Biography of George Stenger

Explore the life of George Stenger, a Bavarian immigrant born in 1825, who became a respected farmer in Sublette Township, Illinois. After arriving in the U.S. in 1836, George overcame early adversity, forging a successful career in agriculture and brick manufacturing. Marrying Elizabeth Gosse in 1851, they raised a family deeply rooted in community and faith. This introduction offers a glimpse into George’s journey from Bavarian youth to influential American citizen, highlighting his contributions to his adopted homeland and the enduring legacy of the Stenger family in the heartland of America.

George Stenger is one of the substantial and highly respected citizens of Sublette Township, where he is engaged in farming. He is a native of Bavaria, Germany, and was born near Frankfort on April 23, 1825, his parents being John A. and Agnes Stenger. The latter died in Germany in 1834. She was the mother of eight children, of whom only two grew to maturity, our subject and his sister Agnes. Agnes came to the United States, married Michael Shilling, and died in Peoria, Ill. The father of our subject had one son by a former marriage, Frank, who died in Peoria. By a third marriage, he had a son named John, who now resides in Utah.

The father of our subject came to this country in 1836, landed at Baltimore, and from there made his way to Zanesville, Ohio, where he at once took legal steps to become a citizen of the United States so as to share in the defense as well as in the protection of his chosen country. In 1838, he returned to Germany to receive some money which he had inherited, and after he came back to America, he continued to live in Ohio until 1841 when he came to Illinois and settled in Woodford County, where he died the following year, thus depriving that section of the services of a loyal citizen in its upbuilding.

He of whom this biography is written was a stalwart lad of eleven years when he crossed the ocean with his father in 1836 to become a citizen of the United States of America in due time. His father’s death a few years later left him almost alone in the world, and thus early thrown on his own resources he sought and found work as a farmhand. He was thus engaged in Woodford, Peoria, and McLean Counties until 1845 when he went to Princeton and for five years was engaged in a brickyard. He saved his earnings, and in 1851 was enabled to purchase eighty acres of land and establish himself in the manufacture of brick, which business he carried on successfully the ensuing seven years. In 1858, he purchased his present farm on section 28, Sublette Township. It was then merely a tract of wild prairie, and though he made some improvements on it, he did not then locate there, not moving his family to their new home until 1860. He has erected neat buildings, has had his land under the best of tillage and amply supplied with good farming machinery and every convenience for carrying on agriculture.

Mr. Stenger and Miss Elizabeth Gosse were united in marriage in 1851, and five children have blessed their wedded life, named as follows: Andrew, Elizabeth J., Mary, Joseph, and Frank. Mrs. Stenger was born on April 19, 1825, in Alsace, Germany, when it was under French dominion. In 1831, she came to this country with her parents, Frank and Mary Gosse, who first settled near Detroit, Mich., and later removed to Princeton, Ill., where Mrs. Stenger first met her future husband.

In our subject, the Democratic party has a faithful follower. In religion, he is a firm adherent of the Roman Catholic Church. He has been School Director and has done what he can for the educational interests of his adopted township, as well as in other matters, and is one of the public-spirited men of his community.


Biographical Publishing Company, Portrait and biographical record of Lee County, Illinois, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies of all the governors of the state, and of the presidents of the United States, Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1892.

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