Mathias Wolber


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Mathias Wolber, a successful farmer and stock-raiser of Genesee township, was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, April 17, 1857, a son of Chris and Salome (Deiterle) Wolber, who were natives of Germany. The parents emigrated to the United States in 1854 and on reaching Chicago Mr. Wolber pawned his trunk in order to obtain money enough to make the journey to this county. On arriving here he worked as a laborer for two years and then purchased ten acres of land in Jordan township, bringing it under a high state of cultivation. Six years afterward he sold the property and bought forty acres of government land, which he likewise improved, and as his financial resources increased he added to his landed buildings from time to time until at the time of his death he owned two hundred and sixty acres in Jordan and Genesee townships. His success came to him as the merited reward of his unfaltering determination and untiring industry, and he was widely recognized as a worthy pioneer and progressive citizen of his community. His demise occurred in 1893 when he had reached the age of seventy-four years, while his wife, who still survives him, yet resides in Jordan township on the old homestead farm. Unto this worthy couple were born seven children, namely: Mathias, of this review; Mary, the wife of Alexander Grehling, of Sterling; John, deceased; Henry, who lives in Carroll county, Illinois; Rose, the wife of Charles G. Bort, of this county; Frank, who makes his home in Jordan township; and one who died in infancy.
Mathias Wolber acquired a common-school education, and after attaining his majority worked for his father by the month for four years. On the expiration of that period he rented a farm, which he operated successfully for ten years, and subsequently purchased one hundred and twenty acres on section 14, Genesee township, where he has since resided. In addition to the work of the fields he makes a specialty of stock-raising and in the conduct of his farming interests has met with a gratifying measure of prosperity by reason of his well directed energy and capable business management.
Mr. Wolber was united in marriage to Miss Christine F. Steltzer, who was born in Jordan township, August 30, 1860, a daughter of Charles and Edith (Starry) Steltzer, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Maryland. They came to this state in the early 50's. Their family numbered eight children: Nettie, the wife of James Capp, of Sterling; C. W., who lives in Iowa; Mrs. Wolber; Henry M., of Sterling; Edith, who became the wife of W. H. Guinther and resides in Jordan township; George, also of Sterling; and two who are deceased. Charles Steltzer, the father, was called to his final rest in 1885 but the mother still survives at the age of eighty-two years. Mr. and Mrs. Wolber have two children, Edith A. and Warren M., both at home. The former attended business college for two years at Sterling, Illinois.
In his political views Mr. Wolber is a democrat, quite active in the local ranks of the party. He has served as collector for two years and as supervisor for the past eight years, being at present chairman of the board, while for eighteen years he has been school director. Fraternally he is connected with Coleta Camp, No. 76, M.W.A., of which he is serving as treasurer. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the German Lutheran church, with which his wife is also identified, both Mr. and Mrs. Wolber being widely and favorably known throughout the community as people of genuine personal worth and sterling traits of character. Throughout his entire life or for more than half a century he has resided in this county and has therefore been a witness of the many changes that have occurred, transforming the region from a barren district into one of the richest agricultural sections of the state.

SOURCE: History of Whiteside County, Illinois : from its earliest settlement to 1908. Chicago: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1908, 1493 pgs.