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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.

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FRITZ BEGEMANN, who resides in Steeleville and follows farming in Randolph County, being one of the successful agriculturists of the community, claims Germany as the land of his birth, which occurred about 1840. He was the fourth child born unto Henry and Wilhelmina (Westenbarger) Begemann, who were also natives of Germany. The father followed farming in that country until 1848, when he bade adieu to his old home, and, accompanied by his family, sailed for America, having determined to try his fortune in the New World. He located near Steeleville, where he engaged in farming until retiring from active business life on account of his advanced years. He died in 1872, at the age of seventy-three. His wife departed this life in 1849, soon after coming to America.

The subject of this sketch attended school in his native land until the emigration of the family to the United States, which occurred when he was a lad of eight summers. He was afterward a student in the public schools near Steeleville, and there acquired a good English education. In early life he became familiar with all of the departments of farm work, and aided his father in the cultivation of the home farm until he had attained his majority, when he started out in life for himself. He worked as a farm hand for four years, after which he engaged in teaming between Steeleville and Chester for a period of seven years. When that time had expired, he engaged in farming for himself and has since carried on agricultural pursuits. His land is always under a high state of cultivation and well improved, and he is regarded as one of the practical and progressive farmers of Randolph County.

In 1863 Mr. Begemann was united in marriage with Miss Marcella, daughter of Charles F. and Sarah (Bryan) Jay. Eight children were born of their union, but Allen died at the age of three years. Those still living are: Emma, wife of William Moulic, a prominent druggist of Percy; Mary and John, who are at home; Alice A., wife of James Gillespie, a resident of Steeleville, Ill.; Fred, Albert and Bernice, who are yet attending school. Mr. Begemann resides in Steeleville in order to give his children the better educational advantages of the town and thus fit them for the practical duties of life. The family is one of prominence in the community, and its members rank high in the social circles in which they move.

Mr. and Mrs. Begemann are members of the Methodist Church, in which he serves as Trustee, and are active workers in the Master’s vineyard. By his ballot he supports the Prohibition party. He has served as Township Supervisor for three years, and has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Steeleville for seven years. His long continued service well indicates his fidelity to duty and the confidence and trust reposed in him by his fellow-townsmen, who regard him as one of the valued citizens of the community and hold him in high esteem on account of the many excellencies of his character.

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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 Randolph County, Illinois family biographies here: Randolph County, Illinois Biographies

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