Thomas J. Mace

Carroll County IL Biography

Thomas J. Mace, late a prominent and well-to-do resident of Washington Township, departed this life at his homestead on section 7, on the 19th of February, 1874. He was a man greatly respected for his sterling worth of character, his fine business abilities, and his thoroughness and skill as a farmer and stock-raiser. A native of Northern Illinois, he was born in Galena, Jo Daviess County, March 16, 1834. His father a native of Pennsylvania, was one of the earliest settlers in Jo Daviess County, and owned about half of the ground now within the corporate limits of the city of Galena.

The parents of Mr. Mace died in Galena after reaching an advanced age. He was reared and educated in his native city, and early in life learned the trade of plasterer, which he followed until about 1859. About that time he became interested in farming and laid aside the trowel to take up the implement of agriculture. His native industry and energy resulted in the accumulation of a fine property, and he left his widow a valuable estate, including 360 acres of prime land with first-class improvements. This, since the death of her husband, Mrs. Mace has managed with rare good judgment, keeping up the property so that it has steadily increased in value.

The marriage of our subject and Mrs. Johanna (Kahler) Kratzenstein was celebrated at the bride’s home in Washington Township, June 9, 1861. Mrs. Mace was born on the other side of the Atlantic in the Province of Hanover, Germany, Jan. 23, 1826, and is the daughter of Frederick and Charlotta (Kludnes) Kahler, who were also of German birth and ancestry. Mr. Kahler, was a man of note in his native province, and served many years as a Government official, finally being retired with a pension. He spent his last years in Germany, and died at the age of seventy-five. He had been a man honorable and upright in his life, and was a faithful adherent of the Lutheran Church.

The mother of Mrs. Mace was the second wife of Mr. Kahler, and survived her husband eleven years, dying in Germany at the age of fifty-four. They were the parents of nine children, five of whom lived to mature years. Mrs. Mace is the only one of these who is now living; she received a fine education in her native tongue. Her father’s birthplace was near the foot of the beautiful Harz Mountains in the town of Osterode. Upon reaching womanhood, Mrs. Mace set out for America in company with her future mother-in-law, Mrs. Kratzenstein, taking passage at Bremen in the year of 1855, and landed in New York City, Oct. 9, following, after a voyage of forty-two days. Thence they proceeded directly westward, making their way to Buffalo by canal, thence to Chicago by the Lakes and from there overland to Galena, where they were joined by Mr. Leo Kratzenstein, who welcomed his intended bride at Arnold’s Landing, and they were at once married.

Mr. Kratzenstein, a native of Prussia, was born at Wernigerode, near the Harz Mountains, July 17, 1824. He was of German ancestry, and his parents spent their entire lives in the Fatherland. His father was closely allied to the nobility, and owned a large estate in his native province. The mother was also of gentle birth, closely allied to royality (sic), and had received a fine education, growing up very accomplished and occupying a high position in society. She was many years younger than her husband, and after his death came to America and made her home with her son Leo, until her decease.

Leo Kratzenstein was well reared and highly educated, becoming master of several different languages; and before coming to America he had the management of various large estates. He crossed the Atlantic in the year of 1854, and coming to Northern Illinois invested quite largely in land in Washington Township, and had begun the establishment of a fine homestead when he was stricken down in the prime of life and his earthly labors were ended on the 9th of January, 1861. He was the elder of the two children born to his parents, and a man of more than ordinary intelligence and fine business capacites (sic). His brother, Bruno, is now a leading manufacturer of implements for surveying and other mechanism in this line, a member of the oldest firm of the kind in Chicago, where he has been established many years. He died March 30, 1889. He came to the United States in 1848, and was a resident of Philadelphia, Pa., until 1862, when he removed to Chicago, where he has since lived.

To Mr. and Mrs. Kratzenstein there were born two children, daughters – Jennie and Louisa, who died, at the ages of five and three years, of croup and diphtheria, and were buried the same day. The marriage of Mrs. Kratzenstein and our subject took place on the 9th of June, 1861; of this union there were born two children, one of whom, a son, George B., died when a promising youth of seventeen years, Dec. 31, 1882. Emily R., who was born Jan. 2, 1864, is an intelligent and well-educated young lady and remains at home with her mother. Mrs. Mace is a member in good standing of the Christian Church; her home is the resort of refined and cultivated people. Mrs. Mace is a lady in the highest sense of the word and has made hosts of friends during her long sojourn in this county.

Transcribed and contributed by Carol Parrish. Portraits & Biographical Pg. 958

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