WILLIAM SCHENCK, a prosperous and highly respected farmer of Danvers Township, and who possesses in all respects
the reliable and substantial qualities of his German ancestors, is located on section 27, where he has a comfortable
home, a good farm, and is living at peace with all his neighbors. Mr. Schenck was born in Germany, July 20, 1842,
being the son of John and Margaret (Mire) Schenck, also natives of the Fatherland, the former born in 1812, and
the latter in 1820. They were married in Germany, and emigrated to America in 1880, reaching this country in October
of that year. They came directly West to McLean County, to the home of our subject, who had preceded them to the
New World and was then located in Bloomington City. The parents afterward removed to the country upon land belonging
to William, where they are still living, although not engaged in active labor.
The parental family of our subject included nine children, of whom the record is as follows: William of our sketch was the eldest; Henry died when about six years old; Anna became the wife of John Maurer; Nicholas died in infancy, and Henry when seven years of age; the next one, an infant girl, died unnamed; John died when three years old: Elizabeth became the wife of William Bassellman; Henry is traveling for a cigar manufactory. The parents are members of the Lutheran Church, and in politics John Schenck is strongly Republican.
William Schenck resided with his parents until 1864, when he was about twenty-two years of age. He then emigrated to America, and proceeding westward, came into this State and county, and engaged for a short time as a farm laborer. He afterward went to Bloomington, where he lived for seven years and then purchased his present fine farm. This consists of 160 acres upon which is a good set of frame buildings, and which is furnished with all the requirements of a first-class agriculturist.
Mr. S. was united in marriage with Miss Fanny Maurer in 1875. She is a daughter of Christian and Barbara (Masimans) Maurer, and was born in Butler County, Ohio, Feb. 26, 1847. Mrs. Maurer's parents were natives of France. They had seven children, five livingóJohn, Joseph, Christian, Anna and Fanny, all born in Ohio.
Mr. and Mrs. Schenck have two childrenóIda, who was born Feb. 5, 1876, and Elmer, June 29, 1879. He has four step-children: Mary, the wife of John Meyers; Elizabeth, Mrs. John Imhoff; William and Frank. Mr. Schenck formerly was connected with the Mennonite Church but is not now a member of any religious organization. Mrs. S. is a Baptist.
When coming to this country our subject was on the water seven weeks and three days, during which time there were thirty-three deaths on board the ship and three births. The supply of drinking water gave out and they were obliged to resort to salt water, which was a poor substitute for quenching thirst. The year previous Mr. S. had broken his leg by falling from a horse, from which accident he has never fully recovered. He learned bricklaying in the old country and followed it for a number of years there. In 1884 Mrs. S. had her wrist broken while rolling a barrel, having slipped and fallen, in consequence of which she was laid up for some time.
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), 557. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.