Biography of Joseph Engel
The subject of this sketch, who is one of the prosperous citizens of Metamora township, Woodford county, is now successfully operating a fine farm of two hundred acres on section 28, within a mile of the city of Metamora. He was born on that place May 8, 1854, and there the greater part of his life has been spent. The family to which he belongs is one of the oldest and most highly respected families of the county. His grandfather, Peter Engel, was a native of France, and on his emigratiion to America, in 1831, took up his residence in Metamora township, Woodford county, Illinois, entering the land on which our subject now resides.
The father, Peter R. Engel, was born in Alsace, France, in 1828, and was only seven years old when brought by his parents to the United States. He grew to manhood in Woodford county and married Barbara Nofsinger, also a native of Germany, who came to the new world in childhood and was reared in Illinois. Peter R. Engel succeeded to a part of the old homestead and meeting with success in his farming operaions he became the owner of four good farms. He died March 12, 1888, honored and respected by all who knew him. His wife survives him and resides on the home farm with our subject.
During his boyhood Joseph Engel pursued his studies in the local schools and gained a thorough knowledge of agriculture upon the home farm, where he remained until he was married, in Woodford county, February 24, 1876, to Miss Mary Garber, a native of Pekin, Illinois. By this union were born six children, as follows: Lloyd E., who attended the Metamora schools and later engaged in teaching, but is now a student at the State University in Champaign; Carl, who assists his father in the operation of the farm; Emanuel P., Arthur, William J. and Frances, all at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Engel began their domestic life on a farm three miles east of Metamora, where they made their home for five years, and then removed to Tazewell county, Illinois, Mr. Engel being engaged in farming near Cruger for ten years. In 1891 he returned to the old homestead, having succeeded to a part of the farm, and has since added to his portion until he now has one hundred and twenty-eight acres here. In connection with this he operates other land and is the owner of a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Hamilton county, Nebraska. He is also engaged in stock raising, making a specialty of sheep, and now has a flock of forty-five pure-blooded Shropshires. He is accounted one of the most thrifty farmers and successful stock raisers of his community.
Politically he is identified with the Republican party, but takes no active part in politics aside from voting, as he prefers to give his undivided attention to his business interests. He is well known throughout his native county and those who know him best are numbered among his warmest friends, which fact testifies to his sterling worth.
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