Among the old and prominent German citizens of Clinton county is Henry Lampen. He is a native of the Duchy of Oldenberg, Germany, and was born December 11, 1815. His father, Paul Lampen, was a farmer and land-owner. Henry is the second son. He received an excellent education in the schools of his native country. At the age of nineteen years he left Germany and came to America, landing in New York, May 4, 1835. From there he went to Pittsburg, where he found employment in a saw-mill pulling a whip-saw. He remained at that employment for two years, then rented a piece of ground in Allegheny town, and raised garden-truck for the markets. One year later he came west to Illinois, arriving in the fall of 1838. He came here at the solicitation of his friends, looked at the country, was please, then returned and brought out his family. He bought fifty-five acres of improved land and twenty acres of timber, near Germantown in this county. He had prior to that, however, purchased improved land, but sold it soon after, and bought the land near town, which was unimproved, and there opened up a farm, and continued on it until 1850, when he sold out and went into Hanover (as the town was the called) and engaged in general merchandizing. He remained there until 1858, when he and Dr. KLIENEKARTE built the Hanover Flouring Mills. Mr. Lampen continued in the business for seven years, when he sold his interest to his partner. He then bought a house and lot, improved the place, and remained there one year; then removed to the village of Breese, where he staid six months; then came to Carlyle and engaged in business. In 1868 he built his present storehouse, and the next year went into business, in which he still continues.
In 1837, while a resident of Allegheny city, he married Helena WINKLER, a German lady. She died in 1845. A son, named J. H. Lampen, was the only son by that marriage that grew to manhood, married, and died March 13, 1881, leaving a wife. There is also a daughter by that marriage, named Helena Maria, who married August LONG, by whom she had two children, named Eugenie and Margaret. The latter is now a teacher in a Catholic school in St. Clair county, Illinois. In 1846, Mr. Lampen married Margaret WORSEMAN. She died August 13, 1874. By this marriage there were two children---a son and daughter. The latter, Elizabeth, married Hermann KOCH, of Hanover. She died in March, 1867, leaving one daughter named Elizabeth. John C., who was born February 8, 1852, is still at home and a partner with his father in business. He was educated in the College of the Franciscan Monks at Teutopolis, in Effingham county, Illinois.
Mr. Lampen was among the first German settlers of Clinton county. When he came here the county was young and unimproved. The prairie grass was as high as a manís head, and the country, particularly when he settled, filled with swamps and miasma, and consequently fever and ague abounded, and quinine and whiskey were in great demand; but notwithstanding these drawbacks the sturdy old settlers were determine to stay and conquer all difficulties.
Politically, Mr. Lampen is a democrat. He cast his first vote for Martin VANBUREN for president in 1840, and has been a democrat from that time to the present. In 1848 he was elected justice of the peace, and held the office for sixteen years continuously. In fact he did pretty much all the legal business that was transacted in the town of Hanover while he was a resident there. He was made the administrator of the estates of deceased persons, and often had as many as six or seven estates to settle at each term of court. His time was much occupied with that class of business, going to sales, conducting them, looking after the appraisement of property, etc. That was to some extent the reason for his removal to the town of Hanover and engaging in the mercantile business, so that he might have more time to attend to this class of business. Between attending to public business and his own, and fighting the ague and fever, a good portion of the time he was kept busy. Mr. Lampen has been very successful as a business man, and has accumulated a comfortable fortune. It has all been the accumulation of his own toil, the practice of economy, and the exercise of good judgment. Few men in the county are more respected for their honesty and sterling integrity than Henry Lampen.
Source: History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois, 1881, Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia
Submitted by: Pamela Safriet
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