cared for an elderly relative, whose passing left them free to travel westward to Carroll county in 1856. So far as authentic records tell, my grandparents lived only on the farm in Mt. Carroll township. The abstract dates the purchase of the tract containing the home site as June 15, 1861. Parcel by parcel, additional land was bought as they could afford it. When my father, Adam Bickelhaupt, (third son of Valentin and Catherine) and his wife, Maria, acquired the farm in 1905, eleven deeds were condensed into one to make the transfer.

At father's death, April 8, 1931, I, his only child, became the owner of the 240 acres on which my husband, Hal H. Francke, and I have lived since that time. Our only daughter, Ellen and her husband, William D. Irwin, live in Freeport, Ill. They have two sons, David Francke Irwin and Daniel James Irwin, both in college. Hence, we number five generations interested in this "house by the side of the road." If any of the 4th or 5th generations shall ever return to live in it permanently time alone will tell.

Just a word indicative of the personality of my grandfather. Plagued with rheumatism, he chopped wood for 50 cents a day, even though he had to be helped into his coat as he left home. Later, confined to a wheel chair, he tricked me, a tiny girl to push him about the living room which he really wheeled the chair with his hands. Kindly in demeanor, fair and just in all decisions he was a worthy patriarch for the homestead he founded.
Contributed by Mrs. Iona B. Francke - "Carroll County -- A Goodly Heritage" 1968

Johann Valentine Bickelhaupt - 20 Dec 1817 Reichelsheim, Germany
Immigration - 12 Mar 1849 America, arriving May 2, 1849
Death - 17 Mar 1892

Elizabeth Catherine Rauth - 21 Feb 1823 Laudenan, near Reichelsheim, Hessia-Germany
Both Buried at Center Hill Cemetery

Unknown Bickelhaupt 15 Nov 1844 Germany
Jacob Henry Bickelhaupt 12 Nov 1849 in PA
George F. Valentine Bickelhaupt 14 Mar 1852 Franklin Co. PA
Ann Elizabeth Bickelhaupt b: 12 Mar 1855 in PA
Adam Bickelhaupt b: 13 Feb 1861 in Mount Carroll IL - 8 Apr 1931
... Mabel Iona Bickelhaupt 15 Sep 1889 - 1982 m Henry Herman Francke
Johannes Bickelhaupt b: 11 Jan 1866 in Mount Carroll IL

Most of this family is buried in Center Hill and Oak Hill Cemetery, some in Stephenson Co IL.

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