Lee County Biography

Andrew Rosenkrans
Wyoming Twp.


To this gentleman and his associates Lee County is largely indebted for the rapid advance it has made in agriculture during the last quarter of n century. He is one of the foremost farmers and stockmen of Wyoming Township, where he has large farming and stock interests, and occupies an important place anong the suc­cessful breeders of the road horses of Hambletonian and Wilkes strains.

Mr. Rosenkrans is a native of the State of New York, born March 10, 1835, and as his name indicates, he is a descendant of an old Holland family, some of his ancestors being among the Colonial settlers of the commonwealth of New Jersey. His father, Abram Rosenkrans, was born November 11, 1803, in the town of Wallpack, Sussex County, N. J. His father, grandfather of our subject, whose name was Benjamin Rosenkrans, was born in the same town March 31, 1770, and was a son of John Rosenkrans, whose birth occurred May 18, 1724. The father of the latter was Alexander Augustus Rosenkrans, great-great-grandfather of our subject who came from his ancestral home in Holland to America in the year of 1689, and landed at New IAmsterdam, the future metropolis of the New World. From there he made his way to New Jersey, became one of its settlers, and founded a family in that State. One of his descendants bore a conspicuous part in the Revolution, and another was prominent in the War of 1812.

When the Colonists were battling for freedom from the Mother Country, John Rosenkrans was colonel of a regiment in the Continental Army, and accompanied Gen. Sullivan in his campaign against the Indians in the Susquehanna and Genessee Valleys as a Commander of a brigade. He was wounded in the shoulder during the war, and subsequently died from the effects of the wound June 5, 1786. His wife was Margaret DeWitt, a cousin of DeWitt Clinton. She was born April 18, 1731. Benjamin Rosenkrans, grandfather of our subject, was in command at Sandy Hook in the War of 1812, and later was a colonel of the State militia. He was a well-to-do farmer, and owned some five hundred acres of land in Wallpack, N. J., and there he and his wife died when well advnnced in years, his death occurring December 30, 1848, and hers February 1, 1842. She was born November 16, 1774, and in her maiden days bore the name of Margaret Schoonover.

The father of our subject passed his early life in his native State, and received his education in the local schools. When a young man he crossed over into New York, and resided there for a few years, and then returned to New Jersey. His next move was to Pennsylvania, and for several years he lived in that State, a part of the time in Luzerne and a part of the time in Wyoming County. In 1855 he came to Lee County, and identified himself with its pioneers. He bought a farm in Wyoming Township and resided thereon until 1879 when he moved to Marble Rock, Floyd County, Iowa, and made his home there the remainder of his life, which was brought to a close by his death which occurred November 19, 1889, at a venerable age. The maiden name of his wife was Lydia Henry. She was born in the State of New York, a daughtcr of Andrew Henry, and died in Wallpack N. J., May 15, 1838.

Our subject was only fours years old when he was deprived of a mother's care by her untimely death, and two years later he accompanied his father and other members of the family to Pennsylvania, while the next twelve years of his life were passed. When he attained the age of eighteen his father gave him his time, and in the fall of 1853 he turned his face from the home of his boy­hood and started Westward to join two of his brothers, who were then living at Paw Paw, in this county. He came to Illinois by rail to Ottawa and thenec by team to his destination. He immediately went to work with his brother's at Paw Paw as an apprentice to learn the trade of a car­penter, and remained with them a little over a year. Having become proficient at carpentering in 1855 he commenced working at his trade on his own account, and continued in that line until 1859.

Stirred by the great excitement caused by the discovery of gold at Pike's Peak, Mr. Rosenkrans started in the month of May that year, for that point, with Dan Pine, their conveyance consisting of a wagon drawn by a pair of oxen and a pair of cows, They drove across the State of Illinois, passed over the Mississippi River at Burlington and the Missouri at Plattsmouth, then a small village, and as they continued on their journey Westward over the desolate plains they encountered innumerable herds of buffaloes, They had not gone very far in the direction in which they were traveling before they met people returning from Pike's Peak empty handed, who told them that there were no good prospects there. Our subject and his companion then changed their course and pushed on to California. They arrived at Carson Lake, Nevada in the month of October, and leaving their teams there, walked to Chinatown, seventy ­five miles distant. After a week's stay there, they proceeded to Silver City, and mined there until 1860.

