In reverting to the life record of Stephen Lesch it is but fitting that he should be spoken of as a "self-made man," for from the early age of ten years he has been dependent entirely upon his own resources, having at that tender age lost his father. It is true that not unlike others in similar circumstances he has met obstacles and difficulties but through his own determination to win his way in the world he has overcome these and has pressed his way onward until one needs but to glance at his excellent farm of one hundred acres, situated in Lyman and Brenton townships, to know that he has succeeded well in life.
Mr. Lesch is a native son of Illinois, his birth having occurred in Lemont, Cook county, on the 15th of August, 1859. His parents were Christopher and Helen Lesch, the former having been born on a vessel during the emigration of his parents from Germany to this country. The mother was born in Germany and came to America with her parents when she was quite young. The subject of this review is the eldest in a family of four children, the others being: Peter, a resident of Chicago; John F.; and Maggie, the wife of Andrew Fridley, a resident of Chicago.
As above stated, Mr. Lesch lost his father when he was a little lad of but ten years and from that time he has made his own way in the world. At that age he began to work by the month at farm labor and this continued to be his occupation until he had reached the age of twenty-four years, when he was married and established a home of his own on the farm where he has since resided. This property comprises one hundred and sixty acres of good land, eighty acres of which is located on section 2, Lyman township, on which the house stands and the other eighty-acre tract lies just across the road on section 35, Brenton township. When Mr. Lesch took possession of the property there was a poor house on it but this has since been replaced by a more modern and commodious structure. He has also erected good outbuildings, has set out an apple orchard, shade trees, and has otherwise improved the place until it is now one of the valuable farms of this section of the state. In addition to raising grain Mr. Lesch is also engaged in raising good grades of stock and both branches of his business are bringing to him a good financial return.
It was on the 11th of March, 1884, that Mr. Lesch was united in marriage to Miss Rose Worlidge, who was born in Godman, Chester county, England, October 27, 1863. She came to America when a young lady of seventeen years, locating in Chicago, where lived an aunt, with whom she remained until the time of her marriage. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Lesch has been blessed with five children: Florence, the wnfe of Edward Jones, of Thawville; Zarelda, the wife of Levi Epplehimer, of Roberts; Edna; Roy; and Susie.
Mr. Lesch gives his political support to the republican party, casting his first presidential ballot for President Garfield. He has served as a school director for the past nine years but otherwise has filled no public office. He attends and supports the Congregational church, to which the other members of the household belong. The life of Mr. Lesch has been one of continuous activity, in which has been accorded due recognition of labor and today he is numbered among the substantial agriculturists of Ford county.

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 706-709.

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