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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



JOSEPH HABECKER, an intelligent young farmer of Danvers Township, located on section 4, is a native of this county, and born in 1856. He is the son of John and Magdalena (Roth) Habecker, natives of France, where the father was born in 1825, and the mother in 1822. The father of our subject emigrated to the United States in 1830, with his parents. They landed in New Orleans, whence they proceeded to Butler County, Ohio, where their son remained until his marriage, which occurred in 1845, the lady of his choice being Miss Magdalena Roth. After marriage they located upon rented land in Ohio, and there lived until 1847. John Habecker then decided to seek the farther West, and coming into the Prairie State settled near Peoria, Tazewell County, and cultivated a tract of rented land. After about six years they removed to McLean County, where Mr. H. purchased eighty acres, to which he added in a short time forty acres more. He was prospered in his farming and business transactions, and in due time found himself the owner of 225 acres of valuable land and a comfortable home, which he occupied until his death in 1877. The mother still survives, being now sixty-three years of age and in good health. The household circle included six children, three deceased: Barbara became the wife of Amos Yoder, and died in May, 1885; Catherine married Peter S. Gerber, of Oak Grove; Christian married Miss Irene Stutzman, and resides in this county; Joseph, of our sketch, was the fourth child; Johnnie and Lena both died when young. The parents were members of the Mennonite Church. The father of our subject was a Republican in politics, and in all respects a worthy and reliable citizen.

The subject, of this history was reared on his father s farm, receiving a fair education in the common schools until he attained his majority. Then, by the death of his father, the supervision and operation of the farm fell upon him for about three years. He was soon afterward married to Miss Catherine Burkey, in 1880, and purchased a farm of 112 acres, upon which he has erected a fine dwelling, two stories in height, with an L, handsomely finished and furnished, he also has a good barn and all necessary out-buildings, and if appearances are correct, is destined to be one of the prominent and influential farmers of this section.

The parents of Mrs. Habecker were Frederick and Catherine (Creek) Burkey, natives of Switzerland, whence her father emigrated when he was twenty-five years of age, and located with his family near Belleville, in the southeastern part of this State. After a two years residence there they removed to Woodford County, and in 1866 came to this vicinity, and engaged in the cultivation of rented land. Frederick Burkey died in 1871. His wife survived him until May 18, 1885. Their remains lie side by side in the Imhoff Cemetery in this county. The parental household included seven children: Frederick, Catherine; Johnnie, who died Oct. 1, 1870; Mary, who died in 1867; William, Mary (2d), and Christian. Mr. and Mrs. B. were formerly members of the Lutheran Church. After the death of her husband Mrs. B. united with the Mennonites.

Mr. and Mrs. Habecker have two children Jessie, born June 7, 1883, and Eddie, Sept. 22, 1885. Mr. H. and his wife are members of the Mennonite Church, and politically our subject is a straight Republican.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 477. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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