Lee County Biography

Hiram Uhl
Nelson Twp.





Hiram Uhl, who is now living in retirement in the village of Nachusa in the enjoyment of a comfortable fortune, may he considered one of the pioneer fathers and stock raisers of Lee COunty, although not among its earliest settlers, as his valuable farm of two hundred acres in South Dixon Township was developed by him from its original wildness, and its improvements, which are all firs class, are the work of his own hands.

Mr. Ulh is a native of the township of Hampton. Somerset County Pa., his birth occurring there September 21, 1828. His father, Daniel Uhl was also born in that county, and was in turn a son of Jacob Uhl, who was a German and came to America with two brothers some time during the last century. He and one of his brothers settling in Pennsivania, and the other one locating in New York. Jacob Ulh was trained to the life of a farmer and some time after marriage removed with his wife and children to Maryland, where he lived until his death in Allegany County, many years later, at the advanced age of ninety years. His wife was also very old when she died in that State. They were stanch Lutherans in religion. They reared a large family of children, nine sons and three daughters, all of whom married, and the most of whom lived to be very aged. Daniel Uhl, who was the fifth child of the family, died in Alegany County, Md., in 1849, at the age of fifty-six, he being the youngest of his brothers and sisters then living. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Long, survived him. Somerset County was likewise her birthplace, and she was descended from an old Pennsylvania family. After the death of her husband she came with her son, of whom we write, to Illinois to pass her remaining years and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Harden, in Nelson Township, in 1866, at the age of seventy- two. Both she and her husband were conscientious members of the Lutheran Church as long as they lived.

Our subject is one of a large family, several of whom are yet living. He came to settle among the pioneers of Lee County in 1852, coming from Maryland, where he had lived since he was nine years old. He purchased his farm in South Dixon Township after his arrival here and worked hard to put it into its present condition. In 1889 he rented it, and has since lived retired in the village of Nachusa. His services as a shrewd, clear-headed, sharp - sighted farmer have been valuable to his adopted township, and he has also done his duty as a public-spirited citizen in helping his fellow townsmen in the management of public affairs, having held the various offices with due regard for the highest interests of the community. In his politics he is a thorough Democrat, and his party has no more stanch supporter in this section than he. Religiously both he and his wife are active members of the Lutheran Church, and have been for many years.

Mr. Uhl was first married in Allegany County, Md. to Miss Maggie Wilhelm, who was born and reared in that county. She came to Lee County with her husband and died here in 1858 when in life's prime, leaving four children; Mary R. wife of P.J. Smethers, a tanner in Page County, Neb.; Ella M., wife of Virgil Buchanan, a farmer in Oregon; WIlliam T. and Elizabeth, who died young. Mr.Uhl was a second time married in Cumberland, Md., Miss Nancy J. Hughes, of that city, becoming his wife. She was well educated in the schools of that place and there met her husband. Her parents were Joseph and Mary Hughes, who were life long residents of Cumberland, dying there when very old, he being eighty-six and she eighty-two when they passed away. Nearly all their lives they had been members of the Lutheran Church. Four daughters have blessed the present marriage of Mr. Uhl, as follows; Ida M., wife of Chauncey F. Hart, who rents Mr. Uhl's homestead; Bertha A., Eva A., and Grace G., the three latter living at home with their parents.

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