The name that heads this sketch is that of an extensive German-American farmer and stockraiser, who is one of the large land owners and wealthy men of Dorchester Township. The place whereon he lives is one of the finest farms in the southern part of this county, his homestead embracing four hundred and eighty acres of fine land, most of which is under a high state of cultivation, and all well stocked with a high grade of cattle and swine.
Our subject has built upon his place a series of farm buildings that compare favorably with any in the county, and the farm as a whole is so thoroughly well kept up as to excite the admiration and comment of all who are it. He is also the owner of other valuable property in the county, aggregating about sixteen hundred acres, most of which is in this township, but some being located in Gillespie Township. The greater part of his land is under the plow, or is devoted to stock-raising. When Mr. Bauer made his purchase the major part of this land was raw prairie. He first began clearing the homestead in 1853. It was originally perfectly unbroken and wild, the township being very sparsely settled and surrounded with wild, unbroken land. It speaks well for the energy of the landowners, and also for the opportunities to be found in the States that our subject came here a very poor man and has amassed the fortune which he possesses today, by his own efforts alone and unaided.
The original of our sketch first came to this State in 1848, and has ever since lived in this county with the exception of a few months passed in Madison County. He came here directly from Germany, Saxe-Altenburg being his birthplace. His natal day was November 28, 1825. Mr. Bauer’s parents were Charles F. and Maria (Geeriti) Bauer, both natives of Saxe-Altenburg. Soon after the coming of our subject to this country, his parents followed him, and in a short time they with their three living children settled in Macoupin County. The following year the father and mother both passed away, being victims of an epidemic which prevailed at the time. They were respectively sixty and fifty years of age, and during their lives had been conscientious and consistent members of the Lutheran Church. Our subject and Mrs. Christina Bumann are the only members of the family of four children now living.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in his native land. He was the eldest of the children and had just reached his majority when he left Germany, sailing from Bremen in August, 1848. He came hither on a sailer, and after sixty-three days landed in New Orleans, and came thence up the river to St. Louis, Mo. From there he went to Madison County, and later came here.
In Bunker Hill Township Mr. Bauer encountered his fate in the shape of a young lady, whose name was Anna Ehlers. She was born in Holstein, Germany, November 11, 1833, and was the daughter of Joakim and Magdalena (Nicholas) Ehlers, both natives of Holstein. She came to this country with the family in 1851, leaving Hamburg in the fall, and reaching St. Louis, Mo., in January, 1852. They settled at Bunker Hill, and there the parents lived and died, both having attained an age of three-score years. They were members of the Lutheran Church. Our subject’s wife, Mrs. Bauer, is one of eight children, five of whom are yet living. She was the eldest of her mother’s children and was a young woman when they emigrated from their native land to America.
Mr. and Mrs. Bauer are the parents of eight children, two of whom ore deceased, Albert E. and Marie. The former died after his marriage in California, leaving a widow and two children. Marie died at the birth of her first child in Tipton, Mo., after her marriage with Esquire Redman. The living children are Matilda, Henry H., Franklin E., Otto F. and Bertha L. Matilda is the wife of Charles F. Weidner, a farmer in Brighton Township; Henry took to wife Frances Weidner; they are residing on a farm in Gillespie Township. The younger children are still attendants at school, being students in the State University at Champaign. Mr. Bauer has given his children all the educational advantages that money could procure, and they have received the best finishing courses in St. Louis.
Our subject and his wife were reared in the Lutheran Church, but at present hold to no creed. The gentleman takes a lively interest in local polities. He has been elected Supervisor, which position he has held for some years, and has also satisfactorily discharged the duties of several other offices. He casts his vote with the Republican party. Mr. Bauer is a fine illustration of the better German element, who come to this country to build up a fortune in agricultural pursuits. Both he and his wife are kind, hospitable and intelligent people, and their children are bright and highly educated.
Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.