History of Culton, LaSalle County, Illinois

William Hockstatter
Founder of Culton

A life-long resident and highly respected citizen of Troy Grove township is he of whom the following lines are penned. By the exercise of his native talents and well directed energy he has become well-to-do, financially, and in the midst of his many business undertakings he finds time to discharge his duties as a citizen of this great republic. His success is due solely to his own efforts, and integrity and justice mark all of his dealings with others.

The parents and ancestors of our subject were natives of Germany, and both of his grandfathers lived and died in that country. His grandfather Hochstatter. who was a farmer, lived to reach his seventieth year, and reared five children. After the death of the maternal grandfather his widow came to America, passed her declining years in LaSalle county, and is now sleeping her last sleep in the old Catholic burying ground. Theodore Hochstatter. the father of our subject, was born in Prussia, and in 1846 sailed for the United States. Upon arriving in Illinois, he worked on the canal at Lockport for some time, and received a bolt of cloth in payment for his labor, and this cloth later paid his transportation from Lockport to Troy Grove. Locating in Troy Grove township, he bought an eighty-acre farm, which he improved, and as the years rolled by he invested in other property until his possessions amounted to seven hundred and twenty acres. He was summoned to the silent land on the 12th of March, 1895, when he was in his seventy-fourth year. He had occupied the offices of road commissioner and school director for many years, and enjoyed the respect and confidence of the entire community in which he had dwelt so long. His devoted wife, whose maiden name was Christina Kratz, was born in Prussia, also, and, like himself, was a member of the Catholic church. She survived him about one year, dying at the age of seventy-five. They were the parents of three sons and two daughters, one of whom is deceased. The others are John, William, Helen, widow of Theodore Sondgeroth, and Peter, of Kellogg, Kansas.

William Hochstatter, of this sketch, was born on his father's farm in this township. September 29, 1853. He attended the district schools, the Lutheran seminary, and Henderson's high school at Mendota, and thus his educational advantages were much better than those of most of his youthful associates and neighbors. His father also gave him some timely aid, after he was married, and was starting out on the difficult pathway of independent living. With this sum—five hundred dollars—he rented a farm of one hundred acres, and purchased necessary agricultural implements and household furnishings. He continued to lease the farm for about twenty years, in the meantime, however, purchasing a quarter-section farm in 1881, and buying and selling several other homesteads. Recently he sold a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Kansas, which he had owned for some time, and he still has seven hundred and twenty acres in his possession.

In addition to farming, he conducted an extensive grain business for two or more years, and built an elevator at Culton. which station was established on the Illinois Central Railroad at his solicitation. The town is located four miles south of Mendota. and three miles north of Dimmick, and the land for the site was donated to the railroad company by Mr. Hochstatter.

For just a quarter of a century he has served as a school director, and has been instrumental in securing good educational advantages for the children of his township. Politically he is independent, using his franchise for the candidates and principles which he considers worthy of his support, regardless of party.

[Source: Biographical and genealogical record of La Salle County, Illinois, Volume 2, By Lewis Publishing Company, 1900 - Contributed by Nancy Piper]

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