It is a question whether there is any people on earth who have the varied experiences afforded by travel, of the Americans. The West has been constantly beckoning with alluring hand to golden fields that promise opulence to the enthusiastic seeker. After the mighty Father of Waters had been crossed by eager seekers for the golden treasures of the earth, Pike’s Peak flashed fascinating gleams of opalescent light in the eager eyes of the Western traveler. Then California, like the sirens of the sea, induced weary travelers to leave their homes and come overland to partake of the intoxicating delights of unparalleled climate and hopes of riches. The life of Charles F. Bauer is one of the many, varied and made interesting by his travels and experience in the West. The subject of this sketch had come to the State of Illinois in 1852, where he made his home in Dorchester Township to the end of his life, excepting four years that he spent in California in the mining regions. lie died at his home on section 17, Dorchester Township, November 16, 1889.
Soon after the discovery of gold Mr. Bauer too caught the fever, and determined to take his course Westward. He did not take the overland route as did so many to their sorrow, but took the ocean voyage, crossed the Isthmus and arrived at San Francisco, where he went into the gold regions, working as a laborer for some time. His experience here was necessarily varied and interesting, and it never ceased to be a charming subject of conversation to the gentleman. He returned from California by way of the Isthmus in 1856, and began life anew in Dorchester Township on wild unbroken farm land. He acquired before his death eight hundred and thirty-five acres of very fine land. The most of it is the beet the county and township affords.
Mr. Bauer made one of the most beautiful of farms of his domain. He built a fine residence, with all the improvements in the way of farm buildings that could be desired. The farm implements were of the finest. The widow and her children still reside at the home, and all the land is yet in the family though divided among the children. Our subject was born in Sax Altenburg, Germany, December 8, 1827. He is a brother of Henry Bauer, whose biography may be found in this volume.
He of whom we write arrived at his majority in his native German province, and when only twenty-five years of age, deeming the promises of America better than those of his native land for an ambitious and sturdy young man, crossed the Atlantic in a sailing-vessel. The trip was a long and tedious one. He landed at New Orleans, and came to Illinois, where he remained during the rest of his life with the exception of the years spent on the Pacific Slope. Mr. Bauer’s life is a fair illustration of how the industry and energy of an intelligent man can make the fertile acres of our America laugh with joy and graciously give forth rich treasures. Our subject had an unimpeachable character for honesty; though lie gained his competency with hard labor he was universally esteemed in his neighborhood.
Mr. Bauer on his return from California, married Miss Willieltnina Kretzchimer. She was born in Altenburg, Germany, June 18, 1835. She was a daughter of Christopher and Johanna (Ding.) Kretzchimer, natives of Germany, and small farmers who lived and died in their native land. They were taken away while yet in the heyday of life. Mrs. Ranee, the wife of our subject, is the second child and first and only daughter born to her parents. One brother, Charles, now lives in California, while a younger brother Henry still lives in Germany. Mrs. Bauer herself was reared and educated in her native German province, and was the first of her family to leave the home nest and come to the United States. Leaving Bremen in a German vessel she arrived in New York City, came to Pittsburg, Pa., thence to Columbiana, Ohio, and later to Macoupin County, Ill., where she has since lived. She has been a true wife and efficient helpmate to her husband, and is a good and worthy woman. She is a member in good standing of the Baptist Church. Eleven children were given to gladden the hearts and home of this worthy couple. Three of the children died young, and George died at the age of twenty-one years. Those still living are Lewis, who married Mary Perrine; they live in Dorchester Township, on a fine farm; Theodore farms in this township; Charles, who assists on the home farm; Emma, William, Ida and Hannah. This family of bright and interesting children are a credit to the mother who has so lovingly reared them.
Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.