My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

JOHN HEINBOKEL. A compendium of biographies of representative citizens of Jackson County would be incomplete did it fail to contain that of Mr. Heinbokel. As a loyal and gallant soldier during the dark days of the Civil War, as a reliable and progressive citizen, and as an energetic agriculturist, he claims the respect of his fellow-men. The valuable farm which he owns and operates is located on section 4, Degognia Township, and from its fertile soil he annually reaps bountiful harvests of grain.

Born in the province of Hanover, Germany, October 8, 1834, the subject of this sketch was orphaned by the death of his mother, Elizabeth, when he was about nine days old. Leaving the child with his grandfather Krieg, the father, John Heinbokel, crossed over to England soon after the death of his wife, and there he secured a position as foreman in a sugar house. There he also married again, becoming the father of two daughters by his second union. John never saw his father nor his mother, and for a number of years has not heard of the former, whom he supposes to be dead.

Until his fifteenth year our subject remained in the Old Country, and attended the parochial school until his confirmation on Easter Sunday of the year 1849. In the fall of the same year he was sent to his uncle, Peter Krieg, in St. Louis, Mo., who was employed in a sugar refinery. There the lad expected to make his home, but the death of his uncle that winter threw him on his own resources—an orphan, friendless and almost penniless. Soon, however, he secured a position in a brickyard, where he gave such good satisfaction that he was retained in that occupation for ten or eleven years.

May 19, 1859, Mr. Heinbokel married Mary, daughter of Henry and Mary Strackeljahn, all of whom were natives of Prussia. Mrs. Heinbokel was born February 28, 1840, and was orphaned by her mother’s death when she was a child of seven; her father died when she was seventeen. She was the fourth in order of birth in the family, which consisted of four sons and one daughter. By her marriage she has become the mother of thirteen children, eleven of whom survive: Caroline H., wife of H. H. Bunselmeyer, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; Henry A.; Herman F. and Annie M. (twins), the latter being the wife of William Luchow, a farmer living near Nameoki, Ill.; Minnie D., who married Otto Romann, a farmer living near Wagner’s Landing; John A., Mary S., Kate E., Emma M., Elizabeth A. and William H. J.

In the spring of 1861, when the war broke out, Mr. Heinbokel enlisted in Company F, Fifth Regiment Home Guards of St. Louis, and served for three months, during which time they operated along the Missouri River. They reached Booneville the day Lyons evacuated the place. Leaving two companies to hold the town, the remainder of the regiment moved on to Lexington, where they staid for six weeks. On the expiration of their term of service, the troops returned to St. Louis and were discharged. On the return trip, the steamer “White Cloud” was attacked by guerrillas at Glasgow City. At almost the first volley Mr. Heinbokel was wounded in the leg and carried into the cabin. Three times that day the same band made an attack on the boat from behind trees on the bluffs, riding across the bends of the river and secreting themselves before the boat could pass.

After some six weeks’ loss of time on account of his wound, Mr. Heinbokel crossed over into Illinois and worked in the potato harvest for his brother-in-law, Henry, who was farming near Nameoki. During the winter he was employed in a slaughter house in St. Louis, and in the spring of the following year rented land near Nameoki, this state, and began the life of a farmer, in which occupation he is still engaged. Renting land near his own holding, he carries on an extensive farm. Wheat, corn and potatoes are his staple crops. Of his original purchase of one hundred and forty-five acres, over eighty-five have gone into the river.

In religious connections, Mr. Heinbokel and his entire family are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In politics he is a Republican, and these hard times serve to strengthen his party faith. When in Madison County he served for eight years as School Director, and in his present home he has served in the same capacity for a number of years. When we consider the fact that he was reared an orphan and was early obliged to make his own way in the world; when we consider also that he came to this country without means, a mere lad, we cannot fail to believe that he deserves great credit for gaining his well merited success.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Jackson County, Illinois family biographies here: Jackson County, Illinois Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.