Returning to Carson City, they stayed there two months and Mr. Rosenkrans worked at his trade. From there he proceeded on foot across the mountains to the famous mining town of Placerville, where he secured a ride to Sacramento, and on the 14th of July, 1860, set out for New York. Thence he went to New ,Jersey, and after a short visit among his old friends in that State, in the month of September he came once more to Lee County. He has once since visited California going thither in 1884, being six days in making the journey, which before had consumed six months.

After his retum from the mining camps of the golden state, our subject settled down quietly to his trade, and gave his attention to carpeutering until he was married, when he located on a farm of forty acres that he had previously bought in in Willow Creek Township. He tilled the soil thereof for one year, and at the expiration of that time sold that place, and bought eighty acrcs of his present homestead. There were no buildings on it at the time, and the substantial improvements that now adorn the farm is the work of his own hand, and fine fruit and shade trees that he has planted add beauty and value to the place. On another page wiII be noticed a view of the residence and surroundings. Fortune has smiled on his under­takings, and he has accumulated a handsome prop­erty. In time he bought one hundred and sixty additional acres of which one hundred and twenty join his original purchase, and the remaining forty lie across the street from it. He subsequently bought another farm of one hundred and sixty-six acres, and now has four hundred and six acres of finely improved land. He has superior facilities for raising stock, and is utilizing them to the utter­most. Some years ago he began to raise road horses, and now has on his farm more than forty of as fine and well-bred horses of the Hambleton­ian and Wilkes blood as can be found in this part of the State. His phenomenal success in breeding horses is due to the fact that he has excited due discrimination in the selection of his stud, has made a close study of the animals, their needs and requirements, and their proper treatment, and has paid strict attention to the business.

Mr. Rosenkrans was happily married October 15, 1863, to Miss Lydia A. Mitten, in whom he has found a true wife, who makes his interest her own and is helpful and companionable. They have two sons, namely: Anson P., who was born July 31, 1869, and Byron M. who was born November 22, 1871. Mrs. Rosenkrans was born in Newton Township, Luzerne County, Pa., October 29, 1839, and is a daughter of Jeptha and Jane (Beemer) Mittan, the latter a native of New Jersey, and a daughter of Henry and Mary Beemer. Her father is thought to he a native of New Jersey, and is a son of Samuel Mittan. His father moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, and died in Luzerne County, Mrs. Rosenkran's father was reared on a farm, and adopted farming as his life-work. He came from Pennsylvania to Illinois, mnking the removal with a team, and bringing his family and household goods along. He settled in Willow Creek Township, and bought a claim to a tract of Government land, which he has since improved into a fine farm and here he still makes his home.

The citizenship of a man of our subjects calibre and progressive spirit is valuable to any community and we have seen that since he took up his permanent abode in this county. Mr. Rosenkrans has been potent in increasing his wealth and enlarging its agricultural interests. He possesses a good degree of common-sense, has a mind of his own, and is indebted to no one for his ideas and opinions. Especially is this noticed in his politices, he being independent and bound to no party ties.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL

Andrew Rosenkrans 10 March 1835 Sussex Co NJ son of Abraham & Lydia (Henry) Rosenkrans. Grandson of Benjamin & Margaret (Schoonover) Rosenkrans of Walpack Co NJ. Andrew married Lydia Mitten 15 October 1863 in Paw Paw, Lee Co IL. She was born 29 October 1839 in Paw Paw the daughter of Jeptha P & Jane (Beemer) Mitten. Jeptha was born 29 Sep 1816 in NJ died 09 Feb 1892 in Paw Paw. His wife Jane Beemer was born 12 Mar 1819 NJ, died 10 May 1913 in Paw Paw. . They had two sons, Anson and Byron M.

Anson Rosenkrans was born 31 Jul 1869 in Paw Paw IL. He married Emily G. Smith 9 March 1892. They were the parents of Mabel, Carl and Amy Rosenkrans.

Byron M. Rosenkrans was born 22 Nov 1871 in Paw Paw Il.

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