John Christof Ertman Meyer

On this page: 1. Biography; 2. Obituary; 3. More pictures.

From the "Biographical Portrait Album of Peoria County, Illinois, 1890."

"John CE Meyer was bred to the life of a farmer in his native Germany, and has always devoted himself to that vocation. For the sucess that has followed his labors since coming to this county, which places him among its men of wealth, he is idebted solely to his own ability and skill. For many years he has been identified with the growth of the agricultural interests of this part of the State, and more especially of Akron Township, where he has one of the largest and best equipped farms in this vicinity.

"Mr. Meyer was born in Germany, August 5, 1839, and at the age of nineteen years left the Fatherland to seek a new home in America in the compay with his parents, John C. and Sophia (Pahl) Meyer. They landed in New York and came directly to Peoria, and soon after settled in Radnor Township.

"Mr. Meyer, after his marriage, first lived in Radnor Township, whence he removed to Medina. and finally took up abode in Akron Township, where he still amkes his home. He has toiled hard and with untiring perserverance and as a result has a farm of five hundred and twenty acres, on which he has erected a fine set of buildings and everything about the place is neat and well ordered. The marriage of Mr. Meyer with Miss Anna Schnoor was solemnized in Radnor Township. Mrs. Meyer is, like himself, a native of Germany. She is a most excellent housewife, is a good manager and to her co-operation Mr. Meyer attributes not a little of his prosperity. They have a family of nine children, named - William, Lena, Henry, Louisa, Anna Joh, Fred, George, and Sophia.

In his practical work as a farmer and stock-raiser, Mr. Meyer has displayed prudence and frugality, so combined with far-reaching enterprise and tenacity of purpose, as to place him on a solid financial basis and bring hims a handsome competency are yet old age has dimmed his energies, or his power of enjoying the fruits of his labors. Although a busy man he has given some of his time to the demands of public life, and has held with honor some of the school offices and other minor positions in the township. In his political belief he is a Republican and gives strong support to his party. He and his wife are Lutherans in religious faith and are among the leading members of the church of that denomination."

(Was the writer paid by the word? Transcribed by me; errors are in the original.)


John Christof Ertman Meyer's Obituary

obituaryPublished in Peoria's German-language newspaper, Taglicher Peoria Demokrat, March 17, 1908. It reads:

John Meyer dies in Dunlap
The well known farmer Mr. John Meyer, one of the oldest German pioneers in Peoria County, died last Thursday evening, March 12, in his home in Dunlap and was buried on Sunday. The aforementioned came with his parents as a young man from Ehrenburg, Hannover, 49 years ago. The family settled in Dunlap and aquired large land holdings. The parents are long gone. The family were good Democrats and have been on the subscription list for the Peoria Democrat for more than 40 years. The deceased reached the age of 68 years 7 months and 8 days and left his wife and eight children, four sons and four daughters, as well as a sister. He had been ill for a long time and suffered a great deal. Friede seiner Asche! (Literally "Peace on his ashes", translates as "May he rest in peace".)
Translated by Nancy Minnel 2007. The font style is called "Frakture."

He had a sister!! This is news to me. Looking at the plat maps and census from 1860, I noticed that John C. Meyer and his wife Sophia (JCE's parents) were living with a Peter and Justina Smith. John C and Sophia are listed as being from Prussia as are Peter and Justina Smith. Justina is 27 in 1860 which would make her 75 in 1908. Also, she would have been 58 in 1891. So this could be her (in 1891):

Meyer relative

The nose, long face, and deep-set eyes are similar to John C. E. Meyer (see photo above, taken about the same time.) What do you think?

The obituary also says he came to Peoria "49 years ago", which would have been in 1859. I wonder if they came right to Peoria or if they went somewhere else first? Or if there were other, older children who stayed in Hanover?

Ehrenburg, Hannover: The town of Ehrenburg is near Bremen. Hannover (English spelling is "Hanover") is a city, but also was an independant kingdom. Rulers of Hanover were also the kings of England until Queen Victoria. Hanover was occupied by the French from 1757 to 1814, was independent again, and then was annexed by Prussia in 1866, although the Hannoverians continued to resist Prussian rule. After WWII Hanover was made a district of the German state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), which also includes Ehrenburg. The state of Lower Saxony is in the north west part of modern Germany.