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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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HENRY BOLLINGER, of Steeleville, is recognized as one of the leading business men of that place, a man prominent in public affairs and in all that pertains to the best interests of the community. The record of his life is as follows: He was born in Switzerland September 1, 1833, and is a son of Henry and Annie (Walter) Bollinger, who were also natives of that country, and who there spent their entire lives. Henry engaged in the grocery business and was a successful merchant and business man.

Our subject attended the public schools of Switzerland until he had attained the age of fourteen, when he left the school room to serve an apprenticeship in a watch case manufactory. He there continued for a term of four years, during which time he thoroughly mastered the business. At length he determined to seek a home beyond the Atlantic, hoping thereby to benefit his financial condition. It was in 1853 that he crossed the briny deep, landing at New Orleans, whence he made his way northward to Chester, Ill. As his health was somewhat impaired and he did not wish to engage in indoor labor, he worked at any employment which he could find for six months, and then went to Evansville, Ill., where he learned the cooper’s trade, following the same until 1858.

In that year, Mr. Bollinger returned on a visit to his native land, and spent some time among the friends of his childhood and the scenes of his youth. On his return he resumed work at the cooper’s trade in Evansville, where he continued until the breaking out of the late war, when, prompted by patriotic impulses, he responded to the country’s call for troops, enlisting in Company B, Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He was mustered in at Alton, and was in active service for three years. At the battle of Chickamauga he received a gunshot wound through the left leg and was confined to the hospital for three months, after which he rejoined his regiment. His old wound, however, still troubles him. He was ever found at his post of duty, faithful to the Old Flag and the cause it represented, and when the war was over he was honorably discharged, being mustered out at Chicago.

Mr. Bollinger was married December 27, 1865, to Amelia Gieseman, daughter of Henry and Sophia Gieseman, who emigrated from Germany to America in an early day. To our subject and his wife have been born six children, and the family yet remains unbroken. They are, Herman, Annie, Albert (a prominent attorney of Waterloo, Ill.), Henry, Edward and Oscar.

Mr. Bollinger is a member of Chester Lodge No. 57, I. O. O. F., and of the Grand Army post of Steeleville. His wife belongs to the Lutheran Church. In politics he has been a Republican since attaining his majority. On his return from the war he resumed the coopering business in Evansville, Ill., where he continued until January 1, 1865, when he came to Steeleville, and here he has since made his home. During the first year and a-half he carried on coopering and then embarked in the sale of malt liquors and in the hotel business. He is still engaged in the former business, and is recognized as one of the leading citizens and business men of this place.

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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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