Germany has furnished to Clinton County many of her most progressive farmers and public-spirited citizens, and among the number we now present the name of Mr. Geiger, who owns a valuable farm upon section 1, Meridian Township. With the industry and perseverance inherited from a long line of German forefathers, he combines the enterprise and progressive disposition characteristic of Americans. These qualities, combined with the highest integrity, have brought to him material success, as well as the confidence of his associates.
Born in Baden, Germany, our subject is the son of John and Augusta (RAMER) Geiger. His father was the youngest of the family (comprising five sons and four daughters) of Joseph GEIGER, a very wealthy land and mill owner residing in Baden. The family being well-to-do, John received the best educational advantages offered by the schools of the home locality, and upon starting out in life for himself was deeded large tracts of land by his father, who also gave him the old mill. For many years he operated the mill, and in that enterprise was more than ordinarily successful.
In the parental family there were seven children, of whom we note the following: Charles, the eldest, is deceased; Lawrence, who studied for the priesthood in Germany but was taken from school and forced into the army, now resides in Boonville, Mo., where he has a vineyard and market garden; George is the subject of this sketch; Rudolph, a baker by trade, died in Kentucky; Lebolt died when young; Madeline, who married Charles HAGER, is deceased; Josephine is also deceased. The parents of this family were faithful members of the Roman Catholic Church, in which faith they reared their children.
The mother of our subject dying when he was quite young, according to the laws of Baden the property was divided and each child received its portion. The father finally sold the remainder of the property and came to the United States with the younger members of the family. The two eldest sons had previously come to this country, and the father, joining Lawrence, made his home with that son until his death, at the age of sixty-three years. Until the age of fourteen our subject conducted his studies in the schools of Baden, after which he continued to work for farmers until he came to this country.
After working in the employ of others for about four years Mr. Geiger married, and then rented a farm in Clinton County for a few years. About 1859 he purchased fifty acres, comprising a portion of his present farm. The place was then under fence but contained no other improvements. The energy and ability of Mr. Geiger are proved by the fact that he has placed the original tract under a high state of cultivation and added thereto until he became the owner of three hundred and twenty acres. He has given to his children one-half of that amount, and from the balance derives a fair income.
In 1854 George Geiger married Mrs. Augusta (KUHN) KROSHOLTZ, a widow with one son, Fred, who now bears the name of Geiger. This lady was born in Saxony, where her parents spent their entire lives. There her first marriage occurred and thence she emigrated with her husband to America. She was a lady of amiable disposition, who was highly regarded throughout this community, and at the time of her death, in 1890, it was felt by the large circle of neighbors and acquaintances that an irreparable loss had been suffered. The loss, however, fell most keenly upon the bereaved husband, to whom she had always been a loving and faithful helpmate. The children also were deprived of a wise and tender mother, who had ever labored for their welfare. Since her death Mr. Geiger had spent much of his time in travel, having visited Texas, Mexico, Missouri and the old home in Germany, spending six months on that side of the Atlantic.
Of the children born to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Geiger we note the following: The eldest died in childhood; John is represented on another page in this volume; Josephine is the wife of Jacob BELTZHOOVER; Dorothy is a sister in a convent in St. Louis; Augusta married Louis KLEIN and lives in this county; Amelia is the wife of Julius STEIN. In religious belief Mr. Geiger has always been partial to the Catholic Church, in the faith of which he was reared. His wife was a devoted member of the Lutheran Church. Politically a Democrat, he has held various township offices, in all of which he has rendered satisfactory service.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Clinton, Washington, Marion and Jefferson Counties, Illinois, 1894, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, IL
Submitted by: Connie Albers
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