BIOGRAPHY - Jacob Blesch

JACOB BLESCH, one of the extensive landowners and leading citizens of Lyman Township, residing on section 11, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, April 9, 1839, and is the eldest in a family of three children born unto George and Elizabeth (Obennauer) Blesch. His father was a German farmer, and, in the spring of 1853, bade adieu to his old home and with his family crossed the broad Atlantic to America, sailing from Havre to New York, where he arrived after a pleasant voyage of forty-two days. The parents located in Du Page County, Ill., whence they removed to Cook County, where the death of Mr. Blesch occurred in 1870. He came to this country in very limited circumstances, but by his industry and good management, at the time of his death was the owner of one hundred and eighty acres of valuable land in Cook County. His wife, who was born April 9, 1811, is still living at the advanced age of eighty-one years. She is a member of the Lutheran Church, to which her husband also belonged.

Our subject was a lad of fourteen years when, with his parents, he came to this country. He remained under the parental roof until his marriage, which was celebrated on Christmas Day of 1867, Miss Rosalie Gurard, who was born September 20, 1845, in Byron, Germany, becoming his wife. She was only three months old when brought to America by her parents, who located in Cook County. Her father was a manufacturer in Germany and was quite wealthy when he come to the United States. Both he and his wife are now deceased, and a beautiful monument marks their last resting place in a cemetery of Cook County.

The maiden days of Mrs. Blesch were spent in Cook County, where she acquired her education. She became the mother of three sons and three daughters: Anna, who was educated in both German and English, is now the wife of A. McDonald, who was one of the successful teachers of Ford County, and is now engaged in merchandising in Odell, Ill.; Reynold, who pursued a commercial course of study in Valparaiso College, of Indiana, now aids his father in the labors of the farm; George died at the age of three years; Clara is taking a teacher's course in the Valparaiso Normal School; Eddie died at the age of twelve years; and Lydia completes the family.

Mr. and Mrs. Blesch have resided in Ford County since February 1883, at which time our subject purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land conveniently and pleasantly located within three miles of Roberts. Since that time he has made many good improvements and the farm has become one of the beautiful and desirable places in Lyman Township. In addition to the fine residence, there are outbuildings which are models of convenience, and many other improvements, both useful and ornamental. Mr. Blesch has served as School Director during almost his entire residence here, and the cause of education has found in him a warm friend. In politics, he has been a stanch Republican since he cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, and he and his wife are consistent members of the Lutheran Church. They are justly classed among the best and most prominent citizens of Lyman Township and well deserve the high regard in which they are held.

Extracted 28 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 266-267.

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