From many parts of the world people have come to enjoy the advantages of
the great state of Illinois, and few have regretted their corning. Although
the percentage of Prussians, compared with the number of inhabitants of that
country and the number of immigrants from her sister nations who have
settled in the land of the free, is not large, those found in this state are
most progressive and they are always regarded as loyal and law-abiding
citizens. The subject of this sketch is no exception to the general rule.
William H. Leseman was born in Price Ninon, near Backonen, Prussia, October 10, 1834, and when ten years of age was brought to America by his parents in 1843, first settling in Washington county, this state, but not finding conditions exactly to their tastes there, finally came on to Marion county, where they located in August of 1884, and where they soon became assimilated with the new conditions and civilization, developing a good farm from the unimproved soil which they secured.
Our subject is the son of Henry and Christina Leseman, whose family consisted of three sons and an equal number of daughters, William, our subject, having been the second in order of birth. He is the only one of the family now living.
After receiving what education he could in the common schools of this county and working on his father's farm until he had reached manhood, our subject married Catherine Dewyer June 18, 1862, and soon thereafter began to work for himself on the farm. James and Catherine Dewyer were the parents of our subject's wife. There were eight children in this family, an equal number of boys and girls, Catherine, the wife of the subject, being the youngest and the only one of the children now living.
The following children have been born to our subject and wife, there being eight, seven of whom are still living; Eddie, deceased; Katie, Henry, James, Albert, William, Alice and Walter.
Mr. Leseman is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of very fertile land, located in Alma township, all under a high state of cultivation. He carries on a general farming with that discretion and energy that always insure success and as a result of his able management of the place he reaps excellent harvests from year to year, making a comfortable living, and laying up an ample competency for his old age. He keeps his fields in an excellent condition, carefully rotating his crops and thereby retaining the original richness of the soil. He has a good and comfortable dwelling which is nicely furnished, and also a good barn, and considerable farming machinery, and good stock. All this he has made himself by his own energy and wise economy.
In politics our subject is a loyal Republican and takes a great interest in political affairs. In his religious belief he seems to favor the Methodist denomination, however, his parents were always Lutherans in the Fatherland. The faith of the subject's wife's people was that of the Catholic belief, however, they later turned Protestant, and are now Methodists. Our subject has always been known as a man of honesty and integrity and he has many friends in his community as a result of his well regulated life.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 430-431.