Lee County Biography

Singleton W. Riegle
China Township


Singleton W. Riegle, one of the leading citizens of China Townsbip, has been closely connected with the material interests of Lee County as a practical, sagacious agrculturist for more than thirty years, and is the fortunate proprietor of one of the well appointed farms of which this region is celebrated,

Mr. Riegle is a native of the State of Maryland, his birthplace in Carroll County, and November 11, 1835, the date of his birth, His father, Peter Riegle, is thought to have been born in that commonwealth also. He married Elizabeth Wilt, who was born in Maryland near the Pennsylvania line, and during some period of their wedded life they settled in Adams County, in the latter State, where they died in the fullness of time,

The parents of our subject had a family of seven children, of whom he was the fourth in point of birth. He was three years old when they sought a new home in Adams County, Pa., in 1838, and there his years were passed until he attained the age of twenty-four, He was reared on a farm, and besides being well trained in agricultural pursuits, gained an excellent education in the common schools and High School Acadamy of York, Pa. At the age of eighteen he commenced to teach school, and followed that profession during the school terms for eight years. In the spring of 1859 he visited Illinois, and remained in Lee County through the following summer. Returning to Adams County, PA he taught school there through the ensuing win term, and it was at that time he took upon himself the solemn obligations of married life.

Mr. Riegle had been very favorably impressed with, this part of the country during his sojourn here, and in the spring of 1860 he came to Lee County with his bride, $75 in gold, and plenty of ambition as a germ upon which to build a future home; by economy and industrious perseverance he succeeded fairly well. He commenced farming first on shares among strangers (but good, true friends) on section 13, China Township, owned by B. F. Dysart, who had volunteered and enlisted in Company C, Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry, and served faithfully until peace was declared iu 1865. In 1866-67 he traveled all over the West and Southwest in search of a better location, which he failed to find. In 1867 he purchased one hundred and twenty acrcs in section 10, China Township, to which in 1876 he added forty acres on section 16, Nachusa Township, and in 1891 forty acres more on section 10, China Township.

In the years that have since followed he has spared neither time, labor or expense in making his farm of two hundred acres of land of surpassing fertility, into one of the best in its cultivation of any in the neighborhood. His fields are neatly fenced and admirably tilled; he has erected a commodious and conveniently arranged set of farm buildings, of a tasteful style of architecture, has good accommodations for his well-kept, finely graded stock, and is conducting his operations with financial success, the true test of a practical, systematic skillful farmer.

Our subject and Miss Caroline Matilda Hermon were united in marriage December 29, 1859. Mrs. Riegle was born in Adams County, Pa., November 6, 1838 and was the only daughter of David and Anna M. (Moritz) Hermon, who were the parents of five children. They were also natives of Adams County, PA. The mother is still living but the father died in 1885, in Newton County, MO., in which they had located in 1866. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Riegle: Stella Maggie, Willis Luther, Charlie Peter, Paul Singleton, Virgie Caroline, Hermione Elizabeth, and Bertram Leroy are still living, Herman Elmer, Mary Lilia and David Rudolph died in their youth.

June 15, 1891, the beloved wife of our subject died very suddenly at Table Rock, Adams County, PA., while on a visit with her husband to old friends near the scenes of her early home, her death being caused by apoplexy. The locality of her birth, the place of her marriage, and the scene of her death were all within five miles of each other. Her wedded life, with the exception of a few months, was passed in China Township where she had come as a bride, and in the thirty years that she lived here she made many warm friends, who were attracted to her by her many pleasing attributes and strong personal worth. She was a devoted wife and a tender mother, and her household reverently cherish her memory. She was a trne "home maker", and mayhap beyond "that soundless, sailless, solemn sea" over which she has voyaged to some fairer land, she is waiting to welcome the loved ones still on this side, to a home not made with hands, where there shall be no more parting. Mr. Riegle is a man whose rectitude of purpose and actions, firmness of character, obliging disposition, and helpfulness in time of need, commend him to his fellow-citizens from the first, and these traits, together with others of a more practical value in the various civic capacities in which he has acted since he became a resident of this township. He has been Justice of the Peace for several years, has served as Assessor, and has been School Director for twenty years. His political views find expression in the principles of the Republican party. Religiously, he is a believer in the tenets of the Lutheran Church, in which he was reared.

Source: Portraits & Biographical Lee County 1892 Pg 339

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