A. M. Kuntz, one of the leading farmers of Sullivant township, was born in Tazewell county, Illinois, April 12, 1863, his parents being Joseph and Barbara (Meister) Kuntz. They were both natives of Germany and came to America in early life, being married in this country. The father was a farmer of Tazewell county before his removal to Livingston county, Illinois, in 1868. The district in which he established his home was practically unsettled and unimproved. He was one of the first residents of Fayette township and covering a territory of eleven miles from his home to Fairbury there were but one or two houses. All kinds of feathered game was then more plentiful than are domestic fowls of today and it was a very common thing for the settlers to have quails or prairie chickens upon the family board.
Mr. Kuntz purchased one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved land for which he paid fourteen dollars per acre, and with characteristic energy he began its development, continuing the work of cultivation until it became one of the best improved farms in Livingston county. This farm was sold in 1898 for one hundred and fifteen dollars per acre and it could not be purchased today for less than one hundred and fifty dollars per acre. As the years passed Mr. Kuntz not only promoted his individual success by his farming interests but also contributed to the welfare of the community and in many ways was closely associated with the progress and development which transformed the district from a wild and unsettled region into one of the prosperous and progressive townships of the county. He died December 30, 1899, while his wife passed away in 1896.
They were the parents of nine children: Peter and Joseph, who are living at Strawn, Illinois; Henry, whose home is in Sherburn, Martin county, Minnesota; A. M., of this review; Mary, the wife of E. N. Gullberg, of Strawn; Susan the wife of Henry Wurcburger, of Fairbury, Illinois; Kate, the wife of Andrew Roth, of Ford county; John, who is living in Germanville, this state; and Rose, the wife of August Ringler, of Livingston county.
Before coming to America the father had served in the German army for six years and during three years of that time was on active duty. He was with the Bavarian forces in the trouble between Germany and France, being a Bavarian by birth and his military record was a creditable one. Actuated by laudable ambition to attain success in his business career, he carefully directed his labors by sound judgment and unfaltering perseverance and gained for himself and family a comfortable living.
A. M. Kuntz is indebted to the public-school system of his native county for the educational privileges he enjoyed. He was trained to the work of the farm as he assisted his father in the cultivation of the fields and at the age of twenty-two years he began farming on the old home place on his own account. After a year thus passed he came to Ford county when a young man of twenty-three years, and rented land from his father, who owned a farm in this county. For ten years he engaged in cultivating rented land and during that period carefully saved his earnings until he was enabled to purchase eighty acres of land and made investment in a tract of that size in Sullivant township. For this he paid eighty dollars per acre. At once he began the further cultivation and improvement of the place and that he has since prospered in his undertakings is indicated by the fact that to his original holdings he has added until he now has a fine farm of two hundred acres, with some of the finest improvements to be found on any farm in the county and but few better in the state. His home is a model of comfort, convenience and beauty, scarcely surpassed by any city residence. His barns and outbuildings, too, are commodious and substantial and furnish ample shelter for grain and stock. In all of his farm work he has been progressive and his life record is an indication of the fact that success is not a matter of genius, as some aver, but comes as the result of indefatigable labor, sound judgment and experience. In addition to his Ford county property Mr. Kuntz owns eighty acres in Livingston county near the town of Strawn, for which he paid one hundred and sixty dollars per acre. There were good improvements upon the place when he made the purchase and the work of improvement has been carried still further forward until the farm today is worth two hundred dollars per acre.
In 1891 Mr. Kuntz was united in marriage to Miss Selma Schroen, a daughter of B. and Wilhelmina (Pilsick) Schroen, who were natives of Germany and early residents of Livingston county, Illinois. Mr. Schroen followed the occupation of farming there for a long period but has at length retired from active life and he and his wife are now living in Chatsworth, Illinois. They were the parents of five children: Selma, now Mrs. Kuntz; Lena, the wife of John Kuntz, of Germanville, Illinois; Lizzie, the wife of Charles Falck; John; and Charles. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Kuntz has been blessed with four children: Charles, Arthur, Gertrude and Lillian.
Mr. Kuntz is now and has been for a number of years a director in his school district, and the cause of education finds in him a stalwart and helpful champion. In politics he is a republican and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. His friends in the community are many and the fact that a large number of them have known him from his boyhood days to the present is an indication that his has been an honorable and upright career. While he has never sought to figure prominently in public office, he has nevertheless manifested qualities of citizenship which are most commendable and his life record contains valuable lessons concerning the advisability of carrying out a given plan along business lines that will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 766-768.

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