BIOGRAPHY - Paul Koestner

PAUL KOESTNER, deceased, was for some years a well-known and prominent farmer of Ford County, and it is but meet that this sketch of his life be given in the history of his adopted county. He was a native of Bavaria, Germany, born on the 20th of August, 1851, and was one of eight children whose parents, John and Catherine Koestner, where also of German birth.

Our subject spent his early boyhood days in his native land and in 1866, when a lad of fifteen years, came to America. Crossing the ocean, he landed at New York City, continuing his Westward journey until he arrived in Henry, Marshall County, Ill., where he began life for himself as a farm hand, working by the month. He there spent several years and in 1871 came to Ford County, where he continued to make his home until his death. For two years, he continued to work upon a farm by the month and then rented land both in Wall and Peach Orchard Townships. He also gave considerable attention to stock-raising and it was while on his way to Chicago with stock that he met his death in a railroad accident on the 11th of January, 1888. He was then but in the prime of life and his loss was a deep blow to his family and friends. His remains were brought back to Ford County and interred in Melvin Cemetery. In politics, he was a Democrat and was a worthy and respected citizen of the community.

The lady who bears the name of Mrs. Koestner was in her maidenhood Miss Fannie Holmes, daughter of W. B. and Eliza (Wrenn) Holmes, who were the first white settlers to make a permanent location in Peach Orchard Township. A sketch of their lives is given on another page of this work. Mrs. Koestner was the first child born in that township, and she remained under the parental roof until her marriage on the 23d of March, 1881. By this union were born three children, two of whom are yet living: Frankie and William, who make their home with their mother. Henry, the eldest, died August 22, 1884. Mrs. Koestner, since her husband's death, has removed to Melvin, where she opened a boot and shoe store which she still carries on. She is a lady of good business ability, characterized by industry and enterprise, and in her commercial efforts is meeting with good success which she justly deserves.

Extracted 22 Aug 2019 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 243-244.

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