ENGEL, a retired farmer, now residing in Shumway, claims Germany as the, land of his birth. He was born
in Rheinbeir August 23, 1830, and was the third in a family of three sons and four daughters. The parents, Philip
and Mary (Hengstenberg) Engel, were also born in the same country, where they spent their entire lives. The father
was a farmer. The mother of our subject died when he was only about six years old, and he went to live with his
maternal aunt, with whom he remained until he was sixteen years of age. They lived upon a farm.
At that time Mr. Engel emigrated to America, landing at New Orleans a stranger in a strange land, without money
or friends. After working for three months in the Crescent City, he went to Louisville,
Ky., where he worked by the month for a gardener
for three years. On the expiration of that time he made his way to Illinois, and in St. Clair County worked by the
month on a farm for about five years. It was at this time that Mr. Engel was married. In July, 1854, he wedded
Catherina Metzler. With the money he had acquired through his own industry and economy he then purchased forty
acres of land, and there engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1863, when he sold his property in St. Clair County
and came to Effingham County. Here he purchased one hundred acres of partly improved land and began its further
development. As his farm was located only half a mile from Shumway, he also bought grain in this place, doing considerable
business in that line. In 1886 he left the farm and, removing to the village, engaged in the poultry business for
three years. He next purchased a lumber yard and, admitting his son to partnership, devoted his energies to that
enterprise for three years. He then sold out to his son and retired from business.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Engel were born eight sons and six daughters, of whom four died in childhood. The living are:
Christina, wife of Herman Laue, a leading farmer of Summit Township; Mary, wife of Deidrich Brumerstadt, a furniture
dealer in Shumway; John Louis, who owns a lumber yard in Shumway; Adam, a well-known farmer of Summit Township;
Theodore, a farmer of Banner Township; Catherina, wife of Theodore Kunze, manager of the creamery at Shumway; Minnie,
at home; Mary Matilda, wife of Fred John Struse, an agriculturist of Effingham County; Henry and Walter W.
Mr. Engel is a stanch Democrat in politics and has served as Assessor of his township for three years. He is now
Supervisor. His prompt and faithful discharge of public duty has won him high commendation and gained him the esteem
of all. Himself and wife are members of the Lutheran Church. Our subject's life has been a successful
one, and by his own unaided efforts he has worked his way steadily upward from an humble position to one of prominence
and affluence. By his well-directed efforts he has gained a comfortable competence and is now enabled to live a
retired life, resting in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and
Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors
of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 201. Transcribed by
Judy Rosella Edwards.