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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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J. HENRY D. DETTMERING, who is engaged in the jewelry business in Steeleville, and is recognized as one of the substantial business men of this place, claims Germany as the land of his birth, which occurred in December, 1848. His parents were Henry and Mary (Schrader) Dettmering. They were also natives of Germany, and in that country the mother is still living. The father departed this life some years since.

The subject of this sketch, who was the second in their family, attended the public schools of his native land until fourteen years of age, when he left the school room to engage in business for himself. Since that time he has been dependent upon his own resources, and whatever success he has achieved in life is due entirely to his own efforts. He began learning the trade of watch-making, serving an apprenticeship of four years, during which he thoroughly mastered the business. When a young man of twenty, he enlisted in the German army, and continued in the service for three years. After his return to the duties of private citizenship, he worked at the jewelry trade for about ten years. He then bade adieu to friends and native land and sailed for America.

It was in 1881 that Mr. Dettmering crossed the Atlantic. Landing in New York City, he there spent nine months working at his trade, after which he left the eastern metropolis and emigrated westward to Elgin, Ill. Securing work in the watch factory of that city, he there continued for a year, after which he came to Steeleville, and for fifteen months worked on a farm. We next find him in Missouri, where he spent about five years, working at his trade, watch-making. In this time, by industry, economy and good management, he had acquired some capital and determined to engage in business for himself. He came to Steeleville in 1890, and here opened the jewelry store and watch repairing establishment which he still carries on. He has built up a good trade, and is recognized as one of the substantial business men of the community.

In 1887 a marriage ceremony was performed which united the destinies of Mr. Dettmering and Miss Fredda Roetger, a daughter of Frederick and Anna Roetger. Her parents were natives of Germany, and in that country spent their entire lives. Both father and mother are now deceased. Unto our subject and his wife have been born three children, one son and two daughters: Amelia, Albert and Erma. The family circle yet remains unbroken, for they are still under the parental roof. Our subject exercises his right of franchise in support of the Democratic party, but has never aspired to official preferment, desiring rather to give his entire time and attention to his business interests. He may truly be called a self-made man. He started out in life for himself at the age of fourteen; he came to this country empty-handed, but his untiring industry, which is one of his chief characteristics, has won him a comfortable competence and numbered him among the well-to-do citizens of the community. He and his wife hold membership with the Lutheran Church, and are prominent people in Steeleville, who have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, by whom they are held in high regard.

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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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