William Oppermann is a living example of the thrift and industry of the German race. He is now engaged in agricultural pursuits on a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, situated on section 27, Brenton township, while in addition to this property he also owns one hundred and thirteen acres in Lyman township, thus having two hundred and seventy-three acres of rich farming land. Mr. Oppermann was born in Germany on the 11th of April, 1854, a son of David and Fredericka Oppermann, who emigrated to the new world in 1868, locating first in Livingston county, Illinois, where the father took up his abode on a tract of rented land, which he operated for five years, subsequent to which time he removed with his family to Ford county, continuing to operate rented land during the succeeding two years. Being at the end of that time possessed of capital sufficient to invest in a farm he purchased one hundred and sixty acres and was there engaged in agricultural pursuits until the time of his death, which occurred in 1888. The mother, however, is still living and makes her home in Piper City.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. David Oppermann were born seven children, as follows: Fredericka, the wife of F. Bock, of Piper City; William, of this review; Charles and August, both of whom make their home in Piper City; Emma, the wife of Andrew Hecht, also of this city; Lizzie, the wife of William Brauman, a resident of Ford county; and Ernest, of Piper City.
William Oppermann was a youth of fourteen years when he accompanied the parents on their emigration to the new world and he can therefore recall many incidents connected with the trip across the ocean. His education began in the schools of his native land and was continued in the common schools of Livingston county. He was reared to farm life, early becoming familiar with the various duties incident to agricultural pursuits. He assisted his father in the operation of the home place until he had reached the age of twenty-four years, when he started out upon an independent business venture by operating rented land for four years, in which he met with excellent success.
Desirous of having a home of his own, Mr. Oppermann was then united in marriage to Miss Ellen Rehm, who was born in Livingston county, and is one of a family of seven children, born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Rehm. Following his marriage Mr. Oppermann took his bride to a farm which he had rented, and where they continued to make their home for four years. At the end of that time, through their united efforts they had saved a sum sufficient to purchase property, and Mr. Oppermann then bought one hundred and sixty acres, situated on section 27, Brenton township, to which they removed and this has continued to be their home to the present time. Mr. Oppermann has improved his place with good buildings and in the cultivation of his fields uses only the latest improved machinery so that excellent results attend his labors. He likewise owns a good tract of one hundred and thirteen acres situated in Lyman township, so that his possessions now comprise two hundred and seventy-three acres of good farming property.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Oppermann has been blessed with two sons and one daughter: Albert, at home; Ida, who is now a high-school student at Piper City; and Walter, at home. Mr. Oppermann supports the men and measures of the democratic party, and at the present writing is serving as highway commissioner, while for nine years he filled the office of school director. He and his wife are members of the German Lutheran church. The family are well and favorably known in Brenton township, and the success which Mr. Oppermann is now enjoying is well merited for it has been won only through the most honorable business methods, while in the discharge of his official obligations he has commanded the praise of all.

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 862-864.

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