Woodford county has many enterprising and successful citizens who started out in life with naught but an abundance of determination and indefatigable industry, and a strong and healthy constitution, and have succeeded through their own diligence, energy and economy. To this class belongs the subject of this sketch, who owns and operated a fine farm of two hundred and fifty-two acres of land on sections 27 and 28, Greene township, his home being on the latter section.
Mr Damman was born in Spenge, near Bielefeld, Westphalia, Germany, November 18, 1844, a son of Casper and Mary Damman, also natives of that country, where the father spent his entire life as a farmer, dying there at the age of forty-five years. The mother came to America and lived with our subject for some time. She died in Benton county, Iowa, at the age of sixty-nine years. In the family were eleven children, but only four are now living. Our subject has three sisters: Anna, wife of John Noellsch, a farmer of Holt county, Missouri; Lena, wife of Herman Stiegelmeyer, a farmer of Benton county, Iowa; and Clara, wife of U.S. Fry, a grain dealer of Van Horn, Iowa.
In 1853, at the age of nine years, Mr Damman came to America with his mother, landing in New Orleans. From there they went to St Louis, Missouri, and then to Menard county, Illinois, locating near Petersburg. our subject began work by the month on farms in that neighborhood, and remained there until about twenty-three years of age, when he went to Iowa and purchased land on which he lived for eighteen months. Selling his property in that state, he returned to Illinois in 1869, and this time located in El Paso township, Woodford county, where he was engaged in farming on rented land for some time. He finally purchased a partially improved tract of eighty acres, and to its further development and cultivation devoted his attention until the spring of 1888, when he purchased his present fine farm in Greene township. Here he has erected a commodious and substantial residence as well as a large barn and other buildings, and has made many other improvements upon the place which make it one of the most desirable farms of its size in the township. Mr Damman also owns a farm of eighty acres on section 9, Greene township, which is operated by his son, John. He is successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising, making a specialty of short horn cattle, Poland China hogs and Norman horses.
On the 29th of December, 1869, at Peoria, was celebrated the marriage of Mr Damman and Miss Mary Stiegelmeyer, a daughter of Casper and Mary Stiegelmeyer, farming people of El Paso township, Woodford county. The father is now deceased, but the mother is still living and continues to reside on the home farm with her son, Henry. Nine children have been born to Mr and Mrs Daman (sic), namely: Clara, born in El Paso township, December 8, 1870, married Henry Armstrong, a prominent farmer of Greene township, and died April 20, 1900, leaving one child, Ralph, then only two days old. She was buried at Secor. John, born April 17, 1872, married Ada B., daughter of Philip Evans, a farmer of Panola township, and is now engaged in farming on his father's place on section 9, Greene township. Anna, born in McLean county, December 10, 1873; William, born in El Paso township, Woodford county, October 30, 1875; and Henry A., born May 26, 1879, are all at home. Edwin F., born March 6, 1881, and Mary A., born February 16, 1883, are teaching district schools and reside at home. Frank, born July 21, 1887, is also at home. All have received good district school educations.
As a Republican Mr Damman takes an active interest in local politics, and is now chairman of the township committee, but he has never sought nor desired public office, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his business interests. His wife and two daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Starting out in life for himself a poor boy, his success is due to his industry, perseverance and good management, and he justly deserves the prosperity that has come to him. He is highly respected and esteemed by all who know him.
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